When I was a kid, most of my life was spent in the living room of the house my family lived in at the time.  It was a nice-sized room with an old style television that sat on the floor and was probably my step-grandfather’s first color television from the 1960’s or 70’s.  My mom would watch her shows while I played with my Barbies and my brother built houses out of Lincoln Logs.  More often than not that room was the most cluttered and messy of the whole house.  We constantly found someone’s dirty socks stuffed between the couch cushions and spilled juice stained the carpet near the end tables.  Keeping this room clean must have driven my mother insane, especially since she was most likely the one to spill the juice on the carpet!

To be honest, I am not the best at keeping the living room clean, even now.  Many nights, I find leftover dishes of dinners past sitting on the end table next to my couch because I was too lazy to take it into the kitchen and wash it.  Unless you’re like my Great Aunt Josie and don’t let anyone in your living room (including people who live in your house), my guess is that yours is just as cluttered and messy as mine is, so when it comes time to clean it, it probably seems like an insurmountable task.  We’re all Sisyphus pushing that boulder up the hill for the rest of his afterlife.  Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but you get the idea.  Cleaning is hard.  Luckily, I’ve found some tips that make the task less daunting.

  1. Ditch the Clutter.  Before getting started, gather any items that don’t belong in the living room (your kids’ toys, school books, the socks that have probably been stuffed between the cushions for a week) and set them aside.  The Spruce suggests putting them in a bucket and putting them back in their rightful places after you’ve finished the heavy lifting.
  2. Tidy the Couch. Now, that those dirty, stinky socks are gone, you should work on tidying up the couch.  Again, if you’re like my Aunt Josie (please, don’t be like my Aunt Josie), your couch might be covered with plastic–elderly Italian women always seem to have plastic on the furniture and it was always so annoying in the summer when the plastic stuck to my legs), but if you’re like most people, your couch isn’t suffocating under a glorified tarp, which means there’s probably crumbs from the cookies you ate after dinner (don’t blame the kids–you know it was you).  The easiest way to get rid of those crumbs is to just brush them onto the floor, where they’ll be vacuumed up later.  (If you do have plastic on your couch, my mom suggests using Windex–she’s joking, I hope.)
  3. Dust!  One of the things that always bugs me is the accumulation of dust, especially on glass surfaces, where it is extremely noticeable.  Make sure you wipe down all dusty surfaces as dust apparently contains, dead skin cells, insects, and other allergens that can make you sick.  Don’t just dust the tables and your television, all the bric-a-brac you have decorating the room also accumulates dust and should be cleaned off as well.
  4. Vacuum. Personally, I hate vacuuming.  They’re clunky and so loud.  Plus, I haven’t quite figured out how to remove the bag from mine.  Unfortunately, it is a necessary evil and unless you want to walk around on crumbs, you have to just suck it up and do it.
  5. Return Everything to Its Place. All those extraneous items you removed from the living room?  It is now time to put them back where they belong.  Obviously, you know where they’re supposed to go, so putting them away shouldn’t take too long.

Check back next week for the best ways to clean and organize your attic!

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