Detox Your Living Room

Are you about ready to move on from the kitchen? Perhaps you've finished and you're ready to tackle another living space. Or maybe you've had all you can take of crumbs in the crevices and soap in the sink. Whether you're done or just want to take a break, let's go into the living room.'

This is the room where your family meets in the evening for television, movies and video games. This is where you cuddle with your sweetie in front of the fireplace. This is where you fellowship with friends and family. The living room should be an inviting place that just screams, Stay here for a while!

So what's keeping it from being that cozy place? Let's identify five trouble spots and how to tackle them.

1. The clutter. With all those uses this room has, there's bound to be stuff laying around. Cords from the electronics, game controllers, books, magazines and the everyday lived-in signs of use pile up all over the place. The key to corralling clutter in the living room is to give everything a home. That's where it lives when it's not in use, no matter what the excuse is. If you have a specified basket for books and magazines, have them all end up there at the end of the day. If you have places in the entertainment center for movies and video games, that's where they live when you're done with them. Clutter can't expand if it's organized and put in its home.

2. The furniture. Chairs, sofas, footstools. All those big pieces with fabric are going to attract dust, food and pet hair. The longer they go without cleaning, the more potent they will become. Start with a great pet hair roller or lint brush and go over each piece inch by inch. Get all of the hair up and dig out all the food bits. Use the vacuum cleaner attachment to get in all the crevices and under the cushions. Then do some spot treatments with cleaner as you feel is necessary. Finally, spray the whole piece with a fabric refresher and enjoy the fresh smell of clean!

3. The dust. Even if you don't have a fireplace, you've probably got plenty of places to capture dust and pet dander. The electronics can be especially magnetic, so let's begin there. Using a cleaner specially designed for electronics and a microfiber cloth, attack all of those surfaces - top bottom and sides. Get in all the nooks and crannies until there's not a hint of dust or pet hair. Then move on to the other flat surfaces. There are some great multi-surface cleaners out there now so you don't have to carry around a dozen different bottles. Find what works for you and then work your way around the room in a circle. Pay special attention to the areas around windows and air vents.

4. The floor. We've covered this topic a couple of times before, so you can go back and review as necessary. Move all your furniture to the middle of the room and clean the edges of your floor, up against the walls. Then move everything to the outside edges and clean the middle. Chances are that some spots of your floor haven't seen that TLC in a while.

5. The aesthetics. Take a good look at how you've decorated your living room. Does it scream warm and inviting yet, or do all of the little touches need some work? Try changing out your wall hangings or the layout of the room. Exchange your winter decor for some more spring-themed pieces - we're just a few weeks away, you know! Keep it simple and uncluttered so people will focus on you and not your stuff. Just those few little details can dramatically affect how you and those you invite into your home see your room.


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