Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 2: The Living Room & Foyer

Happy Tuesday, readers!

Today is Living Room Day, but first let's focus on our Main Checklist.

Don't forget, I'll be adding new things to this list daily. It will help you keep the house straight as we move from room to room. 

Main Checklist

  • Do at least one load of laundry from start to finish. Wash, dry & put away!
  • Load and unload your dishwaher. If you don't have one, wash and put away any dirty dishes.
  • Don't be lazy. When you remove an item from a room, put it where it belongs. Don't just toss it in its respective room. We're trying to avoid having a mess pile up. 
Did you remember to clean up the kitchen after dinner last night? I hope so!
Your kitchen should be clean if you have not yet eaten this morning.
Here are the new items for the Main Checklist:

  • Do a quick pick-up in the kitchen. If there is anything that doesn't belong in there, put it away. 
  • Clear the counters. We don't want any clutter to pile up!
  • Do a clean-sweep through the kitchen and living room every night before bed. 
If you stick to the tips from yesterday and clean up after yourself in the kitchen, as well as keeping the dishwasher cycled, you'll find that the kitchen stays cleaner longer.
You'll also find that it doesn't hurt to go ahead and wipe down the sink faucet or take a minute to sweep the floor after a meal since you don't have to spend so much time focusing on the entire room. 
If your dishwasher is properly cycled, you can put dishes in it as you're cooking dinner. It will minimize the amount of work you have to do to clean up afterward. 


Now, on to the living room!

I don't know about you guys, but keeping my living room clean is a constant battle. 
I have one kid who can clean up after herself, one who is still working on that particular skill, and one who just drools all over everything at the moment. 
The worst thing about the living room (and the kitchen) is that it's a room the whole family continually uses. It doesn't stay clean for very long.
I probably pick up my living room at least 3-4 times in a single day. 
That's ok with me, though. I would rather do 3-4 small pick-ups than one large one. 
If you do damage control, there won't be a disaster.

My main rule for the living room is to keep an eye on it throughout the day. 
If you see a mess starting to form, go ahead and pick it up. Don't let it pile up until it gets to be a ton of work. That doesn't mean that you need to swoop in and pick up everything little Jenny or Johnny sets down as soon as it hits the floor. You know where your tipping point is. Just try to make things easier on yourself. 

Living Room Checklist:

  • Remove anything that does not belong and put it away where it belongs.
  • Clear off any flat surfaces; coffee tables, sofa tables, ledges, shelves. Unless it is there on purpose for decoration, it doesn't belong. Put it away. 
  • Use your choice of cleaning supplies (I use Lysol Multi-purpose cleaner and paper towels) to wipe down your tables & lamps, as well as any other main pieces of furniture. This does not include picture frames, hanging shelves, etc... We will get to those next week. 
  • Vacuum (or sweep) the floor. 
  • Vacuum the couches and footstools. 

Living Room Quick Tips

Pick up messes multiple times throughout the day so it doesn't suddenly multiply and overwhelm you. 

Try to limit the amount of food your kids are bringing into the living room. Less crumbs and spills means less mess for mommy & daddy to clean up. 

Do not go to bed with a messy living room. I know I said the same thing about the kitchen, but I truly believe that when the common areas of the house are cluttered it heightens the stress level in the household. No one really wants to deal with the mess and the frustration gets taken out on each other. At least, that's what happens at our house.
If the living room is messy after dinner, we have a quick pick-up time. We make the kids help us clean it up before they get ready for bed. It helps tremendously. 


Now let's focus on the foyer!

The foyer is the first thing guests see when they walk in your house. 
In our case, everyone sees stairs since our home has a split foyer. 
The stairs are carpeted and they get gross quickly with all the foot traffic coming in from outside. 

Foyer Checklist:

  • Put away anything cluttering up the entryway. Coats, shoes and umbrellas can all either go to the correct bedroom closet, or the hallway coat closet.
  • Clear off any tables you may have positioned by the door. Throw away junk mail. File important mail.
  • Sweep or vacuum the floors. If you have stairs, vacuum them. If you have a split foyer, vacuum both sets of stairs.
Foyer Quick Tips:

Put away your coats and shoes when you get home. Do not leave them lying by the door.

When you get the mail, immediately go through it to decide what's important and what isn't. File the important stuff, throw away the junk.

Try to be sure your foyer emulates something you would want to see when walking into a friend's house. First impressions are  important.


I know this post seems crazy-long, but there isn't a lot of work here. Just try not to fall behind. If you stay on top of the mess instead of constantly running behind it trying to catch up, your days will be much easier on you!

I ask one thing of you before you get started.
Today is my sister-in-law's birthday. Hop over to her blog and wish her a happy day today!


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