Mama Monday: Organized Simplicity Challenge Week 2

Last week I introduced my new topic for the next couple of month's Mama Monday posts. Hopefully some of you are going to drop in for a few of these challenges or if nothing else you can watch me simplify and organize our home!
This week's focus is going to be the living room and family room/den. In my case it will be the living room and the dining room, since it is the biggest room in our house and the one we spend A LOT of time in between homeschooling and eating.

Here is my mission (and yours) for this week:

1. Declutter
Remove everything from each room (I will be doing one room at a time.) except furniture, rugs, and curtains. This includes books, baskets, and boxes. Don't forget to clear out the bookshelves, coffee table, end tables, and your media cabinet.

2. Clean
Clean from the top of the room down. Dust the ceiling fan, air vents, and lights. Wash your blinds (dishwashing liquid in warm water in the bathtub) and clean the windows. Dust all of the furniture and baseboards. Wash throw pillows, blankets, rugs, and curtains. Spot clean the carpet and upholstery. Don't forget to clean the switch plates, door handles, and walls where grubby little hands touch.

3. Organize
Before you load everything back into the room, set up two boxes and a garbage can. One box is for sell because there is going to be a HUGE yard sale in your near future. One box is give away. And the garbage can is for trash. As you're trying to figure out what will go back in your rooms ask yourself some questions:
  • Is it useful? Does this item have any actual use? If the answer is no, move to the next question. If it does, has it been used in the last year? If the answer to this question is no, then you need to choose one of three choices to place the item: sell, give, or trash. If the answer is yes, then you need to figure out how to store it.
  • Is it beautiful? Does this item bring me joy? If the answer is no, then you need to sell, give, or trash the item. No one wants to live in a home with things that are not useful or beautiful. Try not to get caught up in sentiment. If you really feel like you need to hang on to something even if you don't like it because Great-Great Aunt Louise gave it to you, then do so. But make those exceptions few and far between. I'm sure Great-Great Aunt Louise would rather your family enjoy your organized and simplified home over her collection of doilies that she passed on to you.
  • Does it fit the purpose of the room? Hint: Rooms can have more than one purpose. If the object doesn't work in the room, then it doesn't need to be in the room. If you don't want toys in your living room, then remove them and find a different place for them somewhere in the house. Don't keep things in a room if you don't want them there, or they need to be used in another place.
  • Does it reflect our family's purpose? Does it help us fulfill our family's mission? Once you have an idea of what your family's purpose is make sure that everything in your home achieves that goal. This week when I'm working on our living room I know that a lot of my DVD's are going to have to leave the house. The are not God acknowledging films. They might be good movies or romance movies that I enjoy, but they are not in line with our family's purpose.
4. Choose one "big" project to do that you've been putting off in that room. My project is sanding and revarnishing my computer desk in the dining room. I got it two summers ago at a school sale. It has definitely seen better days, but the bones are good and it's real wood. I keep putting off fixing it up, but this challenge has given me the perfect excuse opportunity to do it.

These four basic steps will be repeated each week until all of the rooms in your house are organized and simplified. I will be posting pictures next week of how it goes this week in the living room/dining room. You will also get a new set of rooms to work on, so be sure to check back in for Mama Monday to see how I'm progressing.

Seriously, I need to be accountable to cyberspace more often. I feel all inspired to prove that I can get two rooms cleaned and organized, while homeschooling my kids, keeping up with laundry and cooking, and not letting my toddler destroy everything. We'll see how it goes ;)

Getting my Supermom cape out of the closet in the treehouse,


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