The living room is often one of the most active spaces in a home, where every member of the family relaxes, plays, and enjoys spending quality time together. When it’s cluttered with books, toys, or piles of old DVDs, it can be difficult for everyone in the household to destress after a long day. By taking the time to purge what you don’t need anymore, you and your family will feel a sense of calm and be able to enjoy your living room together once again.
Start by looking around and gathering items that are outdated, broken, or that you no longer want anymore. Once you’ve done the initial sweep, you can dig a little deeper into each category and decide what you really need.
I’m not suggesting you give away all your books, but having too many paper copies can make a space feel crowded and cluttered. Now that we can use e-reader technology, there are more efficient ways to store and access books. If you’re preparing for a move, hard copies of books are heavy to carry and require multiple small boxes, which leads to more waste. Consider donating anything you won’t read again or will never read to a local school or library, and only keep the special books that hold sentimental value. Consider getting electronic versions of your favorite books and donating the hard copies to clear up space!
2. DVDs, CDs, VHS tapes, and cassettes
With the rise of streaming services like Netflix, Pandora, and Spotify, it’s no longer necessary to keep large collections of music and movies. Although it’s common to collect these entertainment items over the years, it might be time to part with some if you simply don’t have room for them anymore. You can easily donate your old media to a library or local thrift store, or post your collector’s editions on eBay.
3. DVD and VHS players
Since you’re already purging your old media, you won’t need your old DVD and VHS players anymore! You also won’t need any of the cords, cables, manuals, or boxes that come with them.
4. Game consoles, gear, and extra controllers
If you have kids (or you’re just a kid at heart), you probably have a stash of video games hiding somewhere in your living room. Now is the time to retire any old consoles, controllers, or games you don’t use anymore. Just like with the DVD and VHS players, don’t forget to get rid of the extra cables and components that go with your old gaming systems.
5. Kids’ toys
If you have piles of toys in your living room, note what your kids have outgrown or don’t use anymore. These can be donated to help another family, and your kids will learn the benefit of this and how their toys can help other families experience joy. Help them see that you’re making room for new items so they aren’t too focused on what they’re giving up!
If you have any magazine subscriptions, you probably have piles of outdated copies you don’t need anymore. Most magazine companies offer digital subscriptions now, so consider switching to clear up some space in your home. Recycle the old copies you’ve already read, or check out this article from NC State University to discover some more creative ways to use them.
7. Pet toys and bedding
If any of your pet’s toys are falling apart, consider decluttering them until there are just a few toys left for each pet. You can get new items to replace some of the old ones, especially if your pet’s bedding, crate, or scratching post has seen better days.
Once you’ve gone through these categories and chosen what you want to keep, get rid of, and donate, you can consolidate like-items in bins, baskets, or shelves. Having fewer items that are organized will help you and your family be able to relax by taking away the visual interruption that a messy room creates. You’ll be able to focus on spending time together creating more memories instead of feeling overwhelmed about the clutter!