Spring cleaning: day two

Day two is part one of the living room, or wherever the central area is in your home. Some of you may have more than one space, which is why it’s helpful to take two days to really get this space decluttered, cleaned, and organized.

Before I get to my before and after photos, I wanted to discuss a topic several of you mentioned in yesterday’s comments – the issue of things getting messy again soon after cleaning.

If there’s children in the home, this is an inevitable problem. And well, if there’s more than one adult in the home, chances are high the place would get disheveled eventually.

Quite honestly, I don’t have solutions for this problem, because the problem is, we live with imperfect people. Some personalities and temperaments endure disorganization more than others. And certain ages tolerate – even enjoy – messes more than others.

This is okay. Life goes on.  We clean our homes because it’s sanitary, because it’s enjoyable to live in a clean space, and because when our haven is organized and neat, we’re able to focus on the things that really matter to us – like relationships.

So we continue to clean, sometimes the same surface several times a day. And it’s easy to get discouraged by this. I know I do sometimes.

But the goal with this Spring Cleaning Party is not perfection. It’s cleaning. It’s finding a home for those things that previously were homeless (yet still taking up residence on the kitchen counter).  It’s taking the time to get those cobwebs out of the corners, to get the fingerprints off the windows.

And the most important goal to spring cleaning in ten days?

Decluttering. Getting rid of stuff. Saying goodbye to those things that are clogging your living spaces, and therefore causing visual stress.

When you have only what you need or love, it’s so much easier to clean – cleaning those surfaces several times a day isn’t as big a deal, because there’s not much stuff to begin with.

I encourage you to focus on getting rid of stuff. Make a hard-and-fast decision to kick out those things you don’t need or love. It sounds painful, but once you get into it, it’s cathartic, refreshing, and even fun.

I’ll continue to answer questions as I’m able, so keep them coming! In the meantime, here are some of my photos of our living room.  We have one larger room that serves as our living room, dining room, and library.  I admit that it wasn’t too messy to begin with – just your basic laundry waiting to be folded and my husband’s work stuff after his arrival home.

before: after:
living room before 01 living room after 01
before: after:
living room before 02 living room after 03

dining table after (there really wasn’t a “before” shot):
dining room after

Since the publication of the e-book, we’ve moved all the family’s books into this one corner, creating a family reading nook. The kids’ books are on the right-hand shelf; the grown-up books are on the left. The basket on the floor (currently serving as the doll’s crib) is where books go that need to be reshelved. This was our solution to a rather – ahem – particular mama who likes books in the right place. To me, it’s important to find the books when you have this many – especially children’s books. So until our young kiddos learn how to alphabetize, I’d rather do it myself.

books after 03

Tomorrow, for day two of the living room, I’ll share some of my solutions for decorating, organizing media, and keeping it easy to maintain. We’re in the process of redecorating the living room (which is why there’s still a mismatched rug on the floor and an empty wall above the couch), so this is on the forefront of my mind.

Mandi at Organizing Your Way has already provided some helpful tips for organizing the living room.  Head over there to gather more spring cleaning ammo for your arsenal.

So my question today is:

How easy or challenging it is for you to keep only those things that are either useful or beautiful to your family?

Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. I think it is really helpful to see your space. Not only for the spring cleaning challenge, but in general. Especially the before pictures. Having a blog like yours that inspires so many moms can lead to putting you up on a pedestal and thinking that you do everything perfectly and that perhaps you don’t have messes in your living room like the rest of us. Now everyone can see that you are like the rest of us, not a superwoman.

    Shannon´s last blog post…Mostly Grain Free Menu Plan

  2. I posted once, but I think the computer ate it. First off, I LOVE the family reading nook. Brilliant! That alone will save time and space in my tiny abode. We have four different people with four sets of books, in four parts of the house. I can’t wait to do a central location for all our books! Plus a great family space. Then, the challenge question. Sometimes it is extremely hard to determine “beautiful and useful” in my house. Take our 6 year old for instance. His idea is “beautiful” is the Valentines Box he created at school. It’s beautiful to him. I wouldn’t mind so much if it wasn’t the size of a small car and it wasn’t hogging up a good chunk of his dresser. Plus, it’s EMPTY. *sigh*. PLUS, he brings home about 14,000 art project/pictures a week from school. Then there’s hubby. All I’ll say is that I am slowly getting him used to the idea of NOT saving everything ” just in case” but only the things that would have a high replace cost (goodbye cool whip containers, bread bag ties, and used file folders. Hello extra brand new can opener in a box). More of a “just in time” saving instead of “just in case”. Hope this helps. sorry it got so long. Have a geat day!

    • Make your son’s valentine box meaningful to you by putting a daily love note in it to him.

  3. I know the pain of ‘re-cleaning’, I get it.
    But I find that once I’ve cleaned up, even if a tornado comes through right afterwards, you’re still better off than if you hadn’t cleaned at all. There is a kind of residual neatness and sanitation that remains under the mess. (It’s still two steps foward one back though.)

    The Accidental Housewife´s last blog post…Wake up baby!

  4. Am really enjoying the results so far – makes life so much easier with your ebook! If i got to a point of not knowing what to do i just referred to it and found a new task to do!

    I am surprised at how easy it has been to get rid of things. Especially books and DVDs that we havent looked at in over a year.


    Kristin R´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Day 2

  5. I am anxious to jump into this room. We have TONS of “media” and media-related accessories. And we really do use most of it … but I am excited to get it all organized and set up in a manner that is useful and easy to maintain. But for now, I’m off to the school for a Chorus field trip. Will be home later today and HOPEFULLY will have time to get busy on this task!!

    Teri Lynne´s last blog post…Menu Plan Monday ~ My first effort!

  6. I LOOOOVE your reading nook. Inspiring! It is one of my biggest issues with our home in its current state – no central place for books, no place to show them off and bring them all into the actual living space. The “to be shelved” basket is hilariously awesome.

    Nikki´s last blog post…Disney On Ice

  7. I do have a few items I have kept from my childhood, such as special photos (no digital back them, but should digitize them now!) and a few special books I loved as a grade schooler. I keep these not on my shelves but packed away in a box, (it is accessible) in my storage room. If I want to look at them, I can pull them out any time.
    As for everything else, I know it is all replaceable. A close friend of our family had a house fire a few years back and lost pretty much everything she owned. She was devistated to lose family photos, momentos, and heirlooms. I realized then that our possessions, although comforting, are just items. I have my memories and experiences inside me and no one can take these from me. If I forget the actual memory, I know who I am today is because of what I did yesterday, and I will “remember” that way. As for passing along my stories to my kids, I think the old fashioned verbal way is best as many cultures and generations before us told stories every day.
    Don’t get me wrong, we have a ton of toys, (you can see my living room here: http://www.organizing-life.com/organizing-kids-toys/) but I know that with out all of that I would still be me.
    Thanks so much for this post! Off to clean the rest. Abbie

    Abbie´s last blog post…Organizing Kid’s Toys

    • Wow Abbie! You are so right about the memories, and how who you are, not the things you keep, is the real testament to your past. Reading that created a watershed moment for me, thankyou. I completely agree.

      The Accidental Housewife´s last blog post…Grounded

  8. My living room does need picked up, but it shouldn’t take too long. However, I am not sure how long it will last. I am sure it will be a task I try and accomplish more than once today.
    Too funny about your book reshelving. I too want to reshelve all the books but don’t do it alphabetically…instead I want the board books all on one shelf, the Dr. Suess books all on one shelf, then I go by height and thickness. Glad to know that I am not the only one who is anal about the book shelves. 🙂

    Jenny´s last blog post…1st Haircut & Rainy Days

  9. It’s really not hard for us to keep things tidy around the house. When ever we are finished with a project, or when my daughter is done playing with something, we just clean it up then and there (if possible). I don’t like to go to sleep at night until things are at least in the correct room. Maybe that’s a bit compulsive, but by doing it every day, there really isn’t much to clean up!

  10. I LOVE decluttering, and sometimes I have to focus on the fact that occasionally it IS okay to not have everything organized and streamlined. That it’s okay to live with imperfection.

    But I still like getting rid of stuff (much to my husband’s dismay!)

    And we have the same Ikea chair in our living room!


    steadymom.com´s last blog post…What Do You Think?

  11. My livingroom isn’t too bad, however the cabinets in the livingroom are another story. I recently went through the games and DVD’s but now it’s time to tackle the kids puzzels, which there are quite a few of.
    The hard part about this is even though the kids don’t put puzzels together like they use to and have grown out of many of them, they do bring back many memories. We would spend hours putting these together over and over again when they were small. I’m all for getting rid of things but this is one area that I have ignored for this reason. I will try hard to purge…anyone need puzzels?!?!?! Yikes!

    Thanks for the great inspiration!

    Bonnie´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Day One

  12. Good morning! I have all kinds of things to do today (it’s the only day this week, thank the Lord!) I am hoping that I can start tackling the living room when I get home this afternoon. I am loving this whole thing…thanks! I have to say at first I thought, “take pictures of my home, how embarassing!!” but then I looked at other peoples pics and realized it is pretty normal!! I always thought it was just me. As for the books issue… I have the same problem. 4 kids, all different ages and I am bad about not wanting to get rid of books. My husband and I love books. This is awesome!! Can’t wait to see the end product! Have a GREAT day!

    Michele´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Party, Day 1

  13. I am so glad to know that I’m not the only one who has issues with having to re-clean. It can be frustrating when you spend a good portion of your day cleaning and within a day or two it looks like you didn’t even touch it.

    Anyway, for day 2 I decided to work on my kitchen because that is the room that I can’t stand to have messy. I’ll work on the living room tomorrow, I promise.

    Holly´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning the Kitchen

  14. I am so inspired by your library!! Wow! Question: My husband is a total packrat, so it’s always a struggle to de-clutter our home. Any tips on how to compromise?

    Sarah´s last blog post…A Real Grown-up Remodeling Project

    • You’re like the 80,000th person to ask me some form of this question, so I’ll get something percolating for a post.

  15. I am distracted by the work I have to do because I am loving seeing pics of your home! So lovely!

    And the bookshelves you have for the reading nook are the exact ones I hope to buy at the end of the summer…right now we have all our books stacked on the floor, which my son loves to knock over in a loud, joyous crash.

    Lucie @ Unconventional Origins´s last blog post…Michelle Obama and the intersection of racism and sexism

  16. Well I cheated yesterday and jumped ahead once I decluttered the house. I did this because we had to have the living room done by Wednesday (we host 18 people for a church Small Group). I felt so energized (don’t ask me how energized I feel this morning) I just didn’t want to stop. So the living room is done.

    I posed a bunch of before and after pictures this morning. I’m off to make some much needed coffee and move into the kitchen.

    Donna S´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning – Day 2 – I cheated

  17. My husband is a Marine, so staying streamlined isn’t all that hard for us, since we move every three years. But that’s just with ‘big’ stuff like knick-knacks and extra dishes, etc. The smaller, sentimental stuff, like ticket stubs to zoos all over the country, magnets from everywhere, etc is stacked in shoe boxes…in a closet thankfully, but it’s still there!

    Liz´s last blog post…Link To Photos…because I love you!

  18. It looks really good so far. I am finding that after doing the clean sweep, most of my before pictures look really good. We took the time to put things away during the clean sweep, which was a big thing. Now, had I taken pictures before the clean sweep of each individual room, well, that would be impressive. I cleaned the living room yesterday – my post is already up this morning http://christinajclark.wordpress.com/2009/05/05/spring-cleaning-day-2-the-living-room/

    My living room was not bad, so I am already done with it. I think I will tackle the bookshelf in my office today. It’s going to be a bear!
    The good news on the living room, all the video tapes my husband had in the living room? He’s getting ride of them ALL. And the empty wooden storage box they were in will be a new home for small hand weights and workout DVDs that are currently far away from the TV – so the same one gets used over and over instead of having variety. Score!

    Chris Clark´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning, Day 2 – The Living Room

  19. Thank you for the wonderful reminder, it isn’t about perfection. It is great to see some real-life images of your haven, thanks for sharing!

    To answer your question, it isn’t hard for me at all – I have loved that mantra for sometime and it has almost been *relieving* for me to follow it. As I look around our home, I can mentally put each item in the appropriate place.

    OH! For the record I LOVE your system for keeping books in their place. Glad to know another mom feels this way 🙂

    Angie @ The Creative Mama´s last blog post…Give it to me.

  20. I am not doing the Spring Cleaning thing but I have a tip for organizing towels in the linen closet. Check it out at my blog! Just posted it for all of you doing the Spring Cleaning Party thing! Hope it helps! Let me know! 🙂


  21. I admit- I cleaned WHILE I decluttered yesterday. We have such a small space, that decluttering pretty much IS cleaning. I do need to sweep (AGAIN) the dog hair. Casualty of living in Florida.

    Anyway, good luck ladies! Keep those pictures coming… it’s really motivating to me!

    Erin P´s last blog post…Dern batteries! AKA- Spring Cleaning Party- Day 2

  22. I love this reading area idea. We have books in the living room, books in the master bedroom and even more books in my son’s room. This would just make life so much easier if they were all together. I’m brainstorming ideas now for how to get all of them in one place. Some decorative items may have to go, but it would be well worth it. I think this would eliminate me having to straighten bookshelves all over the house.

    Christy´s last blog post…Declutter Day 22

  23. My answer to your question is “super easy” and ” very difficult.” There are 2 categories of things that I have a hard time getting rid of, even when we don’t cherish them or have a use for them…

    1. Baby things: We have two children, and we’re 95% sure we’re finished having kids. (DH is 100% sure, I’m mostly-sure) But I don’t want to get rid of the baby things, because what if?? In my defense, I have gotten rid of the spoiled items (stained clothes, numerous baby blankets and/or towels,…)

    2. Handmade gifts from loved ones: Okay, I don’t want to sound callous here, but I’m going to be honest…I don’t cherish the hand-embroidered wedding date “art” that was made for us by DH’s grandmother. I don’t cherish the watercolored art that DH’s mom made for us. (It was a copy of a favorite photo I have of DH and DS together — but I much prefer photography to watercolor, especially amateur watercolor.) I’ m sorry if that sounds b*tchy, but it’s the truth. Have I kept these things? Yes. Do I want to keep them? No.

    Any advice?

    kirwin´s last blog post…May Goals

    • I have one banker box of items passed down from grandparents. It is not much to store and know that I could regret getting rid of these items. I’m for keeping a few special family things but don’t feel obligated to keep them on display. We also got rid of all baby things and almost 5 years later had our third child. I was still happy that I’d given things away to others who needed them and lots of second-hand came back my way when I was in need. If we’re generous I think it comes back to us in the end.

  24. Our book shelves are organized according to subject: science on one (or two) shelves; history on another shelf, etc. My kids find this system easy to maintain. We also have a wicker basket to hold library books (usually about 30 or so at a time). I actually encourage my kids to begin their own private “libraries” in their rooms – they like having their own special titles. I keep only what is useful but that doesn’t mean I love all these things. With a greater budget I’d enjoy slowly replacing certain items for others that are nicer looking. By the way, I have the same dining room table and really like it 🙂

  25. I can relate to the book chaos. Sweetpea’s library is taking over the house. I’m realizing that with a toddler, less is better and she actually enjoys her books more, the less of them there are in front of her. SO, I bought a couple of red plastic party bins from and have scattered them throughout the house, with the main reading nook being in her corner of the kitchen, by the big window. I was amazed at how much more time she started spending with her books once I thinned out the collection. I’ll be rotating them from time to time.

    The 6 O’Clock Stitch´s last blog post…"My Durls"

  26. “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
    but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.” Proverbs 14:4
    I find that I’m having to remind myself through this process that yes, if I lived alone, my house would be so much easier to manage: no one undoing my messes, no one to smudge clean counters or computer screens, no one to spill juice on a freshly mopped floor. And yet, what abundance there is with the mess that comes with family! The messes are so often a reminder to give thanks for the oxen under our roof!

    Sarah´s last blog post…Ballerina at Work

  27. I could use a little of Accidental Housewife’s residual clean (hee hee)! It can come and reside right here, thank you.

    We have book issues as well, since we home educate and are word nerds. We had all of the books downstairs in a common area, but the sun faded most of the spines (now we have a nice collection of washed out blues and pinks, achh!). So they went upstairs in two places, and I miss having it all together (literally, ha!). My hub’s not so big on SEEING books on shelves: to him they look messy and unsettling. So, back to square one to find a central location and a better learning arrangement.

  28. Love your blog and love the idea of spring cleaning. 🙂 Because I work full-time outside the home, I’m not sure how to adapt your process to fit into our lives. Any suggestions?


    Jimi´s last blog post…Menu Planning Mania

  29. Ghanimatrix says:

    I’m very much enjoying this Spring Cleaning, and really impressed by the other bloggers’ posts, too. Now back to work with me! Must get stuff done while the baby is napping. 🙂

  30. I like your book nook too! We have something similar in our office, but the books are overflowing. I need to clear out some of the books and get a couple more bookshelves. We homeschool too so some books are necessary. As for my livingroom it needed deep cleaning more than decluttering.


    Rana´s last blog post…Spring Clean Day 2

  31. So fun to see pictures of your home! Looks very tidy yet homey too. Keep the inspiration coming!

  32. CarrieK says:

    Keeping things that are beautiful is easy for me…keeping things that are useful is a whole other story. What if I’ll need it someday? I’m trying to reuse and recycle, but then I end up storing ridiculous plastic tubs and…stuff. Seems like I have conversations with myself all day about the usefulness of this or that. For me, a lot of decluttering starts with not bringing it into the house in the first place. I’m growing my own vegetables, so goodbye plastic bags and styrofoam trays. I learned how to make my own yogurt and cream cheese (way easier than you can imagine!!) so I wouldn’t have anymore plastic tubs. It’s an ongoing stress, deciding if something is useful or not. I have a rule about my clothes that I should apply to other aspects of my life: if I haven’t worn it (or used it) in a year, off it goes to a consignment store or a charity. Since I’m not much of a clothes hound, this keeps my closet pretty streamlined. Thanks for all pictures and inspiration!

  33. Just found you over at Tip Junkie and I can’t wait to do some more exploring. I love, love, love the idea of a reading nook! Now I just need to decide where to put one at our house.

    Kara´s last blog post…Trash to Treasure Topiary

  34. Tsh, I echo Jimi’s comments: can you modify this for people working a 9-5 (with or without kids). Seems that without the kids I could probably follow along as is, but I was just curious.

    Also, we’re just de-cluttering at this stage, right? No actual cleaning? It’s hard to tell without your book. Looks like I need it 🙂

    • Yes, I’ll write some thoughts for you working-outside-the-home mamas soon. But I have to say – it won’t be first-hand experience, since I work here at home.

      And weeeelll… No, we’re doing more than decluttering. There’s a three step process to each area we tackle each day. It’s in the book. 😉

  35. It’s darn near impossible for us to get a grip on clutter! My husband and I are both awful at it. We let things accumulate to the point of chaos and it prevents us from doing anything about it. Added to that is the ever-growing collection of toys belonging to our three year old. My best solution so far? We should move to a bigger house. 🙂

    Moltomom´s last blog post…A Birth Story…Or…A Flashback to High School Biology Class

  36. I am so in need of spring cleaning, and am in the midst of it! So this is perfect timing for me. I’ve been working in the playroom all day today!


    Rebecca of RootsAndWingsCo´s last blog post…Tuesdays with Dorie ~ Tiramisu Cake

  37. great fun blog. i just found it and i will for sure be back 🙂 great job cleaning!

    miss aimee´s last blog post…Tasty Tuesday: Celiac Foodie Blog!

  38. Thanks for sharing the pictures! It is great to see the changes!

    mary´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Day 2

  39. Thanks for the kick-start I needed to tackle some of these projects. I love your family reading nook! Where did you find those bookshelves – they look just like what I need for my space? Thanks!

  40. Your reading nook is awesome! Thanks for the motivation- this is great!!!

    Lisa @ Raising Shepherds´s last blog post…Better Late Than Never

  41. This is so motivating. I’m ready for day 3 now!

    Whitney´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning: Day Two

  42. Whew. Day 2 is winding down. I am quite enjoying the Spring Cleaning party and love reading about everyone eliminating the dust bunnies in their lives!! 😉

    Olivia @ Moomama´s last blog post…Day 2- Living Room Clean-up!

  43. Sherry says:

    Tsh, not to compound your “effort” to answer the 9-5 gals (and guys) that work outside of the home. But….I work an irregular schedule as a RN; which means I may work 6 days in a row & also be oncall thru the night. I’m going to have to use your program as Day #1, Day#2, etc….knowing that inbetween there may be 5-6 calendars days & some cleaning up & re-doing along the way. There is no easy answer to an irrregular schedule whether it be cleaning, exercising or reading. It’s just plain challenging. But, I do appreciate your insights & guidance.

    A big thumbs up to all of you who are doing the Spring Cleaning…I’ll be done with mine by Fall!! LOL…..

    • Yep. I can appreciate that those of you who work outside the home have a lot of scheduling challenges with this project! I can understand the frustration with that.

    • I definitely agree irregular working schedules are tough. I really like my daily planner and I write in what I am doing and which day I plan to do it. What I like most about a paper planner is that the space is limited. I say, if you can’t write it all, you can’t do it all. So I’d pick a few blocks of time I my schedule is free, (and I have the most energy) and then delegate a small number of cleaning tasks to those blocks of time. Be mentally flexible – since you can be called away at a moments notice sometimes, and don’t beat yourself up when you can’t “check-off” that to-do item.
      I plan weekly since I know what my schedule will be like a week in advance. Good luck to you! I hope you find a cleaning system that works for you!

  44. Most of the time, it’s easy for me to donate items to charity. The sticking points for me are my art supplies (I think they breed in my cabinets) and the kid’s toys. I don’t have a hard time donating toys, but they do – and I really don’t think it’s fair to take stuff when they’re not looking. Scrapbooking can help a lot with getting rid of items – take a picture, document the story, then donate it. You can pack a lot of memories of “things” into a single scrapbook, and it takes up much less space! I conquered my family room today, posted on my blog.

    Casey´s last blog post…Spring Clean Day Two

  45. I’m IN, for this challenge! I’ll be posting to my blog as well. Thanks for keeping us accountable!

    Dianna´s last blog post…have wheels, will travel ….

  46. I had a shaky start, but I feel good about what I accomplished yesterday and today. It’s not really hard at all for me to get rid of stuff I don’t need or love, but it is hard to convince my husband he needs to let go of some things.

    So, rather than fight him on it, I’ll just ask him to clear a certain area, and even if he only yanks one item, I just let it go. This is his space too, and he deserves to have me respect that. This means I know I’ll have to look the other way, and find ways to accommodate his stuff. 🙂

    He’s so lucky I love him!!! 😉

    Tiff @ The Faery Inn´s last blog post…And So it Begins…Kinda.

  47. Oh yeah…almost forgot to tell you.

    Your house looks GREAT! I can’t wait to get to the place where my house is this easy to clean…

    Tiff @ The Faery Inn´s last blog post…And So it Begins…Kinda.

  48. Being 34 plus weeks pregnant, with 2 children and working from home certainly has put a different spin on things for me, but I did get a lot accomplished today 🙂 It’s so nice being de-cluttered before cleaning. Everything always looks kind of clean to begin with. I have learned to part with more and to live more simply and I love it. I was always obsessed with decorating, but ended up bringing too much clutter (unknowingly) into my home. When I found that it was so super easy to part with it, then came the peace and comfort of what I was always wanting anyway! Decorating doesn’t have to be clutter-y. It’s now a couple of pieces of things that I love and that’s it. It feels good baby!

    Beth Young´s last blog post…Nesting Insanity!

  49. So far so good. This is great timing as I have a 10 month old so I am including ‘babyproofing’ as I go along. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Maggie´s last blog post…Spring Clean Day 1: a clean sweep

  50. I’m haven’t started cleaning up as yet will start on the fridge, living room today. Tsh your house looks great 🙂

    Dominique´s last blog post…WW- The Ultimate Mother’s Day Card

  51. I did my family room today, and I believe, as you do, that its the decluttering that makes the spring cleaning. I did do a thorough, detailed cleaning of the room, but you don’t notice that! What I did notice was getting rid of a few things, and I finally hung up a picture that was hiding behind the sofa 😉

    And to answer your question….its become so much easier to keep only loved and useful things over the past few years. My kids are getting older, not a lot of toys hanging around, and even they realize its easier to clean when there is not a lot of stuff having to be moved around.

    I like your home, btw, its bright and cheery!

    Laurie´s last blog post…Day 2 – Living Room, Part 1

  52. Day two post is up with before and after shots. Man, what a ride! I have really enjoyed the before and after shots. It really helps keep me motivated.

    Lynnette´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Party: Day Two

  53. Hi There
    I wanted to share with you my solution for the “issue of things getting messy again soon after cleaning.” I have a big basket (with a lid) in my main family room. Anytime I see something “left out” that does not belong there, I put it in the basket. In the evening, I pick up the basket and make only one trip around the house to put everything away. It keeps me from running around cleaning all day and helps me maintain the clutter in our main family room. If a visitor comes I just put the lid on the basket to cover the clutter. Happy Spring Cleaning!

    Tara´s last blog post…"I like hugs and I like kisses, but what I really love is help with the dishes!"

    • I have a toddler-run relocation program going full swing in my home. They grab something and bring it somewhere else and drop it. I put two baskets in my central kitchen area for upstairs items and downstairs items. I collect the items my toddlers relocate in these bins and bring them all up-stairs or down-stairs and everything away at one time. This way the clutter isn’t lurking around my living areas, and if I do need something before it is “put back” I know it is in the bin.
      I like your lid solution so you can’t see the clutter. My baskets are colored fabric so I can’t see the clutter, but they don’t have lids.

  54. Well, I’m a day behind now! I did do some work in the living room today though, so I do feel a sense of accomplishment. I love the pictures you have posted of your living room cleaning! I’ve posted some before and after pics and hope that tomorrow I can catch up.


  55. Well, today didn’t go quite as I had anticipated, but I’m going to keep trying and continue tomorrow. I am trying to teach myself to declutter and not focus so much on it being pointless because of the returning clutter, but to keep it picked up and tidy so that I feel better as well.

    And your reading area! LOVELY! It has given me some ideas! Thank you!


    Katie´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Party, Day 2

  56. What a good feeling to get rid of junk and clutter – it’s as fresh as Spring rain.

    Check me out at http://goodisbestsworstenemy.blogspot.com/2009/05/spring-cleaning-day-1-2.html

    Andrea P.´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Day 1 & 2

  57. I am thrilled with the amount of work I am getting done (so far). It may not look like much but I work with the “messier before organized” method.

    More Than A Mom´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Party ~ Day Two

  58. My clean surfaces from day 1 didn’t exist today. I feel really good about the cleaning I got done.http://pensivechristy.blogspot.com/2009/05/spring-cleaning-party-day-2.html

    christy´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning Party!

  59. Adriana says:

    Well again I know I am late to do this, but the comments are making me be accountable so here it goes… I started yesterday by reevaluating my living room. We were in the process of adding and taking away furniture and it was never completed. I thought about the space since we moved all the toys to the bedroom or basement. My kids still need toys so I am using my bench with cubbies to house a few toys in two baskets and then I still have a cubbie left for my CSA basket. I put away some jackets that had lingered and rearranged some of the furniture. I now know what furniture to relocate. I dusted, cleaned my windows, and removed some nasty cobwebs. It is all done but I would like to vacuum the inside of my couch and chair and clean the windows from the outside. This process made me realize that my house has no pictures of our family or even decor. I don’t like clutter, but my walls look bare when there isn’t visual clutter blocking everything. And I knew I didn’t have curtains or throw pillows, but when everything you don’t love is gone or stuff is put away, you start to notice the things that are missing. I am trying to focus on the serene feeling I have with no clutter and not on what is missing.

  60. I have a saying that I take very seriously. It applies to when I have company coming over. I do a major tidy/clean up, and I say to myself: “as long as it’s clean when they come in, I don’t care how messy it gets afterward”. I have 2 boys (4 and 16 months), so I have a very limited time in which my spaces stay clean. But when my friends are over, and they’ve seen that my house CAN be clean, I can just sit back and relax, and enjoy their reaction when my living room goes from tidy to tornado-disaster-area in 3.5 seconds. Especially the friends that don’t have kids, and complain about having to do the dishes once a day.

    Also, I wanted to share a little tip: I found this website that you can make lists on (as many as you need, for whatever you need, including chores, appointments, birthdays, shopping, calls that need to be made, etc. etc. etc.). I love making lists, and I found this website (it’s free, and you can have lists sent to your cell when you need it). Here it is, I highly recommend you check it out: http://www.rememberthemilk.com
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..Oh, to be organized… =-.

  61. Thank you for this post and your pics. You gave me a lot of ideas for my home. Longlands Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

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