‘Tis the season to purge, tackle those cluttered closets, and deep clean *everything* in sight. Follow my Spring into Clean series with Brit + Co through March and April for tips, hacks, and tricks. Happy (spring) cleaning, all!
The living room, whether you call it your chill zone, comfy Netflix station, or sitting room, is where you go to socialize and relax. But it can be hard to wind down when there is clutter here, there, and everywhere crowding your space. Before you freak out and start hiding things under your couch, give yourself 15 minutes and sweep your living room for the following items. Once you’ve decluttered, cozy up on the sofa, look around (I’d even vote for a glass of wine), and enjoy your refreshed space.
1. Newspapers and Magazines: Since you probably curl up in this space to read, you may have built up quite the collection of (outdated) material. Trust me: The time will never come where you decide to pick up the paper from four days ago or a magazine that has a cover date from a few months back. Recycle what you can and donate the magazines to a facility that can use them (think about bringing them with you to your next doctor’s visit).
2. Old, Ugly, or Boring Coffee Table Books: My mother used to have this eclectic collection of coffee table books and I watched them rot on our coffee table for years. No one ever, and I mean ever, touched them. I remember when we moved, she asked if my sister or I wanted them. We both looked at her, and let out a unified, “No!” If you have coffee table books and use them, or your guests enjoy them, perfect. Keep ‘em! Otherwise, they sit on your table and do nothing but collect dust.
3. Trinkets, Crafts, and Decor That Don’t Fit the Space: When decorating a space like your living room, “thrown together” is not how to accomplish a uniform, stylized, and beautiful look. Placing shot glasses from your beach trip, the latest craft from your niece, or a vase that was gifted to you usually doesn’t jibe very well. Avoid the clutter by keeping a theme in your space and storing any other trinkets in a keepsake box on your coffee table or bookshelf.
4. Old Blankets and Pillows: They may be stained, smelly, or downright old, but somehow we still love them. If your dated blankets or pillows are detracting from the decor of the space instead of adding to it, that’s when you know it’s time for them to go. If you notice stains, try removing the stain and washing the item to see if you can restore it to its original look. Otherwise, tattered blankets or flat pillows can be donated to pet shelters.
5. Coasters That Never Get Used: The other day, I was decluttering my own living room and found eight old glass coasters that had “thirsty” etched in them. I had never used them, not once. They were a party favor and I tucked them (far) away in a drawer. Upon discovery, I instantly got rid of them. Coaster emergencies are rare, so there’s no need to keep several sets around. If you have a bunch (more than any number of guests you’d ever have over), pick your favorites and ditch the rest.
6. Old Alcohol and Spirits: You may have had an obsession with banana liqueur for a while, but now, you’re onto amaretto (Melissa approved!). Whatever your vice was, it’s doing no good lingering around your bar. The area should have the alcohol and spirits you love to use and not those funny one-off liqueurs that you may use for an experimental cocktail in a few months. Anything that is cream or egg-based needs to be ditched about 18 months after opening too. You can do a quick taste test to determine whether it’s time for the spirit to go. Have stuff that you want to get rid of but still drinkable? Perfect excuse to throw a cocktail party or experiment with that rum cake you’ve wanted to make.