2016 Home Organization 101 Week 5: The Living Room

February 6, 2016

Home Organization Challenge


This week we are cleaning and organizing the living room. The living room is probably the most used room in the house so it can get cluttered fast!  One of the way’s I’ve been able to keep our living room clean and organized is by purging as much as possible and only keeping the necessities in there.  I don’t allow toys in my living room (we have a toy room).  That has helped keep clutter away.  I understand that some of you don’t have the space to put toys in other areas of the house. If that’s the case, use foot stools, baskets, large bins, etc. to keep them picked up & hidden when not in use.  Once you purge everything down to a manageable amount, the clutter won’t seem so bad.


Home Organization 101 Challenge The Living Room via A Bowl Full of Lemons


If you are new to the challenge, look over the details then begin working at your own pace.  For encouragement, join our Home Organization 101 Facebook community and share your progress or struggles. Or simply look through the photos and read how others are doing. If you’re on Instagram, share your progress using the hashtag #2016abfolchallenge.  Don’t forget to print out the complete 14 week schedule and checklists below.

5.5 x 8.5

8.5 x 11



For the perfect companion guide to our challenge, purchase The Complete Book to Home Organization. It includes all 14 weekly challenges as well as tons of pictures and tips that will help you organize your spaces each week. No need to log onto the computer for inspiration, this manual has it all!


2016 Home Organization Challenge



Our living room is quite simple.  It’s free from clutter and chaos, because we have purged everything that we no longer use or need. It’s relaxing & peaceful and a great place to unwind at the end of a stressful day. We’ve purged all DVD’s and CD’s and removed everything else that doesn’t belong. This has left the room pretty empty and I love every square inch of it.  It has been liberating to remove un-necessary clutter from our lives to make room for “us”. The best part is the clean up at the end of the day.  There really isn’t any.  😉


Home Organization 101 Challenge The Living Room via A Bowl Full of Lemons


I keep a vintage tulip tray on the coffee table for our current magazines and a tray on the stool to hold the remote controls. Other than those two bits of organization, our living room doesn’t need anything else.


Home Organization 101 Challenge The Living Room via A Bowl Full of Lemons


I removed the bookshelf that used to contain the many vintage decorations I purchased from antique stores over the years. I felt like it was cluttering up the space. Now that it’s all gone, I feel like I can breathe. It’s airy and calm.


Home Organization 101 Challenge The Living Room via A Bowl Full of Lemons


I’ve removed all knick knacks to eliminate clutter and the need for extra dusting. As I’ve been purging my home of stuff, I’m beginning to realize that we really don’t need a whole lot of material things to be happy.


Home Organization 101 Challenge The Living Room via A Bowl Full of Lemons


This week, I challenge you to purge as much as you can in your living room BEFORE you begin the organization process. When purging, ask yourself these three questions: Do we use it? Do we need it? Can we live without it?



PREPARE:  Gather 4 bins or boxes, one for each of the following.
  • Keep
  • Donate
  • Trash/Recycle
  • Other Room
  • Sort through everything on all shelves, the floor, drawers, tables, etc.  Divide it all into the 4 baskets listed above (or more if needed).  If you are able to, place the 4 boxes in another room (close to the living room), so you have an empty space to clean and organize.  Get rid of as much clutter as you can.
  • Clean the windows, blinds, frames & mirrors
  • Wipe down doors, baseboards, doorknobs and switch plates
  • Wipe down furniture (dust)
  • Remove couch cushions and vacuum
  • Pull the couch away from the wall and vacuum under/behind.
  • Vacuum/mop floors
  • Clean ceiling fan & lighting
  • Fluff throw pillows & wash if needed

ORGANIZE:   It’s time to go through everything in the “keep” box. Put the other boxes where they belong. When organizing things in the keep box, remove one item at a time, categorizing it.  Below are some examples of what to organize together in the living room.  You can use a different shelf, basket, or drawer for each category.  Keep similar items together.

  • DVD’s & CD’s
  • Aromatherapy: Candles, wax melts, essential oils, etc.
  • Throw Blankets
  • Remote controls
  • Magazines (Only keep what you are currently reading)
  • Toys (I don’t keep toys in the living room)
  • Books (Consider going digital)



Here are several blog posts that will inspire you to get your Living Room organized.


The 2016 Home Organization Challenge Instagram




Take some time this week purging the clutter from your living room.  Share your progress on Instagram using the hash tag #2016abfolchallenge, blog about the weekly challenges, and  share your before and after pictures over at my Home Organization 101 group here.  Keep up the great work. You can finish all 14 challenges! I can’t wait to see what you accomplish.  Good luck. I’ll see you back next week for week 6 of the challenge. Happy Organizing!



4 comments on “2016 Home Organization 101 Week 5: The Living Room

  1. Trish Lewis says:

    Hi Toni, love your couch pillows. Can you tell me where you purchased them?

  2. Your house looks absolutely beautiful! The colors make the room look so relaxing, in addition to the fact that you have no clutter out and about. No clutter sure does make for a more relaxing room. Thanks for sharing, Toni!

  3. That a wonderful step by step plan. I have a lot of knick knacks at my home and when Sunday comes I spend the whole day cleaning the living room. I love cleaning and cooking, but when they take my whole day, my motivation disappers. So I will follow your advice and hope things get better. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

  4. Rosie says:

    “Our deepest fear…” – Lovely! So inspiring 🙂 I love reading your posts 🙂

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