34 Weeks of Clean: In the Living Room

I can’t believe it, but not only did I complete the challenge to clean the living room this week, I am remembering to post it on time too! I should get extra points. Really, I liked having the opportunity of being forced motivated to clean my living room because I probably don’t deep clean it often enough. My homemaking schedule works by having various jobs/areas that I try to get to each day. The good side of that is that, overall, my house stays decently clean- at least livable. The down side is that often I don’t stop to deep clean areas because they are “clean enough” to overlook. So I’m really glad for this 34 weeks of clean challenge. And I’m thinking I probably just need to “rinse and repeat” when this is over and go back over each area again and again each 34 weeks!

Disclaimer: The beautiful living room in this photo is NOT mine. But I sure do love all that white!

So, anyway, on to the living room. My plan was to do it over the course of a few days. But I didn’t start until Thursday afternoon which was the largest block of time I’d had all week. So I ended up doing it all over a couple of hours. I did have some helpers who joined in- without coercion!- as I was cleaning.

First let me give you a little visual tour of what I had to work with.

1. The recycled dresser: I use this dresser to store extras of things like batteries, toothbrushes, soap. I use the top as a staging area for my purse and things I take with me all the time.
2. The entertainment stand: As you can see, we have way to many video game systems. This is the cabinet that holds them all. Unfortunately there isn’t too much to do with this area except dust. I’m highly outnumbered by the video game lovers in my family.
3. The awards cabinet: We have this built in bookshelf that’s in a sort of odd place for books because it’s almost behind the couch. We used to keep all our board games there until our board game collection outgrew that area. After that I transformed it into the awards cabinet. Every kid has a shelf for trophies and medals.
4. Some of my many (many) bookshelves: We have over 1000 books in our house. I cataloged them one summer a few years ago. At that point we had about 1500. Since that was at least two years ago, I can’t begin to guess what we have now. These are shelves of adult fiction and nonfiction. There is also a shelf where I keep my “business” stuff including current review items because my computer set up is just out of view there at a table in the kitchen. That’s my “office.”
And more:

1. Our rug in the living room: It is a sort of odd material, and it traps dirt. Typically I sweep it every day and vacuum it once a week.

2. Chandeliers: Whoever made fancy lights wasn’t me. I’m a practical down to earth person, and I’m not into fancy. But the lights have always been here since we moved in, and they are pretty, so there you go. They are a little hard to clean, so they always seem to be dusty.

3. The pile: This, my friends is the sign of a happy marriage. I do NOT like piles. I don’t let things collect. I clean out and throw away. I don’t like clutter. (I know that doesn’t seem true as I’ve shown pics of the house, but we live in a small house with six people. There’s clutter.) I married a man who likes clutter. He likes to have the stuff he uses sitting close by. He doesn’t like to put things away. He doesn’t like to throw out. At first this was quite a bone of contention in our marriage. But as God changed my heart and I came to see what was truly important, I gave up fighting “the pile.” Jason also learned to contain piles to just a few delineated spaces. This is one. It’s near where he sits on the couch. I did NOT clean it in my living room clean up.

4-5 Shoe storage: We take off our shoes as we walk in the door. Even friends who come over regularly do it. So shoe storage for shoes for six people is always an issue. We can usually keep it fairly picked up. We have two shelves that store our shoes. They were particularly bad in these pictures because it snowed (slightly) Thursday, and people had been in and out and changing shoes.

6. Wood floors: I love the floors in my living room, but they are very hard to keep clean. They are old, wooden planks with deep, deep grooves. Sweeping doesn’t get in to the grooves well. Vacuuming doesn’t do it. Really only putting on the vacuum attachment and crawling all over the floor is the only way to get it really good. I do it every few months.

So, my typical living room clean up involves picking up everywhere, sweeping daily (We have LOTS of dog hair.), and some light dusting. But for my big clean up, here are a few things we did.

1. I pulled out some shoes and some books that I could put in giveaway. We had a good many too little shoes hanging around, and I always need to cull books because I’m constantly getting books to review. Some are great, and I want to keep them to share later, but some I don’t care about.

2. I dusted everything well. I took down things on shelves and dusted and put them back. When I went to dust the shelves over “the pile” where we keep scrapbooks, Charles feared for my safety on the rickety chair, so he jumped in and dusted. (If that’s all it takes, maybe I should look in danger every time I clean up?)

3. I cleaned the globes of all the chandeliers. They were very dusty! I’m not sure if you can see the ceiling well, but, in addition to the wide wooden flooring, this room has wooden beams on the ceiling. I love it, but they do attract cobwebs. So I also made sure to clean each beam.

4. I used the vacuum attachment to clean all the grooves and all of the area around the shoe shelves.

Blondie hates the vacuum, and she ended up crawling all the way into Kathryne’s lap when I headed near the couch with it.

And so, the living room is clean. Whew! Next week’s challenge is Books, and I’m already trembling. Did you see how many books I have?!

I’m linking up here with 34 Weeks of Clean. Come join us and get your house cleaned well over the next few weeks.

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