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The doorbell rings …  it looks as though a bomb has hit the area – everything from the popcorn bowl now filled with ants, the throw on the floor, dirty dishes, cushions everywhere except where they belong, newspapers, magazines, toys, art work and pencil crayons are littering the once neat and peaceful living area. Has any one seen the keys?

The living area is the soul of the home. It is the space most shared by family and friends and should symbolize harmony, be welcoming and represent who you are and create a warm caring environment.  They are usually a multipurpose area, no wonder they become chaotic with all the different activities in one space.

Simple well planned storage systems reduce a room degenerating into a mess. Use colour and design for storage that blend in with the rest of the room to create harmony.  It should be visually appealing and practical. Determine what creates the most clutter, this will help you to determine the problem areas and what you need storage for.

1. Divide the space for different tasks, where to store things will then become obvious. Look at the functions of different areas, entertaining,  conversation, watching TV, listening to music, reading, writing, sewing, meditation and how to accommodate items that need storage

2. Evaluate your needs / examine your possessions and the space in which you keep them: games, music, videos, DVD’s, books and magazines or display favourite possessions but maintaining an aura of calm

3. Members of the household need to be responsible for their possessions – and tidy up after their activity.

4. The living room is off-limits for work clutter.

5. Paper is the biggest contributor to clutter and can become a fire hazard. Follow the simple one in one out rule. “But there are so many nice ideas in them!” – Start inspirational files, save only relevant articles in plastic sleeves under appropriate categories to make your search easier at a later stage and eliminate clutter.

6. Bric-a-brac along  bookshelves, choose only the ones you love, get rid of old trinkets and mementos that have lost their meaning.

7. Remove dust bunnies and long forgotten items that have fallen down next to sofas and chairs and have hidden underneath the furniture.

8. Videos you no longer watch, music you no longer listen to, old video machines or TV sets crammed into cabinets – will be welcomed by any welfare or charity. Remember the chance that you are going to use them again are basically nil.

Support the countries quest to a cleaner environment by supporting the Ronnie Recycler Kerbside Pick-up. It is ideal for house holds as they provide you with a recycling bag and pick up every second week. All income goes to local welfare and charity communities.

Now that everything is neat and tidy, incorporate family traditions or family dates into the living room, e.g. watching football with friends or Friday night movies with the family. Remember to tidy-up and put everything in its place before starting something else! Enjoy!

Heidi Meyer
Professional Organiser

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