Whether you call it the living room, family room, great room or den, that’s the room getting cleaned today.
The layout of homes has changed a lot over the years. All it takes is watching any home renovation show to hear plans of ripping out all the walls to open the space up. Now, after having been home with six children for more than a year, do you know what I would give for more doors on the main floor?
That said, today we are cleaning the living room is what’s happening today. We’ll define it as the one that probably has a TV or fireplace in it and usually does not, but may contain your dining room table, if you have an open floor plan. You may want to draw an imaginary line, because we will be tackling the dining room [area] another day.
Again, we will be working top to bottom, left to right, and dry to wet. And just like the past few weeks, don’t try to do this all at once. The mess didn’t get created in one day and if you don’t have the energy, you don’t have to fix it in one day. If you have other people in your home, make them help. Take breaks.
Load up your favorite podcast, music, or audio book and let’s get started!
- A vacuum with a soft bristle attachment and an edge tool if you have carpeting
- Window cleaner and paper towels or newspaper
- A microfibre cloth (for cleaning any electronic screens)
- If you have wood furniture polish and an applicator (rag)
- A stepladder or sturdy chair
- Maybe a screwdriver (standard or Philip’s head, that’s the cross-type, depending) I really like the ones that you can flip the tip out for small jobs. They aren’t the best for big jobs though
- Appropriate floor cleaner if you have tile or hardwood
- Dilute degreaser
- If you have allergies, grab one of the masks we’ve been wearing everywhere. We’re going to raise some dust in the next hour or two. You’ll have a much better afternoon/evening. (When I say grab it, I do mean to wear it)
At the top:
Just like last week in the bedroom, if you have a ceiling fan with or without a light fixture, let’s start with that. Turn it off at the switch, remove any globes and clean those. If they are especially gross, a trip through the dishwasher will get them sparkling clean. Clean the fan blades next.
While you still have your stepladder or sturdy chair out, attack any cobwebs lurking in the corners.
Dust the tops of any bookshelves, window frames, or curtains, if you don’t plan on sending the curtains through the wash. You may want to use the soft bristle attachment to your vacuum for these dusting tasks. If you are going to wash your curtains, now is the time to take them down and get them started.
Continuing working our way down, vacuum any blinds, then raise them fully. If you have bookshelves dust your books and knick-knacks, only returning the items that you truly love. If you have a fireplace, now is the time to dust the mantle. If your TV is mounted to the wall, dust this carefully.
We are now working somewhere between shoulder and waist-level so here’s where the rooms will really begin to differ based on who lives in your home. Have young children? You’re probably going to be spending some time with a magic eraser removing marks from the walls. No young kids? Enjoy going through your media collection and organizing it. (Maybe you’ve already converted to all streaming, yay you!). Teenagers who spend all their time playing video games. Put them to work organizing their cords and games.
Wash the windows.
Remove the cushions from any furniture and give the underside a good vacuum to get rid of all the crumbs left by the “No Mom, I never eat in the living room” crew. If you have leather furniture, clean and condition it. If your furniture is upholstered or microsuede, give it a good vacuum all over. If you don’t live alone, send someone outside to beat the dust out of the pillows before giving them a good vacuum.
Clear any end or coffee tables. Recycle any old magazines. If you were saving an entire magazine for that one recipe, just take a picture of the recipe, then get rid of it.
If there is a toy box… go through it. Godspeed, my friend. I know this pain. You may have better luck if you send your spouse out of the house with the kids.
Dust and polish any wooden furniture.
Finally at floor level
Pull the furniture you can manage away from the wall or better yet, make someone else do that. Marvel at all the things that have found their way behind and under these objects and clean this up.
Now it’s time for everyone’s favorite, baseboards! Again depending on your style and whether or not you have carpeting in this room, you can make one or two laps. If there’s just a light layer of dust and you have carpeting, switch back and forth between the bristle attachment and the crevice tool to tackle both the edge of the carpet and your baseboards in one go. If the baseboards are filthy, use a rag dampened with degreaser to clean them well.
Vacuum the room thoroughly if it is carpeted or sweep and mop with the appropriate floor cleaner if it is not.
Rehang the curtains, if you took them down.
Replace the furniture (or again, make someone else do this) and congratulate yourself on a job well done.