Saturday, January 5, 2013

5 Day Get Yourself Organized Challenge - Day 4

by Kathi Lipp

Keeping up on the Living Room


DVDs One of the areas that got out of hand for us was our video collection. There were so many videos that we had that were given to us for Christmas or birthdays that it was getting a little out of control. If you a deal with similar issues, here are a couple of ways to deal with it:

  • Roger's brother Randy, and his wife, Debbie, have taken all their DVDs out of their cases and put them in a huge binder with pages designed to hold DVDs/CDs. This is only for people who are already somewhat organized and would take the time to put the DVDs back. Debbie is one of those naturally organized people. (In a good, cool way…)
  • Get rid of a bunch of DVDs. I know that is hard to read, but if staying organized is a priority, the less you have to organize, the better. Roger and I still have a pretty decent-sized DVD collection, but we go through it regularly and get rid of the ones that we won't watch again. A fun way to do that is to post the title on Facebook and whoever responds first, gets the DVD. (It costs less than $2.00 to mail a DVD and how great will it be to make someone's day by getting a DVD in the mail.) If you're in a financial place where $2 is too much, you can always just limit it to friends who are local.


Remotes Ugh. How many days of my life have been wasted looking for remotes? A big basket on the coffee table can eliminate the hide and go seek as long as everyone in the house knows where it goes. (And make it a big basket so teens don't have to work too hard to put them away.)

Don’t let it Get Messed Up in the First Place Limiting the food that is eaten outside the kitchen/dining room is a huge time saver when it comes to your living room carpet. I have no problem saying that adults are allowed to have drinks in the living room, but kids can't. Each of our kids has had to earn the right to have food in the living room by cleaning up after themselves and dealing with their own dishes.


Quick Pick (Ups) Commercials are a great time to keep up on your living room pickups. I know you can blast through all the annoying car ads now thanks to Tivo, but instead of hitting fast forward, go ahead and use those minutes to fold blankets, put your housemate's things in a basket to be distributed and straighten up your magazines.

Baskets If your living room, like ours, tends to be one of the busier rooms in the house, you may want to consider having a basket in that room for each member of the family. It is a quick way to clean the room, and will save you a lot of stress when you want to quick clean.

Limiting Toy Drama in the Living Room
"When our second child was born, the four year age difference became profoundly apparent in the toy box. Most of our family play area was dominated by Big Brother's trains, pirate ships and airplanes. All of which, as you can imagine, were completely fascinating to a toddler.
Rather than listen to the endless cries of "No, that's mine!" ringing through the halls, we implemented a rule that if you aren't willing to share it, then don't leave it in the family part of the house. You have to keep it in your room AND play with it in your room.
Now that that Little Brother is a bit older, his toys have become a lot more alluring to his older brother, so we give him the same guideline. He also has the opportunity to retain full rights and possession as long as he keeps and plays with it in his own room.
This gives them both a sense of personal authority over their own stuff, but the bottom line is -- it's much more fun to play WITH someone else than by yourself, so sharing is worth the effort." Adelle Gabrielson


Cable Look at the cable channels you are paying for. Do you really need everything you're auto billed for each month?

Library We got into the bad habit of not using our library for books. Finally, when we returned, I never realized the DVDs that were available. Between the new authors, I discovered and the BBC series that am now addicted to all free, the library is the best deal on the planet. The key for us was having a bag by the front door to store all of those books and DVDs that needed to be returned.
"To make this easier on myself, a few years back I bought a canvas reusable tote from our local library. It has a nice picture of our library on the front. It is our library bag and the library books, CDs, DVDs live in it until they are returned. I can’t help but be reminded of its use when I see it." Jennifer Atkins
However, let me say that not every family should use the library, or use it all the time. There are some of us (and I can defiantly be this way at the busier times of my life,) where I have the best of intentions and get a dozen books to read, DVDs to watch, etc. and they sit by the front door, racking up late fees. I have limited myself to using the library in the summer when I have the luxury of time to catch up on all those books I’ve missed during the rest of the year.

If you've tried the library on several occasions, and it doesn't work for your family, don't stress about it. You are not a bad person if you have problems getting the materials back on time. But don't set yourself up for failure either.

Bonus Projects

I firmly believe that every woman should have one spot (besides her side of the bed) that is fully her own.My goal is to have a chair that is all mine, in the living room. Until then, I have a spot on the couch that has a place for a drink, my magazines, and a comfy quilt for when then the California airs dip into the mid 60’s.

My friend Shannon talks about her special spot:
I love your placing value on a woman having a place of her own. When you mentioned desiring to have your special chair, I thought of my sofa. Our "grown up living room" is my space. It's where I write and where I sit on my big, crazy yellow sofa we found for a song at an antique market downtown. It makes me smile. We've repainted the entire downstairs of our home just to flatter this crazy sofa -- it's amazing how that one special piece of furniture can really lift a girl's spirits."

Create a spot that call you for a quiet sit down, a coffee, and some peace.

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