Last night, I decided to take a couple of quick iPhone photos of the living room, exactly as it was at the end of the day. No cleaning, no staging, just how it looks in a daily basis:
Considering my husband works from home 3 days a week, and we have a toddler, it's really not too bad, since this room is very much lived-in. Fortunately, I have a child who, at 18 months, will typically put her toys away without prompting. I really, really hope that lasts!
Most of the major clutter is hidden. Such as all the random dog stuff, half of which is probably garbage, in the console table behind the loveseat:
Also, that nice pile of books and junk mail sitting on top of the table. This should be fairly quick and easy to weed through and organize. Things like the nail clipper, the Thundershirt, and the nice green sweater are keepers. Empty box of poopy bags and stinky old bandanas he never wears? Not so much. I'm also thinking I'd like to get some sort of wall-mounted mail organizer/key holder to hang next to the front door, to cut down on the piles of mail on the console table.
Figuring out the book situation is going to be a bit trickier:
The top four shelves of the living room bookcase (there are many, many bookcases in our house) is home to my collection of classic fiction. Also, some CDs that aren't where they belong for no good reason, some misplaced contemporary fiction, and... a roll of packing tape? Those things will be easy enough to put back in their proper homes. We can get rid of that Wii balance board, and either toss or store that plastic critter cage on the floor. But now that Amelia's books and puzzles have taken over the bottom shelf, I'm not sure that the classic fiction overflow (the stack of books on the right side of the second-to-bottom shelf) will have a home. I'll either have to weed that collection or get creative with how I arrange it.
This corner is a total mess:
The bouncy seat and folded up play mat (between the wall and desk) need to go into storage. The folded up swing needs to go back to the cousin who loaned it to me. My desk has... issues. I need to go through the big pile of paperwork under my laptop and on the top right shelf. I need to get rid of the years-old check registers. I need to consolidate the boxes greeting cards and note cards. I need to find a better home for our camera bag on top of the desk. Glen's pile o' stuff on the fireplace needs to start living in his office, where it belongs. I have absolutely no explanation for the Adipose plus next to the vase, except that one of its eyes came out and it was a choking hazard, so we had to keep it out of Amelia's reach. There's got to be a better place for it, though.
Finally, there's this corner:
I need to get rid of the pile of papers on top of the filing cabinet. Ditch the fake flowers. Do SOMETHING about those exposed wires. I'd like to move the router and modem to the inside of my desk, so that the wires run behind the fireplace, out of reach of tiny hands. And I'd like swap Elvis's bed and the filing cabinet, and put a lamp on it, so it can be a cozy little reading corner.
Also, not visible in this photo, but I have YEARS worth of bills that need to be shredded. It's bad. Really bad. I refuse to go paperless, because I clip my bills together in the order they're due, and without them I'd never pay anything on time. It's a good strategy for not destroying my credit score. Not so much for avoiding clutter.
Now that I've put this out there, my goal for next week is to be able to share a newly de-cluttered and organized living room!