Cary Farrell

Beyond the Welcome Mat: Keeping Your Living Room Functional

by Cary Farrell
October 03, 2018

“I feel like I’m living in the bottom of a pocketbook!”  I laughed out loud at this message on my answering machine from a new client.  What a great visual of how some of us feel in our homes.  Everything is just thrown in together with no purpose and it is nearly impossible to find anything!  The weight of the purse on your shoulder can pull your whole body out of alignment just like an overstuffed home can keep you from functioning well.

Previously  we talked about creating a functional space at the door you use everyday so your home truly welcomes you each day.  You don’t just live in the entryway, however, so we need to go beyond the welcome mat and continue to create the warm hug that is the purpose of your home.  


Most of us either enter into the living/family room or the kitchen when we come home.  Let’s look at the living/family room and look for help with the kitchen here.


Living Room or Family Room?

Do we call it the “living room” because we do most of our living there?  Or do we call it the “family room” because that is where the family gathers? What you call this room gives insight into its purpose, which is where you want to start as you think about what items need to live here to keep that home hug continuing. Take a few minutes to inventory who uses your living/family room and how they use it.  

How are you using your living/family room?

  • Watch TV/listen to music                                                    

  • Read

  • Homework                                                                          

  • Pay Bills

  • Entertain                                                                            

  • Play Games

  • Connect/communicate                                                        

  • Eat

  • Play with toys                                                                      

  • Or   (fill in the blank)         

This room can function for a lot of things and it can end up like the bottom of a purse -- quick!

DO NOT use this room for storage!

If your room has several functions, it is important to create a zone, basket, or area to house the bare necessities for each activity. There is too much going on in this room to  be a storage unit.  If the items in this room don’t add to the function and warmth of this room, they should be evicted as unwelcome guests and either moved to their rightful place or passed on to bless someone else’s home.

Keep the room functional:

  • Place appropriate furniture in the room that allows you to function well in this space.

  • Use furniture that can double as storage pieces for the items you need to function.  

  • Be careful not to fill the couch with decorative pillows that turn into clutter on the floor when everyone needs a place to sit!

  • Do a nightly pick up of this room so that it is ready to invite you back.

  • Do a weekly clean/declutter of this space to keep it functioning well.

    Your home’s purpose is to be a safe haven from the world but it is up to you to keep the bad guys (items that don’t add value to your life) out or to evict them altogether if they sneak in. Keep creating that welcome atmosphere in your home by functionalizing your living/family room. If you get stuck or don’t have the strength or courage to evict the bad guys, contact Clutter Free today!  We have a black belt in de-cluttering!