Updated: Saturday, 30 May 2009, 4:41 AM EDT
Published : Saturday, 18 Oct 2008, 10:56 AM EDT
New Haven (WTNH) - Fall is here and winter is not that far off. Since you'll likely be spending more time indoors, organizing expert Lisa Lelas has advice for making your family room a relaxing place to stay.
Every home should have a relaxing living or family room space for friends and family to gather. Whether watching a movie, playing a board game, listening to music or just reading the newspaper, it's important to have a comfortable retreat. With just a few tips, you can make sure your family space is streamlined for relaxing!
When shopping for any new furniture item in your living or family room, look for easy-care furniture with stain resistant fabric and choose multipurpose furniture such as ottomans that serve as cocktail tables or bookshelves with drawers and cabinets for storage. And get good lighting if reading & game playing are part of the picture for that room.
Corral the mail in a designated space before it enters the kitchen! Place a big bright bowl or basket on a side table or bookshelf to hold the days mail (until you get a chance to sort it) if your entry way is also part of this room. But remember to deal with mail everyday-don't let it pile up! (and try to keep all paperwork out of the kitchen!)
Pet owners should throw a pet blanket onto one area of the couch or a chair that you might allow your dog or cat on...especially important if the dog or cat sheds. Or better yet, place a second pet bed in a warm corner of the room to help keep animals off the furniture.
If your family does crafts in the family room, store all craft supplies in stackable containers that can fit on your bookshelves or in a rolling bin that can be tucked away. If it's a craft used daily, such as knitting materials, keep supplies contained in a pretty lidded basket by the fireplace hearth or by a favorite chair.
Kid's games and toys should be tucked away if possible, into room color- coordinating bins, inside cabinetry , or in labeled shelf baskets. Slide a small foldable card table under the couch, if needed on occasion for game playing, puzzles, etc.
Set up a basket for pet toys, as
well (so they don't chew on shoes or furniture)
Keep only those books referred to on occasion, on your book shelves. Reference books for kids, favorite novels or poetry, and so on.
Organize your DVD's and CD's in smaller shelf baskets that can slide out of an entertainment center or CD holding racks. File by music or film genre.
Containerize the newspapers & Magazines. Place one or two magazine racks, convenient to the main sitting area (depending on how many people live in your home) and make sure you keep rotating the stock of newspapers or magazines and recycle the outdated ones.
Set a floor basket by the entryway to containerize things that made their way into the family room but don't belong there & make sure you return the contents to where they belong on a regular basis.
Keep the coffee table clear at all times! Place a vase of flowers or just one or two decorative art pieces on the table.
Personalize the space. Family is the heart of the home. Keep a few recent photos of your family hung in a cluster of frames. Have one or two large family portraits or other art piece hung as room 'anchors' for balance. Keep just one family photo album or scrapbook on the coffee table or rotate scrapbooks seasonally.
For more of Lisa's Tips: