Your living room is a place for connecting with friends, spending time with family, relaxing by yourself and more. What it shouldn't be is a place for any of these five things. Take a look at this list and banish any of these if they've been taking place in your living space.
1. Apologizing for the state that it's in
Do you start apologizing for a mess, for the pet hair, for the unfinished DIY projects, for the sofa that isn't quite your dream sofa yet? Do you do this out loud to any guests that happen to visit your living room? Stop. Not only will the people who care about you the most not matter or mind, apologizing just isn't any way to start any hangout or hosting session.
2. Hiding too much stuff too often
If you've gotten smart with storage, boxes and double duty furniture to hide away the things you don't use everyday but still need, great! If you've used your living room's hidden storage spots for whatever stuff, junk or clutter you didn't feel like dealing with during a quick pick-up session, you might have a living room that feels cluttered even if everything is "technically" tucked away. Your eyes might not be able to see all that hidden stuff, but your mind knows it's there, lurking, waiting to be dealt with.
3. Going too long between deep-cleaning hidden spots
Your living room probably gets a lot of use. And even if you're staying on top of vacuuming the rug and dusting the hard surfaces regularly, you might be missing a few key areas that are making your living room stay dirty. Like under your sofa cushions. Like the ceiling fan. Have you moved your sofa out of the way to vacuum under there lately? When's the last time you dusted or vacuumed the blinds or window coverings? These are all small spots that when avoided too long, can add up to a dirtier-than-you-realized space. So schedule in a really good living room deep clean every few months so you can keep one of your most-used spaces healthy.
4. Angling your furniture away from your intended use of the space
You can choose to use your living room any way that works best for your lifestyle — either conversing with guests, watching movie marathons or something else — but the key to creating a functional, usable space is arranging your furniture around your use. So if you want to have a living room where folks talk it out, don't arrange your seating so that it focuses on a television set. And if you want to host regular movie nights in your home, don't create a living room setup more conducive to conversation.
5. Wearing shoes
Wearing shoes around any part of your house is actually a fast way to make it dirtier than it needs to be. But because the living room is often closer to the entry of your home, this room gets more shoe wearing if you tend to forget to take yours off. So work on creating a place in your entryway where you can slip shoes off easily. It'll keep your living room (and the rest of your home) cleaner!
Re-edited from a post originally published 11.22.16-NT