Spring Cleaning

Are Your Living Room Shelves Dusty Right Now? Of Course They Are

published Mar 28, 2021
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Credit: I Spy DIY

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There are several unbreakable laws in the universe: A body at rest stays at rest. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. A person will always be grossed out by the amount of dust on their bookshelf when they go to rearrange it.

Sure, it’s all fun and games when you see an inspiration image on Pinterest and decide to organize your books in rainbow order, or try out a styling hack you saw on TikTok. But once you start unstacking your open storage, you find out that your “just clean around it” method isn’t quite as effective as you’d hoped.

Let’s not wait until the next shelf-styling trend hits to clear all the dust from those decorative surfaces.

Let’s hit it right now while we’re spring cleaning…

Credit: Liz Calka

Day 14: Dust shelves and decorative surfaces in the living room.

The target today is any open surface or storage area in your living room. That means things like bookshelves, wall shelves, side tables, console tables, or any other open space where you store and style objects.

The process is short and simple. And while I usually allow for time-saving shortcuts, this is one assignment where you’ll want to do it by the book to get a thorough clean.

  • Clear everything off the surface
  • Do a pass dry-cleaning with a duster or a dry rag
  • Then spray the surface with an all-purpose cleaner and take a second pass wet-cleaning
  • Put your things back on the shelf, making sure each item is clean and dusted as you do (I love a dusting glove for this)

I think it’s more manageable to work shelf-by-shelf or area-by-area (and always top to bottom!). But if you want to clear the whole living room out and have your own dust-a-palooza, that works too.

One note about that, though: Unless you have the time and energy to restyle your whole room today, stick to just cleaning, then put everything back exactly where it was. Clean shelves will make it easier to style later.

Taryn's Tips

Once you’ve deep-dusted your shelves and decorative areas, keep a dusting glove on hand for semi-frequent, semi-thorough touchups.

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