Creating a Life Free From Chaos

Deep Cleaning the Living Room: 8 Weeks at Home Series

Thanks for joining me for the 8 Weeks at Home Series! We’re spending eight weeks decluttering, simplifying and cleaning up room by room in preparation for a super sweet summer. So far, we’ve decluttered and cleaned the bathroom, and now in week 2, we’ve decluttered the living room so we can be ready for drop-in guests. Now we’re going to clean it!

In this series, I’ll do two posts per week for each room. In the first post, we’ll talk about decluttering and simplifying. In the second post, we’ll clean it all up and get it looking nice and shiny. While you’re working in each space, keep some paper and a pen handy and make note of any repairs that need to be made, any supplies that need to be restocked, or any decorating changes you’d like to make. As you decide to get rid of stuff, remove it from the space right away and get it out of the house ASAP so that it doesn’t worm its way back into the space. Take out bags of trash and recycling daily so they don’t pile up in your workspace.


Let’s Deep Clean the Living (and Keep It Clean)!

Now that the living room has been decluttered, let’s give it a good deep cleaning and learn some tricks for keeping it clean easily so there will be no more worries about pop-in guests or unscheduled play dates.

My Supplies

Here’s a list of supplies I use to clean the living room — gather up your gear before you get started.

  • All-purpose cleaner and rags 
  • Wood cleaner and a separate rag
  • Dusting wand or microfiber dust rag
  • Vacuum or dust mop

Start at the Top

When cleaning the living room, start at the top and work your way down. Grab your dust wand or a microfiber dust rag and dust any photos or artwork that you have on the wall, then head over to the mantle if you have one. If it’s not too dusty, you can just sweep your dust wand around the items on the mantle. If it hasn’t seen a dust rag in a while, go ahead and take everything off the mantle and use some all-purpose cleaner to wipe down the mantle and each item as you place it back on the mantle. Do the same thing for any other flat surfaces in the living room — DVD stands, bookcases, media consoles. If it’s not too dusty, you can swipe over it. If it’s pretty grimy, remove everything, and clean each piece as you replace it.

Use the dust wand to wipe off the TV and electronics — if you must use a little cleaner to get rid of finger prints, spritz just a bit on a clean rag and wipe the finger prints away.

Clear off the coffee table completely and clean it using either all-purpose cleaner or wood cleaner, depending on the material it’s made of. Your living room will automatically look cleaner if you can keep your coffee table clear, so try to find other homes for the items you may typically leave on the table — I use a basket to corral remote controls, stack magazines and books on a shelf in an end table, and roll throw blankets in a basket by the fireplace.

The Vacuum: Your Living Room’s Best Friend

Once you’ve dusted and cleaned the flat surfaces, grab the vacuum, even if you don’t have carpet in the living room. Before hitting the floor, we’re going to use the handheld attachment on the vacuum to clean off the couch and any chairs you have, making sure to get in the crevices and gaps between cushions. If you’re got access to the space under the couch and chairs, use the handheld attachment to clean the dust bunnies from underneath. You can also use the handheld attachment and extender hose to vacuum off the window sills, corner cobwebs and baseboards.

Finish Up!

You’re almost done. All that’s left is to vacuum the carpet thoroughly, or use a dust mop if you don’t have carpeted floors. Mop if necessary.

It’s Clean…How Do I Keep It That Way?

Here’s some quick tips for how to keep the living room guest-ready very little effort throughout the week!

  • Each day, spend a few minutes putting away clutter, fold throw blankets, discard read magazines, and put away DVDs and their cases after you’ve watched them.
  • Once a week or so, take a dust wand and go over artwork, decorations and flat surfaces.
  • Use a lightly damp sponge to wipe pet fur off the sofa and chairs.
  • Once or twice a week (as needed), run the vacuum around and make use of that handheld attachment to get rid of cobwebs, stray popcorn kernels from movie night, pet fur and tracked-in dirt.
  • Keep your end tables and coffee table clear of clutter, and once a week or so, wipe them off with wood cleaner or all-purpose cleaner to keep them shiny.

Coming up next: we’ll start decluttering the kitchen, the heart of the home.

Looking for the rest of the 8 Weeks at Home series? Post links will be added here as they’re published!

Living Room photo by Reiner Kraft/Flickr


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One Reply

  1. This was really, really helpful. I see now why I have never been satisfied with the throw pillows I chose. I am motivated to try this technique.
    Thanks for sharing your post.

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