In days gone by, most families had dining rooms where, if not in the kitchen, eating was done. The living room (years ago called a parlor) was used exclusively for time with family and friends. Eating was never done in a living room. Family rooms were not in most homes as children played outside a lot and when inside used their bedrooms for quiet activities. Then came TV, computers, and later the introduction and explosion of the use of electronic devices for communication and playing games. Now you can go in many homes, and all is quiet as each member is using an electronic device of one form or another. Unless the home is large and used a lot for formal entertaining the dining room is rarely part of the home floor plan. Instead, family rooms and living rooms (some homes have both) are used not only for areas where families congregate but also often areas where most of the eating (except breakfast) is done. This means that keeping the living room and family room clean requires more than an occasional vacuuming and dusting. Here are some tips to help keep those areas clean and enjoyable to be in:
Tidy-up: These are words we often use when teaching young children to pick up their toys. However, these are words all family members should be encouraged to use every day if the living room and family room area to be kept clean. Each person living in the home should be responsible for picking up personal items each evening before going to bed. Just having these rooms free from unnecessary clutter will make a big difference in being able to enjoy spending time there.
Dusting: This should be done on a weekly basis and, unless there are a lot of very breakable items, can be done by rotation of family members. There are several dusting cloths on the market which are treated with an anti-dust chemical which allows the dust to stay on the cloth and not be just swished around the room. Many people suffer from allergies and keeping living areas as free from dust as possible often makes a big difference in how they feel. Too, bacteria and virus can live in dust, which then can bring other forms of illness such as colds and flu into an area. Infrequent dusting will increase the likelihood of health problems.
Vacuuming: Many homes today no longer have wall-to-wall carpeting in the living room or family room. Wood, tile, laminated, or vinyl floors with perhaps an area rug or scatter rugs have become popular. This is actually a good thing as carpets, even with a powerful vacuum, are difficult to keep clean. Spills become stains and dirt seeps into the fibers, and thus germs and allergens are retained. Vacuuming floors should be done at least weekly whether they are carpeted or not. Spills should be wiped up as soon as they happen. Cleaning spills is especially necessary as in most homes a lot of eating is done in these rooms. Food pieces and crumbs should also be picked up right away by whoever drops them. Again, training family members to be responsible for their messes will help keep the living room and family room clean.
Furniture: These areas usually have quite a bit of furniture. There are often couches, recliners, end tables, bookcases, and a variety of seating furniture. Depending on the design and covering of the furniture will depend on how often surfaces need to be cleaned. Spills should, of course, be taken care of right away. If furniture can be wiped down with a damp cloth every few days, it is a good idea. Some fabrics can be vacuumed over weekly when doing the floors Tabletops and bookcases will need to be dusted, and glass tops should be cleaned. Drapes and curtains need to be washed or aired as well.
Basically, your living room and family room, and dining room if you have one, should be kept free of unnecessary clutter. Spills and food droppings should be attended to quickly, and vacuuming and dusting done on a weekly basis. These chores can be made part of your home cleaning schedule, and hopefully, all family members will do their part to make the family living area of your home comfortable to spend time in and a place where good health is enjoyed.