Simple (and small) Living vol. 6


Please welcome Sarah today as she tells us about her living room – her vision for this space and how she makes it work for her family.

[This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.]

One of my favorite places in my home is the living/family area. I look forward to sitting in my cozy chair facing the windows with a cup of coffee and something to read. What a luxury it is to settle in by the fireplace at the end of a long day after my kids are tucked into bed. Sitting there with the lights dimmed and the hum of the dishwasher in the background is so soothing and satisfying to me.


I like the living room to be a place of rest and so it has always been a goal of mine to create a nice cozy spot where we can take a deep breath and relax for a few moments. If you are trying to simplify your living/family area start by determining what you want your living room to accomplish. 

You may be homeschooling or running a business out of your home so your living room is partially a classroom or office. Possibly you are an avid reader and your living room functions like a library. Keep your vision firmly in mind while you are decluttering.  



In our home the living room is a place to rest where we often relax after long days at school and work. My three children gather around the fireplace on cold mornings waiting for breakfast to be served. While I prepare meals my husband will often catch a cat nap on the sofa before supper. My goal was to have a relaxing and clutter free living area that is warm and bright.

I enjoy natural light and I like my furniture to be oriented around the fireplace. The palette is mostly neutral but I’ve added color with the throw pillows. Even if your living area doesn’t have a lot of natural light, consider adding a few strings of warm twinkle lights, an extra lamp or two or possibly remove heavy drapes and curtains to visually lighten the room.


Because clutter makes me edgy we made the choice to keep just one book shelf in the living room. I only keep books that I plan to read in the next few months or any that I am currently reading. There is a basket on the bottom shelf filled with my favorite cookbooks.

We do not store toys in the living room. This works well because our children’s bedroom is in close proximity to the living room. They keep all of their toys and books in their bedroom. They bring their things into the living room all of the time but at the end of the day it all goes back to their bedroom. Cleaning up the living room is an important step in our evening routine.

Weekly I move books and magazines out of our home that are not serving a direct purpose. Some I have chosen to hang onto and put in the book tub in the garage. Magazines get recycled or given away, and books go to the used bookstore or the thrift shop.

A quick note about magazines, I used to subscribe to four magazines but now I only subscribe to one for myself and one for my husband. I found that while they are fun to flip through, magazines would pile up quickly and what I enjoyed the most were the home tours and recipes which I can easily peruse on Pinterest.



The bookcase is kept near the kitchen and this is where I keep our books, craft supplies, games, stationery, and movies. All of these things were carefully stacked on the shelves when we moved it but later I found simple storage boxes at Ikea that keep all of this out of sight. A few times a year we open up all of the storage boxes and discard what we aren’t using, Dried up glue sticks, games with missing pieces, and pencil nubs get thrown away. Our game collection is larger than what can fit in the bookcase so we keep the extra bulkier games in our garage.


Televisions are often found in the living room but we more often use our iPad or laptop to watch movies which means we have one less thing taking up space in our living room. I do however keep a flatscreen with a built in dvd player tucked between the sofa and wall. We rarely use it but it is there for those times when we really want to watch a dvd movie.



I am a firm believer that getting your home to function and feel right takes time. Experiment with different arrangements. You can boldly declutter and remove items and then see how the space feels. Try it for a few days. Put your excess in the garage and see how it goes. Do you miss your favorite novels? Do you prefer more colors and patterns in your space? Then add those things back in and discard the rest.

For years I have experimented with different arrangements and though trial and error have learned that bold decluttering has never left me regretful or uncomfortable but rather more calm and rested in my home. I’ve been able to go through my excess and shed what I no longer needed and ended up with a space that is even more of a blessing to our entire family.

I’ll be back next week with thoughts on how to create a calm, restful, yet multifunctional master bedroom.

Simple (and small) Living Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3 | Volume 4 | Volume 5

– Sarah

signature sarah


This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


  1. Joy Headrick
    April 5, 2016

    Love this. This is how I like to live. Uncluttered. I have learned this after many many years, but it helps to keep me centered and peaceful! Like your decluttering ideas.

    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 6, 2016

      This is how I (Lisa) want to live, but I have a long way to go! Thanks for your comment, Joy.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept the Privacy Policy