You are probably figuring that the logical next room was the kitchen. And, you would be right. The kitchen in our home is actually part of the same big room as the dining room, so it would be the logical next spot on the list.
But, the thought of tackling the kitchen was overwhelming to me. It was also likely to make me sick. For some reason, the smell of dish soap made me very nauseated, and my husband had agreed to take over the job for awhile. I have since found a soap that didn't make me ill (thank you scent free!), but at the time I wasn't even trying to figure out how to take over the job.
I also skipped over the office/sitting area/school area/collects lots of junk area that used to be the formal dining room and sits between the dining room and living room. It had TOO MUCH going on and I got overwhelmed trying to figure out where to start, so I waited on that room, too.
If you happen to be reading this because you yourself are in a similar spot, don't be afraid to focus on the easy rooms first. Getting those out of the way will really boost your confidence and help the harder rooms seem easier in the end.
My living room is a very average living room (or so I like to think). We have a couple couches, a recliner, entertainment area, and a small book shelf area with toys and such for the kids. Actually, the bookshelf is specifically where I put the girls' trays for school now, but at that moment we weren't doing school, so it had toys.
Living rooms can seem a little daunting because they are pretty big and they have a large space in the center. They are also used by everyone, so they are likely to be a dumping ground for lots of items that don't belong there. The nice part about living rooms is that most things don't belong there, so it's fairly easy to kick them out.
I started directly to the left of the doorway. In our case, that is where the bookshelf is. Unlike my other rooms, I did have to do some more serious picking up. I also had to make some decisions. I started at the top of the bookshelf and decided what items could stay there and which could not. We didn't really have a set 'these toys go here' policy before I got sick because I would rotate toys. So, I had to decide which toys would be there for now.
My children have a knack for drawing one or two lines on a paper and then tossing their unsigned masterpiece on a shelf or table. I found TONS of them on this shelf. I threw them out (don't worry, there are tons and tons of other masterpieces that I save on a daily basis). I also found books, pens, crayons, little Legos, and lots of other random things that clearly didn't belong there. That made my job easier.
It probably took me a solid 20 minutes to clear that shelf. I sent the toys that weren't staying upstairs with my kids and called it a day.
Though it certainly needed to be done, I DIDN'T pull the shelf out and clean behind it. I didn't dust the lamp right next to it, and I didn't vacuum the dust bunnies that had gathered in the corner next to it. Those projects were for another day.