Most of us often forget that there’s a big difference between clean and tidy. Your house might be clean but cluttered… and if it’s cluttered, it’s easy to feel like it’s dirty (even if it’s not). Both cleaning AND tidying-up are tasks that require effort, just different kinds of effort. But luckily, there’s little things you can do (some on an on-going basis) to make the tidying-up easier and quicker.
1) Get more storage: This doesn’t have to be expensive or daunting. Stores such as IKEA carry a range of storage solutions that look fantastic and that you’re going to love putting your stuff away in. Think brightly-colored baskets to put away the clutter that usually sits atop your coffee table.
2) Install more hooks or shelves: Again, we’re not talking about anything huge or imposing; you wouldn’t dare mess with the flawless feng shui of your home. But, a modest shelf/coat-hook combination in your entrance-way can serve as a place for keys, mail and flyers to sit. Or, an over-the-door hanging solution can keep the clothes off the carpet… in everyone’s bedroom.
3) Get end-tables and nightstands: A minimum of two end tables in your living room will do wonders for keeping the space organized; end tables with under-storage is even better. In each bedroom, at least one night stand is necessary, and those with drawers are the best; one on each side of the bed is ideal.
4) Rubbermaid drawers and shoe racks: So they’re not the nicest-looking things, but those translucent-plastic drawers are lifesavers for your closet or laundry room. You can even go all-out and attach the little wheels to the bottom for the ultimate versatility.
5) Have SEVERAL laundry hampers: They’re not just for the laundry room anymore. One in the closet, one in the bathroom, maybe one for the non-closet portion of your bedroom… and one to stay empty (even though it probably won’t) for transporting.
6) Reserve some space for candles, incense and other pretty knick-knacks: With all of your new storage and new-found space, you should be able to clear off maybe a whole shelf or two for a few candles, maybe a photo frame, paperweight or similar. The candles are an especially good option, because just burning a nice-smelling candle is a great way to make your home feel like (and smell like) a spotless oasis.
7) Keep coasters on all surfaces: Even the bedroom nightstands. This might sound OCD, but the funny thing about coasters is that they’re like the proverbial field of dreams… keep them out, and they will be used.
8) Invest in a hand-broom, handheld vacuum, and/or dust buster: They take about 45 seconds to use and you can even read a magazine with your other hand, meanwhile.
9) Fragrance diffusers: Maybe you’re not a candle or incense person. If not, consider plug-in-type air fresheners or, my personal favorite, bottles of fragrant oil which diffuse on modest reeds and emit a much more mild, long-lasting scent… and look great, too.
10) Hang things on your walls: Pictures, paintings, posters… always have them framed, it looks better. The crowning touch of walking into a fresh clean space is what’s hanging on the walls. It adds beauty, and character… when it’s missing, it’s noticeable. Wall sconces are a great option too.