In our 39 years of home cleaning specialization, we’ve seen every shade of tidy.  They include the extreme minimalism of bare walls and object-free counters, the architectural brilliance of all things built-in and multipurpose and the gorgeous zen-serene that comes from uber creative thrift-ism.  Pick and choose from this collective wisdom to get your home tidy once and for all.

Here’s how:

Nix the Knickknacks

If you’re serious about joining Team Tidy, then it’s time to start culling.  Get rid of anything that only functions as clutter.  Sure, keep your rare stamp collection, but do you really need five ashtrays of rusty pennies and thimbles?  For those of you with high-end knickknacks, consider getting your valuables appraised.

Rules & Regulations

If you’re messy, there’s no way you’ll ever achieve tidiness without the basic commandment:  one item in, one item out.  But we highly recommend you go to the extreme:  one in, three out. Apply this rule to anything that enters your home:  books, mugs, socks and birthday gifts.  You’ll be amazed by the transformation!

Turn Up the Volume

If you live alone, filling your home with stuff probably gives you comfort.  But you may have reached a tipping point and would rather fill your home in other ways.  Music fills space without cluttering it.  Dust off your records, borrow some CDs or ask friends for playlist recommendations.

Plant Your Foot Down

If you google “modern minimalist home,” you’ll see a lot of gorgeous sparse spaces.  There’s something else you’ll notice: chic glass vases full of fresh flowers, handsome planters spilling with healthy plants and perfectly placed splashes of green foliage.  Most, if not all interior designers, decorate with plants because of their subliminal power to say ‘this space is clean, healthy and well-loved.’  The win-win bonus with plants: they’re natural air purifiers, so you won’t have to buy the plug-in kind!

Beg, Borrow or Steel

If you like to throw parties, it’s easy to accumulate things like antique punch bowls and old-fashioned fondue sets.  But once the event is done, you’re stuck with a circus of things.  Plan your parties with these three rules:  Beg yourself not to buy something new.  Borrow what you can or rent equipment from catering companies.  Steel!  Reusable stainless steel, that is.  Serving bowls, tongs and skewers in this material will last a lifetime.  So if you need to buy, opt for stainless steel.

 

 

Photo by José Ignacio González Pansi