If you have been cleaning your home for any length of time, you know that it’s much easier to clean if you aren’t cleaning around clutter. Have you heard the phrase, “cleaning for the cleaning lady”? Same principle, it’s easier to clean when you don’t have anything to clean around or move to clean. I decorate with a minimalist approach, but I love mixing in things that we love or just plain enjoy.
If you find that you are having to clean before you clean or that cleaning itself takes a ridiculous amount of time, I’d love to show you a couple decorating strategies and tips that really (really) work. When I say that it only takes about 15 minutes to dust our entire house, disbelief ensues. It really only takes me 15 minutes to dust and it’s because, a.) I hate clutter, and b.) I move fast and use the right tools. You can see my favorites here.
I have a fairly simple decorating strategy – if it’s useful (as in, we use it), and/or we love it, it stays out. Otherwise, it probably leaves the house or finds its way to a storage box in the basement. If the item is stored it’s because I know we’ll use it again or I’m saving it for some reason. For instance, when the kids were itty bitty, I put fragile items in storage. I’m starting to pull some of those items out again and if I still love it, it’s going out of the box and getting used OR it’s given away or sold.
Let’s talk about decorating for a minute, shall we? Decorating is personal. It reflects your style, your memories, your life. I’m not going to tell you what to use to decorate WITH, or what style to use, but I do have some tips to make cleaning and keeping your home clean in between cleanings easy.
HOW TO DECORATE SO CLEANING IS EASY
- KEEP SURFACES AS CLEAR AS POSSIBLE. Clear surfaces are always easier to clean than full surfaces. This is obvious, but hard to remember. Try this approach if you need a refresher course.
- DECORATE WITH WHAT YOU LOVE. If you don’t love it, don’t keep it around. If you notice something out isn’t working for you anymore or that you can’t remember why you have it out to begin with, put it away for a bit and see if you miss it.
- DECLUTTER OFTEN. I list ‘clutter’ every day on my cleaning routine, that’s because I know that if clutter isn’t dealt with daily, it becomes a problem. Get in the habit of putting things away after using them is huge.
- FEELING OVERWHELMED? Completely clear multiple surfaces in a room, clean them and let them ‘breathe’ for a bit. You might like having those surfaces less decorated moving forward. If you’re unsure of what to decorate a surface with, remove everything and add back little by little until you reach a look that you love.
- BE SMART ABOUT STORAGE. Most people and homes need some form of storage. When you buy furniture, look for pieces that serve multiple purposes. One of our coffee tables has small doors and we store games and puzzles in it. A dining room buffet can hold dishes, linens, and other dining room items.
- GET RID OF STUFF. If you are holding on to things that you no longer need, want, or love, it’s time to get rid of them. Set a goal or daily ritual of decluttering a spot, filling a bag, setting a timer for 5-10 minutes, whatever works for your situation.
Simplify your spaces so you aren’t moving items around to clean. Quickly dusting over a surface with one or two used and loved items is much easier than clearing a space, cleaning it, cleaning the items, and then returning them.
What’s your best tip for decorating to keep cleaning easy?
This post is part of a brand new series – HOME TOUR – go here to see a post about the colors in our home.
Have you seen Clean Mama Home? Wait until you see how cute cleaning can be!