Organization Tip No. 24: the Secret to a Clean House

• 13 June 2011

There is nothing like the impending arrival of a houseguest to motivate me to whittle down my to-do list and whip my home into shape. I'm not complaining though, I secretly like the added encouragement! So, this weekend, as I sorted and cleaned out closets, drawers and more closets and drawers, I had an epiphany. The secret to an easily-maintained clean living space is simply having less stuff to clean up. You would think it's some kind of organization system, right? But truly, when it comes down to it, the issue is just keeping tabs on how much we are accumulating in our living spaces because having lots of "stuff" = having to always be cleaning up that "stuff".

Before we moved to Seattle, we hosted a large garage sale and pared down quite a bit. And since moving here we continue to be concerted about what things we are holding on to--it's truly a constant process and not just a one time effort (although I wish it weren't so). In fact, I find myself purging things from our home on a fairly continuing basis--about once a month in fact. While it is a bit of a pain to sort, sell, donate, schlep, etc. the end result is pure satisfaction...and liberation...and clarity of thought. As crazy as it may sound, the less "stuff" we have, the more interesting our lives become. Meaning, instead of being constantly consumed with maintaining our junk and the accumulation of this and that, we are focused more on experiences--treasures that stay with us always. So all in all, it feels like putting forth the effort to clean out nooks and crannies a good thing.

For me, problem issues continue to be closets (I love to toss stuff inside and shut the door...obviously not a great long-term plan!), the playroom, my children's rooms, the laundry room, etc. Because of heavy use, these little areas tend to keep me on my toes. What areas do you find problematic in your space? And what secrets do you have to share?

Peek at organization tips #1 - #23  as well as my general organization tips.

p.s. this fabulous little nook resides in the home of Sarah Hicks Malone--the creator of the fabulous party blog Sara's Party Perfect. I haven't stopped thinking about her living space since viewing it on D*S last Autumn. I find it incredibly inspiring on so many levels!


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