You’ve seen the advertisements and TV shows for interior design. They create a palace that you’d need a staff of servants to keep clean. It’s not going to work for us mere mortals. We have jobs, kids, disabilities, and things we’d rather do than housecleaning. We need decor we can live with, and keep clean with a minimum of fuss.
Here are 7 tips for planning the decor of your new home:
1) Get rid of clutter. If you don’t absolutely love it, if it doesn’t work, or if you have too much of it, donate it to a charitable organization or recycle it.
2) Invest in storage space. If you make storage a design priority, you’ll be able to get everything off your floor, counter tops, and tables. Use sliding glass doors to keep the dust off of your shelves. Give yourself tons of pantry space, closet space, cupboard space, utility hooks, wall mounted racks and pouches, cabinet space, and shelves to put everything away and out of sight. This will make your home so much easier to keep clean.
3) Choose floor coverings that are easy to clean. Large ceramic tile floors and bamboo wood floors are easy to sweep and mop with no fuss. They don’t trap the dirt like wall to wall carpets do. Choose area rugs that can be popped in the washing machine, or hung over a balcony and shaken out. If it’s high maintenance, don’t put it on the floor.
Then make a rule about keeping the floor clear of objects that block your walking paths or make it harder to clean. Choose furniture you can easily clean beneath. Put lots of hooks on the wall for hanging bags and clothes you don’t have time to put away.
4) Cover your sofa and chairs with machine washable slip covers. You won’t want to deal with steam cleaning your upholstery or spraying it with toxins. If you have 2 sets of slip covers, you always have a clean set when the other is in the wash.
5) Choose furniture that is light enough to pick up and move with one hand. If it’s a hassle to move, you won’t clean under it. Bamboo furniture is both durable and light.
6) Hang and display your very favorite decor items, not all of them. It will all need to be cleaned, so don’t set yourself up for lots of work. A few lovely decorations in a clean open space is more beautiful than a zillion ornate doodads that are crowding each other out and hiding the beauty of the room itself.
7) Have one place that no one sees when they come to visit. If you have a laundry room or similar hiding place, you can stash your mess is grocery bags and close the door when you have to be presentable in a hurry. Nobody’s perfect, and we all need one outlet for our slovenly tendencies. Don’t aim for perfection, you’ll just get frustrated. Home decor, like politics, is the art of the possible. If we are honest with ourselves about what we can and will get done and what we won’t, then we set ourselves up with attainable goals. We succeed.