7 Ways to Make Your Home Look Cleaner — Without Actually Cleaning It
Trying to relax in an environment that taunts you with undone chores or items that are strewn out of place can be a tense exercise in futility. But if you throw yourself into cleaning, decluttering, or organizing projects every time you want to chill out, you’ll consume the time you have to enjoy their effects.
Instead, finding ways to make you homes look and feel just nice enough that you can enjoy them gives you the best of both worlds. Definitely set aside the time for those bigger overhauls that bring your home closer to the way you want it, but don’t wait for perfection before you take pleasure in your home and allow it to embrace and uplift you.
Here are seven easy but high-impact ways to make your home look and feel cleaner:
Use the laundry basket method.
The laundry basket method is exactly what it sounds like: Grab a laundry basket and toss in everything that’s not where it belongs. Stash the laundry basket out of your sight while you take some time for yourself.
Straighten the pillows.
This task takes mere seconds and instantly elevates the look of any room that contains throw pillows. Fluff them (giving them a “hug” or patting them does the trick), straighten them, and karate chop them if that’s your thing. Do it on chairs, couches, and beds for a quick refresh.
Smooth the bedding.
While you’re fluffing pillows on beds, take a moment to also smooth bedding. This may seem like a fussy detail, but smoothing out lumps and wrinkles has the same impact on a room that wearing a crisply ironed shirt does on a person.
Make sure your blinds are even.
I learned this little trick when our home was staged for selling: Make sure blinds are pulled down to the same height as other windows in the room and blinds are tilted to the same angle. Apply the same principles to other types of window treatments, such as shutters or shades.
Arrange chairs around tables.
Like neatening up your window treatments, arranging your chairs around the table so that they’re an equal distance apart and pushed in/out the same amount perks up your eating and desk spaces in no time.
Hang towels neatly.
Paying attention to how the towels are hung pays off with rooms that look well kept and clean. Make sure the edges line up, that tags are hidden, and that anything hung on a rung is centered. If there are multiple towels in the room, you know the drill — make sure they’re all hung the same way. While you’re at it in the bathrooms, straighten out bathmats.
Corral items on surfaces.
Even if you’re not going to go through that paper pile or come up with a way to finally, maybe organize your kids’ toothbrush and toothpaste situation, putting them all together on the surface they’re on and, yes, again, straightening them out, takes the space from haphazard to purposeful.
This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 7 Ways to Make Your Home Look Cleaner — Without Cleaning