We all want our homes to be beautiful and to look like they’ve leapt up and off of the pages of a magazine (preferably from a home or architecture magazine and not one that highlights how teenage boys typically live). The thing about those homes is that they are usually professionally cleaned and, like the models in fashion magazines, Photoshopped to look better than they look in real life.
That doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t make your own home look beautiful and photographer ready. Here is what you need to do to accomplish this goal:
1. Don’t Let It Pile Up
You might not want to take the time to wash that dish or put that book away right now, but make sure you do it before you go to bed for the day. That way you wake up to a perfectly clean home every morning and you’ll feel more pressure to keep the clutter from piling up.
2. Reduce Your Mail
Switch as many bills as possible over to paperless delivery. Take steps to keep junk mail from being delivered to you. Read the newspaper online. The less paper you have coming into the house each day, the less paper you’ll allow to pile up because you don’t want to sort through it right now.
3. Wipe It Down After Every Use
Every morning and evening after you brush your teeth and wash your face, take a minute to wipe out and rinse down the sink. You’ll be amazed at how quickly a single glop of toothpaste can ruin the overall appeal of an otherwise perfectly appointed bathroom. If you are a particularly vigorous flosser, you’ll want to wipe off your mirror too.
Do this with your kitchen sink, too—wash the breakfast dishes before you leave the house. Wash the dinner dishes before you go to bed at night. Then wipe down your counters, stovetop and wipe out your sink. This way you don’t have to worry about crumbs or other debris piling up.
4. Your Floors
If you have hardwood floors, make sure you’ve invested in a dust mop. This way you can quickly “mop” your floors each evening before you go to bed and get the majority of the lighter dust and debris up off the floor. Shake the mop out outside before you put it back in its place.
If you have carpet, make sure your vacuuming at least once a week. Go through your rooms twice if you have a particularly active family or a lot of people living with you.
5. Fake Plants
Plants and flowers are a great addition to any room. Unfortunately they require a lot of care—care that can get messy. Potted plants, in particular, can be problematic, especially if you have pets who like to dig. Instead of living plants, invest in silk plants. These don’t have to be watered or repotted. You simply have to dust them every few days to keep them looking fresh. There are also companies like Aquilegia that specialize in making incredibly realistic plants and flowers from silk, so you don’t have to worry about anybody knowing the difference. Another great thing about silk flowers is that you don’t have to worry about accidentally aggravating a friend’s allergies.
Basically, keeping your home looking beautiful and presentable is more a matter of upkeep than it is of finding the time to do a deep cleaning every few days. Straightening up each afternoon and evening cuts down on the amount of deep cleaning that needs to be done in the first place. It also helps you make sure that your home is always “company-ready.”