I have tried to hide it, because I have a professional interest in pretending to have one of those homes that always looks inexplicably perfect, but here's the truth: I am lazy. I hate picking up. I hate cleaning. Of course I love it when my house is not a complete wreck — who doesn't? — but I hate the effort it takes to get there. So over the years I have developed a few little workarounds, things that help me maintain the appearance of a not completely disastrous home without a lot of the work. I will share them with you, in case you are lazy too.
Two laundry baskets.
I have two laundry baskets, one for light clothes and one for dark clothes, so that when laundry day comes I basically just empty the appropriate basket into my laundry bag and away I go. It is so easy, because the clothes are already sorted. Plus I get a sort of strange joy at the end of every day when I place my clothes in the proper basket. It makes me feel like the sort of person whose home is always meticulously organized, even though I totally am not.
A 'clothing purgatory'.
In your closet, you probably have spaces for clothes that are clean (drawers, hanging rods) and for clothes that are dirty (the aforementioned laundry basket). But what do you do with clothes that are only kind of dirty — you know, the shirt that you wore only half a day and could probably wear out again one night, or the sweater that doesn't quite need to be dry cleaned yet? What you need is something I've dubbed a 'clothing purgatory': a space where in-between clothes can hang out while their fate is determined. My current clothing purgatory is a towel rod in the bathroom with hooks hanging from it — it's not perfect, but it sure beats clothes lying all over the floor.
More storage space than you think you need.
You've heard that old saying, I'm sure: "A place for everything, and everything in its place". What this old maxim neglects to mention is that you also need places for nothing at all. That is: you need storage spaces for things you don't even have yet and aren't even thinking about, because there is always going to be something floating around that needs somewhere to go besides a tabletop or the floor.
For example: I recently bought a componibili for my bathroom, which I really really love because I am a weird, design-addled person who cares about that kind of thing. I bought this brilliant piece for a very humble purpose: it holds toilet paper. I was debating, when I bought it, whether to get the cabinet with two or three tiers, because two would completely satisfy my toilet paper-storage needs. But I sprung for the three-tier one, for reasons I can't quite remember, and I'm really glad because that extra compartment has become a sort of catch-all for random things in my bathroom. It currently holds a box of q tips and some scissors and a bunch of other random junk that would otherwise be cluttering up my bathroom, and it is a real lifesaver.
What about you? What sneaky solutions do you have for conquering clutter in your home?
Re-edited from a post originally published 8.6.15-NT