Relationship expert, I am not. But I have spent the past eight years living with a man who, in almost every possible way, has a different routine and standard than I do for what makes a clean house.
I can't even boil it down to "I'm cleaner than him," or "he's cleaner than me." We just have different priorities. I'd be happy to do the laundry once a decade, if I could stand it, leaving my single 10-year load rumpled in the dryer for an eternity. My husband? He handles the laundry like a literal boss—sometimes working the late shift in the laundry room to make sure everything gets done (and is perfectly folded to his exacting standards).
So, yeah, laundry's not my thing. But I am a stickler for making sure the downstairs living area of our loft stays clean and clutter-free. I use every little moment of downtime in my work-from-home routine to tidy up. So it drives me mad when my husband comes home from work, hangs his shirt on our kitchen bar stools, and leaves a trail of socks on his way to the sofa to unwind. And if I'm being honest, some days I am just not in the mood to carry my bag or scarf upstairs, either.
In the spirit of "don't change your habit, change your habitat," I knew the way to battle this homekeeping beast wasn't by attempting to change our routines. I just needed to run a little interference. Enter the hook.
Yes, just a simple, little hook.
Consider for a second the value of a single hook, mounted somewhere near the stairs. A depot where things can wait for the next ride up to the bedroom closet or bathroom hamper. Small and aesthetic enough that you hardly ever notice it, but conveniently placed in a way that you never forget it's there.
I can tell you that our little hook changed everything in our space. Turns out it's just as easy to drape a shirt over a hook as it is on a bar stool. And the next time one of us is headed upstairs, we take turns carrying the load. All our clutter is centralized to one convenient spot, and our downstairs stays totally clutter-free.
Interested in capturing the magic for yourself? It's easy and so, so affordable. Pick a place, grab a hook and go.
Apartment Therapy Organizing Tip: If a hook doesn't work in your space? A basket or bin left near the bottom of the stairs works just as well.
Homeowners can invest in something heavy and permanent, but a sturdy sticky Command hook works just as well for the renters. (Just make sure you know the right way to use Command strips!) Here are some of our favorites:
Command Traditional Plastic Hook in Brushed Nickel, $5.19 from Amazon
Leaning Edge Matte Black Wall Hook, $8.95 from CB2
Check out more modern wall hooks from CB2.
Tolson Single Hook, $29 from Rejuvenation
Rejuvenation actually has so many beautiful hooks.
Bestfy Waterproof Stainless Steel Wall Hooks, $10.99 for a 4-pack from Amazon
Blu Dot Wook Wall Hook, $29 from Wayfair
Available in black, red, walnut or white.