You want this:
But you have this:
Let me help. Following these tips will guarantee you success if you stick to them carefully!
- Identify the cause of the mess and deal with it accordingly. Most likely, the number one barrier between your current home and your perfect home is children. If you have junior-sized people living in your home, you will need to remove them or messes will inevitably follow. If you send them away to school in the morning, don’t forget to change the locks before they get home or your magazine-ready home will be no more. If you homeschool or they are not school-age, consider putting them up for adoption and ask to have visitation rights at the adopter’s home (never your own).
- If you must keep your kids in your home, simply give away their toys as well as anything that finds its way out of their room, and do not allow them to eat in the house.
- If you have a husband, kindly move his items into the garage and request that he leave his dirty clothes there too. Or, have him put them directly into the washing machine so as to prevent a pile or trail of clothing elsewhere.
- Speaking of cooking; don’t do it. Your stove will get dirty and the countertop and/or sink will be littered with dishes. If anyone resists, just remind him that Taco Bell is open late. For the kids, go to an army surplus store and buy them meals where you simply need to add water (this can be done with the hose).
- Be careful what kinds of snacks you buy if any of them will be visible on your open shelves. Stick to things that look nice in vintage jars, such as barley and beans.
- All pets should be outdoor pets. Furry animals should not be found enjoying the couch or bed or there will be tufts of fur left behind on your freshly-washed slipcovers.
- Do not allow anyone to use your bathrooms. Take showers at the gym. You will never be able to get your bathroom clean enough for a magazine once it has been used.
- Learn how to professionally arrange flowers and fruit, and buy new every couple of days to replace the old ones. Also, order some baked treats to put in a nice display on the counter. Just make sure you don’t bake them at home, or you’ll be back to square one with getting your house magazine-ready.
- Buy Turkish towels and put them everywhere, taking great care not to use them or allow anyone else to.
- Set up vignettes full of vintage items in all areas of your home. Remove household items you use daily and put them in the garage near your husband’s things.
- Install a wall-mounted TV and a microwave in the garage, bring in your comfy couch (your non-comfy one will be inside posing), and invite the kids and pets in for a movie and some relaxation time. Enjoy all there is to enjoy out there…the cool feel of the cement floor; the faint smell of gasoline; the squeaky-squeak of the rat family your kids inadvertently invited in by leaving the garage door open at night. You’ve earned it.
And that’s the easiest* way to get your home to look like a magazine.
*There are some other ways to get a perfect-looking house, like spending all your time cleaning and yelling at people to move their stuff, which I don’t recommend. But if you follow the above steps, you won’t have to go there.