Do you err on the incredibly tidy side? Then you probably already live by these nuggets of neat wisdom
Anyone who runs a home like a well-oiled machine, keeping it beautifully tidy and thoughtfully ordered, knows that the path of neat-freakery doesn’t run smooth. There’s so much out there that can derail a tidy home and send it plunging toward chaos. Never mind. These pearls of wisdom, shared by neat freaks everywhere, help make sense of a messy world.
1. Anything can be tidied. Making your bed or plumping the sofa pillows is just the start. When it comes to being a neat freak, anything can be tidied.
From jars and bottles in a cabinet, to books on a shelf arranged according to size or spine color, to less obvious items — think dog leashes, potatoes, TV remotes, freezer drawers, earrings — well, you get the idea. Anything can be tidied.
2. Out of sight is not out of mind. A neat freak understands that the tidying doesn’t stop when the cupboard door closes. That whole out of sight, out of mind philosophy doesn’t wash at all. Just knowing there’s an avalanche of clutter waiting to spill forth will give a true neat freak sleepless nights.
3. An arranged drawer is a work of art. Forget perusing portraits in a gallery; a neat freak is happier gazing at a well-organized drawer. Whether it’s cutlery lined up with military precision, perfectly rolled socks or a legion of neatly arranged storage vessels, this is beautiful, inspiring — you might even say moving.
4. Organized clothes lower stress. A tidy closet helps you dress better and faster. Better because you can see all your clothes and easily put together outfits. Faster because you know exactly where each garment is and can grab it quickly.
5. Cleaning products can be beautiful. Some of us may arrange our bottles of perfume or prettiest bathroom products carefully, but a neat freak goes a step further. He or she understands that even cleaning products can be attractive, and will show them proper respect by arranging them in handsome rows, kept proudly on display.
6. Stuff is not the enemy. Though a clean white box of a home may hold some appeal for the super tidy, being a neat freak is not the same as being a minimalist. Neat freaks don’t mind owning and displaying stuff — they just need it all to be beautifully ordered.
7. Education is key. While some family members are unstoppably messy, young minds can be educated. Neat freaks know the value of instilling good tidying practices in youngsters from the get-go.
8. Not everyone understands. As a neat freak, your best efforts at educating untidy minds and leading by example may go only so far. Unfortunately, not everyone will share your passion for precision or relate to your thirst for tidiness. Your family and pets may, unintentionally, wage war on your neat and tidy home, simply by living in it.
Of course, it can be upsetting to see your neat environment wrecked by human and animal activity, but remind yourself that you are not a monk, and take pleasure in the chance to have another tidying session!
9. Your work is never done. A neat freak understands that the perfectly neat state they strive for is something of a false goal. Perhaps only a handful of times in their life will they reach true neatness nirvana, before the dog dribbles on the sofa again or their partner drops their socks on the bathroom floor.
10. You don’t have to be perfect. Even committed neat freaks have weak points or messy little secrets. Perhaps she’s immaculately dressed, maybe her home is pristine, but have you seen inside her handbag? Or check out the interior of his car! Yes, even neat freaks can be messily inconsistent
Joanna Simmons Houzz UK Contributor. I have been an interiors journalist since 1995, writing several books on design and numerous features for glossy homes mags over the years. For Houzz, I cover decorating ideas and trends and interview designers and professionals for their insights to create in-depth features. My favourite pieces to write, though, are Houzz Tours, as I love exploring and learning about real homes. Call me curious — or nosy!