Live More, Tidy Less: 10 Home Decor Tricks to Make Your Home Easier to Clean

Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Updated July 22, 2022
A cozy living room with comfy sofa and plants
Photo: / Adobe Stock

Because keeping things clean and stylish go hand in hand

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Expressing your style through home decor can make your space feel cozy—but too much of a good thing can definitely be an issue. Not to mention, an abundance of home decor can mean lots of extra time spent cleaning it all. So, how can you keep your style while still keeping up with the mess? Here’s how to make your furniture and decor work with you, not against you. 

1. Find Furniture With Taller Legs

Beneath every short and stubby piece of furniture lies a limbo of dust bunnies, popcorn kernels, and whatever else found its way down there. It’s tough enough to remember to lug your couch out of the way and vacuum below it, let alone find the motivation to actually do it.

If you choose elevated furniture that’s tall enough to fit your vacuum under, you’ll eliminate the extra task of moving it to vacuum. Instead, you’ll be able to hit in a quick swoop every time you vacuum. Easy-peasy.

2. Look For Low-Maintenance Furniture Fabrics

Many manufacturers carry upholstery options that are specifically designed to resist stains and spills. Ask about stain-resistant fabrics at your local furniture retailer or perform a quick online search to see what’s available. From tough solids and weaves to velvet-like finishes, there are tons of styles and textures to choose from.

3. Go For Polyester Over Cotton

Polyester is one of the easiest fabrics to clean: Rather than absorbing stains, it lets them sit on the surface for easier removal. Cotton, on the other hand, is highly absorbent and much more likely to hold onto a stain. 

4. Avoid Glass Tabletops

A living room with a bookcase and wooden coffee table
Photo: sergiophoto / Adobe Stock

Glass tabletops have a sleek, classy look that can be very alluring at first, but that transparent shine holds onto every smear, fingerprint, and speck of dust it picks up. Even if you swear no one’s touched it, you’ll be hard-pressed to walk into the room and find it blemish-free.

If you’re set on the style, or if you already have glass furniture you’re not looking to part with, you’re not totally stuck. Stash a glass cleaning cloth somewhere in the room—the kind that only needs water to work—and you’ll have a quick and easy way to keep your glass smudge-free. 

5. Get Furniture With Removable Covers

Zip-off removable covers can come in the clutch when you’re stuck with a stain. They’re also great for periodic washes to combat everyday dirt and odors. From throw pillows to larger pieces of furniture, always double-check for a removable cover to ensure easy cleaning. When in doubt, you can also ask a local furniture cleaning pro for tips or even have them tackle the job.

6. Use Decorative Throws to Protect Against Paws

Removable cushion covers are your lifeline against major stains, but if you have pets, it can be a hassle to remove them every time there’s a mess. Not to mention the annoyance of your sofa being out of commission while the covers are in the wash.  

If you’re having trouble keeping your cushion covers clean on a regular basis, look for decorative throws in a similar shade to your chair or sofa. Then, simply lay them on the cushions and tuck away any excess fabric. As a bonus, they’ll also seal the cracks in between cushions to keep out crumbs, hair ties, and all the other miscellaneous items that find their way down there.

7. Look For Furniture on Wheels

Rather than maneuvering your vacuum around every curve and angle of your furniture, look for pieces with castors that allow you to quickly move them out of the way for cleaning. This will make it much easier to clean all the crevices and awkward areas you tend to miss (and just think of those smooth, straight vacuum lines).  

8. Be Selective With Your Decor Items

Details of a boho living room with minimal decoration
Photo: FollowTheFlow / Adobe Stock

Some refer to knick-knacks, figurines, and other decorative items as “dust collectors.” While the sentiment technically isn’t wrong, it doesn’t leave much room for creative decorating. However, it’s still possible to find a happy medium. 

Rather than letting your inner collector run wild, think of your decor as a carefully-curated selection of accents. Declutter your home often to remove items that you don’t love, or embrace the minimalist style if you’re ready for a full purge. Remember, less is more (and more means more to clean). 

9. Find an Ottoman With Hidden Storage

It’s a pain to fold blankets over and over, especially during colder months when they’re in constant use. A lift-up ottoman provides the perfect place to quickly roll them up and stash them: bonus points for the extra space to hide remotes, game controllers, and other clutter.

10. Hide a Stash of Grab-and-Go Cleaning Supplies

There’s often a disconnect between spotting a mess and finding the motivation to grab supplies to clean it up. If you’re finding this to be a major roadblock, try storing a hidden stash of supplies in the room. A spray cleaner and microfiber cloth are easy to hide and can multitask to clean almost any mess. Keep a spray bottle of diluted vinegar to clean mirrors and glass, or stock a microfiber glass cleaning cloth.

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