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Tidy up your home with a few helpful hints

It doesn't matter how masterfully designed your home is, how beautiful the wood paneling on your walls is, how edgy the kitchen tiling is, how well the living room furniture blends with the decor or how artistic those leather switch plates are if your house is messy. Being a world-class decorator means being neat and organized over flawlessly matching kitchen fixtures and countertop textures. The details won't shine through the clutter, and that means your careful tailoring of the interior design can be all for naught if it's juxtaposed with a few too many piles of old magazines or loose trinkets. Here are a few tips to help keep your living space spick-and-span from day to day. 

Defeat dust
Dust is a nuisance that can creep into the most difficult-to-clean spaces in a home. From lampshades, to bookshelves, to window blinds and everywhere in between, dust can settle after just a week or two and make your home seem less than well-kept. Luckily, Martha Stewart Living magazine has a few nifty tricks to help keep dust away and clean the places that need a little more maintenance. The magazine suggested using unconventional tools like lint rollers to dust those upholstered lamp shades or other dust-collecting devices. At the same time, a taut piece of hanging linen can keep dust off of the tops of books on bookshelves. 

When it comes to dust, the cleaning isn't intense, but it's an ongoing task. Remember to check frequently for buildups around the areas guests will see.

Don't skimp on cleaning essentials
Cleaning a home well starts with having the necessary supplies. Steel wool, bleach, mops, wipes, paper towels, brooms and more are all necessary to tidy up your living space. At the same time, avoid spending money on clumsy high-end vacuums and bulkier cleaning devices. Stick to the basics unless you have a lot of ground to cover.

Moreover, the devices are only the beginning. Cleaning liquids and powders are the ongoing expense in home cleaning. Luckily, House Beautiful magazine has a few tips that will keep you from spending a fortune on name-brand cleaners. Mixtures of baking soda and water are perfect for cleaning tile floors. At the same time, mixing in a little ammonia or hydrogen peroxide with water can help strip away soap scum, mildew or stains from countertops, bathroom features and surfaces like marble switch plates or brass door handles. Always research the best kind of solutions for cleaning a particular surface.

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