Anyone who runs their home like a well-oiled machine, keeping it beautifully tidy and thoughtfully ordered, will know how the path of neat-freakery never did run smooth!
There is so much out there that can derail a tidy home and send it plunging towards chaos.
Never mind. These pearls of wisdom, shared by all neat freaks, help make sense of a messy world.
1. Anything can be tidied
Simply making your bed or plumping cushions on a sofa is just the start. When it comes to being a neat freak, anything can be tidied.
From jars and bottles in a kitchen cupboard, to books on a shelf arranged according to size or spine colour, to less obvious items: think dog leads, potatoes, TV remotes, freezer drawers, cotton reels, earrings…
2. Out of sight is not out of mind
A neat freak understands the tidying doesn’t stop when the cupboard door closes. That whole out of sight, out of mind philosophy won’t wash at all.
Even just knowing there’s a disorderly avalanche of clutter waiting to spill forth from behind a cupboard door will give a true neat freak sleepless nights. Neatness should be more than just skin deep, after all.
3. A well-ordered drawer is a work of art
Forget perusing portraits in a gallery – a neat freak is happier gazing at a well-ordered drawer. Whether it’s cutlery arranged with military precision, perfectly rolled socks or a legion of neatly arranged storage vessels, this is beautiful, inspiring – you might even say moving.
4. Organised clothes lower stress
A tidy wardrobe will reduce stress levels by helping you to 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 one step further. He or she understands the true beauty and integrity of cleaning products and will show them the appropriate level of respect by arranging them in handsome rows, kept proudly on display.
6. ‘Stuff’ is not the enemy
While a clean white box for a home holds 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 practice in youngsters from the get-go.
In addition, their son or daughter must understand that if they’re to cut the mustard at home, the bonds of flesh and blood will only take them so far. To truly earn your love and respect, they need to be tidy, too!
8. Not everyone understands
As a neat freak, your best efforts at educating untidy minds and leading by example may only go 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 tidy-up!
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. And when you can’t manage it yourself, get help from a cleaning professional.
10. It’s ok to bend the rules
Even committed neat freaks have weak points or messy little secrets. Perhaps she is immaculately dressed, maybe her home is pristine, but have you seen inside her handbag? It’s like a jumble sale! Or check out the interior of his car – like a skip on wheels… Yes, even neat freaks can be messily inconsistent.
By Joanna Simmons