The Dusting Rule for a Simple Home

Dusting. It’s something we all do at least once a year or so when we finally see how gross the top of our bookshelves are.

Or, if you’re like me and live in a particularly dust-prone apartment, you just try to put it off until company comes.

Having to dust frequently is the other reason why I choose to keep surfaces to a minimum, second to my habit of filling them up as soon as they are clutter-free. Any surface I don’t use on a regular basis gets covered in a nice little film of bunny fluff and whatever else it is that is constantly floating around our apartment.

But we are settling in to our apartment for the long haul, and I feel like it’s time to slowly and intentionally put some good thought into styling our space. The internet is filled with cute bar carts and bookshelves that are just as filled with cute trinkets and decor, so I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to take from that to inspire our own home.

Bar carts

So cute, but so dusty.

But when is it all enough?

The dusting rule

Enter my new rule for any home decor item that comes through my door: will I want to dust this? Will I do this gladly?

The first question is, almost universally, probably a no. But it basically is a way to ask yourself if you are willing to commit time, space and energy to this new addition to your home.

The second question is where it gets interesting. Will you gladly take care of this item? Will you grow resentful of that dusty, cluttered bar cart in the corner, or will you be happy to share your space with it?

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I love my little sparkle jars, and am happy to dust them. Plus, it’s just a fun way to store my little holiday garlands when I’m not using them.

If dusting cute bottles and fake flowers means that you get a huge smile on your face whenever you see it, then it passes the dusting rule. But if it doesn’t….you know the drill.

Skip it.

It’s a super simple rule, but I thought I’d share with you because it’s been helping me a lot lately. I’ve been able to decide what I’m looking forward to adding, replacing or removing in the future and any rules are good rules for me.

This goes for teapots, chairs, tapestries, curtains, you name it. If it will gather dust and you don’t love it, ditch it.

So there’s a super-quick tip for simplifying and avoiding regretful purchases. What is your best rule of thumb for simple home decor and housewares?

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7 thoughts on “The Dusting Rule for a Simple Home

  1. all the yes to this.
    i just went through and got rid of a ton of ugly, nicked, trinkets that i have had from high school.
    plus a ton of old appliances i never used anymore.

  2. I…HATE…dusting. It really only gets done when people are coming over. Like you and bunnies, we have cat fur floating around. I’m sure with them I should be dusting even more, but for now, I don’t. Anything sitting out that needs to be dusted around better be well loved or it’s not worth the effort to me. Thanks for this post!

  3. Exactly! Only keep the stuff you will either dust or are happy to move so that you can dust the surface. I also feel the same way about furniture – will I want to move this item so that I can vacuum under it? That’s why we try to get light weight furniture and things that can easily be moved!

  4. I like your sparkle jars! My dusting problem areas are bookcases and I had to make the rule that nothing goes on the shelves but books, because any little trinkets that seem to collect there get in the way of keeping the shelves clean. My favorite solution, however, is to avoid dusting by keeping most things behind cupboard doors. The only things that get to stay out are the items that are used so often that they cannot accumulate dust.

    • Thanks! Trinkets are really tough. They can add a lot of personality, but you’re right – they just get dusty & overwhelming. That’s a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

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