Sometimes decorating can be your worst enemy in the fight against clutter. Let's do our best to eliminate these ubiquitous detractors:
• Lucite frames. Please use any type but these.
• Fridge magnets. Using these are the fastest way to give your kitchen a messy look. Unless you have a serious collection please put them all away.
• Cluttered windowsills. With the exception of indoor flower boxes, always leave windowsills clear; your room will look a lot tidier.
• Doilies. Whether they are crocheted or linen, please remove these dust collectors.
• Patterned and colored toilet paper, napkins and paper towels. Buy plain white. Don't let the paper manufacturers dictate your style.
• Big audio speakers. If they're on the floor, they're too big. (No matter what the man in your life says, you don't really need them.) Purchase small white speakers (Bose or Aiwa) to but in the wall unit or hang in corners near the ceiling.
• Cutesy bathroom bric-a-brac. Use only those things that add to a spa-like environment.
• The same rug, wallpaper, or fabric in more than one room of the house. Let each room be an original.
• Liquid detergent bottles on kitchen counter tops. If you don't have a built-in sink dispenser, get a stainless steel pump container for a sleeker look.
• "Do not remove" tags on throw pillows. It's safe to remove them now.
Excerpted from Use What You Have Decorating By Lauri Ward