Peter Walsh Organizing Secrets - Spring Cleaning Tips
The declutterer extraordinaire shares the genius rules that will make your spring cleaning easier than ever.
By Meredith Bryan
O, The Oprah Magazine | From the March 2012 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
In 2007, more than a decade after he landed on these shores and quickly became indispensable to America's pack rat citizenry, Australian organizing guru Peter Walsh—along with his partner, Ken Greenblatt—bought a charming little stucco vacation cottage in the chic desert oasis of Palm Springs. There, the couple retire most weekends from their busy life in Los Angeles to bike, hike, read, entertain friends, "eat way too much," admits Walsh, and generally bask in gloriously minimalist domestic perfection. In honor of O's third annual de-cluttering issue, we decided to see Walsh's home for ourselves. Although we've watched him subdue 4,000-square-foot suburban junk palaces on his OWN show, Extreme Clutter—not to mention whip a certain magazine's very messy New York headquarters into shape—nothing could've prepared us for the super-advanced stuff-slaying that goes down in his own home.
Walsh swears it's all about volume control and systems. "We keep physical stuff to a minimum," he explains, noting the scant furniture and complete absence of tchotchkes. "Instead, we want to emphasize the house's openness, the view of the San Jacinto mountains, the incredible weather." And rather than perpetually clean and organize, Walsh and Greenblatt use an established set of tools and routines that allow them "to quickly straighten up, find things we need, and not have to waste more time than we absolutely must maintaining the house," Walsh says. His solutions include life-alteringly simple ways to store linens and dried foods, even tame one's junk drawer. "It's about ease of living," says Walsh. "We come here to recharge our batteries, not to clean."