Niecy Nash’s Summer Cleaning Tips For Your Heart and Home
Steve Granitz

“Clean House” host Niecy Nash and our resident relationship adviser stopped by the ESSENCE offices, and we picked her brain for the best ways to clear out the clutter in the home–and the heart–for a fabulous, drama-free summer.

ESSENCE.COM: What’s the biggest problem that women have when starting to clean out our homes for the summer?
Most people don’t know where to start, because you look at the whole house, and it’s overwhelming. Start with one thing, like just the junk drawers. If you’re going to start with the closet, maybe get your girlfriend to help–someone who can speak to your sensibility. The second thing a lot of people don’t know is to sort in piles of like items. Pull everything out and separate so you can see if you really need all those jeans. Lastly, use clear containers to store items so you don’t have to take the lids off 45 dark-colored tubs when looking for one thing.

ESSENCE.COM: Confession time. What’s that one item in your house that you are stubbornly holding on to?
I should let go of a whole bunch of hair that I got, but I’m not (laughs). You never know, you might need just a bang. I’m holding onto [all of] it forever.

ESSENCE.COM: What would you advise women to do, to get rid of old hurt feelings and to let go of sour relationships for the summer?
It’s profoundly simplistic, but it is to just decide to do it. A lot of people move around in a place where they feel like they don’t have a choice. You don’t have to have anybody calling you that you don’t want to. You don’t have to get up and be sad about not having a man. You choose that. So make a decision to be better to yourself so that you can have a fantastic summer.

ESSENCE.COM: What’s the biggest bad habit women need to take out with the trash?
I think you should always be clear about what you want and sometimes we’re not. First off, you speak the life you want into existence. Secondly, let people know exactly where you stand. We meet somebody and they say, “What do you want?” You don’t want to say, “I want to get married and have a baby.” Then it comes up later and the person is confused, put it out there, and if that person doesn’t want the same, they know to move on so your real king can find you.

ESSENCE.COM: What has helped you get comfortable in your own skin?
I went to the Caribbean with my girlfriend and I bought a shorts romper. I put it on and she thought it was cute, but I was self-conscious about the jiggly meat on my legs. We went to the club and those girls were in there with so much coming out of their shorts. It was about them being comfortable in their skin. That milkshake was bringing the boys to the yard. I was like, “I’m going home to put my shorts on!”

ESSENCE.COM: Summer flings, are you a fan?
I think you have to do what’s right for you. I’ve dated, just to do something fun. It’s not where I am now. I would rather date quality men right now, so if it turned into something, we could move into the next phase, instead of dating a boy toy that I know isn’t going anywhere. I’ve done that too. If you feel like you’re equipped to handle it, I say get it and get it good.