We need to keep the place picked up. And we need to keep it clean. They aren't the same thing. I suppose it's possible to live in a clean house that is cluttered; that is, it's healthy and germ-free in its essentials, but the family's possessions are strewn about and occupy all the free space. Possible, perhaps, but hard! To clean, each strewn item would have to be moved and replaced in its random location. Why would anyone do that? Better to keep the clutter down to start with, and to clean the uncluttered house.
There have been a lot of programs on TV - and self-help books - recently about helping unorganized people improve their habits. They all seem to start in the same place: get rid of unused possessions. Americans just have too much stuff. I look around the room I'm in, and I see the following: several old (not antique) stand-type cigarette lighters, a plastic streetcar replica that came with a box of chocolates, 6 teapots, a nutdish/nutcracker set with nuts from last year, brochures from the Queen Mary 2, several partly-burned candles in jars, a broken clock, and a bunch of games. I'll skip the 5 bookcases of books - books contribute to hominess as long as they're maintained neatly in bookcases. But a lot of the other stuff can and should go.
My view of the Good Life is definitely well-endowed with nostalgia - for an era when we were not as rich and could not afford to have so much stuff. But that aside, I find a lot of value in going through my possessions and deciding which are truly "keepers" - it forces me to decide what's important. The rest goes to charity, so I hope the exercise is of value to someone else, too.
Keep the house tidy - and weed out the unimportant things in life. It's important.