Inside: Are you clutter blind, or do you live with someone who is? Read on for 5 signs that you are clutter blind with tips on how to cure it.

Clutter isn’t something that happens overnight. 

Instead, clutter creeps into our lives slowly, over time – often, without us realizing it’s a problem until it’s completely overwhelming.

In some cases, we can even become “clutter blind” – totally oblivious to the cluttered state of our space, even though it’s apparent to everyone else. 

Not sure if you’re clutter blind? Keep reading to learn a few simple ways to tell if clutter has overwhelmed your space without realizing it – and what you can do to fix it. 

you are clutter blind

5 Signs That You Are Clutter Blind

Figuring out if you’re clutter blind might sound like a conundrum – after all, if you’re oblivious to the problem, how are you going to identify it?

Fortunately, there are a few big red flags you can watch for to recognize if clutter has become a bigger problem in your life than you may have realized.

1. You can’t find a place to put something down.

Our counters, tables, and other surfaces are some of the biggest clutter magnets in our home. It’s easy to put something down instead of putting it away – and it’s something most of us are guilty of doing.

Walking into our house after a long day and throwing the mail onto the kitchen table, or leaving an unfinished project out on the counter to get to later… it all adds up.

If you find yourself scanning the room, trying to figure out where to put something down because there simply isn’t any available space, it’s a good sign that you might be clutter blind.

cluttered home

2. You can never find what you’re looking for.

Did you know that on average Americans spend 2.5 days per year looking for misplaced items?

While scavenger hunts can be fun, perpetually looking around your house for things you need, is much more frustrating than fun.

In an organized home, everything should have a place where it belongs, and you should be able to reliably find what you’re looking for there. 

If you’re spending time each day searching for a particular piece of clothing, or the television remote, or the spare batteries, or anything else – clutter is likely a culprit. 

sad woman looking out the window

3. You feel like you can’t relax at home.

Your home should be your sanctuary – a safe, soothing place where you can ease into your day and relax once your to-do list is complete.

But when you’re surrounded by clutter, finding that relaxation is easier said than done. Clutter has a way of occupying our minds, even when we don’t think it bothers us.

It’s distracting. It’s overwhelming. It is everything but relaxing. 

Clutter can negatively impact your mental health and increase anxiety and depression.

If you feel like you’re constantly stressed and on edge at home but can’t figure out what’s bothering you, all of that unnoticed clutter might be to blame. 

woman holding Amazon box

4. There always seem to be more things coming in than going out.

Does it feel like you’re often bringing new items into the house while not much seems to be leaving?

That can be a sign that you’ve become clutter blind.

If the Amazon delivery driver is making regular appearances at your house but you’re rarely donating anything, you likely have some clutter piling up.

Even if shopping online isn’t your thing, it’s quite possible to bring in a lot of additional stuff via garage sales, thrift stores, and from other people giving things away.

It’s important to be careful even with things that are cheap and free because they can add up and create clutter in your home.

you are clutter blind

5. Friends and family volunteer to help you clean up.

Let’s be honest – for many people, decluttering and organizing isn’t a favorite thing to do in their free time. It’s a necessity and a chore that must be completed, not something we do because we love it (although I weirdly do love it). 

If your friends or family members are offering to help you clean up or get organized, that might be your wake-up call.

Take a step back and try to understand why they’re offering… and consider taking them up on it. 

While your first reaction may be defensive or to feel offended, realize that they’re trying to help because they care about your well-being.

you are clutter blind

I’m Clutter Blind… How Do I Fix This?

Realizing that you’re clutter blind can be a little overwhelming. After all, when you can’t even see the problem in front of you, how do you begin to address it?

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to begin to recognize your clutter, clear it away, and keep it out of your space as you move forward. 

First, acknowledge you have too much stuff, then proceed with these five steps.

shelf with books laying different directions

1. Identify your cluttered areas.

Not sure where your clutter is? Check out this list of 25 things that can make your house feel cluttered.

Sometimes all you need is a fresh perspective to notice where clutter is creeping up in your space.

Another way to identify clutter is by taking pictures of the rooms in your home. Being able to see your space that way may help you to be more objective in how you see the things in your home.

Once you can clearly see what parts of your home have become cluttered, you can work on systematically tackling them one at a time.

organized drawers

2. Make sure everything has a designated space.

A great strategy to leverage when trying to keep your home clutter-free is to make sure everything has a clear space where it belongs. 

It might be on a specific shelf, or in a certain bin, or in the hall closet. Maybe it’s in the kitchen pantry, or a dedicated drawer, or inside the ottoman that doubles as a hidden storage container.

To create an organized home, figure out a practical, logical place for all of your stuff to go – and keep it there. 

What about things that you can’t find a specific place to store? It might be time to step back and evaluate whether you need that thing in your life.

If the answer is yes, find a space for it – even if that means investing in a new storage solution. And if it’s a no? Donate it, sell it, or throw it away. 

clutter on the countertop

3. Notice which habits are contributing to the clutter.

Being able to identify which habits are creating clutter in your home is another step to helping you overcome clutter blindness.

Once you’re able to see the behaviors that are creating the clutter, you can work on stopping or adjusting them to help you keep your space more orderly.

Create a system for handling paperwork and incoming mail.

Adopt habits like the one-touch rule where you only handle items once (no putting it on the counter until later). Another helpful one is the one-minute rule where if it takes you less than a minute to deal with something, do it immediately.

Clutter thrives on procrastination so the more steps you can take to manage things as they come, the less likely you’ll be to have clutter accumulate in your home.

you are clutter blind

4. Ask for help.

If you have a friend or family member who’s ruthlessly honest, now is a great time to take advantage of that honesty. Ask them for their candid, honest opinion of your space – and let them explain it to you.

Their perspective can help you understand the problem. And if they’re willing to help you tackle the mess? Even better.

Don’t have someone in your life who can fill the role – or don’t want to lean on your friends or family members so heavily? You can hire a professional organizer to help you evaluate your space and formulate an action plan for addressing your clutter problem.

clutter free living room

5. Make decluttering part of your regular routine.

Even if you don’t feel like you need it, forcing yourself to spend a few minutes each day – or an hour or two on the weekend – decluttering your space can make a big difference. 

After all, clutter doesn’t become a problem overnight – it’s the accumulation of stuff over time. By staying on top of the task and consistently addressing the clutter in your home, you can keep it at bay, ensuring your space stays organized and tidy. 

Add it to your calendar, or set a reminder on your phone. When it’s time, drop whatever you’re doing and stay focused on the task at hand.

While it might feel challenging at first, over time, decluttering will become a habit

What if I live with someone who is clutter blind?

It may be that you’ve read this article and don’t feel that it applies to you as much as someone else in your household.

So what do you do if they’re clutter blind and don’t care at all to change it? Check out this post for helpful tips on how to declutter when your spouse doesn’t want to.

Are you clutter blind? Or do you live with someone who is? What’s helped you? Leave a comment and let me know!

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4 Comments

  1. It would be interesting to study if we have more clutter now than households had twenty or forty years ago. obviously we have more disposable income (or do we?). and we were taught by our elders to hold on to stuff and repurpose. in the old days, people where just sloppy housekeepers or pack rats and didn’t worry about it
    . note: I am turning 70, have a messy house, I want to fix it, and blaming it on #
    A,DHd. it’s what boomers do!!!!

    1. My guess is yes more things as houses have become bigger and yet more and more people rent storage units. I think also more cheap products becoming available has had a big influence on how much people purchase/own. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. An interesting, and more positive, perspective on hoarding. Makes me more sympathetic to an individual I know and a way of understanding the person who seems to be oblivious to the situation he has created.

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