We get used to things looking the way they do in our homes and sometimes it’s hard to see the space with fresh eyes. If you’re feeling unsettled in your home here are 25 things to check that make your home look cluttered.
25 things that make your home look cluttered
Do you feel like your home is cluttered, but you can’t pinpoint why? This list of things that make your home look cluttered will help guide you to problem areas in your home so that you can create a more calming space.
1. Too many pictures
When you have too many pictures hanging on the wall, it will feel overwhelming for many people. If your eyes aren’t able to rest because they are trying to take in all of the wall decor, it doesn’t make for a peaceful space.
If your walls are feeling cluttered, try taking down some of the things on the wall. Give it a few days to see how you feel with less. It may just be the breath of fresh air the space needed.
2. Overfilled bookcases
A nicely styled bookcase looks great in every home. However, when books multiply and are stuffed into every inch of the bookshelf, it looks cluttered.
Avoid double stacking books or stacking additional books on top in that little bit of space above the row of books and the shelf. Leave some room on the shelves to make it easier to access books and to create a more aesthetically pleasing bookshelf arrangement.
3. Over accessorized
A few select items displayed nicely together can look great. However, when there are tons of decor items everywhere the eye can see, it makes your home look cluttered.
While those Target dollar aisles are tempting, don’t fill your shelves with small seasonal decor pieces. Opt to have less decor pieces, particularly small ones.
One great tip I learned from reading Cozy Minimalist Home is to choose fewer accessories so that they have more of a presence in the room. Also, look for larger statement pieces that get noticed.
4. Items out on kitchen counters
Kitchen counters often host a myriad of items. Utensils, appliances, soaps, canisters, knife blocks, and paper towels are common ones.
See if there is anywhere else you can store some of these items. Clear out some cabinet space for the toaster. Put the utensils in a drawer. See if the canisters can fit in the pantry.
It’s not necessary to remove everything off the counter. However, you might be surprised how much more open and spacious the kitchen feels even without just a few of the items that have been living on the countertop.
5. Things without a home
Items that float around your house and look out of place cause your home to look cluttered. Make sure that everything has a spot to be put away.
Keys can go on a key rack. Coats can be hung in a closet or on a coat rack. Purses can have their own hook. Everything you own needs a home.
6. Supplies sitting out for uncompleted projects
Often times items have a home, but they aren’t put there. They’re left sitting out to serve as a reminder to finish a project or take care of something.
But how long are they left there cluttering up the space before you get around to it? Instead, jot a note on a whiteboard to remind yourself to take care of it or put a reminder in your phone.
Don’t leave clutter out as a reminder to do something.
7. Items you’re procrastinating on putting back in their space
Maybe we don’t feel like putting it away right now. We figure it would be more convenient or we would feel more motivated later, but that’s rarely true.
Procrasticlutter can show up in any place in the home. Items waiting to be put away until we have the time or until we feel like it.
Practice the one-minute rule to eliminate procrasticlutter. The one-minute rules is if it takes you less than a minute to put it away, do it now.
8. Mail on the counter
Countertops are often clutter magnets for various household items that don’t belong in the kitchen at all. If papers are getting dumped on your kitchen counter, clear them off and create a new system.
Papers should only be touched once and then sorted, recycled, or filed. Have one designed space where you put the bills waiting to be paid.
Go ahead and put all items to be filed in a folder or better yet go ahead and file them right away.
9. Papers and magnets on the refrigerator
What is on your fridge can make your home look cluttered. If papers are covering it along with countless magnets, it will look chaotic.
Eliminate most papers and pictures except for a select few. Keep fewer magnets on the fridge too. You may find that what you leave on there is still too much in which case, you can remove more.
While you are at it, also check the top of the fridge. When bulky items are stored on top of your fridge, it makes your house look cluttered.
10. Laundry left sitting out
Want to know the secret to make your living room or bedroom look instantly bigger? Remove the laundry.
Often clean (or dirty) laundry ends up in various rooms in the house. If you have piles of clean laundry sitting out in your home, now is the time to go ahead and put them all away.
Create a laundry routine that works for you and your home, but that doesn’t end with clean laundry sitting out for days (or weeks) on end.
11. Oversized organizers
The very things intended to help you get organized can become part of the clutter problem. Oversized organizers or too many organizing pieces can make your home look cluttered.
Things like mail sorters or desktop organizers can overwhelm the space and attract more clutter as papers and items are placed in them.
While buying more organizing bins, baskets, and containers can be fun, always declutter before you organize.
Paperwork left sitting out on tables, countertops, desks, coffee tables, and anywhere else they get left will make your home look cluttered.
As you did with mail, create a system where papers are immediately dealt with. Being able to easily locate documents will make your life so much easier and your home less cluttered.
13. Electronics, cords, and cables
With the increased use of tablets, smartphones, computers, and other electronics can also come clutter. Have a docking station or drawer to store devices.
Keep cords, chargers, and cables organized and preferably hidden. Tangles of visible cords make your home look cluttered.
14. Stuff on top of the nightstand and dresser
Your bedroom should be a relaxing space, but if you have lots of items on top of your nightstand and/or dresser it will make your home look cluttered.
Clear items from the top of the dresser and nightstand. Be selective with what you put back. Try leaving fewer items out and see how it feels. You may find you’re much happier with the room when less is left sitting out.
15. Items on the counter in bathrooms
Often items are left out on the counter in the bathroom for convenience’s sake. Makeup organizers and excessive toiletries make the bathroom look cluttered.
Minimize what you leave out on the counter. Store daily use items and create a habit of putting them away when you’re done.
16. Things that are overflowing from their designated space
If you open a closet, drawer, or cabinet and are afraid items may fall out due to being overfilled, it’s time to reassess what you have. While some of those items may be hidden behind doors others may be more noticeable on open shelves.
If items are overflowing their space, it’s time to go through and declutter them. Excess stuff makes your space look cluttered and it doesn’t function well.
When soaps and lotions are left out next to sinks the labels on them can clutter up the space. The words, colors, and pictures draw your eyes to them.
You can either buy containers to use or make your own using mason jars and lids as I explain in this project.
We are constantly bombarded by advertisements and we’re surrounded by words everywhere. Having containers without labels is a nice reprieve. Some opt to do this in their pantry as well, but others find that too time intensive.
18. Donations waiting to be donated
After decluttering items that need to leave the home often end up lingering in the garage, basement, or in a box in the room they came out of.
It’s great to donate items responsibly, but make sure they actually leave your home. Extra bags and boxes of unwanted items lying around your home contribute to clutter.
19. Trash and empty boxes
Trash sitting out in your home will also make it look cluttered. That includes empty boxes and packaging sitting out as well as anything else that belongs in a garbage can but hasn’t made its way there yet.
20. Magazines and newspapers
Magazines and newspapers have a way of migrating to various places in the home. When they are left out on tables or in other rooms they make your home look cluttered.
Evaluate whether or not you want to continue to subscribe to them. If you do, have a designed basket that you keep them in. Periodically go through and recycle old issues.
21. Mismatched items
Odd assortments of items can work together and have an eclectic feel or they may simply look like a mishmash of random items.
Contrasting patterns and colors, particularly bold ones, can make the home look more cluttered and less cohesive.
22. Things in wrong rooms
Especially when you have kids things have a way of migrating to the wrong room. Another way things end up in the wrong room is when you have too much and it overflows out of the space.
Create habits of putting things away and declutter rooms so that they don’t have more than they can contain.
23. Toys left sitting out
When toys find their ways out of their storage spaces they can make your home look cluttered. If you have oversized toys that can’t be put away and stored anywhere, consider letting them go.
Involve your kids in the decluttering process and have them help select which toys will be moving along.
When you have babies or young toddlers, clutter can be more of a challenge with large baby gear. It’s a short season so don’t sweat some excess items during that time.
24. Too much furniture or oversized furniture
Typically when you move, your furniture moves with you. In most cases, the rooms in your house are not the same size or shape as they were in your previous home.
Other times perhaps you forget to measure and order a piece of furniture that is too large for the space. When you have either too much furniture in a space or furniture that is too large for the room it can make your home look cluttered.
Don’t fill every inch of the rooms in your home with furniture. Remove pieces that you aren’t using or that are crowding the space.
25. So many shoes
If you have a shoe-free home and shoes are taken off immediately after coming into the house they may be making your home look cluttered.
Create a shoe storage solution that works for your home and family. For some, that is bins and for others, it’s shelves. Make sure everyone knows where their shoes need to go and keep extra shoes in closets.
You don’t want to walk into your home and immediately trip over shoe clutter.
Your home should be a haven from the outside world. You should look forward to coming home and be able to relax in your space. Check off these 25 areas in your home to make sure they aren’t making your home look and feel cluttered.
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