Does your home STILL look cluttered despite your best effort (and success!) at decluttering? Here are some sneaky reasons your house still feels cluttered even though there really is a lot less stuff! Watch the video here, or keep reading!
1. Paper Piles on Horizontal Surfaces
If I had to pick one thing that makes the biggest difference in visual clutter, it would be paper piles! It is SO easy to just lay things down and let them accumulate. The solution is to have an inbox where all the paper goes to be dealt with. It takes almost zero time to gather up papers and put them in an inbox, but it makes a HUGE impact!
But what if you've tried the inbox method, and it isn't working? Put a basket wherever you (or your family) tend to toss paper. At least it will be corralled, and it will seem tidier and less cluttered.
2. Dirty Dishes
Okay, so no shame here, but dirty dishes do make a huge difference in how messy and cluttered your kitchen looks. It's easy to let them pile up, but it can take an otherwise clean, tidy kitchen downhill fast!
My best tip here is to make sure your dishwasher is empty every morning. This way you can easily load dirty dishes as they happen throughout the day. Beyond this, it may just be necessary to schedule in more time to keep up with the dishes. It's hard at first, but the impact is big when you walk in the kitchen and see clean counters and a clean sink!
3. Storing Stuff on Top of Your Fridge
If you struggle with storage space in a small kitchen, lots of times things can get tossed up on top of the fridge. Food, appliances, or just random stuff often end up stacked high up there just to get them out of the way. However, this is a big source of visual clutter.
Think outside the box– is there anywhere else you can store these items? I once turned a coat closet into a pantry in a small apartment. It totally worked for me. Can you store lesser used appliances under a bed?
The fridge just isn't made to have things stored on top of it all the time. It can get dusty and greasy up there. Also, while I *know* you're supposed to clean and dust up there, I never do! I'm totally telling on myself, but I just never think to do it. But because I don't store anything up there, and no one is actually tall enough to see the dust, I'm giving myself a pass!
4. Papers Covering your Fridge
I totally get why lots of us stick papers up with magnets. We want to display the kids' artwork! I'm not telling you not to display the important papers, but if we do it in different ways, it always looks better!
You can display it on one of those boards with clips on a line, or buy frames where you can easily switch out the papers. But anytime there are magnets and papers covering the fridge, it just looks visually cluttered, and it can make your whole kitchen seem a bit messy.
5. Too Much Mismatched Decor
I'm all about home decor and even decorating for the holidays. In fact, I've become a bit addicted! However, sometimes less is more! If you think you may have teetered over the edge into too much decor, try clearing off a horizontal surface, living with it for a couple weeks, and then adding just a few things back in until it looks just right. It can easily get too full when we get overzealous with decorating (ask me how I know, LOL!).
6. Anything Sitting on the Floor
Anytime there are things on the floor (other than furniture!), it can look cluttered. Even if the kids are supposed to leave their backpacks in the entry, if they are on the floor, it looks like they were just haphazardly tossed there. Solution– put a hook on the wall. I'm a big fan of hook racks and command hooks. They can leave their backpacks in the same spot, just on a hook instead of on the floor, and it will instantly look tidier!
What if you take your shoes off as soon as you come in the house? Put a boot tray by the door. A tray gives a visual boundary, makes things contained, and it's practical because it will keep water or mud off your floor.
7. Too Much Stuff on your Dresser
Dressers (or really any horizontal surface!) can quickly collect junk. The more things tossed on a dresser, the more cluttered it looks.
If there are things you need to keep out and easy to access, then corral them in a tray. It will look much more intentional and even like a bit of decor.
8. Too Much on your Counters
We all tend to store too much out on our counters. In the kitchen it's usually small appliances. In bathrooms it's our toiletries or toothbrushes. If it's at all possible to put this stuff in a drawer, it will make your home look SOOOO much less cluttered!
Try storing your small appliances, especially if it's something you don't use every day. In the bathroom you might (hopefully, LOL!) use your toothbrush every day, but it doesn't take much effort to pull it out of a drawer and put it back inside. There's also the added bonus of keeping said toothbrush clean and protected!
Need more help?
If you find you're still struggling, you may still have too much clutter. You can't organize clutter! For more tips on decluttering and getting rid of the excess stuff you don't need, check out my Youtube playlist on decluttering here. Once the clutter is at bay, then you can implement some of the above tips to help make your home a more peaceful and relaxing place to be!
Organization that actually sticks for busy, happy lives