You’ve deep cleaned your home. You’ve decluttered every room. But, your home still doesn’t feel quite right.It still looks messy and cluttered despite your hard work.
This is actually a quite common complaint. Sometimes we “can’t see the forest for the trees” because we live in our homes and see every room daily. This commonality leads us to overlook things that have been around for so long, they’ve just become part of the decor.
In this post, we are going to take a step back and get a different view of our homes. We’ll address 14 common reasons why your home still looks cluttered. Then, we’ll address and solve those issues for good. Let’s look at those 14 problems now.
1. Too-full Countertops
When your kitchen countertops are full of clutter, your space looks dirty even when it isn’t. The same applies to your bathroom countertops. Look at it this way, when you go to a hotel room, the counters are free of clutter and appear spacious and clean. This same feeling applies to your own home.
The solution to this problem is to utilize those cabinets and drawers. Put away any and everything you can and only leave minimal decorations on your kitchen and bathroom countertops. This will lead to them looking clean and spacious and will achieve that uncluttered look you desire.
2. Excessive Decorations
Any home decorator knows that you can definitely go overboard when it comes to decorating your home. Every room needs space for the eyes to “rest,” meaning every square inch of your home doesn’t require decorations. This might be too many family photos, too many knick knacks, too many collectibles, etc. You get the idea. A room that is clean but filled with excessive decorations still feels dirty. The solution here is to minimize your decor. Not every book you own needs to be on display. Not every family photo needs to be hung on the wall. Go through your space and remove outdated photos and decorations. Move those photos to an album. Try to leave empty space as often as possible.
3. The exterior of the refrigerator
The exterior of the refrigerator has tendency to become a clutter spot quickly. We mount things with magnets and then never remove them. We add items so we “won’t forget” to do them, but we still forget.
Even the cleanest kitchen looks messy if the refrigerator is covered. Let’s address this with a practical solution. Create a good paper filling system and a command center. Do not use the refrigerator for this purpose.
Take everything down, file what you need to, address that “to do” list, and only hang what is absolutely necessary. On my refrigerator, we keep a magnetic shopping list and our weekly home menu. That’s it.
No excessive photos, no excessive magnets, and most of all, we keep no paper clutter. I keep this on the side of my refrigerator, also, because I want the front surface clean and clear of clutter.
4. A messy entryway
The entryway to your home is the first thing your guests see when they come to your home. If you live is a cold or wet climate where you often remove your shoes, this is an area you will definitely need to address. Look at a few ideas on Pinterest and start getting some ideas of how to best utilize this space.
If you remove shoes every time you enter your home, let’s create a shoe cubby for every individual’s shoes. If the kids hang coats, gloves, and outerwear, let’s create a space to hang and store these items.
My kids carry backpacks home from school, so we have a plastic bin for each of them to put their school papers into. I have a space to hang my purse, which I carry daily, and my husband has a box for his wallet and keys. Creating a space for these items will eliminate the clutter and help you get out the door faster each morning as you’ll know where everything is stored.
5. Paper piles
Everyone has a tendency to pile mail and papers from time to time. Piles of paper create a cluttered look to your home. The solution to this problem is a good paper and mail filing system. Every bill we receive goes immediately into our financial binder, so I can pay it by the due date. Every other paper that comes into our home gets either filed or eliminated. Make a habit of addressing the paper clutter daily, so you can stay on top of this problem.
6. Too many throw pillows
Have you been in a store and adored those beautiful furniture displays or bedroom decor? Often, you’ll find a lovely bedroom set with a matching comforter, bedskirt, pillow shams, throws, and an abundance of decorative pillows. It looks inviting and comforting, but I’m afraid it isn’t very practical on a daily basis to remove and then add back all of those pillows when you make your bed.
If you absolutely love your decorative pillows and can’t part with them, then you must be sure you display them neatly. Otherwise, consider storing a few pillows or moving them to the closet until you decide if you want to keep them.
The same applies to the sofa. Excessive throw pillows constantly require straightening to keep them looking neat and uncluttered. Excessive pillows also require extra work for you when it comes to cleaning.
These items still need washing from time to time, so try to keep them at a minimum or swap them out occasionally. Once you’ve decluttered your pillows, avoid the temptation to buy more.
7. Toy clutter
A room cluttered with toys is definitely a battle for most moms. We look at creative ways to store them and buy storage containers. But, first we need to eliminate the clutter before we can store it all away. Go through the toys routinely and throw out anything that is broken. Donate anything that is no longer enjoyed by the kids.
Store away half of the toys and rotate them out monthly. Teach the kids to do a daily toy clean up with you until they get the hang of doing it on their own. Do not create a complicated storage system. This only makes it harder to put everything away.
Clean up should be accomplished in 10 minutes or less. If you cannot do it in ten minutes, your storage system is probably too complicated to maintain. Maintenance is key to keeping the clutter at bay.
8. Too much furniture
Everyone has been in a home that is filled to every corner with wall to wall furniture. Sometimes we inherit furniture and antiques, and we don’t know quite what to do with them. We feel guilty for parting with them because they belonged to a loved one. Parting with the furniture feels wrong. So, let’s address this issue.
Getting rid of furniture or gifts from loved ones does NOT mean you don’t love or appreciate them. Instead you must love your space. Loving your space means you want to be in it and enjoy it every day. You want to fill your space with the things that you love.
Keeping everything everyone gives you will prevent you from doing that. Go through your home and remove any excess furniture and create space for the eyes to “rest.”
9. Laundry and “clean” clothes
We all have to deal with laundry and the work that it requires. Laundry baskets full of clean clothes create a feeling of clutter if you don’t address this daily. Get in the habit of putting clean laundry away every single day. Do not let it linger.
Also, maybe you or your spouse have a space in your room or closet where you lay “clean” clothes, meaning you only wore it a few hours and it’s too clean to wash but too dirty to put away. Start hanging or folding these items daily. Avoid putting them on the chairs or the beds. Create a specific space to store these until they need to be washed.
10. Dishes in the sink or on the countertop
This goes without saying, but dishes have to be addressed daily. Once it’s clean and dry, put it away as soon as you can to avoid the clutter.
11. Unmade beds
As the bed goes, so goes the room. Make your beds daily. Teach the kids to do so, also. Again, do not make this more complicated than it has to be by adding to many decorative pillows and too many accessories.
12. Overfilled shelves and cabinets
Declutter the interior of those cabinets. Too much clutter creates stress when they are filled to capacity. You can’t find what you need if there is too much stuff. Eliminate all of the excess and create a space for only what you use and love.
13. Visible cords and wires
We all have and use our home electronics, but the cords are unsightly. Look at Pinterest for some creative ways to hide those cords. There are plenty of ideas and resources available to accomplish this. You’ll appreciate the look of your home when you address this clutter issue.
14. Unclear surface tops
Not every space in your home needs to be covered and decorated. If you have a tendency to create piles and decorate your dresser tops, bedside table tops and bureau tops, you’ll make your space look cluttered. Leave open spaces as often as you can. Put items away in drawers and containers and keep the clutter at minimum.
So, there you have it. We have addressed 14 common reasons your home looks cluttered. I hope this information has been beneficial to you. If you enjoy reading this type of material, subscribe to my blog where you can find ideas and tips for cleaning and organizing everything in your home.
Need to deep clean? I have lists for you to guide you along.
My How to Deep Clean Your Kitchen list can be found here.
My How to Deep Clean Your Bathroom list can be found here.
My How to Deep Clean Your Kids’ Rooms list can be found here.
My How to Deep Clean Your Living Room list can be found here.
My How to Deep Clean Your Bedroom list can be found here.
Also, to keep up the general housework, you may need to create a daily housekeeping schedule that suits your specific needs. To do so, I have created a helpful series you can read here.
Need to Declutter Every room? I have declutter checklists for every room and every space in your home to guide you along below.
How to Declutter the Guest Room or Your Kid’s Room checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Laundry Room and Patio checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Coat Closet/Hall Closet/Linen Closet checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Home Office checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Attic checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Garage checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Living Room checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Kitchen Checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Entry/Foyer/Mudroom checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Clothing checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Bedroom checklist can be found here.
How to Declutter Your Bathroom checklist can be found here.
Need some Inspiration to Declutter? Join us for the Year Long Through Declutter Series by leaving me a comment below. We declutter 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. When you subscribe, you’ll receive an email with your daily task.
New to deemiddleton.com and don’t know where to start? I recommend going in this order:
Step 1: Check out this post on the 1st step you should take to get organized.
Step 2: Create a daily Housekeeping Schedule. You can use this series to start to set up your own schedule. You can also use this simplified weekly schedule.If you often ask: What is the fastest way to clean a dirty house? Or, if you struggle to get organized and have tried and failed time and again, you can likely find out which of these 11 reasons cause you to fail to get organized.
Step 3: If you’ve been wondering, “what should I declutter?”…Sign up for the Declutter Series and get your entire home decluttered in just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.”Declutter Your Home” checklists are provided in each email.
Step 4: What is the fastest way to clean a dirty house? Use a timer and use the Deep Cleaning Checklists above. They will help you get your home sparkling after you’ve decluttered.
Interested in becoming a full-time blogger like me? Check out my blogging series. At the top of every page on my blog, you’ll find a drop down menu. Just select the BLOGGING category.
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Also, check out a great post on decluttering over here from becomingminimalist.com. Joshua Becker has some great tips on decluttering and minimalism.
For further reading, check out the fly lady here. She has some great cleaning and decluttering ideas plus excellent organization tips to get you started.