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35 Things that are making your home look cluttered

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Have you cleaned your house and felt defeated because you can’t figure out why your home still looks so messy.

If you are struggling as a mom and feel defeated by your home and have taken the “I have given up” approach. I want you to know mama that you can still win!

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Maybe you need a new cleaning routine you can follow. Yet, it is more than likely that your home is overrun by clutter and that is causing your home to look messy.

We are going to identify first the areas and things making your home look cluttered. Then learn how you can fix them quickly and easily.

Ready? Let’s do this!

How do you tell if your house is cluttered?

Stand in each room of your house and take a quick scan. Do you have a clear counter space? If, no its possible you have kitchen clutter.

Do you see piles of paper or several days of mail lying around? That paper pile is creating an eyesore.

Take a look and see are their small piles around your house of random things that need a home and don’t even go together.

Some not so obvious clutter hiding in your home would be:

  • Drawers that can’t close because of too much stuff
  • Overstuffed closets
  • A junk drawer
  • Not enough walking space
  • Things stuffed into random boxes
Learn More About the MightyFix One Simple Change Each Month

35 problem areas causing your home to look cluttered

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

1. Shoes

Chances are you have several pairs by the front door or back door. There may be even a mix of seasonal shoes or sports-related shoes lying around.

If you are tripping over shoes and your guest have nowhere to place their shoes. It’s time to get a handle on that.

Clear off the floor and consider a shoe organizer like this.

Off-season shoes should be stored away in each person’s closet or in a long time storage area. Consider instilling the rule of limiting the number of shoes each person has by the shoe rack at one time. For example two per person.

Keep a shoe rack in the garage helping to keep germs and reduce the amount of dirt brought into your home.

2. Mail/Paper Piles

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Last week’s mail still sitting in a pile on your counter mixed with school papers? Get a handle on that paper clutter.

Create a command center in your home to help sort out incoming mail and papers

Adopt the daily mail sorter and file rule – meaning each day check your mail. Throw away all ads immediately. File all papers the same day. And place bills to be paid in a file for later.

RELATED: How to decide what school papers to keep and how to create a keepsake system

3. Old Magazines

We have good intentions when we get those inspiring magazines but they will add up over time. If you have piles of magazines in your home take 15 mins to go through them.

Go through each magazine, if there are no longer of interest to you recycle them. Found a fun page you liked? Reduce the paper clutter by taking a picture of it and creating a folder. That way you will always have it but with no paper clutter.

Try not to keep magazines for longer than six months. New additions come out all the time.

Learn More About the MightyFix One Simple Change Each Month

4. Books

Books make us all feel a little smarter. 😊 But an overcrowded bookshelf is taking up precious space in your home.

Sort through the books if they are no longer of use to you donate them or take them to a place like Half Priced Books. Making this fun project a little cash machine.

5. Pictures Frames

I am an amateur picture-taking enthusiast. But if you love pictures like me and have loads of pictures on your walls. Remember that white space and clean lines reduce the cluttered look.

Change out old pictures in your home and pair down the ones you really love. Stop turning every picture into a art piece.

Consider purchases a digital picture frame like this one. You can load quite a few pictures on it and have it scroll through them. Reducing the clutter on your walls and shelves. But still displaying those favorite photos.

6. Outgrown children’s clothes

Children grow like weeds. I mean my kids are the exception in this rule they grow like sunflowers. My husband is 6ft 8 and well I gave birth to toddlers. lol

Outgrowing through their clothes so quickly. You need to have a great system for cycling those old clothes out.

You might like the idea of having a centralized donation box in your home. The location should be where you have room or space. But the idea is when an item no longer fits or is useful. Place it in the donation box. Once full drop it off.

Another idea which I do as a mom is to participate in a children’s resale every 6 months. Do a Google search in your area and sign up to sell your unused items. My favorite way to make some cash to buy the kids new clothes.

7. Mix-matched dishes

Dishes might be overrunning your cabinets and if you have a lack of cabinet space it can be frustrating.

Get rid of mix-matched dishes that serve no purpose. When items go in sets things are a lot more pleasing to the eye and more organized.

Let go of the hand me down dishes from family members may pass them on to someone else in the family that could use them.

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

8. Duplicate kitchenware

How many spatulas do you have? Do you have way too many of the same kinds of serving utensils? Do you have spoons that belong to many different sets?

You need to pair all that down. Consider no more than two of the same like utensils. Get a new set of spoons that match and have an even count.

You can take housewares items like this to a place called New Uses a make a few bucks.

9. Outgrown/Random toys

Kids have there toy collections that sometimes get out of control. Causing you to have kept more in storage or find places to put them all. It can get especially hard when you have larger awkward toys that are huge.

To combat this add a reminder every 6 months in your calendar to declutter outgrown toys. That way you can reduce the piles before they get too big.

Like the clothing resale, I mentioned above for outgrown toys. Find places to sell those outgrown toys. I have had much success in the Facebook market place, Bookoo, and resale stores like Once Upon a Child.

RELATED: Smart ideas to keep toys organized and to a minimal

10. Outdated Electronics

It’s true that new cell phones change in the digital world it seems like every six months. That same goes for TV’s, Tablets, Laptops, etc. These high ticket prices items cost a lot and move at the speed of light when it comes to upgrades.

If you are finding it hard to let go of these, you are not alone. But, the goal is to create a cleaner more tidy home with room to relax.

You can sell old electronics such as cell phones and try to get a little money back. I have never used any so I could not recommend the best or speak to it. A quick Google search will give you many options to chose from.

11. Magnets

It’s fine to let your kiddos play with magnets on the fridge from time to time. But keeping magnets on the fridge all the time actually creates visual clutter.

When you add in school pictures, paper, invitations, and service numbers. It can look like a big vertical paper mess.

Use a command center to keep incoming paper-like invitations. Impute school calendars into your schedule system right away. To help avoid having to display them.

Take one of the doors inside your cabinets. Attach a sheet metal like this stainless steel contact paper. So easy to apply and you can still use magnets but they are out of sight.

12. Linens/Pillows

I have to admit I am a sucker for the bed in the bag look. When you walk into a department store and see a bedroom. The pillows and sets look amazing.

But it’s better to opt for fewer pillows and reduce the temptation. Otherwise, those pillows will end up filling up space in your house.

A collection of blankets is not hard either to collect especially when you have kids.

Pair those pillows and blankets down. It’s ok to keep a baby blanket but not every single one.

Get rid of mix match towels, dingy ones, or stained linen.

13. DVD’s

DVD’s inside their cases take up a lot of room. They also add to unnecessary bulky storage systems to store them all.

Consider paring down to the ones you are really going to watch again. You can also sell them at a disc replay store.

14. Sports Memorabilia

Sports fanatics love their teams as much as the next man does. But keeping a year’s worth will dominate areas in your home.

Sort through what you have. Find things that have they have been sitting in storage or boxes. Chances are if they are sitting in a box you don’t need it.

15. Prescription Glasses/Sunglasses

Once upon a time, those glasses had a purpose of helping you see. Now they are just collecting dust.

Give your old sunglasses new life and purpose. Donate them to places like these:

16. Knick knacks

Decorative pieces can add the right touch to a room’s decor. But an overabundance of them can lead to an overfilled shelf with more dusting to do.

Consider a rule that if a new one enters the home an old piece has to go. Also, look around at the pieces that you own, do they still go with your decor? Or maybe try the method of dopamine decor (it’s a happy interior design trend).

17. Vacation Mementos

Do you hit the gift shop whenever you go on an adventure? It’s great to hold on to those special travel memories but you don’t always have to bring an item back with you.

Instead of bringing home more things, take more pictures for memories. Or create a scrapbook.

18. Remotes

Gone are the days where you had one remote for the TV. You have on average 4 remotes at any given time.

Be sure to find a bin/basket to store remotes when not in use so they are out of sight.

19. Cords

The amount of charging cords we all have now and days adds up quickly. Wrangle up that tangled mess.

Hide your cords in a box. Use these cords organizers.

When it comes to cords attached to light fixtures. Or other stationery items my favorite ones we use in our home are these. They blend in and you can paint them to match your walls. Looks so much neater.

20. Take out menus/items

Take out menus, utensils and mini condiments are great for when you have nights your order out.

When ordering take out or delivery tell them to hold the utensils. Adjust the condiments before they arrive. Also no need to keep those paper menus. Look online instead before you order.

21. Coupons

Who doesn’t love a good coupon? But have you cut up coupons with great intentions only to find them weeks later after they have expired?

Many of those paper coupons are now available online and in apps. Check them out before cutting out coupons. Also, keep coupons in a folder near the door or in your car so that way you can grab them before heading out to the stores.

22. Old Hats/Gloves

Outgrown kid’s hats and gloves hanging around or ones that you no longer use.

Donate them and make room for the winter gear that you are using.

23. Shopping bags

Stop taking plastic bags at the checkout lane. Start bringing in your own reusable bags.

Many stores offer a bin outside their doors to recollect bags as well.

24. Expired/Outdated Beauty & Body products

They say people keep makeup for way too long. The same goes for body products.

Don’t keep your makeup for longer than 6 months. Toss out old clumpy nail polish, donate any unopened body products to a shelter.

25. Travel Sized products half-used

I am guilty of taking the shower stuff from hotels. After all, what are they gonna do with it? Toss it out.

Either use them up or toss them out. Unopened items see if you can donate.

26. Unused Jewelry/Tarnished Costume Jewelry

Costume jewelry looks great while it lasts. But once tarnished it sits in your jewelry box never to see the light of day again.

Go through it toss out what is no longer wearable. Donate what you no longer wear. You will smile once done. You will look at the beautiful pieces left in your jewelry case that you will actually want to wear.

Consider no longer buy costume jewelry.

27. Expired Medicine & Supplements

Your medicine cabinet may be overflowing. Its because you have old meds or vitamins that need to get tossed out.

Take 15 mins one day and look at all the expiration dates and toss all those that have expired.

28. Awards/ribbons

If you are holding on to awards from your childhood. It may be time to take a few pictures of them and get rid of them.

Those awards are fun to share with your kids but not useful.

29. Old Boxes to purchased items

You don’t need to keep them. Pull out the paperwork and place it into a binder. Find a suitable protector for your electronic items.

30. Too many kitchen gadgets/housewares

Short on cabinet space in your kitchen. Do you have a crockpot and Instapot or duplicate cooking housewares?

Many of those tools can be combined by only keeping a few. For example, the Instapot can replace your Crockpot. This can help save space.

31. Craft supplies

The joy of creating masterpieces or getting crafty with the kids is a lot of fun. But try not to leave unfinished projects laying around and craft supplies all over.

Create a craft area with pullout bins that allows easy access to the tools you need and put them back when you are done.


32. Bathroom counter

Loads of body/beauty products and makeup all over your counters? That does not create an inviting grooming space. Especially when a guest is over.

Don’t leave anything on counters. Instead, create under sink storage that invites order into your bathroom. Under the sink organizers like this work well.

33. Pet toys/things

There is no need to be tripping over fiddos toys. Also, dingy pet beds lying around aren’t very homie.

Don’t leave pet toys laying around keep easy bins around that you can drop the toys in around the home.

34. Mix matched containers

This may sound silly. But visually containers made of different shapes and sizes actually look more cluttered.

Try to convert your containers to ones that are all the same and that match your decor. A simple change like that can make a huge difference.

35. Notebooks

If you are still multiple paper notebooks you might want to consider a smart notebook.

A smart-note book can eliminate the use of paper all together while still giving you the use of pen and paper. If you have no idea what I am referring to you are gonna wanna read this post.

How can I make my house less cluttered?

When it comes to decluttering the goal isn’t to take stuff and throw it in a box. That is not decluttering.

In order to make your house less cluttered, you have to get rid of things that no longer serve you and your family.

Meaning items that you haven’t used in six months. Things everyone has outgrown. You want to create breathing room. Think about negative space or white space.

Space on bookshelves is a good thing. Bare walls create clean lines.

Purge duplicate items. Toss out broken or damaged items. Start small and don’t get overwhelmed. Start a timer for 15 mins and tackle one area a day.

What are task are you gonna tackle today?

Looking for more decluttering tips? Check out these post

Decluttering tips for moms who are feeling overwhelmed

7 tips for living clutter free with children