Things That Make Your Home Look Cluttered

12 Things That Make Your Home Look Cluttered

Here are some of the common factors that contribute to the overall appearance of clutter in your home. By implementing the following tips, you can effectively reduce clutter and simplify both your home and your life.

Even when your home is clean, it can still give off a cluttered impression, which can be a source of stress for some individuals. Moreover, excessive clutter leads to additional cleaning and dusting tasks. 

To better understand what causes a cluttered look in your house, we can start with unorganized and over-stuffed rooms, beginning with the entrance hall. Additionally, clutter tends to accumulate on kitchen counters, open shelving, and even the fridge door. 

Consider organizing your laundry area and reducing the number of toys, collectibles, and stacks of paper that your kids have to create a more orderly and tranquil living space.

To simplify your home and your life, it is advisable to declutter your living space. You can begin this process by eliminating unnecessary items, which will subsequently decrease the amount of daily tidying required and reduce the number of objects on your surfaces.

When establishing an organizational system, it is crucial to keep it simple. If the system is overly complicated, it becomes less likely that you and your family will adhere to it, resulting in a return to a cluttered environment sooner rather than later.

Why Should You Reduce Your Clutter?

A cluttered home is a matter of personal preference. While some individuals enjoy displaying important, pretty, or useful objects on surfaces, others prefer minimalist counters and shelves. However, it is important to note that excessive clutter can result in added stress by becoming a distraction, reducing attention, and increasing anxiety.

Additionally, visualizing a pile of papers or an overflowing shelf can induce further stress as you ponder about the process of organizing or decluttering. On the other hand, having a tidy space makes cleaning more efficient. Instead of individually dusting each item, you can save time by giving the entire shelf a wipe.

Reducing clutter not only saves time but also saves money. Apart from the initial purchase cost of the items, excessive clutter may lead to the misplacement of belongings, resulting in repurchasing. Moreover, you may find yourself needing to invest in additional shelves or storage boxes to organize your possessions effectively.

12 Things That Make Your Home Look Cluttered

A Cluttered Entrance

The entrance hall of your home plays a crucial role in creating a lasting first impression. When welcoming guests, it’s important to ensure that they aren’t greeted by a pile of backpacks and sneakers. Similarly, coming home to an overwhelming clutter can dampen your mood.

To tackle this issue, it’s essential to create an organized and functional entryway. A dedicated drop zone can serve as a solution, consisting of hooks or a closet where coats can be neatly hung, a basket or rack for shoes, a hatstand for headwear, a wall pocket or box for handling mail, and a bench for conveniently placing bags.

Moreover, by teaching children to hang up their coats before entering the house, you can effectively prevent clutter from accumulating and disrupting the entrance space. Adopting this proactive approach ensures a cleaner and more inviting entryway for everyone.

A Free-For-All Fridge

When I return home, my first stop is the kitchen to grab a quick cup of coffee and take a look inside the fridge. It’s always a bit disheartening to see a messy kitchen, and it doesn’t exactly motivate me to cook dinner. The fridge itself is a significant appliance that plays a central role in the kitchen.

Sometimes, it’s tempting to turn the fridge into a notice board, art gallery, filing cabinet, or even a place to store party invitations. However, this only adds to the messy and cluttered look of the kitchen, and it’s not an effective method for staying organized when it comes to keeping track of school events, sports activities, and social gatherings. 

You might end up missing important things like permission slips for upcoming events or reminders about trips to the museum.

A better and tidier solution is to set up a neat bulletin board on the wall, solely for reminders and lists. You can even include a monthly calendar and use different colors to differentiate between family members. Feel free to display your children’s artwork, but do you really need to keep every finger-painting your teenager did back when they were three?

Beloved photos and paintings can be framed and hung on the kitchen wall as a decorative and sentimental touch. Additionally, make it a habit to clean both the inside and outside of your fridge on a weekly basis. This helps get rid of any expired or spoiled food and ensures that you can easily find what you need, preventing unnecessary purchases and wasted items.

Crowded Counters

In order to maintain a clean and inviting kitchen, it’s important to tackle the clutter that often accumulates on kitchen counters. With the wide array of kitchen gadgets and tools available, it’s easy to end up with more than we actually need. Therefore, it’s essential to regularly assess and organize our kitchen items.

Start by adopting a rule of thumb: put away everything that is not needed on a daily basis. Consider donating, giving away, or tossing any items that you no longer use or need. For example, that waffle maker that hasn’t been used in a year, the tub of rice that is taking up unnecessary space, the ugly vase your aunt gave you, or that potted plant that has seen better days.

To effectively declutter your kitchen counters, keep appliances and kitchen tools stored in drawers and cabinets instead of leaving them out on the counter. As you organize, be sure to get rid of anything that hasn’t been used in the past six months.

If you have holiday-specific dishes or tools that are only used for special occasions, consider storing them in a box in the basement, garage, or a closet to keep them out of your everyday kitchen space.

Remember, by maintaining a clutter-free kitchen, you’ll create an environment that is not only visually appealing but also encourages a more enjoyable cooking experience.

Your Dishes

Dishes can contribute to clutter in the kitchen, so it’s important to keep them tidy. A clean and organized kitchen enhances its overall appearance. Whether the dishes are clean or dirty, it’s best to ensure none of them are left out. 

Developing a daily routine of washing, drying, and putting away dishes is crucial. Before going to bed each night, make sure the sink is empty and clean. Creating a washing-up schedule that involves packing and unpacking the dishwasher can help maintain a well-managed kitchen space.

Paper, Paper, Paper!

Living in a digital society, it’s remarkable how we still find ourselves surrounded by paper. From coupons and bills to magazines and never-ending junk mail, the piles seem to grow and create a mess.

If left unattended, paperwork can quickly take over your home. It’s crucial to establish an easy-to-use system for your family, ensuring that you can effortlessly locate important documents when needed.

Start by designating a spot, preferably in the entry hall, for all incoming paper. Keep a basket specifically for wanted or necessary documents, and place a recycling bin nearby for unwanted items.

Consider investing in a file folder and allocating a separate file for each category, as well as one for each family member. This way, you can ensure optimal organization and accessibility.

If filing paperwork on a daily basis isn’t feasible, designate a specific basket or designated area to temporarily store incoming papers. Set aside time weekly or monthly to sort through and file them properly.

Ideally, we would promptly file papers as they enter the house. However, opting for cancellations of subscriptions or transitioning to digital alternatives presents an easier way to reduce paper clutter.

Too Many Knickknacks

Personalizing your home with cherished family photographs, decorative candy dishes, and beloved figurines is a wonderful way to make it truly unique and reflective of your personal style. However, it’s important to strike a balance and avoid cluttering your living space with excessive dust-collecting trinkets and outdated framed photos.

Take the opportunity to declutter and consider parting ways with knickknacks that no longer hold sentimental value. That Spiderman figurine left on the mantelpiece may have become invisible to you, but it can easily find its way out of your home.

Alternatively, repurpose favorite items to maximize their usefulness. For example, a pretty bowl can serve as a stylish drop zone for keys in the entrance hall or be repurposed as a soap dish in the guest bathroom.

If you have a collection of beloved items, consider displaying them together on a dedicated shelf or table, ensuring they are regularly cleaned and dusted. Keeping similar collectibles in close proximity creates a sense of cohesion and adds visual impact, while scattering them around can create a cluttered and disorganized appearance.

When it comes to displaying photos, consider creating a gallery wall with matching frames. This simple update can instantly give your space a modern and up-to-date look, no matter where you choose to hang them.

Disorganized Open Shelving

Open shelving has become a popular choice for storing and displaying our belongings simultaneously. However, if the shelves are not curated or organized properly, it can result in a cluttered appearance that fails to showcase our items effectively.

One common challenge is overcrowding the shelves with too many possessions. While decluttering advice may seem repetitive, having numerous belongings with no designated storage space contributes to perpetual messiness in our homes.

Once you have decided which items to keep on the shelves, it is important to consider how to organize or store them effectively. For instance, it makes sense to keep paperbacks separate from coffee table books. Consider storing them in a basket under the bed or donating them to charity. Games or CDs can be placed in closed boxes on the lower shelves, while displaying cables, movies, and toys can create an untidy and man cave-like appearance.

Open shelves are most visually appealing when they house a thoughtfully curated collection of items without overcrowding. By combining knickknacks like books, plants, and vases, each item can have its own space to shine.

Stuffed Living Spaces

Not everyone has a large home. With the current trend towards smaller homes, it’s important to consider the realistic sense of proportion for each room and what furniture fits within it. Too much furniture can lead to excessive clutter and create visual distractions. 

A messy living or dining room is often the result of trying to squeeze in too many chairs, sofas, and tables, causing the space to feel cluttered and claustrophobic instead of inspiring relaxation.

Differentiate between having enough chairs for the family to sit at the dining table and overcrowding a room with a huge buffet for storing collections. While having a comfortable sofa is great for family movie nights, consider whether you truly need 10 throw pillows in all primary colors.

Living in a smaller home requires creativity when it comes to storage, but it also calls for pruning unnecessary items. Consider moving an armchair to the study to create more space in the living room. Reclaim your sofa by letting go of accent pillows.

Family heirlooms can be offered to other family members. If no one else wants them, and if you have no use or space for them, feel free to sell them without guilt, helping create a less stressful home.

For the furniture you keep, make sure to keep it clean and uncluttered. Develop a habit of clearing items off your furniture every night to avoid waking up to clutter.

Tangled Wires

One of my pet peeves is when wires and cords are left untidy, snaking their way across walls and floors or becoming tangled into a rat’s nest. Not only does this look messy, lazy, and careless, but it can also pose a serious safety hazard.

To address this issue, it’s important to detangle the wires and utilize cord organizers or covers to keep them neat and unobtrusive. You can find plenty of ideas on the internet for cord camouflagers and cord management systems that can help improve the organization and aesthetics of your space.

Laundry Blues

Laundry seems to be an endless task, much like dishes. Regardless of whether the clothes are clean or dirty, folded or ironed, they can easily contribute to a messy home. Piles of clothes accumulate in doorways, posing a potential tripping hazard.

If you’re lucky to have a designated laundry room, you can simply shut the door to hide the chaos. However, regardless of your living situation, it’s important to establish a laundry system or schedule.

Each family has their own unique approach to tackling laundry. Some prefer to wash all their clothes in one day and put them away all at once. Others opt for a one-load-at-a-time method.

If you find it overwhelming to put away laundry, a suggestion is to wash one load at a time. Only proceed to the next load once the first load is completely washed, dried, and put away. This approach can prevent the accumulation of multiple loads waiting to be folded and stored.

In fact, it’s less overwhelming to put away one load at a time rather than trying to tackle multiple loads simultaneously. This way, the task remains manageable and less time-consuming.

Consider involving your teens in the laundry routine, as they are likely capable of handling this responsibility. Additionally, make it a habit to complete the laundry process promptly, without leaving any steps unfinished. Otherwise, you risk being left with piles of unfolded clothes.

Regardless of the chosen laundry system, it’s crucial to diligently fold and put away clothes as soon as they are clean. This not only prevents wrinkles but also contributes to a more organized and put-together appearance.

If your struggle lies in finding sufficient space in your closet to store clothes, it may be an indication that you have an excess of items. In this case, it’s time to channel your inner Marie Kondo and declutter your closet. By doing so, you might experience a breakthrough in managing your laundry.

Bunch Of Toys

Any household with children understands the struggle of toys spread across the entire house. Plastic dinosaurs end up in the kitchen, racing cars line the dining room table, and water pistols find their way onto the living room floor. This constant mess can be overwhelming, both for you and the kids.

To tackle this issue, start by decluttering. Involve your children in the process, together deciding which toys are broken and no longer used. Get rid of those.

Even after decluttering, it’s likely your kids will still have an excess of toys. Consider storing half of them in plastic bins.

After a month or so, bring out the stored toys and put away the ones your children are currently playing with. By rotating the toys, you provide them with a sense of novelty each month.

It’s also important to establish designated zones where toys are allowed and others that remain toy-free. Teach your little ones to tidy up after playing and keep a large basket handy for them to deposit their toys at the end of the day, preventing chaos and maintaining order.

Clutter Hotspots

Hot spots are areas where clutter tends to accumulate naturally. These hot spots can be found in various places such as the entryway, kitchen counter, or even the table. They often serve as quick spots for family members to place items without properly putting them away.

To effectively reduce the presence of hot spots, it is important to monitor the items that are being placed there and determine their rightful place. For example, if it’s coats and shoes that are frequently left out, it’s crucial to investigate the reason behind this behavior. For instance, younger children may have difficulty reaching a hanger to properly hang their coat. In such cases, consider installing hooks on the wall at a reachable height for them.

Another important aspect to consider is shoe storage. Placing a shoe rack near the entryway can serve as a designated spot for shoes. Additionally, remind your family members that only one pair of shoes per person should be left out at a time. Encourage them to store their other shoes in their respective rooms or in a closet.

In situations where paperwork tends to accumulate in these hot spots, it is recommended to create a dedicated space specifically for paperwork. This space should be used to file documents daily or on a weekly basis, ensuring that papers do not pile up.

By actively implementing these strategies, you can effectively tackle hot spots and maintain a clutter-free environment in your home.


A cluttered home can be overwhelming, but identifying the things that make your home look cluttered is the first step towards decluttering. By following the tips we’ve discussed, you can create a clutter-free, organized, and calm environment in your home. Remember, decluttering is a process, and it’s important to be patient and consistent in decluttering your home. Happy decluttering!

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