Why Does Your House STILL Feel Cluttered After You’ve Decluttered?!
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We all want an uncluttered, clean, & organized home, but actually getting there can be a challenge! Here are 18 things that may be making your house look cluttered & organization tips for how to start the home cleaning and organizing process. Start small with these simple tips and soon your home will be looking and feeling its best!
You’ve followed the decluttering tips in the 30 Day Challenges, read Joshua Becker’s book, The More of Less, and KonMari’d your entire house…
But the joy still isn’t sparked.
You’ve followed all the decluttering tips checklists and donated all of your duplicate and extra items. You’ve purged your book collection and your closets.
How disheartening to look around your home and still see clutter.
Sometimes we get so hung up on following the checklists when purging that we forget to look at our unique surroundings to assess what is disrupting the clutter-free-flow.
We have overlooked these things for so long that it has become “Comfortable Clutter”
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How Can I Make My House Look Less Cluttered?
There are many areas of the home that we often overlook when we are clearing the clutter. These problem areas can really throw off the balance and vibe we want to create.
Let’s examine the often overlooked areas of clutter that are disrupting the peace in our home…
Related: 101 Things to Declutter from your home
1. Not enough light: Decluttering tips
We often overlook the importance of good lighting in our home. Dark corners and shadows can make a room feel gloomy and cluttered.
Natural lighting is the ideal way to brighten things up. But, if you don’t have lots of sunlight available, you can get the feel with table lamps, floor lamps, and pendant lights.
The brighter the better!
2. Decluttering Tips—Too much stuff
You’ve decluttered but you still feel like you have too much stuff!
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, take an honest look. Did you really declutter? Or did you hang onto things you thought you might need one day. Maybe you couldn’t part with things you intend to sell one day.
Even worse, you packed crates and boxes with all of your “clutter” for the garage sale you will have some day.
See what you can remove from the house today. Immediately take things you can donate to your car.
If you really want to sell some of your things, make sure it will be worth your time and effort. Many times the tax deduction received from the charitable donation is much more beneficial.
3. Decluttering Tips for Too many knick-knacks
Random small objects often sabotage our decluttering efforts. These little items are usually attached to a happy memory and have great sentimental value.
So how do we enjoy our beloved knick knacks without junking up our shelves?
First, consider a ‘knick-knack rotation’. Then you don’t have everything out at once, but you still get to enjoy your entire collection.
(I do the same with the kids’ books. A book rotation each month keeps them interested in all of their books without being overwhelmed.)
Sort your knick knacks with purpose and display the like items together. Then you won’t have things randomly scattered throughout the home which can look cluttered.
TIP: Sort by color, shape, or by size
Box it up
If you have lots of tiny little objects, prevent clutter by placing them in an interesting box with a glass lid or in a pretty jar.
4. Refrigerator door clutter
Our refrigerator doors can quickly become a collection of kid’s artwork, photos, invitations, announcements, appointment reminders, take out menus, and so on.
Consider clearing the clutter off of the fridge doors and organizing all of the info onto a family command center. You don’t have to leave the refrigerator doors completely bare….display a cute framed magnetic family photo and maybe a couple souvenir magnets.
Related Reading: how to organize kitchen cabinets
5. Paper Decluttering Tips
Paper is one of the most difficult things to declutter and manage in our homes because…
It keeps coming back!!
Use your family command center to organize all of the important paper and check out this post for all of the paper clutter solutions you could need!
6. Too many toys
Toys in every room of your house will quickly make things look cluttered. Getting the playroom organized and teaching kids to put each activity away before getting another out will help with the toy clutter.
7. Piles of clutter
Just because we straighten and pile up a stack of books doesn’t mean it’s not clutter. Immediately return items to their home and avoid the stacks and piles.
8. Decluttering tips for Cord Chaos
Nothing clutters up a space worse than cords all tangled about. Cords and cables for electronics, phones, lamps, appliances, and such can create a jumbled eyesore.
Take the time to corral the cords and neatly conceal them using cable clips or cord twist ties.
9. Mismatched storage decluttering tips
I love to use various baskets made of natural materials around the house for storage. I can’t resist an interesting looking basket from a thrift store, and I’ve collected quite a few over the years.
Taking a look around my house, I realized how many different colors my baskets were.
It really made things look cluttered!
I decided to give the baskets a quick and easy makeover. I used a whitish/gray paint and mixed in a bit of water to make the paint thinner. Then I just dipped my paint brush and quickly painted the baskets.
It leaves a very thin layer of paint with hints of the original color still there. They dry very quickly and look so much more cohesive being similar colors.
Some of my favorite basket materials are rattan, wicker, water hyacinth, and seagrass. I might be a little bit obsessed with baskets!
10. Too Many Throw Pillows
Too much fluff can really overwhelm a room. Take inventory of your sofa pillows and decide on a select few to keep.
11. Decluttering tips for Over-furnished rooms
Wall to wall furniture can make a room feel cramped and cluttered. You want functional pieces of furniture that fit the space.
Maybe try just rearranging your furniture first— but if you still feel crowded then remove a piece or two.
12. Dull Door Mat
If your welcome mats have seen better days, then it’s time for an upgrade! Trade out the dingy door rug and instantly brighten the entry.
13. Roaming remotes
Your remotes will look neat and organized in a cute little basket or box. In addition, you will always know where to find a remote when you need it!
14. Too many pictures
Displaying countless family pics can lead to a cluttered look.
Instead, create a family photo wall showcasing your very favorite prints. You can find inspiration here.
My favorite way to declutter and organize all the family pictures is with a ” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener nofollow”>digital photo frame. This is one of the BEST gifts I’ve ever received! It’s so simple to use and everyone loves seeing all of the pictures.
15. Decluttering Tips for Tattered Pet Items
Is it time to upgrade your pet’s bedding or food bowls? You can make things look tidy and coordinated with a comfy pet bed that matches your decor. Your furry friend will thank you and you’ll love how clutter free things will look.
If you are still crating a puppy during the night, you can get a little crate cover to improve the look.
16. Ugly bottles
Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap…all of the different bottles can make your bathroom look cluttered.
Purchase matching dispensers to transfer your toiletries to. It’s a little decluttering tip that makes a big impact.
17. decluttering tips for Over stuffed shelves
You don’t have to style your shelves like an interior designer, but make sure you aren’t cramming too many things onto shelves. Stacks and piles will look messy and cluttered. First go through your things and see what you can discard. Then, organize what is left and store in cute baskets or bins to look more streamlined.
18. Decluttering Tips for Bath linens
If you have a random assortment of bath towels then it might be time for a refresh. Retire the thin, worn towels and opt for higher quality bath linens. Choosing the same color or color scheme for all of your bath towels, wash cloths, rugs, etc., will look cohesive and much less cluttered.
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What inspirational decluttering tips would you add? I’d love for you to share in the comments!
39 thoughts on “18 Things Making Your House Look Cluttered: Decluttering Tips”
So many wonderful ideas Angela! Thank you so much for sharing, I’ve pinned this to my Home Organisation board to refer back to, I hope that’s ok?
While reading this post I was nodding my head 🙂 With Hubby’s help, I’ve been trying to create order in our home for what feels like forever (I know it hasn’t been forever really but it so feels that way) and while we’ve made lots of improvements, it’s just not how I’d really like it to look. It just feels too cluttered still.
I absolutely agree about the baskets 🙂 I adore my baskets and pretty boxes but one thing I’ve noticed while decluttering so far is that we ended up with so many storage items now sitting empty! I have a dear friend who is also decluttering so I took them along to her, she was so pleased and it was great that they went to a good home where they’d be loved as much as I had loved them.
Thank you for the inspiration Angela, hugs x
Rosie, what a great way to declutter the ‘too many’ storage items! I always feel much better knowing my ‘clutter’ went to a nice loving home! Thank you so much for saving to your Pinterest board…you are a doll!
This article had given me more quick fixes now. Clutter, clutter poof be gone!
I’m so glad it was helpful! Thank you for reading!
My husband likes big desks with many cubby holes, several drawers and a very wide and deep surface. He also is very sentimental, keeping souvenirs from everywhere and cramming them into any available space or surface. We were keeping his office door closed to hide the avalanche on his desk. As Christmas approached, I ordered a second, very beautiful, but masculine, writing desk with seven various size drawers on top
It had long legs and no detail at the bottom with room for two large woven baskets. With his permission, I used these several drawers to hold specific items he saved in each…guitar accessories, small souvenirs, excess mint and paperclip boxes, catalogues and manuals, etc. In the baskets went guitar music, magazines “saved to read later” and craft projects started and dumped on his desk, but never finished after a whole year! On his old desk, new organizer accessories to match our rustic decor now holds the items he uses daily or at least weekly, corralling them in fascinating different contraptions that spin, pinch, or stand his papers upright. The whole problem is my husband has NO patience to decorate or stop to make a plan to store his “important office stuff” which is everything mailed to or given to him! The new desk is stunning and is the first thing one sees entering the room diagonally in a corner opposite the corner door. The cleverest item I bought for him is a small box for bills, stamps and return address labels that looks like an antique, collectible book. Dick collects old history books and loves the box. Now his old desk is covered with attractive storage items and there is no room to toss random piles any longer! He uses the new writing desk for a flat service to write checks, fill out applications and work on his cross-stitching.
Angela that was a very useful pin cos I too have this habit of buying the pretty boxes if I see them but now I have no idea what to do until I read about giving it to someone who will luv them like me
Thank you so much, Madeena! I’m so glad you liked the article and found some useful info to use!
Forgot to thank you Angela for your inspiration.Bye for now and hoping to hear from you more and more useful and helpful ideas.
Great ideas particularly liked the basket idea going to try. I love all kinds of baskets but they do seem to clutter. So idea of lightly painting is simply a great tip. Thank you
I’m so glad you liked the basket idea! It definitely makes all of my beloved baskets look like they belong together! Thanks for reading!!
The remote idea is good if everyone put them back into the box. That’s the problem I have. I clean out an area of clutter and turn around the next week and it’s back the same way. No cooperation from the rest of the family. Even though I have spoken to them about it.
Barb, I have to agree that the biggest battle with clutter is often the rest of the people in our house. That’s super frustrating. Lots of patience, my friend! Hang in there!
After reading psychology articles on why family members do not put things away in their proper places, I realize their “homes” are in locations that are not easy to access or that don’t feel natural to the other members of the home. I have become very creative at using beautiful storage containers right at the spot (floor, table, top of armoire) where the mess builds up to corral it. Now I have given it a purpose for being there instead of it being an eyesore. It takes some experimenting to get it right.
I love this, Andrea! What a clever way to embrace the natural habits of your family instead of nagging them to put things in a specific spot! Smart lady!
Finally!! Finally, a Pinterest post I was so glad to read. First sentence had me, as I have been avidly decluttering for mental clarity and lots of life changes for the last 8 months reading post about how to do whatever night and I am I’m down to all of doing all of it reducing my wardrobe by 75% this and that and this and that Pinterest Pinterest Pinterest Pinterest addicted! Haha. I never leave comments and I hardly ever post my pictures and my after pictures because well I don’t have time for it. And I’m not that impressed with myself. Syke! I’m impressed by myself that I don’t expect others to be. So I just need to say I think I can actually use 17 of the 18 things listed here to really reach exactly what has been bugging me about every room at my house. I don’t have a pet to that ousts The 18th. God bless you whoever you are please post more stuff. Most warmly, Theresa Everett
Theresa—you just made my whole day! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for such kind words! I am thrilled that these ideas will help you and am so very thankful to have you as a reader!
How do you cope with well-meaning friends who buy nick-nack gifts every birthday and Christmas for us. Some are lovely and so not so but I have a very small home with no windowsills for display and we don’t like lots of display items on our cupboards but their home is really full of items they buy everywhere they go. I’m sure they think our home is sparse. We have asked them not to buy us so much but it is because we help them when they get stuck with business or technology matters, which is often. We don’t want or need ‘payment’ but they insist. I keep most things until they buy us the next lot and take the first lot to the charity shop. It just means I end up displaying items I never chose. I would hate to hurt their feelings.
Tell them you have a sparse home because it is easier for you to keep it clean and that while you appreciate the gesture it is not something you can use and perhaps they can either give you a restaurant or grocery gift card or perhaps make a donation in your names
Yes, I was going to suggest that for minimalists, consumables that you know someone already enjoys can be the best gift. If you want to gift something bigger or different, then an experience that you know they are interested in trying or doing again. Examplesof consumables could be someones favorite hand cream, hard to find hot sauce, candle, or chocolates or other specialty foods. Examples of experiences could be a restaurant gift card, segway or ebike rental, movie or play tickets or vouchers… These can be especially good ideas for seniors and elderly who have probably been trying to downsize and declutter since long before it became popular. I have also found that flowers and wine aren’t obvious go-tos that they may have once been. They tend to fall on the love it or hate it black or white spectrum. Flowers can be beautiful, bringlife to a space and smell delightful. They can also incite allergies, be messy, and create work and foul smells as they die. Wine is a noteable expense, a luxury someone may not buy themselves, and a lovely way to share something with friends. It’s also alcohol (in an age when people are cutting off or drastically reducing their in take), something that calls for an occasion that may not come anytime soon, and something that could linger and gather dust. If you don’t know the recievers well, see if you can ask some delicate proding questions. “Will there be a happy hour?”; “Should we be aware of any dietary needs?”; “Do you still get out to ___ very often?” (fequented restaurant, golf course, coastal town, plays in the city… etc.). If you are the receiver, you could try, “We’ve really downsized our space &/or stuff wonderfully, but I sure would love more: hand lotion, local cheese, imported beer, time with gifter at a restaurant or chatting in your yard, company for working out or a hike or lessons in /help with _____ (tennis, knitting, golf, yard/house project followed by meal…) . And lastly, goodluck to gifters and receivers alike! In this age of hyper-consideration, everyone can be good at stepping on each other’s toes, even when you try to tread lightly! We can only try our best! ❤️
That’s a tough one! I definitely struggle with not wanting to hurt feelings. I try to separate the meaning of the gift with the gift itself. The sentiment of the gift doesn’t reside in the nick-knack you are presented with, so we aren’t obligated to keep and display it. It’s a little frustrating when someone continues to give gifts when we’ve asked them not to. I’m certainly not going to clutter up my space with gifts I don’t like or want…especially when I’ve asked the giver to stop. I would sweetly accept the gift and say thank you…and off to the donate box it would go. 🙂
Tell them if they want to buy you something buy expendables. Your favorite coffee or tea varieties, or add ons that can be added to the menu like toasted nuts, or bacon bits or a bread mix, or relishes or jams. Maybe a chocolate or an ingredient that is currently in vogue,
GREAT suggestions! Thank you, jo!
My family has started using a Pinterest board each for a gift wish-list. We try to be very specific, but have a variety of types of gifts and price ranges. Sometimes it’s surprising what a person wants or needs, and very often it can be things I might not think of to give as a gift. It’s saved buying something (anything!) just to have a gift, and it saves the recipient from getting stuff they don’t want or won’t use.
Angela, Great tips for everyone! Less is more in decluttering. Having a specific home for every item helped me declutter. If you don’t use it and haven’t used something toss it out of the kitchen or bathroom. Use the dollar store for plastic containers for trays that match, I even used zip lock bags for hair ties, bobby pins, because they were everywhere, my kitchen table was always cluttered! Open mail as it comes toss out the trash mail get a basket put bills standing up straight in the back of the basket I took a sharpie and wrote electric due 12th, insurance 15th ACH FILE if you don’t need paper bills go online and opt for electronic copies stop paper from coming! That one basket should not overflow in a weeks time you shouldn’t have other junk on your table. Put a nice pen/ pencil holder or mason jar on your counter. Too much furniture, I bet you probably know someone down on their luck who needs item ask them to come look at what you’ve set into your area of give sways. You can donate or sell on sites many are available to make cash! Poshmark & offer up or Craig’s list. Have a yard sale. I have don’t have much on my walls at all in an entire room you may find two items on all walls but have decor on floor like large vases. Very simple. Elegant. I have made the mistake with a pantry cluttering it up as you stated or many bottles in the shower I love your idea to get matching bottles I didn’t think of that because I did do the matching in the closet plus stackable racks. I would also share That dog orthopedic dog beds can be bought on Groupon for a fraction of the cost. Totally changed the look of my room ! You can get a big bed for 25 bucks for a large dog of excellent quality just do your homework of course I’m a coupon person! I found matching bowls three sizes XL, LG, MED all for under 20! Happy to help anyone as I had to have help to do this a year ago due to my health. I did research and people like Angela were the ones who gave me the ideas. So I give all the credit to the professionals! Thank you for taking time to put together this post to help all of us.
Wow! What wonderful suggestions! Thank you so much for taking the time to share! I love your suggestion about the the dog orthopedic beds and matching bowls on Groupon. And your suggestions about what to do with excess items is extremely helpful! I tend to default to taking everything to Goodwill. I forget about Poshmark, Offer up, Craigs List and such. Thank you again!
Great article…Always struggling to let go & declutter. These tips are a good reality check!
What an amazing post!!!! I loved it so much I clicked on and saved your other post. I especially like #16, even though there is several I can use. Thank you for these posts. God bless you and yours.
Thank you! Very simple and affordable ideas! We always have a shies issue. We don’t wear shoes, if possible, in the house, so we have a rack sitting by the back door, an area outside the door going to the garage and I stacked the wooden crate boxes by the front entrance but it feels still like Chaos! Any suggestions? I feel that I need to mention, we do have the majority of our shoes in our bedrooms, put away. Thank you ahead of time!
Just found in another post about a standing revolving shoe rack.
Have you seen the IKEA shoe cabinet? It is neat looking and you can not see the shoes because they are behind tilt out door/shelves. It also isn’t very deep.
everything is making the house cluttered. and i dont know where to start , we got waaay to much stuff especially if we have to mjove again
It occurred to me I had too many throw pillows, but I like variety. It takes up too much space to store seasonal pillows with the insert, so what I do now is buy or make pillow covers so I can change the cover easily and store the out of season covers in a much smaller space than they took up with the inserts in them.
How clever, Patricia! Thank you so much for sharing!
You’ve done an amazing job making Decluttering accessible and achievable. I have one little suggestion that might also help others. I have and love too much, so I have paired down and done a lot of your suggestions, but my way of not suffering from loss is in rotation. For me I ‘redecorate’ every season and perhaps even tweak a few things for each holiday. Of course the furniture stays the same and much of the artwork, but even family treasures have their season. I have learned to effectively store the items in large bins (or two or three) in various places in my home. I even have suggestions for making storage ‘disappear’. I also do this at the office to add some colour to the grey cubicles. I have written a little iBook ‘Wendy’s Seasons – Ideas for a Beautiful Life’ to share some ideas. Thank you again for inspiring me to continue to balance my life.
Wendy, thank you so much for such terrific suggestions!
This is so inspiring. Thank you for sharing a truly awesome post. Great to find an organizer online.