5 things making your house look cluttered

Your house may be clean and organized, but it still looks cluttered.  Discover the 5 home organizing mistakes you may be making and which organization ideas you can use to have truly clutter free home. 

How can I make my house look less cluttered?


Home Organizing Mistake #1—I’ll Fix It!

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression:

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

People with too much clutter need to practice this expression:

If it’s broke, don’t fix it.

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People with too much clutter often save anything that breaks.  We have the best intentions that we will fix it or repurpose it.

Now don’t get me wrong, restoring an item back to working order certainly has it’s place.  If my 3 year old washing machine breaks then I’m most likely going to want to repair versus replace.

What I’m talking about are all those broken things that start to pile up, cause clutter and guilt, and sabotage our home organization efforts.

Just a few of the damaged things I was holding onto: 

  • Dress pants with a broken zipper (I love to sew but I’ve never gotten the hang of zippers)
  • Coffee maker that mysteriously stopped working after I cleaned it (thought I’d fix it and keep it to be a back up…like I could fix a coffee maker!)
  • Lamp that needed a new cord
  • Handbag that one of the twins drew on with a permanent marker (tried everything to remove the marker and thought that someday I would cover the ‘drawing’ with an applique or something)
  • Several kid’s books that had finally started to lose their pages (was going to tape it all back together)
  • 2 pairs of kid’s pants that needed patched (the kids had outgrown the pants by the time I stumbled upon the holey pants)


Make a fix it box for household items that need repair

Consumer Reports says we should not spend more than 50% of the cost of a new product when repairing the old one.

So the dress pants with a busted zipper…

Let’s say it would cost $50 to buy a new pair of pants.  If we can replace the broken zipper for less than twenty five bucks, it’s worth it to make the repair.

A new zipper and thread is less than $10 and it would take probably 4 hours for me to learn to replace the zipper and actually make the repair.  (If not longer with the distractions from the twins)

And there’s a very real risk that this zipper replacement won’t go as planned and I end up without repaired pants AND out the cost of:

  • zipper ($6)
  • thread ($4)
  • 4 hours of my time ($100)

So I’ve cluttered space in my home by saving a pair of pants that I’m never really going to fix.

Organizing mistakes to avoid: 5 organizing Hacks for Decluttering Your Home

How do we solve this clutter problem?

By making decisions immediately.

Start to think about what it would really take to fix the broken item–and don’t forget to factor in your time involved.

Time is valuable!!


Make a designated place for items you will repair—Create a ‘fix it’ basket so the family knows where to put broken things.

CLICK TO READ:  How to Survive on One Income with These Money Saving Tips

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Home Organizing Mistake #2—I’m saving it for a special occasion!

I’ll be first to admit:


I’ve definitely gotten much better, but in the past I had cabinets and drawers stuffed full of items that were waiting for a special occasion.

  • plates, stemware, silverware (these take up A LOT of space to only come out at Thanksgiving)
  • candles (to use when having guests…except I would forget that I have them!)
  • clothes (I’ve had clothes go out of style while waiting on that special day!)
  • jewelry
  • handbags

Use it or lose it!

Let’s get out our fancy stuff and make each day a special occasion!

Stop waiting for the perfect moment to find it’s way to you…

Create the moment!

Not only will you find joy in using your special items, you will free up lots of storage space and your home will look less cluttered.


Home Organizing Mistake #3—Not keeping things close to where you actually use them

Much of the clutter in our home emerges from one simple problem:

…when it’s too inconvenient to return things to their home.

Store items in logical places—close to where you actually use them.  

Don’t store the extra toilet paper under the bed or the extra shampoo in the kitchen.  Store your household items as close as possible to the place you’ll be using them.

5 Organizing Mistakes to Avoid for a Clutter-Free Home


How can I better organize my home?

Keep like items together.

Store the hammer and nails in the same place so you don’t waste time searching for the hammer then looking everywhere for the nails.

Your home will stay more organized and clutter free when you can quickly retrieve the things you need.

Home Organizing Mistake #4—Not putting things away

This is one of the most simple tips for clearing the clutter and getting your home organized, but it’s one of the most challenging for most of us.

It always starts out so innocently for me.

Maybe I need to hang a picture.

It’ll only take a minute…I know exactly where I want to hang it. All I’ll need is a hammer and a nail…


Before I know it I have brought out a hammer, a container of picture hanging hardware, a stud finder, ladder, level, and painter’s tape.

why your home still looks cluttered

Fifteen minutes later the picture is successfully on the wall, but it looks like a remodel is about to take place with all of the tools everywhere! 

I take a look at my completed task and realize…

Something is missing…

I know!

A wreath on each side of the picture would look adorable!

Oh wait…

I’ve got to get dinner started.

I’ll just leave all of my tools out and hang the wreaths after dinner….

………Six days later.

I finally drag everything back to the tool closet.

But guess what? 

I didn’t even hang the wreaths!

Every single day for almost a week I felt stress due to that clutter!

All because I didn’t want to take THREE minutes to put everything away.

It would have only taken 3 minutes to get everything back out when I was ready to actually use it. 

So 6 minutes could have prevented 6 days of clutter-stress. 

RELATED:  Time Management Tips for Busy Moms

How do you get rid of clutter for good? 

Put things up immediately after you use them.


Home Organizing Mistake #5—Don’t be a Prove it-Pack Rat

organizing mistakes making your house look cluttered

Are you guilty of being a ‘prove it-pack rat’?

Do you hold onto things to prove you did it?

Just can’t let go of the size 2 jeans?…to prove you were fit and trim before all the babies.

Don’t hold onto possessions hoping to someday prove something.

I had boxes of notebooks with handwritten notes from the countless hours I spent researching…desperate for an answer for Beckem’s medical problems. 

Beckem is one of my twin boys that was born with an extremely rare genetic condition called KAT6A syndrome.

Before he was diagnosed, I spent every spare moment digging for answers and treatments for his bizarre symptoms and struggles.

I had such a tough time letting go of those boxes.

I knew I no longer needed all of that information but it was evidence of the time I had devoted. 

But, when I finally went through the boxes and only kept the information that might actually be useful to me or someone else, I felt like a weight had been lifted.

It also created a lot of extra storage space!

ideas for an organized house

5 Organizing Mistakes Making Your House Look Cluttered

Final thoughts on home organizing tips to keep your home clutter free:

You’ve worked hard to get rid of the clutter and organize your home.  So make sure these organizing mistakes don’t sabotage your efforts.

kitchen island with white leather chairs pink tulips on counter text reads: 5 secrets of people with clutter free homes

Take a peek at some other home organization and cleaning articles I think you’ll love❤


What would you add?  What else is making your home look cluttered? 


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44 thoughts on “5 Organizing Mistakes Making Your House Look Cluttered”

      1. Thanks for the eye opener! I really didn’t realize most of the things you mentioned I have been doing all along lol. Now I have to get rid of the things that’s holding me back.
        Time for cleaning!
        Thanks again, Jeanie

  1. First real article that gets why so many of us really hold onto things. Great ideas. I will implement the broken basket idea.

    1. Angela Evangelist

      Thank you, Sandy. I’ve lived it…I get it. Happy decluttering, sweet friend!

  2. Deborah Holt

    Great tips! Thanks! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one freaking out!😉

  3. First article I could relate to COMPLETELY… unfortunately😑. Found myself laughing out loud at your wit and humor. Thank you. I will be pinning and following, for sure.

    1. Angela Evangelist

      Thanks so much, Candace! My middle name is Candace so we have more in common than just our clutter 😉 Thank you so much for reading and your sweet words!

      1. I try to declutter and I’m mostly successful at it. My problem is my husband is a real pack rat and leaves clutter all over the house. How do I handle this. He gets angry if I move anything.

        1. Angela Evangelist

          That’s definitely a struggle, Caroline. Maybe ask if you could have certain areas of the house that are “yours” that stay clutter free. Then maybe he gets an area that’s all his to leave as cluttered as he want–and you promise not to say a word as long as he leaves no clutter in your areas. 🙂

  4. Thanks so much! You nailed it all, that’s exactly what’s going on over here! Looking forward to reading more and implementing your great ideas!

    1. My problem – putting things back where they belong. It seems my husband and I are on different pages regarding “where things belong.” I never can find that hammer, or those nails, wood glue, etc. we need a post on how couples can get on the same page!

  5. Nice post! You’re spot on with what the culprits of clutter in my own home. Additional info I would like to see is advice on what to do with the things you’ve decluttered. Not everyone knows that things can be recycled and even items in need of repair can be donated to places that will be able to either do those repairs or salvage parts and reuse. Perhaps a topic for a future post! 🙂

    1. Angela Evangelist

      Thank you so much, Natalie! I will definitely start working on a post on what to do with all the stuff you have decluttered. Thank you for the great suggestion!

  6. I was stunned to read my own words here: “I had boxes of notebooks with handwritten notes from the countless [*years*] I spent researching…desperate for an answer for [my] medical problems.”

    One reason I kept them was that I had problems with my memory and I needed to refresh the material so I could forge ahead with my efforts to conquer my debilitating symptoms. After I figured out the worst conditions and got help (after decades), I was afraid I would forget what some of the solutions were and hung onto my notes for future review.

    Yes, I was stunned that someone else had done the very same thing I had done, in the pursuit of wholeness. Thank you, Angela, for being so candid that I could see myself and all those lost years lovingly preserved like living flowers pressed between the pages of all my writing. The flowers dried up and died, but I still needed the memory of them, like the flower from a girl’s first prom night.

    As I became more healthy I began to let go of the feeling that I needed to figure things out. After so many, many years of being in that holding pattern, it had become ingrained in me. The crowning touch of health regained or health attained is to be free of the stress that preceded it.

    I have been holding onto the thing that held me back. Let me say that again: I have been holding onto the thing that held me back.

    If I had been lame or blind for my whole life and was suddenly healed, would I keep replaying old recordings in my head of what it was like to be lame or blind? Or would I take that albatross around my neck and throw it down, and hit the ground running, happy to be free of it?

    As old dried-up flowers become powdery dust, the papers with my notes are also becoming faded, yellowed, and brittle. That means they are aging, and the time has come for me to let go and let them die. They saved my life in a different time, and now I’m living in the future they gave me.

    As I shred my notes, the curls of paper fall like white petals. “Goodbye, flowers of my heart. The past struggle is dead, and I’m putting you on its grave where you belong.”

    1. Angela Evangelist

      Gloria—you have a gift with words. You articulate your emotions beautifully.

      “The crowning touch of health regained or health attained is to be free of the stress that preceded it.”

      What a powerful statement you make!

      Thank you so much, sweet friend! Many blessings to you on your renewed journey!

  7. Lauretta Robichaud-Carbonneau

    Hello, I was reading your 5 organizing Mistakes… as I was going foward, I stopped after each item and got rid of at least 2 items per mistake. Wow I never realised how many mismatched sheets, towels, face cloths, how many table cloths, how many reusable containers and pencils, erasers and pens. OMG, I haven’t even started in the canned food shelves and more. What an awakening this is.
    Thank you so much, I will be spending alot of time in my (3) closets. My poor husband will be in shock.

    1. Angela Evangelist

      Hi Lauretta! I’m so excited that you are clearing so much clutter! Feels great doesn’t it?! Keep up the great work and keep in touch with your progress!

  8. My worst hoarding habit is saving plastic containers with the idea that I’ll use them someday as organizing tools. Talk about garbled logic: I want to be neatly organized and that’s why an entire shelf in the laundry room is jam packed with miscellaneous plastic. I’m thinning the herd this weekend and if I need organizational containers, that’s why Dollar Tree was invented.

  9. Great article. You spoke about things no one else has like my prove it piles. I feel more capable now. Thank you.

    Liss D

  10. That whole leaving things where you use them is so my thing 😂 I can’t tell you how many times I can’t find a simple pair of scissors. Organizing when you are that kind of person is a challenge. But I do like a challenge!

  11. Johanne Palange

    I’d like to share one of my favorite tips. When you drag out all the tools and materials needed to hang the picture flanked by wreaths, you might want to use a ‘containment field’, otherwise known as a tray. Put all your stuff on it and if you have to stop working on your project, it’s just so easy to remove the tray rather than multiple small items one by one. You can easily put the tray out of sight and out of reach for small hands, and when you get back to your project later, you can just take up where you had to leave off.

  12. Hi! Loved your ideas to keep my house looking uncluttered. One idea I have, is that I keep often-used items that help hang pictures, batteries, small tools, assorted screws/nails, super glue, duct tape, etc., in a plastic tub on a shelf in my kitchen pantry. I also keep folders of receipts and paperwork. One for my home, one
    folder for each of our vehicles, on that same shelf. They are so handy & don’t take up a lot of room. Hope this helps you! 👍😃

  13. Thank you for writing out some excellent tips to help others organize. I’m naturally organized but love with 3 people who won’t follow a system. After so many years and having chronic health issues I threw up my hands and started keeping my room as well as the kitchen and bath clean and as organized as possible (the hall closet too). I injured my knee pretty badly and all of that went by the wayside. I’m finally able to do some minimal bending and stretching to reach things and I have my work cut out for me getting it all back into shape.

    I did want to share some feedback on a couple of your points.

    ▪️The broken Zipper issue. Many dry cleaners have a tailor who can hem pants and do minor repairs. A Zipper replacement at my tailor shop is $17. So depending on where you love, keep that in mind. I’m in Southern California.

    ▪️The stress over things left out.
    I actually have a small toolbox for picture hanging. I have about a 9 inch long level, my own stud finder, drill bits and a pencil and tape. And a smaller picture hanging hammer.

    We keep the cordless drill in a kitchen drawer at all times because it easily converts to an electric screwdriver. There’s a kitchen step stood beside the refrigerator.

    So the toolbox is inside my closet and that would have been quick to put away. As would the drill and step stool if I’d needed to use them.

    I have these things separate from my husband’s tools because he doesn’t return things to their proper place. Not even the tool drawer in the kitchen I created to make it easier to drab everyday tools.

    So anything would work from a toolbox to a shoebox but you could have a toolkit that’s “your” tools that you use and then it would maybe not be necessary to put them in the garage.

    1. Angela Evangelist

      These are fantastic suggestions! Thank you so much for taking time to leave such great ideas!

    2. My mother-in-law told me to have my own basic tools: screwdrivers, hammer and pliers. She kept them in a kitchen drawer. She said the boys never knew where their tools were because they didn’t put them back. The problem that I have is that they use my tools (they can’t find theirs) and then don’t put them back! I love these suggestions specially putting things back in their place. My mom (super organized) would say, it takes just as long to put thing in the wrong place as the right place, i.e. the dishwasher versus the sink. She was right!

  14. Thank you so much! It’s nice to read this from someone who understands. No harsh words. I’ve read several organization post that make the reader feel like a total slob. I’m disabled and I’m overwhelmed with my nightmare of stuff. I did quarter auctions for several years and when I got bad I had to stop. So I had so much and it’s not gone anywhere but where it was .
    Sorry I am writing so much. I just appreciate what you and several others have commented here.
    One more thing and I am done. You said you have twins and they took a marker and drew on your handbag. 😂. I have a friend who has two sets of twins. During the time when she was pregnant with the 2nd set , she had went in to the bathroom and was going to get ready for work. The boys were watching a movie. When she walked back to check on them, they had gotten into her bag she had for work and found her black permanent markers. They started on the back of her sofa and went down the back and the seat onto the floor with them. There was a circle with matchbox cars sitting in the circle. They were all excited. Before she got a word out they were smiling big saying ” Mommy look we made a racetrack and the winners circle for our cars. 😂. I laughed so hard. She and her husband have several stories. Both sets are grown an graduated highschool. Some are in college, one graduated college, all four are doing great and working good jobs. So enjoy the twins. I think permanent black markers an twins have a connection. God Bless

    1. Angela Evangelist

      Oh my goodness that is hilarious!!! Thank you for taking time to share such a funny and relatable story! And definitely no judgement here…we are all on our journey and will certainly get there. Blessings to you!

  15. Carolyn Jouret

    Thanx for the particularly useful tips:
    If it’s broke, fix it; don’t save it just to prove you did it; and when you finish using it, put it away. Here’s another for crafters…if you think you can incorporate it into one of your projects…fuhgetaboutit. Unless you use it right away, it ain’t happening. If you do it and it looks fabulous, don’t stockpile said article, you’ll probably get bored before you make 1 or 2 more of them.🥴

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