The Clutter Culprits You Didn’t Know Existed's featured image

Ever walk into a room and feel that overwhelming sense of clutter, even though you  just cleaned? You’re not alone. Sometimes, the biggest culprits behind a messy space aren’t the usual suspects (piles of laundry, overflowing toy bins). Instead, it’s the subtle organizational oversights that create a sense of chaos.

By identifying these popular mistakes and implementing a few simple solutions inspired by the pros at, you can take your space from “unintentionally cluttered” to “effortlessly serene.”

Problem 1: Surface Overwhelm

Imagine a kitchen countertop. A lone coffee maker looks perfectly at home. But add a toaster, a fruit bowl overflowing with bananas and a stack of mail – suddenly, the once clean surface feels cramped and messy. This “surface overwhelm” applies to all flat areas in your home, from coffee tables to bathroom vanities.

The Fix:  Become a ruthless editor. Keep only the essentials on each surface.  For example, on your entryway table, display a stylish bowl for keys and loose change, but banish the mail pile and stray shoes.

Problem 2: The Fridge as a Bulletin Board

We all like to celebrate our children’s successes and artwork. But when it joins forces with last week’s grocery list, expired coupons and takeout menus, your fridge quickly becomes an eyesore.

The Fix: Clear the clutter! Dedicate a specific area (a designated magnetic strip or a small bulletin board) for important reminders and artwork.

Problem 3: The “Just-in-Case” Trap

We’ve all fallen victim to the “just-in-case” trap. That chipped mug you might use for paint storage “someday,” or the overflowing basket of mismatched hangers – these items take up valuable space and contribute to visual clutter.

The Fix: Be honest with yourself, will you truly use that chipped mug for anything other than a paintbrush holder? If not, donate it! Embrace minimalism. Only keep the items you use regularly.

Problem 4: Overstuffed Shelves

Bookshelves crammed to the brim with books, knick-knacks, and photo frames may seem cozy, but visually, they can be overwhelming and even stressful.

The Fix:  Edit your shelf contents. Group similar items together, and leave some negative space for visual breathing room. Consider displaying decorative accents like small sculptures or framed artwork for a more curated look.

Problem 5: Furniture Tetris

Pushing all your furniture against the walls might seem like the most space-efficient layout, but it can actually make a room feel cramped and uninviting.

The Fix: Experiment with furniture placement. Slightly pull your sofa away from the wall to create a conversation area. In smaller rooms, consider using furniture with multiple functions, like an ottoman that doubles as storage.


Photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash