20 Unexpected Things Making Your Home Look Cluttered


Does your house feel cluttered and you don’t know why? Let’s bring peace back into your home with a simple process of eliminating these top 20 things making your home look cluttered!

Does your house feel cluttered and you don't know why? Let's bring peace back into your home with a simple process of eliminating these top 20 things making your home look cluttered!

Often times, clutter is very easy to spot. Other times, it’s hiding in places you don’t realize. We get so used to seeing items in our homes in a certain way, it becomes challenging to see the space with fresh eyes.

So if you have started feeling unsettled or stressed in your home lately, check out the list of 20 things that make your home look cluttered.

Don’t Miss This: Have you taken my 28-Day Declutter Challenge? Step-by-step to help you tackle every room in your home with a printable calendar as well! Find more information on the challenge HERE.

20 Things Making Your Home Look Cluttered

So the first step, is asking yourself a very important question. How do you feel in your home right now? Are you relaxed or stressed?

There have been various studies related to a cluttered home and mental well-being.

Many of them concluding that a more disorganized homes correlates with higher levels of stress. And this effect was more prevalent in woman than in men. Not shocking right?

Does Your House Still Feel Cluttered But You Don’t Know Why?

So if you are not happy with the way your house looks and feels right now, read on to learn about some surprising things you may need to take a double look at in your home.

1 | Items Without A Home

Everything in your home needs a home. So often, our homes can start to feel cluttered just because things are not put back or don’t have a home.

A quick clean up of putting items back where they belong (shoes in closet, books on bookshelf, remote controls placed in tray) can instantly help your home feel more calm.

2 | Items On Kitchen Counter

Kitchen counters seem to be clutter magnets! Am I right? Everyone drops everything on them as soon as they walk in the door.

And then it just stays there and eventually piles on until you look around and you’re like, ‘What the heck happened here?!’ That’s just the items that don’t belong.

Even kitchen items themselves can start to clutter this area. Things like, utensils, paper towels, knife blocks, canisters, etc. can start to take over.

Does your house feel cluttered and you don't know why? Let's bring peace back into your home with a simple process of eliminating these top 20 things making your home look cluttered!

Try to remove as many items as you can and relocate into drawers or cabinets. It’s not necessary to remove everything off the counter. But the more the better!

It might just surprise you how much more open and spacious the kitchen feels with a few less items that were taking up counter space before.

3 | Cords

Everything has a cord. And they are so distracting to the eye. And I know personally, they cause me major stress!

So I go out of my way to hide and control the cord clutter as much as possible. There are many different fantastic tools to help with cords -such as a cord appliance organizers, and cable ties.

4 | Too Many Pictures

Walls can often be an overlooked place when it come to thinking of clutter. But when you have too many pictures hanging on the wall, it feels overwhelming for many people.

If your eyes aren’t able to rest because they’re so busy and overwhelmed with the excessive amount of wall decor, it doesn’t make for a peaceful home.

I suggest removing some of the artwork or swapping for one larger piece. Another option could be a group of several pictures together in a gallery wall arrangement for a more cohesively feel.

5 | Papers and Magnets On Fridge

If you’re a mom like me, I’m betting your refrigerator doors are also your kids’ artwork gallery, school calendar, bulletin board, and shopping list holder. In short, it’s the epicenter of clutter.

But here’s the deal: You can clean the dining room table, load all the dirty dishes into the dishwasher, and organize all the cabinets, but if you’ve got a fridge covered with papers and magnets, your kitchen is a mess.

And it may be a mess you don’t even see or recognize, but it’s the first thing people notice when they walk into your home. Try to eliminate most papers and magnets except for a select few.

While you are at it, also check the top of the fridge. Bulky items stored on top are just a few more things making your home look cluttered.

6 | Things On Nightstand

The ultimate goal for the bedroom is to create a very relaxing and peaceful space.

But if you have lots of small objects on top of your nightstand or dresser, it will make your space look so cluttered.

Clear items from the top of the dresser and nightstand. You could even go a step further and organize the nightstand drawers as well.

bedside nightstand next to king bed with black wall sconce

Be very selective and purposeful with what you put back on the top of your nightstand. All I keep on mine is a couple of family photos, my vase tissue holder and phone charger. Remember, often less is more!

7 | Piles Of Junk Mail

If random paper piles and mail keeps getting dumped onto the flat surfaces in your home, it’s time to clear them off and create a new system for the paper clutter.

My general rule is papers should only be touched once. So let’s tackle that mail and piles of paper. First sort and discard any junk mail or old bills and then file the rest.

Place important mail such as bills, cards and letters in an appropriate location to immediately locate when needed.

8 | Labels On Packaging

This may be very overlooked in your home. Soaps and lotions left out next to sinks with elaborate labels can clutter up the space. Think about it; the words, colors, and pictures are purposefully created to draw your eyes to them.

We are constantly bombarded by advertisements and surrounded by words all day long. By using simple, minimalist containers with clean labels your purposefully creating a calmer feel in your home.

Now, I’m not saying you need to go crazy and repackage every item you bring into your home. Just perhaps the bottles you display on your kitchen or bathroom counters.

9 | Unbalanced Room

A calm, relaxing home is all about balance. If you’re standing in one of the rooms in your home and something just feels off, try experimenting with how you’re balancing the tones.

The balance or imbalance of warm or cool tones in your space can completely change how it feels.

Warm tones (reds, oranges, browns, yellows, golds, beige, and whites with creamy undertones) are stimulating. They can make your space feel cozy and inviting. But too many of them in one area can create a closed-in, cluttered feeling.

Cool tones (blues, greens, purples, grays, silvers, and whites with grey undertones) are calming. And they have a modern, clean effect. However, too many cool tones in one space can make a design feel cold and unwelcome. 

While your space may lean towards one tone more than the other, the best way to bring balance is adding layers of contrast and blending warm and cool tones together. By doing this, you will make the room and your home feel curated, calm and uncluttered. 

10 | No-Drop Off Zone

Do you have a place to put items when you first walk in the door? A place for keys, shoes, coats, backpacks and such.

I created a very simple organized entryway on the wall behind our garage door a few years ago. It’s a very small space, but still helpful in preventing clutter.

home entryway with wood hooks and shelf

The boys are great about using to for their sunglasses and backpacks which really helps keep our home more organized and clutter free. Plus, no frantic searching for items before school!

11 | Overfilled Bookcases

A big clutter mistake is overfilling your bookshelves. You definitely want to avoid stacking additional books in that little blank space above the row of books.

Give your books space to breathe! When there’s no place for the eyes to rest, your room feels crowded and cluttered. Remind yourself, you don’t have to fill every single open space!

12 | Laundry

Wanna know the secret of how to make your living room or bedroom look instantly bigger without spending a dime? Remove the laundry!

Often clean (or dirty) laundry ends up in various rooms in the house. I see you chair!

If you have stacked piles of clean laundry sitting out in your home (or even in the laundry room), now is the time to gather it up in laundry baskets and put it all away.

13 | Excessive Decor Items

White space is crucial if you want to make a huge difference in how your home feels and is composed.

I love to decorate my home, but I’m careful to never have an explosion of accessories.

If you don’t give your eyes a place to rest in your home, your polished decorating skills will totally go unnoticed.

14 | Shoes

Our home is a shoe-free home (for family members, guests can do as they feel comfortable). So shoes are taken off immediately after coming into the house.

If the shoes are not put away or placed in the appropriate area, they will be making your home look cluttered.

So create a shoe storage solution that works for your home and family. For some, it may be bins and for others, a couple of shelves. We store our most used shoes under an upholstered bench next to our garage door.

Make sure everyone knows where their shoes need to go and keep extra shoes put away in the closets. No one wants to walk into a home and immediately trip over shoe clutter!

15 | Living Room Coffee Table

Clearing off the coffee table is the making-the-bed of the living room! You want to avoid the sneaky habit of placing a clutter catch-all on the table.

Decorative baskets and trays can accidently turn into a table storage space.

Does your house feel cluttered and you don't know why? Let's bring peace back into your home with a simple process of eliminating these top 20 things making your home look cluttered!

Instead invest in a table with storage drawers or shelves so you can keep your tabletop clean and clutter-free.

Take a few minutes each day to clean up your coffee table, and you’ll enjoy a clearer mind and set the tone for a cleaner, more relaxed family room.

16 | Not Enough Light

We can often overlook the importance of good lighting in our home.  Dark corners and shadows can surprisingly make a room feel gloomy and cluttered.

Adding in lighting at different levels like table and floor lamps can illuminate dim corners and create the feeling of a larger room, too! 

And this feeling of more space can instantly squash out the clutter anxiety you may have been experiencing before.

17 | Items Waiting For Donation

You have donations (GREAT!) but they are still in your home cluttering your space (OOPS). Often donations end up lingering in the garage, basement, spare rooms or storage areas.

Extra boxes of unwanted items sitting around your home only contributes to the feeling of living in clutter. Make an effort to get those donated items out of the home and in the hands of those who can use the donations.

18 | Toys

Toys can take over a home causing a big visual clutter. If you have children they are a very important part of childhood. They will be out and about – and that’s ok. But having ways to manage the toy clutter is valuable in keeping a home relaxing and clutter-free.

Strategic cabinets and baskets used throughout the home is a great way to keep toys within reach when needed, but out of sight when not in use.

I encourage teaching young children to pick up after themselves when finished playing. It’s a huge reward for both you and the child!

19 | Rugs

Buying a rug that is too small for the space is a common mistake. And chances are, you need a bigger-sized rug than you think you do to really fill the space well!

While it may seem counter-intuitive, rugs that are too small can easily get lost in the room, making it feel smaller and more cluttered.

A general rule of thumb is to make sure the rug touches the front legs of all furniture in the room, with at least 6″ on each side of the furniture.

Don’t Miss This: Need a rug size and placement guide? I got one! Click here to get help in picking the right rug for your room!

20 | Over-Furnished Rooms

This one might sound strange, but there’s just something about large, substantial pieces in a space that bring it to life and make it feel calmer and more spacious. 

Don’t fill every inch of the rooms in your home with too much furniture. Try to remove pieces that you aren’t using or that you feel are crowding the space.

Try replacing your coffee table styling to incorporate two significant sized pieces rather than five little things. This simple trick can elevate nearly any room. 

Substantial pieces give a space a focal point, giving the eye a place to rest, which is especially important if you want to make a room feel more peaceful. 

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