Coco Chanel famously said “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” The same applies to your home – simplicity is key.
Here are 20 things that make your home look cluttered. It’s not all or nothing. Just tackle one or two, and you are on your way to a more relaxing, stylish abode.
Things that make your home look cluttered – living room
1. Too much furniture
You don’t need to put a cabinet on every wall. And guess what – the more storage we have, the more junk we keep.
2. Washing to deal with
If your couch has piles of unmatched socks and clothes, you may need a better system. Have a tub for each family member and store it in their rooms. If you have little kids you could even establish a dressing room for often-worn clothes. Because neatly putting away items that will be worn in the next day or so, might not be the best use of your time.
3. Magazines and blankets on the couch
A cute throw rug slung over the sofa can be nice, but mismatching woollies everywhere adds visual noise. Store them inside an ottoman or nice chest nearby.
Things that make your home look cluttered – kitchen and bathroom
4. Mail on the bench
Deal with it, or depending on your workflow, assign a drawer.
5. Products in the bathroom
Declutter your cupboards and pop the bottles out of sight. You could consider decanting your frequent-use products into plain bottles. Conflicting packaging can mean visual clutter. Go minimalist.
6. Benchtop caddies in the kitchen
It’s nice to have your teabags near the kettle, but probably a bit unnecessary to have that Liptons box on display.
7. Appliances in the kitchen
If you are only making popcorn once a month, the machine can live out of sight. Assign the bottom of your pantry, or a big under-bench cupboard to your occasional appliances.
8. Rubbish and recycling
Can you make room in your cupboard or pantry? If not, there are more attractive options than overflowing buckets. If you have packaging to trash, take it straight out to the bins rather than pile it next to the fridge.
Things that make your home look cluttered – vertical spaces
9. Hanging pictures and prints
Often less is more.
10. Fridge door junk
My fridge is not magnetic and I am forever grateful. It can get out of hand.
11. Too many photos
Photo frames look nice when they are new, but they date quickly. You know the pics of your middle-aged kids at their high school formal complete with frizzy shag perm? Might be best in an album.
Things that make your home look cluttered – general
12. Items without a home
Things like handbags, coats, keys, face masks. If you use them daily, give them prime real estate near the door. Consider a Go Zone. If not near the door, find them a spot near their point of performance. Everything in your home needs a home. It is also something to keep in mind when making purchases – where will this live?
13. Unfinished projects
Some people like to leave their DIY tasks and incomplete paperwork strewn around as reminders. But soon enough, it’s just visual white noise. Go digital and put reminders on your phone instead. Or even better, deal with these projects right away if you can.
Very aptly termed by Dana White. If something takes a minute to put away, just do it.
I am not a fan of glass-doored cabinets to display your varied array of souvenirs. It might be time to prioritise, and think about the Rule of Three.
16. Cords and cables
Cord tangles are an eyesore. Get some velcro cable organisers to wind those danglers up, or even a cable management box to hide the mess.
17. Donations ready for the charity shop
Get them in your car at least, one step closer to their destination.
18. Piles of shoes
If you don’t already have a neat system in the entryway, try a shoe rack for every-day shoes and a chest nearby for occasionals. Better still, store all except your daily kicks in your wardrobe.
Kids become easily overwhelmed when everything is on display. Think about rotating toys and popping some tubs of playthings out of reach.
20. Things on bench tops that belong in cupboards
Your printer doesn’t need to be on your work desk if you rarely use it. Your stirring spoons can live in a drawer.
Many of the solutions involve decluttering cupboards, which can take a bit of work. But trust me, it’s very satisfying.