Have you done a major declutter but feel like your house still looks like you’ve got a long way to go? I hear ya! The funny thing that happens when you declutter, is that other problem areas usually come to light. Things you probably didn’t notice before. Here are 10 incredibly common (but often overlooked) places where unsightly clutter tends to linger. And the good news is, there are easy solutions for all 10 – so you can finally get that clean and streamlined look you’re after.
10 Things You Need To Declutter To Get That Minimalist Look
1.Too many knick-knacks
Too many items on display – even if they are attractive items that bring you joy – will inevitably leave your house looking and feeling cluttered.
Solution: Find places to display your favourites, then get rid of or box up the excess pieces. If you have a lot of knick-knacks that you just can’t part with, you can rotate your displays – perhaps changing them up once per month, or with the start of each new season.
2. Visible Cords
Yes, cords are necessary, but they do take up visual space and they just don’t look good.
Solution: Even cords can be organized and neatly tucked away. Cord organizers and cord covers can minimize the unsightly and distracting sight of cords running through your home. Even those bulky power strips and surge protectors can be neatly boxed up. This simple fix can make a big visual impact.
3. Refrigerator clutter
So many of us use the face of the refrigerator to post notes and shopping lists, photographs, our grandkids’ artwork, and even coupons from the local pizza place.
Solution: Clear it off! Just because you can stick things to your fridge doesn’t mean you need to turn it into a gallery. You can hang notepads and calendars inside a cupboard for easy, out-of-sight use. Grandchildren’s artwork can be framed for display somewhere else in the house. And those free magnets you get from dentists offices and Real Estate agents? Toss them! Coupons and take-out menus can be stored in a drawer or organized with the mail. You are subjected to constant advertising every time you leave the house. You shouldn’t have to see ads every time you walk into your kitchen!
4. Too much furniture, not enough floor space
Too many pieces of furniture, or pieces that are too big for the space, can make your home feel cluttered and you might not be able to put your finger on why.
Solution: The biggest decluttering impact you can make is often in removing furniture! Just because a living room set comes with a couch, love seat, chair, coffee table, and two end tables, doesn’t mean you should have it all. Follow the same principle with bedroom or dining room sets. Decide which pieces are necessary, then sell, donate, or give away the rest.
When in doubt, always remember that less is more. Remove items that stand out to you, and see if the room looks and feels better without them. You can try adding items back, one at a time, but if something just doesn’t work, get rid of it!
5. Too much wall art
Galleries are nice as a focal point, but when you have several of them – or your walls are a never-ending gallery – you can’t call it a focal point anymore, can you?
Solution: Let your walls breathe! You do not need to fill them up. Take some art down and see how you feel. If you don’t want to part with most of it, you can switch pictures and artworks out every month or season, just like the knick-knacks we talked about in Example #1.
6. Messy entrance
If you have shoes and coats openly hanging by the door and bags at-the-ready on the floor, your home will feel cluttered from the first moment you enter it.
Solution: Make a proper place for everything – out of sight whenever possible. Organize and utilize your coat closet or a hall closet – or, better yet, make everyone in the household put their stuff away in their own rooms (good luck with that part!).
7. Too many appliances on kitchen counters
If you use your coffeemaker daily, it deserves a home on the counter. But that giant Kitchen-Aid mixer you only use at Christmas? No!
Solution: It’s acceptable to keep things you use every day out on the counters (that’s what they are for!) but find a sensible out-of-sight place to store anything used less often.
8. Cluttered flat surfaces
Clutter grows clutter. It’s a scientific fact. Whether it’s a counter top, a table, or even a chair, all it takes are one or two items resting there to invite more clutter to join it.
Solution: Assess your problem areas and the type of clutter they attract. Then look for ways to give those items a proper home. Is it mail or paperwork? Get a sorting station. Keys? Hang a key holder at the front door (or inside the coat closet). Infrequently used kitchenware? Maybe your cupboards are too packed and need to be thinned out to free up storage space for those random appliances.
9. Overstuffed open shelving
Display shelves should be open and airy, to showcase the things you love. If they are stuffed to the brim with books, pictures, knick-knacks, or electronics, they will look messy and over-crowded.
Solution: Thin out the items on your shelves. Get rid of anything that you don’t truly love. If you have excess that you can’t part with, again, as in Example #1, periodically rotate which items are on display.
10. No colour scheme
If nothing in your house matches (or worse, most of it outright clashes), your space will naturally feel unbalanced and cluttered. I’m certainly not saying your whole house needs to be white or beige. But whatever colours and patterns you do use should be complementary. Each room should not look like it belongs in a different house!
Solution: Most hardware stores have a digitized colour selector to help you choose complementary colours. It is so cool to use! If you have already chosen one colour, it will give you multiple options from bold to pastel. I love using these things because honestly, in store the colours never look right to me.
If you have taken the time to do a thorough decluttering, take it one step further and get rid of these 10 common clutter traps that distract from the beauty of your home. The extra visual space will help feature the things that are important to you and bring you joy. And that is what home is all about. Joy.