Overloaded coat racks
Your hall gives the first impression into your home, don’t fill it with clutter and muddy coats and boots. An overloaded coat rack will look instantly messy and fill up the space instead of feeling welcoming. Buy a smaller coat rack and keep the bulkier items in your wardrobes upstairs.
They seemed cool and useful at the time, but sofa beds are really unnecessary. A sofa bed is never as comfy to sit on as a normal sofa, and they can be a pain to put away and easily break. Unless you have someone constantly sofa surfing at your house, opt for your regular sofa.
A collection of plastic bags
“But I’ll reuse them!”… no you won’t. A collection of plastic bags can be a huge eyesore and completely take away the homeliness that you’re trying to create. Instead, opt for reusable totes that can neatly be stored away and are a lot better for the environment.
Too many storage boxes
It can be convenient to hide everything away in storage boxes but too many can make your home look cluttered and unorganised. You will end up not knowing what is where and they can take over any free space that could be used better. Store clothes in your wardrobe and if you need boxes make sure they’re not stored in main living areas.
No place for shoes
A big family can clutter up the hallway with their shoes in no time. Even arranged in lines against the wall, shoes can look untidy especially if they’re covered in mud. Be sure to have somewhere to store shoes, particularly with a cupboard door to hide any unsightly stains.
Light walls in the hall
Whilst light colours help open up smaller spaces, this is also where most activity and mess can be made. Therefore, to avoid those pesky foot marks and sticky hand prints from staying, be sure to choose a paint texture that is easily cleaned, such as gloss.
Wire hangers can cause damage to your clothes if hastily yanked in rush, and they are also flimsy and can snap easily. Instead, choose velvet or wooden hangers that won’t stretch or tear your clothes, and also look neater and more uniform in your wardrobe.
You may want to show off your range of spices or that expensive kitchen equipment, but open shelves can become cluttered very quickly and there’s no door hiding it. They need to be cleaned regularly to avoid dust build up, and organised neatly after pretty much every use.
Too many throw pillows
You want your house to look cosy, but too many pillows will eventually become redundant and end up being thrown on the floor every time someone wants to sit down. Stick to about one per sofa cushion in a neutral or matching colour before seeing if you should add more.
Tiny things that aren’t contained
Your home should obviously show your personality, but little knick-knacks here and there build up and can make a space look cluttered. If you have lots of cute bottles of soap or air fresheners in the bathroom, instead of lining them up, place them in a tray or wire box to contain them in one space.
Cords and wires
TV, Xbox, speaker, lamps, phone chargers, they can all end up tangled behind or next to the same tv stand. Wires can look untidy but can also be unsafe left out in a tangle, especially if young children live in the house. You can find wire covers in hard wear stores or online that will help this problem.
Excessive small pieces of decor
You bought that vase from Walmart because it was cheap and cute at the time, but now it’s collecting dust and taking up space. Don’t fill every empty surface in your home with decor because it can look messy and cluttered and be harder to clean.
Stacked here, there and everywhere. Books really only look good on a bookshelf or one on the coffee table. Stacking random books (you’ve probably not read) just fills space that could be used for more practical things and can change the aesthetic of the decor to something more like a public library.
Furniture that’s too big or small
It’s important to consider the scale of your room. If you have lower seated sofas, don’t buy a super tall coffee table that you’ll have to reach up to use. If you have a queen sized bed, don’t buy a small rug that will be completely covered by it.
Heavy window dressings
Natural light is best and can make the room brighter and relaxed. Don’t fill your windows with multiple layers of curtains, blinds, drapes, rope ties and shutters etc, just stick to one or two layered pieces that can be easily moved on a morning and evening.
This doesn’t mean you need to buy everything in pastel shades. Certain things look better and brighter in lighter colours, like walls and curtains. Dark paint, especially in smaller rooms can dramatically shrink the space. Decide on smaller things to darken with colour and allow larger furniture pieces to remain light.
Too many patterns
Conflicting patterns on every surface can cause visual clutter and a not so relaxing vibe. Don’t fill your one space with different patterns, but instead spread the patterns around the house in different rooms. This will reduce the busy-ness of the room and make it feel more cosy.
Busy kitchen counters
You spent a lot of money on that electric mixer, so will want to show it off. However, having every single appliance you’ve ever owned out on the sides can create clutter and make your kitchen look smaller and dirty. Choose the ones that are used daily to show and store the other ones away in cupboards.
Supplies sitting out for projects
You were just in the middle of hanging those picture frames before you had to run and do something. Leaving out nails, hammers and tools not only makes your home look messy but it’s also unsafe. If you’re not going to finish a project within the day, put the equipment away.
Mail on the counter
Countertops are clutter magnets, especially for unread mail. Leaving your mail on the counter will make the space feel untidy and it’s also more likely to get spilled on or damaged. If you know you get a lot of mail, have a designated folder or box for it in an office or hallway.
Loads of items on top of the fridge
If you have a standalone fridge, it will most likely end up getting stuff shoved on top of it. Heavy items could damage the fridge or smaller items annoyingly get stuck behind. Be sure to only keep what’s necessary there to clean up the image of the kitchen.
Laundry left sitting out
We all get busy and leave the laundry for a few hours (or days), but it can immediately make a space look messy and unkempt. Left near the kitchen it can also absorb cooking smells which means it could need to be washed again, costing you more in water bills.
Nightstands always end up covered in random items like water cups, hair ties, lipstick or whatever else is laying around. It can ruin the cosy clean vibe of a bedroom, so make sure that you’re on top of keeping those areas clear of junk and use the drawers usually provided with the nightstand.
If you need to throw your body at your drawers to shut them, they’re probably too full. Clothes and towels leaking out of drawers and dressers can look untidy and be overwhelming to deal with if left for too long. Be sure to properly fold your items before storing so everything can fit neatly inside.
Donations left un-donated
You’ve got this far, things are bagged and boxed and ‘almost’ out the house. A lot of donation bags just end up sitting in the hall or garage waiting for the next person to take them out. Stick to your plans and bag and donate items on the same day to avoid build up.
Recycling is great and more people should do it, however it can often just be left next to the trash can or on counter tops. Paper, cardboard and glass jars can quickly look super messy or even start to smell, so make sure they get taken to the proper recycling resources the same day.
Magazines and newspapers
Unsubscribe from that magazine subscription. A new issue every week topped with a daily newspaper quickly adds up and will clutter up any coffee table. Digital magazines are a great alternative and won’t mess up your home, and old newspapers can be used in arts and crafts or recycled easily.
Sometimes you want that eclectic feel but if not done tastefully, it can look like your home is a garage sale. Mugs and glasses can be mismatched but only if they still follow a particular style, don’t mix plastic and glass together, unless you have young kids.
Toys left out
If you have children, the toys will never be put away perfectly, but there’s things you can do to slightly make the mess better. Invest in neat looking storage boxes for the toys and encourage your kids to throw them in there when they’re done playing.
Too many small pictures
Of course you’re gonna want photos of you and your family and friends, but the size of the frames can make a huge difference. Lots of little small frames can draw the eye to one point on the wall and make the room or space seem smaller and more cluttered.
Kid’s paintings can be really cute, but collecting every one on the fridge can cause the kitchen to look messy and overcrowded. Have a small special or important collection of magnets and papers on the fridge and store away the others in folders or albums.
Lack of lighting
Having your overhead light and a single lamp isn’t gonna cut it to light up a large room. Not enough lighting can make a room feel more crowded and cluttered because the shadows will creep everywhere objects and furniture lay. Invest in some simple larger lamps for more cosy, ambient lighting.
Mixed up and old food containers
There never seems to be the right size you’re looking for with the right lid to match. Food containers can fill up your cupboards and spill out and be a pain to store. Invest in higher quality sets that stack together and are easy to store and clean, like glass or mason jars.
Dishes in the sink
Who actually enjoys washing up? Usually they’re not left there purposefully, but busy lives can lead to the build up of dishes. Dishes straight up make the kitchen look dirty and they can start to smell really quickly. Get a system of cleaning as you cook and get your family to all help together.
If you’re not a morning person this is the last thing you’ll want to do. Messy beds draw the eye straight to the problem of the room, regardless of how clean the rest of the space is, especially if there’s throw pillows and blankets all over the floor.
Multiple accent walls in one room
One focal point per room. If you’re filling every wall with pictures, posters and plants, it’s no longer the accent wall. Filling the room with decor can shrink the space and make it look cluttered and messy rather than trendy and put together. Spread your picture frames out into different rooms.
Left out papers and files
Papers need to be sorted and have a proper place, because they will either get lost or damaged when left out. They also clutter up surfaces and make the space less relaxing to be in due to the looming bills and work schedules laid around.
Dull door mat
A door mat covered in mud, mostly torn up and the ‘welcome’ no longer legible, doesn’t give cosy or relaxing vibes. Have both an in door and outdoor mat, one for cleaning shoes and one for decoration, so the entrance/hallway can remain clean and inviting.
A remote for the TV, lamp, cable box, AC etc, is too many remotes to have just on the sofa arms. Get a small storage box for under the tv stand or next to the sofa to collect and store the remotes, so they don’t go missing and they’re not just on show in the living room.
Tatty pet items
Your dog or cat may LOVE that old chewed cardboard box, but your living room doesn’t. We all love our pets and usually give them whatever they want, but this time provide a better suited pet bed that won’t damage as easily and isn’t such an eye sore inside the home.
Spreading items out
If you try to fill as much of the space as possible with random small items, it can make the room look unintentionally messy. Cluster decor items in groups of odd numbers like three or five to create a more put together aesthetic that still looks lived in.
Too much furniture
Not every room needs three side tables, six lamps and two foot stools. Work with the size of your space and don’t just try to copy styles you see online as, often, design magazines are made up of huge rooms, light filled rooms. Make sure each piece of furniture fulfils its purpose.
Even if you like the rainbow throughout your home, it can often look untidy and not very homely. Make sure to stick to a color scheme or palette that works well together, so you don’t create visual clutter or distraction. Choose one or two brighter colors for your accent touches.
A busy family can benefit from a noticeboard in the home but, after a while, it can begin to look unsightly, especially in a main living space. Stick to a template for dates, messages and chores etc, and try not to pin lots of different papers and pictures to the board.
Sometimes our plants seem to wither for no real reason. If there’s no saving your dying plants, be sure to get rid of them as soon as possible. Dying plants can make a room look dull and can also attract flies, which could then infiltrate other rooms in your home.
Collections of things
This isn’t saying get rid of things you enjoy and show off your personality. Instead of having your collections spread around the home, have them in one room or space. This will make the space tidier, and also help prevent any of the collection items going missing.
Cleaning supplies left out
Yes, you were just about to clean but, still, don’t leave them out. Different bottles of bleach and cleaner take away the comfy feel of the home, and with small children it’s also very unsafe. Have an easy ‘put away’ cupboard that’s accessible to get to quickly – away from smaller hands.
They can be super annoying to clean, especially if there’s dried spills. The stove is one of the center points of the kitchen so, even if everything else is sparkling clean, people will always notice a dirty stove. Be sure to clean straight away after cooking to prevent tougher stains later.
Old mops and brooms
Mops that have been sitting in water for too long can really start to smell. Have a space to store mops and brooms properly, and always drain the water before putting it away. Leaving them out in the kitchen can clutter the space and also be a trip hazard.
Trash cans without lids
An overflowing trash can is never good, but one without a lid is even worse. Having old food and dirt visible is unsightly, and can take away any comfy feelings from the room. Be sure to always have a lid on the kitchen trash cans, as well as bathroom ones.
Crowded dining table
If you’re wanting to make guests feel welcome, don’t cram everything on to the table. Place mats and one, singular center piece is a good place to start, in terms of decor. Candle sticks, plants and vases can prevent easy conversation and cover up your guests and family.
Things that are hidden away
They are never fully out of sight, out of mind. If you have clutter stuffed under the sofa or in the back of wardrobes, you will feel constantly untidy and overwhelmed. Get rid of anything that doesn’t serve a purpose and have a place for everything. Your guests and your space will thank you for it!
Smeary mirrors will never look good, especially if in halls, bathrooms or living rooms. Sticky fingerprints and dust can make the overall space feel dirty and are easily reflected in the light, so be sure to have some glass cleaner in your cleaning supplies. Invest in micro fiber cloths for a better shine.
Unorganised office supplies
Pens and pencils strewn everywhere immediately make a desk space look messy. Make sure to have organizers and pencil pots, and don’t over buy stationary for the office space. If it’s one person working in there, they won’t need a pack of 20 cheap pens!
You may have had that rug for years, but is it doing anything for the feel of the room? Old rugs can fall apart and shed, leaving a mess around the room. If it’s past saving with a good cleaner, it may be time to retire it and bring some life back into the room.
Messy dressing table
Makeup, perfume bottles and hair accessories add up – both in terms of cost and clutter! A dressing table can be a focal point of a bedroom, so be sure to keep it organized with boxes or containers. Find organizers that match the color scheme of the bedroom or the table to make everything look seamless.
CD and DVD stands
Not many people use CDs or DVDs much anymore, but if you’ve held on to those favorite tracks or movies, be sure to store them properly. CD racks often come in industrial metal colors, which often doesn’t match home aesthetics currently. Store them away in a cupboard or neatly in boxes.
Worn out carpet
Carpets are expensive to replace, but keep this in mind when saving for renovations. A scuffed, worn out carpet can make a room feel unclean, even if everything else is in order. To prevent this, have house slippers for the family and avoid dragging furniture around too much.
The spare room
Don’t use the spare room as a dumping ground. If you don’t have regular guests over, you may find that room has become more a storage room than a bedroom. Make sure to keep that space clean by acting like someone lives in there, make the bed and keep the floor clear of clutter.
Window frames and doors are usually the main culprits. Chipped paint can make the space feel aged and not looked after. Make sure to keep some of the main body of paint from your earlier renovations for this reason, so you can easily touch up any problem areas.
Basements are often left for years or only checked on once a month. Your basement can be a great addition to your home and, if kept in check, can add to the house overall. Keep it clean and organized, and use it to neatly store any items too big for upstairs in the house.
Scattered gaming consoles
One kid may have an XBOX, one may have a PS5 or one might have a Nintendo Switch. It can be a chore keeping up with newer technologies and all their add ons. Make sure to have designated places for these gaming consoles, to keep them tidy but also prevent damage.
Too many candles
Yes, you can actually have too many candles. Candles can make the space feel more cozy, but if there are too many, it can become cluttered quickly. The scent of the candles can also become overwhelming, with too many scents mixing together and making the room smell too strong.
Left out gym equipment
You will have worked out and jumped in the shower right away, forgetting all about your equipment. Yoga mats, weights and machinery quickly fill up the space, especially if they’re not permanently there. Store your gym stuff away after use, to avoid clutter and also for safety.
They’re useful to have by the door for a grab and go day. Key hooks, though, can often end up collecting lots of random items too; kid’s keyrings, toys, lanyards to name just a few. Make sure the hooks next to the door are for keys only, and don’t start collecting everything shiny and easily hangable.
Left out food
You’ve just cooked, guests are round, and you’re trying to entertain too. Food left out on the counter can go bad easily, but it can also make the room smell. Be sure to check on leftovers as soon as possible and put them in the fridge to avoid smelly, unsightly food ruining the vibe of your home.
Out of season decor
Christmas is over, Halloween came and went and Easter is done. Don’t leave up seasonal decor for too long after the event, as it can make the vibe of the home feel off. Christmas trees up in late January can stop the new year from feeling fresh and can prevent a good new year’s cleaning!
Too many DIY projects
DIY can be fun, but not everything should be done yourself. Trying to save money, you may have replaced that door frame yourself or fitted that new sink but things ended up going wrong, causing an even bigger problem. Know your limits to prevent ruining the look of the home and causing more expense.
Lots of mixed textures
The home doesn’t need to turn into a fabric store. Pick one or two similar types of woods for the living room furniture, and don’t mix four different soft materials in the bedroom. Mixing too many textures can cause visual clutter and make the home not feel put together.
The clutter drawer
Every household seems to have one. That one drawer just full of stuff that no one knows where it came from. Prevent this before it gets too big to manage, and have each drawer serve a real purpose. If something doesn’t belong and can’t be put away, get rid of it altogether.