35 things that make your house look cluttered || Minimalism for beginners

1). Visible wires and cables

The best way to bring some order to the chaos is to use boxes that are created specifically to hide these ugly cables and wires.

2). Too many knick knacks

It’s understandable that you’d want to display all your beautiful showpieces and souvenirs but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. 

Regular edits of your knick knacks or even rotating them can keep things looking tasteful and interesting without things seeming cluttered. 

3). Too many vibrant colours and clashing patterns

Colours and patterns are beautiful and homes don’t have to have only plain white walls but the truth is that plain walls can give a feeling of space and calm.

If every single wall is painted a vibrant colour or every single cushion is a different pattern it can be a lot for the eye to take in so it’s important to use colours and patterns judiciously. 

4). Poor lighting

Dark corners and shadows can make a room feel gloomy and cluttered.

It’s a really simple fix, just invest in lamps and spotlights.

5). Not enough storage

Storage is important.

Having all your worldly possessions out on display is a sure fire way of making your house look messy. You need areas where you can store away suitcases, bicycles, extra bedding etc.

6). Mismatched storage

So the previous point was addressing larger storage areas but smaller storage solutions are equally important.

If you buy boxes and ottomans for easy storage try to keep the colours neutral and matching as it keeps things looking nice and clean.

7). Too many plants

House plants can make a space feel immediately more inviting but when areas of your room start to look like a greenhouse it might be an idea to dial things back a little bit.

8). Too much wall decor 

It’s really nice to have things on the wall that catch your eye and attention but too much can start making a space feel cluttered. 

9). Overfilled bookcases

When you start to stack books horizontally on top of books it’s a sign that you need to declutter your bookshelf. 

10). Too many fridge magnets

A few pictures and magnets are nice, too many are an eyesore. 

11). Coat racks

One thing guaranteed to make your hallway look cluttered is a coat rack.

In the UK, you’re unlikely to own just one jacket and over time these coat racks can become over filled with all manner of jackets and coats that can be hung two or three layers deep.

Do away with the coat rack all together and make everyone in your household responsible for putting away their own jackets and coats in their own closets.

12). Cluttered catch-all areas

Another thing that can make hallways look cluttered are catch-all areas, such as a bowl where you put your keys, a hook where you hang your hat and bag etc.

These spaces can be so convenient that people miss when it starts to get cluttered.

Take a step back and try and look at your catch-all area through the eyes of a stranger, is it looking too busy and crowded? If so, it might be an idea to edit things down.

13). Unopened mail in the hallway

Make it a habit to deal with unopened mail and junk mail posted through your letterbox straight away. Once you do, unopened mail piling up in your hallway will be a thing of the past. 

14). Open shoe racks

Open shoe racks are also one of those culprits that can make your space look very messy, even if the shoes are tidied away.

It’s much much better to invest in a closed shoe rack.

15). Cluttered nightstands 

It’s no surprise that clear surfaces make things look cleaner.

Put away whatever you had next to you for the night, be it a book, hand cream, vaseline etc into the drawers of the nightstand.

16). Cluttered bathroom counters

Again, this is similar to the cluttered nightstand, just make it a habit to put things away in drawers and cabinets.

And if you don’t have enough space and there are products spilling out onto the counter tops, take a long hard look at everything you have and ask yourself if every one of those products are necessary.

17). Coffee table books

This one might be a little controversial but there is no need for coffee table books unless you or your guests actually flick through the book regularly.

Coffee tables can be a very high traffic area and those big bulky books can really get in the way.

18). Paperwork

Digitise everything.

Sort through all your paperwork, photograph and upload everything and create an easy to navigate online filing system. It’s not as daunting as it sounds, once you begin you’ll be surprised at how satisfying the task becomes. 

19). Workspace clutter

Get rid of used up notebooks and other assorted items which can accumulate in your workspace. Bite the bullet and be mercenary. 

20). Clean laundry left sitting out

We’re all human and sometimes putting that clean laundry away can seem SUCH a chore but creating the habit of not letting our laziness get the best of us can be really helpful in ensuring your spaces remain as clear as possible. 

21). Too many hangers

Hangers just have a way of accumulating over time and having a stash of mismatched hangers that you’re not using is just taking up space.

See if you can donate, recycle or sell them and if not, then just get rid of them and be diligent not to bring home any additional hangers when you go shopping. 

22). Boxes that have no use

It’s so easy to start collecting pretty boxes because you think they might come in useful. However, unless you already have a specific purpose for them in mind, more often than not, they just end up being clutter.

23). Oversized furniture

Oversized furniture in a room can make the space feel a lot smaller.

If you don’t have space to walk comfortably around the furniture, then it’s too big for the room.

24). Too much furniture

It’s important to buy furniture for the space you have rather than for a fantasy space you wish you had or because we’ve fallen in love with a particular piece of furniture.

Rooms and furniture should work together in cohesion. 

25). Throw pillows

Too many throw pillows can be a real hassle when you’re trying to sit on a sofa or attempting to get into bed. 

If they are being used judiciously they can make a space much more visually interesting but try not to go overboard. 

26). Blankets

Blankets also go hand in hand with throw pillows.

It’s pretty hard to keep them always artfully placed like they do in magazines so the best thing to do is put them away after you are done with them.

27). Too many towels

Two towels and two hand towels are plenty for one person.

28). Kitchen sink full of dirty dishes

It’s so tempting to leave dishes when you’re feeling lazy but a sink full of dirty dishes is one of the easiest ways to make a home look messy and tackling it really doesn’t take that much time.

One of the most satisfying things you can do is to tidy your kitchen at night and the next morning you’ve got a lovely clean kitchen to make your breakfast in. 

29). All open shelving storage

If a place has only open shelving it can look very cluttered very quickly and in order to avoid that you need to stay on top of it rigorously which can be a lot of work so why not stay away from too much open shelving?

30). Unmade beds

A made bed instantly transforms a bedroom. 

31). Hanging bags and accessories

Hanging bags and accessories like belts and scarves, even if the bags in question are Chanel and the belts and scarves are Louis Vuitton, can make a room look cluttered.

32). Dark curtains

Dark curtains, like dark lighting can bring down the mood of a room. 

Light and bright is best, especially in small spaces.

33). Dark wall colours

Dark wall colours can also bring down the mood of a room.

Some spaces can handle dark colours but be sure to counterbalance with other lighter and more neutral colours and accents.

34). No clear division of space

Open planning living is great but if you have your kitchen, dining area and lounge all in one space it’s important to zone off these areas so objects don’t end up where they don’t belong making the space look messy.

35). Clear hanging plastic shoe storage organisers hung on the backs of doors

These organisers can actually look very messy, especially as you can see what’s inside them and they dip with the weight of their contents.

To be honest, nothing beats a clear door so try and store your products in a different way or see if you can minimise the number of products you have if it needs so much additional storage in the first place.