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How to Tackle Common Clutter Problems

Common clutter problems can sometimes feel overwhelming to solve, but we are here to give you the tips and advice you need to rid your house of clutter forever.

If your home is cluttered, then even if you stick to a regular cleaning schedule, your home will never look or feel clean. 

Clear the Clutter from Your Home 

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I define clutter as anything that doesn’t have a permanent organized “home”. Other people go a step further and define clutter as, “Anything that doesn’t add value to your life.” 

Clutter not only takes up space in your home, but it takes up space and energy from you mentally. For many people, a cluttered and messy space makes it difficult to think clearly. Clutter can also waste your time as you look for something misplaced and lost in all the clutter.  Many people also report feeling anxiety and embarrassment about their cluttered homes when guests are visiting. 

The good news is that cleaning up and organizing clutter can also contribute to positive feelings of control and well- being. So let’s tackle those common clutter problems together. 

Clutter Hot Spots

A clutter hot spot is anywhere in your house that seems to always be collecting clutter. You’ll clear off a clutter hot spot one week, and the next week there are more lost items cluttering it up again. 

There are a few common problem areas for most homes, including junk drawers and nightstands, and kitchen counters.  

We’ll go over a few of these common clutter hot spots one by one later in the article.

Clutter Cleaning End Goal

The most important goal to keep in mind is to have a permanent home for every item in your house. As the saying goes, “A place for everything and everything in its place.”  

This is truly the only way to ban clutter from your home forever. It takes time, but most people find it well worth the effort. 

Kitchen Counters and Islands

The kitchen is the heart of the home and gathering spot for everyone in the family. Which means it often collects an array of clutter and “homeless” items. Everything from mail, homework, shopping list, and toys can gather onto kitchen counters making it difficult to cook or prepare meals. 

Take back your kitchen by having a basket to collect all the random items that are on your counter. Then every night grab the basket, and rehome each item in its correct place.

kitchen common clutter problems

Be sure to check out our article “Fighting Clutter in the Kitchen” for more tips on getting organized in the kitchen

Junk Drawers

The dreaded junk drawers; these are the biggest clutter hot spots. Junk drawers are so common because they are “Out of sight, out of mind.” Except they aren’t really. 

Things may look clean and organized on the surface, but open the junk drawer and it’s chaos and confusion. 

Cleaning out the junk drawer isn’t impossible. All you need to do is find a designated home for all of the items. (Don’t feel bad if the garbage is the home for many of them). 

Start by emptying out all of the contents of the junk drawer. Second, sort though what can be thrown away and what needs to be kept. Throw out all the trinkets that haven’t been used in a year, or anything that can be replaced for less than $5. Third, decide if any of these items could have their “permanent home” someplace else in your house. Lastly, organize the items in groups that will allow you to find exactly the item you need. You shouldn’t have any items sitting on top of each other. Purchasing a drawer organizer like one of these, might make this task easier.  

Nightstands and Bedside Tables

Nightstands and bedside tables in my house seem to be common clutter problems. How about yours? Cups, piles of books, important paperwork, mementos, and pieces of jewelry; these items all seem to accumulate on my nightstand.  

I try to keep only one book at a time on my nightstand, all the other books stay in their “forever home” on the shelves. 

If piles of jewelry seem to be a problem for you, then I suggest looking into jewelry storage that utilizes “hanging up” your jewelry and getting it off your night stand. This one on amazon holds a ton of jewelry.

bedroom common clutter problems

Entryways and Mudrooms   

Entryways and mudrooms are another common hot spot for clutter. These places gather shoes, socks, mail, backpacks, handbags and more. 

Remember that the goal is to have a specific home for every item in your house, so you’ll need to decide exactly where you want to keep your purse. It might be helpful to install a hook inside an entryway closet that is the designated “home” for your purse. 

If your house doesn’t have an entryway closet, you may need to get creative and install a bench with shoe cubbies. Maybe you’d be able to assign one cubby to each person in your family? Something like this might work for you. 

mudroom common clutter problems

Tips for Keeping a Clutter Free Home

Here are a few more tips for keeping your house free from clutter, and finally having a clean and organized home.

Keep Flat Surfaces Clear

The kitchen island, the bathroom counter, nightstands, and entryway tables are all hotspots for clutter. Why? Because they have flat surfaces that are easy to drop random items on and forget about them.  

A small goal for you and your family can be to keep all flat surfaces in your home free from clutter. If an item doesn’t permanently belong on that flat surface, then don’t set it down there. 

Organize Your Mail and Paperwork 

Open your mail, and immediately file what you need to keep, and throw out the rest. No more hanging onto coupons past their expiration date, and grocery store ads. Just toss them in the recycle bin.   

Fifteen Minute Clean Ups 

As a family, take 15 minutes each night before bed to clean up clutter. Set an alarm on your phone and work until it goes off. The goal is to try and get all the clutter items back to their “forever home” for the night. Some people refer to this as “putting the house to bed.” 

I hope these tips inspire you to cut the clutter out of your life once and for all.

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