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Get control of clutter with these simple tips.


Do you feel overwhelmed by clutter in your house? While the obvious solution is to just get rid of what is cluttering your home, sometimes the way you have necessary, everyday items arranged can make your home appear too cluttered. Fortunately, there are some simple tricks you can use to help make your home feel less cluttered in less time!

It’s easy to feel so overwhelmed by clutter that we are just paralyzed against doing anything about it.  These tips encourage you to just dive in, because when you do, you’ll feel better about your living space! You might try the tips at the end of the day to tidy up, or perhaps before guests arrive, or simply use a few as suggestions to jumpstart a tidier space. Getting rid of clutter is still the best solution, but these tips are simple moves toward a less messy house.

1. Pick up the floors.

Look around your house, specifically at the floors. If there is stuff covering the floors and piled up in the corners of the rooms, your house is going to feel more cluttered. Spend a few moments every day picking up clutter from the floors, and suddenly your whole space will feel cleaner and tidier. Try it!

2. Create breathing room.

When you’re getting ready for the day and the clothes and the hangers in the closet are crowded together, you’re likely to be frustrated and perhaps throw the excess on the floor, creating more mess. Give your closets and rooms some breathing room. If you donate, toss, or store even a third of the items from the closet or half the accessories from a room and you’ll be amazed by how much tidier it feels! If your space feels cluttered, all it might need is a little more breathing room.

3. Clear some tables.

Take a look at your room. Are all the tables covered with stuff? Even if you just clear one surface, your space will feel less overwhelming. Start with one table and then try another! It helps to set a timer for 15 minutes; you’ll be surprised how fast you can clear the surfaces in that time!

4. Close the drawers and closet doors.

If your home appears to be in disarray, take a walk around the house and shut all the closet doors, the cabinets and the drawers. When a house is cluttered, living in it feels worse simply because doors and drawers to storage areas are left ajar. Closed closet doors and cabinets will give your rooms a more streamlined appearance.

5. Straighten the dining chairs.

Are your dining chairs pulled out or positioned sideways or far from the table? Take a few moments and pull all the chairs back up to the table and straighten them out. This will give the dining room an instantly tidier look!

6. Clean the kitchen sink.

If your sink is piled with dishes, your whole kitchen will seem cluttered and messy. Make it a habit to clean the dishes in the sink—and the sink itself—every day, and your kitchen will look much tidier!

7. Rearrange your room.

Here are two ways to make a space appear less disorganized simply by rearranging the room! First, use a rug to pull a sofa and two chairs together into a conversation area—even consider layering a rug over wall-to-wall carpet to achieve this concept. With the addition of a rug, your room will look more cozy and more cohesive! Second, bring in furniture that offers closed storage, such as a dresser to replace a console table or open shelving unit. Having a place to stash away necessities out of view will make all the difference!

About the Author

Melissa Michaels

Melissa Michaels is the author and creator of one of the top home decorating blogs on the web, The Inspired Room. She has been featured on such sites and publications as, Apartment Therapy, and Ladies Home Journal.

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  • KAte Tyler

    Clear the tables…yes indeed! My biggest problem is not just the de-cluttering, but what to do with all the stuff! The amount of junk mail, magazines( that I hope to read), mail( that has to go somewhere else), is astounding. It’s organizing it all that is part of the problem. My good intentions often result in piles that I have to get back to, but rarely do in a timely fashion. I’ve even tried nice boxes to help organize, but those get filled up too. I end up stashing the piles ( till I can get to them). However, generally my house is visually not wild but I would like a clue with what to do?

  • Brenda

    I am right there with you – it is really tough, especially when one works 60 plus hours per week. I just do the best I can and have my sons and husband help as much as they can too.

  • Debbi in Texas

    Clothes clutter: I like the concept of “bring in/take out”. Any items new to the space means something else has to go. Do it then and don’t delay. New clothes means something has to go, equal to the amount brought in. Makes you think, before you buy, whether you need it and what you will throw out.

    Mail clutter: The mail each day is attended to immediately; throw out the junk mail, file the bills in the “to pay” slot, new magazines in/old magazines out. It will take a bit of dedication, but really does help keep the excess down. I try not to pile anything. My recycle bin is in a pullout in the kitchen and is open when I sort the mail immediately.

    Everything: Also, the “one touch” rule makes me follow through and take the few extra seconds to get things in their assigned places right then and not “stack”, including dishes in sink. Empty the dishwasher when clean and have that space ready for new dirty dishes instead of piled in the sink. A sparkling kitchen in the morning makes me start the day happier.

    Laundry: Assign someone “dryer” duty and have them fold/put away. It might make them more aware of their habits and take it off you.

    • A great collection of decluttering insight, Debbi. Thanks for adding. We especially love the “one touch” rule!

  • Refresh Restyle

    The biggest tip is getting rid of excess instead of just rearranging clutter. Or at least that’s what has helped me the most 🙂

  • Brianna Siegrist

    Yeah, I always say that I feel better when the horizontal surfaces are clear. Floors, chairs, tables, counters… ahhhhh

  • Kathie Briggs

    And clear off the kitchen counters. Its amazing how much stuff winds up in the kitchen. Even items you use every day can often find a home in the cupboard directly above (or below) where you normally use it.

  • I think the power of straightening the chairs is amazing. I always tell people if they straighten out the chairs and bar stools and shoes, it will feel instantly better!

  • Cathy Malone

    Awesome timing! My husband and I took a deep breath this weekend and committed to begin a Declutter campaign throughout our house! While we agreed our best option was to start small so as not to become overwhelmed, the end result was huge! We condensed two junk drawers down to one tidy drawer and now the empty drawer will house those “need to get to” items that cluttered a counter. We woke up to clear countertops the rest of theweekend and it felt great! – really great on Monday morning!

  • Maria Newell

    Hi Melissa! These are great tips! I spend every morning straightening, clearing surfaces and doing some household chores. (as I call them.) It’s a good feeling to start my day with some organization. Until the next day when I have to start all over again! lol

  • Morning Melissa…I always make my bed..2 reasons my grandmother always told me a made bed is a cleaned house…lol, and 2nd because every successful women I have ever read about says to start the day with a made bed. There is also a rule I try to do myself. In my closet if I purchase something new, I put something into a bag I have for the battered-womens shelter. I try not to just have a stuffed closet. Mary

  • Heather

    These tips are so easy, but make such a huge difference. I am really enjoying your blog and all of the home styling inspiration it is providing me with!


  • Jen

    So very true! Especially the clutter on the floor. Like a breath of fresh air.

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