So often when our house is cluttered, we try to organize our stuff to try and make our home look cleaner and more put together. However, there are some organizing mistakes that can actually make your clutter look worse, not better. Really, you are nothing more than an organized mess! Ultimately, the answer to your clutter problems is less stuff. Although, sometimes we cannot get rid of some necessary or enjoyed items, so we need a way to organize them without creating more clutter havoc!
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Organizing mistakes that add to clutter and make you seem like an organized mess:
1 – A home command center not executed properly
Home command centers are amazing. They help organize our calendars, our mail, and any other essentials that help us run our homes on a day to day basis. However, if not careful, your command center can look as unorderly as mail just sitting around in stacks around your home.
Related Post: 10 Amazing Family Command Centers
Stop the inflow
When creating a system to manage mail, make sure it is one that addresses any immediate clutter. First, try to put a stop to unnecessary mailings. You can check out my three core steps to clearing clutter and where to start for some direction on websites you can use to stop the inflow of mail.
Then, enforce a rule that any mail that can be recycled or handled under one minute is handled immediately. This will help with the piles of mail tremendously! (If you are super motivated, adopt a five-minute rule.)
Create a mail sorting system
Try to create a system that kind of hides your mail. I had a sorting container once that held our mail, important folders, pens and pencils and whatever else we felt necessary to hold by the front door. What happened was it looked like an organized mess! My organization “hack” really made my entryway look super cluttered. I hated it.
Finally, I created a folder for any mail that needs to be handled, and I touch it once a week. It all goes into a drawer so as my flat surfaces are kept clear. Once a week, I am purposeful about touching the mail that needs handling. We have a family calendar that hangs on the side of the fridge that no one else sees when entering our home, so it isn’t as cluttered as hanging on the front of the fridge.
Whatever, you come up with, pick a place that makes your home look inviting, organized and uncluttered.
2 – Messy shoe storage
We don’t wear shoes in the house, so they get taken off right by the front door. Not wearing shoes in the house requires a shoe storage system. However, if you are not careful, your shoe storage can make the front door area look like a cluttered, kind of organized mess!
While baskets work great, they can seem jumbled and chaotic. Try placing a heavy-duty boot tray into the floor of your entry-way closet. It will catch any dirt from your shoes, and it creates a storage place that is out of sight, clearing up the entryway. We have a rule of no more than 2 pairs of shoes per person in the front closet. Shoes that are not worn all the time are stored in each individual’s closet.
Back of the door shoe storage also looks like a cluttered, organized mess. It completely takes up the entire space behind your door, creating a banging sound every time you shut it, and never really holds that many shoes. Use your own closets for the best shoe storage and to keep your entry-way clutter-free.
3 – DVD / CD Storage
First, declutter as many DVDs and CDs as you possibly can. Generally, if you have not used one in the past year, you can give it to a friend, sell it, or donate it.
Next, find a storage solution that possibly gets the DVDs and CDs out of sight. Rather than displaying them on a bookshelf or a storage unit, try putting them in a closing cabinet or drawer. We store all of my kids’ DVDs in the bottom drawer of a chest of drawers. After decluttering the kids’ rooms, there was a lot of empty dresser drawers. By storing the DVDs on their sides, we can read all the spines and pick out our Friday night movies with ease, without adding to any living room clutter.
For more quick wins and items you can get rid of now, check out 100 Items You Can Get Rid of Today.
4 – The front of your fridge
The front of the fridge is a super useful space to hang school papers, artwork, and other useful information. However, it can make a kitchen look super cluttered when all the paper quickly takes over the fridge surface space.
For important events, go ahead and add the event to your family calendar, and then recycle or store away the reminder until event time.
If you want to store items on the fridge surface, try doing it on the side of the fridge if at all possible. This will keep any visual clutter out of sight for most of the time.
5 – Floor storage baskets
I love storing items in baskets! In fact, it is one of my favorite methods for storing kids’ toys, as clean-up is super easy for little ones. However, when you have a ton of baskets all over the floor space, it can quickly add to your visual clutter, even though you were trying to be organized!
If you can, try to hide any baskets or storage containers on the floor of a closet. This gets the floor clutter out of sight, but the baskets can still do their job organizing your belongings. Try to have no more than one basket in the usable floor space of a room.
6 – Book storage
First, declutter any books you never plan to read again or books that you have owned for years and have never been read. It is ok to give yourself permission to not read a book you thought you would love and bought years ago.
Crammed up bookshelves, even if alphabetized or sorted by subject, can make any room look cluttered. Unclutter your books, and then only leave a couple of books on each shelf. You can use other decorative items on the shelf to make a room look less cluttered and more organized!
7 – Hanging pots and pans storage
I don’t know why this one bothers me so much. If you can store your pots and pans under a cabinet, do so. The hanging pots and pans create a cluttered look in your kitchen. I’m sure hanging pots and pans were all the rage at one point, and it can even be necessary for small kitchens. If you have the choice and space, store them out of sight.
Need help decluttering your kitchen? Check out how to declutter your kitchen with simple, actionable steps.
8 – Bathroom counter organizers
This is another common organizing mistake that makes for an organized mess. I used to fall victim to all the pretty organizing containers and ideas for my bathroom. While handy, the best organization hack I ever used in my bathroom was to get rid of stuff I never used! When I did this, it opened up a ton of space under my bathroom cabinets. You can then store your fun bathroom organizers under there, rather than adding to bathroom counter clutter.
If you want to learn how to get rid of clutter fast, check out my in-depth post with a free weekend scheduler: Declutter Your Home Fast in One Weekend Make sure to also sign up for your free weekend planner. I will walk you through your weekend, step-by-step.
Don’t let organized clutter make your home look like nothing more than an organized mess. The best rule of thumb, keep as much necessary clutter out of sight! When you do this, you can use cute little organization bins and hacks and still have a happy, clutter-free home.