I jokingly say my husband is clutter blind.
I’m a firm believer some are more bothered by clutter than others.
I don’t just love a clean home. I thrive in one. When the house is a mess, I feel like a mess.
What is clutter-blindness?
Clutter-blindness is a person’s inability to see clutter in a place. We ignore the mess, seeing it as nothing more than a permanent fixture in our home.
You know that pile of papers on the kitchen counter that’s ALWAYS been there? Does it even bother you anymore?
When our excess has no home or has “outgrown” its home, it simply takes up residence wherever it’s left.
Before you know it, you are stepping over a box you don’t know where to put or you have given up on the toys strewn all over your child’s room and accepted defeat.
This is clutter-blindness.
What causes clutter-blindness?
Clutter blindness is the result of having too much stuff and no system for organizing and storing the stuff we want to keep.
Look around. When you find a place where clutter has been handing out a while, think about how long it has been there.
Where do the items on the counter go? Do they even have a home? Maybe that spot has become a dumping ground for all your clutter.
You need to declutter. THEN, you need a system.
If junk mail is the problem, maybe you need to stop how it enters your home.
If toys are the problem, maybe it’s time to stop buying toys for no real reason and donating the ones your little one has outgrown.
Here are some signs you too may be clutter blind:
1 – Piles
You have piles of stuff all over your house and you are comfortable with it.
There’s the clean clothes pile, the dirty clothes pile, and the needs ironing pile.
You have a “system” for piles of papers on your desk, entryway table, and kitchen table. The coffee table long ago became the victim of its own piles.
If you are comfortable with piles, you, my friend are clutter blind.
2 – Nothing has a designated place
Some sweet person in your family holds up an object and asks, “Where does this go?” Your answer, “I don’t know. Just set it over there.”
Better yet, something new enters your home and it makes its way to the infamous dumping ground (see my dining room table below).
Why does it go there? Because it belongs nowhere. It has no designated place.
Not assigning items a designated place makes you clutter blind!
3 – You have no system for paper
If your new mail gets dropped in a certain place, and it sits there unattended for weeks on end, you are likely clutter blind.
My husband and I once thought we were “organized”. We had a small end table in our kitchen and all our mail got placed on it to work on “someday”.
Often times, our mail pile was one foot high! That’s a lot of paper.
You need a system for the paper that enters your home. If you don’t have a system, you are clutter blind.
Related Post: A Simple Method to Organizing Paper Clutter
4 – You have to make paths through your stuff
If you have to make paths through all your stuff, you are clutter blind!
Our garage used to be the perfect example of a room with paths. We had so much stuff, and in an attempt to avoid extra storage costs, it all went into our garage.
We literally had paths to the exit, the workbench, and the outdoor toys.
There was so much stuff in our garage at one point that I forbade my young kids to go in there, fearing the boxes and piles would tumble down onto them.
We were seriously clutter blind.
5 – Your spouse is annoyed the house is always a mess
Whether it is passive-aggressive or in your face, if your spouse is constantly annoyed the house is a mess and you don’t see it, you are probably clutter blind.
It’s ok. Some people don’t mind the clutter. I’m almost jealous of these people.
However, if your spouse is constantly nagging you about the state of the house, it probably makes them feel so much better to operate in a house with a lot less chaos.
6 – Your friends offer to help you clean
Have you ever had a friend come to your house and sweetly offer to help you “organize”?
If this has happened to you, chances are they see the chaos, and you are clutter blind!
7 -You never feel like the house is clean but don’t know why
I used to spend every single Saturday trying to clean the house.
No matter how hard I tried, and no matter how much I organized, the house always felt like it was a mess.
It was a mystery I never understood until my eyes were opened to what clutter looked like. I was clutter blind!
Related post: How to Maintain a Clutter-Free Home (Even with Kids!)
8 – You always take free stuff
If you say “yes” to free stuff, even if you don’t need it or want it, you are likely clutter blind.
Free mugs, bandanas, note pads, pens, grocery bags…the list goes on.
We used to say “yes” to all things free. It was a habit that started when we didn’t have much money. If it was free, it would be stupid to turn it down.
Thing is, we didn’t always need the free stuff offered to us.
So what happened to all that free stuff?
It usually ended up in a pile or a box in our “junk room”.
Break the cycle of taking free stuff or face forever being clutter blind!
Related post: Three Secrets to Declutter Your Home
Why can’t I get rid of clutter?
Chances are, you are overwhelmed by the clutter you already own and continue to let clutter enter your home.
There are two actions you can take right now to get rid of clutter for good. top the inflow of clutter.
First, take a 30-day challenge to not buy clothes (or other guilty pleasure).
Secondly, simply start decluttering. If you feel stuck, check out these 5-minute decluttering tasks you can do RIGHT NOW to start making an impact.
Are you clutter blind?
If any of these characteristics sound all too familiar, there is a good chance you are clutter blind!
So what do you do if you are clutter blind?
Start small. Start recognizing clutter and find a way to get rid of it!