Have you gone clutter blind?

I recently spoke about clutter problems and hoarding tendencies in another blog. You can check it out here. However, today I want to talk about another problem. One that most of us probably have but just won’t realise it until you read on. 

What is clutter blindness?

In its simplest form, it is just not noticing the clutter around you anymore. It is walking past an area in your home every day and it just blending into the background. It doesn’t bother you anymore, it doesn’t even register to worry about doing anything about it anymore. It isn’t just the cupboard that is a mess inside that you dread opening. You aren’t blind to that as you are reminded every time you open the cupboard. This is the pile of paperwork on the counter, the toys piled up in the corner that no one ever plays with and the wardrobe that is so full and out of date but because you only wear the same things over and over again from the washing pile, you forget the rest is an issue.

Sound familiar? Have you gone clutter blind?

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels.com

Signs you are suffering:

         Photo Shock

Take a photo of each room in your home. Make sure you are sat somewhere not in the room in question and look at the photo. Zoom in and study it, what do you notice. By taking the time out to take a proper look at a room will show you what clutter you have been walking past every single day without even noticing. Or are you permanently having to shift belongings round the room to be able to take a nice picture of the family etc? This is probably a sign you have gone clutter blind too.

         Tell a stranger where something is

Imagine a stranger came to live in your house today and you had to leave with no notice to straighten things up. Could they find what they were looking for? Could you tell them where everything was accurately when asked? If the answer is no but that is a shock to you then it is probably time to start thinking about adding some systems and structure to your home.

         At the end of the day is your home a to do list?

When you walk around your home, how do you feel? Calm and relaxed (let’s pretend it is a Sunday and you have the house to yourself as I know all too well that calm and relaxed doesn’t happen with kids around and a busy schedule) or stressed by all the things that you are now mentally adding to your to do list that you need to do. Your home shouldn’t be adding to your stress levels and if it is, it is likely time to address the clutter. 

         The pile doesn’t bother you anymore

Life happens and we all have a clutter magnet in our home where things naturally pile up. I could talk about how to manage this but today is about identifying that you may need to address the clutter, there are plenty of tips on my Instagram page about what to do after you realise you need to declutter and organise. A lot of the time, a pile of mess will bother you to start with, you will make a mental note to clear it up and will weigh on your mind. If left too long and the pile is shifted in a way that looks tidy, it may stop bothering you. If you have a pile of mess in your home that used to stress you out but reading this, you realise you haven’t even registered it for a while. Guess what? You have gone clutter blind.

         You have a storage room

Do you have a spare room that you are dedicating to storage? Is it a guest room where everything gets dumped and the door shut so you can forget about it? You are likely to have then gone completely blind to the clutter as you can literally avoid the room altogether. You then effectively just have a storage container in your home. Most common places are garages, lofts, and guest rooms for this. The rest of your home could be organised heaven but if that is just because you have hidden the clutter in a whole other room and quarantined it, then you haven’t really addressed the issue.

         You have to move things to use surfaces or furniture for its intended purpose

I touched on this earlier with photos. However, if you find that you need to move a pile of something out of the way to use a piece of furniture and you find yourself just moving the pile back when you are done, guess what, that is clutter. If it belonged there you wouldn’t need to move it out of the way. Dining tables, kitchen surfaces, beds, all clutter magnets that have daily use. However, as it takes 2 seconds to move a pile and these areas are usually used in a rush, the route cause is never addressed and you just find yourself moving it out of habit and part of your daily routine.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

How to resolve being clutter blind?

         Start small

Don’t try to take on the whole house in one weekend. Instead start with decluttering a few things. Set a timer for 10 mins and go through one of the clutter magnets in your home and just see what you no longer need. What can be recycled, donated, and binned or just what belongs somewhere else in your home. You will probably then begin to get the bug and tackling a whole area doesn’t feel quite so overwhelming.

         Make a house plan

If you notice one area you have gone clutter blind to, you are probably going to find a load more as you start going round your home. If this is the case, instead make a house plan. Write out a list of everything that should be each room of the house. What is the space used for? What would you like it to look like? What works well and what doesn’t and start working towards that. First step could just be making sure the items from your list are in the right rooms before you begin decluttering and thinking about new organisational systems.

         Create a system

You can declutter all you want but this is only a piece of the puzzle. Without a system at the other end then the clutter will just return, and you will be repeating the decluttering in another 6 months. A system doesn’t need to be anything over the top. Something as simple as adding a paper tray to the kitchen surface all your paperwork gets dumped on with a rule that once it is full it needs dealing with. You are then still allowing a “dump and run” area but adding a rule for what happens with it at a certain point, so it doesn’t end up out of control again. Or perhaps your wardrobe needs a one in one out policy. If you buy something new, one thing needs to go. Decluttering one thing is a lot quicker than having to go through your whole wardrobe.

         Divide space

If you have a large cupboard or drawer that builds up clutter because it is so big, by the time it is full it is a large and overwhelming declutter project, divide it up. Add drawer dividers, baskets, trays or even just zones. That way, you are designating a home to much smaller categories meaning when a “zone” is full you will be triggered to declutter that small area as the other zones look neat and tidy still.

         Reset your space regularly

Simply put this means tidy up. Once everything has a designated home in your home, tidying up takes moments instead of hours. Commit to spending 10 minutes a day walking around each room and putting things back in their rightful home. It is with many things in life, little and often is the trick. Doing a quick reset and purposefully looking in each room for things out of place each day will help prevent a clutter pile, stop you going blind to the clutter and make you question if you need a new solution for one small area of your home as you will notice immediately if it isn’t working well.

So…. Have you gone clutter blind? Did anything leap out as relatable when reading through? I would love to know.

If you are ready to tackle the clutter, then download my free declutter guide here to guide you through the process so it is the last time you have to do it.

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