Clutter Hotspots and How To Deal With Them

Clutter Hotspots and How To Deal With Them

Clutter can be one of two things: stuff you don't want to keep but haven't dealt with and stuff you want to keep but haven't put away. In every home there are hotspots where this "clutter you want to keep" accumulates. Things like books and keys, bags and shoes, and other miscellaneous items that get left where they don't belong.

Decluttering your home is only half the problem; making sure everything has a place and everyone puts stuff back where it belongs is all part of the battle for a tidy and clutter-free home. I've put together a few tips and tricks for identifying these clutter hotspots and how to tackle them.

Identifying Clutter Hotspots

Do you find yourself tidying certain places of your home every day? Or decluttering specific areas in of your house every week? Do you notice it’s always the same few spots that accumulate clutter? These are your “clutter hotspots”, places where clutter accumulates and miscellaneous stuff settles.

Typical hotspots include the entranceway or hallway; the bedroom chair; the nightstand or coffee table; the kitchen counter, and under the bed. For you it might a junk drawer that keeps filling up or a curious nook you have in your living room. What these hotspots have in common is they are all places where stuff naturally accumulates. It’s often the easiest and most convenient place to drop things instead of putting them where they really belong. Which brings up onto...

How To Deal With Clutter Hotspots

There will always be varying degrees of "mess" in your home just from living in it but if everything has its place it shouldn't take too long to put everything away at the end of the day. Clutter, however, is stuff that doesn't have a place. It tends to linger because it has nowhere to go; you're unsure where to put it and so it stays in a messy pile. Allowing clutter to accumulate leads to more clutter. You can either spend extra time each day clearing up this clutter up only for it to accumulate again or you can identify these clutter hotspots and tackle them for good.

If stuff naturally fall into these hotspots instead of “where they belong", the first thing to do is change your mind about where these things are supposed to live. Do you throw your keys on the kitchen counter instead of hang them up inside the door? Perhaps having a bowl for keys to be thrown into on the kitchen counter would be a better solution than trying to force yourself (and other people) to hang them up. If your shoes end up strewn down the hallway, maybe a shoe cabinet would be better than storing them in your wardrobe. If the bedroom chair finds itself covered in clothing, where would those clothes go if the chair wasn’t there? An over the door hanger might be a better solution to your troubles.

The most practical solution for clutter hotspots is turning these spots into homes; instead of trying to force a habit that just won't work, convert what already exists into a more convenient storage solution. Sometimes things don’t live where we want them to, no matter how hard we try to make them. Instead of fighting a losing battle, work with the situation rather than against it.

Clutter Hotspots and How To Deal With Them

Hallway Clutter.

This spot tends to get cluttered because it's the first space you enter when you step in the door and it usually has a clear surface or two for you to throw keys and bags onto.

If you find shoes, keys, and coats get deserted in the hallway instead of where you've decided they belong; a shoe cabinet next to the front door provides an easy place to hide shoes away, put a couple of hooks next to the cabinet and a bowl on top and you have a spot for everyone’s keys and coats. Smarter storage is the easiest way of preventing the hallway from attracting clutter.

Kitchen Clutter.

The kitchen counter tops and dining table is a conveniently tempting spot for things we don't want to put away. The kitchen can be one of the hardest places to keep tidy because so much happens there; it's often a meeting place for people and things.

The easiest way to maintain a clutter-free dining table is to not use it for anything other than dining. If it must be used for other activities, everything needs to be put back where it belongs in between meal times. Any non-related items that find themselves in the kitchen simply need new places to live. Since counter tops are a landing spot for any and all miscellaneous items, forming new habits and providing new spaces for things to live is a must. A letter rack for important mail; a key rack for keys; hooks for bags and coats; a shoe cabinet for shoes; a shelf for cookbooks, and pots for utensils. All these things help prevent your kitchen from attracting clutter in the first place.

Bathroom Clutter.

The bathroom can be a place of peace or frantic race to get out of the door on time. People tend to be in a hurry to leave, which leaves towels, make-up, and toiletries strewn around the room.

In order to prevent a clutter hotspot, thoroughly declutter your bathroom; get rid of expired and unwanted products, and limit the amount you have on display. Provide adequate storage for your essentials and keep them in easy reach, which will make it just as effortless to put them back as it is to retrieve them.

Clutter Hotspots and How To Deal With Them

Bedroom Clutter.

The comfortable chair in your bedroom intended for curling up with a book often becomes the dumping ground for discarded clothes. Likewise the bedside table can be a magnet for clutter.

If you don't use the chair, get rid of it. For as long as it's there it will attract clutter. Add hooks to the back of the door to store worn-but-still-wearable clothing, it'll keep things off the floor and stored neatly out of sight. Blitz your bedside table and reserve it only for the essentials; how much do you really need within reach of your bed?

Coffee Table Clutter.

It's the place where everything from books and laptops to mugs and gadgets. It's a convenient spot to put down remotes, drinking glasses, magazines, and electronics. This spot it always going to be something of a clutter hotspot.

If you're an avid reader of books and magazines, consider a magazine rack to stash current reads. Provide storage for physical media if you have any and place a small basket for remotes (and other loose ends) to be kept. If you style your coffee table with flowers or plants, timeless decor, or coffee table books you'll limit the space available for additional clutter.

Clutter Hotspots and How To Deal With Them