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Messy House? 8 Reasons it May Always Look That Way!

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Do you ever wonder why it looks like you have a cluttered or messy house even though you spend hours every day trying to make it look clean and beautiful? No matter how much you organize, dust everything, or put things in their place, it ends up looking messy by the end of the day. 

It might cause you endless stress to see the house messy and you end up trying to understand what you are doing wrong. But in reality, you just have to make some minor adjustments to ensure that your house never looks messy and untidy again. 


So read on and let’s put that mess to rest!

Images of a messy house and text that says 8 Reasons it May Always Look Like You Have a Messy House

8 Things That Create the Illusion of a Messy House

1. You Moved Things Off the Floor to Another Surface

Generally the principle behind doing a quick cleanup is ensuring that nothing is lying on the floor without a reason for being there and that traffic areas are always clear. But many times what ends up happening is we begin piling everything on empty surfaces to clear the floor space quickly because someone is coming over.

We have to understand that our nice, clean countertops and tables aren’t meant for keeping all the junk that was there on the floor earlier. It becomes all too easy for those things to stay there instead of finding a good, proper home for them and all we do is push things from one temporary home to another; from the floor to the table to the counter.

Always ensure that the surfaces are as clean as possible and find proper places for everything instead of just throwing them on the first surface you come to!

2. Too Many Blankets and Pillows on the Couch or Chairs

Ok don’t hate me for this one because I am a BIG offender here myself. I LOVE pillows (much to my husband’s dismay every night when it’s time for bed).

We often go for the quick, cozy and comfortable look around the house that is also an easy way to decorate with color. Pillows and blankets add that pop of color to a room without painting or having to buy new furniture. But, if you’re like me, cozy also usually implies that you have to have a ton of throw pillows and blankets on the sofa.

These extra pillows can quickly become what makes for a messy house as the sofa can look overly crowded by them. Or, like in my house, someone will go to sit on the couch and not want that “oh so cute” pillow behind them so they put it on another surface or behind them on the back of the couch so they are not sitting up against it.

Now you have pillows all over the place and blankets tossed around! That cozy, autumn, “pumpkin spice image-inducing” room you envisioned now just looks like the clearance rack at Home Goods.

You should strive to make sure that there are just enough throw pillows to make the house look warm and comfortable and not like you could stock an aisle at Crate and Barrel.

Now you have pillows all over the place and blankets tossed around! That cozy, autumn, "pumpkin spice image-inducing" room you envisioned now just looks like the clearance rack at Home Goods. #cleanhome #clutter Click To Tweet

3. Not Properly Utilizing the Shelving Around Your House

Shelving is often considered one of the best ways to maintain organization around the house, especially in small spaces, but it might also be what makes a house messy.

It’s time to take a second look at those shelves and see if they serve their intended purpose well or not. 

Every shelf in the house should have a reason to be there – it could be for storage or decoration. There should be a specific amount of items that are on them and nothing else should be placed there. In other words, if it is a shelf for pictures of the family, don’t put your keys or mail there.

Otherwise if you tend to throw things on the shelf just to get it out of the way or off the counter, the shelves will quickly become messy and cluttered. 

Decide what goes there and what doesn’t.

4. Closed Cabinets That Never Get a Second Look From You 

Cabinets, like shelves, are another way in which we organize things in our kitchens. But they can also quickly become how we HIDE things in our kitchen from the eyes of guests. 

We may shove things in there and then forget about them until the next time we need to hide something away. Next thing you know, we open it up to have everything fall out all over the place like skeletons in the closet coming back to haunt us!

OR…we forgot we put something in there and spend the better part of an afternoon trying to remember where we hid Aunt Tilly’s ugly crocheted pot holders when she announces she is coming over to admire how they look in your kitchen!

Disorganized cabinets can make it nearly impossible for you to find anything when you are in a rush…or at all. Then you forget you even own something and buy another (been there, done that)!

So even though they are behind closed doors, it’s important to keep the cabinets clean and organized as much as possible so you don’t get stressed out either trying to find something or having to move 100 things to get to something you shoved WAY back in there.

Clean cabinets can instantly make for a less messy house and you can feel proud about getting something done to make the house look beautiful. 

If you want to tackle those cabinets and other areas of your home that need organizing, check out our course One Cupboard at a Time!

an image of an open cabinet for home organization course One Cupboard at a Time for post on having a messy house

5. The Entryway That is Always Packed With Stuff

The entryway of your house is the very first thing guests will see when they come to visit you – and unfortunately it is also the first place from which they will judge if you are a messy person or not. 

It’s quite easy for your entryway to get messy – be it shoes, coats and gloves or packages, people tend to dump things at the entryway before they walk further inside the house. If your family members also have this habit of keeping everything at the entrance, this might be what makes it look like a messy house even before you really get inside.

This will also cause you to become stressed the second you enter the house because you will be confronted with stuff that needs to be put away.

We don’t all have a closet by the front door in which to hang things or put shoes away. So what do you do in that case?

A nice, decorative coat rack that you can hang on the wall or a hall tree will help. You can also find some that have some storage bins for keys, bags for walking the dog, mail, etc.

They often have hooks for keys and leashes to keep them tidy AND to help keep you from misplacing them.

You can also get a nice shoe rack to keep those shoes from getting out of hand, especially in the winter when having people put shoes in their rooms might be tough.

A nice, decorative covered storage bin can also help mask some of the clutter.

6. Decorating the House More Than Necessary

When considering things that make for a messy house you don’t normally think of decor being the culprit. We normally think of junk or things that have not been put away.

But, if your house feels messy or cluttered you might want to pay attention to how it’s decorated.

Though accessories and decorative items are needed to some degree to make the house look like a home, using them too much can quickly ruin the look.

It’s somewhat along the lines of the pillow situation we discussed earlier. Too much of a good thing can be…well, too much! 

Whether it’s about putting too many picture frames on the walls, or using too many cabinets to display your collections, these can all make the house look too cluttered.

There should be a clear visual limit to how much “stuff” should be used to decorate each room. That way you won’t end up over-decorating and making the space look or feel too full. 

7. Being a Super-Collector

Most of us often indulge in hobbies that involve some sort of collecting; it could be things like books, coins, baseball cards, crafts, and many other things based on what we like.

These collections can add a unique touch to the look of the house and make it cozier or it could create pockets of chaos. I know this was the case with me and my crafts! My sewing, crochet, Cricut crafts and my embroidery took over nearly every room in the house in one form or another.

You need to decide how much of your collection needs to be displayed around the house – having it all out at once can quickly make the house look like a flea market instead of adding a special touch to your home.

If you are passionate about having a collection, see if you can make it more organized. If you don’t have a room you can set aside for it, like an office or room in the basement, see if you can (gulp) minimize it!

I was WAY over the top with my crafts so I cut it down to bare bones. I sold my sewing machine and all of my tumblers and other odds and ends I used to use in crafting, and I kept my crochet needles and my embroidery machine.

I DO collect used books on Judaism and Christianity but I have them nicely organized on bookshelves and, when the time comes that I want “new” ones, I will bring some of the old ones in and trade them.

As long as I contain my collection so it doesn’t become an obsession and take over everything, then it is perfectly fine! And you just need to do the same. Collect but don’t let it take over your home.

You should strive to make sure that there are just enough throw pillows to make the house look warm and comfortable and not like you could stock an aisle at Crate and Barrel. #clutter #cleanhome Click To Tweet

8. Feeling the Need to Keep Everything You’ve Ever Owned

We spend a lot of money on purchases and that can be what makes it difficult to throw things out even when we know they are no longer needed.

Those things can then become what makes a messy house and a disorganized life.

We have to accept that anything we don’t use needs to be thrown out of the house or at least donated. If you haven’t touched it in 2 years, it should go!

You will be surprised to find out how good it makes you feel to throw unnecessary things out every once in a while. Otherwise these things will for sure make your house look messy no matter how much you clean it.  Those things will just pile up in closets, drawers, shelves, etc., and over time will overrun your house.

If you feel overwhelmed going through things and need help doing it one area at a time, our courses One Cupboard at a Time and One Drawer at a Time can help and you can get the bundle right now for one low price, including our course A Virtuous Home!

One Cupboard at a Time, One Drawer at a Time and A Virtuous Home bundle - for post on having a messy house

No More Messy House!

We are all well aware of those moments when we have spent hours cleaning our house just to feel it looks just as messy as it did before. As I said, it leaves us feeling stressed and frustrated and without knowing where to turn next!

In this article, we talked about some things that could potentially contribute to a messy house!

We hope that this helped you know where to look to ensure that your house always looks tidy and beautiful for you, your family and your guests. And if you need help knowing where to even begin, our courses might be the thing you need.

Tackling clutter can feel daunting so we created these courses to help you get started one drawer or cupboard at a time!

Be sure to grab your FREE Clean Home Declutter Challenge Workbook to get started on decluttering!

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