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4 Signs of Clutter Blindness and How to Overcome It

4 Signs You are Clutter Blind and How to Overcome It

Find out the signs of clutter blindness and learn how you can overcome it so you can maintain a clutter free home.

Clutter blindness is an interesting phenomenon that happens to more of us than you may think. It means you do not see the clutter encroaching on your space and your life.

The mess has become part of the furniture of your home. There are signs that you are clutter blind, and thankfully there are ways to overcome it.

Clutter blindness is sometimes challenging to notice and acknowledge in ourselves. Take stock of your home by how it feels or how others feel in the space. Ask for others’ opinions or take photos to get an outsider’s (objective) view. Seek the help of a professional organizer or tackle the clutter one pile or room at a time. 

If you suspect you might suffer from clutter blindness or know someone who does, read on. Here, we explain what it is, how to tell if you or someone near and dear to you has it, and how to overcome it.

With the proper support, clutter blindness can be overcome and a clutter-free house maintained.

A Pile of clothes on a bed and text that says, "Signs of clutter blindness & how to overcome it".

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What is Clutter Blindness?

Clutter blindness is a condition involving someone not being able to see the clutter right in front of them.

Clutter blindness can occur when a person is overwhelmed and tired from the stresses of daily life or an extraordinary temporary pressure. It could be that the person is unwell and lacks the energy needed to take care of the home and keep it tidy daily.

A person may be mentally unwell and unable to rally their energy to tackle the home’s mess, so the clutter piles up over time.

Clutter is added slowly over time. That is why it is easy to become blind to it. What was once a tiny pile of odds and ends on the dining room table could quickly become a massive pile of indiscernible mess before anyone takes notice.

The point is that the mess becomes a part of the home’s decor, and the clutter-blind person learns to live around it without paying it any notice.

Although the person may not consciously be aware of the clutter, they are likely affected by it on a subconscious level. Our belongings affect us and drain us of energy. When our homes are out of control, we tend to feel drained and listless.

A person who is clutter blind may feel emotionally uplifted if one surface is cleared, even temporarily. They will not realize the extent of the chaos as they shift the items from place to place to attempt to go about their daily life in a home being swallowed by excess mess and belongings.

4 Signs of Clutter Blindness

We all think it could only ever happen to someone other than ourselves until we find ourselves in a cluttered house, wondering what on earth happened.

What are the signs you are clutter blind? We have a few signs for you. Our disclaimer, however, is that if you fit into one or two of these categories, it does not immediately mean that you are clutter blind.

Please take into account your home and your specific situation. Ask a loved one or two for their input, and then make your final verdict.

Below a few signs that you could be clutter blind:

#1. There are Piles Everywhere

If your home, or even a room or two, is filled with piles of stuff, you could be clutter blind. Clutter comes in one thing at a time. And when we do not deal with them immediately, they tend to settle on surfaces.

Often, in an attempt to neaten or tidy a space, a clutter-blind person will gather belongings into piles. Piles can be on the floor, counters, tables, dressers, sofas, TV stands, desks, or any other surface.

Paperwork is a common culprit for piles, but they can comprise anything literally. Children’s toys, mail, clothing, tools, miscellaneous items, etc.

In extreme cases of clutter blindness, you may have to make paths through large piles to walk in your home. Boxes of stored things, large toys, or anything else could cause these piles.

If you have large or small piles in your home, you could have clutter blindness.

#2. Your Spouse Complains of a Messy or Cluttered Home

We get it; spouses complain. We are not talking about the usual bickering between spouses here. In this case, we mean a constant complaint that the house is dirty or cluttered. Perhaps they complain about not having enough room or feel overwhelmed at home.

If your spouse has the same complaint repeatedly, and it is about clutter, it could mean they see a mess you have become blind to.

The next time they complain, use the opportunity to ask for specific examples so that your eyes may be opened to the truth of the situation.

#3. Your Home Does Not Feel Peaceful or Welcoming

Your home should be your haven. Sometimes, even when our conscious minds do not allow us to see clutter, our subconscious alerts us to imbalances by making us feel uneasy.

If you suspect you may be clutter-blind, take a walk around your home. How do you feel in each room? Now go outside. How does it feel about leaving the space altogether? Do you feel relieved to leave? Do you look forward to going back inside, or do you dread it?

If you dread re-entering your home, it could mean that clutter has become an unwelcome guest.

#4. You Do Not Know Where Things Go

We know that you are not lazy or do not want to tidy up. It is just that there is nowhere to put everything. This is a common problem with cluttered homes.

If you are clutter blind, you could simply add items to piles in these situations and give up instead of actively purging or finding a place to store each item.

Every object in your home should have a place to go. If there is not enough room to store the article, it should be trashed, donated, or sold. It is as simple as that.

How to Overcome Clutter Blindness

Clutter blindness can be an overwhelming problem, but realizing and accepting that you have it is the first step to overcoming the phenomenon.

When you accept that you have clutter blindness, you should start decluttering your home. It can be a complex process to purge your home of belongings. For many people, belongings hold significance, and it is not easy to simply get rid of them.

Before we look at a few ways to overcome clutter blindness, let’s take a look at the four main categories of clutter to look for when decluttering your home:

  • Other people’s belongings to be returned
  • Things to be thrown out
  • Things you no longer want or use
  • Items that are no longer useful or that were unwanted gifts

Keep these four categories in mind as you work to rid your home of clutter. If your belongings fall into any of the categories, they must go.

Now, let us look at a few ways you can overcome clutter blindness:

#1. Hire a Professional Organizer

We have listed the method of hiring a professional as our number one option here. Many professional organizers are willing to visit your home and assist with decluttering, purging, and helping you achieve a welcoming home.

Professional organizers also help you understand the psychological reasons for clutter blindness and hoarding tendencies. You need to deeply understand your thought processes if you are to maintain a decluttered home.

It is possible to ask a friend or person in your family for help overcoming clutter blindness. We do not highly recommend this, however.

Such a large undertaking may strain your relationship with a friend or family member. Take before and after photos and invite them over for a celebratory cup of tea when your house looks impressive.

#2. Take Photos

Taking photos of every room of your house is an excellent way to overcome clutter blindness. It is also a good way to determine if you have it in the first place. Seeing your rooms from a slightly different perspective helps you notice things you may not notice in person.

By regularly taking photos of your rooms, you keep yourself accountable. You can spot any areas that are beginning to gather clutter again. Once you notice problem areas, immediately tidy them and move on with clarity.

Another way you can seek accountability is with the spouse who complained about the clutter. Since they are likely now your number one fan, ask them to give you a heads up if they notice any area of the home slipping so that you can fix it together before it gets out of hand.

Taking photos of your home is also an excellent way to keep you feeling proud of your home. All your consistent work of tidying daily should be rewarded. Take a photo of each room weekly to celebrate that your home is still in good condition.

#3. Daily Tidies and Regular Clean-Ups

Spend a few minutes daily putting away the items lying around your home. After about a month, this will become a habit and will not take much energy.

You will find this 15 minute decluttering challenge very helpful. It helps you declutter your home 15 minutes a day, one day at a time, removing the overwhelm associated with decluttering.

Clearing up your home each evening and cleaning regularly will allow you to wake up to a clean, neat, and tidy house every morning. Celebrate the start of each new day, knowing that your home is clean, clear, and clutter free.

Keeping up these good practices will allow you and your family to live in a healthy and happy environment.

15 Minute Declutter challenge

Final Thoughts on Overcoming Clutter Blindness

Being clutter blind can place you in tricky situations as you struggle to see the mess and clutter around you. Once you become aware of the problem, there are ways to overcome your clutter blindness and overcome the chaos in your home.

Keep up the good practices you implement while clearing your home, and live a happy, healthy, clean, and clutter free life.

Now that you know the signs of clutter blindness and how to overcome it, you can start ridding your home of the unnecessary clutter.

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