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This blog post is all about clutter blindness, signs you may have it, and how to overcome it! 

At the beginning of my minimalist journey, I used to have clutter blindness all the time.

When decluttering my home and going through my things, I would identify some items as clutter and would get rid of them.

But I would ignore so many other things, even though I did not use or even like them. 

And over time, as I decluttered and decluttered again, I would realize that many of those things I didn’t pay attention to.

It was as if they were not there all that time. 

If you’re experiencing the same thing when decluttering and minimizing the excess, you might have clutter blindness. 

In this article, I share with you everything you need to know about clutter blindness, what causes it, signs you may have it, and what you can do to combat it. 

What is clutter blindness?

Clutter blindness is when we get so used to having clutter in our home that we do not see it anymore.

We walk past a cluttered area in our space without realizing that it’s messy and chaotic. 

For us, that clutter has become part of the room, and we stop noticing it’s there. 

It is as if our brain ignores the problem and looks past it. 

Some examples of clutter blindness are:

  • Those cardboard boxes we put in the garage in the hope of reusing them someday, but they’ve been there so long that we no longer notice them. 
  • The ever-growing pile of paperwork in the entryway we’re just so used to seeing every time we enter our home.
  • All those toys our kids have outgrown that are still in their room and that we never thought of getting rid of.
  • The clothes in our wardrobe that we never touch because we’re so used to wearing the same pieces over and over again. 
In this article, you'll learn about what is clutter blindness, 6 signs you may have it, and 6 effective tips to stop it.

The thing is, those things get in the way! 

We stopped noticing them, yet they complicate our lives in our homes.

They make cleaning and tidying so much more difficult and time-consuming.

Because of them, we don’t get to enjoy a peaceful, relaxing space where there is no clutter calling for our attention all the time. 

Read more:

What causes clutter blindness?

In today’s society, we’re all so used to overconsuming, impulse buying things all the time, and trying to keep up with the latest trends. 

As a result, we accumulate things in our homes, and sometimes, there are so many of them that our organizational systems no longer work for us. 

If we don’t consciously take the time to declutter the excess and weed out clutter, it piles up.

And over time, we get used to it.

Having all those things around is normal and we stop paying attention to them. 

Having too many storage spaces and flat surfaces doesn’t help either.

We somehow feel bad leaving them half empty, so we fill them with even more things.

It feels more comfortable to have them packed and full to the brim.

And then, all those things sit there without us noticing them anymore because we’re so used to having them.  

We get less and less bothered by clutter and end up experiencing clutter blindness. 

Clutter blindness symptoms: 6 signs you may have clutter blindness

Some of us have a higher tolerance for clutter than others.

But I believe we all get to experience clutter blindness from time to time, especially as we get busy with life. 

Here are 6 signs you may have clutter blindness! 

a. You feel stressed in your home

If you feel stressed and overwhelmed in your home, even after you’ve cleaned and tidied everything up, you may have clutter blindness.

Clutter makes us feel restless and feel as if there is constantly something that needs to get done.

Feeling stressed in your home is a clear sign you may have clutter blindness.

b. You can’t find things when you need them

If you can’t find what you’re looking for when you need it, you may have too much going on in your space, even though you may not realize it.

The things we use regularly shouldn’t be buried in piles and piles of things we don’t even notice anymore. 

c. Things are falling out of closets as you open them

If things are falling out of cabinets and closets, you should probably go through them.

There might be things hidden in there that you completely forgot about.

Declutter them right now

d. Loved ones have commented on the messes in your home

Whether that’s your spouse, kids, or other people, if someone has ever commented on the messes or clutter in your space, you may have clutter blindness.

They may have even offered to help you declutter because they may see that there is too much stuff. 

If no one has ever said anything, go ahead and ask a loved one to give their honest opinion.

Do they think your home is too cluttered? 

e. You always accept free stuff 

Have you gotten into the habit of always accepting free stuff when it’s offered to you?

Do you do that even when you know you won’t use or even like those items?

If so, you may not differentiate things that are clutter from those that are not. 

f. You never feel the need to declutter your home

As human beings, we all accumulate things in our lives.

We need and want new things, so we buy and bring new items into our homes all the time.

However, if we don’t feel the need to get rid of the excess from time to time, we may have clutter blindness.

We may not realize that some items are getting in the way and that we’d be better off without them

Read more:

A clear sign you may have clutter blindness is if you never feel the need to declutter from time to time.

How to stop clutter blindness?

If you think you have clutter blindness and want to combat it, read on.

Here are 6 effective ways to stop clutter blindness!

1. Make an inventory of what you have in each room 

Take a piece of paper or open an Excel sheet on your computer and try to remember and list all the things you have in each room of your home.

Try not to check while doing it.

Then, when you think you’re done, go back to each room and add everything you forgot about to your list, but in a different color. 

For each item you forgot about, ask yourself why.

Have you forgotten about it because you never use it?

Is it because it doesn’t bring value anymore?

If so, it may be clutter you should get rid of

And for the things you remembered, ask yourself why you did as well.

Do you remember it because you love and use it every day or is it because it’s been bothering you for months? 

I know doing this might be a tedious task, but it will help you reevaluate things one by one.

Asking yourself these decluttering questions will also open your eyes to what you really think about them.

This process will help you realize that you may not use or even like some of that stuff. 

And since you’re reassessing everything, you will not be able to have clutter blindness anymore. 

Read more: How to develop a minimalist mindset?

2. Ask a loved one to help you declutter

If you have clutter blindness, ask a loved one who is naturally great at organizing to help you go through your things.

That way, you will be able to hear their perspective on what looks messy in your home and what you should get rid of.

They’ll have a fresh set of eyes that see things differently. 

If you have clutter blindness, ask a friend to help you declutter.

Ask them to be honest and not to be afraid of hurting you while giving their opinion.

Ask them to tell you what areas have too much clutter, and what they would have decluttered. 

For more tips and guidance, you might even want to hire a professional organizer.

That person will help you see your things from a more objective point of view and will give you helpful advice to combat clutter blindness.  

Read more: How to start decluttering when overwhelmed with clutter?

3. Take photos of every room in your house

Walk into all the rooms in your house and take pictures of what they look like as well as the contents in closets, drawers, and cabinets. 

Then, take some time to analyze each photo.

Doing this will help you see things from a different angle and realize where the problem areas are in your home.

It may draw attention to the items you forgot about.

You will also be able to tell more easily what looks cluttered and messy.

As you do it, decide what isn’t worth keeping in each of these rooms.

What makes the area look cluttered?

What items do you never use?

Make some decisions and then go back to each room and remove those items. 

Take photos again to see the results and reassess whether you can still get rid of things you might not have thought of before.

Seeing the improvements you’ve made will also motivate you and help you see how impactful decluttering can be! 

If you want to go even further, compare your photos with pictures of beautiful interiors on Pinterest.

How cluttered do you think your home looks compared to them?

What are the differences between those tidy, clutter-free spaces and yours?

Doing this will motivate you to clear the excess even more so you can have your dream home! 

Compare what your home looks like with beautiful home interiors on Pinterest. This will motivate you declutter even more!

4. Get into the habit of decluttering regularly

The easiest way to overcome clutter blindness is to get into the habit of decluttering regularly.

Whether you go through your belongings monthly, seasonally, or once a year, doing this often will train your mind to identify what is clutter in your home. 

Over time, you will start to see things through different lenses and notice what you may have forgotten about in the past.

You will now be able to see what doesn’t bring value, when in the past, you would ignore those items. 

If you need guidance and ideas to declutter your home, I have tons of resources for you here on the blog! 

You might be interested in the following ones: 

5. Beware of storage spaces

I know it might be easier said than done, but if you want to stop clutter blindness, try to have as few storage spaces as possible.

When we have all kinds of storage closets and rooms in our homes, we are often tempted to shove things in there when we don’t know what to do with them.

They’re a quick fix for whenever we don’t want to deal with an item immediately. 

We then close the doors and keep them shut for as long as we can so we don’t see the messes.

As a result, we end up forgetting about the things in there and ignoring that growing problem.

This contributes to our clutter blindness even more!

We often don’t realize how much we have in there until we have to tackle the issue, for instance, when we move. 

So use storage spaces mindfully and try not to designate entire rooms as storage spaces.

Use the rooms in your house for their intended purposes.

For instance, use your garage to park your car, not to pile all kinds of things in there.

Your spare room can be a craft room whenever no one is using it. 

When it comes to basements and attics, be mindful every time you put something in there and try to declutter them at least every six months.

Even better, see if you can turn your basement into a playroom or a second living room! 

Use storage spaces mindfully as they can attract lots of things we may forget about.

6. Keep your flat surfaces clear

Get into the habit of keeping your flat surfaces clear as much as you can.

Flat surfaces such as kitchen counters or dining tables are a catch-all for clutter and things we use every day. 

If we don’t regularly make the conscious choice of clearing them off completely, some items end up living there for weeks, if not months.

And as we get used to seeing them, we become clutter blind and stop noticing them. 

So take five minutes every night to clear all the flat surfaces in your home.

Take action on those items, put them back where they belong, designate a home for them, or get rid of them. 

As having clear surfaces becomes a habit for you, you will be able to tell whenever something shouldn’t be there immediately.

You’ll start seeing clutter as soon as it appears and won’t accumulate it unnecessarily anymore! 

Read more: 20 lazy habits for a clutter-free home

Final thoughts on clutter blindness 

I hope this article about clutter blindness was helpful and that it has helped you find ways to combat it effectively. 

All of us experience it from time to time whether we’re trying to embrace minimalism and declutter our homes or not. 

The key is to identify it and apply some effective tips to stop it.

Thanks to these strategies, you will start noticing what is getting in the way and preventing you from having a clutter-free home. 

If you liked this article, you might be interested in the following ones as well: 

How do you stop clutter blindness?

What are your favorite ways to overcome it? 

Please leave your strategies below! 

Don’t forget to share this blog post with your friends to help them declutter their homes as well.

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