Clutter Blindness and How Doing This One Thing Can Make all the Difference

Clutter blindness and how doing this one thing can make all the difference

Now I know this is a topic I’ve touched on many times before (and you’re probably over me talking about it) but I recently had a related experience happen that I want to share. That topic is clutter blindness and how we often just stop seeing it. It happens to all of us including me. As most of you know we are in the process of doing some renos in our home (nope still not done!), mainly painting and a little kitchen facelift. As with any reno project you need to box stuff up to get it out of the way so that’s what I did. Everything had to come down off the walls and off of surfaces and on top of the cupboards. Everything. And what happened next shouldn’t have surprised me at all but it did.

You see I purge stuff every week, just take a peek at my Instagram page to see what I mean. I don’t live with a lot of excess in my home. But when I removed all the decor and stuff on the tops of my kitchen cupboards and put it away for awhile while we painted, I realized pretty quickly that I liked how the simpler space with less stuff made me feel. The weird tiny space above the one wall of cabinets held just random stuff that I hadn’t touched in quite some time. None of it went back. Some got relocated, most of it donated.

And while these things weren’t necessarily cluttering my space, they apparently were cluttering my mind. It’s only once I removed them from the space did I realize what an impact it all had on me. It felt great! My kitchen felt lighter, simpler, less noisy and my eyes had somewhere to rest. It’s only once it was all down and I had lived without the stuff for a couple of weeks did I realize what I did and didn’t miss. I even put fewer things back up on my walls. Wide open spaces is apparently what my dreams are made of because I love how awesome it feels 🙂

Picture this weird random space full of junk.

weird random space

I love my new paint color…Deep Space by BM.

wide open spaces

*new cabinet pulls coming soon!*

Every empty surface does not have to be an invitation to fill it.

Now before you start throwing spit balls at me (you wouldn’t do that would you?) I should clarify that what each person can tolerate in terms of stuff will be different. I get it, what works for me may not work for you. It’s all good. But what I want to do today is simply challenge you to temporarily remove all the small stuff from your space (not the furniture obviously) and simply live less noisy for awhile. Just to see how you feel. Do you feel more relaxed, calmer, peaceful in your home or does it make you anxious having an empty space calling out to you to fill it up? You won’t know unless you try.

It’s a completely different strategy than just walking around your home looking for random things to purge here and there that you DON’T like and use. That doesn’t always work for everyone. Instead this method has you take it all out and slowly bring back and consider only the things that you DO love and use. See the difference? This is so much easier after you’ve been able to experience what a clean uncluttered space feels like. There is a reason that REMOVE is step number two in my organizing PROCESS. It really does work!

So regardless of whether or not you think you have a clutter blindness problem, because honestly we sometimes just don’t see the clutter, I highly recommend you try this challenge today. Maybe start with just one room or just the outside of your fridge. I wouldn’t have said that my space before was cluttered at all but what was there I found out was busy on my eyes. I just didn’t realize that until the stuff wasn’t there anymore. Plus you’ve got to remember that clutter creeps in gradually over time and our eyes just become accustomed to it. So occasionally doing this exercise helps to reset your home. A fresh start. It allows you to really know what it is you love and use and want to surround yourself with. Doesn’t that sound good?

Box it up, breathe and only bring back in what you love and use and that fits your space. Donate everything else. You won’t even miss it.

Do you have clutter blindness? What do you think of this strategy for combating it?

Have a beautifully organized weekend everyone!





Filed under: Clutter Control, Purging, Simplicity


14 Responses to Clutter Blindness and How Doing This One Thing Can Make all the Difference

  1. 1
    Cheryl Strachan says

    I love this idea! Always good to remind us of little tips like this. No problem repeating. 🙂

  2. 2
    Pamela says

    I couldn’t agree more!! Once it’s all put away (or tossed or given away) I feel so much better! I also change around the placement of items for this reason. (I recently changed the toaster placement in the kitchen and it just looks better!)

    • 2.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Yes! Changing a room around can be tremendously helpful as it forces you to touch every single item and make a decision about it. Breathes new life into a room for sure!

  3. 3
    Sharon says

    I don’t have clutter blindness. I can see it I just can’t seem to get on top of it. Recently I have been sorting a wardrobe in a spare bedroom but I haven’t thrown anything away or recycled. I’ve just tidied and then put it all back. I bought cube linen look boxes and labelled each one which has made it look tidier but there is still no space.
    I can’t seem to get rid of anything either because someone bought it for me or because I bought it and it seems a waste to just bin it or give it away.
    I have promised myself that I will not buy anymore stationery until I have used all that I have but I know I will be tempted.
    My craft room is just not usable because I have so much stuff in there. I decided I would have a sort out and sell what I don’t use now but I just keep thinking what if I need it!
    And so it goes on!!

    • 3.2
      Wendy says

      I used to have some anxiety about getting rid of stuff, but I started small and now each time I clear out a little more I feel great! Just start with a piece or two. Ask yourself if you really truly need it or even still like it. It might be someone else’s treasure.

  4. 4
    Lucy says

    my two daughters get free reign to hang up papers/pictures/etc in their playroom (used to be dining room). last week, i finally took down everything they had put up (while they were at school) and when my 4 year old came home, she said: mommy, i like this (gesturing to the walls)… this new house. lol. i’m guessing she means she likes the clutter-free walls.

    • 4.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Yes it’s definitely easier to notice the difference when it’s no longer there rather than trying to imagine what our spaces would be like clutter free.

  5. 5
    Tassy says

    We just moved and I love the near bare walls. It is peaceful to me. My husband, however, is driving me crazy to put up everything and then some. How do we find a happy medium? I am relenting one item at a time until I hit my tolerance threshold. Wonder how it wil play out.

  6. 6
    Sarah says

    I just got new carpeting in my bedroom and closet. I don’t want to put much back at all. I totally understand where you’re coming from with your kitchen.

  7. 7
    Rebecca says

    I DID do this, and it is AMAZING! I had a very serious problem with clutter blindness and moderately bad hoarding.

    BEST tip for really SEEING what others see: take pictures of your space and look at them a few days later. Suddenly, it is a different perspective. After I cleared out, I have NEVER gone back to that! (I actually did it because I wanted before and after pics, but I was SHOCKED by what I “saw” differently!)

  8. 8
    Pat S says

    I know exactly what you mean. I had to empty out an entire living room because I was having hardwood floors put in. Once it was done, I realized I didn’t want to put all the dust catchers back. I donated most of it and never missed it.


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