Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
We all have that room in our homes that just looks messy even after organizing it. The thing is, you could have gorgeous furniture, expensive rugs, and pictures, but if you don’t organize your room or decorate it appropriately, it’ll still look messy.
Here are 17 of the most common reasons why your room looks messy:
- Exposed cords look untidy and chaotic.
- Too many things on the wall create clutter.
- A messy refrigerator exterior is unattractive.
- You’ve used too many patterns.
- You have too many throw pillows.
- Open shelving gives the appearance of clutter and mess.
- You have too much furniture in the space.
- Unclear surface tops are messy.
- Too many toys look chaotic.
- Unorganized books look messy and collect dust.
- You have too many small plants
- You have too many small lamps
- Your collections are overtaking your house.
- You have untidy paper piles
- Your entryways are cluttered.
- Dirty dishes make the entire kitchen look unclean.
- There’s too much decor for the space.
A neat room isn’t only relaxing for you but also more comfortable for your guests. This article explores some of the reasons why your room looks messy even after cleaning.
1. Exposed Cords Look Untidy and Chaotic
Most homes sit somewhere between the past and the future. What do I mean?
While most rooms in a modern house have smart electronics, they’re still not completely wireless and still rely on cords, especially for power supply.
Cord management is often a challenge in rooms like the living room or kitchen, where there might be several of these electronics. Phone chargers, TV cords, and network cables all tangle, sometimes forming a nasty cobweb. It’s truly a ghastly sight that ruins even the best-decorated rooms.
There are a few innovative ways of hiding these cords:
- Run the cords behind the wall.
- Use a cable reel.
- Slip them into a drawer.
- Use a cable wrap to maintain the cord chaos.
- Snake network cables through baseboard accessories.
- Corral them behind the couch.
- Hook the cords to the back of your furniture.
However, be careful while working with power cords and look out for any frayed wires, which are a hazard.
2. Too Many Things on the Wall Create Clutter
Can you have too much of a good thing? When it comes to decor, many professionals agree with the saying “less is more.”
While paintings and picture frames decorate your wall and add some life to your room, hanging up too many of them can make your wall look like an art exhibition.
In addition, when the wall has so much going on, it’s hard to focus on one item. This beats the whole point of decorating the wall.
If possible, you should have one painting, picture frame, or mirror, which will be the room’s focal point. However, if one is just not enough for you, be sure you spread the others around the room so that each has enough uninterrupted space.
3. A Messy Refrigerator Exterior Is Unattractive
While most people declutter their kitchens, they often forget one of the messiest surfaces, the refrigerator’s exterior. This is because we mount so many things with magnets on the refrigerator door and never remove them.
While some things such as kids’ report cards and drawings might have sentimental value, others like shopping lists shouldn’t stay too long. Excessive photos and papers also just make the refrigerator look messy.
The best way to address this is by having a good paper filing system and a designated spot for them. Then, use the system for all your to-do lists, shopping lists, and other paperwork you mount on the refrigerator.
In addition, rotate out things that have sentimental value instead of piling on more and more. For example, if you already put up your kid’s report card, there’s no need to mount the drawing there. Instead, you can find another spot for it, perhaps in another room, or if you insist on adding the drawing, take the report card down when you do.
4. You’ve Used Too Many Patterns
The 90s was a strange time. Back then, patterns were on everything from the carpet and upholstery to the wallpaper. Just Google 90s interior design and have a look for yourself. It’s hilarious!
Attempting to pull off the same design today is a bad idea.
Too many patterns in one room cause visual clutter and look uncontained and messy. To cool down the pattern frenzy in your room, you can break down the patterns with a healthy mix of metals, wood, and solids. Switching your pillows to a solid cover will also drastically improve the room’s aesthetics.
5. You Have Too Many Throw Pillows
You’ve probably looked at most furniture displays or bedroom decor and admired the beautiful bed with a matching bed skirt, comforter, and pillow shams. These beds also often have many decorative pillows.
As appealing as this looks, these pillows aren’t practical. Removing and then adding back all these pillows when you make your bed is a chore, especially when you have to get to work. As a result, most people stop arranging the pillows after the first few days, and they often clutter the bed.
If you really enjoy your decorative pillows and can’t do without them, ensure you display them neatly. Otherwise, consider keeping a few locked away in a drawer until you need them.
The same applies to couch pillows. Having too many of them requires constant straightening up, and it’s hard to keep them neat and uncluttered.
6. Open Shelving Gives the Appearance of Clutter and Mess
There are many benefits to open shelving. It has a warm and welcoming look; it’s easy to organize and costs less than closed cabinets. However, without proper organization, open shelves make a room look messy. It’s therefore not for people with limited space.
Sticking to the rule of three items per group will help your open shelves look a bit neater. Otherwise, you’re better off investing in closed cabinets.
7. You Have Too Much Furniture in the Space
Some rooms are filled with furniture, wall to wall. When we buy new furniture, sometimes we forget to find other uses for the existing pieces. Sometimes you might not have space in other rooms and decide to keep them in the same room.
Other times, the furniture might be inherited, and you’d just feel guilty getting rid of it. However, getting rid of things you got from loved ones doesn’t mean you don’t love or appreciate them. Keeping all the furniture you get from friends will clutter your room and interfere with your interior styling.
If you feel guilty about selling the furniture, you can find someone else to hand it down to, or you can take it to Goodwill.
8. Unclear Surface Tops Are Messy
Not every surface in your house needs to be covered. In some rooms, you’ll find piles on bedside tables, dresser tops, and bureaus. You’ll find all kinds of things on there:
- Other things that make the space look cluttered
You need to have a designated drop-off zone for your stuff when you walk in the door. For example, you can find a large basket to store your keys, phone charger, hat, sunglasses, etc.
9. Too Many Toys Look Chaotic
We all adore kids and love to see them happy. However, getting them too many toys can often be a cleaning nightmare. First, you have to eliminate all the clutter and then find creative ways of storing them.
To avoid this, lock away half the toys for about a week, leaving only your kids’ favorites. Once you teach them to play with fewer toys, you can rotate them. Removing a toy from the storage means locking away another one. That way, you’ll never have too many toys out at the same time.
Additionally, whenever you buy them a new toy, you should donate one of the older ones to keep the numbers consistent.
10. Unorganized Books Look Messy and Collect Dust
Many readers incorporate their books in home decor. A neatly stacked pile adds a touch of elegance and intentionality to a room. However, a cheap, five-shelf bookshelf filled with rows of staggered books from side to side will make your room look cluttered instead.
To store books neatly and appealingly, you need to organize them by height or spine color. Also, you should leave some breathing room on the shelf instead of making them look squeezed.
You can use a large geode, bookends, or even a stack of more books laying flat to flank standing books. Finally, add other textured elements like a large basket or glass vase to break up the wall of paper.
11. You Have Too Many Small Plants
Having small live plants is an excellent addition to any room. They make for beautiful decor and increase fresh air circulation. However, it’s possible to have too many plants in a room.
If all the room surfaces are covered with potted plants, you might be overdoing it. Instead, spread them out into different rooms or gather them on one countertop or shelf. Better still, you can give some away to that friend who has zero plants in their house.
12. You Have Too Many Small Lamps
Besides being a great light source, lamps are an integral part of your interior decor. However, too many small lamps and decor pieces can make your room look messy.
Whenever there are too many small items on a surface, it’ll look cluttered even if you’re using these things.
To avoid these, get fewer but bigger lamps or install some overhead lights. This not only makes your room neater but also easier to clean.
13. Your Collections Are Overtaking Your House
Collections are a huge part of interior decor. However, having stuffed animal collections, glass collections, and figurine collections in one room can look messy and unappealing.
In fact, any large collection can lead to clutter. The best way around this is to keep the collections closest to you on display. The rest can be stored out of sight and removed when necessary.
14. You Have Untidy Paper Piles
If you walk into some living rooms, you’ll be welcomed by a stack of bills and mail piled aimlessly on a tabletop. While most people leave the bills there, so they don’t forget about them, it’s not a pretty sight.
The solution here’s a good mail and paper filing system. You can get a designated spot to place your neatly filed bills and mail and ensure that every piece of paper that enters your home gets filed or laminated. You should also address the paper clutter every day to stay on top of this problem.
15. Your Entryways Are Cluttered
It’s nice to have a welcome mat at your door. It makes your guests feel welcome! However, a messy entryway will give your house a cluttered appearance and put off the same guests. A single welcome mat is enough. You don’t need all those other doorway signs and quotes.
In addition, if you live in a cold or wet climate, you probably remove your shoes at the door. If everyone in your house takes off their shoes and leaves them right at the door, it’s going to be messy. It gets worse when you also need to hang your coat once you’re in the house.
If you have to remove your shoes every time you get into your house, create a shoe cubby for everyone’s shoes. You should also create a space to hang coats and gloves. If you’re unsure how to go about it, you can look at a few Pinterest coat rack ideas.
16. Dirty Dishes Make the Whole Kitchen Look Unclean
Admittedly, washing dirty dishes isn’t the most fun activity. However, dirty dishes on your kitchen countertop are an ugly sight, even on the best-decorated kitchens. So ensure you clean your dishes every day, if not after every meal.
Once you’re done cleaning, dry them and put them away. This is because even clean dishes on your countertop will add clutter.
Still in the kitchen, if you have too many pots and pans, your cupboard will look cluttered. As a result, you should only keep the pans and pots you need and keep the rest in storage. To keep your kitchen countertops clutter-free, you should also remove your less-used appliances and cutlery.
17. There’s Too Much Decor for the Space
It’s completely natural to want a beautiful home. As a result, many people spend tons of time and money on interior decor. While there’s nothing wrong with this, some people tend to go overboard.
The best interior decor themes try to take a minimalist approach as it’s very hard to make many decorations go together. Using too much decor often makes the room lose its intended theme. As a result, it’s important to stick to one theme and only add a few items, avoiding clutter as much as possible.
- AD IT YOURSELF: 8 DIY Hacks for Hiding TV Wires and Unsightly Cords
- Pinterest: Coat Rack
- Quail Ridge Apartments: 11 Reasons Your Home Looks Cluttered
- Shannon Torrens: 20 Reasons Your House Looks Cluttered
- Deemiddelton: 14 THINGS THAT MAKE YOUR HOME LOOK CLUTTERED
- Lelaburris: 11 Things That Make Your House Look Messier Than It Is
- Worldwide Home Furnishings Inc: 3 Reasons Your Décor Is Making Your Room Feel Messy (And How To Fix it)
- Family Handyman: 5 Things That Make a Room Look Messy
- Better Homes and Gardens: These 6 Decorating Mistakes Make Your Home Look Messier Than It Really Is
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