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What is the most common clutter in a person’s house?

by respaced on May 13, 2009

In my work organizing people’s homes, I tend to see the same kinds of clutter over and over. These are the things most people have too many of and thus, end up in the trash or donate box most often. I’ve divided them up by room to make it a little more readable:

Bathroom Clutter

Candles. See image on right.

Scented bath gels, bath scrubs and those little smelly/fizzy ball things

Mini bottles of shampoo and conditioner from hotels

Kitchen Clutter

Plastic travel mugs and sports bottles, usually with a hideous company logo on them

Tupperware/Gladware lids with no bottoms, or bottoms with no lids

Holiday tins that held popcorn or shortbread cookies

Playroom Clutter

Toy cars. The tinier they are, the more prolific they are

Itty-bitty plastic toys — the kind that were once stocking stuffers or plastic Easter egg surprises

Living Room/Office Clutter

Books. College textbooks, paperbacks with ripped-off covers, self-help books and “Chicken Soup for the … Soul” books

Receipts and coupons, six months or older

Junk mail

Stationery. So fun to give, so pointless to keep

Basement Clutter

Exercise equipment

The Christmas ornaments your kid made you when he was in preschool

Baby clothes you loved too much to give away at the time. Five years later, you completely forgot you kept them.

Closet Clutter

Black leggings

T-shirts with hideous company logos on them (came with the travel mugs)

Your grade school, high school, college-era jewelery

I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all I could think of for now. What do you have too much of in your house? What do you fellow organizers see too much of?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeri Dansky May 13, 2009 at 11:31 pm

Great list! I’d add

1. All sorts of items you don’t really like, but they were gifts.

2. Magazines and catalogs you want to receive – but these are from many many many months ago.

3. Way more basic inexpensive pens than anyone is going to use in the next 10 years.

4. Broken stuff you’re never going to get fixed.


AlexiC May 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm

I'd also add
Kitchen clutter: single purpose utensils, such as strawberry hullers, melon ballers, etc. especially when owner never undertakes these tasks. Also spices/dried herbs/condiments bought for one specific recipe then never used again can quickly mount up.

Study/home office: Freebie CDs/DVDs, free notepads and stationery from hotels, conferences etc, free messenger bags from conferences/conventions. Computers seem to attract a lot of cheap freebie corporate junk – mousemats, USB sticks etc. Generally you only need one of this type of thing.


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