It may sound funny, but clutter blindness is a real thing!
I’m sure you’ve heard about people who are looking for things in their homes, maybe a set of keys or a pen and can’t find them, despite searching. Then finally someone comes and shows them where they were located, and it was right in front of them all along!
In today’s post we will delve into what exactly clutter blindness is and how you can overcome it in order to clear your clutter for good!
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- What is clutter blindness
- How to tell if you're clutter blind
- How does clutter blindness develop
- Why it's important to recognise clutter blindness and declutter your home
- How to overcome clutter blindness
What is clutter blindness
Clutter blindness is the name of the condition that causes us to become blind and unaware of all of these unneeded items we have because we’re so used to them. Over time we stop seeing the excess stuff because we’re too used to looking at it.
Clutter blindness comes in to play when people just don’t see the mess around them or can’t seem to do anything about it. It is often termed as “look but fail to see.”
What they’re really saying is that they’re not blind, but their mind has just filtered out the extra things in their surroundings. They see it; however, they can’t acknowledge or act on it.
Read also: 9 Ways to Find The Motivation to Declutter
People aren’t really blind to the mess around them; instead, they’ve become accustomed to it and “expect” there to be clutter all around.
How to tell if you’re clutter blind
If you are constantly fighting with your clutter, then it’s likely you have some form of clutter blindness, and something needs to change.
Often, you might know that your home is cluttered, but you have no idea where to start decluttering. This is because you’re clutter blind.
Do your flat surfaces, such as the kitchen counter and dining room table, accumulate more and more clutter where you’re wondering how on earth it ended up like that? Yup, you guessed it, you’ve got clutter blindness!
It can also be frustrating to other family members if you can’t see the clutter but they do.
In practically every household, even the most organised home, there is one area or another which has clutter (yes, even mine!). We often oversee this area when doing clearouts because we don’t see it as clutter.
In my case, it’s one of my kitchen drawers. It’s that drawer that you just throw everything that ‘doesn’t have a home’.
How does clutter blindness develop
Clutter blindness occurs over time – the clutter doesn’t just all appear in an instance, it grows and grows, which is why it’s so hard to see it.
For example, you may come home every day from work, pick up the mail and leave it on the kitchen counter, but not deal with it there and then. Day after day, the pile of envelopes gets bigger and bigger.
Another way clutter accumulates without you seeing it is if you bring something new into your home and you use it for some time, but then stop using it. Every time you see it, you’ll be reminded that you’ve used this item but you may not see that it’s been a couple of years since it’s been used and it’s ready to be decluttered.
Why it’s important to recognise clutter blindness and declutter your home
Whether you see it or not, the clutter is there. And we all know that clutter causes stress and anxiety.
I’ve said it before, but everything you bring into your home comes with a chore – clothes come with the chore of washing and ironing; ornaments come with the chore of dusting; dishes and other kitchen wear come with the chore of washing.
So, what happens when your home is cluttered and you are clutter blind? It stops you from being able to see or do anything about it. Whilst it may not seem like a big deal, over time, this can have a negative impact on your life.
Now that we’ve established what exactly clutter blindness is and its consequences, let’s take a look at how best to overcome it!
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How to overcome clutter blindness
Ask for help
If you’re not sure if you’re seeing all the clutter, ask a family member or friend to come in and point it out for you.
Now, this can be difficult to listen to sometimes, but try to keep an open mind once they’ve pointed out the mess. Thank them for their support and then take action.
If asking a friend or family member isn’t an option, or you’d prefer to delve deeper and hire someone, there are professional declutterers out there who can come to your house and help you overcome clutter blindness and declutter your home.
Have you ever looked through old photos and you spot things you didn’t see at the time? Like something odd in the background or your hair doing something weird?
If you take pictures of every area in your home, you’ll be more likely to see the clutter. Different perspectives can sometimes show you things that your eyes can’t.
Identify your problem areas
As with any issue, identifying your problem area when it comes to clutter blindness will go a long way in overcoming the issue.
For example, you may have a basket that you throw random things into every day, but never go back to clear.
Or the mail that piles up on the kitchen counter without being dealt with.
Once you have identified your problem areas, you’ll be able to manage them in the future to avoid clutter piling up.
Give everything a home
Clutter becomes clutter when things don’t have a home. And I often wonder if something doesn’t have a home, does it have a specific purpose? For example, if it’s clothing, the home is the wardrobe, if it’s kitchen utensils, the home is in the kitchen drawers.
As soon as you bring anything into your house, give it a home. Don’t let things pile up on your surfaces.
Not only does this avoid clutter blindness, but it also means that you’ll never misplace anything again!
Avoid storage areas
Many people have a spare room that they just use for storage. The door to the room is shut and the clutter is never seen. But we know it’s still there.
The more ‘storage areas’ we have, the more clutter can accumulate in these areas. We begin to ignore them and eventually, we lose sight of the fact that they’re there.
The best advice I can give you is not to have any storage areas at all. This will force you to acknowledge everything in your home rather than trying to hide it away.
Don’t use baskets to catch your clutter
What do I mean by this? Well, some people have little baskets dotted around their homes to catch all the clutter throughout the day.
The problem with this is that while the cute little baskets look nice and neat, there are 40 items thrown in that haven’t seen the light of day in some time! This is still clutter and the items are becoming redundant when not being used.
So ditch the baskets and instead put things away as and when they’re used.
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Clear all surfaces every evening
Before you go to bed every evening, make sure to clear every surface, wash every dish and put everything away in its place.
Clutter won’t have a chance to accumulate if you spend 10 minutes every evening (or in the mornings if you prefer – I much prefer waking up to a clean house) clearing up.
Read also: 10 Unexpected Benefits of Having a Clean Home.
Clutter blindness occurs when we don’t see the mess accumulating around us. Chances are, we’re all guilty of being clutter blind at times.
But if we follow the above easy solutions and actively work towards not creating clutter, it’s possible to have a clutter free space in no time.