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What is your biggest clutter hot spot?

Many, many of you have written in or commented in the last few months that you are really struggling with home organization. So I’m excited to let you know that I’ve teamed up with Andrea Dekker from Simple Organized Living to bring you a brand-new monthly feature called called “Ask the Organizer“.

Each month, we’ll feature one organizing question and let you weigh in your thoughts, answers, and opinions. Then later in the month, Andrea will pick one or two of the most popular responses and share her tips, ideas, and suggestions for dealing with those issues!

So, to start things off, this month’s question is:

What is your biggest clutter hot spot?

Leave your answers below and then check back in a couple weeks for Andrea’s expert organizing advice!

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286 Comments

  • deseray says:

    kitchen table and counters

  • RachaelP says:

    The kitchen counter and the washer/dryer (right in the kitchen).

  • Nicki says:

    We have a house rule that has helped a lot…”Don’t put it down, put it away.” No exceptions – ever.

  • Jenn says:

    Dining room table! All school papers, mail, my daughter does all her “art” and leaves it there….the biggest problem is I don’t have time to deal with all the school stuff and mail when I get home from work (have 2 elementary age kids). And if I move it to my desk, it’s out of sight and I will forget about it. Most days I’m too tired by the time the kids are in bed to deal with anything but urgent stuff. I really hate it, but just don’t know what the solution is.

  • Amy B says:

    The corner of my kitchen is the catch-all for my daughters’ “craft projects.” It is jam-packed with jumbled but easy-to-reach markers, paints, crayons, stamps, construction paper, coloring books, glitter, etc. I don’t want to put it all in a big box and put it up somewhere because my daughters use it several times a day! It needs to be accessible but better organized. How can I organize it in a way that it is easy for them to put their own things away when they’re done?

  • Ruth says:

    Dining room table. It’s a pile magnet.

  • Meredith says:

    Garage is the worst. We have a two car and can get one car in there….close to having to buy a Fiat just to get one in there. Hanging on to baby stuff and all my husbands tools. Plus he’s a box hoarder. It’s a nightmare.

  • Jen Saele says:

    Our kitchen island! It’s the “dumping ground” for school papers, mail, you name it! I’m always afraid that if I put things “away,” the important papers will be out of sight, out of mind, and then easily forgotten.

    • Christine says:

      Same here, only it’s one small area of counter over the dishwasher (kitchen’s not big enough for an island)…and it’s just like Jen said, I’m afraid to put these things away…that I’ll forget all about them. That never dawned on me till I saw her comment.

  • Shauna says:

    Living room which is now my son’s toy room. 2nd baby coming I know I have to organize the toys better.

  • Bronwyn says:

    The raised kitchen countertop that overlooks the main living area. It’s the place we pass on our way to other parts of the house so it’s useful but an eye-sore!

  • kriswithmany says:

    Almost anything horizontal. We keep the dining room clear, but that’s only because we eat there at least twice a day. We have stuff on the kitchen counters, the desks, the piano, the floor of the entry, the master bedroom floor, on top of dressers. I don’t know if I could say that one area is worse than another. If I clean up one, it’s covered again in a few days. A lot of it is papers. It gets so overwhelming!

    • Fun Momma says:

      I “tease” (maybe too harshly) my husband about horizontal spaces. If we have one, it attracts stuff. I work at keeping some of them clean but he is definitely not on board.

      For us (him?), it is not only papers, but also receipts, loose change, gum wrappers, items used and not put away (super glue, tape), phone numbers and notes on scratch paper, printed recipes, items-to-be-fixed. Etc. I think he just doesn’t care about the hordiness of it, but it does get to me. I also don’t suppose the expert organizer can persuade a man that this doesn’t concern…
      🙂

      • cheryl says:

        Ha I have that problem too. Hubs is so messy and there is no stopping him. After 28 years of marriage and much prayer I have realizd I have to follow him around and pick up. Socks, coats , shoes, papers…he is a hoarder for sure and he he’s an inpulse shopper so we have candles, body lotions, flashlights, blankets that we don’t need…anything he finds at a garage sale or odd lots. I can relate!

        • Lerin says:

          So had to chime in on this one. I can’t stand clutter and keep it at bay.. but my hubby is the biggest clutter problem. Everything that everyone else’s husbands do, he does. He piles, hoards, garage sales, things waiting to be fixed, junk from his pockets etc. He has a ‘man cave’, but it’s also our home office/ storage. The idea was the man cave was to be all his, when we added it 4 years ago, and we could just keep the door shut. The door will not shut because there is so much junk piled in there! And also that was 2 kids ago, so the whole house has had to be rearranged to accomodate. So yes, I need a solution to the hubby-clutter, HAHA!

  • Michelle says:

    Our kitchen counter is our hot spot. It’s almost like things reproduce like bunnies on there! GRRRR!!

  • One specific counter in our dining room.

  • Amy says:

    We have two island counters that are each 8 feet long, and they are clutter magnets. Honestly, though, our whole house is a clutter magnet. I think one of the most frustrating things for me is all of the discards that people give us. I don’t want to be rude and tell them we don’t want it, but I also don’t want it, and we have too much of everything already. I seriously want to do backwards birthday parties where everyone takes something away instead of bringing toys or other gifts.

  • Michelle says:

    Where ever my husband or children were last. =)

    • Rhoda says:

      We must be related somewhere for this sounds like my house. I was going to comment that my biggest clutter spot is the whole house! But Michelle, you gave the reason. Blessings on you!

  • Cristin says:

    The kitchen counters and dining room table

  • Mandy says:

    The dining room table and the kitchen counter! It gets so frustrating!

  • Kirsten says:

    I need easy solutions to organize my master bedroom closer and my small desk.

    What are some cheap and easy methods for creating baskets for storing sweaters, sweatshirts, etc. I feel like there are a lot of expensive items out there, and I really need to keep the cost down.

  • Like many others, mine is the kitchen counter/island. We drop mail, school papers, things on my “to do” list, magazines etc and it piles up quickly. And the girls crafts/art projects on the kitchen table. I tried making her an art bin to keep in her room but it always ends up back on the kitchen table. I am thinking of maybe designating a cabinet/drawer in the kitchen to store their art stuff. Also I’m ordering a wall organizer with 2 bins/pockets to put on the wall by the back door to the garage to store the girls school papers in that need attention and plan to clean it out weekly. We’ll see if that helps!!!

  • Melissa says:

    If it doesn’t have it’s own spot, just put it on mom’s dresser. 🙁

  • Tami says:

    Lately my whole house seems to be a clutter hot spot but I think the worst is the island in the kitchen. That is where everyone dumps. There are dishes, cups, papers, magazines, mail, toys, etc. You name it, you can find it on our island. I would love some suggestions to conquer this cluttered area.

  • Jenny says:

    The kitchen island. Everything that needs attention in the near future, is important, or we don’t know what to do with yet is put there. It gets cleared and piles back up in 1 day! Argh!!

  • Natalie says:

    I have a kitchen surface and my table that I pretty much pass a pile back and forth from! I have no wall space to organize a rack and my kitchen is jam packed because it is ridiculously small!! I think I need a bigger house!

  • Carrie says:

    Our desk! It is hard to keep up with bills, schedules, birthday party invites, etc…

  • Courtney G says:

    The kitchen counter. Everything gets dropped there. With a blink of an eye it is covered again. So frustrating.

  • Nicole says:

    Kitchen island and counters!

  • Kathy says:

    kitchen island area…papers and mail pile up.

  • Carollynn says:

    The breakfast bar in the kitchen. Mail, lunchboxes, coupon organizer, more mail, school forms, and on and on and on…..

  • MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

    Does my brain count? LOL!

  • Laura Degoursey says:

    Help!! Any flat surface is instantly covered by stuff.

  • Kristina says:

    The second bedroom. My husband and I have a 2-bedroom house, but we have the stuff to fill a 7-bedroom house. Everything that we don’t use on a daily basis but that we want to use once a week or once a month gets stranded in the second, unused bedroom. Since the variety of stuff stored in there is v e r y w i d e, it seems impossible to organize it all in a single method. Plus, the house only has two closets – one for each bedroom (that’s right. there’s no coat closet.) – and those are so tiny that we can barely fit our clothes in them, much less any extra organizers. (Seriously, the closets are the width of their doors. I have already installed as much shelving and extra rods as the closets can hold.) Basically, how do you organize an area of your home that you do not consistently use?

  • Audra Catlett says:

    Definitely the kitchen counter. I clean it twice a day and you would never know it. It is amazing how fast it accumulates.

  • Jamie says:

    Kitchen island….mail, toys, business paperwork, electronics…hot mess!

  • My biggest clutter hotspot is the kitchen counter top. I come home from shopping or getting the mail and drop everything on the counter top. Right now there are two cans of soup, my bread maker, laundry soap and oxiclean. Not too bad but can be cleaned up easily.

  • Suzanne says:

    Breakfast bar counter is a catch all for papers, toys, or anything I don’t want the kids to get into

  • Jenny says:

    The office– sometimes it gets so crowded in there with junk we look like hoarders. The basement is coming in at a very close 2nd however….

  • Jennifer says:

    Kitchen counter and desk. Oh! So frustrating to clean and then see a pile there a few days later. Oh my!

  • Sarah says:

    My office in its entirety. I get it cleaned, and then it just gets to be piled and messy immediately. I’ve tried to set up systems to not let this happen, but it doesn’t seem to work.

  • Marcelaine says:

    The high kitchen counter that partitions off the living room from the kitchen accumulates a lot of paper as well as the things we want out of our son’s reach (although unfortunately now he can reach them, which means one of my “glaciers,” as I call them, is calving).

    Then there’s my side table, which tends to have several books that I haven’t gotten around to finishing, at least one magazine (I only subscribe to one), a timer, various papers, and 1-3 empty glasses. Also a calving glacier.

    The floor beside the bed also accumulates stuff. If I feel like the clothes I wore that day could be worn again I tend to drop them on the floor, and that’s also one of the three homes my diaper bag visits. The kids’ towels are there after their baths, and I also put larger items there that need attention.

    My last hot spot is the top of my chest of drawers. Most of the things there I actually do use, but they’re not organized and they’re mingled with my son’s stickers, which need a better home.

    The other clutter hot spots mainly belong to my husband–his side table, his chest of drawers, the floor beside his chest of drawers. I don’t have a lot of say in that clutter.

    Occasionally things end up being left on the wall shelves by the bathroom (again, to keep them out of my son’s reach) and stay there a while, although that’s not too bad of a problem.

    Can’t wait to read the suggestions! I suspect that most of my clutter just needs a better home, and for some of it I need to be more responsible about dealing with it right the first time.

  • Angelina says:

    My biggest hot spot is my home office. The problem is that it is the place things go when they really need put in their own home (if they have one). This is frustrating because I actually work from home. I telecommute for my company. So I am in that office 30+ hours a week.

  • Monica says:

    The center island in the kitchen collects everything from fruit to my husbands mail, car keys, pens, school papers, books, magazines, etc… & the coffee table collects everything else. 🙁

  • Kaeley says:

    Our kitchen island is the big problem in our house!! Every piece of paper that enters our house manages to find its way there…

  • L. says:

    My kitchen table and my office/spare room. I’m afraid that one day I’ll be discovered buried under massive piles of paper.

  • Miranda says:

    Living room w/ toys and dining table w/ paper clutter.

  • Grace says:

    The family room. It’s the schoolroom and playroom. Don’t know where to put something? Put it in the family room! We’ve tried tubs, shelves etc but nothing seems to work for long.

  • Adrienne D says:

    It’s a toss up between the kitchen table, the dressers in our master bedroom and the laundry area in the basement.

  • Sandy Rahn says:

    Kitchen Breakfast Bar and Hope Chest at end of the bed, both catch all’s

  • Natalie says:

    My basement and my pantry. The basement is a catch all for things that do not have a permanent home in the house – ice chest, flower arrangements, wrapping paper, outside decorations, etc. Plus it is my 2nd pantry for the items that do not fit in the in house pantry – like all the canned goods, boxed rice, mac n cheese, extra coffee, water bottles. But the inside pantry is also a catch all for the things I need in the house at least once in a while, like the boys lunch boxes we use once a week, any snacks, cereal. I organize my pantry at least once a month – usually after a shopping trip!

  • Julie says:

    The kitchen…table & island. I hate papers, mail, school papers, artwork, and on and on and on!

  • Sheila says:

    My desk. I try my best to keep the top of the desk clear but somehow, I can’t and one drawer in the desk seems to be the place that the cleared desk top finds it way to. Sometimes I feel like the paper is going to overtake the room and I will suffocate in paper.

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