4 Practical Tips on How to Clear Clutter and Visual Noise

Julianna Poplin


Moms are busy. We’re so busy it becomes easy to not notice as things begin to pile up in our homes. We shove the clutter aside for another day because it’s not a priority. We become accustomed to seeing it and don’t realize how it impacts how we feel in our homes.

Clutter negatively impacts us in a variety of ways. Studies have proven that clutter causes stress in women. Clutter often serves as another reminder of how we feel like we are failing. The house never seems picked up and the mess reminds us that we’re behind. It can also cause family fights as we continually remind our spouse and children to put their things away or begrudgingly do it for them. Moms, this is why we need to simplify.

Let’s look at 4 practical tips on how to clear out the clutter and the visual noise in your home.

  1. Set your goals for your home

Often, we jump right into decluttering without thinking through what we are doing and why. The more clear you are on your goals, the more likely you will be to achieve them. Consider why you want to declutter and what success would look like for your home. How do you want your home to look, function, and feel?

Decluttering can get tiring. When you have a clear vision and goal it will help motivate you to keep going.  

  1. Start small

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with thinking about everything in our homes that need to be decluttered. Instead of focusing on the mountain ahead, look for smaller projects. You’d be surprised in what you can accomplish with easy ten-minute tasks. Declutter a shelf or drawer. Then tomorrow pick another small area. The small steps add up to a lot of progress over time.

If you want to immediately feel the impact of decluttering, clear off a flat surface. Kitchen countertops are a popular choice as they are often cluttered. The top of furniture is another great option. Take everything off and be very selective with what you put back. Your favorite items don’t get to shine when they are crowded out by lots of other things.

  1. Complete the cycle

With any area you declutter, whether it be big or small, make sure you take all the items you no longer want out of the space. The decluttering process isn’t done until it’s removed from your house so you’re not seeing it anymore.

If you want to make real progress, don’t relocate your clutter in the decluttering process. Put items in the trash that are trash. For items being donated, go ahead and take them to a donation center. You won’t feel the full impact of the work you’ve done if you are tripping over the bags of donations or are carrying them in the trunk of your car for months. When you complete the cycle, you’ve gotten all the unwanted items out of your home so you can enjoy the space that has been freed up.

  1. Look at your habits

There is nothing more defeating than continually putting in work to only find yourself back at square one with the same problem again. Look at where the clutter is coming from. Notice what habits of yours (or other family member’s) play a role.

We have some control over the clutter that comes into our house. We’re the gatekeepers. As parents we get to decide what amount of stuff is too much. In choosing that, we set the tone for the home and are an example to our kids. Our stuff reflects what we value. In examining our habits we need to consider how to be more intentional with shopping.

Clutter tends to come in two forms. One is having too many things and the other is not putting your things away. Once you declutter it becomes easier to put things away as you have more space. From there create simple sustainable organization systems so that everyone in the family knows where things go and can maintain it.

A fresh focus.

As moms of little kids, I don’t think any of us hoped or imagined we would spend so much of our time picking up items around the house and cleaning things. While some of that is inevitable, we can reduce the time we spend on it when we reduce the number of items in our homes.

Decluttering allows you to focus on what matters most to you. The things you love get to be the center of attention when the excess is cleared away. If you haven’t been enjoying your home lately, perhaps it isn’t that you need to buy or add anything. The answer may be reducing the visual noise and creating a calmer space that you want to come home to. You can love your home again and have more time available for what you care about most.


Julianna Poplin is a wife and mother of two girls and lives in the Pacific Northwest. She is a professional declutterer and writer at The Simplicity Habit. She writes to encourage moms who want to simplify their homes and their lives.