By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

Have you ever gotten so used to seeing something that you don’t even notice it anymore?

  • The boots and snow shovels from last winter that still sit in your mudroom.
  • The old winter coats that no longer fit but take up room in your hall closet.
  • The kid’s trophies from grade school and high school days that sit on a shelf in their bedroom.

You’re so accustomed to seeing those boots in the mudroom or the old winter coats or the old trophies that you’ve become oblivious to the fact they’re even there.

On some level we probably all have some clutter blindness. Think about certain areas of your home that you are accustomed to seeing cluttered. It’s become the norm so you’ve become desensitized to that clutter… As if it doesn’t even exist.

Do any of these areas ring a bell?

  • Overflowing inbox on your computer or on your phone.
  • A garage full of kids’ toys even though they’ve grown and left the nest.
  • Tax files and bank statements that haven’t been culled in the last 20 years.

Often these areas are not that visible.

Out of sight, out of mind.

But what about the clutter in areas that you’re in every day?

  • The bathroom vanity cluttered with makeup, toothpaste, shaving cream, etc.
  • The kitchen counter with a week’s worth of unread mail and junk mail.
  • The family room floor cluttered with piles of unread papers, magazines, and incomplete projects.

The reality is we each have different levels of tolerance for clutter.

Some of us see it and it bothers us so we do something about it.

Some of us don’t see it and have no desire to change because we just don’t see it.

I find this to be true in working with married couples or partners who live together.


One might have a very high tolerance for the amount of clutter in their home

They don’t see it, they don’t even notice it, they’re clutter blind.

They could care less. It’s not worth their time, effort, or energy because they don’t even see it.

That partner or spouse is not at all motivated to help with the decluttering process because they literally don’t see it and they don’t get why the other partner becomes so upset.

On the other hand,

The other spouse or partner might have a very low tolerance for clutter in their home

They might feel that they are constantly picking up and cleaning up after everyone in the household and they can never find what they are looking for in all of the clutter.

This creates a tremendous amount of stress and frustration in the household when one is clutter blind and the other is not.

So that’s the bad news… Do you want to hear the good news?

Clutter blindness is curable!

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Here’s how.

I will tell you though, that it will take time and patience but if there is a willingness to do the work you can actually learn how to not only cure clutter blindness but teach yourself how to live clutter-free Almost like a minimalist!

Remember, the clutter habit was developed over a long period of time, and just like any other new habit, it will take time and effort to become clutter-free.

3 Steps to Curing Clutter Blindness

1.    Acceptance of Clutter Blindness

Accept the fact that you or your partner truly just don’t see the clutter. When you don’t see it there’s obviously no motivation to clear it. Acceptance is key because it’s a starting point.

2.    Awareness of Clutter Blindness

The second big step to curing clutter blindness is to take pictures of every nook and cranny in your home. Every closet, drawer, cabinet, and countertop. This exercise will help you open your eyes to messes you were oblivious to in the past.

It will give you a new perspective and help you look at your clutter more objectively.

When you start to see what you didn’t see before, it will motivate you to do something about it.

3.    Action to Cure Clutter Blindness

If you are motivated to start taking control of your clutter and your life, I strongly recommend asking for help… someone you know who has successfully decluttered or a professional decluttering expert.

This person can help you create a plan, timeline, and milestones to accomplish your decluttering project. They will guide you through the process, step-step-by-step and room-by-room.

They will also help you to discover “why” you cluttered in the first place by confronting you and your old habits. Only then can you begin to train your brain to see the clutter you were once blind to before. That’s when motivation kicks in to cure your clutter blindness once and for all.

Did you know that we have products on our online shop that can help you get started on your downsizing and decluttering journey?


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