11 Reasons Clutter Exists

Maria Morgan

Walk into a house where little kids live and you’ll see clutter. Does that clutter signify laziness on the parents’ part? Of course not. If you learn to understand the Clutter Code, you’ll see the clutter for what it really is.

To illustrate the Clutter Code, here are 11 common examples of clutter in my house and the logical reasons behind them:

1. Random piles of children’s books in various hallways.

We’re promoting literacy.

2. Empty toilet paper rolls in the magazine basket in the bathroom.

Just waiting there for the day I decide to actually lead the boys through one of the 50 projects I have pinned on my “Toilet Paper Roll Crafts” Pinterest board.

3. Blue ice pack on the kitchen counter.

It’s not ours. It came home from preschool about 3 weeks ago and has been sitting there ever since so that my husband or I will “see it” and “bring it back.” The problem is that it poses no threat of physical harm to anyone. These days, if a piece of clutter has any hope of us dealing with it, it has to be dangerous.

4. Lego bricks placed on various bookshelves, on the mantle, on top of window frames, etc.

Those little suckers hurt when you step on them! And they’re choking hazards, too. But you can’t take the time to walk them back to the Lego bin when you’re chasing a toddler who just snatched your husband’s new eyeglasses off the desk. You’ve got to pick those Legos up and place them out of reach without breaking stride, or else you’re going to find yourself plunging out some spectacles from your toilet.

5. A Sharpie marker on the top shelf of the dining room hutch.

A lot of clutter in our house is high up. When confiscating something like a permanent marker, the only goal is to place it solidly out of reach.

6. Basting brush on the dining room table.

This one stands out to me when I see it because it’s not in the correct incorrect spot. It is supposed to be by the utensils drawer. That’s where we keep it so we can use it to pry open the awkwardly-placed safety latch that locks the drawer and prevents our toddler from removing and throwing life-threatening forks and butter knives. You need to pick your clutter battles: as the out-of-place basting brush posed no physical harm, I elected to ignore it and focus on sweeping up the peppercorns that the same toddler had dumped all over the dining room floor.

7. Stray peppercorns on the dining room floor.

I missed some.

8. Folded laundry on the love seat.

The laundry is washed and folded. What’s the issue?

9. Or, instead, empty laundry baskets but no laundry.

Those are there to remind me that I already put the laundry away. Go me!

10. Weird little blue rubber lizard thing on the stairs.

That’s my oldest son’s “special prize” that he earned at the doctor’s office when he rocked getting his shots. I don’t mind leaving that one out in the open. I hope that every time he sees it, he remembers how brave he was. I kind of like the reminder, too.

11. Random items that belong in the basement.

Waiting for the day that I go to the basement not carrying a laundry basket or a small child.

By now, you’re probably learning how to crack the Clutter Code. But to be honest, there’s a lot of clutter that I don’t really have a good excuse for. I have little desire to putter around putting stuff away at the end of the day when the kiddos are finally in bed and I have an opportunity to relax with my husband and recharge my batteries for the next day.

Or maybe I do have a good excuse, after all.

Head to the Family Room


11 Reasons Clutter Exists

This post was syndicated with permission to BonBon Break Media, LLC.

Maria Morgan is a wife, mother of three boys, and middle school teacher. She likes running (but doesn’t), dislikes cooking (but does) and loves singing (and happily does this all the time). Welcome Maria to the blogging world by visiting Sandboxes and Sticky Back Felt.