15 Bad Habits That Clutter Your Home

By thewriteDuffy •  Updated: 07/07/24 •  3 min read

Most homes that are lived in have some clutter somewhere, even if it’s tucked away in a closet. Many of us just aren’t aware of how much of our stuff is clutter until we either have to stage our home for sale or we accidentally decide to watch an episode of Marie Kondo.

What is Clutter?

Many of us have bad habits that lead to accumulating clutter, but in order to break those habits, it might first help us to understand what the problem is.

So, what is clutter? For most of us, clutter is simply a number of things lying around our home in an untidy mess. If these things are truly clutter, they don’t add value to your life over and above the value of having back the space they occupy in your home.

For example, a small stack of newspapers and magazines on a desk that you haven’t gotten around to reading for months now may hold an interesting article or two, but allowing them to take up so much space for even longer, all before you can then spend the time it would take to comb through each one, likely just isn’t worth it.

15 Clutter Habits to Avoid

It would be irresponsible of me not to say that severe clutter has many causes and should be approached with the help of professionals experienced in the treatment of it as a complex problem.

Minor cases of clutter, however, can be caused quickly by just a few bad habits. In an effort to stop clutter BEFORE it happens, here are 15 bad habits to avoid if you want to prevent cluttering your home:

  1. Take something your relative is going to get rid of even though you don’t need it.
  2. Keep a file in your cabinet labeled “miscellaneous” or “interesting.”
  3. Buy holiday stuff after the holiday. Store it all year.
  4. Put it in a box. Put the box in the basement or garage.
  5. Keep every last magazine you get. Make big stacks with them. One day, you’ll go through them. Until then, it’ll be an awesome side table.
  6. Buy food in bulk because it’s cheaper, even though it’ll take you six months to use up.
  7. Never clean out your closet.
  8. Shop for more containers when your space feels crowded or the containers you already have are full.
  9. Walk into a store where you know you don’t need anything.
  10. Keep heirlooms that you don’t really like just because they belonged to someone you knew.
  11. Keep everything you might need in a year or two.
  12. Keep all the baby things, because you never know!
  13. Don’t donate something that you bought but never used. Dang it. You paid good money for that thing!
  14. Keep two of everything. It’s always good to have a second can opener in case the first one breaks when you’re opening a can of tuna.
  15. Keep everything. Keep a box of really short strings. Label it “Strings too short to use.”

Do any of these bad habits seem familiar? They certainly do to me, I’ve done all of them!


At home, April is a mom, wife, and DIY darling. Among other home projects, she helped her husband Dan renovate their 1986 bungalow and is currently designing and decorating the 2023 custom home they are building themselves. Professionally, April is a writer, author, and online marketer with 15 years of experience writing for newspapers and magazines, building online authority websites, and publishing books.