How I Banish Visual Clutter From Our Home.
What is visual clutter?
Every day our brain is trying to process billions of messages, trying to distinguish anything which is important, anything which needs action, what needs to be to ignored and, what you can forget until later, this is known as visual clutter.
- Newspaper headlines
- Shop windows
- Road signs
- Consumer products
All of which are bombarding us with directions to comprehend every second of every day.
Some of us may have chosen to add “extra” visual clutter in our homes by having ornaments which spell out words such as “bathroom” “love” or “home”.
I wonder how many times a week we subconsciously read the label on our shower gel, toothpaste tube, washing up liquid or moisturiser.
How to eliminate visual clutter
The decluttering guru Marie Kondo suggests we protect our homes from the visual clutter of the outside world and encourages us to remove labels wherever possible from products we use daily.
As a mother of two young children I figured this would be almost impossible for safety reasons, however, off I went to give it a go.
I started with hand wash, as I figured even my five-year-old knows it is soap.
To my surprise, it felt better not to read the words “Imperial Leather Hand Soap” every time I walked into the bathroom.
The process then became addictive; once I started, I couldn’t stop! I started with my stuff first and started will small things such as lip balms, moisturisers, hand creams, mascaras and items which were easily recognisable to me, and which other people were not using.
An eye-opening lesson for me was, when I peeled the label off my expensive moisturiser it looked no different from any other cheaper brand, and I felt annoyed at myself for being drawn into the brand’s consumerism and advertising, I suddenly realised I’d been duped. Everything looks the same without the gorgeous packaging. And more often than not its the packaging you are paying through the nose for.
The revolution of being duped had a profound effect on the way I shopped; I immediately began to change the way I purchased luxury beauty products, which were a weakness of mine. It felt good, it was liberating and the thought of the cash in my bank account gave me more of a thrill than the purchase would have.
Banishing visual clutter
The next step in my quest for a spa-like home was to carefully assess which communal items I could safely remove the labels from without adding any confusion to a family who already has difficulty in finding things!
Items I removed labels from :
- Hand soap this was easily recognisable to all family members
- Shower gel, I kept buying the same shower gel which hung from the shower so they recognise the product by where it hangs, the bottle and the colour.
- Shampoo, the one we use is in a black opaque bottle
- Conditioner, the one we use is in an opaque white container
- Body lotions,
- Face cream,
- lip balms
- Teabags, decanted into large glass jars
- Beans and pulses, stored in large glass jars
- Biscuits and crackers, in airtight containers for freshness
- Pasta and Rice, stored in Kilner jars
- Washing powder, stored in an airtight cereal dispenser
- Dishwashing liquid
- I store foodstuffs in glass jars and laundry powders etc. are stored in plastic containers.
- I only remove labels from bottles if they are easy to remove within seconds and are not dangerous to my kids.
- I never remove labels from cleaning products or anything hazardous.
The benefits of eliminating visual clutter.
I love having fewer packaged products in my home as I think it feels so much more tranquil and clutter free.
I don’t feel as if I’m subconsciously re-reading the same words over and over again everytime something in my house catches my eye.
The other upside is that no one in the family has washed their hair with conditioner yet, as far as I’m aware but you never know in our house!
Other items which may be causing visual clutter in your home.
Besides the extra words all over our homes, there are many other ways visual clutter creeps into our homes and makes us feel anxious and overwhelmed.
- Heaps of laundry to put away
- Heaps of dirty laundry
- Broken objects
- Tangles of unused cables
- Dusty books
- Old magazines
- Empty boxes and baskets
- Overflowing trash cans
- Empty shampoo bottles
- Empty toilet rolls
- Dirty dishes.
Most of these problems are fixed by creating a routine to get yourself into daily habits to stop the build-up of these items. Read how to get organised and create a routine for your home here.
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