Seeing Red Can Make You Clutter-Free

Included in this article:

  • De-clutter it!
  • Decorate it!
  • Dub it!

Nothing makes me see red more than a pile of clutter! Unfortunately, clutter happens to all of us. It seems like every house has at least one place (sometimes more) where family members dump their mail, keys, receipts, homework and so on… until it becomes an unbearable mess. With a little organization and a few supplies you can free these areas of clutter and give a whole new meaning to “seeing red”. (Read on)


  • 3 large boxes
  • Garbage Bags (several)
  • Markers
  • Dust Rag, furniture polish
  • Red Items such as candles, collectibles and photo frames

Step 1: De-clutter

Label your boxes: 1. Put Away, 2. Give Away and 3. Throw Away.

Line the Throw Away box with a large garbage bag.

Attack the most troublesome clutter zone first. As you sort through the snarly mess of accumulated junk ask yourself these questions:

  • Have I used this item in a year?
  • Can it be replaced for less than the price of a pizza?
  • Is it sentimental?
  • Could someone use this item more than me?

Be ruthless! If you haven’t really used something in more than a year, you obviously don’t need it. Unless, of course, it’s sentimental. If you haven’t used it in a year, but it’s one of those items that are rarely used, ask yourself how much it would cost to replace this.

The logic behind this question is we hold on to items thinking “what if” and “just in case”. Here’s a simple rule to follow, if the item would cost less than a pizza ($10-$15), get rid of it. Should that “what if” ever truly occur, it can be easily replaced and in the meantime you’re enjoying a clutter-free life.

Lastly, if someone can use an item more than you, it will do your heart good to give it away. Go for it!

Now that you have the hang of how to de-clutter an area, work your way around your house. Hit each table or counter piled with stacks of stuff. After you free each area of clutter, dust it, wipe it off. Go for a gorgeous shine.

Step 2: Decorate it

There is nothing worse than spending all day cleaning just to have someone come home from work or school and dump all their stuff all over the place. You need a bright stop sign to remind people to keep this area clean. Viola! Red decorations. I choose red because most people do not decorate using red therefore it stands out. However, if you have a lot of red decor you can choose another color. Just be sure to choose something high contrast.

Decorate each new clutter-free zone with one of your brightly colored items. For instance, a large red candle on the coffee table works like a warning sign to remind everyone to STOP before they clutter.

You can be creative and have fun. This is a subtle hint that will only trigger a message to you and your family. When guests come over all they’ll see is a clean house.

Step 3: Dub it!

Probably the most significant aspect in keeping clutter under control is having a place for essential things. A special dish or tray on a table inside the door for keys, an accordion folder tucked onto a shelf for important papers, mail and receipts, decorative hooks on the wall or inside closet door for coats and sweaters. The only way you will ever get everything in place is to figure out a place for everything.

The last step is vital in keeping your home clutter-free. Call a family meeting to unveil the new clutter-free environment. Let them know they no longer need to dump their personal belongings in any of the new, decorated areas, because there is a new, special place set up for them. Then take the kids to their rooms and help them make their own clutter-free zones. Make sure they use the same colored items as the rest of the house. Consistency for kids is key.

If you notice that people start to pile things on new counters or end tables, just repeat the process. It is better for every counter have a red candle than a pile of papers. Before you know it, you’ll be seeing red because you are clutter-free!

How to declutter
For red accent ideas