5 Reasons Your Kitchen Is Messy (Plus 5 Easy Solutions)

published Apr 5, 2018
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Ask yourself honestly: Is your kitchen messy right now? Are you a bit boggled as to why, as it feels like you’re constantly trying to keep it clean and uncluttered?

There are some common clutter causes that work against a clean kitchen — here are five of the biggest ones. If any of these are the culprits keeping your kitchen messier than you’d like it to be, we also have some suggestions for how to solve each issue.

1. You pile paper.

Mail, books, coupons, magazines — do you have paper piled up on your kitchen table or counters? Even if paper’s not technically “dirty,” its unwanted and overwhelming presence can make a home feel messy.

What to Do

Keep paper from coming in by keeping a small recycling bin just inside or outside your front door to get rid of junk mail instantly. Take the few extra minutes it might take to immediately file the important mail you do have in your filing system. Cancel any magazine subscriptions for titles you haven’t found time to read in a few months (or go digital for everything). Consider doing a clean-out of shelves to clear out and donate old books and make room for new ones that might come in.

(Image credit: Anna Spaller)

2. You do not put things back where they belong.

Are you always taking things out, finishing your task, and then leaving them where they landed?

What to Do

Incorporate a policy that any time you leave a room, you take something that doesn’t belong in that space with you to its actual home. And actually have homes for all your items.

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

3. You need a serious solution for used/dirty dish towels.

Hanging a dirty dish towel that’s begging to be replaced is going to bring down the overall feeling of the entire room. But you don’t want to throw them into your clothes hamper or leave them piled up on the kitchen counter.

What to Do

Get a special basket, which you can store under your sink, just for used kitchen towels and cloth napkins. This way, you have a good place to store them until you accumulate enough to warrant a special load of laundry.

4. You think you’ve cleaned more recently than you actually have.

Memory can be a liar. You might answer “oh just last week” when asking yourself when the last time you mopped is, but truthfully, with how fast the calendar days fly by thanks to our busy lives, the real answer might be closer to “more like last month.”

What to Do

Keep yourself accountable by either establishing a regular cleaning schedule that you stick to, or make notes in a calendar when you do finish cleaning tasks. This way you keep track of how often you are completing important cleaning chores that need doing on the regular (and not mis-remembering them getting done more often than they actually are).

(Image credit: Sophie Timothy)

5. You are fighting an uphill cleaning battle, thanks to kids, pets, and roommates.

Are you doing your best but you feel like no matter what you do, it’s pets, roommates, or your kids contributing to the mess?

What to Do

Have a pow-wow, tell them what a hard time you’re having, install some ground rules everyone can agree on, and make sure everyone plays their part in keeping the kitchen clean. For pets, invest time or energy into proven tools that might help curb their messes (like hidden food bowls and better food storage).

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: This Is Why Your Place Is Messy: 5 Common Clutter Causes