5 Things That Make a Room Look Messy

You dust, clean the floors and wipe down the windows. So why do rooms in your home still look so messy?

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You can clean all you want, but sometimes your home just looks, well, unkempt. Here are five quick tips from experts on how to tidy up a room and say so long to messiness.

Leave Some Space

Clutter can make an otherwise clean room look messy. Just because you have the space doesn’t mean you need to fill every nook and cranny.

Home stagers at MHM Professional Staging recommend leaving space between furniture and fixtures. “By having some open space — floor space, wall space and surface space — with nothing on it, it creates visual openness that makes the home look and feel less cluttered,” they say.

This concept stretches to bookcases, shelves and coffee tables. Keep small items like remotes, notepads and pens in a bin or drawer. If you want to display small knick-knacks, the professional stagers suggest grouping the items together and paring down everything else on the shelf or table so the focus is on the collection.

Clean Off the Counters

On average, Americans spent 21 to 50 minutes each day in the kitchen, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To avoid a messy look in the kitchen, look beyond wiping down the countertops and keeping the sink free of dirty dishes.

Goodrich Cleaning says clutter on the kitchen counter makes the room appear messy. “Whatever doesn’t belong on the counter should get put away,” the professional cleaners say. Leave out only the appliances you use nearly every day, like the toaster, coffee maker, knives and a fruit basket.

Hide Those Cords

With all those electronics, it’s can to find yourself in a mess of cords. Exposed cords not only make a room look messy, but can be a safety hazard.

If your cords hang down walls, The Home Depot suggests installing a cord cover painted the same color as your wall. A good-looking DIY wood cord cover is simple to make and install.

You can also use cable management systems to hide cords and cables behind walls, though some may be a bit more involved and difficult to install. The Home Depot offers a how-to video on ways to hide cords.

Have a Daily Tidying-Up Routine

Stop messes before they start by maintaining a routine to keep things tidy each day. MHM Professional Staging suggests starting your day by making your bed. Next, put away toothpaste, cleansers, makeup and hair products after you use them. Straighten up the living room by putting away electronics, remotes and blankets, and fluffing pillows. Finally, insist kids put their toys and books away when not in use.

Don’t Forget the Refrigerator

While it’s tempting to hang your child’s artwork, photos and your grocery list on your refrigerator door, it can make your kitchen look messy and cluttered.

Instead, Goodrich Cleaning suggests a designated spot in the corner of the kitchen to put up a bulletin board or message center. “Pin all of your reminders, shopping list and other items there. This will help the overall appearance of your kitchen,” the company says.

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.