Top Ten Places To Hid Clutter

As I’ve been working through purging excess things from the house, I thought I’d make a tongue-in-cheek top ten list of my favorite places things seem to accumulate. Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Baskets, or as I like to call them “time capsules”. These seem perfect for saving all those magazines you’re determined to read some day as well as the mail that was piling up on the counter. Have guests coming over and you need to clear away the papers in a hurry? Just toss everything into the nearest basket. If the basket is large enough, you can pretend you’re an archaeologist in a few years excavating the contents to see what life was like back then.
  2. Maybe you are lucky enough to have a storage ottoman in your living room or maybe you inherited an antique trunk. In my case, I have a large, old cedar chest that I couldn’t even tell you what’s in it. We never open it, because there’s plants on top of it.
  3. If you want to store something and have it ruined, there’s no better place than a damp basement or crawl space. Just remember that if it goes in there, chances are it won’t be usable when you pull it back out. This is a perfect place for those things that belong to your spouse that you really don’t like.
  4. Why not hide some junk in plain sight? “No really, that’s not junk, it’s a piece of decorative art!”
  5. Throw it in your kid’s bedroom and shut the door (even if it’s your stuff). If a guest sees the mess, complain about how you’re constantly asking them to clean up their messy room.
  6. Everyone has a designated junk drawer (or two) for small items.
  7. The garage is a great place for larger items. Who wants to park their car inside anyway. I’m sure that stuff in those boxes is probably more valuable than that new car sitting in the driveway. At least you have remote start, right? Pro tip: Don’t forget to look up in the garage. You not only have floor space, but usually joists above. Get some plywood and you can put a lot of stuff up there.
  8. Under beds and in closets seems to be a good place for just about anything you don’t want to ruin out in the garage or in the crawlspace.
  9. The cabinets above the refrigerator that are really hard to reach make a great place to forget about those dishes and vases you never use. No one’s going to buy you that many flowers anyway so push them way to the back and you’ll be able to get more stuff in there.
  10. Finally, when you run out of room at your house, why not store some things at someone else’s house (parents, friends, etc.). It’s “just temporary” anyway. Right?

I hope you enjoyed the list, and it helps you realize just how ridiculous it is that we store and save so many things. We’re all guilty of probably more than a few of these (myself and my family included). The next time that you’re scraping ice off the windshield of your car while your garage is filled with a bunch of junk that never gets touched, think real hard about just how much sense that really makes.

This post was adapted from an earlier version on my blog, Declutter With Dave. Please visit me at to read some of my other posts about trying to clear my house of all the excess stuff while my three kids keep bringing things home.