Photo: chandlerphoto/iStock

5 of 5

NEXT

SLIDESHOW

Mistake #5: Displaying beautiful—but empty—kitchen canisters.
It's pretty easy to spot the usual clutter on your kitchen counters—hello, yesterday's mail, house keys, various phone chargers. But Mellen says many of us become blind to the other types of nonessential items that may be taking up valuable space. His pet peeve: canisters of ingredients people never, or hardly ever, use. Mellen says he'll typically hear a client say she saw the canisters at a store, loved how they looked and bought them, when the truth is she rarely uses sugar and the other items the canisters store. Other clients never even fill the containers. Instead, Mellen says, stash those ingredients in a cabinet and free up counter space for actual cooking.

Want more stories like this delivered to your inbox? Sign up for the Oprah.com Home & Decorating Newsletter!