If you're someone who loves stuff, you might sometimes wonder if you've gone too far. After all, what's the difference between having plenty of decor...and having too much clutter?

The truth is, it's a slippery slope — and in order to avoid falling down it, you need to carefully cultivate your own decor style against a little self-editing. Luckily, you don't have to figure it out all on your own. We have three great tips to help you find balance and avoid the clutter trap.

bedside table

Work with white space

If you're staging shelves or a mantle, make sure the decor items you select also have room to breathe. By over-stacking or filling the entire space, you can easily overwhelm the items you want to shine. Instead, insert some space and stick to decor elements that you really want noticed. Another way to achieve this is to choose items of varying heights and sizes to allow you to play with both vertical and horizontal white space.

Accent with pieces that expand, not shrink 
There's a reason that a cluttered room often feels smaller than it actually is. When you weigh your space down with stuff, you make your entire area feel heavy. Instead, look for airy furniture, like glass top tables or couches that sit up higher on legs. Accenting with lighter-colored items and mirrors will also make a room feel more open and bright, which will help to counteract any clutter concerns.

dining room

Stick with what you love
It may seem like simplistic advice, but decor for decor's sake will get old quick. Instead, invest in decorations that you really love so they won't feel like clutter. By choosing items that only "spark joy" (a la Marie Kondo), you won't have to worry about feeling overwhelmed by items that take up space in your home, but not in your heart.

When in doubt? Always go with the concept of "less is more." Adding new decor items slowly as you feel inspired is an easier path to take than getting rid of things that never made you happy after months of feeling overwhelmed.

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