I drop my shoes on the floor wherever I happen to take them off. (I might be about to put them on again. I can't stand walking around barefoot.)
I keep a water bottle next to my bed or my couch. (I'm thirsty. Sue me.) (Please don't sue me. I'm already poor.)
I do my nails while watching tv, and NEVER EVER put away the polish. (Why would I? My nails are wet when I am done with the polish, silly!)
I never wipe down the stove after I cook on the stove. (It BURNS!)
I preach to you (and to myself) to erase the evidence of whatever mess we just made. When I cook dinner, I clean as I go. When we enter the house from school, we unload backpacks, sign permission slips, and prepare water bottles for the next school day. Erasing the evidence is the number one rule that I follow in order to keep my home and car moderately orderly. (Okay, my car is not even moderately orderly. Shush. Everyone needs a space to let their hair down...and their random french fries and tissues and extra shoes and receipts...hmm, anyone want to clean my car?)
But there are times when it just doesn't work. (See above confession. See also a four year old, a seven year old, and an anonymous male forty year old who might or might not be married to me.)
So I've started to take note of these not-so-proud-making habits of mine. I've started addressing them.
Shoes - I put baskets in places where I drop my shoes. Those baskets don't work so well in the middle of the living room, so my four year old has been trained to come in the door after school and put all shoes in their proper places. It keeps them from piling up, and he considers it a puzzle, matching all the pairs together neatly.
Water bottle - Decorative coasters in every spot where my water bottle tends to land are amazing for making me feel like the water bottle is not clutter.
Nails - I store my nail polish in a bag under the side table next to the couch. It only took about two decades to break the habit of stupidly storing nail polish with makeup - a place where it is never used.
Stove - I make wiping down the stove a part of the cleaning up AFTER dinner. I am still working on this. I suspect my family are the race car drivers of eating, since the stove is usually still hot when I am storing leftovers.
I could add so many more examples, but the bottom line is that I search out problems and find simple ways to solve them without really changing my behavior in any significant way. I make the solutions fit my nature, instead of changing my nature.
What habits of yours are you unwilling to break but need solutions that keep them from causing clutter?