Lot of time we face problems while taking picture because of cluttered background and bokeh lights. I have devised for myself few rules that help me to get rid of these things,
1. Depending upon the light, I narrow the aperture that is increase the f number and also sometime use flash along with small aperture. Small Aperture not only increases the DOF, it also reduces the light so if the background consists of clutter bush etc, then all these gets hidden and the fill in flash makes the subject evenly illuminated.
2. The other option would be what I call as Reverse Rule of third. In Rule of third we place the subject in any of the intersection point, and allow the audience to traverse through the whole Image and in that case we need give due importance to the background. But if you place the subject, not off center, in a unusual position then the focus will be the subject only not the background.
3. The other option is Shutter Speed; we can pan the subject if the subject is in motion so that the background will completely hazy and soft. And sometimes that adds a smooth surreal effect in the image. So we will reduce the shutter speed and if possible narrow the aperture. I have always used the low shutter speed and narrow aperture technique, in case of moving background and stationary subject(s).
4. Other Option would be considering the Positive/Negative Space and changing the angle of focus.
5. Last but not the least, use image processing software to do touch ups to remove some unwanted material.