How to Declutter When You’re Overwhelmed by a Messy House

Do you feel overwhelmed by all the clutter in your home and wonder how it got that way? Maybe you think that it can never become decluttered again. I have felt that way, many times. I sleep and work in my bedroom, sort of like a makeshift office, and I use to get to the point where my bedroom was so cluttered that I wanted to rip my hair out, literally. The good news is that you don’t have to remain hopeless about your cluttered home. This article will provide you with helpful and empowering tips regarding how to declutter when you are overwhelmed by a messy house. These are very easy to follow tips that I have implemented into my cleaning that has helped me tremendously.

Yes, it will take motivation, effort, and work for your home to be re-established with a sense of organization and better functionality once again. However, once you declutter your home, you will be so pleased and you will see how life seems now so much simpler. Things do flow better when you have a place for everything. I hope you enjoy these helpful tips to get you started.

Concentrate on One Area at a Time

It is important to concentrate on one area at a time when it comes to decluttering your home. If you try and clean a little from every room at once, you will not only find yourself overwhelmed but disappointed. I use to make the mistake of trying to clean a little bit of each room, and it didn’t go very well. I would get tired a few hours later and have a mess in multiple rooms. Then I would give up and just throw it all into drawers, defeating the tasks I was trying to originally accomplish.

I learned to put my concentration to one area at a time. Instead of starting a little in each room, I make a list now of the rooms that need to get done, then work on them one at a time. Doing this lets me see my progress as I go along, and gives me the motivation to continue. It gives you a sense of accomplishment to see a room completed before going to the next one.

Take on the Hardest Rooms First

Taking on the hardest room first is best practice when cleaning your home. This will allow you to not only feel accomplished when you’re done, but you also know it gets easier from there. Once the hardest room is cleaned, every other room will seem like a piece of cake. For me, the hardest room is always my bedroom.

My bedroom serves as a sleeping area and a work area because my desk is in it. This room is constantly cluttered between my clothes, the animals and their toys, my paperwork, water bottles, blankets, etc. This room is overwhelming, so I make sure I knock it out first so that every other room is easier to do.

If you commit to starting with the harder room first and finish the task of decluttering it until the end, you will increase your stamina and commitment to decluttering the rest of your home. Therefore, the other rooms will not seem as repulsive and challenging. Cleaning the hardest room first makes me eager to get the rest done to see the revealing of a beautiful, clean space.


Your place looks untidy and overwhelmed with a lot of stuff because you don’t have enough room for it all. It is time to get rid of the clutter. If you are not using something often, then likely you don’t need it. Or do you have multiple items of the same thing? This can contribute to a lot of the clutter and lack of space. Therefore, you should limit yourself to one or two of the same item. For example, if you have twins, they each do not need to have two of the same toys. They can have a few of the same and should learn to share the rest. You will be amazed at how much space you save in this way.

Keep in mind that when you are decluttering, it is not enough to pull everything out, clean the stuff, and the surface of where the stuff had been and then put it all back. That is not decluttering. That is simply disinfecting the clutter.

You need to be decisive about your stuff. What I have found works best for me is to take inventory of the items I have and go from there. For example, I take inventory of the clothes I have. I examine each item in my drawers and hanging up in my closet and I make 3 piles. The first pile is stuff I haven’t worn in 6 months. The second pile is clothes I haven’t worn in 3 months. The last pile is clothes I have worn in the last month. The 6-month pile automatically goes into a trash bag for donations. The 3-month pile I sort through and I keep no more than half of that pile. Between me and you, I must not like the items too much if I haven’t worn any of them in 3 months. The last month pile I keep and only throw away anything that has holes, is dingy, or simply looks raggedy.

I do this same thing with the items in my room. Have I used this item in the last six months? Have I used this item in the last 3 months? Is this item broken or defective? Do I have a significant purpose for this item or is it just taking up space? This helps me narrow down which items are a need, and which can be discarded. The goal when you’re decluttering is to get rid of the junk and donate what you can or aren’t using daily.

Get motivated

If you are having a real struggle to get started with the process of decluttering your house, then it is time to get some motivation. Motivation isn’t a one size fits all, and what motivates me may not be what motivates you. However, what I do is check Instagram for “bedrooms” or “bedroom ideas.” Seeing these clean, beautiful, organized rooms give me the motivation I need to get off my butt and start cleaning. You can get some motivation by remembering that you want your place to look awesome and to be organized so that your stuff is easier to access.

Watch Clean with Me Videos on YouTube.

YouTube can be a wonderful source of inspiration for you to get ideas and motivation for decluttering your home because there are many interesting “clean with me” videos on YouTube. When you see other people decluttering their space, this will likely serve as a strong motivation for you to clean your space as well by getting rid of clutter.

Watching videos like the ones from “Clean With Me” on Youtube can also generate some ideas for you on ways to declutter, or how to organize as you declutter. Sometimes while I am watching their videos I am blown away by how they’ve transformed a room and I jot down quick notes about things I want to use or try on my next decluttering project.

Create a checklist.

It is a good idea to create a checklist. This will help you to stay on track with your journey of decluttering your home. Use your checklist as a guide. I write down each room I am going to clean, and what needs to be done in each room. This gives me a baseline on where to start, what to focus on, and a feeling of accomplishment as I check off each item I’ve completed.
You can also utilize a checklist for decluttering or cleaning. By this I mean, jotting down some items you need to remember to dust or clean during the declutter. I always forget to clean my fan and the undersurface of my bathroom counter. So now I jot those down on my cleaning checklist so that I don’t forget to get those cleaned.

Another thing I love about checklists is how accomplished I feel when I look at my checklist and see things getting checked off. It’s a great motivator for me to see how far I have come from where I was when I wrote the checklist. For me, my checklists service as not only a means of organization but motivation to get everything on the list checked off.

I separate my lists into multiple sublists. For instance, I have a list for each room. Then I have different lists under each room. A few examples of lists I create are: What Needs to Be Decluttered, What Needs to Be Sorted, What Needs to be Dusted, and Miscellaneous.

Put Your Favorite Music On

I find that it’s a great idea to put my favorite music on while I’m decluttering my home. It makes cleaning a more pleasant experience so I’m not only focused on the unpleasant and cumbersome task of decluttering and cleaning. It helps keep me calm so I can remember that the result will be very uplifting when I see that my space is clear of clutter.

Stay Consistent Afterward

Give yourself a huge congratulations once you’re done decluttering your home. But this doesn’t mean that your work is done. Although you can now relax for the day and the following days, it doesn’t mean you will never have to do it again. The best way to not have to do such a huge decluttering in the future is to maintain the home. It’s great to reward yourself with something, but don’t go on a shopping spree and add more clutter back to your home. My reward is a new hanging plant. I am obsessed with indoor plants.

The best way that I have found to continue staying clutter-free is to throw things out as soon as they break or donate anything I don’t use. Every few weeks I go through everything and redo my 6 months and 3-month piles.

This means not collecting stuff for free from the neighborhood. This means politely declining when someone who is decluttering their home wants to give you a ton of stuff. This means regularly putting things away. When you are consistent with this mindset, your home will be beautiful, welcoming, and clutter-free.

Save this pin for later so you can come back and put these useful tips into practice in your beautiful home.

One thought on “How to Declutter When You’re Overwhelmed by a Messy House

  1. I’m inspired to begin my decluttering of my messy house. I feel extremely overwhelmed and frustrated about this situation and I want to get this done.

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