Do you long for a clean house? Do you run spend all day picking up stuff other people have dropped? Do you feel are you are constantly cleaning up after your kids and spouse? Do you dream of one day having a clutter-free home, clean enough for unexpected visitors? In this post, we give you some decluttering tips and show you how to get motivated to clean when overwhelmed by mess.
Clutter is just a series of indecisions.
Sticking to a cleaning schedule can be pretty tricky when you are struggling with a messy house. There is no point trying to tackle the whole house at once. Give yourself a small goal and stick to it, once you’ve got your messy house in order you can then follow our amazing cleaning routine which will make your messy house sparkle fizz and pop!
In this post, we are not talking about extreme messy houses. If you suffer from any hoarding disorders or depression which may be contributing to your overwhelm, you can get help here.
In this post, we’re talking about a general hodgepodge of piles of laundry, books, paperwork and toy mayhem, so, basically, any jumble that stops you in your tracks and hinders your cleaning. It’s the type of chaos which makes you feel overwhelmed and ready to procrastinate!
How to get motivated to clean when overwhelmed by the mess
The point of this post is to slowly return your home to a workable space that you can clean and maintain. If you’re looking for a quick fix to get rid of the mess in a hurry before guests arrive, you might be looking for the tips in this post! This is not a quick fix this is a room by room methodical process to get rid of the mess that’s holding you back!
How to clean a messy house step by step.
It doesn’t matter where you start, how you start, just start. Getting up and doing it is the hardest part. Put your shoes on, put your hair up and get stuck into your cluttered house. Stop procrastinating and get it done! There really isn’t any better time to start to declutter your life than right now!
- Write a list
Write a list and prioritise which rooms you would like to sort out first, so you can begin cleaning. Then, order the rooms from one to seven depending on how many rooms you have. Try to start tidying the rooms which you think will have the biggest impact on your home.
So, for instance, if you often have visitors, you might like to keep a space clean and organized for when they come around.
I like to start to clean and declutter from wherever a visitor will enter my home first, so I concentrate on the hall, kitchen (often people follow you into the kitchen when you make tea), lounge and downstairs loo. These areas are always a visitor ready in my home.
- Consider asking for help
Having some help from a friend or relative is fantastic, especially if you have an extremely messy house. You might need someone to look after the kids, or to pick them up from school, or maybe to give you some help with the decluttering process itself, such as runs to the tip or goodwill.
- Check your supplies
Whilst it is important to have the correct tools to clean, you’ll need to be sure that you’re not using this as an excuse to procrastinate.
The most important tools you will need to declutter your home at this stage is, garbage bags, dustpan and brush, a vacuum, and perhaps some boxes for donation.
- Choose the first room from your list
Go Back to your list and choose the room that is the most important for you to get on top of. It will be the room you going to be working on until it’s finished. If your room is really messy, you’ll probably not be able to finish it all in one day. It is important not to move onto another room until this one is done and sparkling!
- Dress for the job
You wouldn’t show up for work dressed in your pyjamas with bare feet, would you? Why not? Because those are your relaxing clothes and when you’ve got them on your brain thinks it’s time to relax and motivation flies rapidly out of the window! Imagine this is a job, get your shoes on and keep them on all day, then watch your productivity soar!
I usually wear a speed cleaning apron which helps me cut my cleaning time in half, to find out more read this post!
I also tend to stick to a personal uniform which makes dressing so much quicker and easier in the mornings.
- Get your headphones on.
Listen to some music, an audiobook or your favourite podcast and just get going! This is one of the best ways to get motivated to clean when overwhelmed by mess. Get your rock on and just go!!
- Take a photo
Taking a photo of the room as it is now will help you to see the clutter that you’ve been missing and have become accustomed to. It’s also a great way to see how far you’ve come since you started when you begin to lose motivation!
- Stay away from drawers and cupboards
You don’t want to waste time just yet digging into the depths of your drawers and closets, leave those bad boys alone until you’ve at least got some rooms super sparkly and irresistibly shiny. Nobody’s going to be peeking in your drawers, I hope!
- Set your timer
Set your timer for as long as you can spare. It is important to set a timer to avoid declutter burnout and to stop you from staying up all night! You’ll need some time to recharge those batteries!
- Grab a garbage bag
Work clockwise around the room, top to bottom, and throw away anything that is broken or useless. Be ruthless, you don’t want to organise this garbage, you want to get rid of it. Take it immediately to the trash or to the dumpster and get rid of it. This is a good way to take a little bit of a break, a trip out in the fresh air to the dumpster will be a fabulous change of scenery!
- Grab a basket
Put anything in the basket that belongs in another room of the house. It doesn’t matter whether its toys, clothes or even something as small as nail clippers, put it in the basket, then go and put it away where it belongs straight away! Do not be tempted to leave the basket full of stuff, that’s how you got in this mess in the first place!
- Grab a donation box
In the same way that you worked above with the garbage bag, do the same with the donation box, put anything that you don’t want but is good enough to donate into the box. Be really ruthless and remember you can’t keep the house clean when it’s very messy!
When you’re satisfied you’ve got rid of everything you don’t need or want take it straight out of the house and to goodwill, this is one thing that is very important to do straight away as this will prevent you from returning all that unwanted stuff back into your home.
- Put stuff away
You may be tempted to move on to another room, such as the living room, however as I said before it is really important to finish one room before you start another. When you look around at all the space you have now created you may start getting motivated to clean.
I have written an amazing post which tells you how to clean a dirty house fast and efficiently. I have included all the tips that the professional cleaners use to clean their houses, so, before you start cleaning you might want to check it out here!
- Assess your furniture
Do you really use all the furniture in this room?
Can you cull some books and get rid of the bookshelf?
Could you get rid of some of the paperwork?
Do you really need the extra side table?
Could you live with fewer cushions?
Wouldn’t you prefer to have real flowers over plastic ones?
Assess everything in your room, if you don’t love it, get rid of it. Many charity shops will come and collect unwanted furniture.
Leave space for your children to play, or your pets to run around, enjoy the empty space!
- Maintain the area before moving on.
Write a little list of the jobs that you need to do daily in this newly cleaned room to keep it in this shape.
To make it super easy for you I’ve written a daily checklist of jobs which need to be done every day without fail you can get it here!
So, for instance, if your living room is always full of unfolded laundry, find somewhere else to fold the washing.
If the room was always cluttered with toys, have a look around to see if you have some toy storage in another room that you can utilise. If not, think about buying something like this.
There will be daily jobs that you need to do to keep on top of this lovely clean room before you do anything else.
Follow my daily cleaning schedule here, which tells you the jobs you need to be doing every day to keep on top of the housework. After you’ve done the jobs in this room, you may then move onto another room to declutter and de-mess!
If you have zero time to spare, check out this amazing cleaning list!
- Choose a second room
After completing your daily jobs in the first room that you have cleaned, you may now move onto the second room on your list to clear the clutter. Following the same procedure as you did before carry on until all the rooms on your list are complete.
- Follow my cleaning schedule
I have already given you a link to the daily tasks, but to keep your house shipshape you will also need to do a few weekly chores. You’ll find those weekly jobs in my program designed especially for you here.
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I find it difficult to get motivated to clean when overwhelmed by mess. A messy house is virtually impossible to clean. You need to know how to motivate yourself to clean your house, and the best way to do this is to start reducing the clutter. If you feel you need the motivation to declutter read this fabulous little post I’ve written to help you start to learn how to throw stuff away!
If you have a large family, especially with young children it is easy to get overwhelmed by laundry. There are many tips and tricks to keeping on top of the laundry pile you can find them all in this post, it explains a few simple laundry strategies to help you take control of the laundry mountain and keep on top of the piles of washing your darling family keep churning out!
It is so hard to get motivated to clean when overwhelmed by mess. It’s really easy to allow your bedroom to get untidy because it’s one of the last rooms that anybody else sees. Having a clean and tidy bedroom is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself. A peaceful softly lit, chaos-free, bedroom is somewhere you can go to retreat after a really tough day.
I love to switch on a few Himalayan salt lamps to provide a really cosy ambience in my bedroom. Find out more here!
Try to see your bedroom like a hotel room, get rid of the clutter, clear the surfaces, light some candles and always make sure your bed is made. Make sure all clothes are hung up at all times. Make sure nightstands are clear from clutter and everything is put away and in drawers.
Treat your bedroom like a spa, somewhere to relax and rewind after a long day.
We’d love to know how you get motivated to clean when overwhelmed by mess, join the chat in the comments!
Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up really helped me in my battle to keep on top of the clutter for good.