How To Get Motivated To Clean When Overwhelmed By Mess.

Do you long for a clean house? Do you 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 having a clutter-free home one day, clean enough for unexpected visitors? This post gives you some decluttering tips and shows 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 tricky when 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 follow our amazing cleaning routine, which will make your messy house sparkle, fizz, and pop! 

In this post, we are not talking about extremely messy houses. If you suffer from any hoarding disorders or depression that may be contributing to your overwhelm, you can get help here. 

In this post, we’re talking about a general assortment of piles of laundry, books, paperwork, and toy mayhem, basically, any jumble that stops you in your tracks and hinders your cleaning. The type of chaos that makes you feel overwhelmed and ready to procrastinate! 

overwhelmed by mess and a big pile of laundry

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 systematic process to get rid of the mess that’s holding you back! 

How to clean a messy house step by step. 

  1. Start

    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 isn’t any better time to declutter your life than right now! 

  2. Write a list 

    Write a list and prioritize 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 spaces you think will have the most significant 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 visitor ready in my home. 
    to do list

  3. 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, 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. 

  4. Check your supplies 

    While 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 essential tools you will need to declutter your home at this stage are garbage bags, a dustpan and brush, a vacuum, and perhaps some boxes for donation. 

  5. Choose the first room from your list.

    Go Back to your list and choose the most important room for you to get on top of. It will be the room you will 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! 

  6. Dress for the job

    You wouldn’t show up for work dressed in your pajamas with bare feet, would you? Why not? Because those are your comfy 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.

  7. Get your headphones on. 

    Listen to some music, an audiobook, or your favorite 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!! 

  8. Take a photo

    Taking a photo of the room now will help you see the clutter you 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! 

  9. Stay away from drawers and cupboards. 

    You don’t want to waste time 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! 

  10. Set your timer

    Set your timer for as long as you can spare. It is important to set a timer to prevent declutter burnout and stop staying up all night! You’ll need some time to recharge those batteries! 

  11. Grab a garbage bag

    Work clockwise around the room, top to bottom, and throw away anything broken or useless. Be ruthless. You don’t want to organize this garbage. You want to get rid of it. Take it immediately to the trash or the dumpster and get rid of it. This is an excellent way to take a little bit of a break. A trip out in the fresh air to the dumpster will be a great change of scenery!  

  12. 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!  

  13. Grab a donation box

    In the same way, you worked above with the garbage bag, do the same with the donation box. Put anything you don’t want but are good enough to donate into the box. Be ruthless and remember you can’t keep the house clean when it’s very messy!  

    When you’re satisfied that 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 into your home.  

  14. Put stuff away

    Put away laundry, file paperwork, and clear any surfaces. Let’s start with some clutter-free surfaces and floors! 

  15. Clean

    You may be tempted to move on to another room, such as the living room; however, as I said before, it is essential to finish one room before you start another. When you look around at all the space you have now created, you may begin getting motivated to clean. 
    I have written a fantastic post that tells you how to clean a dirty house fast and efficiently. I have included all the tips that professional cleaners use to clean their homes, so before you start cleaning, you might want to check it out here! 

  16. Assess your furniture

    Do you 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 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 space! 

  17. Maintain the area before moving on.

    Write a little list of the jobs 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 that 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 is constantly cluttered with toys, look around to see if you have some toy storage in another room that you can utilize. If not, think about buying something like this.
    It would help if you did daily jobs to keep on top of this lovely clean room before doing 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 move on to another room to declutter and de-mess! 
    If you have zero time to spare, check out this amazing cleaning list!

  18. Choose a second room.

    After completing your daily jobs in the first room you have cleaned, you may move to the second room on your list to clear the clutter. Following the same procedure as before, carry on until all the rooms on your list are complete. 

  19. Follow my cleaning schedule.

    I have already given you a link to the daily tasks, but you will need to do a few weekly chores to keep your house ship-shape. You’ll find those weekly jobs in my program designed especially for you here. 


Help, my house is a mess, and I can’t seem to throw stuff away. How do I get motivated to clean the house? 

I find it challenging 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 home, 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! 

My house is always messy, I do not have the motivation to do laundry, and I don’t know how to get out of this mess! 

If you have a large family, especially 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 keeps churning out!  

My bedroom is always a mess, but the rest of the house is always clean. How do I keep on top of my room? 

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 yourself. A peaceful, softly lit, chaos-free bedroom is somewhere you can go to retreat after a tough day. 

I love switching on a few Himalayan salt lamps to provide a cozy ambiance 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 make sure you make your bed. Make sure you hang all clothes 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. unmade bed

We’d love to know how you get motivated to clean when overwhelmed by mess. Join the chat in the comments!

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