How To Declutter When You’re Overwhelmed By The Mess

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Are you overwhelmed by all the clutter in your house? Surrounded by so much stuff it’s hard to find the things you’re actually looking for?

I know I am – with three children, just after Christmas and so many relatives who love to give them gifts, I look around my house and there is just SO. MUCH. STUFF.

Seriously. I mean, where are you even supposed to keep a walking musical unicorn?

“Clutter steals energy and joy.”
Monika Kristofferson

Clutter can have a real impact on your overall wellbeing. It can make you feel mentally overwhelmed,  stressed, and even stop you feel comfortable and happy being in your own home.

So where to start when it feels like there’s just not enough time or space to even think about it?

Make some time

I know you’re busy, but even if it’s just a small window set aside some time. If things have built up and you have a lot of clutter you’ll need to have some dedicated time to start sorting it. It won’t happen itself, but it doesn’t need to take over your life. Five or ten minutes is good enough to make a start.

Take one room at a time.

If you really don’t know where to start – choose a small room, the bathroom or a study perhaps. You’re more likely to be able to finish quicker and stay motivated. Once you have one small room done it should give you that satisfaction and boost of motivation to want to do more rooms.

If you can’t do a whole room right now, just pick a shelf or a counter. Just getting that one area free of clutter will make a difference.

Empty the room

I know, initially this is going to seem like just making more mess, but it’s the best way to make sure you’re going though everything! Bring everything out, and lay it down so you can see it.

Make sure you’ve got bin bags or boxes ready. You’ll want bags for throwing away, and possibly bags for donating. An extra bonus of decluttering is you’ll probably come across some things you can sell on, so you can even profit financially from decluttering!

Ask these Questions

  • Do I use it?
  • Do I need it?
  • Will I ever use it again and when?

If you can answer yes to those questions, find a (tidy) space back in the room for it.

If the answer is no to all, either throw the item away or put it in a box to donate, depending on its condition.

Now is the time to be a bit ruthless – you probably don’t need to keep that half used bottle of hair conditioner that you don’t really like but feel like you maybe might/should use sometime. Either start using it up now so you can get rid of it – or be realistic and chuck it now.

If you have to really mull over whether you need to keep something or not, you probably don’t need it!

“Instead of thinking I am losing something when I clear clutter, I dwell on what I might gain.”

Create ‘designated areas’

To keep your newly decluttered spaces looking well, decluttered, designate specific areas for specific things. For us, we had a massive issue with having papers and letters and all sorts ending up all over the place, particularly in the kitchen, and could never find the one we were looking for.

So we bought a desk tidy, put it by the wall of the kitchen counter and all the paper goes in there. It looks so much better, and now we know where to find things.

We also have a bigger filing folder, and every so often sort through the paper collection and add important documents we need to keep to that, along with recycling anything we no longer need.

You can do similar things with other rooms,  for example in the bedroom you might create a designated area for hair products and accessories, perhaps keeping them in a basket, box or specified drawer.

Another thing that has made a huge difference for us is adding a cube storage system in our hallway and adding more coat hooks.

It seems simple, but having that space for shoes to live, and boxes to keep the kids school bags and book bags etc has really made our house seem much less cluttered. Ikea is now one of my best friends!

Whatever it might be, find a way to make your space make sense for your things.

Once you’ve decluttered, enjoy your simplified, clutter free home. Hopefully for longer than the five minutes I ever get before my kids decide to go through everything like a whirlwind!

In summary

  • Set aside a little time
  • Take one space/room at a time
  • Separate clutter into piles – keep/discard/donate/sell
  • Place things to keep back in tidy spaces that make sense
  • Practice keeping things clutter-free until it’s simple habit

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One Comment

  1. I totally feel ya here, I have twin boys and I feel like I follow them around the house as they tasmanian devil the place!!! Love these simple tips to help keep the mess manageable! Thanks to @kristiehill for bringing me here!

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