Motherhood · Time Management and Productivity

Is Your House a Mess? Here’s Where to Start!

Is your house a mess? We’ve all been there… overwhelmed and stressed by a messy house that only seems to worsen with time. If that sounds anything like your situation, don’t worry. After reading this article, you will have all the necessary tools to clean and declutter your home.

my house is a mess, where to start

Why is my house always a mess?

In general, having a messy house can be the result of different circumstances, such as:

  • Having too many things.
  • Not storing things away as you acquire them.
  • Not assigning designated spaces for things in your home.
  • Lack of time and busy schedule.
  • Having young children in the house.
  • Not having a cleaning and organizing schedule in place.
  • Lack of motivation.
  • Health issues prevent you from completing physical tasks.

Despite the factors causing you to have a messy house, you can still achieve your goal of a clean and clutter-free home by implementing the cleaning tips we will cover today.

But, first… “Where do I even start cleaning my messy house?”

Where To Start Cleaning My Messy House?

messy house, where to start

It can be incredibly overwhelming to take on a messy house, especially if the housing mess has been an ongoing problem for a long time. However, with the proper techniques, cleaning, decluttering, and organizing your home will be easier than you think.

To start cleaning and organizing a messy home, you must first assess your mess. Then, list everything you want to accomplish through decluttering and organization by breaking the house into sections (e.g., kitchen, bedrooms, bathroom, living rooms, etc.). After that, create a schedule based on those tasks and tackle them one at a time, following your schedule to prevent overwhelm. Finally, create a weekly cleaning schedule to keep your newly clean and organized home clutter-free year-round.

To learn step-by-step how to declutter, organize, and clean a messy house, keep reading for more tips and hacks on how to do so.

Messy House Printable Cleaning Checklists

Before we start with how to clean and declutter a messy house, here is the Complete House Cleaning and Organizing Checklists Bundle, which will make the job a lot easier.

In this Cleaning and Management Printable Bundle, you will find the following Printables:

  • Assess Your Mess Checklist (to get you started in the cleaning and decluttering, room by room in your home).
  • Assess Your Mess Checklist (Pre-filled)
  • Daily/Weekly Cleaning Schedule
  • Monthly Cleaning Schedule
  • Yearly Cleaning Schedule: Overview
  • Cleaning Ideas List: Daily, Weekly, Seasonal (Pre-filled)
  • Yearly Home Maintenance Checklist: Monthly, Seasonal (Pre-filled)
  • Yearly Home Maintenance Checklist: Monthly, Seasonal
  • Donations Log
  • Additional Checklist
  • Notes Page

Now that we have some tools to help us tackle our messy home, it’s time to put in the actual work. Here is where we start…

7 Tips to Clean and Declutter a Messy House When Overwhelmed

house a mess, where to start

1. Assess your mess

The first place to start when your house is a mess is by assessing your mess and the rooms in your home that require immediate attention. Walk your home and take notes of the messy areas. Think of all of the things you would like to accomplish in each space.

As you assess your mess, think of the tasks that should take place in each space. For instance:

  • Clean
  • Dust
  • Vacuum
  • Donate
  • Wipe (windows, mirrors)
  • Organize (drawers and closets)
  • Paint
  • Rearrange furniture
  • etc.

2. Make a list

As you assess the rooms in your home, make sure you are writing it all down.

Make a list of the spaces in your home that you would like to clean and declutter. Then, next to each space, add the priority (e.g., low, medium, high).

Once you have a list of the home spaces you would like to tackle, it is time to address each space individually and break the tasks into simpler, less overwhelming chores. Ensure to write down all tasks, from small ones (e.g., dusting and vacuuming) to bigger tasks (e.g., decluttering and organizing closets).

Here is an example of what your list might look like. Keep in mind your list would most likely include more areas of your home (hallways, office spaces, dining room, kid’s playrooms, garage, porch, decks, etc.) and more tasks depending on what you want to get accomplished on each space (paint, rearrange furniture, add new furniture, etc.).

But, for the purpose of this article, I will be using the following home areas:

Messy House Cleaning and Decluttering List Example

KitchenBathroomsMaster BedroomKid’s BedroomsLiving Room
Clean OvenClean TubDeclutter/Organize closetDeclutter/Organize closetsDeclutter (donate unused items)
Clean FridgeClean ShowerVacuum/Mop FloorsCategorize Toys (store, donate)Wash curtains
Empty/Clean CabinetsClean ToiletDeclutter/Organize DrawersWash BedsheetsDeep clean couch
Organize PantryMop floorsDust/Wipe FurnitureDust/Wipe furnitureVacuum
Deep Clean FridgeDeclutter/Organize CabinetsClean WindowsOrganize DrawersWipe down furniture
Clean DishwasherWipe mirrorsDeclutter/Donate unused itemsClean Windows/WallsClean windows
Wipe Counters/FloorsClean sinkWash curtains

The Home Cleaning and Organizing Printable Bundles have 2 Assess the Mess Checklists, a blank one and a pre-filled one like the example below to get you started in getting your mess under control (and keeping it that way).

Home Cleaning Printable Checklist

This list is meant to be used as an initial tool to get you started in cleaning and organizing your home. Once all of the tasks are completed, all you have to do is use a Cleaning Schedule Checklist to help keep you up to date with your cleaning and organizing tasks (also included in the Printable Bundle).

3. Make a cleaning schedule

Now that you have your list sectioned by home spaces and tasks to be completed in each space, it is time to create a schedule based on those tasks.

There are different ways you can go about scheduling your cleaning and decluttering tasks. After all, everyone has different available times during the week to accomplish their cleaning list.

So, next is a sample cleaning and decluttering schedule based on our aforementioned task list. Simply, plug in the cleaning tasks you think you will be able you accomplish throughout the week and check them off as you get them done.

Cleaning and Decluttering Schedule Example

Daily Weekly Cleaning Schedule Printable

4. Cleaning a messy house in sections

Another important “cleaning a messing home” tip is to sort your cleaning and decluttering tasks by sections of your home.

As aforementioned in the Assess Your Mess section, dividing your tasks into sections will help you feel less overwhelmed and see more clearly what needs to be done in each space.

To make the cleaning and organizing process much less intimidating, break your house down into small sections at a time.

Think of spaces in your home besides the main living spaces (such as living room, bathrooms, bedrooms, and kitchen), and include other messy home areas that need cleaning and organizing.

Other sections of your home you might want to consider when assessing your mess or when creating your weekly cleaning schedule include:

  • Hallway closets
  • Offices
  • Play areas
  • Basements
  • Furniture cabinets
  • Bonus rooms
  • Porches
  • Decks

You can print as many sheets of the Assess Your Mess Checklist to accommodate all spaces you want to clean and organize.

5. Cleaning vs. decluttering vs. organizing

As we start to clean our messy homes, it is important to understand how we can get the job done. And the three main ways we will do that are by decluttering, cleaning, and organizing.

Decluttering. To declutter is to remove unnecessary items from an untidy or overcrowded place, as per Definitions from Oxford Languages. It is important to perform this cleaning task first to give way to more space and less “mess.” As you declutter, you can place items into category piles such as “donate,” “keep,” and “sell.” Once all items are categorized and the room is decluttered, it is time for the next task… cleaning.

Cleaning. Cleaning is the process of removing unwanted substances, such as dirt, infectious agents, and other impurities, from an object or environment (Source). Now that the room is decluttered, it is time to clean it. Cleaning a space might include: mopping, sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, wiping, washing, etc.

Organizing. As per Merriam-Webster, organizing is arranged by systematic planning and united effort. And that is exactly what should occur after our space is decluttered and clean. There are different ways to organize a space, but some of the most common ones involve grouping things in categories, using bins, and using a labeling system.

And just like that, by cleaning, decluttering, and organizing each of the spaces written our list, our messy home will turn into a clean, organized, and welcoming space for the entire family.

It can seem overwhelming but remember to stick to your cleaning schedule.

6. Dedicated space for cleaning supplies

Besides assessing your mess and creating a cleaning schedule, other things will make cleaning, decluttering, and organizing much easier.

One of those things is to have a dedicated space for your cleaning supplies.

It seems like a simple enough suggestion, but you would be surprised how many people keep their cleaning supplies scattered throughout the house.

By designating a cleaning space for your cleaning supplies, it will make it much easier and more efficient to accomplish your cleaning tasks.

If your home has multiple floors, it is also a good idea to think of places on each floor where you can keep a stash of your most indispensable cleaning supplies.

Cleaning supplies to keep in your cleaning nooks might include:

  • vacuum
  • mops
  • dusting and cleaning rags
  • disinfectant sprays
  • paper towels, etc.

My husband and I’s first home was a townhouse, and I can’t tell you the difference it made when I finally opted to keep cleaning nooks on each floor. Dragging the vacuum up and down the stairs was not my idea of a good time.

7. Use storage bins and containers

Other things that can make the decluttering and organizing process easier are by using storage bins and containers.

Once you have finished the decluttering process and you are left with the “keep” pile, it is time to store those items away. Some items are likely to fit into their designated spaces, such as drawers, closets, and cabinets. However, seasonal items might need a more permanent storage solution, such as plastic bins.

Clear plastic bins, in particular, are a great storage solution. Not only does that keep your items protected (water, humidity, and other factors), but also, the clear plastic helps you identify the items inside easily.

Clear plastic bins come in all shapes and sizes and can be stored anywhere from garages and attics to closets and under beds. Simply, select the size that best fits your space, place similar items together, and label the bins accordingly.

How to keep my house mess-free?

Now that we were able to get our messy home under control, we want to be able to keep it that way, right?

The best way to do that is to have systems in place that can help you do just that.

Using a Weekly Cleaning Schedule and Monthly/Yearly Home Maintenance checklists (both included in the Home Cleaning Checklists Bundle), you can manage and upkeep your home tasks much easier. When you have a list and can plan things around your busy schedule, you are more likely to get things done.

Additional Resources for a Mess-Free Home

Often we need a bit of help and guidance to get us started in our cleaning, decluttering, and organizing process.

Impactful Habits, Organized Home

If you would like a step-by-step video tutorial, then you have to check out Impactful Habits, Organized Home by Abby Lawson.

The Impactful Habits, Organized Home includes:

  • 8 Training Modules: These include video, audio, and written lessons.
  • Printables
  • Lifetime access: to the course and its future updates.
  • Bonuses: Private Facebook Group, Printable Labels, Cut Files for Pantry Jar Labels, Smart Toy Organization Class.

I love that Abby walks you step-by-step through 6 organizing video projects (entryway, kitchen, clothing, bathroom, office, and storage spaces. However, with the knowledge, skills, and strategies you will learn from these projects, you can apply them to any room of your home.

Home Management Binder

If, on the other hand, you know what you have to do, and all you need are checklists and planners to help you get started and keep you on track, remember you can look into the Home Management Binder instead.

Printable Home Cleaning Lists
Printable Home Maintenance List

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In Summary

Life happens… people get busy, parents get overwhelmed, work gets in the way, and other things take priority. As a result, our home takes a backseat, and before we know it…. well, our house is a mess.

Needless to say, tackling a messy home might seem intimidating at first. But with the right tools and resources, your home will be back on track quickly.

Following the aforementioned steps and using resources such as the Home Cleaning Checklists, you will not only be able to tackle your messy home but keep it clean and organized year-round.

Are you ready to tackle the mess? Let us know in the comments below…

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