Are you fed up of tripping over toys? Or are you always late in the mornings because nobody knows where their own stuff is? Is the thought of decluttering just totally overwhelming?
I totally get it. Living in a cluttered home can be a real nightmare.
And it makes life so much harder!
Wouldn’t it be nice if your kids put their toys away without being asked to, or could find their own schoolbag in the morning?
A decluttered and organised home is the answer.
Keep reading to find out my tried and tested, step by step tips for decluttering when overwhelmed and busy mums, just like you.
How To Start Decluttering When Overwhelmed
The feeling of overwhelm is real. And it’s stopping you from reaching your goal of a clutter-free home!
When you’re a busy mum, it seems like there’s never enough time to get everything done. And when your house is cluttered and messy, it only makes things worse.
You feel overwhelmed and stressed out, and you don’t know where to start decluttering.
Well, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered!
I’m gonna give you 11 easy-to-action decluttering tips and discover how to start decluttering your home even if you don’t have any idea where to begin.
Let’s ditch the decluttering overwhelm and get started!
Steps To A Tidy Home:
- Start small
- Declutter one small area
- Make a decluttering plan
- One category at a time
- Create designated spaces
- Tackle one room at a time
- Follow the 4 Ds rule (discard, de-clutter, downsize, donate)
- Make decisions quickly
- Don’t be afraid to get rid of things you don’t need or use
- Take your time with big projects
- Declutter every six months
Need help finding motivation to clean when you’re overwhelmed by mess? Here’s my simple 7 steps to find motivation to clean.
We get overwhelmed at the start of big projects – like decluttering – when we only see the big picture. So when we see that the whole house is messy and filled with too much stuff, the feeling of overwhelm creeps in and we end up taking no action at all.
Try to refocus. Take one small area of your home and make a deal with yourself that you’re gonna clear it of the clutter.
Tips to Start Small
- Clear the kitchen worktops. This is a high-traffic area that tends to attract clutter. Clearing the worktops will give you a quick win and motivate you to carry on with the decluttering process.
- Or sort through your sock drawer. Get rid of any worn out or odd socks. Be honest with yourself about how many pairs of socks you really need. Then neatly fold and put away the ones you want to keep.
Declutter One Small Area
You can declutter your entire house in one go, but it’s probably not the best use of your time! Not only will you get overwhelmed and give up quickly, but you might end up making hasty decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of.
A better approach is to take things one small area at a time. This will help you to focus on the task at hand. And make decisions more easily.
Tips to Declutter One Small Area
- Sort through your medicine cupboard and through out all the expired medicines still lurking in there – I see you gone-off Gaviscon from my first pregnancy!
- Clear out the bathroom cabinet. Remembering buying all those new shampoo and conditioner combos that made your hair feel greasy and lank. Yeah those ones. Now’s the time to get rid of them. You can donate them to women’s refuges if you don’t want to just toss them in the bin.
Here’s a great article on how to keep the house clean when you have toddlers!
Make a Decluttering Plan
When you’re decluttering your home, it’s important to have a plan of action. Otherwise, you’ll just be going through your belongings aimlessly and not making any progress. Trust me – I’m the queen of procrastination!
Tips on Making a Decluttering Plan
- Be realistic. If you haven’t decluttered your house since before your first baby popped out eight years ago, you’re not going to magically do it now in a week!
- Make the plan bitesize. You know the end goal, but you don’t have to use it as a stick to beat yourself with. But also don’t make your plan so vague that it’s basically useless.
- Think SMART. Saying to yourself at the start of the week “I’m going to declutter mine and my kids’ sock drawers by 7pm on Friday” is a better plan than “I’m going to declutter my entire house.”
One Category at a Time
It’s best to declutter one category of your belongings at a time. For example, clothes, books, paperwork etc. This will help you to focus on the task at hand and make decisions more easily.
Tips for Decluttering One Category at a Time
- Declutter your clothes by going through each item and asking yourself these three questions: Do I love it? Do I wear it? Does it fit me now? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then get rid of it.
- Sort through those baby clothes you’re holding onto for your next little bubba and only keep the very best. Donate the rest, or recycle those milk-stained baby grows that you’ve convinced yourself are still okay to use. They’re not – they’re gross. Don’t inflict them on your unborn child.
Create Designated Spaces
When you’re decluttering your home, create designated spaces for everything. This will help to keep things tidy and organised. It will also make finding things a lot easier.
And make sure everyone who lives in your home knows where everything goes. There’s nothing more frustrating than putting your keys on the hook where they belong, only to find them missing when you next need them. Turns out dear hubby put them in the fruit bowl – who even does that?!
Tips for Creating Designated Spaces
- Create a space for your paperwork. This can be a desk, an in-tray or even just a folder that you keep by the computer. Just make sure it’s somewhere where you will actually use it.
- Give your kids a toy box or shelf for their toys. This will teach them from an early age how to keep their belongings tidy and organised.
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Tackle One Room at a Time
What’s worse than a cluttered house? A cluttered house that’s been turned up-side down because you’re trying to declutter every room at once.
I’m a big fan of keeping things as simple as possible. And, for me, that means focussing in on small areas, like tackling the clutter room by room.
Tips for Tackling One Room at a Time
- Choose the easiest room first. We’re aiming to get motivated to declutter the whole house. If we start with the biggest, most used, most cluttered room then we’re gonna give up real quick!
- Set yourself a time limit. Remember, step 2? You don’t have to do the whole room in one go – unless you’re feeling extra Wonder Woman that day! Pick an area of your chosen room and focus on decluttering that. If you’ve got some time left over, start on another area.
Follow the 4 Ds rule
This is a great rule to remember when decluttering any room in your house. Discard, de-clutter, downsize and donate.
You can take the word discard to mean give away, recycle, sell or just throw away if the item really isn’t salvageable.
Tips for the 4 Ds Rule
- Be ruthless when discarding items. If you haven’t used it in the past year, chances are you never will.
- De-clutter by sorting through your belongings and only keeping what you really need. This is a great way to reduce the amount of stuff you have.
- Downsize by getting rid of larger items that take up a lot of space. If you don’t need it, get rid of it!
- Donate items to charity or a friend in need. This is a great way to declutter and help someone else out at the same time.
Make Decisions Quickly
One of the main reasons why people struggle to declutter their homes is because they can’t make decisions quickly. They hold onto things ‘just in case’ or because they ‘might need it one day.’
I’m not judging anyone here. Honestly this is me in a nutshell!
I know from experience that the longer you spend deliberating over something, the harder it becomes to get rid of it.
Tips for Making Decisions Quickly
- Think of it just like pulling off a plaster: quick and painless. Make a decision quickly and be done with it.
- Don’t second guess your gut instinct. Your first instinct is usually the right one.
- If you really, really can’t make a decision, flip a coin. Seriously. In the moment of flipping the coin your subconscious mind will make the decision for you. Try it!
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Rid of Things You Don’t Need or Use
We all have sentimental attachments to certain items. But that doesn’t mean we need to keep them forever.
I’m not saying you should get rid of everything that has sentimental value to you. But if something is taking up valuable space in your home and you don’t use it, then maybe it’s time to let it go.
Tips for Letting Getting Rid of Things
- Keep imagining the home you want to create, rather than the messy one you’re living in now. This will keep you motivated to put sentiment aside and keep on the decluttering process.
- Remove the items you no longer want or need from your home as soon as possible. The longer they hang around the house, the more likely they’ll end up back in the cupboard.
Take Your Time With Big Projects
Tackling a big declutter project can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve got a lot of stuff and not much spare time. But that’s okay!
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Take your time and work through it bit by bit. You’ll get there eventually.
Tips for Taking Your Time With Big Projects
- Let’s say you want to declutter your garage. The likelihood is that this decluttering project will take a few days. But you don’t have to do it all at once! Plan to do it over several weekends.
- Remember step 2!
Declutter Every Six Months
It’s not enough to just declutter once and be done with it. You need to keep on top of things or the mess will quickly build up again.
That’s why I recommend decluttering every six months. This will help you stay organised and prevent the clutter from taking over your home again.
Tips for Decluttering Every Six Months
- Set a reminder in your calendar to remind you when it’s time to declutter.
- Create a list of the items you want to declutter and work through it bit by bit.
- Get rid of any duplicates or unused items that are taking up space in your home.
- Go through the 10 steps above if you’re feeling overwhelmed!
How to Start Decluttering When Overwhelmed: Final Thoughts
A cluttered home can be stressful and overwhelming. But with these simple tips, you can start decluttering your home today!
Remember, it’s not going to happen overnight. But if you take your time and follow these steps, you’ll get there eventually. Good luck!
If this post was helpful to you, please share it.
And if you have any tips not covered here, feel free to add them in the comments section below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Check back soon for:
– How to Organize Your Home in Less Than an Hour
– The Best Way to Store Stuff You Don’t Use Regularly
– 20 Ideas for Decluttering Your Home Quickly and Easily
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