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How To Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed By A Messy House

A cluttered and messy home can be overwhelming, leading to feelings of stress and anxiety. In this article, we will explore some tips on how to avoid feeling overwhelmed by a messy house and how you can get back in control of your stuff.

First, we will discuss the importance of creating a plan for organising your belongings. Next, we will cover ways to declutter your home gradually so that the task does not feel too daunting. Finally, we will look at ways to keep your home organised once it has been decluttered.

How to avoid feeling overwhelmed by decluttering. Simple steps to get on top of your clutter, simplify your life and reduce your stress.

How A Messy House Makes Us Feel

A cluttered home can also make us feel like we are not in control of our lives. It can be difficult to find things when we need them, and this can lead to frustration and feelings of incompetence.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed by the state of your home, it’s important to remember that you didn’t get to this point overnight and you won’t be able to fix it overnight either.

Trying to do too much at once will only leave you feeling even more stressed out

How To Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed By Decluttering

When you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed at the prospect of downsizing, this usually comes down to not knowing where to start

When you have a whole house to declutter, knowing which room to begin with, or which part of that particular room can be really confusing.

It’s because of this that so many of us avoid getting started with decluttering at all, or get partway through and lose momentum. After all, it can also be pretty darn exhausting!

Decluttering is a fabulous thing. It gets rid of the excess stuff that we simply don’t need. Decluttering saves us money by revealing what we already have and also reminding us what we actually do not need!

It also has the potential to make us money too, through selling the excess, or simply being charitable and giving it to someone who is more in need.

Decluttering helps simplify your life by cutting down on the unnecessary, saving us time on cleaning, organising and the dreaded searching when you can’t find something you need.

However, when you start, it’s not unusual to feel completely overwhelmed by decluttering.

Here are some great ways to help you avoid feeling overwhelmed by decluttering:

Set Goals

Work out what you what to achieve with your decluttering. Do you perhaps have an area of your home that is overflowing with stuff?

Is your Tupperware cupboard contents falling on your feet every time you open the door?

Are you going for a minimalist look home?

Once you know what your goals are, it gives you a better idea of what you want to achieve, whether it be a full home declutter, or a small space declutter and exactly how much you want to get rid of.

Begin with small goals and tasks. This is far less overwhelming than if you just dive in with an expectation of getting the whole house transformed in a day! You’re not Wonder Woman!

Enlist In Some Help

There is absolutely no reason why you should be going at the declutter alone.

If you live with others, put them to work as well. A joint declutter can save so much time and take the pressure off your shoulders alone.

Chances are you weren’t the only one responsible for accumulating all that stuff.

If you have kids, don’t forget to give them tasks too. Kids love to be helpful, usually. And it may be a great way for them to earn some extra pocket money or to add to their chores list.

Overwhelmed by decluttering

Pace Yourself

You do not need to have this whole job done in a single day, or even in a single month if that does not fit into your schedule. Set up your plan to tackle it in a gradual way that suits your lifestyle and time.

By breaking it down into smaller decluttering tasks will make a difference.

Maybe set aside a day a week when you commit to your declutter plans, or even just one hour a day, every day until it is done. 

It all adds up in the long run and if that helps you feel less overwhelmed, it’s okay that it might take longer.

So long as you’re still working at your goal, and not giving up, then you are making great progress. Well done!

One thing that I did to get started but without putting lots of pressure on myself was a one-box declutter process, as it was a small act done often that started to add up, before I was ready to tackle the bigger tasks.

For some specific quick declutter tasks, check out these 10-minute declutter ideas.

Join a Challenge

Having set tasks and instructions can take so much pressure out of the decluttering process and certainly help you to avoid that sense of overwhelm and anxiety.

There are so many challenges you can join online, but of course, I will give a shameless plug and recommend my own blog challenge – 30-day declutter challenge, which has a simple small declutter task featuring a different area of the home, complete with tips to help you declutter that space and a checklist to make it nice and easy.

It does not have to be done in 30 days either. Do 2 tasks a week or over 30 weeks if you really wanted!

Get the dedicated declutter challenge, my 30-day declutter calendar is perfect for you!

Free 30 day declutter challenge

Take a Break

And if still after trying these things to help you with your declutter you still feel overwhelmed, just take a break. Not a forever break.

A couple of days should be time to recharge your batteries and help you get back on track.

Sometimes we have too much else going on in our lives and we need to take a step back and let something slide for a little while. That’s okay.

We all deserve a break!

Let Go Of Guilt

One of the biggest roadblocks to successful decluttering is guilt!

This is especially the case when decluttering sentimental items, including items we may have inherited from others or been gifted.

We fear upsetting others by letting go of the things that serve no purpose in our homes but really, these things are weighing us down.

Put your wellbeing first over offending others by letting go of the guilt of decluttering things you neither want nor need.

Change Your Habits

Once you get started on minimising the amount of stuff you have in your home and in your life, the last thing you want to do is start bringing more unnecessary things into it.

This is where changing your habits can really help avoid you ending up in the same situation in a year or two.

Consider carefully before you make new purchases. Do you really need it?

In our household, the worse culprit these days is the kid’s toys so I do regularly go through and clear out the toys they have outgrown and have a general declutter and toy organisation.

We also no longer buy them lots of things for birthdays and Christmas.

We know the rest of the family is going to spoil them too so we keep it simple with what we give them.

Instead, we focus on one thing they would really love and some practical things to go with it, like a new pair of swimmers for next summer. Or for clutter-free gifts and experience gifts instead.

This has helped reduce the mess that comes with kids.

Hopefully, with these decluttering tips, you are one step closer to achieving your goals, minus the feeling over it being all too much.

And don’t forget once you declutter that stuff, you need to get rid of it or it sort of defeats the purpose, so sell it, donate it, or throw it in the bin. Whatever happens to suit you and the stuff you are decluttering.

Trust me, it feels good to rid yourself of all the unnecessary stuff.

For a new daily habit that can help get your home under control and keep it that way, check out my 5-minute daily decluttering process.

Declutter your home checklist

Be sure to check out my other decluttering tips to help you along! Good luck!

Do you have any tips to avoid feeling overwhelmed by decluttering?

For more decluttering inspiration;

Karin @ Calm to Conniption

Sunday 14th of June 2015

I am currently desperate for a declutter but just can't dedicate time for it at the moment. Great tips. Always feels nice after a clear out.


Wednesday 17th of June 2015

It can be a huge commitment to delcutter... especially if we leave it longer than we should (which most of us do). Start small :)

Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages

Sunday 14th of June 2015

I've been procrastinating on decluttering my wardrobe I think it is time I ripped the bandaid off and just did it. Tomorrow. :/ Dropping 'down the rabbit hole'


Wednesday 17th of June 2015

Mine took sooooo long. It was in really bad shape though and I did a complete makeover as well as a declutter so that added time. But it felt and still does feel great to have done it. I love how organised mine is now. Sooo... did you do it yet? ;)

Shannon@ my2morrows

Sunday 14th of June 2015

Great tips Holly! Definitely agree that taking a break can be hugely beneficial. We started de cluttering in the new year and bit by bit, room by room we are getting things under control. Gosh it feels so good. The more we do the more ruthless we get! Thanks for the tips and for linking up to the ultimate rabbit hole! Xx


Wednesday 17th of June 2015

It's such a rewarding feeling once you tackle an area. Sounds like we are on a similar path this year. I have been way more ruthless than ever before this time around too. Time to stop hoarding just for the sake of it :)

Gael - The Vinyl Edition

Saturday 13th of June 2015

I hate clutter, but I am not good at de-cluttering. One of my issues at the moment (there is always an excuse) is having to do it in short bursts when my kids are not around, and dispose of the evidence (they are 8 and 9, and end up making more clutter as they re-discover the existing clutter).


Saturday 13th of June 2015

Kids make it so much harder. My little one found the stuff I was throwing out when cleaning her room the most exciting lol always the way. Good luck :)


Saturday 13th of June 2015

These are great tips! We are going through this process right now, as we are getting ready to move into a new house. I really don't want to take a ton of stuff we don't need with us.


Saturday 13th of June 2015

I made the mistake of taking most of my clutter with me to our house. There are barrels of stuff yet to tackle in the garage. Eeek!