5 Steps to Organize Your Home When You Feel Overwhelmed

Struggling with clutter, disorganization, and chaos in your home can be overwhelming – especially when you have no idea where and how to start organizing. Sometimes, being overwhelmed leads to inertia, procrastination, or complete avoidance of the problem. Besides, you can always find something more interesting to do than decluttering your house. Right? However, eventually, you will get to the point where you can’t bear to live in a mess anymore. If you’re at that point but still need to figure out where to begin, these 5 steps to organize your home will help start you on your journey. Soon, you’ll enjoy the freedom of living a simpler life with less stuff.

1. Take Pictures

It sounds counter-intuitive because who wants to take pictures of a mess? However, looking at pictures of your disorganized space instead of being in the room can bring clarity. It can help you identify what you hope to accomplish. Plus, having before and after photos will motivate you to keep going.

2. One Thing at a Time

Unfortunately, you can’t organize your entire home all at once or declutter several different areas at the same time. If you try to organize a drawer in one room, a shelf in another, and a closet somewhere else, you will rarely finish the projects. In fact, you will likely create more chaos. Then, you will soon lose motivation and won’t have any sense of progress.

Please do not start several areas at the same time. Instead, set aside an hour or, better yet, two to three hours to tackle one area. If you don’t have an hour, choose a task small enough so you can finish decluttering, sorting, and putting everything away within the time that you have. It might be only one drawer in one room, but moving forward slowly is still moving forward.

shoes neatly arranged in closet representing the 5 steps to organize your home
Shoes neatly organized in a closet with “breathing space.”

3. Focus Until It’s Done

Focus on the same area during every organizing session until you complete the project. I know it can become boring, and you might think a root canal or a tax audit would be preferable, but please don’t give up! To successfully organize your home, you must complete the area you started before moving to the next. What does complete mean, you might ask? It means everything has a home, there is no clutter on the floor, and bins and containers are labelled. And, if you let go of the right amount of stuff, there may even be some empty space so your belongings can breathe a sigh of relief just like you will.

However, “complete” does not mean it needs to be perfect, like many photos you see online. It means your space is functional, it makes you happy to look at, and you are easily able to keep it tidy.

4. Fix the Biggest Frustration First

Our lives are busy, and many of us only have a little time to work on home-organizing projects. Since we can’t organize everything all at once, we can make a significant difference by focusing first on the area that causes us the most frustration.

For example, if you constantly misplace your keys, start by organizing the entryway to your home. Create a place to put your keys immediately as you enter the house. Install a hook or place an anti-theft key fob box at the entrance where you will always put your keys. Then, put a sticky note on the windshield in your car, the door to your home (and wherever else you need one) to remind you to put your keys in their forever home before you do anything else. Once it becomes a habit, you won’t need the sticky notes anymore. Once your keys have a home, you can move on to the next step.

5. Celebrate

Finally, when you complete your organizing project, it’s time to celebrate! Post the before and after photos online and tell everyone how hard you worked. Build a community of like-minded individuals who will help you keep going.

Better yet, send me those photos and tell me the difference being more organized has made. Share how you achieved success, and we will celebrate together!

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