How To Start Organizing A Messy House In 6 Easy Steps

Sharing is caring!

Getting Organized At Home

Have you ever said to yourself, “My house is a disaster and I don’t know where to start?” You are tired.  You are frazzled.  You are a mom who has been up all night and day with your kids.  I have been there.  And I know the last thing on your mind is how to start organizing a messy house.

Related Post: How To Clean A Crazy Messy House When You Are Overwhelmed

Declutter before you organize for lasting results. Grab this declutter checklist now!

So when it comes to getting organized, many of us just “brush it under the rug”.  But I am betting that since you are here…reading this…that you are wanting to make a change to your organization.

It will only take 5 easy steps for you to learn how to organize any room in your house!

how to start organizing your messy house

There are sponsored links on this page from which I may get a commission at no added cost to you.  For more information, please read my Privacy Statement.

How To Start Organizing A Messy House

To answer your question of how to start organizing a messy house, I have listed the steps below.  But you are welcome to read further into these steps to find out why they are important, or use the Table of Contents below to jump to the step that you are struggling with.

1// Get in the right mindset

2// Plan It Out

3// Start Small

4//  Purge with Purpose

5//  Categorize

6//  Contain

Related Post: How Going To Bed With A Messy House Can Absolutely Ruin Your Sleep

A Little About My Journey

My years with infants and toddlers are not too far behind me.  I can remember the exhaustion vividly.  All I ever wanted to do was take a nap.

But at some point, I got tired of thinking, “I can’t have anyone over because my house is always a mess”!

It took me a while to find my mojo, but once I did, I didn’t let it go.  And I want that for you.  I know how overwhelming it can be to live in a messy home. 

When you are constantly stepping over a cluttered mess of toys to get into a room. 

Or you are digging through drawers and shelves trying to find that one thing that you know you bought a few weeks ago!

I get it, believe me I do.  So it is time to stop the stress of living in the chaos and reclaim your house!  It is time to start making your home a sanctuary again! 

Nobody wants a messy home, so let’s start getting organized!

pinterest pin how to start organizing a messy house

How To Start Organizing a Messy House When You Don’t Know Where To Start

When you first start organizing your home, it is normal to feel a little overwhelmed.  I’ve been there, but figuring out how to clean when you are crippled by the mess, will help you become more confident.

Though, it is hard to just dive straight into organizing.  So instead, I recommend starting by decluttering your home of the unnecessary things.

Using this decluttering process will set you up for success.

Don’t freak out!  I am going to give you some step by steps so you don’t get overwhelmed!

Step By Step Decluttering Process

Many times, the reason we cannot get organized is because there is just too much stuff to fit into our homes.

Less clutter means an easier house to organize, so you can read 7 tips to declutter your home without making a bigger mess. It will help you figure out how to start cleaning a messy house before you organize.

So the best advice that I can give you to get organized at home and stay organized is to follow the steps below!

Related Post: 11 Quick And Easy Ways To Declutter Fast

Organizing Your Home: Where to Start

When you have a messy house, the place to start organizing actually begins with decluttering and cleaning. Only then will you be in a position for getting organized.

The simple steps I have listed below incorporate the action of decluttering before getting into the steps to start organizing you home. But keep in mind, that the only way you can start organizing is to declutter first. Otherwise, you will not have room to organize.

Here are the 6 main steps you will need to get your home organized. But if you want true functionality and the ability to keep your home organized, be sure to read over the Bonus Steps at the end of this post too!

Related Post: How To Declutter Your House In A Week 

how to start organizing a Messy house Bedroom

Step 1:  Get In The Right Mindset

First step, realize that you can definitely do this. And I am here to give you the steps to be successful.

Part of being successful in organizing your messsy house is to be realistic.

I want you to realize that jumping into any full home organization or decluttering plan and thinking you will get it done in one day, is not the right mindset. 

I know you want it done NOW, but actually trying to get an entire house organized in one day will just succeed in burning you out and overwhelming you more.

Instead, know that this is a project that will take some time.  Be sure to celebrate your wins and forget about anything you don’t finish. Just do a little bit at a time.

The right mindset is… progress over perfect.

Pro Tip >>Take pictures of where you start each day and where you end, so you can see the progress that you are making on a day to day basis.

how to start organizing a messy  house using a planner

Step 2: Plan It Out

The next step is to make a plan of attack for your entire home.

Because organizing your home may take more than a day, you will want to make a plan so you are able to get a little done each day without distractions.

If you have kids, you may want to plan to do this during nap time. Or you may want to find a babysitter if you are working on a large space in one day and it needs your undivided attention.

Mark the dates and times you will work on your organizing project in your planner or on a calendar.

Have some goals in mind about what you want to get done by what time.

Step 3:  Small Bite-Sized Pieces

Starting to organize a messy house is overwhelming, but part of getting organized is learning the process. 

If you have never decluttered or organized a space before and you are overwhelmed by the idea of it, then the best way is to start small.

Do not take on too much in a single day.

Only work on a project for 20 minutes or less at a time…and remember to take pictures of the before and after. This will keep you on track without overwhelming you more.

If you do get overwhelmed, stop, take a deep breath, and save the rest for another day.

I recommend dividing your room up into sections. If you are working on a bathroom, start with the drawers, move to the cabinets, then the closets. That way you are going from smallest to largest.

If you are organizing a living room, pick one corner and start there.

Organizing a room in this manner will help you learn the process in a small space before moving into a larger space.

how to start organizing a messy house by decluttering first

Step 4:  Purge The Space With Purpose

It is time to take action.  In this step, I want you to declutter the space you are planning to organized.

Why?  Because before you can organize items on shelves, in cabinets, or in bins, you have to get rid of the extra stuff that is keeping you from getting organized in the first place.

The trick I learned over the years is to purge with purpose!

PURGING WITH PURPOSE means that you go through your items one at a time, only keeping what you actually use in the space you are purging and later planning to organize.

Put all trash in a trash bag and put things that need to move in a laundry basket.

When you start to purge any area, whether it is one bathroom drawer or an entire closet, make sure you are storing the right items in that space.

For a more thorough step by step guide to purging, read 7 Tips To Declutter Your Home Without Making A Bigger Mess.

Purging the contents will allow you to get everything out of the space so you can see what you actually have to work with when you organize the space.

Then you can decide what kinds of organizational equipment will work in that space. 

Pro Tip >> Always purge before you organize.

Related Post: Is your house trashed? Learn how to clean a trashed house by reading How To Clean A Filthy House

Step 5:  Categorize Your Things

Now that you have declutter everything you do not want in your space, you can now start the organizing process.

The first thing you want to do is divide your items up in to categories.

Here is an example.  If you are organizing your bathroom drawer, you would place the lipsticks together, the eyeliners together, the foundation together, and the hair accessories together.

how to start organizing a messy house with containers

Step 6:  Contain Small Items

Not every item that you try to organize is going to need a container. 

But when you organize small items inside a large space, a great container can do WONDERS at keeping the space how you want it!

Most of my organizing equipment comes in the form of dollar store storage bins and dollar tree baskets.

You do not ever have to spend a lot of money on organizing your home if you know where to look.

If you want to know how to organize your home on a budget, then the dollar tree or any dollar store for that matter, is the place to start.

Bonus Steps For Getting Organized

Here are two more tips to help you learn how to start organizing a messy house.

Bonus Step 1:  Visualization…for Ultimate Accessibility

I say this is the bonus step because it is not truly necessary to be organized. 

BUT…  If you want your organization to REALLY WORK FOR YOU… then this is a very important thing to do. 

By putting some thought into how you want the space to function you can create Ultimate Accessibility!

Visualize the space that you just emptied out.

Think of the categories that you just divided your keep pile into.

And think about how your containers can fit and work in the space.

Related Post: Reduce Closet Frustration With A Color Coded Closet

Examples Questions To Ask Yourself…

Say you are visualizing your closet…

  • What do you use most often?
  • Would you rather fold your sweaters or hang them?
  • Do you need some shelves in the closet?
  • Would it be better to use this space for something completely different than you have been?

If it is a drawer you are organizing…same concept.

What do you use most often?

Maybe your favorite lip gloss, mascara, and powder are the things you wear most so you want them to be the easiest to get to — A.K.A the front of the drawer.

Making things accessible is incredibly important when you are organizing your home. 

It is the one thing that will save you time in the long run and benefit you the most!

If you wear t-shirts and sweatpants every day, don’t put them in the back of the closet or in a bottom drawer.

Keep the things you love and use often in easily accessible spaces—A.K.A. in the front of the closet or in the most accessible drawer of the dresser.

That way when it is time to throw on your clothes… on that ONE morning that everyone slept in… and then you realize that little Jimmy has a doctor’s appointment in 30 minutes across town!! 

You can get to what you need to get out the door faster with kids.

And hopefully, you won’t be quite as late as you would have been surprised!

how to start organizing a messy house picture of organized white shelves that look clean and organized

Bonus Step 2:  Keep it all Organized

That’s right, it is time to put your favorite items away!

And while it would feel really great to stop here, I want you to do something for yourself. 

Something that is going to KEEP all that hard work you just did in order.

I want you to label.  this may not be possible in a small little drawer, but it is definitely possible in a pantry or a linen closet.

You can buy sticker labels or use a label maker  to make the labels you need quickly and easily. 

Either way, labeling is what will help everyone in your house know exactly where things go.

Related Post:  5 Reasons To Label Your Kitchen Plus 9 Free Pantry Labels

Kitchen Labels to help organize a messy house

Bonus Step 3: More tips for a tidy home

Be sure you create a good routine to help you keep the mess out of your house. Here are some suggestions:

  • Don’t buy anything you don’t need.
  • Pick up and put away every night.
  • Don’t just put things down, put them in their designated places.
  • Use storage containers to keep things divided and organized.
  • Try to keep things off kitchen counters and other flat surfaces.
  • Have a junk drawer where you can put things quickly.
  • Clean your junk drawer out often.
  • Rotate children’s toys in and out of play using plastic containers.
  • Organize important documents as they come into your home.
  • Do laundry on a daily basis.

What If you need help Cleaning And Organizing Your House?

Do you need help cleaning and organizing your home? Remember to ask a family member or friends to help first.

There are also services you can contact that specialize in both… no matter how big or small the job may be.

Hoarders can find help at Hoarding Cleanup which is a Nationwide database of clutter cleaners near you.

Clutter you can clear out with the help of a few family members or friends can be hauled away by 1800GOTJUNK, a full-service junk removal business that is present all across the United States.

If you are in need of a professional organizer, you can use NEAT Method which is a nationwide group of organizers that can help you with any of your organizing needs. Go here to find NEAT Method organizers near you.

Want a virtual online organizing session? Set up a Free Discovery Call with me.

You Are All Finished Organizing A Messy House!

When you use the process of creating categories and a system to keep those categories separated, you will find that your organized home actually stays organized! 

And when you put everything back in the drawer or the closet I bet you will notice three things.

  • First, how much less stuff you have…which is always a fantastic feeling! 
  • Second, how nice and neat everything looks.
  • And third, how Empowered you feel!

You just took control of your clutter and figured out where to start organizing your messy home! 

You showed it who was boss and told it that it wasn’t going to slow you down or make you unhappy any longer!

Pat yourself on the back!  You did it!  It was a big job, but look how incredible it looks now!  Look how incredibly FUNCTIONAL it is now!

You can use these 5 basic steps to organize any space in your home!

>>>This is one of my favorite affordable items for getting a really organized home.

Once Are Organized

Once you get your home organized you will be surprised to find it doesn’t take much time to find things, or even have a clean house anymore. The storage space in your home will be utilized better. And every messy room will become a clean space.

How To Start Organizing A Messy House Review:

  1. The right mindset is your key to success.
  2. Plan out your step by step process with clear goals.
  3. Target a small area and work for a small amount of time as a starting point instead working on the whole house at once. Then next time finish or start a in a new small area.
  4. Declutter everything from common areas to kitchen cabinets with a garbage bag and by making quick decisions.
  5. Categorize similar items such as small appliances that will fit in kitchen cabinets and all the shoes you want to put on a shoe racks.
  6. Purchase items that will help you contain and maintain organization. Such as dirty laundry hampers in bedrooms or a broom and mop holder to hold household items for cleaning.

Happy organizing!

Julie Signature

P.S.~Want to refer back to this post or know someone who could use this advice?  Remember to pin it so you can find it anytime!

You Will Also Like:

get motivated to clean and delcutter fb

How To Get Motivated To Clean And Declutter

35 tips to get more done in a day for moms through planners and time management to increase productivity. #tips #planner #printables ##stayathomemoms #productivity #inaday #timemanagement #organization

35 Tips To Stop Wasting Time

How To Clean A Messy House When You Are Crippled By The Mess

Mom Bag

Mom Bag Essentials For Every Mom ‘On The Go’