8 Best Ways To Get Organized When You Are Drowning In The Mess

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How to Get Organized When You Feel Overwhelmed

Do you ever feel so overwhelmed you can’t get anything done? Believe it or not, too much clutter and disorganization in the home and mind could be what is creating your feelings of overwhelm. Instead of feeling overwhelmed every time you look at the mess in your house, use organization to create a peaceful space. With the easy steps in this article, you can learn to get organized when you feel overwhelmed and start living a better life.

Here is something that can help you get started tackling the mess…

Related Post: Why Calendars Are So Important For Keeping Your Busy Day Straight

purple and pink writing top tips to stop feeling discouraged adn start organizing and lady with sad face in white shirt

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8 Easy Tips To Go From Overwhelmed To Organized

As a mom myself, I understand feeling disorganized and overwhelmed. When you are responsible for anything and everything that is going on in your home, plus trying to keep yourself on track, sometimes things can go off the rails.

But I know from experience that even when you get off the rails and feel like life is trying to take you down, you can still get back on track. Here are some of the best ways I have found to get back in sync and they all have to do with organizing and decluttering my life.

Only then can I see what is truly important.

How To Get Organized When You Feel Overwhelmed

Tip #1:  Take A Time Out

This tip may sound counter intuitive, but when you are totally overwhelmed and frustrated by a mess of objects or tasks, most of the time it is because there is so much going on you don’t even know where to start working.

When this happens, and you feel the panick setting in, the VERY FIRST and BEST thing you can do is get away from whatever is overwhelming you.  Here are some things that can calm you down quickly:

  • Take a walk outside
  • Workout
  • Go to the coffee house and have a cup of coffee (or tea may be more relaxing)
  • Read at home or at the library or coffee shop
  • Take a nice relaxing bath
  • Do some yoga
  • Talk to a close friend or relative
  • Talk to a therapist

All of these things get you out of the overwhelm and into a relaxed state of mind.  Only then will you be able to truly focus on what needs to be done to get organized when you are overwhelmed.

woman in orange shirt doing time out with her hands

Tip #2:  Make A List

Now that you are more relaxed, I want you to write down every single thing that needs to get done… and it does not matter how long that list is.  Dump the thoughts from your brain onto some paper…so those thoughts of everything you need to do are no longer cluttering up your mind and overwhelming you.

When I teach others ‘how to get organized when you are overwhelmed’, this is one of the most important tips that I can give you…MAKE A LIST!

This will work whether you are trying to organize your mind, your daily tasks at home, your business, or objects in your home.

notepad for tasks numbered 1 through three on a blue background

Tip #3:  Think About The End, First

Now that all that jumbled up mess of thoughts is out of your head, I want you to think about what you want the end of this organization process to look like.  

When you think about ‘the now’, all you see is the clutter and disorganization that is overwhelming you.  

So visualizing the future as a calm and organized space that you want in your life will help you understand why you are doing all this hard work to get organized in the first place.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you visualize…

  • What does your life look like once it is organized and you are no longer overwhelmed?  
  • Are you successful in your business?  
  • Are you better able to manage your home?  
  • Can you find things easier in your home?  
  • Are you calm and collected?
  • Do you finally feel like you can relax?
  • What is giving you the motivation to put the work into getting organized?
  • What does your space look like now that you are completely organized?

These questions should help you focus on what is important so you can disregard what is not.

Related Post:  Get Motivated To Clean And Declutter

split level home that is clean

Tip #4: Pick the best place to start (a.k.a. – Prioritize Tasks)

Finding a place to begin organizing when you feel defeated, frustrated, or overwhelmed by the mere idea of starting makes this hard.

So let’s start here…use the focus exercise we did in step 3 and circle all of the important tasks that fall into your vision for the future. I would suggest only circling 3 items to start.

Then I want you to cross off any items that do not pertain to your future vision.

Let me give you a few different suggestions depending on what you are trying to organize.

If you are organizing belongings in your home, my suggestion is to start where you are most frustrated with the clutter and disorganization. If you are overwhelmed with too much stuff on your countertops, for instance, maybe you can never find your keys. Then your goal would be to clear that space and put a container where your keys go every single time you enter your home.

If you are trying to organize your home management routine, then try choosing the one part of your routine that you either care most about or is going to impact your’s or your family’s life the most. For instance, if your child has a hard time falling asleep at night because he has no bedtime routine, then create one so everyone can sleep better at night…including mom.

How to get organized at work if you are overwhelmed. Try prioritizing tasks that need to be done as soon as possible or have a due date that is approaching quickly. Other tasks can be re-scheduled for a later date.

colorful arrows to prioritize life

Tip #5:  Declutter First 

Okay, you have done great so far. Now it is time to Declutter…why am I talking about decluttering instead of organizing when you are overwhelmed?

Because if you have too much stuff, then no amount of organization is going to take away your overwhelm and frustration.

So this is a super important step that you absolutely CANNOT skip. Because it will make your organization efforts EASIER!!! That’s right…I said EASIER!!!

It doesn’t matter what you are organizing, if you have to work around items that do not belong in that space then you are not going to be able to organize anything.

So remove items from your home you no longer want or need.  Here is my complete guide and workbook for helping you declutter room by room.

By removing unnecessary items from your work tasks, you will free up time to do the more important items on your list.  You may also need to declutter items that are cluttering up your work space and causing distractions.  

You can remove tasks that don’t need to be a part of your daily home routine or even try to combine some tasks that can be done together to make the process go faster.

Related Post: A Room By Room Guide To Help You Declutter 10 Different Rooms In Your House

7 pages of the clear the chaos declutter guide

Tip #6:  Create Good Habits

When it comes to being organized, much of it is creating good habits or even good routines.  

Start slowly and try adding a task, mantra, or checklist that will help you start some good habits. 

For instance, create a good habit of putting things away at home by saying to yourself…”I should not set this down…I should just put it away so I don’t have to do it later.”

Having a good routine that works for you can change how you do things each day and can help keep you from getting overwhelmed.  For instance, at the end of each day, jot down the items that you still need to work on the next day, or items that need to be finished up. 

Also list any new tasks or projects that need to be started the next day.  This will allow you to know exactly where to start the following day.

As for home management, creating a home routine that you can glance at each day will help you not feel so overwhelmed.  You can create a routine where you do certain tasks on every Monday, other tasks Tuesday, and so on.

This will help remind you to do certain things each day and can help you stay organized at home.

Related Post: 35 Ways – How To Be A Productive Stay At Home Mom

Framed Habit tracker to get organized
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Tip #7:  Stop Muti-tasking

Despite what you may have heard about the most productive people being good mulit-taskers, I can promise you that multi-tasking is actually the best way to overwhelm yourself even more than you already are.

When you try to do too many things at once, you wind up not getting anything done. You become more forgetful, more stressed out, and more overwhelmed in general. Which is exactly the opposite of what we are trying to do here.

So instead, try to focus on one task at a time.

Tip #8:  Invest In A Good Planner

One of the best ways I have found to get organized in any situation is to use a planner or calendar of some sort.  And a good planner can help you focus on the tasks that you need to prioritize.

I recommend the Erin Condren Planner. You can learn more about it here.

Or the the Day Designer (this is the one I have).

Being able to jot down items in your planner as you think of them is a Godsend. 

A planner allows you to keep the tasks you need to do on paper instead of bouncing around in your head and making you feel overwhelmed.  

You can use a planner to plan any tasks, events, or engagements that come up in your life.

A planner is also good for staying organized in your home since you can use a planner to block off time each week to keep up with organizing and decluttering.

Related Post: 12 Best Planners For Moms Who Want To Be Organized

Erin Condren Life Planner Specs and Testimonial with Picture of planner
Click Here To Learn More About this Planner by Erin Condren

Let’s Finish Up The Organization Process

Hand writing New Mindset New Results with black marker on transparent wipe board.

In the end, learning how to get organized when you are overwhelmed is not something that will happen overnight. But by making of a series of small changes that eventually turn into larger changes, you will eventually feel more relaxed and capable of achieving organization.

If you can stay the course and keep working on some of the tips I gave you above, you will see a change in your organization in no time.

Happy Organizing,


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