Sharing is caring!

How to Get Organized When You Feel Overwhelmed

Stop feeling defeated every time you look at the mess in your house. And instead, learn how to get organized when you feel overwhelmed.

Learning the steps you need to get organized will arm you against feeling defeated every time you look at the mess you are trying to conquer. It’s like learning how to do anything new…if you want to do it right, you first must learn the correct steps.

And if you can use these tips to your advantage, then you will be able to create a home that is relaxing and full of good energy for you and your family.

Organize Easily By Decluttering First With This Declutter Checklist

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

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

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.

Want to hire an organizer in your area? Click here to try NEAT Method

Easy Tips To Go From Overwhelmed To Organized

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.

So the VERY FIRST and BEST thing you can do is get away from whatever is overwhelming you.  

Take a walk outside, workout, go to the coffee house and have a cup of coffee, go to the library and read for a while, take a nice relaxing bath, do some yoga. 

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

How To Get Organized When You Feel Overwhelmed Tip #2:  Make A List

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.

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

How To Get Organized When You Feel Overwhelmed 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.

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?

Related Post:  Get Motivated To Clean And Declutter

split level home that is clean

How To Get Organized When You Feel Overwhelmed 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 makes this hard. 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 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.

If you are trying to organize tasks for work, then you will want to choose based on items that need to be done as soon as possible and create the most reward for the work you are putting in.

colorful arrows to prioritize life

How To Get Organized When You Feel Overwhelmed Tip #5:  Declutter First 

Okay, so 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.

You can declutter your home belongings by removing items from your home you no longer want or need.  

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

30 Day Declutter Challenge Calendar
Click Here To Download the 30 Day Declutter Challenge Calendar

How To Get Organized When You Feel Overwhelmed Tip #6:  Create Good Habits to Get Organized and Stop Feeling Overwhelmed

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
Click Here To Buy This Habit Tracker

How To Get Organized When You Feel Overwhelmed Tip #7:  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.  

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

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

Organizing Your Home:  Where To Start

The tips I gave you above in the section ‘Easy Tips To Go From Overwhelmed To Organized’ are more generalized ways that you can help get yourself organized in any situation.  

But if you are trying to start organizing your home and belongings, then I can give you the exact steps you need get organized.

start here in white with a yellow starting line and a pair of blue shoes

Step 1//  Decide Where To Start 

Choose a space that is not going to overwhelm you more than you already are.  If your home is so cluttered, messy, and disorganized that you cannot think, then remove yourself from the mess and go somewhere you feel relaxed so you can plan.

While you are relaxed, think about that space in your home that you feel you could organize to help you become less overwhelmed at home.

Step 2//  Visualize the Ending

Also while you are relaxed, think about how you wish for the space to look and function for you.  What do you want the end result to look like?  Look at pictures online or in magazines to get ideas.

things we store in shoe organizer

Related Post: Improve Your Home Management by Turning A Coat Closet Into A Mudroom

Step 3//  Start Decluttering

Before you can organize a space, you need to get rid of anything that should not be in that space.  If you have too many items, then organization can become very difficult because you will not have a way to fit everything into the space in a nice and tidy way.  

You can read more about decluttering a space in the following post.

Related Post:  How To Declutter Without Becoming Overwhelmed

Step 4//  Group like items

When you begin organizing, the first step is to group like items.  Here is an example.  If you are organizing your makeup, you could group all the lipstick together, all the blush together, and all the eyeshadow together.

Another option that I like to use is grouping makeup by how often you use it.  The makeup you use daily will go together.  The makeup you only wear for special occasions goes into another group, and the makeup you wear on date nights will go into another group.

closet with organized shoes and clothes
Closet with shoes and clothes grouped.

Step 5//  Contain items

Clear bins, baskets, shoe boxes…there are so many ways you can contain items you are trying to organized.

Don’t think you have to spend a lot of money on containers that are pretty. A well labeled shoe box will do the trick just fine. I personally like transparent bins so I can see exactly what is inside. (Here are some bins that work great in any space.)

Make sure you choose storage containers that fit in your space…it is a good idea to measure before you buy!…(and yes, I have made the mistake of not measuring before!)

Related Post: Best Ways To Get Organized When You Are Drowning In The Mess

clear storage bin being filled with legos for better organization
Clear bins make stored items easily accessible. Shop The Look

Step 6//  Prime Real Estate

Organizational Prime Real Estate is a term that only I use.  But I feel that it is one of the MOST IMPORTANT PARTS of organizing a space correctly so it is highly functional.

This is how the concept of Organizational Prime Real Estate works

You need to view the space you are organizing by determining which areas of the space are most easy to access and which areas of the space are hardest to access.

In order to make a space the most functional it can be, then you need to place items that you use most often in the area that is easiest to reach and access. 

The areas that are harder to access will house items you only use occasionally.

Here is an example…When organizing your upper kitchen cabinets, you will place plates and glasses that you use every single day on the lower shelves of the cabinet…where you can reach them very easily.

The items that will go on the top shelves of the upper cabinets (the shelves that require a lot of reaching or maybe a stool to access) are items you use on occasion. Such as platters you would use for entertaining, paper plates for birthday parties, etc.

Related Post: How To Create Kitchen Zones For Better Flow In Your Kitchen

kitchen cabinets showing where the prime real estate is for organizing a kitchen

Step 7//  Keep it up

Keeping your space clean and organized is easy to do if you know how.  

Once a space is organized, it holds only the items you need and use regularly.  When you start to notice that there are other items that you never use, cluttering up your system, then you know it is time to do a quick clean out and tidying.  This will keep your space organized and neat.

orange sign that says please stay on the path so you can stay organized and not become overwhelmed again

Feeling Disorganized and Overwhelmed

Trust me when I say I know what you are going through.  I get overwhelmed often.  It is in my nature to be disorganized…which naturally leads to feeling overwhelmed from time to time.

But I can promise you, that when you declutter and organize it does many things for you.

  1. It makes you feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
  2. It helps you ‘see the trees through the forest’ and find what you are looking for easily.
  3. It allows you to prioritize tasks easier so you know exactly what to do now, next, and in the future.
  4. It reduces stress in your life.
  5. Allows your brain to work more logically.

woman overwhelmed by and under a pile of clothes that need to be organized

How To Maintain Your Organization

Many worry that they will do all of this work to get organized and then find that the organization goes away and they just get overwhelmed again.

Here are a few easy tips that will help you maintain order in your home:

  • Don’t bring a lot of clutter into your home…in other words, stop buying things that you don’t need.
  • Create a routine to straighten the organized areas of your home daily or weekly.
  • Good habits like putting things in their place instead of just dropping things anywhere will keep clutter to a minimum and keep your belongings organized.

Here are some tips that will help you maintain order in your life:

  • Write things down on a calendar or planner.
  • Create to-do lists to get all the thoughts out of your head.
  • Learn how to prioritize correctly.
  • When possible, do tasks now…do not save them until later.

Buy This Home Management Binder to help you sort out your life.

clean and organized shelf of belongings

Want to take your home management and organization to the next level? Schedule a FREE 15 minute call with me to go over some ways you can make your days less hectic and overwhelming.

Questions That Can Help You Sort Through Organizing Overwhelm

Why do we get overwhelmed?

Getting overwhelmed normally happens due to having too many things going on at once, without the knowledge of how to put things in order and prioritize.

Once you know how to organize and prioritize, you will have the ability to stop being overwhelmed.  Or at least have a way to fight the overwhelm when you feel it coming on.

How do you plan and organize your workload?

Learn how to get organized when you are overwhelmed by learning to plan and organize your workload more efficiently.

As a mom, I have a lot on my to do list everyday because I manage my home, homeschool my son, and also find time to work on my blog so I can help others become more organized. 

How do I plan and organize?  I use lists, a planner, and my phone timer.  All of these items help me plan and organize and they can help you too.

List out all of the items you need to do for the day.

Use a calendar or planner with an appointment planner. Then you can lay out tasks based on the time of day you wish to complete them.

Be sure to set timers for things you don’t want to forget.  I forget to move the wet laundry into the dryer a lot because there is no timer on my washing machine.  So if I don’t want to have to wash things again, I set an alarm on my phone so I remember.

How do I stop myself from overwhelming myself?

The best way to stop from overwhelming yourself when you are trying to become organized is to start small and try to create good habits.  

Using a habit tracker can really help you become proficient in using the organizational tools you add into your life.

For instance.  Make it a habit to wake up every morning and set your phone alarms for the day based on what you need to remember for the day.  

If you make it a habit of doing this every single morning, you will no longer become overwhelmed by having to remember everything that is happening.

How do I manage too many tasks?

Manage tasks by making a list of everything you need to do. Then prioritize those tasks in order of most important to least important. 

Cross off the tasks on the list one by one until they are all finished.

How do I decide what tasks to do first?

Prioritizing tasks is something you can learn to do quite easily.  Once you have made a list of everything you need to do, then you want to rank those tasks from most important to least important.

Rank tasks the highest on your priority list that need to be done right away or can be done very quickly.

The lower ranking tasks by priority will be tasks that take a long time to perform or do not need to be finished for a while.

Related Post: 7 Tips To Declutter Your Home Without Making a Bigger Mess!

What is the first step to getting organized?

The first step to getting organized is realizing that you actually want to get organized.   This may sound silly, but many people just don’t care and therefore will never take the time to get organized.

But once you have made that decision, the best place to start is by deciding where to start.  And the best place to start is in the place where you feel most overwhelmed by disorganization.

How do you organize effectively?

Organizing effectively comes down to one thing…Consistency.

If you are consistent with the habits you form to become organized, you will maintain an organized space, will have organized your life effectively.

Related Post: Create A Color Coded Closet For Less Frustration

What are the steps to organizing a house?

You can use the steps described above in this post to organize a house.

How can I organize my house quickly?

Be realistic in your mindset and expectations.

Organization takes time.  Especially when you are organizing an entire house.  The process takes time.  Finding the right equipment for the spaced takes time, and maintaining what you have organized takes time.

Like anything that is important…it takes time to build it.  But once you have, you will be amazed by how your life changes.

How do you organize small things?

Organize small items using containers that keep them from moving around in a space freely. This keeps them where you want them.

You can organized small stud earrings on a board like this one, or in a small container.

Rubber bands and paper clips can be stored in

How do you categorize your belongings?

Categorize items by grouping like with like.  Take for instance if you were organizing the makeup in your bathroom drawer.

You could group all lipstick together, all blush together, and all foundation together.

Another thought for categorizing could be to group items by how often you use them (this is the way I like to categorize).  

For instance, if I am organizing the makeup in my bathroom drawer, I might group all of the makeup I use every single day in one group, the makeup I where only on a date night with my husband in another category, and makeup that I rarely wear, but am not ready to throw out, in yet another group.

What are the benefits of organizing your belongings properly?

The benefits of organizing things properly are HUGE!  You can refer to my Prime Real Estate Section above to learn how to place things properly in any space.

Organizing and paying off bills can save you money and even get you out of debt.

Organizing belongings can help you find things easier which will save you from buying extras and save you money.

When you get organized you will feel less overwhelmed.

Less stress is a great benefit of organizing properly.

Be on time for appointments.

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

Let’s Finish Up The Organization

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.

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

Happy Organizing,


Related Posts:

5 Steps to Get Organized Feature Image and Title

How To Start Organizing A Messy House In 6 Easy Steps

organize your kitchen feature image and title

How To Create Kitchen Zones For Better Flow In Your Kitchen