Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that the very thought of cleaning your house was too much to handle? Here is how to clean a messy house when you’re overwhelmed.

While driving home late the other night and listening to the radio, the radio host said something that caught me off guard. She said a simple, yet intriguing statement. Just because something scares you, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

It was that simple statement that got me thinking – there are so many people letting fear hold them back. So many people aren’t living their best lives simply because they are scared to. Scared of what could go wrong, scared of the unknown, scared of the known. It’s time for you to let that fear go and to live your best life.

When is the last time you did something that scared you?

Fear might not always come in the way, shape, or form that you might expect it to. Sometimes it comes in a simple daily task that seems too daunting to get done and causes you to get overwhelmed.

The fear of failing and not getting that task completed is oftentimes what causes people to simply not do the task at all. It is the fear that they won’t do it as well as someone else, or won’t have enough time to complete it, or don’t know how to get started that holds them back from tackling a specific daily task.

What is that daily task for you?

For me, and many others, sometimes that task that overwhelms us and builds fear up in our bodies is the simple act of cleaning the house. Sometimes the thought of merely starting is enough to send us over the edge and convince us that we can just put it off for another day.

But, what happens when we leave our house cleaning for too long? We tend to tell ourselves that since we’ve left it for this long, it’ll be fine if we leave it just one more day. Then one more, and one more.

Soon enough we have a massive mess on our hands that needs to be dealt with now, but we’re too overwhelmed to start.

Do messes overwhelm you? They certainly overwhelm me. When our house is cluttered, unorganized, and dirty I tend to get paralyzed. I don’t know where to start, or how to start. I stand there staring at the mess knowing I need to do something and to start somewhere, but I don’t know what that something or where that somewhere is.

That’s why I desperately need to constantly remind myself of how to clean a messy house when it’s overwhelming – because it happens a lot.

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There doesn’t have to be anything complicated or hard when it comes to cleaning your house. Sure, it can be overwhelming when you don’t know where to start, but that’s where these tips come in.

If you’re overwhelmed and wondering how to clean a messy house, when it’s overwhelming and you don’t know where to start, the best thing you can do to start is to pick a single item up and put it where it belongs.

If it doesn’t have somewhere that it belongs, ask yourself if it’s something worth keeping. If it is for sure something you want to keep, create a place for it. If it isn’t something you need and don’t want to keep, donate it or throw it away.

Once you’ve picked one item up and put it where it belongs, pick another item up and put it away.

Then another, then another.

Soon enough you will have completely picked up one room in your house without much thought or effort.

If you go into it thinking that you will just start with one thing, and not thinking about the rest of the stuff that needs to be done, you will complete your tasks much quicker than if you go into it thinking of the long list of things that need to be done as that will only cause you to get overwhelmed, and when you get overwhelmed you will likely become unmotivated and much less productive.

Once you’ve worked at this for a while and have picked up a few items, take a break to appreciate what you have accomplished. Grab yourself a snack, take a few minutes to stretch your legs, then start again.

If you’re tight on time, just pick up and put away a handful of items today, then start the process again tomorrow when you have another few minutes to spare. You don’t have to get it all done in one day – it’s just important that you start.

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You’re probably already familiar with the timer method, but have you ever tried it? Using a timer for your cleaning efforts is such an effective way to get lots done in little time.

For this cleaning method, you will need a timer that works well and a whole lot of self-control.

Grab your timer, set it for 5, 10, or 15 minutes (it’s important that you don’t set it for too long or else you will get distracted and lose interest), then put away all distractions – this means turning your cell phone onto silent, or turning it off altogether, and putting it in a different room, turning off the music, and getting rid of anything else that could potentially take your attention away from the task you are focusing on.

After you’ve gotten rid of all distractions, set the timer for the amount of time you have chosen. I like to do about 5 minutes, with 10 minutes being my max as I tend to lose motivation if I do it for much longer than that.

Once you’ve set your timer, start cleaning your house. This method can be used in several different ways.

Some people prefer to set the timer and narrow in on one specific room or area of their house and don’t move from that area until the timer goes off, while other people much prefer to do little tasks all over their house until the timer dings.

While I believe that focussing on one room at a time is a more effective way to clean as you aren’t then wasting time running around to different areas of your house, each person has to choose the method that works best for them.

The goal of using the timer method to clean your house is that you are focusing on nothing but cleaning and tidying for a set amount of time. Then when the timer goes off you can take a break, grab your phone, grab a drink, play with your kids, or whatever else you would like to do.

You can either use the timer method several times in a day or if you don’t have much time to dedicate to cleaning you can simply do it once a day.

I love using the timer method as it is a perfect fit for busy moms who have kids at home. Using this method is a great way to either include your kids in the cleaning process or teach them to play nicely together or by themselves until you are finished your task.


Though it may seem counterproductive to start with the smallest, seemingly unimportant, tasks, it is proven that you have to start with the small tasks to achieve big results.

Do you want big results in your home?

If you do, it’s important to address and deal with the small things first. The things that people often won’t notice or give you any credit for.

Stuff like emptying the trash in the bathroom, making your bed in the morning, picking toys and clothes up off the floor, tidying a messy coffee table, or putting clothes where they belong.

It is these tasks that, when done separately, don’t seem to make much of a difference in the overall outcome, but when done with one another they will make a very significant difference in the way your house looks.

As much as you might not want to start with the small stuff and just focus on completing the big tasks that actually make a difference, you must start small.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve done a huge deep clean of your bathroom from ceiling to floor, if you haven’t taken time to take out the trash, it won’t look or be fully clean.

If you pick everything up in your room, put everything where it belongs, and scrub those walls and floors, it won’t look fully clean unless you make the bed as well.

If you’re still not convinced, take this blog for example. If I just focused on doing stuff to increase the amount of traffic I get but neglected the “smaller” tasks that seem to get deemed as “less important”, like writing blog posts, sending emails, and coordinating my calendar, though I would have people coming to my site I would have no content for them to read, I wouldn’t have any relationship with my readers, and I would have a big jumbled mess.

If I had to choose the one most important thing in this blogging business, it is that the small things matter.

The small things matter when it comes to cleaning your house, too.

If you want to see big results, you need to focus on the small tasks. Those tasks that you’ve convinced yourself are unimportant are the very tasks that you need to start with to get results.


No matter how clean your house is, if you have a pile of dirty dishes in your sink or a stinky dishwasher full of dirty dishes, your house won’t look (or smell) truly clean.

Make a habit out of washing your dishes as soon as you are done with them. Right after breakfast, clear the table and put the dishes in the dishwasher or wash them by hand.

When lunch is done, clean up the dishes from the clean sink and hand wash the dirty dishes or load them up into the dishwasher.

Keeping on top of the dishes throughout the day will help you set a tone of cleanliness throughout your entire house.

Make sure you pick up your dishes if you or your kids eat outside the kitchen, too. Don’t leave glasses or plates laying around the living room – teach yourself and your kids to clean them up as soon as they are no longer being used.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and wondering how to clean a messy house when you don’t know where to start, take one of these 4 tips and start there. Don’t let fear of not getting your house perfect keep you from starting – we all need to start somewhere.

Start cleaning your house with these cleaning habits and work them into your daily schedule so once you have achieved a clean house, you can keep it that way.

Which one of these how to clean a messy house when you’re overwhelmed tips was your favorite?

What do you like to do when your house is a mess to get started on cleaning it?

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