Have you ever returned home after a long day of work to find your messy house in complete disarray?
You were tempted to turn right back around and walk out the door until you remember it looks exactly the same way you left it? No need to feel ashamed it happens to the best of us.
Having to face clutter every time you look around your house can be mentally draining. Due to many underlying psychological responses, your mental wellbeing often ends up paying the tax for having a messy house.
Seriously, messy house depression is real. This is why there is nothing more satisfying than fixing your mess. And what’s even more rewarding is the ability to walk into every room with the ability to think and breathe!
There’s nothing I love more than a clean, tidy space to clear my mind. If you want to know how to clean a messy house step by step, I’ve shared a few of my favorite tips throughout this post.
But before we move forward, I’m sure you’re probably wondering what you will get out of all of this besides a clean house? A massive leap ahead in your mood state that’s for sure.
Our homes should provide us with a sense of peace and calm when we walk in not utter chaos. There are quite a few ways you can rid yourself of a messy house for good.
What is clutter a sign of?
Just because your messy home may be filled with mountains of old albums, boxes of toys and paper you’ve kept for decades, and knick knacks you no longer use doesn’t necessarily mean that your house is cluttered because you’re suffering from some form of depression.
It might just be a consequence of neglect, a personality attribute, especially if you’re the creative type or a life circumstance.
You might even be here to learn how to clean a hoarder’s house fast if you find it hard to let go of things you no longer need.
Even still, for whatever reason your house is upside down, the mess can still have an impact on your mood.
This is because your brain has to process more information from your external environment when there’s a high volume of various clutter lying around.
To combat this, always remember, it’s just the clutter playing tricks on your mental state. You are still in control of your space.
You have the power to edit it, and with the additional knowledge you’ll take from this post, you’ll be well on your way to doing so in no time.
In turn, this causes the cursed draining effect, which zaps your energy and hijacks your mood. It can quickly turn into messy house depression too.
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How to get motivated to clean when overwhelmed by mess?
Do you wake up in the mornings, look around and think, my house is a disgusting mess?!
If so, you’re not alone. Many people get overwhelmed by messy houses so much that they find it impossible to motivate themselves to clean. One of their first thoughts is, my house is so cluttered I don’t know where to start.
Starting is simultaneously the most important and difficult part. We understand that it’s tough, especially if your house has been neglected for ages.
Here’s the thing to remember – the longer you ignore the mess, the worse it will become, and the more it will affect your mood, motivation, and mental health.
If you’re nodding your head while reading this, you may have noticed this already. That’s why I’m here to encourage you to do the impossible. I’m challenging you to take the next 24-hours to get organized and clean your house from top to bottom.
How do you clean a messy house in one day? If that thought has been plaguing you for a while, it’s time to shelve it. One of the reasons you’re so confused is because of the magnitude of cleaning involved.
If you break it down into smaller, manageable chores, you’ll find it less challenging to get started.
The psychological effects of having a messy house often leads to anxiety or depression. Who wants to experience this when it can be avoided? Thankfully, this problem comes with an easy solution.
If you constantly feel overwhelmed, first things first, slow down, relax, and pace yourself. Of course, you can get it done in one day, but you want to be smart and strategic about it as well.
How to Clean Up a Cluttered House?
Okay, now it’s time to get down too business.
It definitely took more than one day for your house to be in disarray, and cleaning a neglected house might also take longer considering the scale of neglect and damage. It’ll be arduous but mentally restoring to get your home in tip top shape – somewhat akin to feeling the weight of the world being lifted from your shoulders once it’s complete.
You can use the following steps to get a general idea of which direction you’ll need to take to resolve the imbalance all your clutter has created. Feel free to take what you need from the procedure I use then create your own.
Some rooms and closets may be a little harder to tackle than others. I always suggest starting with the room you frequent the most. For most, it’s the kitchen or family room where everyone gathers to watch to eat and watch television.
Keep in mind that these steps were created for more than just tidying up your living spaces. It’s a decluttering and cleaning plan you should strive to stick to long term.
We’re all creatures of habit. Challenge yourself to keep a clean home for ninety days straight and you more than likely will never suffer from a messy house again.
Follow the steps listed below to get started!
Step 1. Create Lists
After you’ve taken a breather to calm yourself, try to get into a meditative state and look around your house. Take a look at what needs fixing, replacing, cleaning, or disposal. Then figure out what supplies you may need to clean. To do this right, you’re going to need to get organized.
Your clean a messy house checklist should ideally consist of two sections. Reserve one section for all the activities you’ll need to undertake in chronological order and the other for a list of supplies you’ll need to carry out your plan.
Lysol, Comet, Fabuloso, Windex, Clorox and Pinesol are a few of the brands I keep stocked in my cabinets in order to meet my needs on cleaning days. I also assign rooms to focus on each day, and if it’s more than a one day project, I’ll do the cleaning on the weekend.
I always reserve my attic, basement, garage, and large storage spaces for the end of the week or strictly for spring cleaning. Yes, waiting until you have ample time to knock everything out at once is key. Plus these areas tend to be the hardest to declutter and organize.
Don’t stress yourself out trying to get everything clean at once. It’s perfectly okay to take your time on each task listed as long as you get it done.
Here’s a rough example of what your cleaning checklist might look like if you’re having a hard time getting started and need some ideas.
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Step 2. Sort Belongings Based On Group
Are you or your family’s things lying all over the place? That certainly makes it harder to get to the floors or tables for a good dusting and wipe down.
Some items worth adding to the cleaning checklist are containers, bags, and labels. This will enable you to keep items belonging to similar categories together and dissimilar apart. It makes things much easier to find in the future as well.
I’m an advocate of using sticky notes, tape, and a sharpie pen to visually prep boxes and bins so I’ll know exactly where to put things beforehand. Yes, organizing clutter requires a pre-plan.
After you identify a designated place for your belongings. Divide and conquer your mess by labeling things with the categories of your choice.
Some possible categories to make:
- Pantry food items
- Money and other valuables
- Cleaning equipment (this deserves a container or spot of its own)
Step 3. Let Go Of ‘Stuff’ You Don’t Need
Your house may be in a state of chaos because you’ve hoarded items for way too long. It might be hard for you to let go, but when you stop to think about it, a lot of those things probably aren’t very useful to you anymore.
When is the next time you’ll use the broken stereo collecting dust in the corner?
Or the extra two blenders you received as a housewarming gift years ago? Why are you letting things you no longer use take up precious space in your home?
Let’s make this easier.
Every time you come across an item, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I use it more than once a year?
- Do I own a newer, better one?
- Is it in working condition?
- Does it carry any sentimental value for you?
- Does it command any resale value?
If the item passes none of the questions listed above it might just be time to let it go.
Feel free to add more of your own relevant questions, if you’d like. I’m just throwing a few general ideas out there to help get your brain juices flowing.
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Step 4. Full Surface Cleaning
This is the step you’re going to need to make a habit of. Not all surfaces require cleaning every day, but there’s a recommended maximum cleaning interval for each. For instance, bathroom surfaces need cleaning at least twice a week.
This is probably the most daunting step in this guide, so here’s a pro-tip to make it easier. Break this down into small painless steps and take your time with each.
Start with dusting and sweeping first. Possibly follow that up with a thorough mopping. Then, with paper towels or washcloths and a strong solution, disinfect and clean all the frequently used surfaces of your house, such as your kitchen, dining table, bathroom sink, desks, dresser drawer, and any other furniture in common areas. Don’t forget door handles and light switches!
If you need more detailed guidance, use these surface cleaning tips from the Centers For Disease Control & Prevention to clean your home properly and thoroughly. Their guidelines can also be useful if you’re cleaning a neglected house that’s been that way for a long time.
Step 5. Reflect and create another list
Completing steps 1- 4 is bound to leave your heart feeling lighter. While you’re still in this state, reflect on how your cleaning and decluttering went. Did you check everything off your cleaning checklist?
How long did it take to tidy or clean each room? How much of your supplies did you use?
The last thing you want to do is fall back into old habits, which is why this second list is needed.
Using what you learned from this experience, you can establish a cleaning routine along with a list of supplies and how often you’ll need to re-stock.
Use the daily routine planner below to create a habit of maintaining a clean home.
Learning how to organize a messy house regularly is a skill everyone could use. A chaotic home can clutter your mind and unnecessarily aggravate existing problems going in your life.
Who wants to return to a messy home after a long, hard day of work, prepare dinner in a kitchen filled with dirty dishes, and the smell of garbage reeking throughout the house.
The experience of cleaning a messy house can be both alleviating and therapeutic. It explains why they often say cleanliness is the closest thing to godliness. In some ways, it truly is.
I teach entrepreneurs how to simplify their life and business with less + own their time and maximize productivity towards their personal and monetary goals.