How to Start Organizing When You Are Overwhelmed and Surrounded by Clutter

Organizing can be so overwhelming! But there are some ways to help you get started when you’re surrounded by clutter and chaos.

Life moves so fast. There are so many things that we, as moms, wives and business owners, are responsible for. How do we do it all? What do we do when our homes are a wreck and we feel overwhelmed by clutter? How do we start organizing when our whole house needs help?


I work with women all the time that feel overwhelmed. Some can’t keep up with laundry. For some, their cabinets and closets are stuffed full. Some have piles they don’t know what to do with. Paperwork is everywhere.

What do you do when you’re feeling like you can’t keep up?

1. Take a breath.

Actually, take four breaths. Deep, calm ones. Right now. Inhale peace and tranquility and the grace of Jesus and exhale stress, pressure and the walls that feel like they’re moving in on you.

It’s going to be okay. Really.

Name 5 things you are grateful for right now.

How were you enough this week? Think of one way. I just took the time and played two games of Aggravation with my kids while we ate lunch. It was really fun.

You may be feeling overwhelmed with clutter and the messes around you. Your house may not compare to your friends right now BUT give yourself a break today.

2. Make your home a priority.

We only have so much time. If we really want to change how we feel we have to make our homes a priority. We must say NO to something else so that we have the time to say yes to clearing the clutter and creating routines to maintain our homes. It will take time. It’s hard to choose between need and want, good and best, family and work, texting with a friend or decluttering your cabinet.


Am I willing and ready to make organizing my home a priority? What sacrifices or choices will I make?

3. Get rid of stuff.

The easiest (and I’d even say, the ONLY) way you can feel “organized” in your home is if you get rid of stuff. We all have sooo much. Our homes are messy and cluttered because we have too much stuff. Collections, junk mail, toys, trinkets, clothing, stuff we want to read, great deals we didn’t need, etc.

First, set up a donate bin in your home. Use a trash bag or cardboard box or laundry basket. It doesn’t matter where it is but having one will help you donate more items because you have a place to put things right when you think of donating them.

Second, have a mindset of finding things you could put in your donate bin. Set a goal of putting 5 items in the bin EVERY single day. It doesn’t matter how big or small the items are. It’s a mindset.

Finally, pray about how you can simplify your life. Letting go of possessions is an exercise in trusting God. It says, “I trust You will provide what I need when I need it. I don’t need to keep things in case I might need them. Instead, I trust You will give me everything I need.


I will put _______ things in my donate bin per day. When I put items in I will pray, trusting God.

4. Stop bringing things into your home.

You can’t reduce clutter if you keep buying things. Amazon Prime makes it so easy. Attending events where they give bags of free, promotional items adds clutter. Again, its a mindset. Stop buying and stop bringing items in, no matter how great a deal they were.


I will thoughtfully reduce what I bring into my home and what I allow my kids to bring into our home.

5. Focus on one area at a time.

You cannot successfully accomplish anything when you are focusing on 10 different things at once.

Follow my motto ‘One thing at a time.’ Choose one room or one area in a room to work on first. Which area has been bugging you the most? What area, if it was organized, would make daily life easier?


My chosen area to focus on is ________________________.

6. Make a plan and schedule it on the calendar.

I don’t want you to leave this page without a plan. There are two options.

  • Do a big portion of the work all at one time.
  • Do small amounts of work over several days.

Schedule this plan on your calendar. Yes, actually make an appointment with yourself and enter it into your calendar. For example, from 3-5 tomorrow I will work on organizing my pantry.


I have scheduled organizing from ____ to _____ on the following date(s) _______________.

7. Follow the organizing steps.

I love to see a space finished and beautiful, all cleared out and really clutter-free.

  • First, I clear the space out as I SORT all the stuff into categories. I wipe down and clean the empty space. Enjoy the moment!
  • Second, go back through the piles of categories you’ve just sorted and PURGE, trying to get rid of as much as possible.
  • Third, ASSIGN A HOME to everything you’ve kept. The less you keep the easier this step is. Only put things back in the space that are useful and that you love.
  • SET LIMITS using containers, dividers, shelves and anything else you have. Try to use what you have instead of buying more containers.
  • Finally, set up routines to help you MAINTAIN the organized space.

You can find more detailed information on the organizing steps and how to get started here and here.

You’ve got this! Give it to the Lord, get it on your calendar, and go for it…one little step at a time!


Tracy, Simply Squared Away



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