Overwhelmed by messy house - any tips?

(105 Posts)
whatdoidoallday Fri 12-Mar-21 11:31:43

Please be kind smile

My house is a total mess - stuff everywhere, dust everywhere no organisation to it. Where do I start with it? I'm totally overwhelmed.

I have no excuse as I have two school aged children and don't work. The house has always been on the untidy side. But having everyone at home and homeschooling two children one with SEN (and emotionally very demanding) has taken it's toll and the house looks like bomb's hit it. Now the children are back at school I really need to sort it out but when I walk into a room I'm totally overwhelmed and don't know where to start. I keep drinking cups of tea and procrastinating! Any tips on how to get on top of it or has anyone been in this situation and dug themselves out of it?

OP’s posts: |
LunaHeather Fri 12-Mar-21 11:33:49

You could join us here

I'm so bored of trying to sort stuff, but I must!


DavidsSchitt Fri 12-Mar-21 11:34:30

One room at a time.

Set your mind to it and just go. Turn your phone off, put the radio on, print off the TOMM bootcamp and go.

Be ruthless and throw away all of the shite.

DinosaurDiana Fri 12-Mar-21 11:34:48

You need to make a realistic target, say one room a day or one room a week, whatever is actually achievable.
Are you looking at just tidying, or chucking out ? If you’re chucking out you need to get rid of the stuff, not just move it to another part of the house, so can you get it to the tip ?
You need to set yourself up to win, not fail.

whatdoidoallday Fri 12-Mar-21 11:35:55

Thank's Luna - I'll take a look. It's good to know I'm not alone. It's making me feel pretty useless that I can't get on top of it!

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Blacktothepink Fri 12-Mar-21 11:36:25

I’m like this too, I’ve perfected procrastination as an art form 🤣

whatdoidoallday Fri 12-Mar-21 11:37:55

Dinosaur - good point. I just keep moving clutter from room to room - It's ridiculous really!! Not sure if tips open/charity shops accepting stuff yet.

OP’s posts: |
wintertime6 Fri 12-Mar-21 11:37:56

Start small. Pick one cupboard, empty it, clean it out, go through the stuff in it and bin anything that you don't use (be ruthless) or donate to charity/sell anything you can. You'll feel so much better just for having one cupboard that's all sorted out and that you can see everything in there that you use.

Once you've done that you'll feel so much better and it will give you motivation to pick another cupboard/drawer, and it will soon add up.

swapsicles Fri 12-Mar-21 11:40:40

Bit by bit is the best way, some people say one room at a time but actually 1 cupboard/ 1 set of drawers/ 1 big clean ( like the oven or skirting boards) to start.
Don't worry about the rest, just get that one task done and when you're ready onto the next whether that be the same day or next week.
Also get into the habit of never leaving a room empty handed you'll only have to go back later to collect it!

BIWI Fri 12-Mar-21 11:41:45

Our tip is open so if you have stuff you need to get rid of you should be fine - just check online with your council's website as sometimes they have a booking system.

BertieBotts Fri 12-Mar-21 11:42:03

Konmari method was brilliant for me. I need to do it again though blush but it really does work well.

Tamarasnotmyname Fri 12-Mar-21 11:43:23

Start with one small room such as the bathroom and deep clean. Chuck clutter, clean cupboards and wash everything. Get it looking really neat an tidy. Then everyday get it a 5 min freshen up.

Then move on to the next small area or room and do the same. Clear spaces and little and often clean is so much easier to cope with when you have small children.

ThatsTheTea Fri 12-Mar-21 11:45:25

I’ve helped some friend in similar situations and I always think pretty much emptying a room is the best way to do it. Take everything out give it a clean and put bits in as and when you can and don’t feel overwhelmed. It doesn’t happen overnight but just think of a months time when most of it will be done! If you have a spare room/junk room I’d always do this last as the biggest tasks get you demotivated to do all the other ones. Start with the best room in the house and work your way though, by the end you’ll be desperate to finish so won’t feel overwhelmed x

muddledmidget Fri 12-Mar-21 11:47:49

I always start by collecting the washing up, dirty washing and obvious rubbish from around the house. Put the washing up in the kitchen (or into the dishwasher if you have one), put all the dirty washing into a pile and put the first load on and take a bin bag round, empty all the bins and pick up anything that's obviously broken or obviously rubbish and put it straight into the dustbin. Then I get stuck, because it's the clutter that's the problem, so looking for tips!

whatdoidoallday Fri 12-Mar-21 11:48:30

Thanks everyone - all really good ideas.

I grew up in a very messy house and hated it when I had friends round. I don't want my children to feel like this or pick up these bad habits. Not being able to have people round to the house definitely hasn't helped as that at least made me keep on top of it a bit more.

OP’s posts: |
Frannibananni Fri 12-Mar-21 11:54:06

Purge as much as you can handle mentally. Do this as often as you can.

OhioOhioOhio Fri 12-Mar-21 11:54:08

My house was a massive mess when I threw my xh out. I think you have to think of it as a job you achieve in layers. It does take a while but as you achieve each layer it gets easier. The first layer is a generally tidy up and clear out. It's the obvious stuff. Depending how bad it is pick one room and start now. If I really can't be arsed I set a timer for 15 minutes. I'd pick the room I'd sit in and have a cup of tea later.

whatdoidoallday Fri 12-Mar-21 12:03:59

That's The Tea - you sound like a fab friend!!

OP’s posts: |
ThatsTheTea Fri 12-Mar-21 12:07:34

Stock up on teabags and bin bags! Book a dump appointment now? Then you’ve got a date to aim for for a room clearance? I love cleaning/organising but it drives my DP crazy so there are definitely pros and cons with both! You can do this, one room at a time x

lightand Fri 12-Mar-21 12:13:41

I have heard about doing the bathroom first too.

You might want to do the hall, where people who knock on the door, can see? Might make you feel better if that is done?

Sprig1 Fri 12-Mar-21 12:14:17

Just start. Do anything. Pick a room and do that completely first. I bet the finished result will give you motivation to do another one. Get the kids to help. In my experience they like big sort outs, if not bribe them.

SeaToSki Fri 12-Mar-21 12:17:17

Which is the area or room that is making you most upset?

Start there.

Write a list of everything you can see that needs to be sorted

Write a list of roughly what items you want to group together and roughly where you want to put them (eg all cooking utensils in the top drawer to the side of the hob)

Have a cup of tea

Choose one item on the list and do it

Cross it off the list (very important step)

Choose another item and do it

As you go along, if you come across stuff that needs to live somewhere else in the house, put it in box or spot in the corner. Then next time you leave the room, take a couple of items with you and drop them off. Kids are also v good at being transporters.

Dont let finding stuff that needs to go somewhere else derail you from finishing the job in front of you

At the end of the day, do a ‘tour of the works’ with your family and a glass of wine/beer. Show of and recognize what you accomplished

The next day, work the rest of the list. When it is finished see if you want to do anything else in that room, if not move onto the next roomand a new list.

If you do extra jobs that you find as you go along, add them to the lost so you can have the pleasure of crossing them off 😁

Anordinarymum Fri 12-Mar-21 12:20:48


One room at a time.

Set your mind to it and just go. Turn your phone off, put the radio on, print off the TOMM bootcamp and go.

Be ruthless and throw away all of the shite.

This is sound advice. One room at a time is doable and when you see the result you will want to carry on. Why not get right down to basics and repaint the walls/woodwork/wash curtains and have a fresh new start. You will feel great smile

Xiaoxiong Fri 12-Mar-21 12:21:56

There are so many different methods - I also like Konmari because I find I have multiples of things in different rooms, so going room by room is not as helpful as going category by category.

I actually cleared up the kids homeschool stuff myself on Monday which was spread across multiple rooms - first I gathered all the stationary in the entire house, and put it on the floor and sorted it and put it away - then craft stuff - gathered all the books and put them away - then the papers. There were a lot of toys lying around as well so those were the next category.

I need to do the Konmari thing again with the rest of the house. We just have So. Much. Stuff.

OhioOhioOhio Fri 12-Mar-21 12:24:24

I'm good at tidying and organising. I like doing it too. I like a comedy stand up on audible to listen to. I also try to not end up with another pile of jobs. Take everything you handle as close to its new rightful place. Don't end up with a pile that is waiting for you.

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