How to Start Cleaning a Messy House (5 Simple Steps)

Imagine having your usual crazy-busy schedule with kids and work and still manage to maintain a clean house every day?

Better still, what if there was a simple strategy that you could quickly adapt to your lifestyle and not interfere with your usual routine in any way. Sounds like a dream, right?

Undeniably, you would want to know about this strategy of how to start cleaning a messy home right away. Lucky for you, that’s what I will share with you today; a simple but effective plan that will help you clean your messy house step by step.

Let’s get started!

Is A Messy House A Sign Of Mental Illness?

Some situations are easy to understand when you have a messy house, while others would raise concerns. Usually, being a mum with more than one kid and still have a job to maintain can lead to a frequently untidy house.

Subsequently, you could lack time to clean and organize because of the busy daily routine that has your hands full. Also, you have kids who are old enough but not motivated to help clean up their mess.

Moreover, there are hoarders, people who find it hard to part with any item. This leads to having so many things in the house that are unnecessary for most instances, for instance, old newspapers, plastic containers, and even old clothes.

Conversely, if it is a habit to have a messy house, it says more than meets the eye. Sometimes, the clutter and mess in your home can speak more about your mental health. So, what links the clutter and dirt to mental illness?

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Messy house depression involves a typically neat and organized person who suddenly stops caring about the mess around. When you stop living in a clean environment, something else is a bother in your life.

A depressed person is constantly feeling tired and unable to maintain the household chores routine. Apart from fatigue, they also lack the focus to want to get up and do something about the mess building up in the house.

Even with the desire to clean things up, summing the energy and concentration levels can seem impossible.

If you feel that your messy house may be a sign of depression from the things occurring in your life, it will help to talk it out. Preferably, you can share your situation with someone close or even get professional help from a psychologist. This way, rest assured of a solution to address the problem.


Do you look at the mess and feel angry, frustrated or overwhelmed? This reaction is a clear indication that you need to do something about the lot.

Moreover, just the thought of cleaning a neglected house can be overwhelming. When everything is not where it should be, it can make you wonder where to start. Such a situation involves deciding on new organizational skills, getting rid of some things or asking for help from family members.

Personal Preference

Do you enjoy living in a messy house? Sometimes, the mess tends to be habitual hence not a bother. As strange as it is, some people do not feel the concern to have a clean house always.

This way, ignoring a little clutter here and there leads to an extremely messy house. It is a situation of normalcy and personal preference for some people.

Nevertheless, if you need help in cleaning and organizing your house, read on.

Step-By- Step Guide to Clean a Messy Room

Finally, here we are!

When cleaning your house, where do you start? While it would be best to jump right into the action, it is also necessary to find some motivation. The task ahead is not something to complete in a few minutes, hence the need for something to maintain your psyche and high spirit.

How about a fantastic playlist of your favourite music genre? Well, music does magic always and lifts any tired and overwhelmed spirit. You can decide to play through the home theatre, but since you are not alone, it would be best to use your earphones, preferably the cordless ones, to avoid a bother in moving around.

Good! Now that we agree about listening to some good music while cleaning, let’s move on to the main task. Oh! And eat something, will you? You will need the energy.

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Step 1: Wear Comfortable Shoes and Clothes

Firstly, you need to wear loose-fitting yet comfortable enough to help you move around effortlessly. Besides, you don’t want a situation where you cannot bend over to pick something due to tight pants or even loose pants, hence falling off every time.

Also, putting on shoes is mandatory. A messy house includes having sharp things on the floor that are likely to cut or prick your feet. Still, it would help if you had comfortable and lightweight shoes to help you step easily, preferably crocs or flip-flops.

Changing into comfortable clothes and wearing crocs is not only to help you work conveniently but also boosts your mental set-up. When you change into working gear, your brain registers that you mean business. This way, your mind knows that there’s no room for lazing around until you are through cleaning.

A quick tip: if you have bathrooms and surfaces you need to clean and require an agent that needs waiting to be effective, it would be best to pour the agent at this point. This way, you will allow them time to process before you get to that stage.

Step 2: Start With the Hardest Rooms

It is normal to think, ‘my room is so messy I don’t know where to start. But, the best starting point is the most challenging rooms. Why?

When you handle the most challenging situations, human beings result in the feeling of accomplishment and success. Therefore, cleaning the most complex rooms will make your brain feel motivated to clean the entire house. Besides, you have tackled the most challenging situation; hence the rest remains a downhill task.

Keep telling yourself that each room is hard to clean as this will push you more and further to finish cleaning everywhere. This way, you will not give your brain the chance to register relaxation in any way as this can make you stop where you are to continue later or never.

When handling room after room, it would be best to keep the tips below in mind;

  • Finish cleaning a room at a time. This will help you stay in one room until you complete cleaning it to your satisfaction. Jumping from one room to another without finishing will make you disorderly and likely leads to feeling overwhelmed. Even if you need to return something that belongs to another room, go back to your initial room and finish cleaning. This way, you will avoid piling more work for yourself and not progressing.
  • Lock the spaces when you finish. Because you need to focus your energy on cleaning, you don’t have to keep telling your kids not to use their rooms because they need to dry after cleaning. Instead, lock the rooms after washing to allow them some time to dry without more mess. Besides, having your kids get in and mess up all your efforts immediately will kill your morale to continue.
  • Have a big trash bin with you as you go. While litter bags are an excellent place to start, they involve a lot of work. You will have to keep holding them open as you put litter and have more than one to carry out when you are through. Preferably, a big trash bin comes in handy. It is a great option to drag in all the rooms as you go. Just ensure you place a bag in it so it will be easy to take out the trash in a bag.

Step 3: Pick and Store Properly

While clearing the clutter off the floor, do it fast. The faster you see the floor without the mess, the more you feel good about making progress.

Also, this is a situation of killing two birds with one stone. Therefore, pick and group your things accordingly to give you an easy time arranging them back in place. Group your clothes, beddings and towels on one side of the bed and other items like books and magazines on the other end. Still, put things like combs, hair clips in their container and foreign objects in one bag to take them to their rightful places when you finish.

After grouping everything in order, put everything away correctly. It would be best to have your clothes go in the closet, shoes on the rack and towels and linen well folded in their storage. Also, place your books and magazines in an arranged and proper place where you can easily see and reach them. Because the focus is still on one room at a time, take out what’s not of your room and come back to your room to finish. The main agenda is avoiding redundancy which tends to waste a lot of time and energy.

When storing your items, ensure you put them in a clean area. So it would be best if you started cleaning the wardrobes and other surfaces.

Finally, there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. Significant progress right there, but let’s keep moving.

Step 4: Grab A Broom!

Do you feel tired and need some help? Grab a broom to give you more motivation and adrenaline to continue.

Cleaning a floor without a carpet is much easier when you use a broom. This way, you will sweep everything in one heap to sort out later, which is much easier than picking one by one.

With everything in one spot, it is like cleaning the entire floor at once. Better yet, arranging everything from one place becomes straightforward as you have to pick from one area instead of walking around the room.

Moreover, a broom helps you go easy on the back and knees. Instead of bending to pick things in different parts of the room, you can sweep them in one pile. Also, sorting out will be less strenuous as you will sit on the bed and take things one by one from the pile. What’s more?

Not only have you put everything in one easy to handle pile, but you have also swept your floor clean. Yay! 

Step 5: Thorough Actions

Here we go now! Without a doubt, some rules require more effort than others, and there’s no way to overlook that. While this is a painstaking task before us, we can still have some tips to make it more effortless than it seems. More so, you need to finish the job and move on to the next quickly.

In the kitchen, the sink must be overflowing with lots of dirty dishes. Therefore, put on an apron and start washing all the utensils in a hurry. Please make sure the dishes are clean even though you are doing it hurriedly.

Ensure you put all the dirty clothes in one hamper. Preferably, washing clothes in cold water prevents them from bleeding color and saves water and heat expenses. Still, you save time by sorting clothes according to colors before washing.

As for the little things, put them all together in a bin to clean them. After they are clean and dry, it would be best to place them in their respective rooms for storage.

Furthermore, in a house upstairs, it would be best to save time and energy while cleaning. So, have a basket or storage boxes and have everything that goes up and down in their respective places. Afterwards, when you are going down, you will go with the stuff that belongs downstairs.

A quick tip would be to keep a beautiful box downstairs and have everyone know it’s for stuff that needs to go up. This way, you will be taking it up daily or getting full every time it gets full, preventing a messy situation downstairs.

Smile, It’s over!

After finishing with cleaning all the rooms and keeping everything in place, you need to relax now. It’s time to get off the cleaning clothes and shoes and take a warm, lengthy bath. Allow your mind to be in a peaceful state now that the heavy part is through and your house is back in shape. If you like, you can have a nap but first, enjoy a good meal as well.

Tips to Stop Being Lazy and Messy

A messy and lazy combination results in an awful-looking house. But worry not, it curable!

  • Give a home to each item. While it’s a tendency to drop everything where you go, like a sweater on the couch and utensils where they shouldn’t be, this creates a messy house in the end. It would be best to keep things in their respective places and not leave them hanging around.
  • Make a habit of leaving a room better than you found it. If you walk into your kid’s room to drop something and find things on the floor, the best thing would be to pick and store items properly. This will help avoid clutter and maintain a cleanroom.
  • Have tidying goals. Instead of waiting for one day to break your back and knees cleaning a whole messy house, break the cleaning into small segments. Preferably, it would be best to have three cleaning mini-goals a day.
  • Settle for perfect. Instead of cleaning just for the sake of it, ensure whatever you are cleansing or tidying up is excellent. This way, you won’t need to come back for polishing up a little while later. Besides, you will not have a lot to handle when it comes to your particular cleaning day.
  • Take it easy on yourself. Yes, it’s a dirty house, but you don’t have to kill yourself! While it is not lovely being lazy and messy, there’s still a chance to reform. Take it easy to handle the new process step by step as you make it a routine.

Get Rid Of The Mess For Good!

Woman in Red T-shirt and White Pants Holding Man in White Dress Shirt

With all the roles of being a working mum, finding time to clean can be daunting. But once you create time to clean and bring the house back in shape, you need to find a way to ensure the mess stays off for good. For instance;

  1. Clean up a messy mindset. Please take out the disorganized thoughts from your mind lest they harm your surroundings. Also, set personal goals that will ensure you stay neat. Better still, please write down the things that you feel need to change and how to change them.
  2. Involve your kids. If you have older kids, let them help you to clean up. You can have them help you tidying their room by clearing the floors and grouping their items. Also, ensure you have rules of how you need them to handle their spaces to maintain cleanliness, like taking the trash away and placing stuff in their rightful places.
  3. Ask for help when you need it. Even if it’s your house, you can ask for help cleaning and organizing your home when you feel tired or overwhelmed. The main focus is to remain neat no matter what it takes.
  4. Associate yourself with neat and organized people. Some traits rub on to people, making sure you have people with organized and neat habits close to you. This way, you will pick up tips and tricks from them to help you stay neat like them always.

Parting Shot

Being busy and living in a messy environment will not result in any productivity in all you do. That is why it is essential to learn how to start cleaning a messy house to improve your situation. Thanks to the complete step-by-step guide above; you don’t have to stall anymore while the condition worsens. Besides, with some good music and energy, it’s not so bad, right?

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and start cleaning today, now!

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Andia Riz
I'm an ex-banker, agency owner, and SEO & Content Expert for Financial Service Providers & Personal Finance Bloggers. I leverage my expertise in financial writing & SEO to drive more traffic to your blog. Whether you want more traffic to your website for new customers, Ad revenue, or affiliate sales, I can help.
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