How to Start Decluttering When Overwhelmed: Tips for Getting Started

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the thought of decluttering your home? It can be daunting to figure out where to start, especially if your home is cluttered and chaotic.

Let’s talk about getting started when you feel overwhelmed just thinking of decluttering. Plus we’ll also offer advice on how to stay motivated during the process!

How to Start Decluttering When Overwhelmed

Maybe you’ve tried to get organized in the past and get rid of clutter but it never worked and so you ask yourself – why even bother?

I’m here to tell you that it’s not only possible to get your home decluttered, but it can be done without a lot of expense or headache.

You CAN live in a peaceful and serene environment- one where you feel good about inviting people over and don’t have to hide away your mess.

It starts with a decision to change and the willingness to let go of things that no longer serve you.

If your home is cluttered, it can be difficult to find things when you need them. This can lead to frustration and wasted time. In addition, a cluttered home can make you feel stressed and anxious.

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to make a change!

Here are some of the simple decluttering strategies you can use to get motivated and start decluttering even when you’re overwhelmed.

Decluttering Strategies

First, you must figure out some decluttering strategies that will work for you. Not anyone else, just you.

If you want to be successful with decluttering you need to think it through and set yourself up to win and not be defeated. So give these decluttering strategies a try and see how much easier getting organized and decluttered can be.

1. Figure Out a Good Time to Start Decluttering

If you start decluttering on a whim and without a plan, you will most likely become overwhelmed.

Decide ahead of time if working in smaller, daily, or weekly time chunks would be better for you, or if knocking a whole room, or the whole house out in a full day or weekend would be best.

a good time for you to start decluttering

This summer my daughter is visiting both my family and my in-laws for a while so that leaves me with a lot more free time than normal! I decided I am going to use the time to do some major organization projects around the house and get our home really tidy and organized.

Maybe decluttering in summer when your kids are home won’t work, it might be easier when the school year starts and you have the house to yourself more.

If you want to start decluttering in daily or weekly time slots, plan ahead and set those time frames aside.

This will help you stay on track and make progress gradually.

Figuring out a time that works best for you is essential to your success.

2. Have a Plan for What to Do With the Stuff You Declutter

One of the big mistakes I’ve had and seen others have when it comes to organizing and decluttering is not having a plan of what to do with what you want to get rid of.

Way too often you will make the decision to declutter. Even going so far as to put stuff aside to get rid of and then it just sits there. Maybe in your car or a closet, or a garage and you mean to do something with it but you don’t.

So it just becomes clutter again.

And even worse, it finds its way back into your home and adds to the clutter.

So before you even declutter find out what you want to do with the stuff. Maybe you will hold a garage sale, or give it to goodwill. Maybe you can sell the stuff on Craigslist.

Decide what you are going to do with things and make a commitment to get rid of the stuff as soon as possible.

get rid of the clutter as soon as possible

We’ve been decluttering recently and found a place local to us where you can sell your old electronics and DVDs to. So we have taken a lot of our old DVDs and gotten rid of them for a little extra cash.

If you’ve heard of ThredUp they sell used clothes. They can send you a bag to put clothes you want to get rid of to back to them. So I’m working on that too. Trying to clean out our closets and get rid of clothing that we either no longer want or that no longer fits.

Stuff you are planning to get rid of but instead sits in your trunk or in the closet for months is now just a different form of clutter. It might be more out of sight but it’s not dealt with. So make a plan before you start of what to do with the stuff you no longer want and stick to the plan.

3. Don’t Try to Do It All at Once

One of the best simple decluttering strategies is to avoid the mistake of trying to do it all at once. Don’t do this.

If you pull out everything and try to do it all you are only going to make it harder on yourself and make it more work.

Instead, break it down and do sections of your home one at a time. Or do it by types of clutter like all the books, all your clothes or shoes, kitchen cabinets, office supplies, etc.

Tackle each area or type one at a time. Then move on to the next. This will help you to see progress and results which can be a great motivator to continue organizing when you don’t want to.

RELATED: Where to start decluttering

Plus how many of you have made the decision to declutter a room all at once pulled everything out and then ended up not wanting to finish it? After making this mistake too many times I came up with the process of doing it section by section. That way I didn’t end up making a larger mess that no one wanted to deal with.

The Kon Marie method is a great way to declutter by types of items. This post by Abby Lawson really explains how to do it well.

4. You Need to Know Why

I have found that decluttering and organizing just like with other parts of my life, becomes so much easier to do if I get clear on my why.

Maybe you suffer from anxiety and know that having an organized home will help you relieve some of that problem. That is a great reason to declutter and organize. Your and your family’s health and well-being can be the motivation you need to get things done and keep them nice.

Maybe you want to be able to open your home up to guests more, to begin to invite people over for dinner and parties but haven’t in the past because you didn’t want people seeing the state of your home.

Getting rid of things and having less stuff will make it so much easier to clean up quickly if you have an opportunity to invite people over.

having friends over after decluttering

Figuring out the why driving you to do something makes it so much easier to do things. It gives you the encouragement and motivation you need to push through your excuses and get things done.

5. Make a Commitment to Less

When it comes to a successful but simple decluttering strategy this may be the one that you need to make sure to follow through with. Once you declutter and get rid of the things you no longer need. You need to make the commitment to bring in less to your home.

This doesn’t have to be a bad or upsetting thing.

Here are 24 reasons why having less can make your life happier.

Of course, you will have to buy or receive new things in your life. I’m not saying that you should live a minimalist lifestyle unless that is something you really want to do.

I know we enjoy our stuff and that my daughter is given a lot of wonderful things by our families.

It’s a matter of not falling back into the old patterns that led you to a life of too much clutter.

The way too often trips to Target had to stop once we got serious about living with less.

Buying things when I was feeling sad just to feel better had to stop.

buying too much leads to overwhelm with decluttering

Accepting things from other people who were getting rid of them just to be nice even though you don’t need them needed to stop.

Learning to say no to things you don’t really need because it feels better to live in a less chaotic space is key to keeping things from going back to how they were.

Set limits on the number of new things that you can bring and how often you need to go through and purge things to keep the number of items you have more reasonable.

We have found that it’s helpful to go through our daughter’s clothes at the end of the school year and before her birthday in October to get rid of things that she no longer wears or that no longer fit. This has helped to keep her closet more manageable.

You Do Not Have to Feel Overwhelmed!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of decluttering your home, don’t despair!

These tips will help you get started and stay motivated throughout the process. Remember to start small, set aside time each day, and create a donation pile for items that you no longer need.

With a little bit of effort, you can transform your home into a peaceful and serene space that you love.

RELATED: 25 must-have Organization products to help you declutter

Anika Gandhi

Anika Gandhi is on a mission to declutter and organize all the things around her and is here to inspire and encourage you to do the same!

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