Is clutter taking over your home? It can be overwhelming to even think about where to start decluttering. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. That’s why we’re here to help you get started. In this post, we’ll share some practical tips on “How To Start Decluttering When You’re Overwhelmed” that will help you take that first step toward a more organized space.

When I first started my decluttering journey, I had no idea where to begin. There was just so much stuff😲, and I would ask myself “how am I supposed to get rid of all this?”

Well, if you’re like me and don’t really want to do the whole “throw everything away” method, you can start small with a handful of items at a time.

But, I’m here to tell you…

Decluttering doesn’t have to be daunting.

how to start decluttering when you're overwhelmed

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How To Start Decluttering When You’re Overwhelmed – 10 Easy Steps

Step #1: Start Small

It’s tempting to think that you can declutter your entire house or apartment in one fell swoop, but this is a big mistake. If you start with a big goal like this, it will be overwhelming and discouraging—and thus defeating the whole point of decluttering.

Instead, try starting small: start by decluttering one room at a time (or even just one closet).

Or look around at all of your possessions and pick out just one thing that makes you feel unhappy or stressed out. Get rid of that thing!

The point isn’t to get rid of everything that’s bothering or stressing you; it’s about letting go so that when good things come into your life, they’ll make an impact instead of being lost among all those other things piling up around them.

Step #2: Declutter One Room At a Time

It can be tempting to try to do everything at once, but that’s not how the world works. We’re humans, and we have limits! So, instead of trying to declutter your whole house in one afternoon, focus on just one room. Make sure it’s a room you spend a lot of time in—the bedroom or living room are good places for this.

This will help you stay motivated by seeing progress as you go along and make it easier for your brain to tell itself “I’m doing great!” rather than being overwhelmed by the enormity of what lies ahead.

Step #3: Focus on Places You Use Every Day

If you’re struggling to figure out where to start, focus on places that are used every day, like your desk and kitchen countertops. These are the spaces where clutter builds up quickly and provides an overwhelming feeling of chaos. You’ll also want to pay attention to the areas in which you spend a lot of time—your bedroom, office or home office, family room—because they’re often neglected when it comes time to declutter.

In addition to these tips for picking locations first (rather than going through everything all at once), it’s key to start with the most important areas first: those rooms where guests tend to hang out or spend most of their time when they visit your home. If possible, declutter these rooms before moving on to less-important spaces like closets or bathrooms!

Step #4: Stop Bringing Clutter Into Your Home

  • Stop bringing clutter into your home.

If you’re overwhelmed by all the clutter in your house, the best way to start decluttering is to stop bringing more stuff in. This can be surprisingly difficult when you feel like you need something—a new frying pan because yours broke or a new pair of shoes because your old ones are falling apart—but instead, try waiting until you have time and energy to really make an effort at getting rid of things.

When it comes to buying new things, ask yourself these questions before making any purchase:

  • Do I need this? If so, how often will I use it? If not at all or infrequently (or if it’s one of those things that can be easily borrowed from friends), then don’t buy it!
  • Do I love this? Whether an item sparks joy for us or not is a very personal thing; what might bring joy for one person may not do so for another. But if we do not enjoy our possessions—whether because they no longer spark joy or because they never did—then why keep them around?

Step #5: Use Labels

  • Labeling is a great way to keep track of things, especially when you have a lot of stuff. You can label bins and containers in your closet, but if you have kids or pets who stay in the house (or even just visitors), labeling will help them find things as well!
  • Labels are also useful for organizing things. If you want something out of sight but accessible, use labels to indicate where it’s located.

Step #6: Keep Only What You Love or Actually Use

The next step is to get rid of things you don’t love or use. This can be difficult, especially if you feel like you might need something someday. But the truth is, most of us don’t need nearly as much stuff as we think we do.

If it’s not useful to you right now, then it doesn’t deserve a place in your home!

If there’s no room for something in your life right now, find somewhere else for it until such time as it becomes useful again (for example: if baby equipment isn’t being used at this moment but may be needed soon).

When considering whether a certain item should stay or go, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this an essential part of my daily routine?
  • Does this item make me happy every time I see or use it?
  • Do other people express interest when they see or learn about this object/activity/etc?
  • Would someone I know find value or use in this item?

Step #7: Leave Known Storage Problem Areas For Last

Don’t try to fix everything at once. It’s important to tackle the most important things first, then move on to less pressing issues as you’re able.

One of the best ways to tackle a problem is by breaking it down into smaller parts.

For example, let’s say you want to declutter your bookshelf but don’t know where to start—you could start with one category (romance novels), then another (mysteries), etc., or even go shelf by shelf and eventually get through all of them.

If there’s some sort of organizational system already in place that makes sense for you (e.g., alphabetization), use it!

You’ll be surprised how much progress can be made when tackling these small steps instead of trying just one big task at a time

Step #8: Get Rid of Duplicates

Think about it…If you only use one of something and don’t need more than one (like kitchen gadgets).

  • If you only use one of something and don’t need more than one, get rid of the others.
  • Don’t keep duplicates for fear of the unknown or because you think you might need them someday. This is clutter!
  • Try not to keep duplicates out of sentimentality, either (e.g., “I can’t let this go because I bought it at my favorite store.”).

Step #9: Give Yourself a Deadline for Each Clutter-Reducing Project

If you find that your clutter is getting the best of you and making you feel overwhelmed, it’s time to set a deadline.

You can set one for each project or area of your home (a room, house), or even just one large one:

One year from today, I want my entire house organized and decluttered.

The point is to put some pressure on yourself so that when the deadline arrives, you’ll be ready for it and have accomplished at least part of what needs doing!

Step #10: You Can Declutter Even In Overwhelming Circumstances

  • You can do it.
  • It just takes time, and the great news is that you don’t have to get it done all at once!
  • You can start small and work your way up if you want, or pick one room or area of the house and go from there

I created a FREE 30-Day Decluttering Challenge that will help you jumpstart your journey to a cleaner and more organized house in just a few minutes. 

You can grab the FREE Simple Decluttering Cheatsheet Calendar Below:


Final Thoughts

Phew! We’ve covered a lot in our “How To Start Decluttering When You’re Overwhelmed” guide. I know from personal experience that decluttering can be a daunting task, but trust me, it’s worth it. As you start to see progress and enjoy a more organized space, you’ll feel a sense of relief and accomplishment. Remember to be patient with yourself and celebrate your wins along the way. And if you ever feel stuck, just come back to these 10 steps and take it one step at a time. You got this!

I hope that this article has given you some ideas on how to start decluttering your home, even if it seems like there’s too much clutter everywhere.

Remember that it’s okay to take small steps and make mistakes along the way—and every time you do something right!

If you found these tips helpful, please consider sharing this post with your friends and family who might also be struggling with clutter. And don’t forget to pin it on Pinterest so you can come back to it later. Let’s spread the decluttering love and help each other create more peaceful and organized spaces!😍

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