Tips for Tackling an Overwhelming Mess

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Overwhelmed by Clutter

We all have at least one area of our home that’s an extremely cluttered, stuffed-to-the-gills, overwhelming mess. Whether it’s an avalanche of stuff in your “junk” closet or a completely packed storage room in your basement, you’re probably familiar with that stressed and intimidated feeling that comes with having to make order out of chaos. But, have no fear! Here are a few simple tips that will help you attack any mess, regardless of the size!

1. Prioritize & Plan

Before you start organizing, take a moment to evaluate your overall goals, mission and priorities. Is there a very specific area you need to have cleared out first? Perhaps your entire guest room is a mess, but you want to start with emptying the closet for an upcoming party. Or, maybe your utility room is a disaster, but you need to at least have the furnace area cleared for an upcoming inspection.

Take some time to plan out your most pressing to-do items. This will help you systematically approach your organizing project, as well as ensure that you’re taking care of the most important areas first.

2. Take Baby Steps

Part of what makes a large organizing project so overwhelming is the natural tendency to look at the whole space and think, “How will I ever get all of this done?”. Avoid that reaction by breaking your space into smaller spaces. Instead of looking at the entire room, separate the space into more manageable sections, such as particular shelves, bins or areas. Looking at smaller portions of the space will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed, and will also give you the opportunity to celebrate those smaller organizing accomplishments!

3. Set Goals

Goals are incredibly important in ensuring success with a big organizing project. Similarly to dividing an area into smaller sections, goal setting will help you focus on more manageable objectives, as well as keep your entire project on track!

For example, if you’re working on sorting through the storage area of your basement, set smaller goals for yourself. Instead of having one main mission of “I want to organize this entire room”, set more reasonable targets like cleaning through all of your mementos by tomorrow or all of your camping gear by next week. Breaking a large project into more workable goals will help to ease that overwhelmed feeling.

4. Take Breaks

Organizing can be hard work. So, don’t hesitate to take a break if you need one! If you catch yourself starting to feel irritated or stressed, walk away from the project and relax for a while. Your clutter isn’t going anywhere, and you’ll be able to come back with a better attitude and a refreshed perspective.

Conquering a cluttered and chaotic disaster can feel overwhelming. But, organizing doesn’t need to be a stressful experience. Keep these tips in mind to successfully tackle those extremely disorganized areas of your home without feeling frustrated and disheartened!

Kat Boogaard

Kat Boogaard

Kat Boogaard is a Midwest-based freelance writer and blogger who loves lending her voice to a variety of publications and organizations. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she enjoys reading, babying her rescued terrier mutt and obsessively organizing her entire home.
Kat Boogaard
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About Kat Boogaard

Kat Boogaard is a Midwest-based freelance writer and blogger who loves lending her voice to a variety of publications and organizations. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she enjoys reading, babying her rescued terrier mutt and obsessively organizing her entire home.