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Where to Begin When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed by Your Messy Home

In this post: We’ve all been there. There’s always so much to do and never enough time or energy to get it done. Here’s where to begin when you’re feeling overwhelmed by your messy home.

Every mother has been in this position before. You are overwhelmed by the mess that you call home, and you start to feel the crushing weight of this mess. If you need a starting point for where to begin when you’re feeling overwhelmed by your messy home, you’re in the right place. 

where to begin when overwhelmed by your messy home

Where to Begin When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed by Your Messy Home

There’s always so much to do and seemingly never enough time or energy to get it all done. If your home feels out of control, and you have no idea where to start, here are a few hacks to help you:

1. Start with anything time sensitive

If you are feeling overwhelmed by your home, you need to start with the things that have some time sensitivity to them.

This might include things like bills that need to be paid, library books that need to be returned, etc.

Focus on these items first, and then tackle the rest little by little.

2. Clothes and food

Once you have dealt with all of the time-sensitive items, move on to clothes and food.

If you need to go to the grocery store, make a meal plan and head to the store. If you need to order a pizza tonight so you can get caught up, that is okay. Focus on feeding everyone, and making a plan for the rest of the week or month.

Next, it’s time to deal with the clothes.

Take a laundry basket and go through each room of the home to pick up all the dirty clothes. Throughout the day, make small loads and get through that pile of laundry.

3. Set a timer for just 15 minutes each day

Take some time either at the beginning or end of each day and set a timer for 15 minutes. See how much you can get done during this period, and when the timer is up, stop.

If you didn’t get through everything, that’s okay. Tomorrow is another day, and you can pick up where you left off from there.

4. Start with one big task each day

After you have done each of the above things, it’s time to decide what you need to handle first.

Choose one big task for each day in the week, or room if you prefer to do it that way. Set aside time to go through and do a good clean of this area or to do this task.

messy bed

It may seem like everyone else has their life together except for you. However, I promise you that every mom out there has been in the very same position, feeling overwhelmed. You are not alone, my friend.

Take a deep breath, and take it one simple step at a time. It won’t happen immediately, but slowly your home will feel less overwhelming with each day that you do a little bit at a time.

P.S. Watch for my new course+workbook, The Clutter Fix, coming soon!

I'd love it if you'd share:

home made lovely book on table with get it now text button

I'd love to chat with you in the comments!


  1. Fiona Williams says

    Thanks Shannon – I needed this today. One step at a time. Sigh! I think another helpful piece of advice is to make an effort to put things back in their place once you are finished with them. 😔

  2. Katelynn| says

    Setting a timer is a great idea! Especially for a small time block when you’re first starting to get decluttered and picked up. AND, it’s amazing to see how much you can get done in just 15 minutes!

  3. Leah says

    Thanks! I am always overwhelmed with the house and endless tasks that come from homeschooling, working from home, and just general life! I love the idea of the 15 minutes a day.

  4. Susan Carnahan says

    I so agree with getting dressed, putting on makeup and lipstick, it makes me feel better
    But unless I am leaving the house, I usually just brush my hair
    We moved a year ago, actually you! Inspired me to sell our house and buy a new one.
    It was all over within 3 months.
    Anyway, when we were packing, I thought, why dint I wear more of my clothes? I think
    I was rotating maybe a weeks worth of clothes.
    Why have clothes if I don’t wear them? I don’t get dressed up like June Cleaver, Beavers
    Mother to keep house but I do wear my good clothes, pretty things that somehow were
    Put to the back of the closet but really seemed “ too nice” unless I was going out.
    I feel much better, my best self in appearance when I look nice, am dressed nicely and I
    Have sometimes changed into “ housecleaning clothes” for certain jobs.
    I can get depressed but looking my best really does help and there have been times when .i
    Just changed nightgowns when I took my shower..this is a very good point.
    Also some days, I put on some earrings or a necklace that I haven’t worn in awhile.
    Why have it and not wear it? Yes, getting dressed and making the bed is the way my
    Day starts.
    Good post Shannon!

    • Shannon Acheson says

      I hear you. Sometimes when you stay home it’s hard to know whether to dress up a bit to feel nice, or to keep it simple because you have cleaning to do. 🙂 I too feel better though when I take the time to get dressed and put on makeup.

  5. Eveliina (@confessionsofparenting) says

    These are great simple tips for when you are overwhelmed. When you can allow yourself to start small and work your way up to the bigger tasks I think you will actually surprise yourself and do more than you think you might. Thanks for sharing these ideas.

  6. Jean | says

    Shannon, it’s easy to think, “Why bother?” on a day when you aren’t well or only have the time or energy to do some small task. But, as my husband always says, “If you do something every day, it adds up; if you do nothing, it can’t add up!”

    • Shannon Acheson says

      It’s SO EASY to say ‘why bother’ when you’re tired and worn out! (And sometimes that’s okay. Rest is good. She says to herself.) But yes, on the regular, little bits add up a lot!

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