How to Declutter When You Are Overwhelmed

Are you feeling anxious at the thought of decluttering your home? You have so much stuff you want to get rid of but you don’t know where to begin? Check out these helpful tips to learn how you can Declutter When You Are Overwhelmed.

Declutter when you're overwhelmed

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  The word decluttering can either leave you feeling motivated or stressed. Some people love organizing and decluttering their homes. They start a decluttering project and they jump in headfirst. But, then there are others who struggle with the whole process.

They may realize how much more simplified their life would be if they just had less stuff everywhere. However, finding the motivation and time to declutter is another story altogether.

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In the last few years, with the popularity of the KonMari Method, more people have become interested in finding a solution to conquer the mess in their homes.

However, as amazing as the KonMari Method can be, it’s also a lot of work especially for those who are struggling to find the time.

I have had more success over the years decluttering when I am taking it in smaller chunks. Although I love a good decluttering challenge,  I realize that there are going to be times when it’s just not possible to devote every single day to decluttering your home.

You may have young children or school-age children that need to be carpooled from one activity to the next. You may be working full-time and just want to spend quality time with your family when you get home from work.

So, where does that leave you when you are too busy to pull everything out and see if it sparks joy?

You start small.

The goal is to work smarter not harder. All you need to do is find small, manageable ways to begin.

  • It can be as simple as cleaning out your utensil drawer while you are making dinner.
  • Pulling out expired items from your pantry while you are putting away groceries.
  • Going through one dresser drawer while putting away your laundry.

You don’t even have to do it every day. The goal is to find what works for you.

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How to Declutter when you are overwhelmed


Make a Plan

The most important thing you should do when you want to start decluttering is to make a plan. You can do this by simply walking from room to room and writing down on a piece of paper all the things you want to declutter in your home. Some examples include:


  • Cabinets
  • Pantry
  • Fridge
  • Freezer
  • Drawers


  • Medicine Cabinet
  • Under Sink
  • Drawers


  • Closets
  • Drawers
  • Toy Bins
  • Bookshelves

This is just to give you an idea of the bigger areas in your home to concentrate on. But, you can add things such as DVD’s, mail, books, and office supplies.

After you have a list of all the places and things you would like to declutter than take the list and put it in a place that you can see every day. Whether that is the front of your refrigerator, in your planner or office. Just someplace that will remind you to stick to your goal.

Choose when to start

Choosing when to declutter is going to be up to you decide.  You’re going to have to find a time that’s convenient and works with your schedule.

  • Do you have a few moments while you are making supper? As I mentioned before, this can be a great time to tackle a small project in your kitchen since you are there anyway preparing dinner. Maybe commit to one small decluttering task on your list a few times a week.
  • You can add a few tasks to a weekly cleaning routine. This is what I like to do and it has worked out great for me. If you have a weekly cleaning routine, then add one or two decluttering tasks to your cleaning schedule for that day. For example, if Mondays are the day you clean bedrooms, then spend a few extra moments going through a couple of dresser drawers, and then the next week add a couple more.
  • Try adding a decluttering task to your night routine. If you have a night routine this would be a great time to take 10 minutes to work on a small task. If you are picking up the living room, spend a few extra minutes to stop and look through your DVDs and pull out any that you are not watching anymore.
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Be Prepared

Alright, so you’ve made your list of places you would like to declutter and you have a time in mind that you might want to start working on the tasks. The next step would be to grab a couple of large bins and place them in an area of your house that won’t be seen by guests but that you know are there. You could put them in the office or in a spare bedroom.

As you are going through the different areas of your home, and pulling things out to declutter you will need to determine whether you are going to be keeping the item, donating it, selling it or throwing it away. A basket for donating and selling items should be enough. Obviously, the items you keep will be going back into the drawer/closet/cabinet.

Once you have determined that you are going to get rid of an item and it’s not good enough to donate, I highly suggest you throw it away immediately because you just may talk yourself out of getting rid of it.

This may also apply to items you have decided to donate or sell especially if you know you are the type of person that likes to hold onto things. Then, moving the items to a garage or someplace out of sight may work better for you.

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Every little bit adds up

Remember you are not on a timetable.  You don’t have to finish decluttering your entire home in one month if that’s not going to work for you. As long as you are making a little progress every day (or week) then you should be proud of yourself. Every small step in the right direction will get you closer to your goal of a clutter-free home.

If you are looking for some ideas to get started:

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