How to Start Organizing a Messy House: 3 Things You Need to Know

I’m a professional organizer and I’m going to talk about why your home is a complete mess and what to do about it. I’m going to give you tangible tips and tricks on how to start organizing a messy house.

You’ll be able to use all these ideas right away to make your home more manageable. If you’re struggling with a chaotic or disorganized household, read on to learn about three main reasons your home is messy and simple house organization skills to fix the problems.

I’ve worked with hundreds of clients, and I’ve been in hundreds of homes. I’ve seen some common themes. People are just truly overwhelmed with the state of their homes.

There’s just too much stuff, they’re always looking for something, and they’re generally stressed out over the condition of their home. They may feel a lack of help from family in trying to keep the home clean.

Or people may live alone and don’t have any systems in place to keep up with the mess. People who reach out to me feel like the burden is on them to maintain the home. Let’s look at why your home is such a mess:

1. You have too much stuff

Declutter, edit, pare down, let go…whatever term you prefer, it comes down to having too much stuff. You have to focus on this to create space.

Some clients panic when they hear they have to declutter. They don’t want to get rid of something they bought or an item that gives them memories. Reframe this by telling yourself you are creating space for things that you love, use, and need.

Establishing this rule makes it easier to part ways with an item that’s not serving you or your space. Fewer items mean fewer things to tend to, tidy up, or worry about.

2. You lack the right structure and systems

House organization ideas and strategies need to fall within these three principles: Is the system you have in place functional? Is it practical? Is it accessible?

As a very simple example, a functional, practical, and accessible system for me would be drawer dividers inserted into my bureau that hold items neatly so I can see what I have and I can immediately grab what I need.  

3. You have counterproductive habits

You may not have a daily routine that helps you stay organized. Think about what daily routines you can establish that are going to be productive and allow you to create a home that’s orderly.

For example, are you tidying up your kitchen every day before you go to work? Do you wipe your bathroom counter after you’ve done your makeup for the day? Establishing a solid morning and evening routine will help you live in a more organized space.

But what if no one helps you? Be the trendsetter. Set a timer for 15 to 20 minutes max for everyone to be involved in this routine to reset and tidy up the space. 

How to start organizing a messy house

You may think small changes that take 15 minutes won’t do much. These small habits will result in big wins and six months later you’ll look around and think, “Wow, my house isn’t a mess anymore!” The goal is to reset to a baseline of neatness.

You can’t reorganize your whole house in a day or two, but you will create a more liveable environment that feels good. Let me know if you have these problems and if these new, small habits can work for your home.

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