Where To Start Decluttering When Overwhelmed?

So you want to declutter. Yay for you!! But you are totally overwhelmed with where to start. Do you start in your kitchen because there is so much piling up on the counters? What about starting in the kids’ rooms because they just can’t get themselves organized. Maybe you decide to actually start a project and see the giant mound of stuff. So you stop because it is too much. You are stuck. And overwhelmed. What are you suppose to do?

The decluttering process is not an easy thing to do. It takes a lot of work to get yourself ready to part with items you have around your home. So I am sharing my five step process you can follow with where to start decluttering when overwhelmed for any area of your home. And trust me, this process is rather easy once you get started because you will have a plan and checklist to follow!

Step One

Start by getting my Declutter Like A Pro checklist. It is free and will guide you through the declutter process. I have always found that when you have a checklist, it makes the entire process easier because you aren’t having to think about what you have to do next. The checklist will walk you through all the steps. That is why I created this checklist!


Step Two

The next step on where to start when decluttering when you are overwhelmed is to set a timer for 15 minutes if you are just starting to declutter. You can do anything for 15 minutes.

By doing a 15 minute declutter, you are able to make a dent in the piles you have started. Or you are going to start your decluttering project you have been putting off. By giving yourself specific time to complete a task, you are going to be more likely to finish that task because you just started!

I love the research that is shared in this article on productivity. It reinforces the idea that you need to start, give yourself specific times to do tasks, and be rather rigid with your timing. Which is why starting at 15 minutes is perfect for you! Then build up to more time decluttering

Step Three

Next remove everything from one area you plan to declutter. Maybe it is a drawer or cabinet. Maybe it is a section of your closet. 

Just pick one area to start. This one area is the place you will spend your 15 minutes. So make sure you remove everything. 

I also recommend cleaning the drawer or cabinet before you start your timer. This way you have a nice clean drawer or cabinet before anything goes into it!

Want more tips for decluttering? Check out these posts:

Think Like A Professional Organizer While Decluttering Your Home

How To Declutter Your Home Like a Professional

Find Time To Organize

Step Four

Now set that timer! Then only put back items you need, like, or use. Do not focus on any other item that is out.

When you are looking at your items, do a quick scan and only pick the items that you know you use. Not the questionable items. Only items you are 100% positive you need to keep.

The reason we focus on what to keep when you start decluttering is that you know instantly what items you use. So change what you are looking at and focus on only the items you need to keep. Place them back in the drawer or cabinet or section of your closet. 

Step Five

The last step you are going to focus on with where to start decluttering when overwhelmed is deciding if the remaining items are worth keeping. Now you may run out of time before you get to this step. And I am just prepping you for that. So this step have 2 parts.


Let’s say you have time left on your 15 minute timer, now you can start deciding what to do with the items are left. Where should that item go? If you don’t have a spot for that item somewhere in your home, think about getting rid of it!

Ask yourself questions like when was the last time you used this item? Is this item something you want to keep for a specific purpose? Why was this item placed in this drawer/cabinet/closet?

If you are unsure about an item, try removing it from the space you are decluttering. Get a bin to collect all the questionable items. Those are the items that are left out of the area you were working on. Then put that bin in a storage space. If you find you are looking for that item in the near future, you can go and get it. But if you haven’t looked for it in a month, then you know you can part with it.


Let’s say you run out of time on your 15 minute timer. Now is the time you can get a bin and put all the items you are unsure if you need into that bin. Store that bin in a storage area. Set a reminder on your phone for one month from the date you did your declutter. After that 1 month, you can be confident in parting with the items in the bin. 

Now if you need something from that bin, you know where to find it. Which is why I love the bin option in the storage area. You aren’t totally getting rid of the items you are unsure about. But they aren’t in the way of the things you use.

decluttering kitchen cabinets to make it an organizing habit

Now What?

When it comes to decluttering, there are many things that can stop you from getting started. And overwhelm is a big one. With these 5 action steps that were shared, you will be able to know exactly where to start decluttering when overwhelmed. Start by using the free declutter like a pro checklist.

Make a plan to set a 15 minute timer. Select one area like a cabinet or drawer or part of a closet to declutter. Then get to work by only putting items back that you know you use. If you have time left over, decide what to do with the remaining items. If you don’t have time, put all questionable items into a bin in your storage area. Set a reminder for 1 month from the declutter date. If you don’t go grab the item within that month’s time, you can be confident in parting with that item.

The post Where To Start Decluttering When Overwhelmed? appeared first on The Organized Mama.

Older Post Newer Post