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how to clean a messy house

How To Clean A Messy House When You’re Beyond Clueless

Written by in Cleaning checklist, Cleaning Hacks, Cleaning Routine, Cleaning Schedule, Cleaning Tips, Declutter
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So you’ve finally got the motivation to clean but there’s just one little problem:  you don’t know how to clean a messy house! Well, you’re in the right spot because below are 7 fail-proof tips you can use right now to turn your house around!

Whether you need to clean your messy house fast or just don’t know where to start cleaning, with the just-right strategies and a little time, your messy house will be a thing of the past in no time!     

But before you start to celebrate, at some point you will have to ask yourself a serious question:

Why did my house get so messy in the first place?  

Are you just so busy you don’t have time to clean or are a bonafide lazy girl that just doesn’t have the right habits?  Knowing that will help you know what you’ve gotta do to keep your house clean – for good! 

messy house checklist

Let’s Dive In! How To Start Cleaning A Messy House…

1 // Change Your Messy Habits Now

how to clean a messy house fast

If you’re overwhelmed by your messy house & not quite sure where you want to start, pause!   Take your focus off the fact that the entire house is a mess. Instead, focus only on your actions moving forward.  

When you wake up, are you making your bed?  Are you putting your dirty clothes directly into the hamper?  Did you wash that mug you just used? Or did you add it to the stack of dirty dishes in the sink? 

Your habits are the key to keeping your house clean anyway so why not start working on them now?   Plus by focusing on your habits, you will eventually get the motivation you need to start cleaning your messy house. 

Now that’s a win-win!

YOU MAY ALSO WANT TO READ //  Find Motivation To Clean Your House With 9 Creative Strategies if you are feeling overwhelmed or depressed and just can’t seem to find the spark you need to clean your messy house.

2 // Use A Very Simple Step-By-Step Cleaning Plan

how to clean a messy house checklist

It doesn’t really matter where you start cleaning.  However, a plan is a must! To get started cleaning your house, simply list out each area you want to clean, then add the cleaning tasks you want to do in each area. 

If you want to clean your messy house step-by-step, here’s a very simple plan you can follow:

As you work, declutter surfaces & clean each area but save the floors for last

  • Grab a trash bag or basket &  look for trash or out-of-place items throughout the house – limit to 30 minutes 
  • Clean the kitchen – 1 hour
  • Clean the bathrooms – 40 minutes per bathroom
  • Clean/dust the living room 30 minutes
  • Clean/dust common areas 30 minutes
  • Clean/dust the bedrooms 20 minutes per bedroom
  • Sweep and vacuum the entire house at once including the bathroom & kitchen. 
  • Mop all your hard floors and you’re all done! 

YOU SHOULD READ // How To Clean Your House Super Fast for a more detailed step-by-step plan to clean your house!  You’ll also find more strategies and techniques you can use to get the job done faster!

3 // Create Time Just For Cleaning Your House  

how to clean a messy house fast

Everyone’s definition of clean is a little different but it’s up to you to decide just how clean you want your house to be.  Do you simply want to do some light tidying up or do you want to turn your house upside down and shake all the crap out of it?  

The cleaner you want it, the more time you should plan to spend cleaning.  You need to be realistic about how much time it’ll take you to clean your house. And more importantly, when you’re going to clean your messy house.   

A good rule of thumb to follow is that 1,000 square feet in a messy house , could take around 1.5 to 2 hours to clean. If you have a 3,000 square foot messy house, set aside 4.5 to 6 hours to get your house sparkling clean.

Whether you want to clean your house in 2 hours or prefer to use the weekends to get the job done, remember that regularly scheduled cleaning time helps keep your house clean. 

If you have a family be prepared to clean your house during off-hours. You may need to wake up an hour before everyone to clean or clean after everyone goes to bed. Take advantage of nap times and playdates as much as possible as well.

READ THIS EPIC YET SIMPLE // Daily Cleaning Routine + Weekly Cleaning Schedule You can use this post to help you find the time to clean you didn’t think you had!

4 // Clean Your Messy House Task-By-Task

where to start cleaning a house

Any big task can be overwhelming and a messy house is no exception.  When you have a large project to complete, breaking it up into smaller tasks can not only make the project easier to manage, it gives you a better chance of pulling off a win! 

The one thing you don’t want to do is clean a little over here and then a little over there without focus.  Randomly cleaning throughout the house is not going to help you get your messy house cleaned.

So let’s break this messy house down into smaller tasks like these:

Task:  Declutter surfaces only in every room of the house – no closets or drawers. 

Task:  Clean out closets in all bedrooms – one room every weekend for the next 2 months. 

Task:  Wash the blinds and baseboards throughout the house on Saturday. 

Bonus Tip: Make cleaning your messy house easy with a checklist so that you can easily keep up with everything that needs to be done.

5 // No Matter What, Always Start With Clutter 

how to clean a messy house when it's overwhelming

No matter what you’re cleaning, you have to declutter first – it’s the law.  Get rid of trash, clear off surfaces, put clothes away – you get the idea right? Once you knock that out, you can actually get to the cleaning part.

If you have a lot of clutter and really just don’t know where it should go, no worries!  Grab a box or a basket to temporarily store all the clutter in. Just get it off the surfaces for now so that you can make progress & actually get to cleaning!

Tip:  Focus on surface clutter when you first start cleaning your messy house.  This is all the crap on top of counters & surfaces. Don’t worry about cleaning out junk drawers or decluttering closets right now – hidden clutter – save that for another day.  

YOU MAY ALSO WANT TO READ // Try The Pragmatic Declutter Method For Practical People to easily banish your clutter issues!  And grab an epic room-by-room declutter guide.

6 // Get Your House Flowing | Trash + Dishes + Laundry

how to keep your house clean

A lot of times, a messy house is a result of life kicking your butt.  Aside from your house not being cleaned, trash, dishes, and laundry usually pile up as well.  If this is you, you’ve got to get these areas flowing before you worry about the rest of the house.  

There are chores you need to do to keep your house running smoothly, and then there are things you need to actually keep it clean.  A sink full of dirty dishes and mountains of dirty clothes are signs that you need to take a step back & regroup.  

No matter how messy your house is, get these two areas flowing.  Dishes need to be washed and put away every single day. One load of laundry a day is what works for me but if doing 5 or 6 loads on the weekend works for you, do it.  Just get caught up.

Tip:  Every single evening, take the trash out and make sure to run the dishwasher.  These simple chores need to be done every day like clockwork – they’re that important.

7 // Save The Worst For Last

how to clean your messy house when you're overwhelmed

Tackling the easy areas first helps you get momentum and a system going so that by the time you get to the messiest areas of your house, you’ll practically be a pro!  

The more progress you make throughout the house, the more motivated you’ll be to keep going.  But remember to be honest with yourself. If an area is just too overwhelming, skip it and go on to the next.  Just come back to it later.  

On the flip, if you wake up and you have the zeal to actually go straight to the messy room that’s been your worst nightmare for a while, do it!   Remember, these are all just suggestions – use these tips & strategies in any way you see fit to help you clean your messy house.

And of course, if you found this content useful, I’d love it if you share this by pinning it on Pinterest or your favorite social media spot. It’s kind of like giving me a virtural high-five! You’re the best, XO — Victoria!

I’m so glad you stopped by today!
The Cleaning Club The Clean Cure
I’m Victoria!

My mission is to help you find & unleash your hidden cleaning superpowers so that you can stop wishing for a clean house & finally create one instead!  And yes, it can be done inspite of your wild family or busy schedule! 

P.S.  I also run this cleaning service so if you’re in Columbia, SC & would rather book a cleaning instead, you’re definitely in the right spot!

cleaning planner kit