Have you ever looked around your home, besieged by clutter and mess, and felt a wave of overwhelm wash over you? You’re not alone, swear! I have been there.

Tackling a messy home can be daunting, especially when life’s other responsibilities are constantly calling for your attention. But, fear not! The journey from chaos to tranquility is not as impossible as it seems. 

Here I am to show you how you can overcome the overwhelming and find motivation in the midst of the mess.

how to get motivated to clean house

Identifying Personal Barriers to Cleaning

First things first: why does the thought of cleaning make us want to run for the hills? For many of us, it’s the amount of the task that freezes us most of the time. It’s like standing at the foot of a mountain, looking up, and thinking,

“There’s no way I can climb that.”

Maybe you’re a busy parent, juggling work and kids, and the thought of adding ‘cleaning‘ to your already packed to-do list seems laughable. Or perhaps, you’ve set unattainable standards of cleanliness that even a team of professional cleaners would balk at. Understanding these personal barriers is the first step in conquering them.

The Psychological Impact of a Cluttered Space

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room – or rather, the clutter in the room. Living in a cluttered space is like having a constant background noise that you can’t quite tune out. It affects your mood, stress levels, and even your ability to focus on any task you want to complete.

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There’s a palpable sense of unrest that comes with clutter. It’s a visual reminder of tasks undone, and it can make your home, which should be your sanctuary, feel more like a prison to live in. Recognizing the mental and emotional toll of a cluttered space can be a powerful motivator for you to start making changes.

Setting Realistic Cleaning Goals

Now, we roll up our sleeves. The key to conquering the cleaning mountain is to stop looking at the peak and focus on the first few steps. Set realistic, achievable goals. Instead of telling yourself,

“I need to clean the house,” start with, “Today, I will organize one shelf.”

Break the mammoth task into bite-sized, manageable pieces. It’s not about cleaning everything in one go; it’s about making consistent, small efforts. Remember, even the longest journey begins with a single step.

Strategies to Get Started: how to get motivated to clean the house

After understanding your cleaning challenges, it’s time to take action. Here are some strategies to help you get started on your cleaning journey, making the process manageable and even enjoyable one step at a time.

1. Just Start – Somewhere, Anywhere!

The hardest part is often just starting. You might look around and wonder where on earth to begin. The answer is simple: start anywhere.

Whether it’s a drawer, a corner of a room, or just clearing off the kitchen counter, the act of starting sets the momentum. Once you begin, you’ll often find it’s not as bad as you thought, and this initial success can propel you forward.

Start from anywhere, probably the place that fascinates you the most. It could be any place:

  • Your bedroom
  • Your living area
  • Maybe your bathroom

Okay! If not a particular room how about a specific thing. You can get started by making your bed, or you can fold your towels and keep them back to where they belong.

The key is to start no matter where. This will keep you motivated to clean your room or maybe your house at once.

2. Setting a Realistic Goal

Goals give us direction. Set a clear, achievable goal for your cleaning session. Maybe it’s to declutter the living room or to organize your wardrobe. Having a specific aim not only gives you a target to hit but also a sense of accomplishment once you’ve achieved it.

Always have a notepad with you list out what you want to do first and keep going. I always write my tasks for a particular day and do the easiest ones first. Once I complete my task I immediately strike it off.

I cannot tell you how great it feels. This way I get motivated to do more and more until I either finish all my tasks or maybe just a few are left out which I transfer to day 2.

Remember not to overwhelm yourself with a long list of tasks. Write approx 4-5 tasks, accomplish them, and then you can add more.

3. Keeping Track of your progress

Visual progress is incredibly motivating. Keep track of what you’ve done, perhaps with a before-and-after photo. Seeing the tangible results of your efforts can be a powerful motivator to keep going.

4. Visualize Success

Take a moment to visualize how amazing your space will look and feel once it’s organized and clean. Imagine the sense of calm and satisfaction. This mental picture can be a powerful motivator, especially when the task at hand feels daunting.

The picture you took will show you the before and after of your room and, believe me, this itself is a game-changer. You will be so happy to see the progress and want to do more of it and more often.

5. Reward Yourself

Cleaning can be hard work, so plan a reward for yourself once you’re done. It could be something as simple as a relaxing bath, a favorite treat, or an episode of a show you love.

Rewards give you something to look forward to and make the cleaning process feel more like a means to a delightful end.

Sit down and sip a cup of tea or coffee. Give yourself a me-time or read a good book. I usually like reading a book with a cup of tea. This is my way of relaxing!

6. Focus on One Thing at a Time

Trying to tackle everything at once is overwhelming. Instead, focus on one task or area at a time. This approach not only makes the task more manageable but also allows you to see progress more quickly, which can be a great motivator.

Focus on one area, or maybe one thing at a time. I cannot stress this enough! If you go to room after room and see mess around your house you will be depressed. This is not what we want.

For this, I highly recommend doing one room at a time.

Make Basket Your Friend

I am not kidding here. Have a basket with you all the time. Whenever you go to a particular room in your house to clean, take that basket and fill it with everything that doesn’t belong to that room. Take that stuff to its designated place.

This will avoid frequent rounds of the house that will make you tired and give up on your cleaning motivation.

Declutter your Space

This should be my first point I guess, but I didn’t want to stress you when I know you are already stressed. One thing that I learned in 13 years of my marriage life and having two kids is to DECLUTTER!

Having a minimalist lifestyle is so important and relaxing. You have fewer items to take care of and in turn, you get the peace of mind by just seeing that decluttered space in your house.

Remember less is more! Try to get rid of everything that you don’t like or love, anything that’s not functional anymore, or too outdated for you to keep.

I will have a detailed article on this one soon so stay tuned. Seriously, this thing needs a whole new article.

7. Set Big Goals, But Break Them Into Small Chunks

It’s okay to have big goals, like cleaning the entire house, but break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Clean one room, one area, or even one shelf at a time. This method prevents you from feeling overwhelmed and helps maintain your motivation.

Remember, the journey to a clean and organized space doesn’t have to be a sprint. It’s perfectly okay to take it slow, tackling one small task after another.

I personally have gone through The Organized Home and was able to identify some easy-win ideas to implement right away.

Maintaining Momentum and Avoiding Future Overwhelm

Let’s explore how to maintain that momentum and keep your space clutter-free in the long run.

1. Spending Time on It Each Day

Consistency is key. Dedicate a small amount of time each day to cleaning or organizing. Even just 15 minutes can make a significant difference. This daily commitment prevents clutter from piling up and keeps your space continuously tidy.

2. Making a Plan

Having a plan or a cleaning schedule can be incredibly helpful. Allocate specific days for different cleaning tasks – for example, vacuuming on Mondays, dusting on Tuesdays, etc. This approach ensures that every area gets regular attention without overwhelming you.

3. Involving the Kids

If you have children, involve them in the cleaning process. Assign age-appropriate tasks such as picking up toys or helping to fold laundry. This not only reduces your workload but also teaches them valuable life skills and the importance of maintaining a clean environment.

Try to give each kid age-appropriate chores and that will do the job. Having them on board will give you some freedom to relax and not get stressed over the cluttered house.

P.S. Please don’t forget your husband 😀 Get him on board too.

4. Thinking of Cleaning as an Investment

Shift your perspective and think of cleaning as an investment in your home and well-being. A clean and organized space can improve your mood, productivity, and overall quality of life. This mindset can transform cleaning from a chore into a rewarding activity.

5. Taking Baby Steps

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your house doesn’t need to be spotless overnight. Focus on making gradual improvements. Celebrate small victories and don’t get discouraged by the areas that still need work.

6. Changing Up the Environment

Sometimes, a small change in your environment can reignite your motivation. Rearrange furniture, add new decor, or move things around to refresh your space. A new look can inspire you to keep the area clean and organized.

7. Enjoying Yourself While You Do It

Try to find joy in the cleaning process. Listen to your favorite audiobooks or a podcast while you clean. This can make the time more enjoyable and something you might even start to look forward to.

8. Scheduling Time in Your Calendar

Treat cleaning like any other important appointment. Schedule it in your calendar to ensure you dedicate time to it. This helps in establishing a routine and making cleaning a regular part of your life.


Maintaining a clean and organized home is an ongoing process. By incorporating these strategies into your routine, you can keep your space tidy and avoid the overwhelming feeling of a big mess. Remember, the goal isn’t perfection but progress.

With each small step, you’re creating a more peaceful and enjoyable living environment.

Related Articles:

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How To Disinfect Baby Toys Naturally (The Green Way)

How To Keep A Clean House As A Busy Mom

How To Get Your Kids To Do Chores Without The Drama

Age Appropriate Chores For Kids 1 – 11+ Years + FREE Chores Chart

25 Time-Saving Best Kitchen Gadgets For Moms

9 Ways On How To Make Your Apartment Feel Like Home

Don’t Forget To Pin It For Later!

how to clean your home when youre in a mess

I am the Wife, Mommy, & Blogger behind All Moms Blog learning to run my own home and raise up kids while chasing my dreams. I work to support, inspire, and encourage moms in the journey of motherhood to make their lives easier without losing your sanity.