9 Tips On Tackling Home Organization When You're Feeling Overwhelmed

Does thinking about getting organized make you feel overwhelmed?

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Do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and overthinking the problem, when it comes to home organization? A lot of people end up feeling defeated before they even start trying to get things clean and orderly in their homes.

But, you can plunge into an organizing project and maintain your calm by following a few simple rules.

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First, let’s talk about how to organize without getting overwhelmed, then there are a few simple rules to follow to maintain your calm.

Here are 9 tips for tackling home organization, so that it doesn't overwhelm you.

1. Create your "vision."

Use Pinterest or create a vision board by cutting out pictures from magazines for your project, so you have a sense of how you want the result to look and feel.

That way, you have a set idea in mind before you begin. That will help you figure out how to get to that finished product.

2. Pick your project.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you walk into a room or a house and decide to organize the entire space.


Think about one small area that you want to organize. Make that one spot your project.

This is how to organize without getting overwhelmed.

3. Know the reason why you're organizing that space.

Understand the purpose of this project. Are you making room for something you’ve purchased? Do you need to remove some clutter?

Or, is this space a mess and you want to organize it so you can find the things you keep here?

4. Figure out if you need supplies.

Assess the space. Decide if you need drawer organizers or containers.

If yes, empty the space, sort the items, and then measure carefully. Take the time to clean the space while it is empty!

Please note: Do not shop before you sort the space.


Often, people end up with more containers than they need or the wrong-sized containers when they shop first. Organizing before shopping helps you organize without getting overwhelmed.

5. Decide what your next project will be.

When you're finished with that organizing project, move to the next one. You may have multiple areas you want to tackle.

Work out a logical order of progression to get the entire project organized without getting overwhelmed.

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6. Understand that causing more clutter (temporarily) is OK.

As you move from project to project, you may find that when one space becomes nicely organized, another space becomes a disaster area.


Hold your vision in your mind’s eye and give yourself permission to accept the mess. Remind yourself that this is a work in progress. You will attend to that space when the time comes.

7. Keep these simple rules in mind to fend off feeling overwhelmed.

Remember to breathe. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you look at a pile of stuff and wonder what on Earth you're going to do with all that stuff. Take a couple of minutes and focus on breathing.

Reflect on your vision and release the things in the pile of stuff that don't fit your vision.

Set your intention, and remember the reason you are organizing the space.

8. Use a timer for each space.

Set the timer on your phone for only 10 to 15 minutes. Work on the organizing project for that amount of time.


When the timer goes off, stop organizing. Go do something else.

Using a timer for short periods of time helps you organize without getting overwhelmed and maintain your calm. The project will be there when you return to it.

If you want to, you can take a short break and then work for another 10 or 15 minutes. You’ll be amazed by what you can accomplish when you focus on organizing.


9. Accept things that are "good enough."

Let yourself be done when it is good enough! Avoid aiming for perfection.

Life happens and as perfectly as you organize a space it will never stay that way. The truth is that organizing pictures on Instagram, Pinterest, and magazines are the only spaces that stay that way indefinitely.

Someone, maybe you, will go into the space, take something out, and mess it up a little in the process. The good news is that when you create a nicely organized space it can always be put back in a minute or two.

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Diane N. Quintana is a certified professional organizer who focuses on chronic disorganization. She’s also a master trainer and the owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. Diane teaches busy people how to become organized and provides them with strategies and solutions for maintaining order in their lives.