What should I clean first in a messy house?

What Should I Clean First in a Messy House?


When faced with a messy house, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Whether it’s due to a busy schedule, children, or other life circumstances, cleaning up clutter and mess can seem like a daunting task. But fear not, because in this article, we will provide you with practical tips and a step-by-step guide on what to clean first in a messy house. With these strategies, you can regain control over your living space and bring serenity back into your home.

Key Takeaways:

  • Prioritizing tasks is crucial when cleaning a messy house.
  • Start by throwing away trash and clutter to relieve stress and create a cleaner environment.
  • Cleaning the kitchen and tackling the laundry are essential steps in restoring order.
  • Deal with paper clutter to remove stress and create a more organized space.
  • Plan meals and create a grocery list to simplify cooking and reduce daily decision-making.

Throw Away Trash and Clutter

When faced with a messy house, the first step to take is to throw away trash and clutter. This will help you create a clean and organized space. Start by grabbing a large trash bag and going room by room. Look for obvious trash items such as wrappers, old magazines, and empty containers. Dispose of them without much thought, focusing on relieving the stress of clutter.

Don’t forget to gather small toys and junk mail that contribute to the mess. The goal is to get rid of anything that is unnecessary and takes up space in your home. Don’t worry about recycling or donating at this point; your main focus is on throwing away trash.

This process should only take about 15-20 minutes, making it a quick and effective way to start cleaning your messy house. By getting rid of trash and clutter, you’ll already notice a significant difference in the overall appearance and feel of your living space.

Clean the Kitchen

The kitchen is often the heart of the home, but it can also be a major source of mess and clutter. When tackling a messy house, it’s essential to start with the kitchen. Here are some cleaning tips to help you efficiently clean your kitchen and restore order to this vital space.

Gather and wash the dishes

  • Start by gathering any dirty dishes from around the house and placing them in the sink or dishwasher.
  • Sort through the dishes and prioritize washing the ones you’ll need for cooking or eating.
  • For items that require handwashing, fill the sink with warm, soapy water and wash them thoroughly.
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Clear off the countertops

  • Remove any items or clutter from the countertops, including small appliances, utensils, and food packaging.
  • Wipe down the countertops with a multipurpose cleaner or a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap.
  • Pay attention to corners and crevices where crumbs and spills tend to accumulate.

Sweep, mop, or vacuum the floor

  • Sweep or use a vacuum cleaner with a hard floor setting to remove any loose debris from the kitchen floor.
  • If necessary, spot mop any spills or stains using a suitable floor cleaner or a mixture of warm water and vinegar.
  • Pay extra attention to high-traffic areas and around the stove and sink.

By following these cleaning tips, you can quickly and efficiently clean your kitchen, making it a functional and hygienic space once again. Remember to focus on the essentials and avoid getting caught up in deep cleaning tasks. Once your kitchen is clean, you can move on to tackling the rest of your messy house with confidence.

Tackle the Laundry

One of the most common sources of mess in a messy house is dirty laundry. To prevent it from piling up and becoming overwhelming, it’s important to tackle the laundry as part of your cleaning routine. Start by gathering all the dirty clothes, towels, and bathroom rugs from around the house. Go room by room with a laundry basket and collect the laundry items. This will help ensure that no items are missed and everything is ready to be cleaned.

Once you have gathered all the dirty laundry, divide it into various piles based on the type of fabric or color. This will help simplify the sorting process later on. If you have a washing machine available, start a load of laundry with the most urgently needed items. If not, place the dirty laundry in a designated box or bag until you can get to a laundromat.

While the laundry is being washed, make sure to keep an eye on it as you continue cleaning other parts of the house. Move washed laundry to the dryer promptly and start new loads as needed. If you have clean laundry sitting around, either fold and put it away or divide it out and store it for later use. By staying on top of your laundry routine, you can keep your house clean and free from the overwhelming presence of dirty clothes.

Deal with Paper Clutter

Paper clutter can easily build up in a messy house, creating a sense of disorganization and overwhelm. To tackle this issue, it’s important to establish a system for dealing with paper and bills effectively. Here are some cleaning tips to help you organize your paper clutter:

1. Gather and Sort

Start by gathering all the paper clutter from around the house. This includes bills, mail, documents, receipts, and any other loose papers. Once you have everything in one place, begin sorting them into two piles: “deal with immediately” and “deal with later.” This will help you prioritize tasks and prevent important documents from getting lost.

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2. Pay Bills and Take Action

Focus on the “deal with immediately” pile and take care of any bills or tasks that require immediate attention. Pay your bills online or write checks, then file them away in an organized manner. Handle any other urgent matters, such as signing documents or making phone calls. By addressing these tasks promptly, you can reduce the stress associated with unpaid bills and pending actions.

3. Create a Filing System

For the remaining papers in the “deal with later” pile, it’s crucial to establish a filing system. Invest in file folders, labels, and a filing cabinet or box to keep things organized. Categorize your papers based on their importance and purpose, such as financial documents, medical records, or personal correspondence. Regularly go through your files to discard any outdated or unnecessary papers, keeping your system streamlined and clutter-free.

By implementing these cleaning tips and organizing your paper clutter, you can create a more peaceful and functional environment in your home. Remember to stay consistent with your filing system and regularly address new papers that come into your space. With time and effort, you’ll be able to maintain a clean and organized house, where paper clutter is no longer a source of stress.

Plan Meals and Make a Grocery List

When it comes to cleaning a messy house, one aspect that often gets overlooked is meal planning and grocery shopping. However, taking the time to plan your meals and create a grocery list can actually help simplify your life and make the cleaning process more efficient.

Start by thinking about your meals for the upcoming week. Consider using ingredients you already have on hand to create simple and easy-to-make dishes. This not only saves you time and energy, but it also helps reduce food waste.

Once you have your meal plan ready, it’s time to make a grocery list. Write down all the ingredients you’ll need for your planned meals, as well as any other essentials you may need around the house. This will help you stay organized and prevent unnecessary trips to the store.

Remember, you can also take advantage of online grocery delivery or pickup services to save time and make your life even easier. By planning meals and creating a grocery list, you’ll not only have a clean house but also a well-stocked kitchen ready to prepare delicious meals for you and your family.

Clean Room by Room

Now that you’ve tackled the major areas of your messy house, it’s time to dive into cleaning each room in more detail. By following these cleaning tips, you can efficiently tidy up your home and create a more organized living space.

Tidying up

Start by picking up any items that are out of place and quickly putting them away. This will help declutter the room and create a sense of order. As you go through each room, make sure everything has a designated place to avoid future messes. Consider using storage solutions such as baskets or bins to keep things organized.

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Dusting surfaces

Once the room is tidied up, it’s time to give the surfaces a good dusting. Use a microfiber cloth or a duster to remove dust from furniture, shelves, and other surfaces. Pay special attention to areas that tend to collect more dust, such as ceiling fans, blinds, and electronics. Don’t forget to dust hard-to-reach places like high shelves or corners.

Cleaning tips for each room

As you clean each room, keep these tips in mind:

  • In the bedroom, change the bedding and fluff the pillows. Vacuum or sweep the floor and wipe down nightstands and dressers.
  • In the bathroom, clean the toilet, sink, and bathtub or shower. Wipe down mirrors, countertops, and any fixtures. Don’t forget to mop the floor.
  • In the living room, vacuum or sweep the floor, and spot clean any stains on the furniture. Dust shelves and electronics, and wipe down surfaces.
  • In the kitchen, clean the stovetop, oven, and microwave. Wipe down countertops, cabinets, and appliances. Don’t forget to sweep or mop the floor.

By following these room-by-room cleaning tips, you’ll be able to tackle the mess in your house and enjoy a cleaner and more organized living space. Take it one room at a time, stay focused, and before you know it, your entire home will be sparkling clean.


Cleaning a messy house can be a daunting task, but with the right strategies and a step-by-step plan, you can quickly regain control over your living space. By prioritizing tasks, focusing on trash and clutter, and tackling one room at a time, you can efficiently clean your messy house and create a more organized and serene home environment.

Remember, done is better than perfect. Don’t be too hard on yourself as you work through the cleaning process. It’s important to celebrate the progress you’ve made, no matter how small. With these cleaning tips, you can transform your messy house into a clean and inviting space that you can be proud of.

So roll up your sleeves, put on some upbeat music, and get to work. Before you know it, your once-messy house will be a clean and tidy oasis where you can relax and enjoy your surroundings. Say goodbye to the chaos and hello to a cleaner, more serene home.

Can Cleaning and Decluttering Help in Making a Messy House More Manageable?

If you feel like your messy house is driving you crazy, it’s time to start cleaning overwhelmed clutter. Decluttering and organizing your space can make a world of difference in how manageable your home feels. Take small steps each day to tackle the mess, and you’ll soon see a big improvement.

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