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As I ate cereal for dinner out of a coffee mug with a semi-clean fork (no clean spoons left), I realized I lost. I had lost the messy war against my husband.
Yeah, I did that. I pulled the nuclear option and decided to see how long it would take before my husband caved and washed the dishes. You see, I’m the type of person who doesn’t like mess – I like to organize. A messy home equals a messy mind, and my mind is too cluttered to also deal with a disorganized home.
I decided my husband was getting away with too much: a wife who did the dishes nightly and tidied up? If I refused to wash dishes for a week, surely he would crack when he ran out of dishes, and then he would put the dishes in the dishwasher and “wash” them.
Once I realized he bought a box of plastic spoons and was eating cereal out of coffee mugs, I realized two things: one, pick your battles and two, refusing to do things could actually cost me money! Not only did my husband buy plastic spoons, but when we’ve let our house get too messy in the past, we’ve bought extras of things we already had because we couldn’t find the thing we were looking for behind the mess!
However, cleaning is annoying to many of us. With jobs, families and friends, how can we have a tidy home/space and enough time for ourselves? In order to not go completely crazy during the work week, I decided to create a cheat sheet for how to quickly organize a messy house. You can use this cheat sheet too!
Download your cheat sheet below!
You can do these tasks whenever, although I usually do them after my workday and on the weekends. Pro-tip: Sunday nights are the best as everyone winds down. You can quickly organize a messy house on a Sunday night with these tips. I like to listen to podcasts and wear a face mask while I do this, as it’s distracting and even relaxing! Without further ado, here are my tips on how to quickly organize a messy house!
Quickly Organize a Messy House: Start With the Easy Stuff First
Some people say the best way to organize a messy house is to start with the hard tasks first, but no thank you! Starting with the easy tasks, at least for me, builds momentum and makes the hard tasks seem possible after accomplishing so many easy tasks!
First, remove things you don’t need as you go through rooms. Let’s say we’re starting in the kitchen – which is where a lot of things are randomly placed, like mail, sweaters, library books, etc. Take everything that doesn’t belong in the kitchen, and place it in one area of the kitchen to be removed later.
Next, move around the room and tidy up. Since we’re in the kitchen, some quick tasks you can do to quickly organize that area are:
Unload and load the dishwasher – 5 to 10 minutes (usually do need to wait until after dinner to do this)
Wipe down the counters – 5 minutes
Set a Timer Per Room
Once you have finished one room (like the kitchen), move to the next room with that pile of random stuff. Let’s say some of that random stuff belongs in your bedroom – take all the stuff from the kitchen that actually belongs in the bedroom and go to your bedroom next! Look, your stuff tells you how to clean your house, yay!
Related: How to Declutter Your Bedroom
This time, bring a timer with you. I like to bring Spotify with me on my phone, and I play 5-6 Spotify songs to “time” myself quickly cleaning up. Most sounds are around 3 minutes, so 5 songs x 3 minutes each = 15 minutes.
Most important? Don’t leave that room until the timer rings! If you’re finding a bunch of junk or trash you don’t want, bring a trash bag (for the trash) or make a pile for the things you want to keep, but don’t want in your bedroom.
Looking to quickly organize that messy room? Here are two quick things you can do in your bedroom:
Make bed – 5 minutes
Put away clothes laying around (either in hamper or in drawers if clean – when in doubt, it’s dirty!) – 5 minutes
Looking for some more tips on organizing your bedroom? I love this video by Live Your Style, because she agrees with me that you need music to get you in the organizing mood! 🙂
Make it a Habit
As you start to declutter (having conquered your kitchen and bedroom so far!), you’ll start to realize: this is time-consuming and annoying. It is! So how can you make organizing a messy house less tiresome? By making tidying up a consistent habit.
Yes, this means more cleaning up, but less time spent overall because instead of stressing about it (or wasting money buying duplicates of stuff you already own), you’ll tackle it on a consistent basis, almost without thought.
One tip to consistently organize a messy house? When you leave a room, take something that doesn’t belong in that room with you.
Want to get these tips in a handy cheat sheet? Download the organizing a messy house in less time cheat sheet below!
Quickly Organize a Messy House By Getting Rid of Stuff!
As you start to declutter and make organizing your house a habit, you’ll eventually get like me and realize… you don’t need as much stuff as you thought you did! When you’re ready to get rid of it, here are my favorite ways to get rid of stuff (and get $$$ for it, of course!):
- Offerup – my number one favorite app, you just snap a few pictures, set a price, and sell to people in your city! Less creepy than Craigslist and seems to move faster than Craigslist too
- Craigslist – the OG in getting rid of your stuff
- Ebay – have some stuff you can ship and want to get a higher price? Ebay is probably your jam – but it does take more work than Offerup or Craigslist
- ThredUP – my favorite way to get paid for clothes I don’t wear anymore! Simply order a bag, put your stuff in that bag, and send it off! After a few weeks, money should start rolling into your account depending on what you sent to ThredUP. [PS. If you use my referral link, you’ll get $10 off your first order!]
Now that I have a routine, I stress less because I know I can get most messes taken care of in a reasonable amount of time. All I want is a mostly tidy house during the week so I can take care of all the side hustle and family work I need to do. To me, a tidy house leads to a tidy mind. Best of all? I haven’t eaten cereal out of a coffee mug in months!
Money Beagle says
The biggest thing in our house that we can do is to clear off the counters and table in the kitchen, and then walk around and pick things up off the floor. These are the two biggest things.
That’s such a great idea – things on the counter drive me crazy! Thanks for the advice 🙂
Sarah Clouser says
This sounds like me and my husband! He is great with home repairs and yardwork, but even noticing clutter is beyond him! 🙂 I like your list. I function better in a tidy house. It is just so very hard when the two littles are behind me making a mess in my wake! 🙂
I guess we have to appreciate that they can fix things and do yardwork, right? Because goodness’ knows I can’t do that! 🙂 I definitely get it with the kids – you clean one thing up, and next thing you know, it’s dirty again! It’s a never ending battle when you have little ones 🙂
Love this! Sometimes I really just need a list to follow or someone to tell me to do it!
Glad you found it useful, Jasmine! I hope you signed up to get the printable emailed to you 🙂
Taria Shondell says
I was laughing as I was reading about the cereal in the mug and the fork! l like how you broke everything down. If you look at cleaning in parts instead of as a whole, it does seem less overwhelming. I need to start doing that!
Thank you, Taria! Cleaning is so overwhelming, it’s almost impossible not to break it into parts just to survive! 🙂
DC @ Young Adult Money says
“However, working a full time job, trying to run my own side hustle, and having family/friend time is important to me – cleaning up is not.” This sounds exactly like my situation! I do vacuum and steam mop each weekend, as well as pick up and whatnot, but I try to keep it to an hour, maybe slightly more. It’s tough to find the time with my side hustles.
You steam mop every weekend?! Okay, I’m seriously impressed 🙂 You’re beating me in the clean up game! 🙂
DC @ Young Adult Money says
Haha if you saw how small our kitchen and informal dining room area is you wouldn’t be as impressed! We have a pretty small house.
Steph S. says
Nice! A lot of the time I procrastinate on picking up because it seems so overwhelming, but this makes it all feel so much more doable. I like small chuncks. Thanks so much for sharring!
I’m so glad you find it useful, Steph!
Kayla Sloan says
Dirty dishes drive me crazy too! My roommate and I have a pact that I cook and he takes care of the dirty dishes. Unfortunately, when he’s tired, which I totally understand, he sometimes leaves them for a day or two. it drives me crazy when they pile up too much. The way I sometimes end up spending extra money as a result is stopping to wash just one or two things and leaving the rest. Even if I am not running a sink full of water for it I still feel like it’s a bit wasteful of time and soap. Oh, well. At least I haven’t had to buy extra dishes because I can’t find them.