How to Clean a Messy House Step by Step

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Cleaning a messy house is not always easy. It can feel like you’re never going to finish and the mess will continue piling up and the messy house depression is a fact. But with some simple organizing, decluttering, and cleaning tips, you’ll be able to clean your home in no time at all!

It’s important to be efficient when it comes to cleaning a neglected house. You don’t want to spend all day getting your home in order, but you still need it looking nice. The key is learning how to clean each room efficiently and tackling the chores one at a time.

When you find a good way to clean your home quickly, you can turn it into a routine. This will make it much easier to maintain your clean home, and you’ll find that the messes won’t happen as often.

The key is figuring out how to organize each room in a way that helps with cleanup time. For example, if you have kids’ toys lying around all over the floor of their bedroom, putting them into labeled bins can help.


How to clean a messy house step by step

You might be thinking; My house is so cluttered I don’t know where to start and how to get started with cleaning. With this clean a messy house checklist you will learn how to clean a messy house fast. This can be done in one day.

How to Clean a Messy House Step by Step Really Fast
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Get motivated

Now you are probably wondering how to start to clean a messy house.

You might be thinking “my house is so cluttered I don’t know where to start” or “my house is a disgusting mess“.

First of all, you need to get motivated!

Cleaning a neglected house can feel really hard but it’s important for you to feel good about what you’re doing or else you’ll just end up giving up and even experience a messy house depression.

First things first I highly recommend putting on your favorite music and try to make the cleaning task more fun.

Then, put on your comfy clothes. I suggest you wear comfortable and old clothes because you need to be able to move around easily and you might get dirty.

If the mess is huge and you really lack the motivation to start you may ask a friend to give you a hand.

When you start feeling a little bit more motivated it’s time to follow the tips below on how to clean a messy house step by step.

Pick up trash

Getting rid of the trash in your house is the first step when you start cleaning a messy house. This is a fairly easy task that can be done in just a few minutes and will make the rest of your house look tidier.

Bring a trash bag with you and go through each room. This will help you to get rid of non-essential stuff quickly. Throw out the trash and recycle things that can be recycled. Things will pile up really fast if you don’t stay on top of them.

Try to focus on picking up trash; don’t be tempted to do any cleaning just yet. This is just your “first round” through the house.

Getting rid of the trash will not only help your house look nicer but it’ll also make you feel better about the whole process of cleaning up later on.

Pick up dishes and cups

After you dispose of the trash, go through and pick up any dishes and cups laying around the house.

Don’t mind about cleaning them yet, just put them into the sink or dishwasher directly.

The idea here is to get everything off the countertops and out of your way. Piling up dishes makes it look like you don’t have any time for cleaning, so take care of them now before tackling other projects in the kitchen.

Pick up mail and papers

Now that your kitchen countertops are clean, start sorting through all of the other miscellaneous piles around the house: newspapers and magazines.

This is also a good time to go through the mail and recycle any junk that you can.

Moving these piles will help make your house look more open, as well as giving you an opportunity to get rid of some clutter before it becomes overwhelming.

Pick up laundry

Grab a large laundry basket and pick up dirty laundry. Go through the house and place the laundry basket in the laundry room.

If you have time, you can even start a load of laundry in your washing machine while you’re cleaning the other areas of the house.

Organize the toys

Get some bins and start sorting through all of your kid’s toys.

Throw away anything broken or missing pieces, and put together everything that they haven’t played with in a while (you might have to do this over time).

Pick up other items and clutter

Use your laundry basket or another box or basket to pick things up.

You might want to start picking items up that you no longer need and place them in a donation box. If you need to clean quickly, don’t mind so much about organizing; just pick everything up and store it in your basket.

If you have stairs, take all the stuff that has to go up or downstairs and put them in separate boxes so you can take them easily all up or downstairs at the same time to put away.

Take a deep breath.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take some time to do something else. Make dinner or go for a walk. When you come back in an hour you’ll be ready to tackle that mess again!

Move room by room

Once the “first-round” cleaning is done, focus on doing a room-by-room clean-up. This won’t take as long and you’ll be more motivated to finish.

Take a storage box with you (again) and pick up clutter in one area at a time. Make sure clothes are hung up neatly on hangers or folded in the wardrobes.

Once you’ve cleaned the clutter in that room, start straightening that room up. Make the bed and straighten up the coach etc. Once that room is done, move on to the next one and continue throughout the entire house.

Dust each room

Once all the rooms are picked up it’s time to dust. Use a feather duster with an extendable pole and bendable head.

Dust the tops of all furniture, baseboards, high shelves, and anything else that needs it. Also, clean your furniture with a damp cloth.

Vacuum each room

Once the dust settled in all your rooms from your dusting and no clutter is in the way on the floors, it’s time to vacuum each room. This lightweight ergonomic vacuum cleaner works incredibly well. You’ll be amazed how much dust the vacuum picks up.

Vacuum room by room and make sure to empty the vacuum chamber or change the vacuum bag when it’s full depending on what type of vacuum cleaner you have.

Make Your Bed

Making your bed makes a big difference in making your bedroom look clean and organized. Change the bedding with a clean one if needed.

Clean your carpets

Carpet cleaning can be done either by hiring professionals or doing it yourself with an at-home kit. Professional cleaners are able to deep clean carpets since they have the equipment for it, but there are also some great DIY kits available.

Clean the bathroom

By now, you’ve moved through the entire house. It is time to clean the bathroom. Make it a rule to clean the bathroom as your last room. You don’t want to spread bacterias from there to other places in your house. 

Use a disinfecting cleaner to clean the sinks and counters. wipe down all of your surfaces with disinfectant wipes or soap and water if you don’t have disinfecting cleaner on hand.

Want an eco-friendly and chemical-free alternative? This multi-surface cleaning, sanitizing & disinfecting system converts tap water, salt & vinegar into an all-purpose cleaner for your home.

For mirrors and glass surfaces I recommend using an ammonia-free vinegar glass cleaner.

Clean your shower and bathtub with a spray and a scrubber, a sponge or a cloth. Personally, I use an electric scrubber to simplify the process and get fast results. Scrub the grout between tiles to keep it clean from mold or mildew growth.

If you have any stains in your tub that are difficult to remove try mixing baking soda and water until you form a paste-like consistency. Apply this mixture all over the affected area while rubbing vigorously.

Clean the toilet using a bowl cleaner and toilet brush and the flush.

Clean out drains by pouring boiling hot water down them.

Use a disinfecting cleaner to clean the floors in your bathroom. Preferably use a separate mop for just the bathroom or clean your bathroom floor at the very end of your cleaning.

I love using these microfibre mops as they’re so easy to wash in the machine and I can switch the mop pad to a clean one when moving to the next room.

Clean the kitchen

Now it’s time to clean your kitchen. Start with putting away all clean dishes or empty the dishwasher if it is clean. Then, work on cleaning the dirty dishes, or loading the dishwasher.

Drain any water that’s sitting in the sink and wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove grease or grime if necessary.

Pick up any loose items on the counter and wipe them with a disinfecting cleaner. Wipe the stovetop and the microwave with the same cleaner, as well.

Wipe down all of your clean counters and wipe up any spills on the floor with a disinfectant cloth or mop.

If you have time, clean out your kitchen cabinets and wipe the inside with a disinfectant, too.

Leave well enough alone

Since this post is dealing with getting your house clean fast (not deep cleaning), leave “well enough” alone.

If you’re just trying to get your home back to a livable and uncluttered state so that guests can feel welcomed and not overwhelmed, then give yourself a pat on the back when the main cleaning is done. Let go of the rest for another, less stressful day.

Enjoy your result and leave well enough alone.

Tips to handle everyday clutter

If you have older kids you can let them help you. If this is a struggle , then try to get them in the habit of doing a little each day. Teach your kids to clean up their messes right after they make them. If they pulled out their toy box to play, have them put away those toys before they start playing with other toys, etc. Do this practice, too, as an adult, putting away what you get out before going on to another project or activity.

If you have younger children that can’t help with the cleaning yet, assign an older sibling or another person to watch them for a while. If you have a baby, put them in a bouncy chair, walking chair, etc so they can be near you while you get your cleaning done.

Stop feel paralyzed by a messy house! Make it a habit to clean little messes before they turn into big messes and clean up the mess BEFORE you go to bed. This way you can avoid having a messy house depression. You will definitely enjoy waking up to a clean house and you can have a good night’s rest!


We hope you got some tips in this blog post on how to get motivated to clean when overwhelmed by the mess, how to clean a messy house step by step in one day. We are sure that you will do great with these tips in mind!