Where to Start Decluttering When You Feel Overwhelmed

Like every homemaker who wants a clutter-free home, I also wondered where to start decluttering when you feel overwhelmed.

When I decided to jump to the decluttering process three years ago, I started with my bedroom because it was the room that I felt like I have total control. And I wanted to have peaceful nights and mornings. Who doesn’t want that?

It started with small accomplishments. I was able to declutter and organize my closets and drawers. I’ve had things sorted. I knew which ones I could still sell. I ended up not selling anything though. For me, giving them away became much easier, so that’s what I did.

Some I’ve kept for “just in case” times and some I’ve kept for a year so that I’d be sure if I really wouldn’t need them anymore. I had a few things that I pulled out from those stuff, but majority were not used in a year so these were discarded.

I did this through small accomplishments – just for 15 minutes everyday. But as it turns out, we must not underestimate the value of 15 minutes. This could be just the right amount of time needed to declutter our homes!

Today, our home still gets a pile of clutter every now and then. But because of the experience I had three years ago, it doesn’t feel as hard to get rid of clutter anymore.

The Only Secret I Had in Decluttering

Many advice can be said about decluttering. But in my experience there was only one secret that really mattered, one secret that got the job done.

And that was… quick wins.

I decluttered for only 15 minutes a day, focusing on just one stuff or area a day. And that was enough!

Quick wins feels good. It’s motivating and makes us want to do more. It lessens that overwhelming feeling we have at the start.

So in this post, I want to encourage you to have quick wins too. Those quick wins will add up until it becomes a big win – when you have already decluttered an entire room, then your entire home.

Where to Start Decluttering When You Feel Overwhelmed

Where to start decluttering has been asked many times by newbie declutterers, including me. Backed by experience I can advice you to things.

You can start focusing on the easiest stuff to declutter like this 50 things.

Or… you may also start with the easiest room to declutter in your home.

You see, the rooms in our homes were not created equal. Like there are bigger and smaller rooms. And some rooms tend to accumulate a lot of sentimental clutter, while others don’t.

One may be just so hard to declutter and organize and feels so overwhelming to look at. If you feel this in one of your rooms, don’t start there. You will need more momentum and motivation to tackle that clutter.

And then there’s the room that proves itself to be the easiest to declutter.

This is where I will forever be thankful to June of This Simple Balance for sharing her idea.

The easiest room to declutter is none other than the bathroom!

I know I said I started in my bedroom. But that was because I really craved for a nice place to sleep. When I learned about this “start in the bathroom” things, I realized yes, it’s indeed very easy. And yes, easier than the bedroom, especially for a beginner.


1. It’s a small space.

Usually, it’s the smallest room in the house. So it’s the easiest room to declutter. It might not even take you an hour for it.

In fact, if you don’t have a lot of things in there, an hour is enough not only for decluttering, but also for cleaning and organizing what remains.

When you succeed in decluttering your bathroom, even if it’s the smallest space in your house, the result that you’ll see will be enough to give you the motivation you need to tackle the remaining rooms in your home.

2. There are less sentimental items in the bathroom.

We don’t keep memorable or sentimental items in the bathroom. Mostly, it’s just towels, makeup and half-used shampoo.

So it’s not hard to make decisions on whether we should throw something or keep it.

3. Lots of things to throw without any guilt.

Toiletries, cleaning supplies, hair products, you name it!

Being able to purge items without feeling guilty builds up momentum and exercises your decluttering muscles.

It instills in your mind that many unused products you have deserve a better home.

It trains you to think that some items may still be good, but you’re not using them so giving them away is better than holding on.

And it convinces you that some are just not worth it anymore and it’s okay to throw trash!

Take a picture of your bathroom before decluttering.

This is the thing that I always forget. When I declutter, I usually jump to it at once, especially when I feel like doing it.

It’s better to take picture of your bathroom first.

I didn’t get a chance to take a picture the first time I decluttered our bathroom. Thankfully, I decluttered it again. That’s when I took a before picture.

So when you’re ready to declutter, take a picture of it first. Then every time you finish your 15-minute decluttering session, take a picture of it.

Seeing your progress every day, no matter how little it is, is enough proof that you can succeed in decluttering!

Perfection is not the goal.

Your bathroom  is a space that is used by actual human beings, not an ad for Target.

It should look great, work properly, and give you a relaxing feeling, but it doesn’t have to be like the sparkling, shimmering, splendid bathroom that you see in ads.

What matters is that it should work well for you and your family’s needs. That is the real goal!


1. Remove the things that you don’t need in there anymore.

Common items that you may find here are:

  • trash
  • old toothbrushes and other dental supplies
  • multiple bottles or boxes of the same type of product (some may be half used already but are not being used anymore)
  • old or expired makeup, perfume, nail polish, hair products, skin care products, cotton balls, and other personal care items
  • hair appliances
  • old magazines and other reading materials
  • stockpiled products
  • first aid supplies
  • medicines
  • towels and wash cloths
  • bath toys
  • toiletries (including those reserved for travelling)
  • too many bathroom cleaning products
  • other things that you do not plan to use anymore

2. Focus on one clutter area at a time.

You don’t have to hurry. Just 15 minutes everyday is enough.

What’s important is that you get to build the habit of decluterring over time, so that it becomes easier each time you do it.

Now here are the clutter areas to focus on when you declutter your bathroom.

  • bath area
  • counter and sink area
  • under the sink
  • cabinets
  • shelves
  • drawers
  • around the toilet
  • medicine cabinet
  • stockpile cabinet

Again, focus on one clutter area only for each decluttering session so that it doesn’t feel overwhelming.

If you can do it for less than an hour, do so. The results feel amazing!

3. Only retain products that you use everyday in your bathroom.

This is why I had to declutter our bathroom the second time around. There were products still taking up space but we don’t use them everyday. Some are for travel and others are stockpile.

True enough, the less stuff you have, the easier it is!

So find a room inside your cabinets for the products that you don’t use everyday, especially stockpile.

Keep the bathroom clutter-free.

Decluttering the bathroom is one thing. Keeping it that way is another.

But organizing gets a lot easier when what remains are only the stuff that you need.

Here are simple ideas you can follow to keep your bathroom free from clutter.

  1. Be selective with what you put on display.
  2. Organize your bathroom cabinets and drawers.
  3. Give room for everything.
  4. Clean up daily
  5. Don’t buy a new item if you do not have a space for it.

It’s time to declutter!

Okay… again, you have two choices on where to start decluttering.

Declutter these 50 things. Or start with the bathroom! Just decide which is the most manageable for you. And with that I created simple checklists to guide you.

50 easy things to declutter FREE printable checklist - Download the Mini Declutter Workbook now!

Quick Declutter Checklist for the Bathroom - Download the Mini Declutter Workbook now!

Get these checklists in the Mini Declutter Workbook. Simply subscribe and download it here for FREE!

Looking for other posts on decluttering? Check these out:

And here are posts that will help you organize the bathroom after decluttering!

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Overwhelmed with the clutter around you? Here are two simple ideas where you can start decluttering so you won't feel overwhelmed anymore!

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