How to Clean a Trashed House: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

No matter how clean my house gets, it’s hard to get too comfortable. Because with 4 little kids, I know that it wouldn’t take much for me to look around and find that my house is a disgusting mess. One tough week and my sparkling clean house can look like it was ransacked by burglars. Burglars who dirtied the laundry, wrote on my walls, raided my fridge and pantry, and left every surface of my home sticky and covered in food. In this guide, we’re going to get you there. You’re going to learn: How to get started even when the mess is overwhelming, Step-by-step guide to clean a messy house in just one day, How to keep your house clean from here on out.

Key Takeaways:

  • Start cleaning a trashed house by tackling the clutter first.
  • Clean the kitchen to make it hygienic and functional.
  • Conquer the piles of dirty laundry to restore order.
  • Organize your documents and manage paper clutter.
  • Plan meals ahead of time for time and sanity.

Where to Start Cleaning a Messy House: Tackling the Clutter

When your house is a disaster, it can be downright paralyzing. It’s like everything is engulfed in flames and you’re there holding a spray bottle wondering where to aim the nozzle. But fear not, we’re here to help you take the first step in reclaiming your space. Let’s start by tackling the clutter.

First things first, put a movie on for your kids, open the windows if the weather permits, and grab a giant trash bag. Now, go room to room through your house throwing away absolutely everything that can be thrown away immediately. This includes obvious trash items, those small toys your kids leave around everywhere, junk mail, and anything else that’s cluttering up your space. Your focus is singular: throw away anything you can without much thought.

Decluttering isn’t just about throwing things away, it’s also about finding a place for everything you want to keep. As you go through each room, designate a spot for items that belong there. Consider using bins, baskets, or shelves to organize the clutter. This will not only make it easier to find things later, but also keep your space neat and tidy.

Decluttering tip: When in doubt, ask yourself if an item brings you joy or serves a purpose. If the answer is no, it’s time to let it go.

Where to Start Cleaning a Messy House: Tackling the Clutter

Living RoomThrow away trash, put toys in designated bins, organize books and magazines
KitchenClear countertops, put away utensils and dishes, wipe down surfaces
BedroomOrganize clothes, put away shoes, declutter nightstands
BathroomThrow away expired products, organize toiletries, clean surfaces

By taking the time to declutter your house, you’re not only creating a more organized living space, but also reducing stress and promoting a sense of calm. So grab that trash bag and get started on your decluttering journey. You’ll be amazed at how refreshing it feels to have a clutter-free home.

Quick Kitchen Cleanup: Making it Hygienic and Functional

The kitchen is often the heart of the home, but it can also become a chaotic mess in no time. When faced with a trashed kitchen, it’s important to focus on two key aspects: hygiene and functionality. By following these simple steps, you can transform your kitchen into a clean and organized space.

Gather Dirty Dishes and Clear Surfaces

The first step in tackling a messy kitchen is to go room-to-room and gather all the dirty dishes from around the house. This includes plates, glasses, utensils, and any other items left unwashed. Consolidate them in one area, such as the sink or dishwasher, to have a clear understanding of the task at hand.

Next, clear off surfaces and countertops as best you can. Remove any clutter, random items, or unnecessary appliances that are taking up valuable space. This will make it easier to clean and disinfect the surfaces later on.

Load the Dishwasher and Wash Hand Dishes

If you have a dishwasher, rinse the dirty dishes and load them into the machine. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper loading and detergent usage. This will save you time and effort compared to handwashing every item.

For hand dishes, fill the sink with warm soapy water and wash them using a sponge or dishcloth. Pay special attention to greasy or heavily soiled items. Once washed, rinse and set them out to dry on a dish rack or towel. This step is optional if you prefer to load all dishes into the dishwasher.

Sweep or Vacuum the Floor

To complete the quick kitchen cleanup, don’t forget about the floor. Use a broom or vacuum cleaner to remove any crumbs, dirt, or debris. Pay attention to corners, under appliances, and high-traffic areas. If necessary, mop the floor with a suitable cleaner to achieve a hygienic finish.

Quick Kitchen Cleanup Checklist:
Gather dirty dishes from around the house
Clear off surfaces and countertops
Load the dishwasher with dirty dishes
Wash hand dishes and set them out to dry
Sweep or vacuum the floor

By following these steps, you can quickly transform your trashed kitchen into a clean and functional space. Remember, maintaining cleanliness and organization is key to preventing further chaos in the heart of your home.

Tackling the Dirty Laundry: Conquering the Piles

When it comes to cleaning a trashed house, tackling the mountain of dirty laundry can feel overwhelming. But fear not, we have a step-by-step plan to help you conquer those piles and restore order to your home.

Gathering the Dirty Laundry

The first step is to go room by room through your house and gather every piece of dirty laundry. Check every corner, every hamper, and every pile to ensure you don’t miss a single item. It may be helpful to have separate piles for different types of laundry, such as whites, colors, and delicates.

Divide and Conquer

Once you have all the dirty laundry collected, it’s time to divide and conquer. Sort the laundry into various piles based on color, fabric type, or any other system that works best for you. This will make it easier when it comes time to wash and dry the clothes.

Start with the First Load

Now that you have your piles sorted, it’s time to start tackling the first load. Throw it in the washing machine, add detergent, and select the appropriate cycle. While the first load is washing, you can move on to other tasks or take a well-deserved break.

Type of LaundryNumber of Items

With each load of laundry, follow the same process of washing, drying, and folding. By tackling the dirty laundry one load at a time, you’ll soon see those piles diminish and a sense of accomplishment wash over you.

Managing the Paper Clutter: Organizing Your Documents

One of the biggest challenges when cleaning a trashed house is dealing with the overwhelming amount of paper clutter. It seems like bills, documents, and random papers can accumulate in every nook and cranny. To regain control over your space, it’s time to tackle the paper clutter head-on and organize your documents effectively.

To begin, gather all the paper clutter from around your house and separate them into two piles: deal with immediately and deal with later. This will help you prioritize and focus on the most urgent tasks first. Take the time to pay any outstanding bills and address any time-sensitive documents in the “deal with immediately” pile. By taking care of these tasks promptly, you’ll clear your plate of any pressing matters.

Next, it’s essential to establish an efficient system for managing your documents going forward. Consider investing in labeled folders or file organizers to keep important papers neatly organized. Categorize your documents based on their purpose or relevance, such as financial records, medical documents, or personal files. This will make it easier for you to locate specific documents when needed.

Additionally, take advantage of digital tools to minimize paper clutter. Scan important documents and save them in secure digital storage, creating a digital archive that’s easily accessible and takes up less physical space. Electronic bills and statements can also help reduce the influx of paper clutter. Remember to back up your digital files regularly to prevent any data loss.

Benefits of Organizing Your Documents:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety by eliminating clutter
  • Improved efficiency in finding important documents
  • Enhanced financial organization and budget management
  • Minimized risk of misplaced or lost documents

By effectively managing the paper clutter in your trashed house, you’ll create a more organized and functional living environment. Adopting a systematic approach to organizing your documents will not only help you regain control over your space but also provide long-term benefits in terms of stress reduction and improved efficiency.

Document CategoryOrganization Method
Bills and Financial RecordsLabeled folders or file organizers
Medical DocumentsSeparate binder or folder for each family member
Personal FilesCategorize by topic or relevance
Important Contracts and AgreementsSecure digital storage and physical copies in a fireproof safe

Meal Planning for Time and Sanity: Getting Your Food Sorted

Meal planning is a game-changer when it comes to managing a trashed house and keeping your sanity intact. By taking the time to plan your meals in advance, you can save time, reduce stress, and ensure that you and your family are well-fed throughout the week.

To get started with meal planning, follow these simple steps:

  1. Figure out dinner for tonight: Take a look at what ingredients you already have in your pantry and refrigerator, and plan a simple and nutritious meal for tonight. This will give you a head start and help you avoid the last-minute scramble for dinner ideas.
  2. Plan out simple meals for the next week: Take a few minutes to brainstorm and decide on the meals you want to have for the next week. Consider your family’s preferences, dietary restrictions, and any leftovers you might have that can be repurposed into new dishes.
  3. Make your grocery list: Based on the meals you’ve planned, create a comprehensive grocery list. Be sure to check your pantry and refrigerator to see if you already have any of the items on the list. This will help you avoid buying unnecessary duplicates.
  4. Block out time for shopping: Set aside dedicated time in the next couple of days to do your grocery shopping. Whether you prefer going to the supermarket or utilizing online grocery delivery or pickup services, make sure to allocate enough time to gather all the ingredients you need.

By following these meal planning steps, you’ll not only save time and reduce stress but also ensure that your trashed house is filled with delicious and nourishing meals. Embrace the power of meal planning and enjoy the benefits it brings to your time and sanity.

Cleaning Room by Room: Tidying Up for a Fresh Start

Now that you’ve made progress in decluttering and tackling the most overwhelming tasks, it’s time to focus on each individual room of your house. The goal here is to get each room picked up and quickly wipe down surfaces, giving your home a fresh and tidy feel.

Start by picking up any items that are out of place and quickly put them away in their designated spots. This simple step can make a significant difference in the overall appearance of each room. Once the surfaces are clear, grab a damp cloth or disinfecting wipe, and wipe down countertops, tables, and other surfaces. This will remove any dust or dirt that may have accumulated.

Work your way through each room, repeating the process of picking up and wiping down surfaces. Don’t forget to pay attention to commonly overlooked areas such as light switches, doorknobs, and baseboards. These small details can make a big impact on the overall cleanliness of your home.

Finally, once everything is picked up and the surfaces are clean, take a moment to appreciate the transformation. Your house will feel so much better after this deep cleaning session. This step sets the stage for maintaining a clean and organized home moving forward.


How do I start cleaning a messy house?

To start cleaning a messy house, begin by tackling the clutter. Open the windows (if weather permits), put on a movie for your kids, and grab a giant trash bag. Go room to room through your house and throw away anything that can be discarded immediately, such as trash, small toys, and junk mail.

How do I clean my kitchen when it’s a mess?

Cleaning a messy kitchen can be overwhelming. Start by gathering dirty dishes from anywhere in the house and throw away anything that is too overwhelming. Rinse and load dishes in the dishwasher, clear surfaces quickly, wipe down surfaces, wash any hand dishes, and sweep or vacuum the floor.

How do I tackle the laundry in a trashed house?

To tackle the laundry in a trashed house, go room to room and gather every piece of dirty laundry. Divide the laundry into various piles and start with the first load. If you have any clean laundry sitting around, fold and put it away or divide it out and stuff it in drawers to deal with later.

How can I manage the paper clutter in my house?

To manage paper clutter in your house, gather all paper clutter, bills, and documents from around your house. Separate them into two piles: deal with immediately and deal with later. Pay any outstanding bills and go through the “deal with immediately” pile to complete any necessary tasks and remove them from your plate.

How can I plan my meals to save time and stay organized?

To plan your meals and save time, figure out dinner for tonight, plan out simple meals for the next week, make a grocery list, and block out time in the next couple of days to do the shopping. Consider grocery delivery or pickup for added convenience.

How do I clean each room in a trashed house?

To clean each room in a trashed house, start by picking up any out-of-place items and quickly put them away. Wipe down surfaces in each room and move on to the next until every room is picked up. Once everything is in its place and the floors are clean, your house will feel much better.

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