If you don’t have time to organize a space from top to bottom, start with the express version: remove only the clutter that is visible to the eye. The space will feel more organized, motivating you to tackle the rest of it in the near future.
Webster’s defines clutter as “a confused multitude of things.” Look around the space you’re decluttering and take note of any items that are “confused” about where they belong—i.e., have no point being there—making any part of the space unusable. Examples are piles of schoolwork on the kitchen counter, shoes strewn about, stacks of old magazines, etc. Remember, just focus on the visible clutter for now.
Now start sorting. Make one pile or box for items that have a home somewhere in the house; and plan to put them away later, so you don’t get distracted now. Throw away unusable items and separate out any items you can donate. Finally, if you want to keep an item, but don’t know where it will live, put it in a “Needs a Home” area—preferably in another room—to work into future organizing plans.
Now at least you have a slightly cleaner area in which to work—and you’re one step closer to getting organized. What’s more, statistics show that removing clutter in your life will reduce the amount of housework you do by 40%! You think you're bad? Check out this "messterpiece" documentary from a self-proclaimed clutter master!