7 Tips for Keeping a Clean House When You Are Depressed

Depression can really do a number on your motivation and energy level. At times, it can be difficult to keep up with day-to-day chores around the house. Yet, too often a messy house only makes us feel worse and it can be very discouraging.

It's amazing how vacuuming the floor, cleaning up the kitchen, and straightening up clutter can improve your mood. Don't believe us? Give some of these simple tricks a try and you just might experience the difference a clean home can make, even if you have been struggling with depression.


Keep up as You Go

The bigger the job, the more daunting the task. However, small tasks that can be done quickly can really add up and help you maintain a clean home. 

  • Rather than let the dishes stack up, try to rinse and put them in the dishwasher right away.
  • Try to get in the habit of sorting your mail and organizing what you need to keep. It's much better than throwing a pile on the kitchen table.
  • Spray down your shower when you're done to prevent mold and mildew buildup and make deep cleaning a whole lot easier.

These are just a few examples, but it's the simplest things that make a difference. By taking care of things immediately, your home will stay clean and clutter free.


Set Manageable Goals

Give yourself a task to accomplish that feels manageable each day. Over the course of a week, it adds up to a cleaner home. 

For instance, you might clean the bathroom on Sunday, then toss in a load of laundry on Monday. Each task may take you thirty minutes, but this can be more productive than setting aside an entire day for cleaning.

Plus, if you're not in the mood to clean, a chore that takes less time is easier to handle than a long and seemingly endless list.


Learn to Work Efficiently

Jobs that can be done faster are more likely to get done when you are tired. Come up with a few tricks to cut the time you spend cleaning.

This could be as simple as taking a top-down approach to sprucing up the living room. Begin by removing clutter, then give furniture a quick dusting before getting out the vacuum. 

It also helps to gather all your supplies from the start. This will erase the need to run to the cleaning closet every five minutes. 


Break Through Procrastination

When we feel bad it's so easy to say, "Oh, I'll just do that tomorrow." Learn techniques to break through the urge to procrastinate. This can save you from having all the little jobs pile up into a big one.

You might begin by writing that daily task on a calendar and designating a certain time each day to take care of it.

Some people find it useful to add fun to a cleaning routine. Go ahead, turn up the music and dance through your chores. No one's watching and time will fly by much faster. 


Nobody Is Perfect

Expecting perfection is setting yourself up for disappointment and stress. Forgive yourself for being human and set reasonable standards that keep you comfortable and sanitary.

You don't need to disinfect the bathroom so you can eat in there, right?

If the laundry gets folded and put away, that's great. Don't stress that the drawer needs to be cleaned out so clothes can be donated. Designate this secondary task for another day. It will get taken care of, but there's no need to overwhelm yourself right now.


Delegate When Possible

It's only logical that the more people you live with, the more work is created. Yet, you're not alone, so that means you have more hands to do the work.

Get everyone to do their part and help you clean the house. Assign weekly or daily chores so the burden doesn't fall on you alone. Some families even designate a cleaning time and everyone gets to work for an hour or two.

Reluctant kids or partner? Have some fun with the housework and create a lottery system. Write down all the chores on slips of paper and have everyone draw from a bowl. One week they might get something easy and another week may be more of a challenge. Who gets to clean the bathroom this week?

When all the work's done, plan a special reward. Ordering the family's favorite pizza or going out for ice cream is great motivation.


It's Okay to Hire a Maid Service

If it's within your budget, hire a maid service. You'll have a clean home and one less thing to worry about.

There are a number of small, local companies available and some people offer the service on their own as a second job. Ask around and see if your friends or family have any recommendations. A weekly cleaning may not be as much as you expect.

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