In my depression post, I mentioned how, during depressive episodes, my life would fall into disarray. My life would get chaotic because I would put everything on my handle later list, especially cleaning. Unfortunately “later” always arrived and my list of todo only grew. I got stuck in a vicious cycle of clutter and depression. The chaos left me feeling frustrated, unhappy with myself, and distracted. In this post, I want to share some simple hacks for cleaning when depressed. I use each of these tips to keep a neat home, and it also helps me feel less overwhelmed.
Depression and Clutter Are Frenemies
Some of my lowest moments all share something in common, mess, and clutter. Although I have an innate desire for organization, when I am at an emotional low, it just requires too much energy. So I adopt the mentality that I can add everything to the handle later list. However, being surrounded by clutter triggered a cycle of feeling overwhelmed by chores and life. This cycle of clutter and depression made my depression worse. I would let laundry piles sit on my bed for days, but then I would get frustrated and kick the collection onto the floor. I would leave books, and paperwork scattered across the floor and then be frustrated searching for that one paper I desperately needed right then and there. I would drop my keys down anywhere, and then frantically search for them when I was already running late. To add to my frustration, I felt like I was always deep cleaning my home. I spent many of my good days cleaning, only for everything to end up back to square one with a few days. Drowning in chores left me feeling drained, I avoided having people over, I was frustrated, and I was unable to concentrate. I learned these five simple tricks, and they have helped me end this vicious cycle of clutter and depression in my life.
Ditch The Clutter, End the Cycle of Clutter and Depression
The best thing I ever did for myself was to end my cycle of clutter and depression. I found quick and easy was to maintain a neat and clean living space, and implemented them. I hope that these tips can also help you! So here are five tips and tricks that I have learned from others and use daily.
5 Easy Hacks
So you have found the energy within to clean-up and ditched the clutter, but it doesn’t stop there! The law of entropy states that everything moves towards a constant state of disorder; your personal space is not exempt. At first, this may feel like a losing battle. I use to always feel like my home would be spic and span for 24 hours. After making ONE meal or picking out ONE outfit, my nice clean home was instantly back to a mess. To spare you a constant headache, I want to share a few tips I have learned and implemented that Have helped me maintain order and my sanity.
1. The 5-Minute Rule
Take 5-minutes to do that task you are putting off right now! Spend 5-minutes washing those dishes right now. Spend 5-minutes folding that laundry right now. Spend 5-minute putting those toys away right now. Yes, it sucks and later feels better than now, but give your future self- a little less work. You don’t have to finish the entire task in that moment, but give it 5-minutes of your time right now and see how it feels.
2. Give everything a home (even junk)
Does it ever feel like you can’t find what you need and like thing are just scattered all over your home? I use to feel the same way. Then I began to give the items in my home a specific spot. Overall it is helpful to have a spot for items of a similar type or function in your home. That shelf was all your baking items are, that basket where all snacks are, that folder with all the important paperwork…etc. Then try to create a specific home for those items you can never seem to find. Have a spot that you place your keys as soon as you enter your home. Have a spot that you consistently put your remotes when not in use. Have a spot for your kitchen sponge. Have a spot for the different types of item in your junk drawer. You got to be like the organizational Oprah “You get a home. You get a home. You get a home.”
3. Spot clean
Pick one area of your home or personal space to clean each day. Instead of hours of cleaning on one day, clean your bathroom Tuesday, kitchen Thursday and living room Saturday. This makes chores less overwhelming and allows you to keep your home in a constant state of order effortlessly.
4. Put it back
When I use to get ready to go out, the aftermath always looked like a clothing storm had ripped through my room. The best thing I ever started doing was putting things back where they belong IMMEDIATELY. Once everything has a home, when it is not in use, put it back in its home IMMEDIATELY. Not feeling like wearing that grey top tonight? Well, don’t leave it on your bed, put it back on the hanger and back in its home. Then you can try out that fuchsia top instead. Done with those spices you used to make dinner? Put the top on it and put it back in its home. Later always seems like the best choice, but a whole lot of laters can quickly add up to an overwhelming mess. Save your future self the burden of instantly feeling defeated and burdened with hours of tidying up.
5. Donate, sell or trash
Do you have a closet filled with clothes, but you wear the same ten outfits? Is your kitchen cluttered with gadgets that you use once or twice? If so sell it, donate it or trash it. The best way for you to easily keep things neat and tidy is to have LESS. Less to clean, less to put away, and less to manage. Make this the year that you start a tradition of doing an annual purge of items that hold bad memories, take up too much space or are hardly ever used. You will find joy in helping someone else or making a profit. Plus, you will have less to manage.
6. Have grace with yourself
Give yourself grace! After reading the book Grace Not Perfection, I was inspired to give myself the grace to be in a state of chaos on my bad days. Here is the catch. Do not beat yourself up about it or be consumed with worry about all that will need to be done. Just give yourself a little grace and tackle it another day.
REMINDER: Just give yourself a little grace, and tackle it another day. Click To Tweet
Are you stuck in an infinite cycle of clutter and depression? If so, it’s time to put an end to the endless cycle of clutter and depression. As always, everyone’s experience with mental illness is different. But I truly believe there is hope for every unique situation. If you suffer from severe mental illness or thoughts of suicide, I want to encourage you to seek help today. Find a local therapist or contact the National Suicide Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 or texting “START” to 741-741.
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