Depression has tripled over the course of the pandemic, and it can hurt people’s ability to be as high-functioning as they want to be. It can also decrease motivation and energy, which makes cleaning your house more difficult and anxiety-filled — but at the same time, living in a messy house can make you feel worse. It’s a tough and emotionally exhausting cycle that can feel impossible.
If you’ve been there, know you’re not alone. It’s a struggle I continue to work on, and I’m not always successful. However, over time, I’ve learned some cleaning hacks that make organizing and straightening up easier. For five less stressful ways to keep your home looking nice when you’re feeling down, read ahead.
Turn Up Some Energetic Music or an Interesting Podcast
For me, just about anything is more doable when you add in some fun music or an engaging podcast. Research backs up the musical side, suggesting music builds task endurance, improves your mood, and more. So, before you start cleaning, create an empowering, pumped up playlist, and blast it while you clean to make the process less, well, awful.
Clean a Little at a Time, Realizing Your House Doesn’t Need to Look Perfect
Feeling like you have to clean your entire house perfectly and all at once can feel overwhelming. If you feel this way, remind yourself that cleaning a little is better than not cleaning at all! You can focus on a certain room, task, or amount of time you feel able to manage, or alternate cleaning with a fun activity. And before you know it, your house will probably look better than you could’ve imagined.
Assign a Certain Room to a Certain Day
Something I’ve tried and found helpful is cleaning a room a day. For example, I’ll clean the living room on Monday, the bathroom on Tuesday, et cetera, usually also leaving a day at the end of the week to tidy up a little in each room. This is a way to break up a large chore into smaller chores, and it also helps you have at least one clean room you can spend time in when you feel overwhelmed by the mess.
Take a Few Moments to Meditate and Relax Before Cleaning
Sometimes, the moment right before I start cleaning is the hardest. I haven’t gotten myself into a good groove yet, and I’m feeling anxious about all I have to do. In those moments, taking a few minutes to breathe or even meditate first can be calming. Meditation has a variety of benefits, from helping you manage stress, increasing self-awareness, increasing tolerance, and more. If you’re not quite sure how to meditate, YouTube has some helpful guided meditation videos, or you can check out meditation apps.
Place More Organizational and Cleaning Products Around Your House
In my experience, accessibility and containers are key. Some examples of what this can look like include cute trash cans in each room or containers for organizing your belongings, from DVDs to puzzles. While the room may look more “full” with these items, everything is put in a place and not just sitting out and about.
While keeping your home neat and tidy can be a burdensome and stress-inducing task, it’s not impossible. Tips like these have helped me tremendously at times, and hopefully they help you too. Regardless, remember it’s totally okay and normal to not be organized 100 percent of the time, and no one is perfect!