The Link Between Depression and Bad Housekeeping

Girl cleaning the house with a broomThe link between depression and bad housekeeping

by Amanda Berg

Some people when depressed find cleaning their house difficult.  Hell, even getting out of bed feels like climbing the Grouse Grind in the dark, while it’s raining out.  Organizing your house is on the list of those things that you do not wish to do, along with other items such as going to the dentist for a root canal, or seeing your doctor for a colonoscopy. When you are depressed, it is a struggle.  Doing the dishes isn’t high on the list of priorities when you have yourself to take care of, medications to keep track of and meals to prepare so you don’t starve to death after eating cornflakes and milk twenty three days in a row.

Bed is a safe place when you are depressed.  It’s a retreat, a little shelter from the storm.  And the mess beside your safe place soon gets out of hand and grows magically through no fault of your own.

As you survey the mess, you feel bad about yourself.  You compare your bedroom to ones in home décor magazines.  Even the rooms of your alcoholic bachelor friend with towers of beer cans and empty pizza boxes seem tidier than your place.  Then you get more depressed because everyone’s house is cleaner than yours. And it starts a cycle of depression/ messiness.

You can’t clean because you are depressed and you are too depressed to clean.

Take five minutes put on some music and just clean one surface close to you.  It’s probably a night table or your desk.  Just clear it off, wipe it down then go back to bed.  Be proud that you did something.  It’s a start.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and your house isn’t going to be de-cluttered in one day.

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3 responses to “The Link Between Depression and Bad Housekeeping

  1. I don’t think very many people reading this can afford to live in a house and with so many living in bachelor units or sro’s a lot of us don’t even have a bedroom. That said, it is good advice. Small steps…

  2. I agree with the other commenter. I live in a bachelor apartment and reading about someone bemoaning cleaning their many rooms in a house, and comparing their house to other houses, is alienating.

    I get what you’re trying to say, when depressed I lose motivation too and then small steps are not only useful, they’re all I can manage.

  3. I have not read the article, but I know me. Some people say I am intelligent, capable. That cleaning, purging, organizing, should be easy?! it is not!!!!! they wonder why? I keep some things!? This just makes the efforts harder with depression their expectations. I hope this makes sense!!!!! The clutter (do not use the hoarder word!) It is Christmas Day night, sad for many reasons, & because I have no immediate family…..

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