This is one of those posts that I feel a little embarrassed to have to write. I will be the first to admit that I’m not the best at keeping my house clean day after day. I’m very good at ‘tidying up’ and just moving things back to where they go, but when it comes to actual cleaning it is a lot harder for me. Basically, my house is usually not messy, but it can be a little dirty. However, I tend to do a pretty good job of it even with my severe depression. I’ve got a few tips for you guys on how to keep your house clean with depression – this would also be very applicable to chronic illness or even just being really tired!
1. Go in stages
I know how daunting of a task it can sound to have to ‘clean your whole house’ all in one task. I like to break it up into tiny tasks that I can do over the course of the day or even a few days, with lots of breaks in between. For example, cleaning the house can be turned into ‘unload the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, vacuum downstairs, vacuum upstairs, clean the mirrors, clean the toilets’ or something else like that. If you have to go even smaller that’s okay too!
2. Admit defeat if you have to
Some days, you just aren’t going to get as much done as you set out to do. That can be with anything, not just cleaning. Kind of an anti-tip to keeping your house clean with depression is to accept defeat if you have to. Sometimes, you aren’t going to get all the toilets cleaned, or the house vacuumed. But it’s important to remember that you still have tomorrow to clean up if you want, and if it gets too bad you might be able to hire a cleaning service depending on your financial situation. I am considering hiring someone to clean up maybe once every month or two so that I can get a really deep clean on the house.
3. Do as much as you can, not as much as you are ‘supposed to’
If all you have the spoons to do is pour cleaner in the toilet bowl and come back ten minutes later to flush, that’s fine! It’s better than doing nothing at all. And even if you can’t do anything at all, maybe you just need a day to recharge before you can go back to keeping everything clean. I know how tough it can be to see everyone else cleaning their house much ‘better’, but try to be kind with yourself – you are doing the best you can.
4. Delegate if you can!
If you don’t live alone, it is definitely advantageous to delegate some of your cleaning tasks. My fiancé doesn’t hate vacuuming nearly as much as I do, so I usually have him vacuum everything except the cat room, which is my responsibility to take care of. (By the way, if you’re looking for a vacuum, I have a Shark!) With that, the house still stays clean, but I don’t have to do everything by myself. This also can go back to hiring someone if you have to. Even if it’s not a professional cleaning service, you might be able to hire a neighborhood teenager to vacuum or clean your bathrooms or something like that.
5. Try to make it a little more fun
I always watch TV while I clean, since the majority of my house is within listening distance of the living room or bedroom TVs. It makes me feel less like all I’m doing is cleaning, and more like I’m getting some exercise, watching TV, and also cleaning. That way I’m not focusing on the cleaning alone!
Do you guys have any tips on cleaning your house with depression, chronic illness, or anything else ‘spoonie’ related?