Are you unsure about how to get motivated to clean when overwhelmed by mess and disorder of everyday life? Are you paralyzed by the thought of cleaning the stuff piling up around you? Don’t worry. I’m here to tell you that there are 5 simple things you can do right now to clean up the chaos, organize your mess, and improve your life.
Don’t wait for motivation to strike
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your cleaning muse may be asleep. There is no magic motivation fairy that comes down from above to inspire you to get your house in order.
However, there are plenty of things you can do to snap yourself out of your funk and get going. Here are some quick tips to shake things up and inspire the cleaning mood to strike, when you’d rather sit on the couch and watch TV.
Quick tips for getting motivated to clean right now:
1. Go for a walk
“Clutter blindness” is a thing. It can be hard to see the forest through the trees when you’ve been sitting in your own filth for too long.
Sometimes, you just need a fresh perspective on the situation to inspire you to clean up your space. Go for a walk, get some fresh air, and when you come back, you’ll see your space through a new lens.
2. Set a timer
Set a timer for ten, fifteen, twenty, or thirty minutes. Begin cleaning, in earnest. When it goes off, set it again and give yourself a timed five to ten-minute break.
Sit down, relax, and bask in the fruitfulness of your labor but when that timer goes off again, get back to it. Repeat as many times as necessary.
3. Enlist some help
Call a friend, text a trusted family member, or send a smoke signal to your psychic. Find someone to help you, if you’re too overwhelmed to do it alone. Even just having someone give you some encouragement can make all the difference, if they can’t physically be there in person.
Make sure that whichever support person you choose, they’re supportive and not judgmental. If your mom is going to hassle you about your dirty laundry, she might not be the best person for the job.
4. Start small
Pick one surface and clear it. Maybe it’s your kitchen table, maybe it’s your bedroom floor, maybe it’s your sink. Just tackling one small surface can help you quickly see progress, and progress breeds more motivation to handle the rest.
5. Set a specific goal and give yourself a reward when you achieve it
You don’t need to get your whole house fixed up in one day. Give yourself small goals – break down your cleaning tasks into manageable chunks.
Once you check something off your list, give yourself a reward. It can be a tv show, a snack, or ten minutes scrolling through your phone.
But, where to start cleaning my house?
Maybe now the motivation is there, but you’re overwhelmed because you don’t know where to begin. That’s okay! The good news is that it doesn’t really matter where you begin; there are many ways to start so that you can reach your goals.
Try choosing one of these:
- Pick one small area or surface. A kitchen countertop or the laundry mountain on your bedroom floor. Chances are, these are also the areas in desperate need of attention.
- Select a room. It doesn’t matter which room you pick. Kitchens and bathrooms are often the dirtiest, but having a clean bedroom can give you peace of mind where you need it most.
- Choose a specific cleaning task. For example, begin by gathering all the stray dishes from rooms where they don’t belong. Or, grab a trash bag and collect all errant trash.
- Declutter before you organize. Don’t waste time organizing the stuff you don’t want. Get rid of all unwanted items and then organize what’s left.
Less is more
Even when your house is filled to the brim with stuff, or even if every single dish is dirty, small changes have a big impact. Don’t underestimate the positive mental power of a freshly-made bed. Give it a try!
Also, the less stuff you have, the less you have to clean. Follow the “one-in, one-out” rule: every time you buy something new, send something else to the donation bin!
But what if I’m depressed?
If you’re wondering how to get motivated to clean when depressed and overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Many people feel this way. Here is how you can get motivated to clean when depressed.
Tips for how to get motivated to clean when depressed moods strike:
- 1. Follow the tips outlined above to get started quickly.
- 2. Recognize your symptoms. If you feel a depressive episode coming on, ask for extra help. Don’t hesitate to call your doctor or other trusted people in your life.
- 3. Celebrate small wins. Any time you make headway on containing your chaos, celebrate! You’ve earned it!
- 4. Do some yoga, meditate, or take deep cleansing breaths. Get yourself into the right headspace to clean, and you’ll set yourself up for success.
- 5. Start. This is the hardest part, but once you get going, the motivation will flow!
Why clutter makes you depressed?
According to Psychology Today, clutter and disorganization have a big impact on the state of our mental health.
If you’re already depressed, having a messy environment compounds the issue.
Clutter and mess:
- Overload our stimuli with too many sights (or smells!).
- Distract us from the important things in our lives like work, socializing with friends, or hobbies.
- Trigger our brains into thinking that there is constantly more work to be done.
- Cause anxiety, guilt, and embarrassment.
No wonder everyone is overwhelmed! Having a cluttered home makes it impossible to relax or get work done.
Prevention is key
If you maintain a clean space and implement good habits, you won’t have to summon motivation to clean, and you won’t be overwhelmed.
Tips for maintaining a clean home:
- Curb excess shopping. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this thing?” If not, put it back.
- Create a cleaning schedule. You can find these online if you can’t think of one.
- Make sure that every item has a specific place to live once you bring it into the house. Get in the habit of putting things away into their proper places once you’re done using them.
To sum up…
If you’re wondering how to get motivated to clean when overwhelmed by mess, the answer is simple: just begin. Starting is the hardest part.
It might seem daunting at first, but trust me: once you get going, you won’t want to stop!
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