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Ok so I rly fucking need to clean my house. Do any other People With Depression™ have any tips or ways you motivate urself to clean? Because this feels like the hardest goddamn thing in the world even tho I know it’s not and I’m just continually frustrated with myself and have been for the past two weeks.


in no particular order (because I have depression and executive dysfunction):

1. If something sensory about cleaning bothers you, eliminate that before you start. For example, I wear gloves to do the dishes. If the sound of the vacuum bothers you, wear headphones and turn up the music. etc.

2. If you can, make a list of everything that needs to be done. Then acknowledge that you probably can’t do it all, and circle all the things that absolutely, no matter what, have to be done. Pick one (ONE! ONLY ONE! START WITH ONE!) of those things and break it down into smaller steps. Then even smaller steps. Seriously, if step one is “stand up” and step two is “walk to closet” and step 3 is “get mop”, that’s fine. It can be that small.

3. Take a break. “But I literally only started five minutes ago!” Don’t care. If you want a break, take a break. “At this point I’ve spent more time on breaks than I’ve spent on cleaning.” Ok, but you’ve spent more than zero time on cleaning, so you’ve accomplished more than you had at the beginning. “If I take a break it won’t get done!” If you burn out it won’t get done either. Take a break.

4. If nothing is working, try what I call bin cleaning/box cleaning. Take a big trash bag and a box. Pick up the first object you see. Step 1: Is it trash? Put it in the trash bag. Step 2: Will you use it in the next 2 days? No? Put it in the box. It’s a problem for Future You. If you’ll use it in the next 2 days, take time to put it away. Rinse and repeat.

5. Did you get distracted and forget what you were doing? Don’t worry about it. Just clean a thing. It doesn’t matter if it’s the thing you were cleaning before. You have to clean lots of things, so just pick a thing and clean it. Eventually you’ll get around to the thing you forgot.

6. If you have to do a thing you really hate, do a thing you like afterwards. I hate doing dishes, but folding laundry soothes me, so that’s a nice one to do afterwards. YMMV. If there are no cleaning things you like that you can do afterwards, see number 3.

7. Make it fun. Play loud music and dance while you’re cleaning. Wear something that makes you feel cute, or if you prefer, something comfy. Light your favorite candle. Whatever.

8. If it’s nice out, open a window. Seriously, it helps.

This is seriously so helpful, thank you.

A. Sometimes I do a reverse list. 

I set a goal of finishing 10 things in a day for instance.  Then I make a list with numbers 1-10 with blank spaces after them.


Then I can fill that in with whatever I accomplish during the day, big or little.  

That way there’s not a huge list of TO DO’S looming over me and I can pick whatever I want to put in those slots as the motivation or energy hits me. At the end of the day I still feel like I’ve accomplished something.

B. Other times I set a timer for 5-10 minutes and rush around cleaning up as much stuff as I can in that five minutes and then as soon as the alarm sounds i get a break for an hour or so. Then do it again later in the day (or the next day if I’m really low).  It’s amazing how much you can get done in just those 5-10 minutes though. 

C. Another thing to try is to tell yourself that you only have to pick up 5-10 items and put them back where they go.  This is good on days when you are really depressed and can barely move. If you’re feeling catatonic and have been camping out in bed or on the couch, pick 10 things that are close or are in your field of vision. It’ll make the place feel less oppressive and may lighten your mood a bit.