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15 'Hacks' to Make Cleaning Easier When You're Struggling With Depression


When you live with depression, often everyday tasks like doing laundry or washing dishes can feel at best, difficult, at worst, exhausting. When you’re struggling to get out of bed and fighting the ruminating thoughts characteristic of depression, cleaning may be the last thing on your mind.

If this sounds like you, know you aren’t alone. 

We wanted to know what tips and tricks people with depression use to get their cleaning done, so we asked our mental health community to share some of their “hacks” for making cleaning easier when they are struggling with depression.

Here’s what they had to say:

1.I give myself a number of items to put away each time I get up instead of looking at it all as a whole. ‘Each time I get up, I’ll put away five things.’ It makes cleaning less overwhelming.” — Mandi D.

2. “I watch the morning news or some sort of show I like (Nat Geo Wild, Smithsonian, etc.) and on commercials, I push myself to do as much as I can before the commercials end. I put all my energy in the getting up off the couch part. Once I’m up, it’s easier to get into the beat-the-clock attitude, but it’s still very challenging when not moving at all seems to be the most appealing.” — Danikka S.

3. “Call for backup. Something can look extremely overwhelming if you’re staring at it alone. Call friends or family to come over and help — or just talk and keep you company while you clean. It’s hard to ask, but 100 percent worth it once your place is clean. You will feel like you can breathe again and don’t have another thing hanging over your head, bringing you down.” — Allison L.

4. “I set a timer. The length will depend on my motivation level, so sometimes I start with just five minutes. I work on one task until the timer goes off. If I need a break, I allow myself to take a break. Then [I] pick a different task and set the timer again. I always start small and sometimes it takes a few days to finish a whole task. But if I make myself do at least one thing every day, it helps me push through my negative thinking and gives me energy to move forward.” — Celeste H.

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15 'Hacks' to Make Cleaning Easier When You're Struggling With Depression