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We all get overwhelmed once in a while, but how often are you able to keep your home clean when you’re overwhelmed? Probably not a lot. Studies have shown that having a cleaner home can help improve your mental health. But sometimes overwhelm happens whether we want it to or not.
So how can you clean your home even when you’re overwhelmed?
1 | Start Small
No matter what state you are in, your home will most likely not get cleaned in one fell swoop. So, it’s important to take it one step at a time.
- Hot Spots
If you can keep these from piling up, keeping your home clean will start to be much easier. Not only are these common hot spots in every household, but with the build up of these areas, you will commonly see other problems; such as rodents, bugs, etc. By keeping these areas clean you are preventing future problems from occuring.
2 | Hack Your Home
As someone who lives with ADHD, I’ve started to “hack my home” to make keeping my home clean easier. Some examples I’ve done are:
1 | Put more small garbage cans around
Having more garbage cans around means that there is a better chance the garbage will go into a bin versus laying out in the open.
It will be more work when it’s time to take out the garbage but if you use bags in your bins it should be fairly easy still.
2 | Keep your laundry together
While having multiple garbage cans will help your family pick up, I find the opposite is true with laundry.
For me, I’ve found that I keep one laundry hamper in the bathroom and I make sure to change in the bathroom. This means that all of the clothes are in one spot and come laundry day I am not finding clothes strewn everywhere.
The other effect that comes from having one laundry hamper means you have to fold your clothes right out of the dryer and put them away. If you don’t do this then you have nowhere to put your dirty clothes and they will pile up.
3 | Pick up as you go
We all make messes throughout the day, but it’s when we let those messes pile that we have issues. So if you’re watching TV and eating a snack, take the wrapper to the garbage when you’re done. Clean up your dishes when you finish a meal. This will keep your house tidier and it will seem to require less effort.
4 | Everything needs a home
Every item in your home needs its own space. So if you have things that “live” on the dining room table, it’s time to find them a home or get rid of them.
3 | Take Care of Future You
Whenever I’m tired and just want to go to bed after a long day’s work, I always stop and ask myself what can I do for future me? Usually, it’s something like taking a shower at night instead of relying on myself to get up on time in the morning.
For you, it may look like making freezer meals ahead of time for times of overwhelm. Maybe it’s spending 30 minutes cleaning now so you can relax later.
Whenever we say “I can do it later” we are doing ourselves a disservice. Take care of future you just as you would anyone else in your family. Show her compassion, consideration, and kindness.
4 | Close Your House Each Night
If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, then you know that every night after everyone is gone, the night shift will close the restaurant by cleaning for the next day. This ensures that the morning shift is ready to go when serving people and there will be no setbacks or delays. It’s also just hygienic not to leave trash or food out overnight.
So every night, before you go to bed, try and close out your house. Finish the dishes, put away the laundry, tidy up those hot spots and pull out dinner for the next night if you need to.
Not only does this make it easier for future (aka tired) you, but it also gives you a sense of accomplishment for the day. This ensures that you will have at least a little bit less on your plate when you go to sleep each night.
5 | When in Doubt, Ask for Help
Once you’ve tackled the basics and started with those small steps; if you find yourself with so much more to do, it is not bad to ask for help.
I think one of the favorite things that my sister, mom and I do is called “body doubling”. It’s a strange term, but it’s actually a tactic that people with ADHD (like myself) use.
This is usually a person who you do not care if they see your mess, but all they do is come over and watch you do whatever you need to. They don’t even have to help.
For me this creates a sense of accountability, but it also motivates me so other people won’t see my house in such a state. It also gives me time not only to clean but to catch up with my family when I otherwise wouldn’t.
This tactic may not be for everyone, or you may not have someone who can do that for you, but I have found it one of my most successful tools in big cleaning projects.
What are some of the ways you keep your home clean when you’re overwhelmed?
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