How I Got Motivated To Clean When Depressed & Overwhelmed

In a rut? Feel depressed with NO motivation to clean or do anything? Here’s what helped me – and it was such simple cleaning motivation advice that I find myself using often.

Hopefully, it will help you as much as it helped me.

How to get motivated to clean when depressed - cleaning motivation for those depressed and overwhelmed by messy house and clutter

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It’s tricky to find motivation to clean house when you feel depressed and completely UNmotivated to do anything at all.

Heck, even getting out of bed can be a real challenge when you’re feeling this way.

I’ve been there quite a few times AND managed to get myself motivated and back to “normal” with some simple, yet amazing, advice from a trusted friend.

If YOU can’t find a way to get motivated to clean anything in your house, I want to share what I learned…and what helped me through it all the most.

Note: Depression can be very serious – if you need help, please visit www.samhsa.gov or call 1-800-662-HELP (4357)


The Key To Finding Motivation

There is a secret to finding motivation to clean when depressed, sad, or just feeling like garbage. It’s simple…and it really, REALLY helps.

Learning and applying this secret changed everything for me.

A dear friend told me something during one of my really bad times and it really, REALLY helped:

It’s ok to run the dishwasher twice.

Let me explain.

When you think about getting up to clean something, and you’re like me, you automatically feel overwhelmed by ALL you need to do –

and you shut down…

and nothing gets done.

I remember thinking:

“I simply don’t have it in me to stand at the sink and wash ALL those dishes and load them ALL in the dishwasher”

(yes, I have a weird habit of washing my dishes before they go in the dishwasher…lol!)

I said my feelings out loud to my friend one day, and she said…

“Don’t take all that time to wash your dishes BEFORE you put them in the dishWASHER – just put them in there dirty and turn it on”

I immediately said:

“That won’t work! The dishes won’t get clean!”

So she said…

“It’s Ok to run the dishwasher twice.”

Run the dishwasher TWICE!??!

Isn’t that a waste?

Isn’t that LAZY?

She told me it is NOT a waste, nor is it lazy, to do what you can, when you can – and let things HELP you.

If I can’t manage to get motivated to completely fill the dishwasher, it’s ok to load the dishes I can and turn the dishwasher on….

even if that means the dishwasher isn’t totally full.

(gasp!)

If I can’t get motivated to shower, dry my hair, put makeup on etc etc etc…. it’s ok to just stand in the shower and then put clean clothes on.

If I can’t find it in me to STAND in the shower, guess what?

It’s ok to SIT in the shower and just let the water run over me.

If I can’t get motivated to vacuum, it’s ok to just pick up 3 things off the floor and throw them away or put them away.

If I can’t get motivated to clean my room, just get a bedroom cleaning checklist and do ONE thing off the list.

When you feel depressed is NOT the time to make “All or Nothing” rules for yourself.

Do what you can.

ANYTHING is better than nothing.



Stop judging yourself and/or beating yourself up for not having motivation right now.

It’s ok – and it all will be ok.

Treat yourself the same way you would treat a friend who was depressed and lacking motivation.

You wouldn’t berate that friend, would you?

Of course not!

You’d be kind – and supportive – and patient.

Be that friend to yourself.

A clean house is NOT more important that YOUR mental health.

Take care of YOU first.

Cleaning Motivation AFTER Being Depressed

Once you allow yourself the grace to slowly get yourself back together, you hopefully will find the motivation to clean more and more of your house.

This video below has some great tips for cleaning your house after you’ve been depressed:

More Cleaning Tips