14 Ways To Get Motivated To Clean When Depressed & Overwhelmed


Cleaning Motivation – How To Get Motivated To Clean When Depressed.

Feeling depressed with NO motivation to clean? Been there, done that! Here are 14 ways to get motivated to clean when depressed, overwhelmed and totally UNmotivated to do anything at all.
cleaning motivation

Updated on August 21, 2023

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How To Get Motivated To Clean When Depressed

Cleaning is so hard when feeling depressed – and it’s extra hard to get motivated to clean when you feel this way.

And that is OK.

Losing your motivation to do housework or clean your room is common – trust me, you are not alone!

Now is not the time to feel ashamed, beat yourself up about it or try and FORCE yourself to clean.

Instead, let’s DO something about it.

It’s time to take your house back!

✅ Cleaning Motivation Tips

If you’re trying to figure out how to motivate yourself to clean when depressed and UNmotivated, here are 14 tips and tricks to get motivated to clean your messy house or messy room when you’re overwhelmed, feel like garbage or in an over-all “blah” rut.

1. Change Your Momentum

Depression and a messy cluttered house go hand in hand – but there are cleaning motivation tips and tricks that really help you get motivated to clean when you’re depressed.

Right now, you’re in a rut.

The only way OUT of a “rut” is to change your momentum – and that can be really challenging when there is SO much to get done.

The first step is… just pick something up – anything – and put it away (or THROW it away).

Instead of walking around it or over it – or ignoring that item, DO something with it.

I’m not saying to overwhelm yourself and declutter EVERYTHING, I’m saying to clean up ONE thing to hopefully motivate you to clean up your other things.

2. Skip The Guilt

When your house or room is an overwhelming mess, it is natural to feel guilty about it.

Sad, but true.

Isn’t it odd how kind we are to OTHERS who are struggling, but we don’t extend that kindness to ourselves?

Guilt is holding you back and keeping you trapped in this cycle – let it go.

Did you know…

There are some people who feel guilty when they throw things away?

Learn more about Decluttering Guilt

3. Fake It

If you feel like garbage and can’t figure out a single way to get motivated to clean, don’t force yourself…

FAKE it.

You might think there’s something wrong with you because you just never have any cleaning motivation, but guess what?

There is NOTHING wrong with you!

There are very few people who jump up and can’t wait to clean.

If the motivation isn’t coming to you – learn how to fake a clean house.

(note: I am talking about those times when you feel blue and unmotivated (ie, NOT medical issues) – if you’re suffering from clinical depression, or not sure, please reach out for help)

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✅ See More Clever DIY Ideas

4. Try This Mind Hack

When we’re overwhelmed and unmotivated, our brains seem to stay stuck there.

It all feels so overwhelming and un-doable – and we freeze up and do nothing.

Why not “hack” your brain to help you find the cleaning motivation you need AND feel good about any little thing you DO accomplish?

How can you hack your brain into the thinking pattern you need to get, and stay, motivated to clean things up?

It might seem silly, but it works!

5. Schedule It

Instead of frustrating yourself with feeling like you have to clean your house in one day, why not schedule your cleaning chores out so you have a plan of action?

Cleaning schedules and checklists are SUPER helpful with both cleaning motivation AND actually getting things done without feeling crazy overwhelmed all the time.

6. Make It Profitable

One of the biggest motivators is…


What if you motivated yourself to clean and declutter your messy house by making money doing it?

That actually sounds FUN doesn’t it?

Learn how to get cash for your clutter.

7. Game-ify It

If cleaning was actually fun, EVERYBODY would be motivated to do it, right?

There are tips and tricks to make cleaning fun so you actually enjoy it – try them!

(note: if even doing something fun isn’t motivating to you right now, look into talking to someone – please.)

8. Phone a Friend

If your house is a mess and it’s all too overwhelming to handle on your own – don’t beat yourself up, let someone build you up.

I know how embarrassing it feels when you can’t get rid of clutter and it’s all closing in – the last thing you want is for anyone else to SEE it.

Reality is, having someone you trust come in and help get you started is all you’ll need to get motivated to do more on your own.

And again I ask, if someone YOU love called YOU for help – how would YOU handle it?

You would never shame them, right?

So stop shaming yourself.

9. Check it Off

If you’re trying out how to get motivated to clean your room, break it down into simple tasks and then check them off.

These bedroom cleaning checklists really help.

Oh, and they’re FREE =)

10. Limit Cleaning Time

When you’re depressed is NOT the time to try and clean everything all in one go.

For true motivation, LIMIT the time you’re allowed to clean.

Try this simple 10 minute decluttering challenge – it is kind of weird, but it really works because you’re only allowed to clean for 10 minutes.

You can do anything for 10 minutes, right?

11. Gross Goes First

When trying to figure out WHAT to clean FIRST – start with the gross stuff.

If all you can manage to clean is the gross stuff, you WILL feel a lot better about the rest of the stuff.

Gross dirty dishes in the sink – start there.

Food out on the counters? Get rid of it.

These kitchen cleaning hacks can help.

12. Run Away

This is going to sound like the WEIRDEST cleaning motivation tip you’ve ever heard, but it works for me every, single time.

I run away from home.

No, not permanently, but for one night.

When things feel totally out of control in my own house and my depression is making it impossible to get motivated to do anything about it – I get away from it.

The hubby and I will take a one night getaway at a local hotel and it does wonders for me.

First, getting AWAY from what’s magnifying my depression really helps.

But spending the night in a totally neat and clean hotel room really motivates me to clean my own house when we get home.

Oh, and it’s totally fine to run away by yourself (in fact, that can be even more helpful).

Can’t afford to stay at a nice hotel?

See if you can stay at a friend’s or a relative’s house who seems to always have a neat and clean house that you’d like to have.

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13. Keep It Simple

Take a good look at the day to day things going on in your house that add to your clutter and mess… then, think of ways to simplify those things to where they are no longer such clutter creator.

Here’s some tips to simplify your life:

14. Trash It – The RIGHT Way

There really isn’t a wrong way to clean – if it’s clean, it really doesn’t matter HOW it got clean, right?

But some decluttering strategies can be serious DE-motivators.

For example, the bags vs boxes debate.

Did you know you should NEVER uses boxes when cleaning and decluttering?

Here’s Why:

More Help

Here is more help to get motivated to clean when depressed.

Again, if you have depression, please get help. Your mental health is more important than cleaning.

How To Get Motivated To Clean When Depressed - Why is cleaning SO hard when depressed? Here's how to motivate yourself to clean your messy house or clean your room when feeling depressed, overwhelmed or with no energy to clean