Your Guide to a Clean Room When Your Mind Feels Messy

On days that take a toll on our mental health, finding the energy to do anything can feel strenuous. Keeping a clean room drops to the bottom of the priority list when balancing your mental health on top of school and work. Sometimes we fall into a destructive cycle of guilt when looking at our messy room. Nevertheless, you can break through this cycle!

Do what you can.

In a society that heavily praises the end result, we tend to put an extreme amount of pressure on finishing. However, the same amount of pressure can be more harmful than helpful in this situation. Don’t aim to clean your entire room in one go. Reward yourself for small accomplishments.

Start small.

Often, willing yourself to get up and starting the day are the hardest steps in cleaning your room. With such reserved energy, try using the one minute rule. If you get up to grab some water, tell yourself that when you come back you’ll clean what you can for one minute. This is especially helpful if your schedule is too full to allot cleaning time. What you accomplish in one minute can surprise you and make a huge difference to your room.

One step at a time.

I’ve found that cleaning my room feels overwhelming when I don’t have a goal. You can overcome this by choosing one thing to do today and another tomorrow. Try to organize your clutter into piles that you can categorize (for example, clothes, mail, electronics, or trash). That way, you can choose which piles you want to sort through first. This reduces the amount of mental energy your mind exerts when organizing.

Set the mood.

On days that you have more energy, make sure to set up an environment that nurtures motivation. Personally, I like to listen to old school RnB to get moving. Your source of motivation may be different. Perhaps you prefer calling your best friend and catching up while folding your clothes. Maybe you need to drink a full cup of coffee to stay focused. Do what works best for you.

Take breaks.

Know that you will finish eventually. Taking breaks is important, especially when you’re feeling under the weather. Make sure to reserve an area for yourself to work on days when you’re not cleaning your room.

Remember that finishing any amount of cleaning while feeling down is an achievement. Some days will feel easier than others and that is okay. You deserve the quality of a clean room but be kind to yourself throughout the process!