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Have you ever walked into a house only to see spider webs on the walls, floors looking like they have not been cleaned for days, and things scattered all around? You don’t have to be a neat freak to keep your home tidy. It’s just a basic part of living, isn’t it?
And yet, there are many home owners who struggle with this simple chore. That may make you wonder what causes people to avoid cleaning their homes. Well, there can be a number of reasons, and sometimes be associated with the person’s present mental and psychological wellbeing.
To start with, no one intentionally likes to live in an untidy environment and have people think wrong of them. Whether or not you are a messy person, you may still fall behind on keeping the things around you tidy and organized. It could be simply due to a lack of time, too much work pressure, personal commitments, or something deeper than that.
We can’t ignore the fact that every person has their own way of keeping their house clean. What is unclean or messy for you may not necessarily be the same for another person. There are certain exceptions, for example where some people prefer spending time among the clutter of artwork and other such things.
Therefore, it’s hard to categorize cleanliness and messiness in different parameters. Messiness has long been considered a character flaw, but modern life takes a big toll on a person’s mental health, rendering them unable to keep their life and environment organized.
To answer the above question, I did some research to come up with an extensive list of possible reasons to explain what may make someone leave their house untidy. Before exploring these findings, here are a few things that explain why cleaning your home is important.
Consequences of Not Cleaning Your House
1. Dust and dander
Not cleaning your house for days can lead to the accumulation of dust and dander that expose you to dust mites and other microorganisms that can result in a number of health problems.
2. Mites, bugs, and rodents
An untidy house can also become a habitat for pests, invisible mites, and rodents such as rats and mice that may be carrying disease and harmful bacteria.
3. Mold spores
An untidy house can also become a breeding ground for black mold spores that appear on walls and fabric.
4. Bacteria in the bathroom
Not cleaning the bathroom can lead to excessive moisture that in turn create a breeding ground for bacteria and germs.
5. Uninvited guests in bed
If you don’t clean your bed too often then it may become a cradle for uninvited guests like mites and bacteria.
6. Bad mood
Besides the many visible and invisible guests that may be attracted, an untidy house can also lead to depression, low mood, and make you start to neglect your social life.
Common Reasons For Someone to Not Clean Their House
Now, let’s get to some of the common reasons why someone would neglect the most basic duty of cleaning the house and how that may impact on the person.
1. Mental health or psychological problems
A messy home or room may be the result of a number of different factors. You are probably too busy with life, with little time to clean your house and keep things organized. It could also be a sign that you have too much stuff, possibly more than you really need.
You may have small kids in the house who create havoc and are not really motivated to do any cleaning themselves. If you have a habit of keeping your room messy, then it may be a reflection of your mental health, and at times may even be linked to a psychiatric condition.
Many individuals who suffer from mental illnesses have a habit of collecting things and keeping them in a rather unorganized way. A cluttered house may appear to be a normal problem, but in extreme cases it may become hoarding.
Hoarding is a severe psychological condition that can be linked with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Very often, a dirty and messy house is considered to be an early stage of this condition.
People often reach a stage when they feel like they are trying to stay organized but the stuff in their house is just too much to fit in. They may start feeling a sense of restlessness and uneasiness about tidying up the house again and again.
If you feel like you are approaching a point of no return, then we would suggest that you get rid of some of your unwanted stuff. By decluttering your house, you will not only create space for the important things in your home to stay organized, but your mind will also feel free and less cluttered.
Tips to declutter your house
Decluttering your house is easier said than done, so we would suggest that you avoid overwhelming yourself with it. Set out a fixed time for this job every day and start by cleaning one room at a time. Here are some tips that can help you get rid of the clutter efficiently:
- Create a checklist of items that you have collected over the years and divide them into what you really need and what you don’t
- Think of ways to give away, sell, or donate the things that you do not need anymore.
- You can set up a backyard sale and sell the things that you think may be of value.
- Donate old clothes, toys, and other items to charity organizations
- You can even list the discarded items online for sale; one person’s trash may be another’s treasure, as they say.
- Let go of your emotional attachments with things and just get rid of anything you won’t use again.
- View your home as a first-time visitor and think of how you can create more space and declutter
- Invest in some organizers that can help you keep the things in the proper place.
2. Lack Of Time
The second most common reason for not cleaning the house is a simple lack of time. Sometimes people are so occupied with their personal or professional lives that they don’t have the time to keep up with cleaning the house on a daily basis.
This can result in an untidy and disorganized house. If this sounds like you, then it’s high time that you ask your family to contribute to keeping the house clean. You may distribute the tasks and ask each member of the family to make sure that the area of the house assigned to him/her stays clean.
If there aren’t many people in your family to help you, then consider hiring a house maid or cleaner to perform the regular cleaning duties. If necessary, you may even hire a professional cleaning service provider to keep the house clean.
3. A Feeling of Confusion
Yes, many people suffer from feelings of confusion or even fear when they think about cleaning and therefore keep postponing it until the house looks like a mad clutter. So, if your house is full of dirt and grime that feels almost out of control, then here’s a solution for you.
No matter how much the condition worsens, remember that there’s always a solution for everything. If it feels like a disaster beyond your control, then close your eyes and take a deep breath. Begin with any corner of the house as your starting point, preferably the least dirty one.
Now, continue cleaning the room in a clockwise rotation, cleaning each and every space. Stay focused on the job at hand and take a few short breaks in between to keep yourself energized. To stay motivated, you may also treat yourself after you clean each room.
4. Other Things That Demand Your Time and Attention
Another very common reason why people fail to clean their house is that they may have other higher priorities, such that cleaning the house becomes insignificant in comparison. For example, you may get so busy with things like exams or meetings that tidying the house stands last on the list of things to do.
It happens to everybody. When your usual daily routine is disrupted due to something out of your control, it can become hard to keep your house tidy as you did before. This could be due to an unexpected guest in the house, a family member in the hospital, or a newborn in the family, for example.
In such a situation, you should consider asking someone else to help you. Don’t be scared or ashamed to ask for help. You are not a machine or superhuman being and you don’t have to do everything yourself. Try to accept this fact and don’t feel that you are incompetent in any way.
5. Setting Unrealistic Standards
Ask yourself a question: have you set unrealistic standards regarding the cleanliness of your home? If so, try to figure out your reasoning for this. Do you want your home to always look like it’s straight out of a magazine shoot? Or do you expect it to be prim and proper like a hotel room?
If you have kids and/or pets in the family, then these expectations are sadly unlikely to be met. Holding on to unrealistic standards is only going to bring you more disappointment. So, don’t let such high expectations weigh too heavily on you. Identify your basic standards and limitations, and be happy with them.
6. Systems Break Down
Do you wake up every morning looking for things and not finding them in their place? Do you keep missing the deadline for your bills? Is your inbox always overflowing? If you face the same troubles repeatedly, then this is a clear indication that the existing system in the house is not working as it should.
You need to examine the current system in the house and work on improving it. You probably need to be more careful and organized than you currently are. Small things like maintaining a small tray or box for storing stationary or bills can simplify your life quite substantially.
7. Non-Supportive Family Members
Sometimes you may love your family so unconditionally that they start taking you for granted and you reach a point where you are left to do all of the household chores. Don’t feel guilty to ask your family members to share the household work responsibilities.
Remember that a house becomes a home only when everyone living in it does their part. So, talk to each family member to establish how he or she can help. Any form of help can be useful to ease your burden. It can make a mammoth task appear much smaller.
Have a compromising mentality towards your family members so that everyone can express themselves. You can even fix job rotations in which one family member does the dishes for one week, and then the job goes to someone else the next week. Think of what is realistic and doable by all members of your household.
8. Physical Health Problems or Disabilities
Health conditions that may limit your mobility and ability to work for long hours are another important cause for someone being unable to keep the house clean. People suffering from an underlying disease or other health condition may not be able to perform such physically exerting tasks.
Besides health conditions and mobility issues, poor vision is also a common reason why people may not be able to keep their houses in order. If you are constantly feeling unwell or find it hard to perform any task that involves a lot of movement, we would suggest that you request help from others you know or hire help from a professional service provider.
Can an unclean house lead to mental illness?
Living in a home surrounded by clutter and dirt can be detrimental to your mental health. It can cause a bad mood and even lead to depression in the long run.
How can you tell that your house needs cleaning?
If you see fingerprints all over the mirrors, spider webs on the walls, and dust and dirt everywhere, then it’s a clear sign that you have neglected your house cleaning for a while. Not cleaning for days can also lead to a bad odor coming from the kitchen and bathroom.