It’s a vicious cycle. The messier your house is, the more depressed you feel. And the more depressed you feel, the less likely you are to want to clean up. But there are some things you can do to make tidying up a little easier, even when you’re feeling down.

Set small goals

Rather than trying to clean the entire house in one day, why not focus on one room at a time? Or, if that feels like too much, break it down even further and focus on one task per day. If there are too many dishes to wash, just do a couple of them. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Cut corners

Do you really need to dust every nook and cranny? Probably not. In fact, doing a little bit each day may be a better solution than trying to do it all at once. The same goes for vacuuming, mopping, etc. Just do the bare minimum and call it good if you need.

Run the washing machine or dishwasher even if they’re not full. This may seem like a waste of resources, but now isn’t the time to be perfect. Don’t wait until it’s full because chances are, by the time that happens, you’ll have too many dirty dishes or clothes to add to it and you’ll just be overwhelmed again.

Get some help if you can

If you’re really struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s hiring a professional cleaner or asking a friend or family member to lend a hand, there’s no shame in getting some assistance. I don’t know who decided that its lazy to hire a cleaner, but that’s a load of crap. If you can afford it, and it helps you keep your space clean, do it. The cleaner you are employing will certainly appreciate it.

Set timers

Maybe you want to allow yourself 30 minutes to get a room cleaned or maybe you’re only willing to blast at a task for five. Either way, setting a timer can help motivate you to get moving until the buzzer goes off. Cleaning can be a lot easier if you know there’s an end point.

You need a cleaning routine:

Just like with anything else in life, when it comes to cleaning the house, having a routine is key. Making decisions when you’re depressed can be impossible so don’t. Have a set plan so when you’re in the middle of a depressive episode, you can just look at your routine and know what needs to be done. Click here to check out our free cleaning routine printable.

These are just a few tips to help you clean house when you’re struggling with depression. Just remember to be gentle with yourself and take things one step at a time.