We’ve all been there – you wake up to a giant pile of clothes looming over your whole existence on a chair in the corner of your room, and you think this evening, after work/uni, I’ll figure that out.
You then walk into your kitchen for a cup of morning coffee and realise all your cups are dirty. The choice is either cleaning at least one cup, or getting coffee someplace on your way to work. The shelves in the corridor are dusty and, as you’re already outside, you realise you forgot to take the trash out.
We’ve all been there, at least once, but many of us are there often, if not most of the time. But how and why does this happen to most humans – especially young adults, who generally struggle with staying organised – and what can be done about it?
It’s the moving out
Let’s be real, up until a certain point in life we have this “support” – or, put more accurately, “nagging” – system behind us, which is our parents.
They won’t let you derail the mess in your room, they won’t let you start a mess in the kitchen, and even if they don’t catch you leaving a plate in the sink and thus force you to wash it, they will then wash it themselves, because they want cleanliness.
That’s something people get incredibly used to, because staying organised when someone keeps you organised is easy; while growing out of old habits – expecting someone to finally bust in and force you to clean – is actually super hard, no matter how ridiculous that sounds.
The best way to figure this one out? Either invite friends over often – the shame will make you clean up – or read up on why cleaning thoroughly is very important. (Dust mites were a very big inspiration for me.)
It’s the lack of personal time
Honestly, when you spend half a day at uni or at work, the prospect of cleaning afterwards, or wasting your only days off on cleaning seems dreadful. You want to go out/go to bed/go watch Netflix/do a multitude of any other possible things instead of staying organised more than you absolutely have to.
I have to say, I do understand. But that can’t go on forever. The “I’ll do it later” mentality only adds to the mess – until you have no clean clothes, no usable dishes, and no space on your bed.
In reality, as soon as you start cleaning up, the whole thing will not take you too long, I promise. The apartment will be clean in three hours tops, and you will still have the time to go to that gig you’ve been looking forward to.
It’s definitely the procrastination
One big issue with procrastinators is their hidden perfectionism. They immediately think that cleaning up must involve a deep clean of the carpet, a proper handwash of every little corner of every room, a wash of all the blankets and pillows, and so on and so forth.
In reality, staying organised and dealing with your apartment being a mess is much less grand and epic than that, and should start from the small things. Simply just sorting out the pile of clothes on that chair will make the entire room look ten times cleaner. Washing the cups will give you more cups to drink coffee out of.
Once you start, it compiles into this feeling of success and wanting to finish up on the deed – seize that feeling.
It could be the depression
Now this is an issue way too complex to be properly covered here, but for people with depression even brushing their teeth might, sometimes, seem like a chore, so staying organised being an issue is a definite expectation.
In cases like this, celebrate small victories. Unloaded that sad, relatable clothes chair I mentioned earlier? That’s huge. Did the laundry? Good job! Washed the dishes? That’s an achievement.
It’s a progress, one step at a time. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back, and please – don’t forget to try to get as much help as you get, be it talking to a friend or going to therapy.