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Forums / Anxiety / Anxiety about keeping the house clean and tidy

Topic: Anxiety about keeping the house clean and tidy

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. lilycat
    lilycat avatar
    1 posts
    25 January 2016

    Hi there,
    Just wanted to see if anyone has had experience with how I'm feeling, and what they've done to work through it.
    I've suffered from depression and anxiety almost my whole life, yet officially diagnosed a few years. Over the last few years, I've noticed a severe increase in needing to keep my home clean and tidy. 

    I'm not an OCD cleaner and it's not about the germ factor, it's more just a need to have things looking and smelling nice and clean. I can't deal with clutter, and whilst I clean the house daily (not obsessively, just enough to look good), I sometimes get in to these anxiety panics with the state of my house and need to drop everything and deep clean. 

    I've found a nice routine with this in my own home, however my husband and I have recently moved in with my sister and her partner as our house is being renovated. My sister isn't a dirty person by any means, she's just not as clean and tidy as the standards I'm used to. I do my best to clean my areas and the living areas so it stays nice, but it's never up to my level unless I were to spend 2 hours a day deep cleaning - and I just can't do that with work and regular life.

    I'm also pregnant with our first child and I know that when baby comes along things will have to change too - things won't stay as perfect as I like, however I feel that once I'm in my own home I will be able to cope.

    Any advice to get through the next few weeks sharing a house and managing this anxiety? Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

  2. Simona
    Simona avatar
    1043 posts
    25 January 2016 in reply to lilycat

    Hello Lilycat  : )

    I was in a very similar situation when I was pregnant with my middle child.   It's not easy I know.  I wouldn't say I'm down-right neurotic but like yourself; I have my standards and I rather enjoy 'keeping house' so to speak.

    Well we were living with my partner's parents and oh boy it was very suffocating.  I would see his mum vacuuming and I would notice all the bits she didn't see and I would be squirming inside.   And  would wait until she was out with the washing and be on my hands and knees picking up bits of fluff and stuff.   Because I didn't want her to feel bad.

    Plus I had to wait until everyone was out before I could attack the lounge suite because I vacuum under the cushions because that's where all the bicky crumbs and hair go.     Anyway his mum and dad would see me roaming around the house with the dust cloth and said "Well there you go; she's nesting".

    AAARGH!!   I have always been like that.  I just hate dust/bits of dried grass and different coloured fluff that doesn't match the carpet/rug.     My advice to you is just try not to over do it.  Because it's kind of futile.  That I know from experience.  Because no sooner had I wiped the dining table there'd be someone's sweaty/dusty cap on it and I didn't think I had the right to say anything because well....I was a GUEST.   Focus more on your yourself and your living quarters.  Those you can control.  

    Your situation though challenging is only temporary.   Think of your beautiful new home once it's finished  : )


  3. thehiss
    thehiss avatar
    16 posts
    25 January 2016

    Hi lilycat

    I know what you're going through. I've been dealing with this for about 4 years, I cannot stand clutter around the house and I drive my folks crazy trying to keep the place clean and tidy. If I go out while the house is untidy I feel like just turning around and going back to clean it and will not go out until I'm happy with it.

    Unfortunately I'm still struggling with this today and have no idea how to control these urges, it is nice knowing that there is someone out there that is feeling the same way as I am. I was beginning to think I was losing it.

  4. blondguy
    Life Member
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    blondguy avatar
    11369 posts
    26 January 2016 in reply to lilycat

    Hi Lilycat, you are not on your own and thehiss hit the nail on the head....The urgency or (urges) to keep the place really nice is not only with you...I am very much the same and especially when someone comes over or even stays and I get pretty particular as well about the standards I set in my home. Its really very wish to maintain certain standards in your home and well done too! I cant stand clutter...ugh!

    You are also pregnant with your first child Lilycat.....besides are preparing your own nest and well done. I think you are doing the very best you can in your circumstances and the time will fly bye very quickly until you have your own place....Until then ....enjoy the time bonding with your soon to be newborn!

    All the very best and dont change a thing Lilycat

    Kind Thoughts

    Paul (Woof!)

  5. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    16241 posts
    26 January 2016 in reply to lilycat
    dear Lilycat, hello and welcome.
    I am rather interested in saying that you don't have OCD, because this can come in many forms and perfectionism is
    definitely a trait of having OCD, and I'm not talking about the worry of germs, but could you google this and have
    a read of it, 'ocd and perfectionism'.
    People with OCD have to have most things kept in a neat order, such as cans in the cupboard, shoes in a row and
    nothing out of line.
    There is no disregard for people having this illness, well I've had it for 56 years, and I treat myself only as
    a person who has an illness, and certainly don't regard myself as being odd or strange, everybody has something wrong
    with them, so please never feel as though you want to keep the house clean all of the time as being odd, it's no
    different to someone who doesn't want a blade of grass to show otherwise they have to mow the lawn once again. Geoff.

    2 people found this helpful
  6. Ccbbk
    Ccbbk avatar
    3 posts
    24 August 2017 in reply to geoff
    thank you for this comment
  7. SydneyGuy80
    SydneyGuy80 avatar
    2 posts
    29 January 2018 in reply to Simona
    I’m a guy. I don’t have kids and separated. But same with everyone, I always have this urge to keep my place clean. Every thing in order and sometimes even when everything is organised I would look and start organising my closet, room, vacuum everyday though it’s not even messsy. I have history of depression back when I’m still living with my partner. But that part doesn’t bother me at all. Am I just OCD? And yea i don’t go out nor want to shower and stay in bed the whole day when I’m feeling down. Not sure if there’s something I can do bout it..
  8. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    geoff avatar
    16241 posts
    31 January 2018 in reply to SydneyGuy80
    hello SydneyGuy, thanks for posting and very sorry for your separation.

    From what you have said it seems as though you may have OCD, but a doctor would have to give you the diagnosis, as I'm not qualified, but after having this illness for 58 years that's what I would be telling my brother.

    To not want to shower can also be included but with anxiety comes depression as these two are linked, so this maybe is where depression has also started to affect you.

    I would suggest going to see your doctor and talking with them telling them everything you have said to us, and remember that this illness can be very common so your doctor will take this on board, and may prescribe medication, which I do take.

    Please get back to us. Geoff.
  9. Rah33
    Rah33 avatar
    9 posts
    21 January 2019 in reply to lilycat

    Lilycat I can relate to you

    i have depression and anxiety and a messy house/car/yard drives me insane.

    im the only one in my house who cares about keeping things clean and I get so frustrated that while I’m cleaning I just ball my eyes out with frustration and hate for having to clean everything myself. My partner will only clean if asked and I also hate that too. I hate having to be the ring leader in the house who seeks out what needs doing and have to ask for help.I want to swap and be the person who just leaves everything forever until someone else does it. I actually left an empty toilet roll on the ground for as long as I could to see if someone would pick it up and what I expected happened I ended up picking it up a week later. I clean with bleach until my fingers bleed and I feel like I will pass out from fumes with tears pouring down my face.

    anyway I don’t really have advice because I don’t know how to fix this but just thought I’d share my experience with anxiety/depression and cleaning

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