Last time we talked about the cycle of depression in the home. It’s a scary place for me to be because I know how easy it is for me to sink even further into depression and not want to help myself get out of it. For that reason, today I’m sharing why it’s so important to break free of the cycle of depression in your home. I want to tell you a list of ways I’m using to break free of depression in my home and maybe give you some ideas, too!
I mentioned that I plan to have a garage sale this weekend. I talked to my good friend Donna the other day and told her I wanted to get rid of some of the junk that’s just been depressing me around the apartment. She told me she planned on holding a garage sale and asked if I wanted in.
Heck, yes, I do!
The problem I’ve found with this much stuff is I become very stagnant. I feel stuck and surrounded. It creates a claustrophobic feeling that starts to suffocate me.
I desperately want to change that, but I don’t always know how to get started. This garage sale motivates me to at least do a cursory overview of my home to see what I can do to make a change, however. I also started a Pinterest board on becoming a minimalist as well as one on organization that I added quite a few Pins to.
And then there’s the book.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it or not, but I love books. I have two overstuffed bookshelves in my living room that I simply adore. Looking at my small library brings me joy, even if I don’t love the extra stuff littered on the shelves. (And, yes, the clutter reaches even my beloved books.)
I recently bought Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I wanted it as soon as I heard about it but had to wait to purchase it. Now it’s in my greedy little fingers, and it’s my bedtime reading. (Sounds awesome, right? Reading about cleaning before bed?) Already I learned my entire approach to cleaning is nothing even remotely resembling this Japanese woman’s. She seems entirely alien to me with her discussions on things bringing you joy and not adding storage but discarding excess.
Seriously, who doesn’t want more storage options? That’s like 90% of my desire to own my own home. Well, no, not really, but it would be nice.
I live in a 1,000 square foot, 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom, second floor apartment. We strongly dislike it at this point, but it is what it is. Unfortunately we’ve accumulated enough stuff to make our home less comfy and more cluttered. My desire is to get rid of a number of items to free up some space so it feels more comfortable for us.
My other desire is to really attack my own depression by tidying up. I allow my space to grow extremely disorganized when I’m depressed. It looks like complete apathy, and it is. I stopped cleaning properly and started allowing everything to simply pile up.
For several weeks I rarely even washed my own laundry. Instead I washed towels and Emmeric’s laundry, and Daniel washed his own. I only washed my laundry when I got tired of wearing clothes with stains on them or for special occasions.
Depression seriously makes me stop functioning sometimes, and this is one of those times. Since laundry is a rather normal and regular task, you can probably imagine how bad my apartment has gotten if I wasn’t even washing my own clothes.
So now that I’ve shared the nitty gritty, ugly part of my home life, let me tell you some ways to get out of the funk of a depressed home. I am definitely trying some of these for myself now and planning to perhaps incorporate a few more later on as I continue to tidy up.
Ways to Get Out of the Depressed Home Funk
Pick a decluttering method and use it!
I plan to use a modified version of Marie Kondo’s method for my own home. She recommends decluttering by category (clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous, etc.) and taking your time to decide what items bring you joy. There are literally dozens of other methods out there, so if the KonMari way sounds too hard, try something else!
Get rid of your junk.
I can’t let junk sit around here too long or else it becomes like a barnacle. When I leave boxes of stuff in the apartment that need to be taken out, I eventually stop noticing them. I step around them automatically and let them become extra surface area for clothes, mail, and odds and ends. If you do this, you should join me in choosing one or more ways to get rid of your stuff once you’ve decluttered.
- Hold a garage sale. Gee, this one is pretty familiar, huh? But truthfully, you can make some extra money at a garage sale, even if it’s not much. And you’d probably be surprised what people will buy. As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
- Sell it on a sales site or app. I’ve heard of dozens of places you can sell your things online. Some of these are local sales pages, like Craigslist, where you can arrange a face to face meeting with a buyer and save on shipping. Others are places like Ebay where you pay the price for shipping but can potentially make more money.
- Sell your books to a used bookstore. If you have a local used bookstore, this can be a great way to get rid of old books. As a reader, I hate parting with books in my library, but I’ve learned that sometimes I need to let go of books I’ll never read again. The great thing about my local used bookstore is receiving credit for the books I sell. Daniel and I have made over $200 in credit at one time selling books, and sometimes these stores take other things like DVDs, video games, CDs, and audio books!
- Donate your excess to charity. I have done several purges over the years, and I really like the simplicity of donating to charity. Goodwill is one of the most common places to donate items you no longer use. I take my excess stuff to a local ministry here that uses the proceeds from their local secondhand stores to feed the homeless in Knoxville. I love being able to benefit other people in this way.
Organize your space.
This seems self-explanatory, but I know I struggle in this area big time. I’m a big fan of simply tossing my purse on the floor, taking my shoes off wherever, and leaving a jacket on the couch. Everything should have a place in your house where it lives. I hope to find some good ideas on creating a home that encourages me to put things back where they go daily.
Create a chore list.
Having everything in its place is great, but making your home feel and look clean really brings it all together. My dream is to have one of those bright, shiny homes you see in the style magazines where throws drape elegantly on chairs, pillows invite you to lounge on the couch, and the coffee table showcases only a few small pieces of décor. The things I notice are those little touches, but what really shines is how the house stays clean. I see dozens of Pins on Pinterest about creating a daily or weekly chore list and designating tasks to different days of the week. Eventually I’d like to start one of my own because I think taking time daily to do something to care for my home would really make a difference in how I feel about where I live.
Make it yours.
I follow several people on Instagram who showcase these gorgeous places in their homes. Like the style magazines, I get a little jealous of the simple beauty in these places. I think one big thing that helps with depression is having your own safe place, but for women especially, we want our safe spaces, our homes, to reflect our own style. Once you master finding a place for everything, keeping things tidy, and regularly cleaning, it’s a great time to incorporate your own style into the home. Adding things before this point just adds to the clutter and what you need to constantly clean. This is where I think it gets fun because you can choose what things you love and artfully display them in your home. I think I look forward to this more than anything else…mainly because to me, it’s the last step.
Once I complete this mega-list of tasks, I think my home won’t reflect the depression quite as much. I can already say that pulling out my piles of clothes, shoes, accessories, and other miscellaneous items for this garage sale has lifted my spirits. Continuing to declutter will likely do the same.
And, let’s be honest…I really just want to see if I can make some money this weekend. It’s all about the money, honey.
Have you ever experienced the funk of a depressed home? What did you do? Share with me in the comments! If you liked this post, please click the share buttons below to share it with your friends. And, of course, feel free to let me know what you thought!