Mess Induced Depression (and how I'm dealing with it)

I always thought that "home-making" would be my dream job because I'm domestic and a homebody and I just like making food and decorating things and being organised, ya know?

And then I became a housewife with a toddler.


 Lately I've found myself getting increasingly more stressed/overwhelmed/down in the dumps over little things like the constant never-ending suffocating mess that magically recreates itself day after day after day. (Actually every 10 minutes with a toddler).
When I am sitting in a cluttered room, I actually get a kind of claustrophic feeling like "I can't even walk in a straight line to get out of here."

I clean up after my daughter is in bed, then again in the morning, and again during her nap but holy wow-balls there is always another mess. A childless person might mistakenly think I hadn't had a clean up for a while, but this is right after tidying:

Tidying with a small tornado next to me, that is.
I think the sheer pointlessness of tidying is what got me. What's the point when I live with a toddler sized tornado? The repetition of cleaning and cleaning and cleaning was straight-up depressing.

And then along with that, the self-beration that goes with it. I am ALWAYS thinking "How come no-one else's house looks like this 24/7? What's their secret? Am I more lazy than other mothers? I know I am more lazy than other mothers. I have ONE child. What's wrong with me? Why am I so lazy? Why do I have to have hobbies? My only hobby should be cleaning. Everyone else's only hobby is cleaning.

And then I would immediately feel reeeeeally sleepy.
And mopey.
And lazy.
And sad.
And negative.
And dreading the cycle starting again the next day.
............ i.e: depressed.

I googled it and mess induced depression is common so I can't be the only one?

I knew I had to get some strategies going over the course of a few days I kept note of all the things that I was constantly tidying up. I mean the things that just always end up all over the place for no reason. And then I started thinking about how to tackle those areas. Here's what I've come up with:

1. Ella's toys and books always in piles between the couch (where we read them) and bookshelf
Solution: Hide 80% of toys in the hall cupboard because she never plays with them anyway. Put All the books we read frequently into a basket by the couch. Suddenly the living room was actually tidy all day apart from small things I could easily chuck into a basket.

2. Our books and magazines always getting removed from the ottoman
Still to do: Find, somehow, a spot to build a floating shelf on one of our walls and keep all our books up there out of reach.

3. Shoes. Everywhere all the time.
My husband's shoes are so big they are an actual hazard. We need a system. I just don't know what yet because we enter and exit the house by 3 different doors!

4. Paperwork forever covering the whole dining room table
I have no real fix for this yet (tips?) but I just dumped everything into a laundry hamper to get it off the table and it feels good.

5. My clothes all over the bedroom chair and surrounding floor, always
Um, no fix yet. If my wardrobe door could actually open more than halfway I feel like I would be way more likely to hang clothes up where they belong!! We were quoted 2K to install bifolding doors in the wardrobe (it's a standard double wardrobe size). Does that seem ridiculous to you? I'm sure I could just make one? Or not.

6. Bathroom clutter. Makeup, husband's shaving stuff, contact lenses + bajillion corresponding bottles of stuff
I put all my makeup into the wall cupboard shelf thing that's hidden behind a mirror in true 70's style, so that little hands can't reach it. We still have a whole window-sill of contact lens stuff that's not practical to store in the vanity under the sink because it's used 2xper day. And it doesn't fit in the wall-cupboard thing. And then there's all the sunscreen that doesn't have a home. :(

7. We like to pile things along the top of the stair rail down our hallway when we can't be bothered putting them in a certain room.
I don't know the answer. Own no things? That would work. Give ourselves small electric shocks whenever we place something on the stair rail? That would work better.

Today I swept through our house with that empty laundry hamper and dumped everything that was cluttering any surface into it. And then I hid it in my bedroom and closed the door.  And the house looked sparkly and clean and I still feel amazing 5 hours later.

{I will pay for this later}

I like everything to have a home, to be part of an efficient System, to be either useful or beautiful... blah blah. But mostly I just like feeling like I can walk in a straight line without faceplanting.

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