Depression and Tidiness - Is There Any Correlation?


Anxiety and Depression can cripple people. We have all seen in others or felt the effects of depression ourselves. Whether diagnosed or not, it can lead to many undesirable things.

WebMD lists a few of the most common symptoms:

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
  • Attempts or thoughts of suicide


The question that I’ll attempt to answer is if depression, in and of itself, can lead to untidiness in your home and office space.

First of all, messy homes aren’t just off putting for visitors, they can be extremely hazardous to your home and the health of your family-- especially children. If moisture isn’t controlled, mold can set in, which can sometimes manifest itself in allergies and respiratory problems. If you have mold, it is imperative to get it taken care of quickly by using household products or by calling a professional.

Another symptom of having a messy home is the entering and leaving of pests. Nobody likes seeing cockroaches, ants, spiders, beetles, or other bugs. They spread bacteria and diseases from place to place.

But does a dirty home mean you’re depressed? Or is it the other way around? Or do they even belong in the same sentence together?

Midwest Pest Control in Owasso says that as they go into customers homes, they are often surprised at how often the demeanor and mood of the homeowner matches the general condition and cleanliness of the home. This may be simply anecdotal, but they maintain that for their purposes, cleanliness of homes is a large factor in the presence of bugs and rodents in and around homes.

Nourishing Minimalism states that depression can lead to clutter.

“It’s a vicious cycle: anxiety or depression can lead to a cluttery home and a cluttery home can lead to depression and more anxiety, and we tend to do less about the house, which makes it even worse yet.


  1. Overstimulates our system (visual, olfactory, tactile), causing our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren’t necessary or important.
  2. Draws our attention away from what our focus should be on.
  3. Makes it more difficult to relax, both physically and mentally.
  4. Constantly reminds our brains that we still have a huge to-do list.
  5. Causes anxiety because the idea of sorting piles is overwhelming
  6. Creates feelings of guilt and embarrassment, particularly when someone drops by unexpectedly.
  7. Frustrates us by making it hard to find anything we need- keys, bills, checkbook, etc.

The clutter in our home not only makes our homes look bad, it makes us feel bad, as well.”


So we realize that when we’re depressed, we forgo things that we normally would do, such as exercise, eating right, and keeping our house clean. While the correlation isn’t perfect, there are a few things that you can do once you find yourself getting behind in your tidiness.

First off, everything that we do originates in our minds. Our mindset often determines which actions we decide to take. If you are able, try these exercises.

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        There may not be scientific studies on whether anxiety and depression lead to an unkempt home or office, there are plenty of accounts that show that it is very likely. Attempting to cope with these and other challenges in life may be difficult, but with friends and a can-do attitude, you can achieve what you set out to do.