What Causes Someone to Not Clean Their House?

Cleaning is an arduous process that not everybody enjoys. For most people, cleaning is akin to a chore that they have to perform over and over every single day. Nonetheless, with an increase in the popularity of Marie Kondo’s way of doing things, more people have come to realize the importance of cleaning your house, which begs the question – what causes someone to not clean their house?


Someone might not clean their house because they’re suffering from a mental or physical condition, preventing them from doing so, they’re too busy to clean their house, or they’re just not sure how to get started doing so. 


There are a multitude of reasons why someone might not clean their house. If you want to learn more about what you can do to start cleaning your house if you’re one of those people who’s not fond of doing so, keep reading. 

Mental Health Problems

People might really want to clean their house, but they could have mental health issues standing in the way of preventing them from doing so. Here are a few mental health conditions and their ties to a lack of cleanliness:


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disorder wherein a person has obsessions and compulsions that they feel the need to repeat over and over again. Those suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder are likely to have significant trouble discarding items. 


This could manifest in the form of hoarding, or desiring to keep something and feeling like something catastrophic will happen if it is thrown away. Alternatively, it could also manifest in fear – fearing that an item is contaminated and hence being unable to pick it up and throw it away. Either scenario significantly contributes to a disorganized, unclean house. 


Depression is a mental disorder when individuals feel depressed and drained of energy. This brand of energy is so extreme that people who are suffering it get overwhelmed by common, everyday tasks like brushing your teeth or getting out of bed. 


As a result of this, cleaning naturally takes a backburner to someone’s tortured emotional state, and the house can dissolve into disarray.  

Lack of Time

Modern life can get really busy. Whether you’re a student or an overworked employee, sometimes cleaning just doesn’t seem as important as that massive pile of work that you have to get done right then and now. And because the work never stops, this can happen again, and again, until “lack of time” doesn’t become true anymore and just becomes an excuse to use to run away from cleaning your house. 


There can sometimes be where you genuinely just do not have time, but these should be isolated, one-off incidents where you pick up the slack as soon as you can. Not having enough time every once in a while should not result in an entirely filthy house. 


If you don’t think that you can do this, it is possible to hire cleaning services for an hour every two or three days to ensure that your house is in proper shape. 

Uncertainty of Task 

So, you’ve put off cleaning your house. Initially, you might have a small mess, but your lack of time might have led to a sizable mess. You don’t know where to begin with tackling this sizable mess, so you don’t. As you leave it for more and more days, the situation deteriorates until you have no idea how to fix what’s in front of your eyes. 


If this sounds familiar, and you have a gargantuan mess that you are inclined to leave alone because you don’t know how to begin tackling it – simply calm yourself, pick a corner, and begin. 


Rome wasn’t built in a day; you don’t need to be cleaning the entirety of your mess in one day – you just need to make sure that it gets done, and as soon as possible. 


Some people are perfectionists. They want their homes to look like a magazine photo, but that’s an impossible standard to set unless you’re cleaning your house the entire day, or you have the entire expensive service staff that is willing to make your house the epitome of cleanliness. 


If you go on a mission yourself to make your house look like that magazine photo, you would likely become discouraged by the immense amount of effort taken for the upkeep, and you could jump to the other end of the spectrum – if you can’t do it right, why bother doing it at all?


This attitude has the potential to turn your house into an unclean, unsanitary place, so you should remember to moderate your standards. Your house doesn’t have to look like the inside of a magazine photo to be clean, and it’s not realistic for you to sing, but this is a task achievable solely by you. 


The classic “I’ll do it tomorrow” might mean you never get it done at all. Laziness will seriously hinder your ability to keep a clean house because the piles of junk will just keep adding up until you have no idea what to do with it. 

Why Should You Be Cleaning Your House?

If you’re one of those people who choose not to clean their house because you think it is pointless, think again. This study shows that a cluttered house actually elevated the levels of cortisol, a hormone responsible for increasing stress levels in the body. Even if you didn’t have the motivation to clean up, simply the sight of a cluttered house would make you more stressed than you were before you saw it. 


This would, in turn, affect your levels of productivity because you would keep getting stressed and distracted by all of the clutter in your house. Ultimately, having a disorganized house is a lose-lose situation. 


If you don’t clean up your house for long enough, an increase in stress levels will be the least of your worries. Other more severe problems that could crop up include:


  • An increase in airborne allergens. When you don’t clean your home, there will be a natural increase in airborne allergens of dust, pollen, and pet dander if you own any pets. These allergens will cause you to have a stuffy nose and sore throat, and if you have asthma, it could trigger an attack. 
  • Mold growth. Not wiping down your house means an increase in mold growth in the pertinent damp, dark areas. This hidden mold growth is not good because it has the symptoms of the common flu – cold, headaches, etc. In addition to this, excessive exposure to mold will also weaken your immune system and increase your vulnerability to certain respiratory diseases like asthma. 

How Do You Ensure Your Home Stays Clean?

The one way to keep your home clean is through habit. Everybody has a different cleaning system that they want to be using, but the fact is that cleaning is mostly due to the force of habit. Set aside a specific time frame every other day to mop the floor or do the dishes, and soon enough, you won’t have to force yourself to do anything anymore – it will come naturally to you like clockwork. 


Other things that you should be doing is cleaning while you’re waiting for something. For example, if you’re making coffee in the morning and waiting for the milk to heat up, you can try putting your laundry in the washing machine then. If you’re watching TV and it’s the advertisement section, try to tidy up your coffee table. 


Lastly, the most important thing you can do is to ensure that you don’t have a giant mess in your house because it shows you’ve broken your habit of being disorganized. 


Cleaning your house might not be fun, but it pays off by resulting in a happier and healthier you. It also has the added side effect of allowing you to invite anyone over at any time.