What are reasons for someone not to clean their home?
One reason or a combination of reasons can keep someone from cleaning their home. Over time, this can make their home so dirty that it’s a health hazard. Here are some of the factors that keep someone from cleaning.
Age, illness, and injuries can keep someone from cleaning. The physical activity of reaching, stretching, and bending, all necessary for cleaning, can be too much for them. Cleaning can be exhausting or too painful for some people.
Mental health issues/mental illness
Mental conditions such as depression can leave some unable to clean and perform other activities of daily life. Dirty clothes and dishes can stack up, leaving them feeling increasingly hopeless. A symptom of many mental disorders is not being able to perform basic self-care and hygiene practices.
Everyone has clutter that accumulates on countertops and coffee tables. Hoarding is when that clutter takes over a home. Shopping addictions can also lead to compulsive hoarding disorder, leaving a home dirty because too many things are in the space. Hoarders can have so much inside their homes that it’s difficult to walk around, much less clean.
Physical health problems
Serious illnesses can leave someone too sick to clean. Those fighting cancer or dealing with cardiovascular conditions can be too exhausted to clean their homes properly.
Emotional stress or relationship problems
Relationship problems may make home an unpleasant place to be. Working late may feel like a better option than being at home, making cleaning less likely. Emotional stress from disagreements leaves little energy for cleaning.
Not enough time/poor time management
There are only 24 hours in a day. A demanding work schedule or caring for family members might not leave enough time for cleaning a home well. Not knowing where to start in cleaning a house or feeling like the time available isn’t enough can result in someone not cleaning at all. Sources of house cleaning information can help.
Poor family member support/disagreements
Ideally, everyone in a home helps in cleaning, so no one has an overwhelming amount of work to do. However, some couples don’t share the work, leaving one spouse cleaning while the other is watching television. In other families, one or both parents clean while the children don’t pick up after themselves.
This can lead to arguments and family disagreements.
What happens if you never clean your house?
All these reasons contribute to someone not cleaning their home. Missing a weekend of house cleaning once in a while isn’t a crisis, but if someone never cleans their house, it can become hazardous to health and even uninhabitable.
Here are some of the conditions that can ensue from never cleaning.
1. Mites, bugs, and rodent problems
Dirty dishes and clutter can attract bugs and rodents, and beds and soft surfaces that aren’t cleaned can be a home for dust mites. A house that’s never cleaned can become home to a growing population of dust mites, bugs, rats, and mice.
2. Mold or mildew growth
In damp areas such as bathrooms, mold and mildew can grow if left uncleaned. Mold can be hazardous when spores are inhaled.
3. Dust and pet dander problems (allergies or asthma)
Dust from dead skin cells accumulates, as will pet dander. If floors are not swept, and furniture and light fixtures are not dusted, the dust and dander will aggravate allergies and asthma.
4. Bad odors
No matter how many air fresheners you spray, a filthy home will still have foul odors. Mold and mildew, rodents, food that’s dried on dishes or spoiled inside the refrigerator, and trash that hasn’t been taken out – all can leave a dirty home smelling awful.
5. Discoloration of interior walls, surfaces, and carpet
Spills, pet accidents, and dirt that isn’t cleaned up will leave interior walls, surfaces, and carpet stained and discolored.
6. Bad impression to others
Someone who never cleans their home will probably not have anyone over. When friends are invited to a filthy house, they’ll leave shocked at the mess. Sometimes even children and grandchildren won’t visit their loved ones if they live in a filthy home.
What is considered a filthy home?
Some have higher standards of cleanliness than others, but everyone would agree that a home with bad odors, dust, and dirt everywhere, cobwebs on the walls, infestations of bugs and rodents, and sticky floors is filthy. A clean house is not going to have such visible signs of neglect.
How can I help someone living in filth?
Those living in filthy homes may carry a sense of shame with them, so helping them is not easy. They may hide their home’s condition or not accept help.
An aging parent or grandparent may not want to admit that they cannot keep up with house cleaning anymore and might fear a loss of independence. Hoarders may not want to part with the possessions that are keeping their home filthy.
Dealing with the situation properly
Keeping communication lines open, not judging them, and helping but not taking charge are ways you can help someone whose home has become filthy. For a decision to stick, the choice to part with clutter and clean their house must be made by the person you are trying to help.
Keeping a home clean can feel impossible to them. Once their home is clean, help them maintain their clean home by showing them strategies for cleaning and decluttering that are quick and easy. You might help them find a cleaning service to help if they’re physically unable to clean.
If you know someone who is struggling to cope with their messy house, take immediate steps to help them get their home back into a healthy state.
What are the consequences of hoarding?
A filthy home isn’t the only result of hoarding disorder. Hoarding can also lead to damaged relationships and distance between family members, health hazards, risk of fire and falls, feeling overwhelmed and helpless, and having home condemned .
The end result can be broken or strained family & friend relationships, economic hardship, and even homelessness. It’s not something the average person is ready to handle so consulting with a therapist or psychologist is the best way to deal with it.