Well done on your cleaning. A while ago, my fridge was the worst thing in my place and I kept avoiding it. I had to do it in 3 stages (on different days), couldn't do it all in one go (even though it's tiny). It was just so disgusting. I got it done in the end. Maybe it would help to split tasks down like that? Just do a quarter of it at first? I totally empathise too. The rest of my place is now a mess but the fridge is good, lol.
Moments in which I ended up smothered in clutter where the ones I got so bad I felt struck by a lightning. The food in particular became a problem because I wasn’t eating, so everything kept rotting in. I have this problem coming back and again. The only solution I managed to apply was to clear everything and I have a tendency to use hard chemicals (familiar with them because of work) which help to clear out without having to rub all the time.
There is something in the total removal of the clutter that works better. I do hoard, and then trash everything away when I have to move, which happens often.
What has worked for me is to buy the complete collection of what makes things easy to clean and tidy up: a good mop, a good broom, an okay vacuum cleaner, good surface agents, loads of trash bags, and practical trash bins. So when you finally start nothing will block you.
I have a problem in remembering the day the trash is taken out though. Or just I couldn’t bring myself to go outside, so I’d leave it there. Once I’d starve I’d go out, but it would never be in the good day or the good timeframe or if it is, I do forget it.
And yes so, so much shame around it. What motivates me is that it feels really good once it’s cleared. But I have to keep it in mind. As a way of reinforcing satisfaction.
What I noticed actually, as I’m a messy artist, is that cluttering a space has been a way for me to own it. So I would accumulate rests of food, cups and things of the sort next to the bed or working areas. Like it says "I’m here, this is alive". And books. And art materials. And not liking to remove it.
But also I lived in places that didn’t belong to me and that I couldn’t really shape to my taste. Took me a while to understand that if I worked in arranging an environment that suits me, then I actually can get pleasure from cleaning. It was like redirecting the circuits of shame in circuits of pleasure, and getting the same sense of ownership by arranging the environment.
That idea came to me when watching Jackson Galaxy’s shows (yeah the cat guy…) in which cat owners make mad adaptations to their cats. He calls that "catification." I started doing that for my kitten not to end up behind a wall, and then told myself, actually it isn’t catification that I have to do, it’s coraxification. That gave me motivation to stop the clutter circus.
I hope this helps. We’re quite a lot to share this problem… Good luck
I have the housework thing back in control but not much else. I changed from a couple times a week to a little everyday and it works better. We just had a surprise visit, someone from our past. She was all religious, and has some Amway like thing she was going on about, but i managed a short visit and knowing the house is clean ? IDK. MLM people oh brother! Cleaning does something for me. I have almost a reverse thing, I'm ashamed the house IS clean. That’s because I'm made to feel I shouldn’t be doing it or I should be doing it AND getting on with life, or being? Someone else.
Im on the other end of the spectrum, maybe OCD. Im sure it comes from my mother being a mess and never letting anyone in the house. In my younger days, I kept it cleaner. Nobody wore shoes in the house and I had a daily routine when my kids went to school. Husband is hoarder. He moved out and it took me a whole summer to clean out the basement. He had things piled up that were boxes of old computer parts and monitors and all kinds of junk. When I got thru it, I found a wall was wet because an outdoor drain was broke. After more than 10 years and kids grown, he moved back in. Its starting again. He has his own room and when his desk is full, he buys another desk. When a shelf is full, buys another. Now with covid he is working from home. I gave him my office. Same thing is happening there. More desks, more bookshelves, more file cabinets., etc. I have been keeping up with the basement though, but he only helped after we had a rat in the basement. He thinks Im a perfectionist. If I cant find something I need, I go to bed. I cant stand it.