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I have two kids and a messy husband so keeping my house clean is a daily battle. Ideally I would have a perfectly clean and organized home because messes stress me out, but the people I live with have different ideas and I’ve learned I have to let some things go. So here’s a few tips for keeping your house clean when you live with chronic pain.
- Do a little at a time
Sometimes the mess drives me so insane that I go on a huge cleaning kick and spend hours tackling everything that has been bothering me for weeks. It’s like I have this overwhelming irrational urge to clean my baseboards even though no one cares about my baseboards besides me. These cleaning sprees help me to have a clean house for about 2 minutes, but they wipe me out for days. A better tactic is to do a little at a time. For example, when I’m feeling horrible I will set a timer for 10 minutes. I do what I can with that time frame, but after the timer goes off I have to take a rest. On better pain days I go in increments, 10 minutes of cleaning followed by 10 minutes of rest, repeat.
2. Use the right tools
My new favorite thing is my roomba. I used to have to sweep my floor every single day because my kids are neanderthals. Now I just push a button and my roomba does it for me, it’s like magic. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s the best thing I’ve ever purchased.
A roomba is not in everyone’s price point, but there are several other tools that can make things easier. Here’s a few suggestions:
- Try a RoboMop for dusting hard floors
- If bending over is difficult for you consider getting a long handled dustpan
- For easier mopping, try a steam mop.
- For easy cleaning of pans try a food scraper
- To make the bathtub and shower easier to clean try a long handled shower/bath scrubber
3. Decide what rooms are a priority
I don’t have enough energy to keep my entire house clean to my standards so I apply most of my energy to the kitchen and living room. Those are the areas of my house that people see, plus a dirty kitchen just feels gross to me. As much as I would love to have a clean bedroom it rarely happens because it isn’t at the top of my list. The last time I made my bed was probably the year 2000.
4. Delegate as much as possible
This is a tough one for me because I’m the only one in my house that is bothered by filth. I’m pretty sure my husband has never once cleaned a bathroom, he just doesn’t even notice if its dirty. However, my kids are young and impressionable so I’ve made sure to delegate some cleaning duties to them. They are both in charge of cleaning, dusting, and vacuuming their own rooms as well as their bathroom. I have to put up with a lot of whining, but they’re old enough to take care of their own things. Besides teaching them how to responsible for themselves, it’s another task I can cross off on my to do list.
5. Reduce clutter to make cleaning easier and less overwhelming
Clutter can make a room feel dirty and can make cleaning feel overwhelming. It’s significantly easier to dust and vacuum if you don’t have a ton of stuff to move out of the way first. When I have a room that has too much stuff it’s easy for me to feel discouraged about it ever being clean. Getting rid of stuff helps to lesson that overwhelming feeling.
Cleaning when you live with chronic pain is never going to be easy, and you’ll probably never be able to clean as much as you would like. However, hopefully these suggestions will make things a little easier.