Too Sick to Clean? 17 Tips to Make Cleaning Easier.

After a very sudden and tumultuous family situation, good old Fibro decided I needed a flare, too. I try to focus on being grateful that my body allows me to deal with emergent situations and that if need be, I can actually get through them. Inevitably, however, once through such issues, Fibro always knocks me down.

Sitting on the couch day in and day out is only made worse when you have to constantly see the piles of fur on the floor, the dishes in the sink or the laundry piled sky high. As for actually cleaning, forget it. The problem with just letting it all go, is that as soon as I’m back on my feet again, there’s a myriad of chores to do, taking up all my time and energy. While looking at the mess stinks, having the constant thought of knowing you need to deal with it once better is equally as bad.

So, I’ve come up with some ways to make it easier to keep a clean house, even when you’re feeling awful.

  1. Get rid of it!! If you haven’t seen Marie Kondo, she was behind our gargantuan task of throwing everything away. While the families on her show tackle the whole house in a week, that’s simply impossible for me. Instead, we chose a room a week and did it that way. This accomplished a few things: having less clutter means having less to clean or move around in order to clean. Eliminating things you don’t truly appreciate, means there’s more room to appreciate what you keep. When going through absolutely everything in the house, you find things you loved and haven’t seen for years. It was truly horrifying ALL that we had. We filled two dumpsters, gave away countless items and also donated to charity. Lastly, once you’ve seen ALL that you’re getting rid of, it’s a little frightening-you spent all that money on things you’re now paying to throw away. It makes it a little easier to say no to something cute at Target.
  2. Use baskets. I now have baskets galore! Baskets eliminate the look of clutter and help keep the things you need in the right places. I use baskets for my medication by my bed side, dog toys and supplies, beauty items that I use frequently and one on the stairs for things to go up.
  3. Prioritize. If there’s a ton of fur on the floor, I focus on vacuuming. If the dust is an inch thick, I dust. If you can’t do much, focus on the one thing that needs your attention most and do that.
  4. Do some things every day. Now this can’t apply on those days that you simply can’t move, however, my everyday list truly helps contain the mess from swallowing the whole house. Each day I do things like the dishes, one load of laundry, sweeping up the kitty litter and poop scooping. It may take me all day to get through my daily list, but I have found that doing some things daily make it much easier to keep the house tidier. (ps I poop scoop daily because they sleep with me-gross!)
  5. Brush your animals. This is a more recent discovery of mine, but I purchased a generic “furminator” and brush everyone every day. There is still fur, but now there are no longer one foot tumble weeds of fur blowing around my house.
  6. Invest in a Dyson. Dysons are expensive, I totally admit, BUT worth every penny. I bought ours with our tax returns. Vacuuming used to be the death of me. It took way too much effort, strength and time to vacuum my whole house. Now, I could never, ever be without my Dyson. It’s light, easy to use and the newer models’ battery allows me to vac the whole house without dying. I can now vacuum the whole house in about 20 minutes.
  7. Use a duvet cover. If you’re like me, you get crazy hot flashes. Trying to launder a huge comforter is a huge pain. It typically means a trip to a laundry mat or an expensive dry cleaning bill. Instead, I cover my comforter in a duvet, which I can easily take off and wash at home. I recently upgraded to covering my comforter with a quilt, under the same premise.
  8. Sticking to the subject of hot flashes: More often than not, I wake up soaked. Not only does this stink, but it means I need to change my sheets way more often than once a week. Instead, I lay towels over the sheet and pillowcase where I sleep. Then I don’t need to change the bed so often.
  9. Back to the baskets again. Keep a basket on the stairs. During the day put anything that needs to go upstairs in the basket and then make one trip up when you’re going up. This makes it easier to combat the clutter and easier to bring it all upstairs. I also use the stair basket when I go food shopping-to bring toiletries up.
  10. Dust with an Essential Oil spray. I use a blend of Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca) and Lemon, diluted with water. This enables the dust to stick better to the duster, while also making your house smell great! Bonus, both lemon and melaleuca have antibacterial and antiviral properties!
  11. I use a towel to dry my hair. If I’m not ready to pass out after a shower, I use my wet hair towel to quickly wipe down the mirrors and sink in the bathroom.
  12. Eliminate things that need additional care. While I love plants, they’re one more thing to take care of. So when they recently got Spider Mites, they got tossed and this time, I won’t be replacing them. That’s one less thing to do!
  13. Some people say they tackle one room at a time. So really, it comes down to whatever you prefer. For me, I instead do one chore a day. So, while I mentioned there are things I do every day, for the things like dusting, mopping or changing the sheets, I instead do one chore a day. Instead of spending an entire day cleaning and using up all of my reserves, I find that doing one thing a day makes me feel less overwhelmed.
  14. Here is my worst suggestion and I hate it, but: ask for help. Studies have shown that kids develop better when they have responsibility. For us, we explained to the kids that everyone lives here, which means everybody needs to keep up on it. We used to assign each kid one chore a week, which had to be done by the end of the week. Now that the kids are gone, it’s just my Husband and I. So if I’m really struggling, he helps.
  15. Run it. I always hated running the dishwasher when it was only half full or throwing laundry in when it’s a really small load. Well, I’ve stopped. Now I run the dishwasher every night and the washer too. This way, nothing gets backed up.
  16. Use a Swiffer Wet Jet. I’m Sicilian, as are my friends. Sicilians always scrub the floors on hands and knees. As my BFF says, I feel like a Wet Jet won’t get them as clean. I agree. BUT……you know what really won’t get them clean? Is waiting to be able to scrub the floors on my knees. So instead, I relented and started using a Wet Jet. It takes much less effort to do that.
  17. Last, but not least: keep cleaning supplies handy. I keep my Dyson attachments right next to the Dyson and bathroom cleaning supplies in each bathroom. This eliminates the back and forth of either forgetting or locating supplies and saves some energy.

Keep in mind, as you read this, that my tips and hacks only apply when you’re well enough to clean. I spent close to two years on the couch, unable to do anything when I first got sick. At that time, Bri took care of the kids, cleaned the house, kept up with our massive yard and worked over time to keep us afloat. Now that I’m better, I can help again. And that’s how all of this works. Do your best, when and as you can and let the rest go.

I hope you find some of my tips helpful. Got any of your own? I’ll be happy to include them in a follow up post!! Love, Stace

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Fighting with Fibro and Living With Purpose. Mom, Wife, Blogger and animal lover. Fighting with Chronic Illness on a minute by minute basis; sometimes winning.

13 thoughts on “Too Sick to Clean? 17 Tips to Make Cleaning Easier.

  1. Great ideas. Yes we struggle to do basics. I needed to be on the couch today but needed food more and a shower. Thoughts were going around my head how am i going to get to the supermarket let alone shop and so on. Well i did it bought groceries in stuff to fridge etc. Made a hot drink a long rest, shower, rest, groceries away. Back on my couch. Hints always great for us on how to’s. Thanks

    1. Thanks for reading. I’m glad you found the article helpful. Food shopping and all the effort it entails makes me crazy! I totally agree. It shouldn’t be that showers zap all our energy for the day, but that’s just how it is. I’m so happy you commented. Thank You! <3 Stace

  2. I’m sorry there have been issues at home. You could do without the extra stress, but sometimes it’s unavoidable and you’re right, fibro is always there to kick your butt twice as hard at the worst time. Are things okay with the family situation now..? I really hope everything’s okay.

    You’ve given some brilliant suggestions! I think no1 is something I can struggle with; I love a declutter, but far too often I end up moving things from one place to another hiding location because, well, ‘just in case’ it ever comes in handy! I’ll have to Google the Wet Jet, see if there’s something similar available in the UK. With no6, rather than Dyson, I invested in a Shark vac (both are crazy expensive but crazy good) and it was the best purchase I’d made in a while, got it as a ‘household Christmas present’ last year.

    Sending hugs,
    Caz xxxx

    1. Thanks so much for asking, Caz!! I really appreciate that! Yes. Things are much better now. My Aunt is finally settled, safe and content in Assisted Living and after two months, we’ve finally got everything unpacked and arranged. It’s really tough because she’s over an hour away-so getting there is a whole process. Anyhow, she’s safe and MUCH improved now and for that, I’m grateful ❤️️
      How are you doing? I know you were struggling with a new diagnosis…..
      As for the post, right?!? Isn’t the Shark (Dyson) an absolute life saver? It has changed everything in terms of my being able to vac!! And with two dogs and a Persian, things can get pretty fuzzy!!!
      It took us a year and a half, two monster sized dumpsters and then donating I can’t even tell you how much! It’s funny because at first we were like “oh, I may need that”. As we progressed, we were like throw everything away! It was a really liberating thing to do. And showed us a great deal about not needing things. Now I go to Target and think to myself oh-how cute!! And then I think, wait, do I absolutely love this? If not, I put it back! It’s SO nice now to not have the clutter to constantly contend with!! But oh boy wasn’t it ever a process!!! Love the Wet Jet too. I can’t use a traditional mop. So again, it’s changing my whole mindset from it’s not “that” Clean to “well it’s cleaner than if I don’t do it”.
      Oh what our brains torture us with!!

  3. Ya just figure it out right? There is no such thing as “pushing through it”. Especially when “pushing” will disable you for the coming week (or longer). These are great management strategies no matter the life circumstance. Hope you find some “good” time mixed in with the “responsibility” parts.

    1. Thanks so much, Mark. Yes, spoken by someone who “gets it”. Yes, we just have to figure things out and what works one day may not work the next. So it really comes down to doing the best we can with a crap shoot and trying not to get too strangled in the process.

  4. I feel so guilty that my house is not so clean and not as neat as I wish it could be……like it used to be some 20 + years ago. Thanks for all the pointers. Also I am exhausred after my showers I was interested to knowing it was
    Not my imagination. Feeling positive!

    1. Awwww, Wendy, I’m SO glad you’re feeling positive and that you found my posts helpful!! It’s so hard to live with all sorts of things (like the shower) and never know why any of it happens. It makes me feel like a hypochondriac!!! Be kind to yourself and know you do the best you can with your house!!! You aren’t the only one who feels that way for sure!!! I struggle the same way! Sending love xoxo

  5. I was looking for this. I have ulcerative colitis and I’m suffering from the flare up from hell. My energy level is pretty low right now. Thank you for this.

    1. You’re most welcome Linda!! Sorry for the delayed response, I was on vacation.
      It’s so challenging to clean when we feel good, but it’s horribly impossible when we flare.
      I’m so sorry to hear how much you’re struggling. Flares are the worst!! I’m sending you strength and healing hugs ❤️

      While I’m not necessarily one to self promote, I get a lot of great feedback on this post about flares, I hope you like it:

      Take care.

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