Going slow and steady, you’ll get more things done than if you are zipping from task to task. Seriously, who can zip at all anymore? Fibro and CFS alone have made any kind of pep in my step more like a plop. Working on laundry today it hit me how much I’ve had to adapt the way I get stuff done. I thought I’d list some techniques that I use when doing housework.
- When I’m doing laundry I read every label for the care instructions. I skip the socks, towels and unmentionables. Just taking the time to read all labels ensures that our clothes last longer and slows down the process enough that I don’t wear myself out.
- Reading the labels also gives me a chance to find humor in the very boring and somewhat stinky task of sorting laundry. I snort every time a label says “Wash separately” or “Hand-wash only”. Yeah right! It occurred to me today that almost every label tells you to wash with “like colors”. I started reading that in a Valley Girl voice “like totally” and that made me laugh a little bit.
- I take breaks. Not long breaks, just maybe ten minutes to stretch or put my feet up in between baskets or trips up and down the stairs. Once the laundry is all sorted, I get longer breaks in between loads.
- I don’t sort hunched over and I don’t fold sitting down. I make sure if I’m bending down for anything, to use my knees. Folding sitting down puts so much strain on your back and shoulders. My doctor didn’t get it either but I take breaks to rest my legs and stretch my arms and my back is so much happier for it.
- Even if the family is digging through baskets of clothes that have yet to be folded, that is better than hearing “I have no underwear”, “I have no socks” and the dreaded “I have no pants”.
- Do what you can and don’t dwell on what you can’t get done.
- If your family is like mine? Are they without opposable thumbs making scraping and rinsing their food dishes an impossibility? At the end of the day, I’m too tired to wash dishes. But, I can usually scrape the food and soak the dishes, making loading the dishwasher the next afternoon so much easier.
- I do nothing in the morning. I may make my three-year-old daughter’s lunch and help her get ready a little, but other than that my older kids have learned to step up to the plate. It is so much easier to be a drill sergeant in the morning than to actually do the stuff myself. My husband can usually tell if I’m comatose or not and he then directs the little elf’s in getting their sister ready.
- I do nothing in the morning and I don’t feel bad about it. It is just not my time of day anymore and probably never will be again. Until my medicine and coffee kick in, it’s safest to avoid eye contact or any kind of contact for that matter.
- Cleaning the bathroom. Ugh. I do this as little as possible. I don’t have elbow grease anymore. I slow this down by doing one task a day. Anything more is too much. The bathtub I let soak as long as possible in whatever cleaner I have. I straighten the bathroom everyday, especially since all it takes is one bath and my daughters have toys, towels and dirty laundry spread so you can’t even see the floor. Sometimes they clean that up. I put brushes, hair gel, hair things, toys, dirty towels, dirty laundry and trash (we have a trashcan people!) away. I rinse out the toothpaste encrusted sink and wipe off the back of the toilet.
Please don’t read these posts and assume that my house is clean. I want to give you little tips to help make your life easier, not for you to feel overwhelmed or like you aren’t doing enough. My ceiling fans have an inch of dust on them. My kitchen curtains are turning grayish-brown they need to be washed so badly. Every floor in my house needs to be vacuumed, mopped, swept or all three. My windows have never been washed. I didn’t do windows before Fibro/CFS either. Tortoise on friends.