If you want to make cleaning with a chronic illness easier, you need to adopt a strategic cleaning system rather than an intensive one. This requires more planning and research – but a lot less manual labour.
My combination of my CRPS, Fibromyalgia and Raynaud’s Phenomenon means that I’m aching, stiff and swollen before I’ve even started scrubbing.
There are times when I kneel to the floor to pick up something – and as I bend down, I realise I don't have the strength to stand up again. All I can do is sit on the floor and wait for help.
Until I started to take these stationary moments to breathe – they would often lead me to tears with my fists slamming into the ground (which only worsened the pain, of course).
Overall, I just feel exhausted (physically and emotionally) if I need to clean the old-school way. So adjusting my cleaning strategies is just something I need to do to survive and build my new everyday life.
Here are some things that help me clean my house despite my chronic illness – I know they will help you too.
How to Make Cleaning Easier with Chronic Pain
Certain habits ease the amount of cleaning I need to do when I’m tired or sore.
And it sets the foundation of how to do housework for anyone with a chronic illness, or chronic pain.
Here’s what I recommend.
How to Avoid a Messy House Because of Your Chronic Illness
Just like keeping your surfaces clean, adopting a “clean as you go” methodology is helpful. Especially if you suffer from overwhelm because of your chronic illness.
Keeping up is more manageable than catching up.
Once again, this is a great way to avoid using big spurts of energy to clean up big messes in one go—something you really can’t afford to lose when you’re chronically ill.
A reviewed study even showed that you're not alone if you feel at peace in a clean home. It helps keep your stress hormones in check and balance your mood.
I understand that working through your feelings of guilt are hard when you're chronically ill – especially when you need to do basic tasks like cleaning.
If these issues resonate with you – take a look at this article: Overcoming Guilt and Chronic Illness
How to Clean When You Have No Energy
I love making systems more efficient where I can – it’s played a prominent role in how I’ve learnt to “save my spoons” every day. That goes down to the very products I choose to clean with.
A bit like saving money – every penny counts. These are not massive energy “savings” but will help you nonetheless.
Unfortunately, some of the best ways to “save spoons” means you need to spend money.
If you’re not sure about making such a significant investment. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
If you answer “yes” to some of these questions, you should consider seeing what energy-saving gadgets can help you.
Here are some of my tips (some are really cheap and others are more costly):
Otherwise, if you need some help learning when to preserve your energy, you’ll get the best advice here: What is a Spoonie (14 Things to Know Including Charts)
How to Set a Chronic Illness Daily Cleaning Schedule
A weekly routine is a great way to help you keep a clean home when things like brain fog, limited energy levels and pain prevent you from doing too much.
Here are some hacks for setting a daily cleaning routine that you can stick to:
Download your FREE template here:
If you find these activities useful and you suffer from brain fog, you need to read this: 11 Tips for Staying Organised with Brain Fog
Remember that it’s okay if you don’t do a perfect job when cleaning your house. Things change when you have a chronic illness.
Your wellbeing is more precious than an immaculate house.
Not everything has to be done in an instant.
Not everything is worth killing yourself over.
The most important thing is to be patient and kind to yourself. Your body is fighting hard, and everything you manage to, big or small, is worth celebrating.
And if you've got any tips you'd like to share with me – I'd love to hear them!