March 28, 2017
Over the month of April RheumatoidArthritis.net will be discussing Spring Cleaning. We know that living with a chronic condition like RA can make those household chores even more difficult. We want to support each other in any way we can and discuss ways in which we can make spring cleaning easier.
Do you have any tips and tricks you'd like to share?
Or tell us what your least favorite chore is and how you get around to doing it?
Thinking of anything else.... come join the forum conversation!!!
April 2, 2017
Well as a guy, I go BIG, the leaf blower gets a good workout when the weather hits 50 Deg out. Works magic blowing out all the sand, gravel, salt, and anything else left behind after melting out of the Wisconsin winter that gets brought home on the underside of the car. It also does wonders "cleaning" out the inside of the old work van. I told you it was a guy thing.
April 3, 2017
There's so much to be done in the spring and I know I need some kind of plan, but I wouldn't know where to start. We bought our house new in 1995, and it's all I ever dreamed of. Now when I think about cleaning, I just wish I could afford a cleaning company to come one day and do everything in a day. My fatigue is at the ridiculous level, but in my mind...ahhh, that's where I can get a lot done. When it comes to reality, I would rather sit and have a good cry. There's a lot I need to just give to goodwill so I won't ever have to clean it again. I might take my husband's advice and let him throw lots of things away in one swoop. Then I think of all the things that "might" be needed, or that could have sentimental value. Then I'm stuck wondering what I have piled up in drawers and the attic. I get depressed and feel guilty, and it's back in that crazy circle again.
Any thoughts on how to even start, or should I just let it be thrown out?
Eebtool. if I could clean the inside with a leaf blower, I would!
April 4, 2017
Hi wannabe-healthy. I'm sure it can feel overwhelming, especially if you start thinking about the whole project. What works for my wife (Kelly Mack, a contributor here) and I is to break the decluttering up into pieces. One weekend, the walk-in closet. The next weekend, the hall closet, etc... Can't say if this will work for you, but just an idea. Keep us posted on how you are doing. Best, Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)
April 6, 2017
Richard, I appreciate the advice and will keep it in mind. It's great to have a partner of like mind. My husband, who is my excellent caregiver, is recovering from foot surgery. I'm trying my best to do for him, keep up the laundry, dishes, taking our dog out, and so on. I want to help him as much as he helps me, but there's no way. I'm taking a break now and will soon finish the laundry. Spring cleaning is on hold until he is back to himself, so it could be summer cleaning for me. Thanks! Donna
April 5, 2017
Hi wannabe-healthy, while Richard's idea sounds reasonable, the reality of dealing with my RA and severe OA, and a bevy of other major medical conditions, is that decluttering one thing like a hall closet is too taxing. On a day when I'm feeling good, I'll tackle one shelf in the closet. If I still feel okay ... i.e., before I start a drip fest from my temples and neck, I might attempt another shelf. On a day when I'm feeling remarkably good, my husband drops everything to go mountain biking with me. Those days are infrequent. 😉 If that means the hall closet doesn't get decluttered, I know my priorities... and thankfully so does he. Right now I'm resting after a shower. I wonder how many of us must rest after showering?
As for the discard decision made by your husband ... what my husband does is show me what he's going to throw out, while I rest. I have needed to become ruthless about what to discard, but also compassionate in another way. Our discards are picked up by a rescue mission from our front porch. Someone needier than me will be able to use my discards.
Another thing is that after my father died, his house was filled with a lifetime of memories... and possessions. It took my siblings and I weeks to sort through everything. I was lucky I had the time, but my siblings had to take time off from work. I decided I would try to let go of possessions more readily over the years.
For sentimental possessions, I now take a photo and upload it for safekeeping, before I discard them. If I don't wear or use something after a year, out it goes. Ruthless... and compassionate, for someone else may need it more.
Good luck, and do what you're able!
April 6, 2017
Thank you for sharing those suggestions, Sonia! They are great and very realistic. Best, Erin, RheumatoidArthritis.net Team Member.
April 6, 2017
Great ideas Sonia. I know about the showers! Oh my gosh, I've always been a clean freak (especially hygiene), but there are nights I just can't make myself take a shower. I will wash off a bit and plan for a shower next day. I am retired, but I now think it is work to stay clean. I know, while my husband recovers from his surgery, I will have to get by the best way I can.
I will keep your ideas handy. Thank you so much! Donna