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Keeping on top of housework when you're ill or in other times of crisis?

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  • tessie_bear
    tessie_bear Posts: 4,898 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Mortgage-free Glee!
    i do different jobs on different days....i have a list pinned up in the kitchen....id start with the kitchen and bathroom and then chip away at it...and feel pleased with everything u do not stressed about what u still have to do....good luck
    onwards and upwards
  • SallyForth_2
    SallyForth_2 Posts: 501 Forumite
    JenniO wrote: »
    I really do understand. I don't know how you feel about this idea but would it be worth hiring someone like Molly Maid just once to clean what they can to give you a good head start on keeping things clean? HTH.


    I second this, as you are working and with your health issues, I think you are perfectly justified in getting someone in say a couple of times a year - more if you can afford it, to do a complete blitz for you.

    Then in between times you only need to a little and often. I am sure as others have said, there will be plenty of advise from the Flyladies on how to go about this.

    Finally, depression is such a draining illness, I don't suffer personally though, but I do feel for those who do. When you do manage to finish a task, focus on that satisfaction feeling you get, it will help to uplift your mood, and don't listen to those voices which drag you down.
  • wssla00
    wssla00 Posts: 1,875 Forumite
    I am the same- having a long term condition means I only do things when I can. As mine usually is slightly less horrid in the afternoon, I usually wait until about four before I do anything. I also use flylady and these tick box lists which I laminate so I can wash it off and start again.

    Hope you feel better soon!
    Feb GC: £200 Spent: £190.79
  • falady
    falady Posts: 584 Forumite
    Hi there,

    I can understand your situation - I've been there myself. :(

    When I have had spells of depression, my OH tried to do more housework, but it was very difficult because he was tired from doing all the other things i couldn't do, and trying to look after me. Also at some points, he was quite ill too.

    We found a good solution to be employing a cleaner for a few months. I don't know if this is an option for you financially? We're not rolling in money by any means, but for a few months we paid someone to come in every 2 weeks for 3 hours (about £20) and blitz the house. We could then keep on top of it in between.:smiley:

    Another option might be, as someone has suggested above, to employ someone to do a proper spring clean.

    Third option is to do it yourself, slowly, a bit at a time. As people have advised above, break things down into lists of small tasks and tackle a bit at a time. Once you have done this, it is easier to keep on top of.

    I find that giving myself too many lists and tasks can make me more anxious. It is about finding a manageable level for you.

    Something else to think about......... Perhaps you don't have to do it to 'deep clean / spring clean' level to start with? Eg, for the bedroom, maybe just changing the sheets, dusting, chucking out the rubbish and hoovering is enough over the period of eg a week? Skirting boards, hoovering under the bed (not sure I've ever done this!), cleaning out drawers etc can wait til you're feeling better.

    Some tips I find useful:
    • do the washing up / empty the dishwasher while your dinner is cooking
    • ditto wiping kitchen worktops
    • when you go to clean a room, take everything you will need with you, eg duster, polish, cloth?, bin bag for rubbish. That way, you 're not having to run up and down stairs to get things which is even more exhausting (and I usually can't be bothered).
    • do things in the TV programme breaks, as someone suggested above. Its amazing how much you can get done.
    • tidy things into the right rooms
    • use the hoover attachments to suck up dust - this can be a quick solution to cleaning a room - you just need the hoover.
    • try and leave the kitchen worktops clear and do the washing up before you go to bed - it is much nicer coming downstairs to a tidy kitchen in the morning. :)
    I hope these tips help and you begin to feel better soon.

    Love Ali x

    PS - we have had cobwebs in the hall for months, I never clean behind the fridge, and the sofa hasn't been moved for hoovering in about 2 years!:o:) We are all only human.
    Not Buying It 2015 :)
  • Paulie'sGirl
    Paulie'sGirl Posts: 923 Forumite
    I'm in a similar boat. I have a degenerative back condition, and the pain (and other factors) has led to me becoming depressed. I can only manage say 10 minutes of cleaning before my back locks up and I lose feeling in my leg.

    I keep thinking about a maid, and I think its something we'll be looking to do in the very near future, as I too get down when I think of all the jobs I need to do. I think a few quid is worth it, if it stops me feeling inadequate and guilty about the housework.

    I've had to accept a reduction in standards :o. I can't hoover as often as I'd like, and I don't want OH to do it on top of all the other bits he has to do for me.

    I do things in small spurts. 10 minutes of picking things up from a room and putting them in a plastic crate for OH to take upstairs for example. 10 minutes waving a microfibre cloth over furniture. 10 minutes washing the benches.

    I second (third???) the list idea, as it gives you something to look back at and highlight the improvement. OK, so I didn't bottom the livingroom, but I did pick stuff up, and I did empty the paper-rack. I didn't bottom the bathroom, but I cleaned the loo and wiped the sink over.

    Accepting your limitations is hard, particularly if you're used to being active and have been houseproud (OH reckons I was almost OCD-like when we first got together). Its ok to need help, and its ok relax your high expectations a little.

    Big hugs, remember you're not alone in this, as the responses clearly show.

    PGxx
  • LameWolf
    LameWolf Posts: 11,234 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    serena wrote: »
    Come right over to the Flylady thread on here!
    Serena beat me to it!:p

    I have lupus, which means I have some reasonably OK days, and some days when I can barely move, and I also suffer from clinical depression, anxiety and social phobia.

    The Flylady thread has been a lifesaver - I may not have a showhome, but at least it's all reasonably clean and tidy.

    Do come and join us, you'd be made very welcome.:o
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.;)
  • Genuisscuffy
    Genuisscuffy Posts: 150 Forumite
    I know how you feel - I have two teenagers who both go to college and work evenings. when they were little they would help out but now seem to do nothing. I also work and when I get home its like starting again - the house was tidy when i left this morning but when i get home its like a bomb has hit it. I now have arthritis in my knees and cant walk up and down the stairs especially carrying things so have to leave things at the bottom and get them to take it up (not hard is it!!) but the arguments this has caused!! Now older son has started having girlfriend round and they just go out and leave the washing up etc from their dinner (not everybodys just theirs) so I kept leaving it and in the end she washes it up now. You will laugh though guess what my son does of an evening to earn some money - a cleaner!!! (although when he came home last night asked him to put his rubbish out in the bin and it was still on the settee when i got up this morning so will be having words tonight!!!)
    It is difficult bacause you are at home you feel you have to do everything but I think it is important that your family realise you need some help now. fingers- crossed for you (although with the arthritis it may look a little odd!!!)
    2010 has got to be better than the last two years!! :rotfl:

    Weight loss to date: 3 Stone & 5lbs!! Weight loss this week: 2 lbs !!:j
  • Savvy_sewing
    Savvy_sewing Posts: 11,574 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler
    I think there are thousands of us out here who are either going through this, or have done at times.

    I still have this problem when mine come to stay. Currently I have only my grand daughter, aged 2 living with me, and just caring for her is too much for me at times, I have cervical spondylosis.

    I have a very very tatty copy of Shirley Conrans "Down with Superwoman" book from the 1980's and when ever I feel over loaded I re read it. Its lost its front cover now. There is a Section called "How to Get help in the Home"
    With a Grand Family Plan. She says anyone who is over 8 can help. Its quite a good read and it was quite an insight to me.
    I had for Children and one of he things she suggested stuck with me for a long time. that was to get everyone in the household to give her 2 hours on a Saturday morning. From 9am till 11am to help. (any earlier and they complain your getting them up at DAWn, and any later, "your keeping them ALLDAY".

    I agree that you should not be doing everything yourself.

    My BF has 3 teenagers/young adults, and he does a lot of the things for them, but learnt the hard way early on. His eldest is terribly messy and lazy and he stopped doing his washing etc etc for him a while ago. He used to do his ironing too, but stopped. For the last year or so now anything found lying around that belongs to DS1 it is put into black sacks and left in the shed or the garage for him to find! He shares a room with his brother, and theyfight over the mess so BF tells the younger one to gather up his stuff and put it away, and every couple ofweeks, he goes in and takes everything off of the floor,/bed/chair or where its been flung, bundles it into the sacks and off it goes to the garage. He doesnt clean their rooms, and if they want him to take them anywhere etc, Dads Taxi is not available until the jobs have been done. Its amazing how quickly his daughter can tidy her room if she wants to go out somewhere.!

    I wish you luck with the family, and do go "on strike" at least once a week, and do make everyone put up at least an hour of thier time every couple of days.
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
  • Penelope_Penguin
    Penelope_Penguin Posts: 17,288 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    My house is filthy as it has been neglected for about 5 years and I need to do something. The whole place could do with a good scrub from top to bottom, but even half an hour of cleaning wears me out, so I never get started as it takes me at least 3 hours to give a room a good scrub.

    I'd heartily recommend the Flylady thread. The tasks are split into three levels each day, so you can just start by doing level one, and then build up as yourhouse gets cleaner and tidier :D

    You could also take a look at the existing thread on hosusework when you're ill. I'll merge this later, to keep ideas together :)
    :rudolf: Sheep, pigs, hens and bees on our Teesdale smallholding :rudolf:
  • sassypie
    sassypie Posts: 45 Forumite
    Hi Samanthamum

    I have serious depression, too, although thankfully no mobility problems.

    The thing that works best for me is doing little things while the kettle boils, or the toast grills, or whatever. Also, my absolute lifesaver is my kitchen timer, I set it for 15 minutes usually, although sometimes just 5 if its a really bad day. When the timer beeps at me, I stop, no arguments. I get a surprising amount done that way.

    My friend suffers from v bad back pain, I managed to get her a 'perching stool' (?) which she uses when cooking, and can do a certain amount of sorting or cleaning from it.

    And lastly, don't tell anyone, but we'd both be lost without baby wipes! I know its not v moneysaving, although Mr T's value ones are 50p a pack. They mean a quick wipe down doesn't entail finding cleaning supplies, rinsing etc, and enough quick wipe downs do make a difference.

    Try not to judge yourself, your doing a great job just coping with each day. I've not been able to return to work yet, but I'm terrified that when I'm able to a job itself would take over my life leaving nothing of 'me' left.

    Its all too easy to get really despondent in your situation, so why not reward yourself after a short session of housework, a cup of tea, new magazine, the posh handcream you've been saving for 'best' (been there, done that!), whatever works for you. I can only second the suggestions made here, MS'ers are absolute stars in my book.

    God bless,
    Sas x
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