Author Topic: Easier ways to do housework  (Read 67 times)

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Offline agate

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Easier ways to do housework
« on: April 03, 2016, 09:29:27 am »
I've developed a few ways of either postponing housework or making it easier.

One is to abandon the idea that a job must be done from start to finish in a given time. This idea is appealing because so many jobs--washing windows, for instance--involve a fair amount of set-up and knock-down, and why do all of that more than once?

When you get too tired doing too much at once, though, suddenly you see that there are advantages in doing jobs in phases.

Window-washing doesn't have to involve carrying around a  bucket of sloshing water. Treat yourself to a spray bottle of window cleaner, even more than one spray bottle if you have a lot of windows. I've done windows inside and out with just a bottle of window-spray bottles and paper towels.

Yes, you use up a lot of expensive cleaning products but if you have MS, sometimes it's worth while to invest in a few ways of making life easier for yourself.

Or there's vacuuming. Who says that the furniture has to be vacuumed weekly? Or even monthly? How dirty does it seem to be?

If you have a furbearing animal, you need to vacuum more often, but there are handy roller gadgets with disposable adhesive covers that do a great job of picking up surface dirt and pet hair.

Just taking a heavy vacuum cleaner out and setting it up, then putting it away can be daunting. I have two vacuum cleaners--one is a stick type, very lightweight, and the other is an upright with attachments.

Not wanting to deal with buying  supplies for a vacuum cleaner, I looked for quite a while until I found a couple of vacuums that have just a dust cup that you empty out.

If I'm not up to the big vacuum, I use the little one. I have very little storage space for these two vacuum cleaners, but having these two options is important to me. I'm even tempted to get a carpet sweeper to add to my options.

If I'm not up to vacuuming, I go around and look for odd threads or bits of dirt on the carpet and pick them up by hand. Or I use my kneeling pad with a small whisk broom and small dustpan to sweep up something like dirt I've spilled from a potted plant.

If you have floors to mop, that's another issue. Floors with large area can be a challenge. My two moppable floors are postage-stamp-sized but even so moving everything off of them in order to mop and hauling a bucket of water and rinsing out a sponge mop are usually more than I want to do.

In the last couple of years I haven't gone near my sponge mop. I've cleaned the floors exclusively with disposable mop covers for a Mr. Clean gadget I bought years ago. You keep buying the mop refills, which are moistened. Yes, ordering them can be a nuisance (they're hard to find in stores) but well worth the extra expense.

Waxing floors? Gave up on that long ago, ever since hearing that the flooring was "no wax." I believe these statements even though I have neighbors who wax the same kind of floors. Their floors look shinier than mine but I know a terrible thing about waxed floors, based on experience: All of the wax you assiduously apply just builds up, and removing it is quite a chore.

One really nice thing about housework is that most of it can be postponed. The world won't end.

If visitors are due, and you're concerned about looking so messy that they won't come back, there are camouflage and concealment tactics.

Or a little trompe l'oeil. A room looks brighter if its mirrors and picture glass (the glass over photos and paintings) are shiny bright and clean. Take your window-cleaner spray bottle and spritz some of it on a lintfree cloth and go over all of the picture glass and spray the mirrors while you're at it.

Again using the window-cleaner (or any all-purpose cleaner that doesn't require rinsing afterwards), look for smudgy places you can get rid of on walls and especially switchplates.

Then make sure all drawers and cabinet doors are shut tightly with no odds and ends hanging out. Empty the wastebaskets, fluff up any pillows and cushions, make sure any visible beds are made, and by now the place should look presentable enough for most eyes.

If you have rooms visitors wouldn't normally go into, by all means chuck extra clutter into them and shut their doors.

Laundry and ironing visibly piling up? Stuff them into a closet. They'll greet you unpleasantly after your guests are gone but at least you'll be reminded of them that way.

Polish off the stove and refrigerator exteriors and check for smudges on cabinets. Make sure all dishes are washed and preferably put away. Sponges and towels that are left out should be clean.  A guest towel in the bathroom is a nice touch, as is an unused bar of soap or a clean soap dispenser.

My claim to expertise in these matters? I've lived in HUD housing for many years, and often there are inspections with only 24 hours' notice. There's no way I can make this place presentable on such a short notice unless I take some shortcuts.

Another way to look neat is to take all loose papers and sort them if you have time. If you don't, at least put them in neat stacks and stash them somewhere where they won't be conspicuous.

I tend to have several meaningful stacks of papers out in the open, and I'd be lost if they got all piled on top of one another. So I crisscross the piles as I stack them on top of one another to form one large pile, and then I put that stack in an out-of-the-way place--and hope I'll remember where that is.

As for laundry, it it piles up to the point where you have very little left to wear but you're just not up to doing it, why not handwash a few things and hand them up to dry in your bathtub? Many clothes dry quickly.

And while you're doing laundry, if reaching is difficult or painful, by all means take a reacher along. It's great for fishing clothes out or the washer or dryer.

Who says laundry absolutely must be folded and put away at once? Much of it can wait even days before being folded. If you're tired, leave the dry laundry in a heap in its basket and come back to it when you feel like it. Remove and hang up anything that didn't get dry enough and put a few things on hangers so they won't get wrinkles if you must but the rest of it will be fine.

Fold a few things when you think about it. Keep the stacks going for a while until everything is folded. Then put a few towels away. Next time you pass the area where the folded piles are, pick another pile to put away. Leave the socks to sort out at the end unless someone needs socks right away.

Of course if you live in a place where things disappear from the laundry because others inadvertently walk off with them (or deliberately walk off with them), you do want to make sure that all of your laundry made it home.

For years I've used a list I keep printed copies of. I list anything I routinely launder, with a blank to the left of the listing so I can enter the number. When I set up the laundry before taking it to the washers, I fill out my list--I enter a 2 by the entry that says ___HANDTOWELS, etc., if I'm washing two handtowels.

If I have several tops to wash, I enter the total number and list them by color alongside the listing. If anything that needs air drying is included, I circle that listing to remind me to get it out of the laundry before I put things in the dryer.

I used to think it was best to do two or three loads of laundry all at once, to get it over with for a good long time. Now I do one load on one day, another load on another day. This might seem unduly labor-intensive but the effort involved is mostly getting myself to the laundry room and back, and the exercise is good.

More than one load at a time gets tiring. Too much reaching and sorting and putting things here and there.

Fatigue is a big problem for many with MS. How to keep it from getting too bad is always a problem.

Modifying the daily jobs most of us have to do is one way of
reducing fatigue.
MS Speaks--online for 13 years

SPMS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2007-2010.

 

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