Spring has sprung, which means the weather is warmer, the flowers are blooming, and of course, spring cleaning and organizing is upon us! We’re sure everyone would agree that spring cleaning can be a tiring activity. However, for individuals with chronic conditions, especially those with accompanying fatigue like MS, this can be even more of an arduous task. Cleaning and organizing can be exhausting, and physical clutter can create mental clutter and even anxiety.
But our writers here at MultipleSclerosis.net get it. They understand the struggle and have written multiple articles around the topic of managing household chores and cleaning. So, we’ve created a compilation of the tips and strategies they shared to make it a bit easier to take on the spring cleaning frenzy.
- Do a little at a time: To save energy, try to do a little cleaning at a time. Pace yourself, you don’t need to do it all at once! If you have limited mobility, try to plan ahead. For example, if you pass through a room that needs cleaning, bring a swifter with you so you can clean as you go if possible!
- Use a lightweight vacuum: Maneuverability can be much easier with less weight to move around. Even investing in a steam cleaner could be a solution, as they are easy to use and can cut down on labor.
- Use long handled scrub brushes: These long-handled toilet brushes are advantageous when cleaning showers, tubs, and other household areas. They provide minimal bending and twisting and can save wear and tear on your knees.
- Place a hanging rack over or near your dryer: This will help make it easier to hang items you may want to air dry.
- Sit while you cook: If there’s space, keep a stool or high chair in the kitchen so you can sit down while cooking or prepping food
- Save the steps: If you have steps in your house, leave items that need to go upstairs at the bottom of the steps, and at the end of the day make one trip. (Bring a bag if needed!)
- Invest in a “grabber”: These can be very helpful, especially in the kitchen to reach or pick up things. They can also be used to replace light bulbs that are hard to reach!
- Work on clutter management: Staying organized is difficult for everyone. Taking a quick 15 minutes a day to tackle clutter can prevent long-term stress and help you from getting overwhelmed.
When going through clutter or miscellaneous items, try managing it with five categories:
- Trash – Items that are damaged or can no longer be used/sold or donated.
- Good homes – These items may go to a good home for someone else to enjoy or use.
- For sale – These items may have some value and could be sold.
- Storage items – These may be functional items that are not used on a regular basis.
- Keep – These are functional items used regularly or items with sentimental value.
Ask for Help
Cleaning and decluttering is a process that takes time and maintenance, and it’s never a bad idea to seek help if needed! As always, you know your body best and what it needs, as well as when you should or shouldn’t push yourself.
Although often daunting, have a clean environment and reducing clutter may have a more positive impact on your life and journey with MS than expected!