I need help, tips for a bad cleaner with medical issues?

buyorsell888April 26, 2011

I know that most cleaning can be done with elbow grease but I have Fibromyalgia which is like Arthritis only the pain and stiffness is in my muscles not my joints. It was my turn for bunco last Friday and I went through four Mr. Clean erasers on my fridge, stove and tub and my arms still hurt so bad I can barely type today. I also have severe migraines on a regular basis with no warning and they take me out sometimes for days.

I also have ADHD and it is really easy for me to walk by small messes until they become big ones. Ditto spills on the stove etc. I think I'll remember to go back and clean them up after the gas burners cool off but I forget. I also get distracted really easily. Carrying something into the room it belongs and then spending an hour organizing something the guests on their way won't ever see, for example...

So, my house is always a mess and I can't afford a housekeeper. DH is not much help. Since I have been working from home the last six years he thinks he should not lift a finger but that is another issue. No kids.

Any ideas? I truly do not enjoy living in a messy house. I'm thoroughly frustrated.

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I met a woman with MS who had a situation similar to yours. She told me she does housework on her own terms. She cleans only one room a day. Perhaps that would help for you. Another opposite way to clean is called "ETE-Erase the Evidence". If you make a sandwich, put everything away right ater you eat and clean up any crumbs. If you cook and the stove gets dirty, clean it immediately. No waiting for tomorrow. Yes, if the stove is hot you don't want to get burned. Wait 30 minutes if you must, then force yourself to go back in there.Good luck. I have health issues too- kidney failure, on dialysis, lots of fatigue.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 11:41AM
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Hi - I have no words of advice but can only say that I totally relate to your problem. I used to be meticulous about my house then I got cancer, had chemo and never completely bounced back to my former energy level. I hate my house. It is never clean. I feel like it takes me forever to do something and, like you, I forget things also...including my poor kitty's litter box. I make "to-do" lists that are scattered all over and even with good intentions, never really accomplish anything. I have thought about "fly-lady" but I don't want to be inundated with emails because I think this will just add to my "cluttered" feeling. I interviewed a housecleaning service but the cost is prohibitive right now. I, too, feel stuck in a dirty, messy, uncomfortable home.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 11:40AM
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I'm sorry to hear of your health problems. One of the things I've found helpful is to get rid of everything not essential. i.e., if you have a lot of display items eliminate most of them makes it easier to dust. Old paperwork, magazines, mail just get rid of them. I've done more and more purging I'm just tired of organizing when I should just be donating it. I heard a professional organizer that said the problem isn't to get organized just get rid of it.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 11:59AM
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Try the flylady system (e-mail are optional) ... she has you do one quick daily cleanup all over and one section of the house a week.

If you use a microwave to reheat coffee or other stuff, train yourself to do a partial kitchen cleanup while you are waiting for the oven.

Consider having a housecleaner come in once or twice a month for the "deep cleaning" that is too much for you physically. If they do baths and kitchen and floor scrubbing, could you keep up with the clutter and daily stuff?

Since I have been working from home the last six years he thinks he should not lift a finger but that is another issue. If he is contributing to the mess, he should be contributing to the cleanup, either by doing it or by paying for someone.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 9:40AM
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Regarding Flylady- you can read her entire website by going on Flylady dot net . You can read everything she has to say without having to subscribe to her Emails. And, yes, her emails are definitely tedious. I read her website, took the things I like (divide your home into "zones") and disregarded things I don't like (get fully dressed, including "lace up!" shoes) She has a lot to offer. Try it Flylady dot net (use.) Good luck! And I have just one more recommendation for pet owners- clean your cat box first thing in the morning, and clean up any pet messes(pooh,urine,vomit) as soon as you see it. I was up at 5 this morning, shovelled the cat box and wiped up some hairballs. It's tough but it helps a lot in the long run-your home will look and smell nice, and your cat will appreciate a clean litter box. Again, good luck, hope my suggestions help.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 10:53AM
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I purge and donate to the Vietnam Veterans of America who pick up anything and everything you put out on a routine basis. They aren't picky like Goodwill.

I also recycle newspapers and magazines weekly and only subscribe to my very favorite magazines. I do have a lot of book clutter because DH doesn't think bookcases are attractive. He doesn't think they are a valid furniture item for a living room.
I'm a big reader. Always have been. I have several hundred books that I intend to keep. Mostly gardening books and horse books, expensive reference books not stories. I keep any paperbacks in the office/spare bedroom. Gardening and riding are my hobbies other than reading.

A new wall of bookcases in the living room where I took out a big fish tank would go a long way to solve my book clutter (stacks on coffee table, not on floor, overflowing bookcases on either side of fireplace) I could spread out the books and make them look more attractive rather than crammed into the bookcases as they are now as full as they will go. I'm about ready to go to Ikea and just buy them.

I have read Fly Lady but she is too perky for me. It has been years, maybe I'll look again. I confess that I don't get fully dressed every day, especially not with lace up shoes.

I do clean up hairballs when I see them. Kitties do the rest of their business outside so no cat box to worry about and they don't have accidents other than hairballs and bringing in the occasional rat.

There is simply no way we can afford a housekeeper, I've been working from home because I was hurt in a car accident in 2002 and make less than half what I did before as a florist which wasn't much in the first place. I simply cannot work as a florist again, physically not able. Crash triggered Fibromyalgia to be significantly worse than it was before and it has never gotten better after several courses of physical therapy, chiro, acupuncture, massage and several different doctors. It is not as severe as having cancer though. Just when you thought you had it bad someone else comes along and makes you grateful.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 11:46AM
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Buy.... I truly understand how you are feeling. I have been fighting Fibromyalgia for 20 years now. And in addition,I now have three herniated disks in my back. My advice is do what you feel up to, and don't apologize for the rest. I do not mean to be rude but your DH needs an education in FIbro. and its far reaching symptoms. Yes this is a syndrome, but it is a painful one. One doc told me: "Good news it will not kill you, Bad news is it will not kill you." Yes there are worse things, cancer for instance. But please do not discount the severity of your problems. I was going to recommend acupuncture, it helped me some, but I see you have tried it. My heart goes out to you. You know that stress exacerbates the flare-ups of the Fibromyalgia right?? So try to keep your stress level down.
I understand how you feel about your house, me too. I have de-cluttered a lot. I am not a good one for giving advice, because I tend to overdo it, and pay for it in pain. I subscribe to flylady but i do not do the shoes. I do try to get dressed though. I do not like all the emails and am glad to see here that you can un-subcribe to those.
I hope that you can get into a routine that keeps your stress level down. And as a reader, I know what you mean about the books. Do you have a small room you can set up as an office/reading room? And line it with the Ikea bookcases? I am doing that upstairs. I do not have as many as you do, I am retired now and cannot afford to buy any more so I go to the library.
Please let us know how you are doing.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 1:04PM
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Buyorsell - I am sorry, I should not have said the "C" word because in no way did I want to make it seem like I had it worse. Actually, except for the energy levels, I am doing fine now. I only wanted you to know that I am exactly where you are. I also work at home and do not make the money that I used to. I've told myself that my "perk" is that I can work in my jammies; however, I find jammies do not lend themselves to being energetic! Every day I get up and say, "I am going to get "whatever it is" done today and most days I do not accomplish a thing. Just a while back though I was trying to do "two things" a day and when I was doing that, I did okay, but "two things" do not make for a clean house. I think in my case, I am just overwhelmed and frustrated which then leads to a type of avoidance. I can kill hours on the computer "taking a break" from my work and not even realize it. I am definitely going to have to try to just focus on doing a better job with cleaning even if it is just two or three things a day. Again, I am sorry for jumping in on your thread like I did...I was only trying to emphathize with you and let you know that you are not alone in this.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 9:34PM
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No need to apologize, I wasn't trying to make you feel bad and didn't think you were trying to make me feel bad or that you were "one upping" my disease.

I also am overwhelmed and frustrated and can and do kill hours on the computer without realizing it. :)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 1:38PM
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