I HATE housework! But not for the usual reasons. I used to just get on with the housework every Saturday morning and do the garden on Sundays after working an average of 55 hours a week in my job. Now I hate housework because I am sick.
I’ve had to leave work and have hardly any social life now because I am too sick to do these things. However, the house still needs to be cleaned. Clean dishes, clean clothes and bedding, tidy rooms and clean bathrooms and kitchen etc.
These things I can’t quit as much as I’d like to. Frankly, I’d rather save my energy to do something nice with my family. To spend time with my daughter helping with homework. To visit with friends. These are the things that make memories, not whether or not my floors have been mopped!
So I’ve had to come up with a new way to manage the house. Although I am the first to admit that right now, my house is a mess. I’m back to playing catch up after being bed bound for a few days… again.
Here are my tips for managing housework. I hope some of them work for you.
31 Disability Hacks for Housework
1. Break tasks into smaller chunks.
If a task seems overwhelming , break it down into smaller tasks and do them over a course of time with regular rests in between.
2. Don’t try to do everything in one day.
Set certain tasks for certain days. If you miss a day for whatever reason leave it until next week.
3. Learn to aim for good enough instead of perfect.
This is a hard one for me as I used to be super organised and liked things in their place. Over time though I’m letting my standards fall as I can’t keep up with it and good enough is simply… good enough!
4. Get the kids to look after their own things if at all possible.
This is another hard one, at least with my muck magnet! Chore charts for rewards can be used as incentives for little ones. If you’ve got more than one child you could even make it a (fun) competition between them.
I think though that the key here is to teach your children to put away their own belongings so that the mess doesn’t build up to start with. I’ve been trying to teach my daughter for 9 years now and she still doesn’t get it!
5. Long handled dustpan and brush to limit bending.
I was so pleased when I found my long handled dustpan and brush. I can more easily keep the kitchen floors clear now even if they are not always mopped.
6. Lightweight vacuum cleaner.
I like my upright vacuum as I find it easier to push around rather than dragging a vacuum behind me. Consider a second (even second hand ) vacuum to keep upstairs. I’ve got a second vacuum that I keep upstairs as my best vacuum is big and awkward for getting up and down the stairs.
Edit: Recently I’ve also purchased a Dyson cordless vacuum that is really lightweight and surprisingly easy to use. I actually do the bulk of my vacuuming with this vacuum now. It also comes with loads of really useful attachments. An added bonus is that my daughter thinks it’s a gadget and uses it ‘just to have fun’! This is the one that I got. It does a great job with all the cat hair as well!
7. Don’t leave dishes in the sink overnight.
Often we are at our worst in the morning and they are harder to clean once food has dried on. I’m a devil for doing this as my evenings are bad as well. I must work more on this.
8. Use shower gel, not soap.
Use shower gel rather than bars of soap as the shower, bath and sinks. You won’t get soap scum and can go a little longer between cleans or give them a simple wipe now and again.
9. Reduce allergens with a bagless vacuum.
Use a bagless vacuum to reduce allergies from dust, pollen and pet hair. Maybe we should vacuum the pets! I don’t think our Suki cat would like it though.
10. Have more than one basket of cleaning products.
Keep cleaning fluids to hand in places where they are commonly used such as bathrooms and kitchen. It will reduce the number of times up and down the stairs. I also have a basket of commonly used cleaners (I make my own.) that I can carry around with me easily.
11. Don’t spray polish on furniture.
Spray a little Polish on the cloth instead of the furniture to reduce exposure by breathing. I’m very sensitive to chemicals so by spraying onto the cloth I can minimise the amount of spray that goes into the air.
12. Anti-static sheets
Use antistatic Bounce sheets to polish things like your TV and mirrors. It will help repel the dust and they won’t need to be cleaned so often.
13. Wax paper
Wax paper is great for reducing water marks on chrome and stainless steel taps. Water and oil (wax) don’t mix so the water will be repelled by the wax coating on the taps.
14. Reduce chemicals in you cleaning products
Consider making your own cleaning fluids and detergents if you are sensitive to them. I’ve been doing this for a year now after finding out that bleach was making me really ill. I’ll have to put together a post about how to make your own cleaning products and laundry detergent. Pinterest is a great place to look.
15. Simplify cooking
Try to cook one-pot or slow cooker meals more often to reduce the clean up.
16. Only iron what really needs it.
Fold laundry straight from the dryer and most things don’t need ironing. I only really have to do hubby’s shirts and the odd other item of clothing this way.
17. Dust clever!
Use the extension on your vacuum for dusting. You will suck up the dust rather than moving it around. This is great for hard to reach areas like the ceilings and also reduces exposure to allergens. My Dyson cordless cleaner is great for this as it’s lightweight.
18. Let others help
Learn to smile and say thank you when someone offers to help. I know women can feel territorial with their homes but we need to push past that and learn to accept help when it’s on offer.
19. Rope in other household members
Explain to those who live with you that if they help around the house you will have more energy to spend time doing something with them.
20. Use a perching stool.
Use a perching stool for ironing or chopping veggies at the counter top so you don’t have to stand. This is very similar to mine. You can adjust the height to suit you and the height of your worktops. The handles are useful for getting back up again and the rubber feet prevent it from slipping on my kitchen tiles. I also use it to sit while doing the ironing. 😉
21. Use a long handled grabber
Use a long handled grabber for picking up toys from the floor. Even better, give it to the kids and time how quick they can do it without touching them with their hands! 😉
22. Whistle while you work!
Play your favourite music or listen to your favourite podcast while you work. I like to tuck my phone in my bra (don’t judge!) and listen through head-phones so the podcast goes with me. A modern day Snow White!
I’m trying out a free month of Amazon music at the moment. So far I’m happy with it and I will probably get the subscription after (maybe even the family subscription as Missy loves her music). What I really like is that I can download my playlists as my internet doesn’t like streaming. You can look into Amazon music here.
23. The Basket System
Use the basket system at the bottom of the stairs. Then when anyone walks up the stairs they can take their things (or yours for you) upstairs with them. This saves multiple trips.
We don’t have room for baskets so I put things on the stairs themselves so that who ever goes upstairs will definitely see what needs to be taken up. Hubs and daughter still tend to step over them so it’s a work in progress.
24. Reduce clutter
Keep clutter to a minimum to reduce what needs to be cleaned. If you don’t absolutely love it, give it away. I know, I’m not any good at this one but I am trying. I try to throw out a few pieces of clutter each week but it seems that we have a lot of it and it’s going to take some time.
25. Paperless billing
Go paperless for bills etc. to reduce the paper clutter in your house. Junk is filed under ‘b’ for bin. That’s why I go through the mail near the kitchen bin!
26. No shoes in the house
Ask everyone to take their shoes off in the hallway. Less dirt is walked around the house. Again another one that I’m working on but it seems that I’m the only one who will wear slippers!
27. Good door mats
Use good quality floor mats in your hallway that has a lot of dirt off the bottom of shoes before it gets on the floor. I think I need one by the cat flap as well as Suki cat brings in all sorts!
28. Use the dishwasher for more than dishes
Most things that are plastic can actually be washed in your dishwasher even toilet seats. Yes, you heard right toilet seats, just don’t put them in with your dishes!
Last week I put my shower seat in the dishwasher and it did a better job than I could have done.
29. Line the oven
Line your oven with tin foil. That way when having to clean the grime from the oven all you have to do is change the foil when it’s dirty. This dramatically reduces how often you need those awful oven cleaners.
30. Washable walls
When you next decorate use washable paint for your walls so that any splashes or spills can be wiped away and the wall doesn’t need repainting. Also, baby wipes get most things of the walls, including crayon! 😉
31. Easily clean the microwave
Before cleaning the microwave, microwave about half a cup of water in there for several minutes. The steam generated during this process will loosen all the grime and dirt and then simply wipe off with a kitchen towel. Some people like to add a cap of vinegar to the water as well as it’s a degreaser and can tackle really tough jobs.