The Paced Guide to Cleaning: AKA Cleaning With a Chronic Illness

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Last Updated on August 28, 2023 by melissanreynolds

It isn’t easy managing our health, our family and our home. Pacing is a valuable tool in managing chronic illnesses that cause chronic pain and fatigue. Even those with more normal energy levels can benefit from spreading out all of the expectations. Taking the concept of pacing into our home management is just one way to help us manage our health.

I have watched and enjoyed YouTube videos of busy mamas showing their “deep clean” videos where they clean the entire house in one go. I just don’t have the time or energy for this and with small children it makes sense to schedule things like this in chunks.

Here are my key tips for paced cleaning:

Write a list of:

  • The seasonal tasks
  • The monthly tasks
  • The weekly tasks
  • The daily tasks

Divvy them up over the month according to what you think you can manage and fits with your schedule.

Edit the schedule as you go according to how your days/weeks/month pans out with energy, pain and commitments.

My Template Set

I created a template set (because, of course I did, I am an avid planner and template maker). It is essentially the print and go lists I mentioned above that make it super easy to plan ahead for the month.

Your List and Tips for Paced Cleaning

However you make your lists and track your progress, I suggest you start with your bare minimum tasks that need to be done daily (such as dishes and washing – I have three small children, the washing needs to be kept on top of). Then look at what needs to be done weekly (like the vacuuming, a proper clean of the toilet and bathroom etc) and then add in the monthly and seasonal tasks.

The next level is to consider if there are things on your list that you cannot do and assign them to someone else (if you can). Or if there are things that you need to break down into smaller chunks. When I was pregnant and my pelvis issues were severe I couldn’t vacuum so my husband had to take care of that. Even when I am not pregnant I do not vacuum the entire house at once (our house is spread over three levels), I almost never do the rumpus room downstairs and I vacuum the bedrooms upstairs less often then the living areas.

More useful posts for you

4 Healthy Eating Choices You Can Make Now with Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia

A Confession on Pacing and Boundaries with Fibromyalgia

What Works for Me Now: Fighting Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia

A few tips to close our paced cleaning guide:

  • Continually tidy up as you go so you avoid large messes to clean – I especially do this as I am cooking.
  • Involve the children in tidying up, my boys have to tidy up their own toys and have been included in cleaning efforts (at an age-appropriate level).
  • Keep your cleaning supplies all together, easily accessible and find your best tools and products and keep them stocked.
  • Don’t go out and leave a mess in the kitchen and lounge.

Do you have any tips for paced cleaning with a chronic illness?

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3 thoughts on “The Paced Guide to Cleaning: AKA Cleaning With a Chronic Illness

  1. I needed this omg I watched that Marie Kondo show on Netflix and it inspired me to get organised and get rid of the rubbish we humans like to keep! I can manage like a drawer a day at the moment but seeing the people on the show just breeze through a whole house in a few short weeks really was a wake up call that I am not well enough and I need to pace!

    1. I watched a video of hers and managed two drawers of mine, decided I’d like to do the whole family and have had no extra time or energy since lol

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