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Spring Cleaning Tips

by | Apr 20, 2024

Spring Cleaning Tips for Life with a Chronic Illness

Life with a chronic illness is hard. Lupus patients often have fatigue, joint pain, strained ligaments, muscular pain, headaches, and a host of other symptoms. These symptoms often interfere with daily life. Many patients also complain that they can’t accomplish as much as their friends. Even though it’s logical to patients that they may not be able to keep up all the time, it still makes them feel inadequate. Lupus patients also feel overwhelmed when the list of things they need to accomplish grows because they have been too ill to check them off their list. 

One area of great concern is housework. It is not uncommon for a lupus patient to look around and think, “Where did this mess come from?” There may be a few too many piles of laundry, some stray dust bunnies, and even some food starting to get moldy. Do not panic. Lupus patients may not be able to accomplish everything at once, but they can do many things. 

Now is the time of year when people begin their spring cleaning. Out with the old, in with the new as they say.  This concept may seem insurmountable to a lupus patient, but never fear, these tips can help keep your home in tip-top shape. 

  1. Prioritize. Make a list and rank what is most important to least important.
  2. Start Small. Pick something simple. Don’t start with the idea of cleaning everything. Tell yourself that you are just going to get the dishes done today. Choosing one smaller task helps you feel productive, and it also gets the process going. If you feel well enough after you finish one task, decide if you can complete another. Maybe you run one load of laundry or clean the litter box. Checking these small tasks off your list eventually enables you to tackle the bigger ones.
  3. Choose one room per day. Cleaning an entire house is overwhelming for anyone, let alone someone living with a chronic illness. Make cleaning easier by picking one room per day to focus on. Make today the kitchen and then focus on the bathroom tomorrow.
  4. Take breaks! Every 15 minutes, sit down and take a breather. Make sure to stay hydrated and take a few minutes to rest. Then get up and work for another 15 minutes. Continue this (as long as you are able) until today’s room is clean.
  5. Utilize your support system and ask for help. If you are in a flare, your job is to rest. This means the house may not be as clean. That’s ok! But be sure to lean on your support system. Ask for their help with some of the “must-do” tasks. Ask your friend to run a load of laundry or wash and dry the dishes. You’d be surprised how many people are ready and willing to give of their time. 
  6. Use non-toxic cleaning products. Try vinegar and baking soda. Sometimes it’s the old-fashioned products that work best. For an easy all-purpose cleaner, combine one part vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle.  
  7. Use products that make it easier to clean. Purchase long-handled dusters or spin brushes to clean hard-to-reach areas. Buy a spray bottle that is not too stiff, making it easier on your wrist and finger joints. Consider buying smaller bottles of cleaning products. Larger containers are heavier to pour. 
  8. Pat yourself on the back. It isn’t easy battling your own body while tackling spring cleaning. Remember to give yourself praise when you check something off your list, even if it’s small, it’s a huge accomplishment! Well done!

These tips can make spring cleaning easier for lupus patients. Remember to always consult your doctor about your living situation and any physical activities you plan to undertake. And finally, go easy on yourself and remember you can do great things. 


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