Sunday, December 20, 2015



Image result for christmas cleaning free imagesI think the number one thing that causes a pain flare is trying to maintain a clean, organized home! We think, “Oh, I’ll just do a little of this.” The next thing we know, the whole house is sparkling clean and we are in burning, screaming pain! But hey, we have a clean house! I’ve been known to push through the pain and do way more than I know I should! Then I'd be flat out in bed, unable to move with my head plastered to the pillow, drooling, and thinking, "Why did I do that?" Oh, but it felt so good to have a clean house! But the rebound pain for days later is a hard way to enjoy that temporary cleanliness. That is part of our new "normal" living with chronic pain. 

The holidays seem to bring a bit of the cleaning bug out of all of us for sure! Some of us feel we must be prepared for guests -whether they are staying overnight or just dropping in for a short visit! When I do my normal cleaning I am way more thorough, as able, however, I found that if I take a few short cuts or “cheat cleaning” as I call it, it lowers my chance of a pain flare that can lead to horrible rebound pain, and it makes it seem as if my home is really clean! 

Here are a few tips we can utilize to take some of the heavy work off us:
  •  Make preparations way ahead – that way there is no last minute rushing about, tidying, cleaning or decluttering that will leave us in a pain flare longing for bed and not wanting anyone around! Remember that calendar we talked about in the first book, Preparing for the Holidays with Chronic Pain and using it to schedule all we need to accomplish over the holidays? This would be a good thing to schedule! The house could be cleaned days to a week in advance, with help of loved ones.  The last minute touch ups might require a few things picked up a bit, and perhaps the bathrooms sanitized and put in order.
  • Ask for help - Family members living in your home make excellent cleaners! However, they may not realize this!   Perhaps a bit of persuasion may be needed! Maybe everyone could pick a job; you could pop in some fun Christmas music and have a merry time with it! Make sure you don’t take on any work that you know will inflame your pain! If you can, allow them to do it all! (Do I dare suggest if you have any Santa hats lying around that you all could put those on? Elf ears? Reindeer antlers? 
  • Hire someone to help – If it is your heart’s desire to have a totally clean home for the holidays, hire someone! For a more inexpensive choice, hire one of your kids, (they may need Christmas gift money) or a trustworthy kid from the neighborhood! Maybe consider a single mom that needs a bit of extra cash, or a friend from church. Having help would save your body from dealing with what you know could put you out of commission. All the added work the holidays bring might mean you need to ask for added help! Think about it. Be good to yourself!
  • SWIFTER DUSTER DASH - this is what I call, "cheat dusting". I go thru and dust around stuff, I don’t bother picking things up, just a quick swipe removes the pesky dust.  Nobody is going to look that close. Besides, it’ll get dustier with all the commotion going on and you can dust “properly” later. However you define “later” is totally up to you! Maybe next year! LOL! After the holidays are over!
  • Bathroom – there is a saying that if your bathroom is spotless people think the rest of the house is clean. Whenever I know someone is coming to visit, I will "quick" spruce it up! Grab your favorite spray cleaner and a rag and wipe down the mirror, counter and toilet seat. Done!  (Or use a wet wipe sold for quick cleaning bathrooms).
  • Vacuum  – leave it, if you can stand it. It will need it for sure by the time your guests leave! Does anyone really look that close? If you must, have someone else do it, or do just the areas someone will be in. But, beware that you don’t want to get your pain roaring at you just before guests arrive! Vacuuming is the number one cleaning activity that increases pain due to the repetitious movement and the heavy vacuum.Image result for christmas cleaning free images
  • Wash Floors – don’t bother- they will just get messy anyways! Do them after the guests leave. However, if you feel compelled, have someone help do it for you if you can. I do use one of those mops with a refillable bottle and a removable cloth for quick clean ups. Saves from having to haul out a bucket and crawl around on your knees. Ugh! That gets to my arms, shoulders and neck just thinking about it! Definitely a very hard chore for the upper body and lower body pain issues! Rates up there with vacuuming for those of us dealing with horrid chronic pain!
  • My mom was one of the cleanest housekeepers I knew. I was surprised when she told me later in my twenties that she neither vacuumed nor washed the floors prior to having people over for a special occasion.  She said, “Why? It’ll just get messy?” So, if my mom could do it, I surely could! That’s good enough for me, and the Good Housekeeping Seal of approval I am sure!
  • Do a chore a day - I spread out my chores over a series of days to make it more within my capabilities.  At times I fall behind due to my pain issues and have to ask for help to get caught up. One day I will pick up clutter around the house (remember to have everyone help get their stuff), another day, dust and polish light switches, glass, appliances, and a different day I clean the bathrooms (tubs, sinks, toilets). The vacuuming and washing floors hubby has to do; this puts me in higher pain and in bed for three days or more!
The key to cleaning during the holidays is to not lose yourself in overdoing it in with things others just don't look at as close as you! Being a Type A person I have let go of a lot! It can be hard, but it is possible. Besides, it comes down to making choices again, do you want an overly clean home or feel as best you are able to physically spend cherished time with your loved ones?   Do all you can to alleviate the probability of pain flares! Try not to worry if your home isn't as clean as you use to keep it! Being with your loved ones is more important! Plus, a not so overly clean home is more inviting to many!

This blog is written for all of us with chronic pain! Do you have a favorite topic on chronic pain, documentary, book, video or even a blog to share you'd like me to cover in this blog? I'd love to hear about it! Share in the comments below.

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You might be interested in the new EBook series, Preparing for the Holidays with Chronic Pain that was written for those of us with chronic pain with the purpose of giving specific suggestions and ideas to help make the strenuous activities of the holiday season simpler and more tolerable, ultimately decreasing the stress on us and helping us to be able to reduce the chances of increased pain flares, thus hopefully allowing us to spend cherished time with family and friends.

The EBooks can be purchased here at

Here are more articles on Christmas that you may be interested in:


  1. Thanks for the post and great tips..even I also think that hard work is the most important aspect of getting success
    cleaning house london

    1. Calvin, you are welcome! Thanks for leaving a reply! With chronic pain, hard work is made harder when it makes pain worse! Some actually suffer for days after "overdoing it" with cleaning, thus the necessity to break tasks down or doing a task in a different manner. "Hard work" for some isn't possible to even perform with pain that prevents doing a task in the first place, leaving many frustrated and overwhelmed with cleaning tasks. What was always simple in the past is now unbearable for many suffering with chronic pain!


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