The Best Advice

Simplify! That’s what I have been busy doing lately. I am doing my best to simplify my life and my home. I usually get a few feeling good hours a week and I have been using that time to gut my house. My super awesome husband tore out all of the carpet and put in hardwood. We got lightweight mop systems for all the floors, so I can actually clean. It’s a great feeling. I plan our meals for the week, make one trip to the deep freezer and pantry and bring up all of the fixings for the week’s dinners. Once a month, I round the teenagers up and we go grocery shopping. I ride in the gimpy cart cause it’s a long trip, and the boys do all of the heavy lifting.

I have been organizing like crazy. I keep purging in every room. In the kitchen, we replaced all of the heavy pottery dishes and mixing bowls with Correlle and melamine so that I can cook and do dishes without wearing myself out. I organized the cabinets in a way that there aren’t big piles of pots and pans to move to get to the pan or bowl on the bottom. We have pull out shelves in all of the lower cabinets, so I’m not on the floor when trying to get to the back of the shelf. In the bedroom, I cleaned out my closet and pulled out tons of things to consign. Th. will help with the bills, give me fewer things to keep up with, give me easier access to the things I need, makes it easier to put things away, and gave us a much nicer closet space.

We are slowly, but surely making our way though the whole house. Cleaning, organizing, making sure that each item has a space and if it doesn’t, making choices about how much we actually need that item.

For the holidays, I asked Santa to bring me a small upright stick vacuum for our area rugs.

Part of what makes us accept this new normal is figuring out how to live again. There are daily activities that make us feel like nothing has changed, like being able to make dinner or do the dishes.

Please feel free to share your ideas on making yon home life livable.

What a wonderful post!

Oh, how I'd love to be able to rip out carpets and put in hardwood - that would make my life so much easier!!!

Simplifying my life has been a running theme since my diagnosis. Economy of movement is important. Some things I have done...


- put things I use regularly at my level so I don't have to bend or lift my arms to get them, as I have issues doing both at times (cookware, spices, utensils, etc.)

- jar opener

- lots of crockpot / slow cooker cooking - it's on my level, no bending to get things out of the oven or standing for long periods cooking on the stovetop, meals are quick to assemble

Living room:

- our bed (with four inch memory foam topper) is now in our living room so that I can relax in bed and talk to my husband when he gets home from work at night/before I go to sleep without then having to get myself up and into another room to bed. This also works well with five kids, as I'm centrally located should the kids have issues in the middle of the night. We throw a quilt over the bed, put a cushion against the wall at the back of the bed, and add lots of pillows and it's a queen sized lounge by day that my kids love to cuddle up in to read books or watch movies.

- our tv is on a dresser and our dvds are in the dresser drawers for easier access - I can pull out a drawer and see LOTS of dvds at once to find what I need, looking down into the drawer instead of trying to read the spines on a shelf.

I also do most of the grocery shopping in a matter of days, with basic meals planned for the entire month. Kids come with me to help with the lifting if needed, as we buy lots of bulk stuff with a family of seven and up to seven "extra" kids in the house on any given day.

We prioritize what activities we, as a homeschool family, want to be involved in so we don't overcommit and I'm not driving kids all over the place every day.

As we do laundry, I roll up outfits and put them in a basket for easy access and I'm not fidgeting with clothes every day.

We have a giant dry-erase board with seven-week calendar, upcoming events, and chore chart so everyone knows what's going on on any given day and what their household responsibilities are every day. Each of my children is in charge of a specific room or task each week, and it rotates weekly, which helps tremendously with housework.

Great work ! A lot to keep you busy. I think that one of the tough things is learning the limitations and adjusting to them. I've made a lot of changes too. Very small things but for me it's a big help.

The pottery dishes and such are a huge problem when cleaning up.

We have just started doing that as well. We are a homeschool family. Before PsA I was happy to drag all my used school books out to the different sales in the Atlanta area. No more. My wonderful husband took pictures of all our academic material and put them on ebay. Light bulbs went off and my girls began the hunt to see what else they could sell as did my husband. So we have been selling some and then giving some to charity. It has been working out well.

As for housekeeping, I've divided the house into 3 zones. There are rooms, such as the bathrooms and the kitchen that get a thorough cleaning every week. Any thing else has been put into week 1 for cleaning, week 2, and so on. It is a rotating schedule.

I am a couponer, so I buy sale items in bulk. That way my pantry is always full so if I don't feel like going out, I don't have to. When I do have to go out, my girls go with me. They are my heavy lifters. No, I am not a shelf clearer. Almost all meals are planned in advance.

Laundry, I have a 4 bin sorter. The bag of dirty clothes lifts right up, no bending over and everything just goes right in the washer. I have a clean clothes basket. Everybody folds their own clothes. So you know that my clean clothes basket is always full! :)

Our side by side refrigerator finally gave out. I hated that thing. We purchased a French Door style; the shelves pull out to you. I highly recommend this type of refrigerator. It is wonderful.

Love this post and the new ideas!

I too have been purging and organizing! What a great topic. Thank you Grumpy. I have been working with PT again to keep my pain minimal and my mobility maximized. Each of us hurts in different ways and with different activities. The trick is to learn, with PT help, how to adapt to a changing disease. My PT and I have come up with something that is working for me. I do each activity for 20 minutes then change activities. I do some standing, some sitting and some kneeling. The hardest part for me is to leave a job half done. The nurse in me can't stand looking at something pulled apart and not put back together until tomorrow! My PT has told me to view it as stations in a gym. It has helped immensely and I am getting more done with less pain and swelling in my joints and tendons. And I am building a tolerance for half cleaned closets. I know it will be fixed tomorrow when I have save up another 20 minutes to spend.