Cleaning Hacks for Spoonies (and the Generally Messy)

Even before I became disabled, cleaning wasn’t exactly my favorite pastime. Floors often went neglected, windows were left grimy, and dishes pilled up in the sink. Still, it was fairly easy to keep the house an acceptable level of clean by putting in a quick 20 minutes of cleaning a night. Oh boy, those were the days!

Thanks to my Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), and the exercise intolerance it brings with it, 20 minutes of light cleaning leaves me gasping for breath, flushed in my face, dizzy, drenched in sweat, and with a racing heart. With three humans and two pets, mess accumulates quickly in this house. It’s as though each living creature in our home travels with their own personal sized cyclone that leaves wreckage wherever anyone goes.

Needless to say, we’ve had to get creative with how we pick up around the house. Please be advised that these tips may not work for everyone…so don’t get mad at me if your house is still messy after reading this post. If nothing else, at least these brilliant (untested) hacks can leave you in a brighter mood while you stare at the disaster that is your home.

*I am not affiliated with any of the product links shown in the article and cannot speak to their efficacy. They exist purely to highlight my points and maybe get a few chuckles.*


1. Put Your Feet To Work!

Many of us spoonies spend the majority of our days in bed or restricted to the couch, only getting up to go to the bathroom or to the kitchen for more supplies. Spending half an hour walking around the house, up and down stairs, and into every room is too much activity for many of us, so why not break the job into smaller chunks? Simply wear a pair of super fuzzy socks or these sock sweepers and you’ll be cleaning wherever you go! You can even sweep from the couch by simply gliding your feet around the floor without ever getting up. Once the dirt has all been lifted, soak them in hot water and soap and you’ve got travel size mops ready to go. Sure, most of the cleaning might be constrained to the path from the couch to the kitchen and bathroom, but ya gotta start somewhere!

Do you have carpet instead? Or perhaps in addition to hardwood/linoleum? Never fear! The geniuses at Denso’s have you covered with their vacuum cleaner shoes! Wowza! Stylish and useful, you’ll never need you cumbersome push vac again, and thank god because I really hate them. Now, they may not work if your floors aren’t visible under mounds of stuff…but, then again, if ya can’t see it, then how do ya know it’s even dirty?!


2. Save Water, Clean Your Body & Your Clothes

Just washing my clothes in the bath, as I am wont to do.

Most spoonies know that bathing isn’t exactly easy. Personally, I have to rest for at least 30 minutes to an hour after bathing just to get enough energy to get dressed. Using so many of my daily allotted spoons on bathing doesn’t leave much for cleaning or other chores. That’s what makes this idea so brilliant! You can cut down on your chore time by washing your clothes as you wash your body. You’re already lathering up, why not spread that lather around and get everything clean at once? Besides, washing clothes one outfit at a time also saves on folding…although it won’t do much for the laundry pile that is growing in the hall. But, that’s why we call these life “hacks” and not life “solvers.”


3. Invest in Pets

Pets are great for many, many reasons. They provide companionship, entertainment, and joy. And, yes, they do create some messes of their own, but they will also make sure that you never have to clean up spilled drinks or dropped food ever again! It’s true, while not highly advertised, pets love to help clean up messes. In fact, our animals are so dedicated to their jobs as cleaners that they immediately come running anytime a package is opened that they believe might possibly have even a morsel of food in it. They will then faithfully watch our every move, our every bite, just to make sure that should any food hit the ground they will be able to clean it up right away. They’ll even go so far as to sniff the area for hours after we’ve finished eating, just to ensure that they’ve fully completed the task. I don’t even want to think about the great number of crumbs that would be filling our home if it weren’t for our hardworking faithful companions. Not to mention the time they save me on washing dishes as they are more than willing to lick each and every dish until it is spotless!


4. Decorate Creatively

No one would know that laundry hides under that blanket!

You know what they say, “it’s all in how you decorate.” Do they say that? Well, I’m sure someone says that. Think outside the box and soon your mess will turn into dazzling designs. For instance, a colorful shawl draped over a dresser can hide the mail that has piled up on top. A vase of fresh cut flowers can mask the smell from the overflowing trashcan. Stack empty pizza or shipping boxes to create an unique end table or footstool. Used containers from Chinese take-out are great decorative additions for any table top and can be filled with all sorts of goodies found around the house, such as: batteries, loose change, rubber bands, paper clips, that one sock without a pair, and so on. A bright and cheerful blanket transforms any laundry pile into a pure work of art. Guests are sure to be left wondering where on Earth you learned to decorate when they see your creative style.


5. Just Apply Philosophy

If all else fails, I like to get philosophical with my cleaning habits. Many a philosopher has pondered, “if a tree falls in

Looks clean to me. Just don’t turn on the lights!

the woods and there’s no one there to hear it, did it make a sound?” I simply apply that way of thinking to the room around me, “if no one can see the mess, is it really there?”

There are many ways in which this can manifest itself in a spoonie’s life. For starters, keeping the lights dim works wonders. Bright light has a way of showing off all the dust that has collected around a room, but if you keep the lights dim, then no one can see the dust and it’s almost as if it isn’t even there. Keep your blinds down on all of your windows, that way you’ll never have to see the smudges. And, in extreme cases, simply forbid people from ever entering your home. No one will see how messy it is if they aren’t allowed inside!


In all seriousness, please don’t take any of these suggestions seriously. Keeping your house clean while also trying to stay alive is hard, and I don’t know that any of us have a magic fix worked out (if you do, please share!!). We’re all trying to do the best we can with what we’ve got, and for that, I think we’re pretty freaking awesome. Keep fighting, Warriors, and try to find the humor in life whenever possible.


Do you have any awesome cleaning hacks to add to the list? Comment below and don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a fresh post!






I am a mother, partner, teacher, daughter, writer, and blogger. I'm working on turning my private hobby into a public one, whether the public asked for it or not. I have a BA in theatre and a Master's in Education (with a Montessori integration), making me a highly overqualified internet ranter.

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