Monday, November 25, 2013

You Can Do It Too

I really enjoy "seeing" everyone here on facebook. I get discouraged when I 

have so much to do -- that I don't know where to start because of my 

"exhaustive" feelings. BUT I have decided to take three tasks a day, put 

them into priority order -- one for morning, one for afternoon, and one for 

evening -- with nice breaks in between -- THEN when I was sitting on my 

couch reflecting on how good it felt when I had my focus, I also cleaned out 

the end-table drawer as an extra. ! LOL!!! Break it up in to small tasks works 

best for me and I hope someone else benefits from my post too -- it's doable 

-- baby steps -- even if just ONE task a day for the 365 days -- as already 

expressed on this page -- and it truly can make you feel so accomplished!!! 

Thank you so much for this fb page. (Takes sip of coffee and smiles) 

 Written by Nancy K.
I love my storage box,
 which I found at an outlet store.

I learn things from the wonderful 

ladies that comment on my Facebook 

Page, Chronic Fatigue and Creative 

Decluttering.  Moreover, I find that I 

am encouraged to keep on writing 

and to clean my own house -- even 

when I don't feel like it.

Changing from being a get the 

house clean in one or two days person to a 

woman, who can only get it done in small units of time, is a huge change.  It 

is easy to feel guilty, when you are sitting in your recliner with your feet up 

or waking up at 2 p.m., because you had to lie down.  

Say good-bye to that negative voice that questions you about what you 

cannot get done.  Instead, think of the things you can do, 

and do one thing at a time.  If a job is too big, divide it into 

smaller sections.

Since last week, that is how I have been cleaning my dining room.  I thought 

would get it done in a couple of days, but my energy has been lower than 

usual.  However, I knew baby steps would get me there.

Something nice happened yesterday.  My husband said, "I guess I will have 

to stop piling mail on the table."  What a blessing when your family notices 

progress.  And, because,  I have been decluttering so many things, I had the 

perfect sized empty basket for him to put mail in.  It is on a chair by the door.  

I don't know if I will ever have much energy again, even though I do hope, 

but I know I can have a clutter-free house.  All I have to do is take baby 

steps, and I will get there.  

You can do it too.


Cleaned Just in Time

My work table/dining room table

with fall decor. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Clean Is Possible

Seeing this picture of my dusted, neatly displayed books, and other items is a lift to the hope in my heart, that I can get to the point of being able to easily keep my house clean and uncluttered.  The bookcases were the last things I cleaned in the living room.  I usually give them a quick once-over, but this time I took the two days to do the job right.  

Sore knees, as well as tired and achy body, slow me down;  however, they don't have to keep me down.  Nor, do similar conditions have to keep you from doing things you would like to get done.  

Sometimes, persevering and sticking to it seems easier said than done;  but, you can do your chores in baby steps.  It's a matter of dedication.  

Some people learn to pace themselves and get the house in a reasonably clean condition faster than others.  Learning the how-to's is often dependent on a number of circumstances, so don't have a guilt trip over how long it takes you to develop a routine you can manage.  It has literally taken me years to develop my habits to a point I do not have to stuff things in a closet or take them out to the garage to have a house that looks clean.  I still consider myself and my habits as works in progress.

What are some of the negative circumstances that often keep people who have chronic illnesses and chronic conditions from keeping their homes uncluttered and clean?  

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Relapses
  • Flares
  • Depression
  • Guilt
  • Anxiety
  • Surgery
  • Pain
  • Afraid pain will develop from being more active
  • Lack of help or/and understanding in your home
  • Permanent Disability
  • Financial Conditions
  • Have developed bad habits while ill
  • Have grown physically weak from being sedentary

Two months ago, I did a detailed cleaning of the master bedroom.  My bedroom is still clean!  I am more conscious of hanging clothes up and putting my belongings away.  Dusting the bedroom is easier.  My next detailed cleaning of the master bedroom should be simpler.  I don't want it to take five days to get the job done, nor do I want to breathe in dust every night, as I sleep.  

It is lovely to know this is working.  I am feeling more confident that I can keep my home cleaned and uncluttered, despite my illnesses and my flare-ups.  

The truth is there have been bumps in the road for me.  I have gotten rooms clean before, and I've had them go back to messy.  However, the more I work at this, the better it gets.  In my gut, I have known there was a way to take care of my house better, even while ill.  Now, I am being assured by the results I am experiencing.

What can you achieve as you build better habits?  Can you let go of obsessions?  The following list may be some things that have bothered you:  obsessions over what you keep in your house; obsessing that the house has to be cleaned or decluttered in one day or one week; obsessions that only the way you clean is right;   and the obsession that if the house is not perfect, than it is not clean.  

Baby steps will get you there.  

We can do this.  We can improve our habits.  We can get the clutter out of our houses.  

Together,    We    Can   Do   This.  

You and I are thinking about decluttering:  getting it out of the house, and cleaning our homes, because we want it.  We want to enjoy the serenity of living in a clean, tidy environment.

I am praying for you, and I am cheering you on.



Friday, November 15, 2013

Making Yourself More Tired on the Internet

Image Courtesy of [stockimages]

This is going to be short, because I just realized I am making myself more tired on the internet.  

Now, I know this will probably ruffle some feathers.  I can hear the defensiveness now!  But, I am not tired:  I have bone-deep, muscle-deep, mind-numbing fatigue.  Yep!  I get that.  So do I.

Then, why am I sitting here, with my eyes about to close from weariness of wondering what should I read on the internet?  Being a person that runs out of energy quickly, one would think I would use a good day  to do some housework or go somewhere.  However, here I sit making myself tireder more tired on top of my fatigue, which adds up to getting nothing done.  

Therefore, I'm going to start working on the things I didn't do on my list yesterday.  It's time to put my laptop up, and do some things on my cleaning calendar.  I also have the option of working on undone things from yesterday's list.

 Image Courtesy of [Carlos Porto]
How about you?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Keep It Simple Holiday Cleaning Calendar

Choose one job a day to work on your
Christmas or Holiday preparatio
Image Courtesy of  [Salvatore Vuono]/

KISS = keep it simple sweetie!
Make bed
Take meds and supplements
One load of laundry
Unload dishwasher

Take meds and supplements
Load dishwasher
Chore of the Day

(If you are still in the Declutter Stage, work on this for 5 to 15 minutes or this can be your chore of the day, depending on your energy level.) 

Load dishwasher
Wipe kitchen counters
Pick up for 5 minutes 
   (use a basket)
Get ready for bed

Monday:        Dust 1 or 2 rooms
Tuesday:       Clean Toilets
Wednesday:  Mid-week Planning
                       Catch up 
Thursday:      Vacuum 1 or 2 rooms (Centers)
Friday:           Mop Floors
Saturday:      Time for family to help or 
                       Just  Family Day Fun
Sunday:         Time to Meditate and Worship  

P.S.  The way to print this is to hold your left mouse button down and slide the mouse along the 
part you want to print.  It should turn blue.  Then, you click on the blue with your right button, and you will see choices like Copy and Print.  You can right click on print to print it out, or you can copy it and save to your computer.  I am printing and framing my copy.  Then, I can use a dry erase marker or a wet erase marker to check off what I have done or write down something for the day or week.

The Holidays Are Just Around the Corner, and That's OK!

Image Courtesy of [suphakit73]/

Don't panic:  the holidays are just around the corner!  I'm a Christian, so I 
celebrate that Jesus Christ, whom I really do believe is the Savior of the World, has come, died on a cross (Easter), and arose from the dead.  He is actually my living savior, and I will see Him some day. 

I realize that some of you may not be Believers;  however, you may believe in God and you may like celebrating this time of the year, whatever your religion may be.  I do not hide my beliefs, because I believe that Jesus taught that he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no one can be with the Father (God), unless he or she believes in Him.

Some of the ways I like to celebrate is with bright colors, sending out cards, fixing festive food, and putting up a Christmas tree.  I use to always sing special Christmas music in church, but this year I have not had the energy to go to rehearsals.  However, I am sure I will sing carols around the house and in church services.  Different years, we have found special things to do for someone else;  as well as spending time with friends and family -- also exchanging gifts.

My early gift to you is going to be in my next post.  It's a Holiday Cleaning Calendar that you can put in a notebook, put on your refrigerator, or frame. It's free.  

Just print it out and enjoy.  

You may not do things on the same days I do, but I consider this an outline. I don't always know how I am going to feel from one day to the other, so I do what I can.  And, I do what I think is most important.  That is why I tell you to make a list.  Start with three things.

Have I mentioned that you don't have to have everything perfect or the way it used to be to enjoy your holiday?  Since I have been at the point I was most ill, I have discovered that simple is good.   

Simple is good!

May blessings abound in your lives.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Finding Your Motivators

What are your reasons for getting rid of the clutter in your house?  If you identify your motivators, perhaps, it will help you find your best reasons for not giving in to the clutter-bug.  Latch on to the reasons that are healthy and reasonable.  Let go of the reasons that push you over the edge, and make you want to rebel.
Taking Time to Smell the Roses

I know it is hard to keep going every day.  This morning, I was getting dressed, and I felt as if the energy was dribbling out of me.  But, I also know I am not in the middle of a relapse or flare, so I am taking small steps -- like getting dressed.  So far, I have made myself breakfast, dressed, brushed my teeth, put this morning's dishes in the dishwasher,as well as reading and answering some comments on Facebook.  And, I even read my Bible, although I have to admit to not enjoying reading about how some of the kings in the Old Testament worshiped idols and led their families down the wrong road.  And, I took the dog for a short walk and smell the outdoors time:  my hubby is out of town.

Alright, back to to what motivates.  We are looking at three areas of motivation.  You may want to identify your reasons before looking at mine.  You may have different reasons than I do,  and you might want to consider your thoughts before seeing mine.  After all this is personal.  In fact, I am doing this exercise as I write, and I will voice my real reasons.

  1. Identify your personal reasons for wanting a clean house.
  2. Identify your public reasons for wanting a clean house.  This could include relational issues.
  3. Identify the reasons or things that will actually help you keep the house cleaner with less output of energy.
Just a word of encouragement -- don't agonize over what you think are the "Right" reasons.  
Just jot it down; and come back to it later, before you start getting too analytical.  If you have a therapist, you might consider sharing this with her, especially if you come up with some things that touch on areas that bother you.

My Personal reasons for wanting a clean house:

This is one of my granddaughters
 and my husband at our former house.
  • I don't like living in a mess.
  • I want my house to look like a welcoming home for my husband and myself.
  • I want to use a clean bathroom.
  • I want to use a clean kitchen.
  • It is easier to find things in a clean house. 
  • When I say clean, I am not speaking perfection but reasonable cleanliness, where having to move reams of clutter and things that are out of place is not necessary to dust  or wipe off a counter.
  • It is easier to do chores in a clean house. 
  • I know I can't do all the things in one day, that a Proverbs 31 Woman does;  but, I still aspire to do what I can.
  • It makes me feel better about myself -- no guilt!
  • I want to enjoy my family, not justifying why I haven't gotten something cleaned.  I want to be comfortable in my own house--I am used to the idea I don't have to make it perfect.
  • I want to keep working on improving, even though I am ill.

My Public Reasons for Wanting a Clean House:                               

  • When we have company or family coming, I don't want to have to do rush clean up jobs.
  • I want to have time and energy to cook something special when family and friends visit, but I can still make meals over several days time easy.
  • I am always exhausted when we have visitors, because I worked so hard to catch up.  I end up doing too much, and it usually takes days for me to recover.
  • Last time my daughter and her family visited, I was too fatigued to go outside with them.
  • I want my friends and family to understand I am really ill, but I don't want them to think I live in a mess all the time (so I guess I do still care what people think to a degree). 
  • I would like to be able to invite people over on the days I feel well.
  • I don't want to be embarrassed if somebody drops by to visit. 

Things That Will Help Me Keep the House Cleaner with Less Output of Energy:

  • The more clutter I get rid of the easier it will be to take care of new clutter that comes in.
  • I do not want to keep things out of guilt or just because I love someone.  I can admire it for a time:  it does not mean I have to keep it forever.
  • Once in a while during weeks I am flaring or relapsing, I might feel comfortable in having someone in to mop, clean the bathrooms and kitchen, dust and vacuum if my house stays picked up.  I cannot afford to do this on a regular basis, but I have already talked to someone who would do it.  This would be a huge help those times my husband is on a mission trip, singing and playing at concerts.
Later, I will come back and look at my reasons.  I will keep those that I think are reasonable, and I will see if I need to readjust my thinking about anything.  For now, I am going to do some of the other things I want to do.  I need to get away from my list for a while, and you probably do too.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Admitting Something Is Too Much, Even When It Makes You Cry

Remember last week, when I was all excited about bringing the kitten home from the veterinarian's office.  I thought I could handle one little kitten, and I was determined to do it, even when one day in, I was extended beyond my energy level. Every morning, I kept telling myself, it was a good one;  and then, I crashed.

I am very glad the animal doctor said, "You can bring the kitten back if it doesn't work out."   She meant if my husband said, "No." Which he did not say.

However, I can see I am not kitten mommy material anymore.  A kitten is one more responsibility I do not need.  As delightful as the cat baby was, it was taking too much energy from me.  When I am unable to do some of my household duties, my husband assumes some of the responsibilities that were always my domain;  and, he did not need to care for a cat too, which was starting to happen.  

I admitted to him last night that I knew the kitten was taxing me beyond the number of spoons I have, so I had to make a decision.  Today, I called the veterinarian, and the kitty went back.  I pray she finds a good home with someone that gives her as much love, as she is willing to give back. 

It's hard to admit I cannot do the kitty mommy thing, but that is just the way it is.  It was hard when I had to give up other things too.  So, I cried.  But, I know I did the right thing for the kitten and us.  It is important to be considerate of my husband, who is often thrown into the role of caregiver.

It will be interesting if some of the stress that I felt building up lessens after making this decision.  It was the grown-up thing to do.  Hmm....I guess it was part of that magical thinking I had last week.  

Have you ever felt like you could take something on;  and then, you realized it was more than you should have planned to do?   Did you let your heart take over;  and then, you took a hit at your self-esteem?

I admit to telling myself, "I'm a bad kitten mommy."  But the truth is that I am a conscientious and loving person, who did not want to say, "I am too ill for this."  That is what I did not want to admit.    

Why am I telling you this?  Because, there are times we have to be honest and admit that as much as we like the idea of doing something or would like to if we were healthy, it is all right to say, "No!"  Deciding it is not a good idea to add a pet to your home or take on a new responsibility should not make you feel like a negligent or a bad person.  Only you can decide what is right for your body and situation.  Don't ever feel bad for utilizing the wisdom you have gained over the years.  This is your right and your responsibility.  Wear it well, and take care of yourself.


Computer Problem

Hello Everyone.  Bad news.  My laptop will not close without separating the screen surround.  It it sticking out in the back and will not go in.  Also, I can see wires.  I don't know how much longer I will have a computer, and I cannot afford one right now--unless, I find an extraordinary price.  

Meanwhile, I will do what I can with what I have and not close the computer.

Gentle hug,


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Rare Burst of Energy & the Fall Out

Image Courtesy of [Stuart Miles]
Last week, I had a rare burst of energy.  I wasn't sure why.  If there was something different that had caused it, I was ready to shout it out.  Unfortunately, My energy bubble burst early Saturday evening;  and by Sunday morning, I felt like I had been run over by a truck.

Just in case you are wondering about what I did that was different, here is a short run-down:
  1. Saturday - I went to town with my husband and the dog.  We ate outside at a fast food restaurant, so we could let our big baby sit with us.
  2. Sunday, I went to church and out to eat.
  3. Monday, I took the dog to the vet, and came home with a new addition to the family, a kitten.  I went to two stores to get the things we needed.
  4. Tuesday, I had to go to the store again, because Kitty had diarrhea.
  5. Wednesday, I got my hair cut and I went to another store.
  6. Thursday, I went to the doctor and the Habitat Humanity Thrift Store.
  7. Friday was our electrical problem day and move the furniture day.
  8. Saturday, my DH and I went to Walmart.  I had to walk most of the way in the store;  until I told my DH I was done, and he found an available cart.
I don't know if I was hit with new mommy gotta do it energy or what.  All I know is I was going out and doing more than I can usually do in a day.  It wasn't as if I had turned into Superwoman.  I did not get much done around the house, and I was dragging.  However, I was having a more normal daytime  schedule and going to bed at an early hour.  Now, it is a little hazy.  I cannot remember every detail -- of course!

But, I was thinking the post-exertional malaise was not going to hit, that I was suddenly pacing myself correctly.  I was in a feel-good bubble, that I did not want burst.  However, reality hit Saturday night as the fluish symptoms set in.  To top it off, I wish I had worn a depends to bed about 3 a.m. Sunday morning.  I was so tired and hurt so bad,  I had taken my new medication, which caused me to go into a deep sleep, and I did not even wake up in time to get out of bed to go to the bathroom.  

It would have been less bothersome, if I had enough energy left for church on Sunday morning.  But I had full-blown Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms that morning.

If this was the first time I had been hit by an energy fall-out, I would probably be frustrated;  but, I have learned I have to go with the flow and wait until I get wound up or restocked with energy.  Meanwhile, I am dealing with numb fingers and a swollen right hand--well actually the digits on the right hand.  So, I will do my therapy for that and quit typing soon.  The pain is becoming quite annoying.

The good thing is I can still see today is a beautiful, cool, fall day.  Also, I can alternately rest and do small chores.  I added some new ones with the kitty addition;  but as she lays here quietly asleep on my chest, while I write, it is sweet to know she is  already an enjoyable part of our family.

Today, I should be able to do my 15 minutes of decluttering and fix cabbage rolls for supper.  Also, I plan to get a load of laundry going.  I haven't been able to do all the jobs on my cleaning schedule, but I have had some extra last week and this week.

Finally, this kitten seems to belong.  She is friendly with our dog, and our dog has been accepting of her presence in the household.  Also, it is forcing me to relax, instead of pushing.  I simply have to close my eyes and breathe slower.