Mary Poppins type figure throws Duplo building blocks into a bin behind her in kids' room.

Energy-Saving Tips for Tidying Up

It’s the start of a brand new year and everyone has resolved to maintain organized and tidy homes!

Yay!

Am I right?

Keeping up with the household chores is tough. The constant expectation to tidy can be a real energy-drainer, especially when you have cystic fibrosis. As a stay-at-home-work-from-home mom, I know I feel overwhelmed by the mess, but also lack the energy to tidy up a lot of the time. With limited energy, it’s even more important to be intentional and efficient when picking up, so that it truly makes a difference in your home. Hopefully, with these energy-saving tips, you'll get the job done!

Arrange a cleaning and tidying schedule

The biggest piece of advice to staying on top of tidying when you have low energy days is to not let it get ahead of you. It’s completely overwhelming to look at a long to-do list and expect to cross everything off in one sitting. Honestly, for many people with CF, it’s just not possible.

With a limited energy budget due to my cystic fibrosis, one giant house cleaning event would certainly require me to recover for the next couple of days. Instead, I do one larger chore a day to make it more manageable (and slightly more enjoyable). For example, on Monday: vacuum, Tuesday: fold laundry, Wednesday: clean the bathroom, etc. If I am feeling feisty afterward, I will tackle something smaller on my to-do list.

A tidying schedule is great because, by the end of the week, the majority of the cleaning is completed without over exhausting myself in the process.

Utilize the room scan

Tiny, dangerous toys on the kitchen floor, coffee cups in the bathroom, and dirty nebulizer cups literally everywhere--that’s the crazy world of having small children while also having CF. Motherhood also means a random assortment of objects all over the place. The “room scan” is a simple yet efficient tool to tidying after small humans with minimal energy.

Essentially before leaving a room, take a quick scan around. Gather any items that don’t belong and can be returned on the way to your next destination. For example, before I leave my bedroom, I pick up the dirty coffee cups and my son’s sippy cup on the way to the kitchen. Both items are returned where they belong without me making another trip up the stairs solely to clean up.

By doing a room scan before leaving a room, you can intentionally tidy the clutter without leading to additional trips around the house. Now, go use that excess energy for good!

Only touch things once

Personally, my greatest tidy undoing is that I am a “piler”. I tend to throw things in a pile with the intention of putting it away eventually. Eventually never comes and the piles just end up moving around the house. Implementing the “only touch things once” rule has reduced my own stress and helped save my own tidying energy immensely.

The “only touch things once” rule is very simple. When trying to put items away in your home, such as groceries, immediately place it where it belongs versus placing it in a temporary home. If an item doesn’t have a permanent home, take the time to find a solution now. For example, when buying toothpaste at the store (likely through grocery pick-up), instead of placing it on the counter intending to put it away later, I now immediately put the toothpaste away in the bathroom where it belongs. Completely following through on simple tasks like this will help keep your home in order and clutter-free.

Accepting your health is priority

Bottom line: having a clean and tidy home is great, but your health is greater. It’s absolutely fair to prioritize your health and listen to your body’s limits. If you need to stop mid-chore and rest, do it. Use the extra time in your schedule to complete additional airway clearance if you need it that day. Your lungs are more important than a clean countertop.

Better yet, use your precious nap time to take a nap yourself. For our own well-being, it vital to accept that different seasons of life will dictate the priority of our to-do lists. When needed, take the time to care for your health instead of your home!

Do you have any trusted energy-saving tips for keeping your home in order? Please share with us in the comments below!

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