Patchwork-style composition containing a person using a push-cart for laundry, someone sitting while doing dishes, and a person sweeping with a broom and a long-handled dustpan.

Tips for Household Chores

Keeping up with household chores can be a burden, even more so for people who suffer from heart failure. Things that would be easy for most people can be absolutely exhausting. I wanted to take some time to share some tips and tricks that have helped me tremendously when trying to stay on top of household chores.

Laundry

Laundry is the bane of my existence. I would rather do just about anything else than wash, dry, and fold laundry. There is a lot involved and it can cause trouble if you aren’t careful. Try to minimize as much strenuous movement as possible. I have a laundry basket that is on wheels which helps so much that I can pull it rather than carrying it around the house which can make me short of breath. Sit down when folding laundry. Take breaks and don’t feel like you have to do it all at once. Go slow.

Dishes

Keep a bar stool or chair in the kitchen and sit while washing dishes. If you have to load and unload the dishwasher, sit in the chair and take the dishes out of the bottom rack of the dishwasher and set them all on the counter. This will help minimize the number of times bending down to get things off of the bottom rack.

Floors

It’s surprising how much vacuuming, mopping and sweeping can take it out of you! Especially if you have a large area to cover. What I have personally found helpful is to break it up into sections and only do a little bit or one room at a time. Consider getting a robot vacuum if it is within your budget! A dustpan that is on a long handle can be very valuable because you won’t have to bend down to pick up the dust you have swept.

Ask for help

There will be times when you are just too exhausted and/or don’t feel physically up to doing any housework at all. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Family and friends are a great place to start asking. If you don’t have any family or friends close by check to see if there are any local groups that might offer assistance.

Don’t feel like you have to do all of your chores at once. It can become completely overwhelming and a detriment to your health. Break it up and space it out. One day try focusing on one thing, like dishes or laundry, and even then, only do a little bit at a time and take plenty of breaks. And if you are having a bad health day, take care of yourself as that takes prescience over household chores. Don’t feel bad for taking care of yourself first! If you don't take care of yourself first, you won’t have the stamina to do any of the necessary household chores. Try to plan ahead and come up with a tentative plan of what you want to do each day and tackle it as you are able.

What tips & tricks have you found helpful when doing household chores? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

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