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Organisation and chronic illness

 Today I want to talk about organisation and chronic illness, something that has saved me so many flares even this past week so let’s get into it!

organisation and chronic illness
Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash
Image description: a woman is sat on a bed, in front of her on a wooden tray she is organising things in a diary and there is a cup of coffee beside her

If you are anything like me, you have probably watched TV shows like the home edit, and Marie kondo and wished you could have a lovely organised home. The problem is that when you are fighting a painful and tired body making the time to get organised is never easy!

However, since moving in with mom and becoming her carer we have had to be more organised as I have to make sure I have enough energy to look after her. Over time we are reorganising what we have, decorating and making sure everything has a home and is put in it’s place.

By the way you can follow this journey over on my YouTube channel!

It can be so tempting when fatigued to throw your clothes in a pile and sort them at the weekend, or to have a tidy round on a good day and trust me I used to do the same! But I have found this just makes my space feel overwhelming and takes up so much energy and time on the day that I have to tidy which I’m sure you have also discovered?

Another thing is that I used to fly by the seat of my pants when it came to organising my weeks, especially after I could no longer work. This made pacing almost impossible and left me struggling for days if not weeks in flares after needing to go and do something big or special.

So let’s talk about the things I changed so flares were fewer or lasted less time.

Organisation and chronic illness

  • Get a diary – at the end of each month I sit down with my husband and we plan our whole month. I write down the days I’m filming, what days I need to spotlight on social media, if I am going out of the house… Everything is written down. Then at the start of every week with just a quick glance I know when I need to rest and when I am doing things. This has made pacing so much easier and helped me to avoid huge flares though I do still have tired & painful days around events it’s much less because I can plan.
  • Get organised – my bedroom and the kitchen were the rooms that needed this the most for me personally. But yes I’ve taken what works for me from TV shows like home edit and Marie kondo and implemented them. From Lazy Susan’s for my sauces, under shelf storage and Drawer organisers. It all means that I am not wasting spoons searching for things they are always exactly where I put them.
  • Put things away – going along with the last point, I put things away where they live as I go I have found this to be a big game changer. Of course there are nights when I just throw my clothes on the chair and climb into bed, but mostly I try to make sure my things are out away the next morning. Letting things pile up will waste more energy as you search your home for what you need and then have a big clean up to do. That two minute clean up as you go is far easier to manage and will keep your home more manageable.
  • Plan to rest – I know in our western society ruled by money, we are encouraged to push to the limits and rest only when absolutely necessary! However, when you have chronic illnesses you have to let that go your worth does not come from what you achieve, nobody’s is that’s just a lie from society!!! So, plan your rest time, I tend to do a job, and then rest before the next, but you have to experiment and find what works for you.
  • Why stand when you can sit – I also sit whenever possible, most things can be done while seated so get creative! I have a shower chair, a chair for the kitchen, I even do the ironing sitting down! Having fatigue issues comes with the territory but once you start looking for ways to sit and rest while doing everyday tasks your life and energy will get better letting you keep up with the other points I’m making.
  • Speak up – this is a hard one for many of us but asking for help is so important! When we organised my mom’s wardrobe and drawers she did it with her friend, I needed to save spoons and her friend was happy to help. In the evenings when I’m not feeling well, my husband will help me undress and put my clothes away for me. Asking for help is a great way to achieve goals and let friends and family understand your symptoms better so speak up if a task is too big or tiring!
  • Take your time – watching shows about being organised make it all look easy! Get everything you own out and sort through it then get rid of what you don’t want and put away in a day! But for us it’s not so easy! Organising our kitchen took me and my husband almost a week and was planned for over months. Saving up to buy organisers, clearing out and tidying up takes us so much longer and that’s ok! Take your time and get it right there is no rush, society makes us feel as if we have to get everything done right away but why? Slow down and make that job work for you! We organised our kitchen in January and still have not finished the drawers are the next job!
  • Shop around – now the moment you think organise you think money and I hear you! But look around in supermarkets and charity shops and places like B&M and plan a job ahead of time! I used to buy a little every month and I still do we are planning to have our bedroom done early next year and I’m already buying things! Take your time and get the things you want it might take longer but when a room is organised it makes so much difference!
  • Maintenance – once a room is organised it is important to keep up with it, as you go put things away, throw out what doesn’t work and take things to the charity shop. It’s important not to let things get untidy or your system to get overwhelmed after all your hard work and planning. This is an important part of it and though it sounds like a lot it is pretty easy once you get into a little routine.

These are all things that have genuinely helped me, organisation and chronic illness work well together and once you get into it makes your house feel so much better. I have felt so much happier and at peace in my space ever since organising and being able to put things away and find things easier. I hope this has helped you feel better in your home as well.

Thank you xx

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