and Creative Caregiving

ousekeeping is not an activity a lot of people get excited about. Despite infomercial testimonials for getting your home clean and smelling beautiful, it is difficult to get excited about this. 

Hoarder reality shows sort of inspire one to maintain a home so that it does not get out of control. Homes with physically challenged people cannot afford to compromise on living space.  I was going to state circulation space but - sleeping, eating, bathing, relaxing – all types of activity require areas and their freedom from clutter to not only enable movement but to allow freedom of the mind.  I don’t think one can comfortably and intelligently address what a care giver needs to handle when there are mounds of matter occupying sofas, chairs and the like.

Housekeeping Machine Glitches

I am reminded a statement attributed to Edward Murphy that "things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance," or “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” While taking care of my husband, we experienced a broken washing machine and a broken dryer. There were a couple of instances where the washing machine and the dryer were down at different times.  The earliest appointment for service was six weeks later. I washed sheets, blankets, and towels in the tub.  I placed them on large waste bag lined walls of the carport in the back yard. I covered bricks with plastic shopping bags and placed them on the wash to keep them in place.

Species by Allison L. Williams Hill

Men and women have entered the wonderful world of housekeeping. Many products claim to improve the quality and speed of home maintenance.  

There are several house organization resources in books and on line. I grew up with many that my mother read monthly. Magazines like Family Circle, Woman’s Day, Woman’s World have great solutions.  I have clipped many- a habit developed from watching my mother-and maintain them in a binder or a folder. 

Housekeeping and Creative Caregiving Tips

Below are some suggestions on how to address the many steps involved in keeping a home. Separate the home into parts: floors; walls; surfaces; bathrooms; kitchens; storage; washing; dusting; vacuuming, etc. Work from the top down.

1.    Assign chores to days in the week or month, if possible.

2.    Organize related chores to compress the time used to execute them.  Look to maintain an even level of cleanliness throughout the home.

  • Group them around typical tasks like:

        + cleaning the kitchen after dinner to collect all waste and removing all of it from the house;

          + spray cleaning horizontal surfaces in the most used areas, then

           +   cleaning floor surfaces via sweeping or vacuuming at the end of the day.

3.    For tasks that require help, look for and schedule assistance within your budget.

4.    Decentralize where you keep cleaning products.

  • Split large bottles of cleaners into several small bottles and place them where needed and convenient.
  • Consider using natural cleaners like baking soda and white vinegar.  You can find information on them at Herb Quarterly and at Mother Earth News.
  • Rather than purchasing a specific cleanser for every use, consider using one that can be diluted for many needs.  Miracle Soap II is a wonderful cleaner.  I have used it for everything from my floors to laundry and for my body. When I buy large gallon quantities, I plan to phase it in: after using what I purchased, I will keep the bottles and refill them with recipes (by varying the water) for specific applications. In other words, the product that was used for floors or windows will keep the same label for easy identification.  Read testimonials of people using it Miracle Soap.

5.    Waste collection can be easier.  Depending on where the waste is collected, schedule how often the container needs to be emptied.  To minimize trips to the central storage closet, place several waste bags in the bottoms of trash baskets to pull up after the one in use is full and removed.

Housekeeping Documents

 6.    Papers and Files

The care receiver could generate lots of documentation all on their own that covers medical; financial, and other information.  You may not have to be reminded to keep them available, or handy but perhaps the storage method you use now can be improved or expanded to include other items.

Keep a loose-leaf binder with pocket dividers to include:

1.    schedules;

2.    appointments;

3.    lists of prescriptions, supplements, etc.

4.    Shopping lists; you will be suing several resources. Save time by listing the best place to get the products you use.

5.    Receipts; move them into labeled envelopes each month. This will save you time when filing taxes. 

6.    Clipped coupons; use your cell phone to download coupons from the stores you patronize.  Remember to use your codes received when you become a member for more savings.

7.    Meals and meal plans; I found it beneficial to use a large calendar to record my husband’s meals and supplements. Reducing food repetition, using foods more than twice in a four-day period, reduces the creation of food allergies.  Food allergies range from irritation, inflammation, anger, sleepiness, weight gain and loss. Pharmaceutical corporations and traditionally trained doctors would prescribe drugs for these conditions that could be resolved naturally with food.

8.    Telephone numbers – supporters; friends, medical facilities and personnel involved. 

All of the information is in one accessible place, removed from your head.   Transfer all bits of paper onto pages in the binder. If it is important to keep a notebook, choose one that works for you from various available sizes.    Make it easy on yourself.  Go to for more great ideas.

Meditation with Clem October 2016 by Allison L. Williams Hill



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