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Managing the Mess: Cleaning & Chronic Jaw Pain

Erma Bombeck said it best…..”My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be.”

Here is a list of tips to make housework easier for TMJD patients:

  • Keep cleaning supplies in each of your bathrooms and in the kitchen
  • Cleaning the shower is a snap with the “Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner
  • Kaboom has a “Never Scrub Toilet Cleaning System” that cleans, disinfects and prevents hard water stains for up to 5 months.
  • Many TMJD patients are very sensitive to sound, making vacuuming difficult. Get a Roomba, it can be programmed to run itself, and makes very little sound. Plus, it’s so cool! 😉 They even have robots that wash hard floors now (they are called Scooba’s.. LOL).
  • Have your family help you in a clutter clearing session, and donate your clutter to a local charity.
  • Put extra trash can liners in the bottom of your trash can, it makes changing bags a snap.
  • When it is time to clean the microwave, put a cup of water in and bring it to a boil. The steam will loosen any dried food.
  • Buy a reaching aid…bending over hurts my head. I also use the reaching tool to get at the mounds of missing socks that fall between the washer and dryer.
  • Keep a supply of disposable plates, silverware and cups on hand for those times when you have a baseball game, ballet lessons, soccer and PTA on the same night.
  • If you get behind on laundry, don’t panic. Your local laundromat will generally wash, dry and fold for you, and it is much cheaper than you think.
  • Tackle your housework in small bites, if your closet needs to be reorganized… do one or two shelves at a time.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help when it comes time to do the big jobs. If you are anything like me, I am the first to offer help, and the last to ask for help.
  • Make a list of age appropriate one minute chores for your kids. The list can include:

1. Empty the trash in the bathroom
2. Dust the television screen (a used dryer sheet works great to stop the dust from resettling!)
3. Wipe down an appliance
4. Put fresh towels in the bathrooms
5. Change the vacuum cleaner bag
6. Empty the litter box
Make a game out of the chores….give a prize to the kid who does the most in 10 minutes.

House cleaning is one of those things that those of us with TMJ disorder & chronic pain want to put on the back burner. Remember to pace yourself, do a little each day, enlist the help of your family, and make a plan that will help you avoid becoming overwhelmed.

Do you have any helpful tips that make house cleaning and chores easier?

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4 thoughts on “Managing the Mess: Cleaning & Chronic Jaw Pain”

  1. If you’re anything like me, you can rest and relax in a messy room. For a quick “fluff and stuff,” grab a laundry basket and start at one end of the house, gathering all items that don’t belong in that room. As you move through the other rooms, pick up the clutter from that room and deposit the items from the basket that belong in that room. Even in a bigger house, you can have it all picked up in about fifteen minutes or so and you’ll have a much more relaxing atmosphere in which to rest.

  2. @Lorelei66 That’s a good tip! 🙂 I’m pretty much like you… messiness doesn’t really bother me very much, it’s when things start to get dirty and gross that I care 😉

  3. Recently been trying this:  Housework 10 min., then do rest, relaxation, stretches, trigger points, or enjoyable activity for 10 minutes, then housework 10 minutes, then one of the other me choices 10 minutes.  I start in one room and pick the worst thing that needs done and do for 10 min.   When I do my next 10 min. segment of housework, I go to the next room and do the one worst thing needing done.  If I get interruptions, I just start back up again when I can.  I feel a sense of accomplishment in 10 minutes of work completed rather than a whole task complete.  I read recently this is called something like “pacing” and it was suggested to be sure and include enjoyable activities as part of the segments.   I don’t adhere strictly.  If I work on the kitchen and feel ok after 10 min, I may do another 10, then take a break.  Thanks for all the other great tips!!!

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