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3 Things You Can Do to Simplify Life with Chronic Illness

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3 Things You Can Do to Simplify Life with Chronic Illness

Life with chronic illness tends to be stressful, but there are three things you can do right now to simplify your life.

1) Declutter Your Home

Clutter interferes with a sense of well-being. Too many possessions and too much furniture can make you feel like a bull in a china shop, especially if you have disabilities or problems with fatigue. You can’t do much about places you visit, but your home is within your own control. You don’t have to be an absolute minimalist, but less truly is more.

  • Make sure your furniture fits comfortably in your home with ample room for people to maneuver.
  • Have one spot in the house for newspapers and magazines. After you read them, they should be immediately recycled. If the next issue arrives and you still haven’t read the old one, get rid of it.
  • As much as you adore having books around, learn to let go of most of them, keeping only a manageable amount. The same is true of videos, CDs and other items that collect dust and create visual clutter.
  • Chotskies, brick-a-brak, collectibles… whatever you call them, they take up visual space. Unless they are of particular sentimental or artistic value, you are better off without them, and the task of caring for them.
  • Coffee tables, end tables, and nightstands should be free of items that are not used every day. Even too many decorative wall hangings can interfere with the flow.
  • Save yourself the time and energy of searching for misplaced items. Organize your home so that you have a place for everything.
  • Every time you bring something new into the house, get rid of something else. You will get a sense of satisfaction from ridding yourself of useless things… even more so if you donate your old possessions to a worthwhile charity.
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Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis and Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. She is a freelance writer and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo

94 comments

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3:53PM PDT on Oct 27, 2013

ty

1:58AM PDT on Jun 12, 2013

Many great tips. Thanks for sharing!

7:14AM PDT on Oct 24, 2011

Useful stuff for people without chronic illness too.

10:01AM PDT on Sep 6, 2011

Thank you

6:31AM PDT on May 18, 2011

THANK YOU

1:25PM PDT on Apr 9, 2011

I never thought of my books as clutter but I do have a lot.Otherwise Im pretty clutter free.I try to do as much as I can when Im well so its not so hard for other family members to look after when Im not.

7:58PM PDT on Oct 18, 2010

Good idea

2:16PM PDT on Aug 9, 2010

Living in a motor home (as I do most of the year) instead of a house makes clutter a BIG issue. You will honestly be amazed what you really need to get by very comfortably. Three people need three plates........ if you don't drink coffee you need only one glass. Sounds outrageous, doesn't it? Honest, it works out fine and you'll love not having a kitchen filled with dishes to wash and put away. It feels good to give your books, magazines and games you no longer play to the local Friends of the Library to resell, too. They use the funds to buy goodies for the public library so your gift will enrich the minds of others!

12:40AM PDT on Jun 9, 2010

I wish I had room for a 'sanctuary' in my small studio apartment, but I don't. In fact, there is little room here for the things I actually 'need',so surplus is out the door immediately. I thought caring for a smaller space would be easier, but I was wrong actually. I'm now looking for a larger house or apartment, but it cannot have stairs. I hope I can try some of these suggestions out, but since I live alone, finding someone to share tasks with is out too. Well, at least I have my computer and my music and the books I love. I DO count my blessings, every single day. Most of us could be a LOT worse off than we are. (Imagine being sick AND homeless!)

4:24AM PDT on Jun 1, 2010

Thankyou for shareing this usefull info Ann

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