A confession: my cleaning skills fail to live up to a Martha Stewart orderly-with-a-hint-of-lemon way of life. I care about cleanliness, but I’m not obsessed. I suppose I never derived joy from a scrubbed and spotless area; pristine environments intimidate me. I’m aware that I’m “messing up” something, and I’d much rather be enjoying company or creating something than maintaining things.
Add low vision (and pets!) to my lack of housework militancy. I fall behind. No longer can I glance at a counter and notice some crumbs, or scan the walls for smudges, or catch cat hair on the furniture. Thankfully, my husband points things out to me as needed which is helpful and never in a bossy way. But, it’s annoying to “finish” cleaning something only to realize I missed an area.
To minimize the extra hassles, I employ a tip from my OT. I clean by the grid method. Instead of sweeping over surfaces with the vacuum or wiping down counters with speed, I work strategically. I cover the area as if it were a grid and move with purpose: up and down, up and down; left to right, left to right.
I can’t miss too many things if I follow the grid. I might not scrub hard enough, but the surface gets attention. The chore turns into a routine which turns into a habit. The grid method: it’s a good thing.
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I have learned to forgive myself when my cleaning doesn’t meet my former obsessive standards. The gird method really does get most of the major mess. I always tell friends and family “If you see something I’ve missed, you don’t have to tell me, just clean it!” They laugh, and get right to it.
The grid method works. And your words are a great way to let others help out.