I am sure other unpaid carers can identify with this.

It has been years since I did a full spring clean, the house is cluttered with old stuff, old tv, hi fi never managed to go to the tip.
The bedroom has loads of clothes that probably don’t fit my any more.
The kitchen has out of date food in the cupboards, was eating at my carees most of the time, just didn’t get much chance to cook for myself in my own house.
The bathroom I do try and clean and keep sanitary.
I still have cassette tapes stacked in a cupboard but nothing to play them on.
The curtains haven’t been washed for years, need pulling down and new ones fitted.

The whole house needs cleaning top to bottom, redecorating maybe fresh paint.

AS a carer I just haven’t had any time to myself let alone time to clean my house, that’s part of the Care Act but it was made clear to me time and time again, my caree would not get any more help, left to me and others to supply the extra care needed.

I feel ashamed seeing all this I am intelligent, I am not a slob but I am living in a tip to put some nice words on it.

I kept my carees house spick and span perfect as the council cancelled the cleaning, my caree couldn’t do the cleaning was just told to pay for a private cleaner.
I had to help many other carees with cleaning and general upkeep of the house etc, there just is no one to help , the paid carers didn’t have time.

What an uncivilised world we live in that unpaid carers have no choice to live like this.

I have no friends to come around and help, lost them through caring all the time, they just sort of drifted away.

I sort of resonate. It has been a while since I have done a full clean of my house. Must do one in the next week or so.

Me too

Mine too. I find it makes my mind quite cluttered when things are really bad!

Could you put a little time aside each week to have a little sort and clean? Even if just an hour or so at a time? Maybe write a list to get it all out of your head. And then try and tick one thing off each week?

You could try the Marie Kondo method where you sort one category of thing at a time? So clothing, books, music, etc. All goes into a big pile and you sort item by item. Asking yourself if the thing is useful and if not does it bring you joy - if it does keep. If not it is gone. Not tried this, but like the idea.

Also maybe stop cleaning your carees home at the expense of yours? I’m not saying stop all together, but perhaps drop the standards there a little bit free up yourself and your own home?

I know it is hard and I agree a sad situation that carers are in this boat.

Our local council also do a larger items tip collection. I think there is a small fee, but that might be a way to sort the TV, HiFi etc? You just book it online and leave the stuff outside the house for collection.

I’ve found the only way to keep on top of stuff is to sort/clean one room at a time - that’s not so daunting as trying to clean the house in one go :open_mouth:

Our local council also collect larger items for a small fee - you can book up to 3 items at a time. Alternatively the British Heart Foundation might take the electricals like TV, high-fi etc. Unfortunately I can’t think of anywhere that would take old cassettes - perhaps look online ?

Your other choice regarding general cleaning would be to hire a cleaning company to blitz the whole house but, of course, that comes with a cost attached !

Hi Londonbound
It all takes time, I’m 2 years post careing and have spent the first year getting most rooms decorated and lodgers in. The 2 hidden rooms are my bedroom where things are piled sky high and the office/private lounge which hasn’t been gone through in years. I’,m concentrating on that this week - finally time to make my own space a nice place to be. Long overdue but I never feature at the top of my list. I’ve still got brand new fishing waterproofs with tags from the 1970s stored at my feet. The last bits I need to find a home for- no one would wear, hugely expensive at the time of purchase for a family holiday in Scotland in 1976. Strange to be unable to throw them out- museum? still can’t think o f a destination for them, so yes they are under my desk! Where else???

I agree it takes time,and money. My husband was always a bit of a hoarder, but when his illness started, he wouldn’t throw so much as a rusty nail out. The garage was a danger zone. My first job was forced, as I had a sewerage leak in the garage. So a plumber was called out (recommended by age UK). He was very good, as I ordered a skip, and he threw everything in it that was in the way, and unusable. Was at a cost of course. Over 3 years down the line, I’ve picked away at jobs, with breaks in between. Have another skip being delivered tomorrow. Still have tons to do, and at times feel overwhelmed, if not careful. Sometimes I tidy a drawer or cupboard, and can feel better for that. Have to push myself.
Admittedly, it’s easier for me now, as I don’t have to visit hubby. Sadly.

Agreed! I’ve not had a completely clean house for YEARS! And to be honest I rarely have time to blitz a whole room, it is just bits at a time! I concentrate on area that might be unhygienic… toilets, basins, work surfaces…

Hello Londonbound,
Thank you so much for sharing your post because there are lots of us (including me!) who are in a similar situation. I have been caring for my mum for nearly 5 years now. To begin with I was full of enthusiasm and not realising what I was taking on. My poor house has been ignored and some of the rooms need decorating plus I have items that are no longer needed and should be thrown away. The garden also needs a new patio. But I just keep putting it off. My mum is unaware that my home needs attention.

Forget all the trendy tidying up stuff, never designed for carers!!
Stop being Superwoman, you are NOT there to give everyone else a palace whilst you live in a tip. Each of your carees should be on AA/DLA/PIP and that means they can afford an hour or two a week for their cleaning. This should make them think about how they too can minimise the amount of housework they make!

My house is always untidy, but I like to think it’s clean. Monday morning I always do the carpet in the lounge properly. Once everything is off the carpet and back where it belongs. it looks OK in case we get visitors.

Just think about giving the “evil eye” to things you really don’t need any more and bin them. No taking them out once they are in there! The only reason to keep it is if it would
a) cost too much to replace if you needed to buy another one
b) they don’t make them any more.
I have a large cheap carrier bag in my conservatory. Any clothes I don’t want go in there, and then go to the charity shop when it’s full.
I empty the dishwasher every morning whilst my toast is toasting and coffee is too hot. Then I don’t do much in the kitchen during the day, just put plates and dishes in the dishwasher as I’m passing. Then whilst I’m waiting for the veg to cook etc. I do a bit of sorting out.
My daily "uniform is jeans and T shirt/poloshirt. Not pretty but very practical. In the washing machine, dryer, fold and put away. Ironing reserved for my pretty holiday clothes.

Me too!

I have never lived in such a messy house before.

It’s not how I like it but it’s the way it is.

I’ve just finished two hours of paperwork re one son

Am I going to clean the house tomorrow ?

No I’m not!

I’m going to do my favourite sporty hobby instead

I shall do a bit of tidying of kitchen and bathroom in between and throw a bit of washing in machine at
Teatime .

Used to have immaculate house

Oh well.

Never mind…

I have to admit I am a bit OCD with cleaning and do it all the time. Front room. Dining room. Kitchen. Porch. Stairways. Bedrooms. If it’s not completely tidy, I get on edge. Also Mum is on methotrexate and I don’t want her picking up a cold or flu or an infection so I have to I guess.

Mum is a hoarder like her husband so the basement is a complete tip. It’s hard work to get that tidy but it’s on my list of things to do when and if I get time. I doubt I will be able to do it myself.

When I get stressed I just throw things out which is most of the time. By things I mean my things. I’ve even bought new clothes and taken them to a charity shop because I didn’t want them anymore.

One thing I don’t bother doing anymore is ironing my clothes. I’m not a model and someone at work said if you hang your clothes up to dry, most of the creases come out anyway.

I’m one of the very few people who find ironing therapeutic! My friends think am odd. Used to love ironing hubby’s shirts. Didn’t like it so much if it piled up though so ironed each time the washing was dry. Yes, I iron bedding, and tea towels. Have to have a decent iron, with plenty of steam.

I love ironing. I did iron my clothes last night whilst my carees were with my partner. I try to iron clothes once a week. It is oddly therapeutic for me.

I have one room that must be tidy and clean all the time. And then that is my sanctuary when the rest get too much.

My wife (my caree!) is a clutter-bunny and loves to cover every surface with paperwork, ornaments or, in the event of failing inspiration, used crockery. My kitchen/dinner is my sanctuary and I apply a strict 24hr rule in that one room. Anything on worktop or table after 24 hours goes straight in the bin…

The other rooms I blitz from time to time, depending on how well I’m copying.

Also, I can retreat to the kitchen and do the ironing - I also find it very therapeutic :grinning:

Thanks for posting this. Mum died nearly three years ago and I’m living in her home with piles of stuff everywhere. It’s a real mess but I just don’t clear it out. Glad I’m not alone but it’s not a good place to be.

Rosemary, it took me and my two strapping sons a year to emply my hoarder mum’s house out. I so sympathise. Mum couldn’t throw away anything from her previous life away. So sad.
You can deal with this, bit by bit.
First imagine how nice the house would look without the “stuff”.
Then ask yourself how much of it is yours. One day I looked round my house, very little was mine, lots belonged to my late husband’s dead relatives.

I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life looking after it, to keep it clean, dusted, etc. etc. I wanted sew, not dust. So OUT it went.

Stuff of little value went on Freecycle or to the charity shop. I sold some via Gumtree, other stuff went to the auction house.
I love my lounge with just a 3 piece suite, bookcase, and TV stand. The less there is in my house the better. It’s still work in progress, but I’m getting there.

Ask yourself if you are going to need it in your future life? If the answer is “No” offer it to your children, otherwise it must GO.

Emotionally it can be difficult at times, if you really want to keep the memories it brings back, just take a photo of it.

Don’t try and do it all quickly. It doesn’t work for me. Just give “the evil eye” to one or two things at a time, every day. Over a year, that’s over 700 items!!!

Bowlinbun, this isn’t about living in a palace, all the jobs that my severely disabled carees can’t do and the paid carers won’t do, hoovering under the bed and the sofa ,washing the curtains, mopping the floors, cleaning the fridge, cleaning the oven.
Last 2 are food hygiene safety as well.
You imagine a house when none of these jobs are done, the carers don’t have time, dash in , dash out.

You would end up with a house like you see on those tv programmes.

My carees yes get PIP mobility, one used hers to get a decent electric wheelchair through the Motability scheme.
As the disabled bus service has gone, others are just told to get a taxi, where we live, £10 there, £10 home, supermarket, doctors, hospital etc.
All the PIP care is taken to pay Social Services leaving just the ESA about £100.
By the time you have paid bills, food etc, no money left to pay for cleaners etc

And that’s all social services say, if you want more help, pay for it yourself, how can you pay for extra care at £22 an hour?
Some under 60 so don’t get the winter fuel allowance, I think everyone who is disabled should get it but only for the over 60’s.
And many have debts from buying expensive equipment or built up care bills, and are under
debt management companys, any spare money goes towards the debts

And no savings, no private pension, nothing like that, majority of my carees been disabled from birth, just not been to able to work to earn a good wage, build up savings and get a private pension.

AND no family to help, some haven’t got family, some just never see their family.

Many are very upset and depressed, take pride in their home, want to live in a nice tidy house, but get such limited care have to rely on friends to help cooking meals, cleaning, household tasks, there just literally isn’t any help.
Social services are trying to cut an hour here, cut an hour there to save money so won’t give more time.

There just needs to be a lot more help for these people, they are as the Care Act says “unable to maintain a home” but are not given the right support to do so.

And its not the carees that create the housework, messy carers, walking in with muddy shoes, spilling things, leaving cups all over the place, just not cleaning up after themselves, they don’t have time.

Are the carers arranged by Social Services?
How much are your carees paying towards their care?

I’ve recently discovered that for years my son has been paying too much as his “client contribution” and I have needlessly paid thousands to help give him a good life, because no one explained “Disability Related Expenditure”.

Has it ever been explained to you properly, what they can claim for??