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Tips & Tricks

Depending on what your daily routine is and what your ‘responsibilities’ are at home, you have to really consider your MS during all of this. When I was first diagnosed, I was just a stay-at-home mom with two boys, ages 1 & 4 at the time. So, my day consisted of caring for the kids, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, grocery shopping and cooking. I used to think that those things were simple, no biggie… now, not so much.

So I’ve decided to share some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years on how to get things done, while having to deal/be cautious with your MS at the same time.

So, laundry… well there really isn’t a trick for that one. Just wish the clothes could fold themselves and I would stop missing one sock from a load of laundry. (I mean really, how does a sock disappear in to thin air?)  I have started to do not as big of loads of laundry, that way I’m not folding and putting up a ton of stuff all at once.

The kids are now a bit older, one turning 5 this month, the other will be 8 in May… so I’m not as “needed” as I was when I was first diagnosed, but of course a mother is always needed for SOMETHING. So I make sure to stock up on easy snacks for them. They have little tablets they can play on, with ‘learning’ games, not just games in general. I’ve also gotten them stuff to color and to read. So that helps out a lot.

Now, the big issue, cleaning the house. I learned the very hard way, not to do it all at once, or even in one-day period.  (Mind you I’m the only female in my house with my Father-in-Law, Husband, Two Boys, 5 dogs and 4 chickens). Lets just say, I don’t have a huge OCD problem anymore, because having this house spotless is mission impossible. But I have learned to clean one room at a time, not to rush and to take a break when needed. I also have hard floors, so I bought this Hoover Hard Floor Cleaner, that is a lifesaver, because it vacuums, washes and dries all in one machine. I’m also looking to getting those ‘automatic shower cleaners’ so that’s one less thing I have to worry about. Now the big trick, teaching the men in the house to do their part, still working on that one.

Now as for cooking… I can say the best invention ever made is a crockpot. There are so many websites out there or even pinterest that have really good/easy crockpot recipes. So, I’ve recently started to gather the recipes, buy the groceries, and then if the recipe allows it, I vacuum pack the ingredients together (or the main ingredients at least) and freeze and label it. That way when it’s time to cook something in the crockpot, I just have to get the bag out and dump it in the crockpot. This is the type of thing where Google is your best friend, so make use of it. Oh and when you’re having a really bad “couch potato” day, those frozen Stouffer family dinners work great!

Ah, now to the lovely grocery shopping. I look at this as a mini-vacation at times, when I get time to myself, even if it’s doing something I really didn’t want to do. First off, I’m really bad at ‘remembering’ what I need from the store. I usually go for something and leave with a bunch of stuff, minus what I originally went to the store for. I’ve written out lists, but forgotten them at home, go figure. So what’s something I always have on me… my phone. That little quote I’ve heard is true though; there really is an App for everything. So, I’ve found a free app after searching ‘grocery list’ where it will not only let me add things, but puts them in categories!  So, with my phone/grocery list in hand, I go grocery shopping. But I really try to plan my trips at times that aren’t going to be crazy busy, so this cancels out going on the weekends. I usually go around 10am, because that seems to be the time where the least people are there, at least when it’s not summer time.

Now, I do have help around the house for a lot of these things, but I like things done a particular way when it comes to cleaning, so that’s hard to have other people do. I’m really debating on having a maid come once a month though for like the deep cleaning and hard-to-do things that I can’t do that well anymore.

As for grocery shopping, people have asked me, “Why don’t you send James (my husband) to do it?” Well, lets see. I know he won’t remember everything that I need for one, I’ve learned from experience. But the BIG reason why I no longer ask him to go to the grocery store for me is because the last time I asked him and he took our oldest son, they came back with no groceries, but with a box that had a baby chicken in it. Hints why I now have 4 chickens, because my kids told me that the baby chicken needed siblings. I learned my lesson after that.

So what do y’all do to make things easier for the daily chores/errands?

Visit Part 2 of Ashley’s Tips & Tricks.


Ashley Ringstaff


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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Michelle Ramoz
    5 years ago

    my name is Michelle Ramoz.Ive dealt with having RRMS for three years now.It started with double vision and severe Tinnitus.Went to my Ear,nose throat dr. cuz I thought maybe I had something wrong in my ears.Thru extensive testing to no avail he asked me if I was more secure walking pushing a cart? I told him yes and that’s when the real testing began.I had an MRI,spinal tap,etc that concluded that I had MS.Was soo devast

  • north-star
    5 years ago

    Thanks, Ashley, for the app recommendation! For me, shopping can be good exercise, and the cart makes an excellent “rollator”. I need the stability because some days I spend a lot of energy just battling gravity. Even a little bump on a sidewalk can trip me up, grocery store floors are smooth and relatively obstacle free.

    I choose the type of store based on my stamina. I can walk for a long time in “big box” stores like Costco that have groceries and everything else under the sun. A local grocery chain that has great service is my destination when I know I’ll need help loading groceries in my car. A small store nearby is my choice for in and out quickly.

    In re: cleaning, I used to have high standards but I’ve learned to relax. Don’t compare too much. When you visit someone’s home, most of the time they’ve cleaned up for guests. Also, everything doesn’t have to be done on the same day.

    Now that my grip on cleaning products is less reliable, I’ve found a wonderful person to come in once a week. I put things away, recycle and gather trash for her to empty, stuff I can do. I often go grocery shopping while she cleans, then she helps me unload and put things away. I couldn’t afford this earlier, but our daughter is through school, married and on her own and we have a little more disposable income.

    It’s not just cleaning, she has a key to my house, if I ever lock myself out. She’s become a friend and I consider her a vital part of my support network.

  • CatMom
    5 years ago

    Ashley, those are very good ideas. Thank you. Would you share the app that puts things in categories, please? I find myself backtracking at the market quite often because I didn’t read the whole list and now have to go back 4 aisles for something I forgot. Thanks!

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    5 years ago

    Yeah! I have an iPhone, so I’m not sure if this is on the android market, if that’s what you are going to be downloading from. But it’s called “Anylist” here is the link that it gave me on my phone:

    Hope that helps 🙂 I’ve been downloading a few more apps to try out, to help “organize” things in my life… will see how that goes and I’ll let everyone know!

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