Doing Household Chores with an Injury

One of the biggest adjustments with an injury is learning to accept your limitations.  Typically, we recommend your only job while recovering is to rest and heal, which means letting others do chores and/or hiring people.  But, we recognize that isn’t always realistic.

More importantly, part of healing and recovering is getting back to some normalcy.  What better way then to getting back to doing some chores! Completing everyday tasks with an injury takes a little creativity, a lot of asking for help, and some thought of how to do it, first, without injuring yourself further.

Read through all the tips and find the ones that apply to your condition.  Because cooking is a task unto itself, please read our separate “Cooking While Injured” post.     Read on cleaning diva…Hint: my most important tip is the last one and applies to everyone.


One of the biggest chores for any family is the laundry. Our best tip:  Let someone else do it! You’re injured and compromised. But, since we know some of you will ignore that advice 🙂 , here’s how you can make doing the laundry easier:

  • Have someone carry the laundry to the laundry area/room
  • Have someone sort the laundry for you; or sit on a chair or stool to sort
  • BONUS TIP for those with children in the house: most children by the age of 4, can sort and carry laundry. At this age, they LOVE to help!
  • If your laundry detergent is high on a shelf, ask someone to bring it down for you
  • Adjust the ironing board so you can sit vs. standironing-403074_1920
  • When folding clothes, do so sitting and in an area that is free from clutter.
  • Have a family members fold and put the laundry away. You’ll be tired from doing the laundry and/or folding it.
  • BONUS TIP for those with children in the house: most children by the age of 9, can fold and put laundry away
  • Rest in between loads and folding. This will help you from getting fatigued too quickly.
  • BONUS TIP for those with children in the house: most children by the age of 12, can do the entire family’s laundry.  Who knew?! 


This is where you truly need to share the workload. There will just be some things your compromised body won’t be able to do. Here are the few things you can do safely while injured:

  • First and foremost, have a family member temporarily store your cleaning supplies in an easy-to-maneuver carry-all or place them in the area they’ll be used and within your reach
  • Use a long-handled feather duster to make light dusting easier on your body. If you can, sit and dust one piece of furniture at a time
  • BONUS TIP for those with children in the house: most children by the age of 4, can dust.  Just put a sock on their little hand (spray/spritz your favorite cleaning solution on the sock). At this age, they LOVE to help!
  • Help make cleaning the toilet and shower easier by using automatic toilet bowl cleaners and automatic spray on shower cleaners (used after taking shower). This will help you to avoid scrubbing, bending, leaning or contorting your injured body. Dropping bleach tablets in the toilet tank keeps bowls cleaner longer, too
  • Sit and clean the bathroom sink and countertops. DO NOT clean the bathroom mirror unless you can safely do so
  • Have a family member vacuum, sweep and/or mop the floors around the house
  • To avoid getting overly tired, do a small task or two and then rest
  • Don’t do windows, raking leaves, cleaning out of gutters or shovel snow (see our post about shoveling snow while injured)

TIP FOR EVERYBODY:  Ultimately, the best solution is to have family members or friends help you with your day-to-day chores until you have recovered. If that’s not possible, you have two goals:

  1. Space the chores out over time so you can continue to take rest breaks. An example is to change the sheets on the beds one bed p/day vs. all the beds in one day.
  2. Think about your safety, first. That means you’ll have to think about how you’re going to accomplish the chore ahead of time vs. just doing them as part of your routine or a habit.

Recognize you are injured and not able to do all tasks well, if at all.  The biggest gift you can give yourself is let some of the cleanliness go.  It’s only temporary.  If others help you, be thankful for their help and don’t criticize or grumble about the outcome.  You are compromised and are in a special situation; this too shall pass. 

Regardless of the suggestions, take into consideration your injury, safety first, and always follow your doctor’s advice!   Can you take a moment to help the injured and add your helpful tip?

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