The long, cold days of winter are (thankfully) on their way out. Now is the time to “spring” into action and give your home a much-needed deep cleaning! Realistically, spring cleaning can become a challenge for many older adults. But with a little planning and precaution, seniors can take on the task of spring cleaning their homes.
Share these tips with your seniors (or use them yourself if your loved ones aren’t up for the challenge):
Don’t Be Shy About Asking for Help: The first tip to ease the burden of spring cleaning is to ask for help. Assign friends and family areas of the home that are more challenging for you, such as dusting top shelves or cabinets. Designate a separate area of the house for each person assisting in making the cleaning process more efficient. If the family cannot help, hire as needed.
Declutter, Declutter, and Declutter Some More: Seniors have likely accumulated many treasures over their lifetimes and may find it difficult to give them up. Get rid of items that are never used and put items with sentimental value but no real use in storage. Once you’ve decluttered, it’s time to organize. Place items you’ve decided to keep in closets, cupboards, and drawers. (If you’re a fan of home-cleaning shows, there are many organizational systems that can help keep important items contained!) Label wherever possible to save you from having to open everything to see what’s where.
Schedule Time to Clean: Making a schedule and sticking to it will ensure that every area of the house is cleaned regularly and that you haven’t forgotten anything. Prioritize rooms that are used the most, think bathrooms and kitchen. Instead of having just one cleaning day, clean every day and achieve one task at a time. Spring cleaning does not need to be completed in one day! Break up tasks into small chunks of time throughout the weeks or months. This will make cleaning up much more manageable and motivating!
Take Out the Vacuum, Not the Broom: Vacuuming has many benefits over sweeping. It’s faster, plus it sucks up the dust, dirt, and debris more effectively than sweeping. It also prevents dust from being swirled into the air, which happens when you sweep. A lightweight, upright vacuum is ideal for seniors and can be easily stored.
No Heavy Lifting: To prevent injuries, do not try to move objects or furniture on your own. It’s important to stay safe and injury free while spring cleaning, especially if you have reduced strength or mobility issues. Enlist the help of friends and family to assist you with moving heavy objects. Or, hire a professional who will come in, clean, and move furniture without injury to you!
A freshly cleaned, uncluttered home is its own reward! Have a plan and stick to it, and you’ll get your spring cleaning – and the new season – off to a fantastic start.