Cleaning the house — a chore at every age! But seniors have specific considerations they must keep in mind. Especially when it comes to mobility, physically taxing tasks, and getting to hard to reach places, seniors should look for solutions that maximize safety and convenience.
Read on for 8 great house cleaning tips for seniors that you can start using today!
- Seniors can eliminate the need to use ladders or otherwise climb to clean hard-to-reach places by using a broom as an extension tool.
- Decluttering keeps homes safer by removing tripping hazards.
- Easy tips like Press ‘N Seal wrap on shelves and a rolling cart for supplies can reduce the physical labor required to clean your home.
- Sticking to a predetermined cleaning schedule is a great way to make cleaning part of your routine and be sure it never becomes overwhelming.
- Some tasks just become more difficult (and often unsafe) with age. It’s always better to enlist help for these tasks than to take unnecessary risks.
8 Easy House Cleaning Tips for Seniors
Use a broom as an extension tool
Don’t risk a fall or injury by climbing on ladders or otherwise trying to get to hard-to-reach areas in your home. Instead, turn to extension tools to clean places that aren’t easily accessible. It’s as easy as buying a new broom!
You can use your cleaning products of choice and a clean broom to get to places like the tops of cabinets and refrigerators, tubs and showers, walls, high shelves and more. An easy tip is to wrap a towel around the broom’s bristles (or try this broom cover cloth) so you can really scrub down surfaces.
Make decluttering a priority
People accumulate lots of belongings over the years, and seniors often end up storing belongings their adult children have left behind, too. It’s okay to hang onto possessions and mementos, but they must be managed responsibly.
When belongings take up too much space outside of storage areas, they become clutter in your home. For older people, this can also spell danger. Make decluttering part of your cleaning routine so that items don’t build up over time and eventually become a hazard. Here are some easy ways to do it:
- Don’t store items in common spaces where people walk and gather. If you truly have no other place to store things, it’s definitely time to get rid of items you no longer need.
- Never leave items in highly trafficked areas like stairs and hallways. Even if you mean to clean them up later, they can be a tripping hazard while they’re there.
- Identify a specific home for all of your belongings. Put things back immediately after use (use the one touch rule as your guide).
- Choose a time to periodically declutter (twice a year is great to start). Always get rid of items you haven’t used recently.
- Ask your children to take their belongings (trophies, clothes, etc.) with them. Sometimes we hang onto things because we think they have meaning to our kids. But if our children don’t see the need in keeping them, it’s probably time to let them go.
Remember the dishwasher cleans more than dishes
Great news: you don’t have to spend time wiping things down with a rag. Your dishwasher can clean a lot more than dishes! Vents, screens, oven knobs, and even some foods can be cleaned safely in your dishwasher. Check out an extended list here and start taking advantage of the convenience!
Get a rolling cart for supplies
Make your cleaning supplies mobile with a rolling cart you can bring with you from room to room. Keeping items like sponges, rags, buckets, brooms, mops, cleaning solutions and more in a rolling cart eliminates the need to constantly move back and forth to your storage area to get something you need as you clean your home.
If you live in a multi-story home, you may need to invest in two rolling carts or leave it at the bottom of your stairs for quick access if you forget to bring something with you. You can store the cart itself in a closet or whichever area you store other supplies. Then it’s easy access any time you clean!
Protect surfaces with Press ‘N Seal wrap
Wiping down regular kitchen countertops may not seem like much of a chore, but other areas — especially refrigerator shelves and food cabinets — are prone to crumbs and spills and are much harder to get to. Avoid having to get down on your hands and knees, worry about taking out shelves to clean them, or struggling to get to hard-to-reach areas.
Instead, utilize clear plastic Press ‘N Seal wrap to cover your shelves and easily protect against spills and other mishaps. You’ll still want to remove and replace the wrap periodically, but it allows for more time between deep cleans and makes for much easier removal than taking out entire shelves.
Vacuum cleaners today are built to be versatile, covering a wide range of surfaces and spills. They can handle hardwoods and carpet, solids and liquids — you name it. Many vacuums have a range of settings so you can tell it what kind of clean-up you’re doing.
Rather than having to mop, sweep, vacuum, and manually clean up spills (all at different times), make your life easier with a high-quality vacuum that can handle it all. The Bissell Crosswave is one option that’s popular right now!
Stick to a schedule
Cleaning can feel overwhelming if you let it get away from you. To compound this challenge, seniors often face frustration in realizing that they can’t complete certain tasks as quickly or as easily as they once could.
You can avoid this potential pitfall by making cleaning part of your daily, weekly, and monthly routines. Choose certain tasks for certain days, and choose particular times when you’ll handle cleaning tasks that only need to be done every now and then. When you have a plan and stick to it, cleaning won’t become a monumental challenge. Instead, it can even feel rewarding and enjoyable (okay, maybe for some of us!).
Enlist help for tough tasks
The truth is this: some things will just be more difficult as we get older. In many cases, certain tasks are just not reasonable for seniors to handle on their own and can even be dangerous (like carrying heavy trash bags to the curb or mowing the lawn).
It’s not smart to be stubborn in these kinds of situations. Instead, try to be more willing to accept when we need help (it can be hard, we know) and ask for help from family and neighbors or hire assistance when needed. This may be difficult at first, but in the long run it will lead to happier and less stressful daily living.
Find your perfect home in Dayton
Choosing a home that’s a great fit for you and your current stage of life is so important. If you’re a senior in the Dayton area looking for a home that meets your needs, the team at Oberer Homes can help.
Contact us today to learn more!
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