Keeping your house clean on a day-to-day basis can be a difficult task for anyone to keep up with, but for seniors it can become a very overwhelming and sometimes very difficult task.
If you don’t want to have someone come in and clean your home for you, there are a few tips you could follow that will make keeping your home clean a much easier task.
Do a Little Bit Each Day
Sometimes people have one day every week that they dedicate to cleaning – especially when they’re also working a full-time job and raising a family. For seniors, though, this doesn’t have to be the case.
You can easily do a few cleaning tasks each day so that you are not spending a full day cleaning your house. Doing it this way will make it feel less overwhelming for you and you won’t completely exhaust yourself with the routine of cleaning.
Maybe you dedicate Mondays to sweeping, and then Tuesdays to cleaning the windows and dusting and so on. Whatever the schedule is that works for you, stick to that but tackling a little bit each day will make it feel easier for you.
One Room at a Time
In the same way you can break up the cleaning tasks over several days, you can also work on one room at a time. This might mean you are sweeping or vacuuming multiple times in a week but if this makes it easier for you to clean or works better for you then it might just be the right solution.
If you know that on Wednesdays you clean the bathrooms in your home and on Thursdays you clean the kitchen then you’re still working on one room at a time and breaking up the cleaning into smaller chunks.
By doing it this way you also make sure you aren’t taking on too much at one time and you aren’t physically exhausting yourself or taking on too much.
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Check the Medicine Cabinets, Too
The more medications you have in your cabinet, the more likely it is that you will take the wrong one – or an expired one – by mistake. It’s a good idea, every so often, to go through what is in your medicine cabinet and get rid of any medications you are no longer taking or that have expired.
Your local pharmacy will likely have a program where you can bring them back and they will dispose of them safely. If you aren’t sure about where to take them, just give the pharmacy a call where you get your prescriptions filled and they will be able to give you some more information.
It might be prudent to invest in a pill box if you find it difficult to keep your medications organized.
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Make a Point to Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors, Too
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are essential for the safety of any house. Even if the batteries are not completely dead in your detectors, it’s important to check them on a regular basis and replace the batteries on a schedule.
By making sure they are working properly, you can feel safer being in your home in the event of an emergency. This regular checking also gives you the opportunity to replace any one of them if you need to before you’re in a situation where you need them to be working.
There are smaller models of these detectors you can purchase that fit into closets or cabinets and are much easier for seniors to manage and replace when needed as opposed to standing on a ladder and trying to reach these devices.
If you do need help checking and replacing them, give a family member or a friend a call so that you are less likely to get hurt or fall trying to check them and replace.
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Get Rid of Clutter
You’ve probably lived in your home for many years, so that means you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff around your house. This is very common for almost everyone, but getting rid of clutter can have a very positive effect for seniors.
To begin with, this gives you a project to work away at – room by room. You can go through all of the items in your home and sort them into three piles: keep, donate and throw away.
The good part of doing this kind of cleaning is that it doesn’t really have a timeline, and you can work away at it as you have the time and energy to do so. On top of that, getting rid of unnecessary items in your home can free up space or eliminate potential tripping and falling hazards you may have been living with before.
Keep Your Home Organized
A corollary to getting rid of clutter is keeping your home organized in the first place. If you can keep things in their place to begin with, or even better, get rid of things instead of storing them away, cleaning your home will be an easy, quick and painless process.
Many people follow the rule that if they have not used a particular thing for the last one year, they are unlikely to use it any time in the future. In such a case, it is best to get rid of it. Maybe give it away to someone who can make better use of that household item.
A Broom Doesn’t Have to Just Be a Broom
We all have a broom in our home, and most of us know that we use it to sweep up the dirt and debris on the floor. What if, though, a broom could be used to other things?
You can use a clean broom and a bathroom cleaner to scrub down your tub and shower. This will make cleaning the higher parts or hard to reach parts of your shower easier for you. You can then use the shower head – as long as it’s a detachable one – to spray down your shower after you’re done. Then, you don’t have to worry about wiping down the walls, either.
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Keep Things Easier to Reach
If you have cupboards that are higher with items hard to reach, you may want to rearrange your kitchen. It is best to keep frequently used items on the lower and easily accessible shelves. Cookware or pots and pans that you use occasionally can be stored higher up. And if you need to bring them down on an occasion, ask for help!
Things like cleaning products and pantry items you might want to move to lower cupboards so that you can get to them without having climb on a step stool or ladder.
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You can easily avoid climbing ladders or on step stools to dust and clean higher up places – like ceiling fans – by using extension tools.
These are poles that are placed on the end of a duster so that you can dust the tops of doors or ceiling fans without putting yourself at risk of falling.
You can also use an extension tool with a claw on the end of it called a grabber tool. It is a nifty little tool that can be used to pick items up off the ground. Trying to reach items that have been dropped on the ground can definitely pose a risk for those with mobility issues or it can even cause you to lose your balance.
Using the tool with the claw on the end prevents you from having to bend over to pick these items up and keeps the floor clear of items that might become tripping hazards.
If you suffer from joint pain, use a vacuum cleaner that is suitable for those with arthritis or a bad back. Similarly, a long handle mop for seniors will come handy.
Ask Family and Friends
Outside of regular, everyday cleaning tasks like sweeping and dishes there might be tasks that you need help with and cannot complete on your own.
When it comes to doing these tasks, you may want to reach out to family or friends to come over and help you complete them. They can help and watch to make sure you don’t fall or injure yourself – especially if you have to climb a ladder to reach something up high.
Tasks that you may want to save for when someone else can help you can include ones where you have to move furniture. You should definitely use help if you need to carry bigger items up and down the stairs. Similarly, help is welcome when cleaning an item that’s high up on a shelf where you need to climb a ladder to reach it.
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Hire a Professional Cleaner
There are many seniors living on their own who either can’t or just don’t want to clean their home – and that’s completely ok. There are many companies that work with seniors to help make sure their homes stay clean and they stay on top of the tasks they need to do.
When it comes to a cleaning service, you have options too. If you need someone to come in every week and do tasks like laundry and making your bed, you can ask them to do that. Or maybe you just need someone to come in once a month or every other month and do the bigger cleaning tasks like baseboards and windows and dusting the tops of furniture and cupboards.
Additionally, if you need assistance in helping to pay for the cleaning service there are a number of agencies that can help put you in touch with cleaners that may be cheaper or fall under some of your private benefits (if you have them).
Cleaning Advice for Seniors – Parting Words
Working to keep your home clean can seem like a full-time job, even when you are young. As people age, it can become much more difficult to keep up on the general cleaning of your home and making sure you can do all the tasks on your own.
By splitting up the tasks into easier-to-handle parts and working on one room at a time, seniors will find it easier to stay on top of the cleaning tasks they have to do and feel a lot more independent that they can do this for themselves.
Asking for help when it comes to taking care of your home isn’t anything to be embarrassed about, so reach out and talk to your family and friends for when you need help. On top of that, take your time and clean at your own pace – you don’t have to get everyone done in an hour and work away at it in the best way for you.
If you are having trouble with disposing of your old things, then you came to the right place. Read our comprehensive guide below.