Spring cleaning is a welcomed annual ritual to many and a dreaded chore to others. If you’re like most, you fall into both categories, yet still set aside time each spring to spruce up your home. When you close your eyes and visualize the “after,” it’s likely a clean new space, ready for the summer season ahead. Then as you slowly open your eyes, reality hits, and you feel a sense of dread and overwhelm.
So, what is a person to do to stay motivated to spring clean? Keep the following priorities in mind:
- Be strategic. Let’s face it, after the year we’ve had, spending so much time in our homes, we’ve become hyper-aware of the items we need to tackle. Set priorities. Tackle a few easy things first to get the momentum going. Then get the major things underway. Do remember to be patient and thoughtful with yourself throughout the process.
- Enlist the help of others. You don’t have to be in this alone. Family, friends, and community groups are great resources when attempting spring cleaning projects, especially if you need to move heavy furniture, clean hard-to-reach areas, or make repairs. Check everyone’s availability and build their time and contributions into your plan.
- Be ruthless in your approach. If you have a love/hate relationship with spring cleaning, you’ll need to set goals and pursue them vigilantly. Set daily tasks to accomplish. Be realistic. Assign time and space limits. By determining your space limits, you’ll be able to choose which items to keep or remove. For example, consider how many hangers you will allow in your closet or how many pairs of shoes (that’s a tough one).
Taking a good hard look at your space from a safety point of view is also an important part of your spring cleaning plan. As we get older, it becomes more apparent that we need to regularly evaluate our home environments for hazards. Statistics tell us that trips, slips and falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among adults 65 and older.
To avoid becoming a statistic, use spring cleaning as not just an opportunity to scour the windows and floors but also a time to focus on your home environment to ensure it provides you with a safe and livable space. Doing so enables us to continue to enjoy a quality of life and to pursue our passions without injury or exhaustion.
Spring Cleaning Checklist
As you begin to develop and prioritize your spring cleaning list, here are a few things to keep in mind as you consider your space:
- Where are the trouble spots? Identify and prioritize each area. Schedule all help needed on your calendar.
- What things are you no longer using or wearing? A good rule of thumb, if you haven’t used or worn it in a year, it’s time to find it a new home through donations or sales.
- What has expired? This goes for food and medicine. If you have expired medication, be sure to dispose of it safely. Do not toss them in the trash or flush them down the toilet. Check local listings for medication disposal near you.
- Am I able to get in and out of my home easily? If entryways or walkways are blocked with clutter or are in disrepair, these are hazards to your safety. Make the necessary arrangements to remove, repair, or remodel.
- What fall hazards do I see? Look for loose cords, flooring and throw rugs and remove or replace them. Improve the lighting so that you can see where you’re going and make sure that floors are dry so that you can move safely.
- Can I still get up and down easily on the furniture? How many extra steps do I have to take to get from one place to another? It could be time for a new piece of furniture. If you’re rocking to get enough momentum to stand up, you should plan for a better seating solution. If you have to walk a “mile” to move around in your home, maybe it’s time to thoughtfully rearrange the furniture.
- Are the stairs or tubs causing me problems? If you’re having trouble getting in and out of the bathtub or going up and down the stairs, this could be the ideal time to have a home assessment. A slip in the bathroom or a fall down the stairs can have life-altering consequences. Being proactive can mitigate your risks.
Ask for Help
The pursuit of your spring cleaning “after” is truly worthwhile because each improvement you make will improve your quality of life on many levels.
Be strategic as you take stock of your situation. Enlist the help of others when you need it. Pace yourself for success.
If you want more information on making your home more livable, please contact us at [email protected] or call 615-624-0954.