Ah, spring is here. The flowers are blooming, rain is falling, and everyone is...cleaning? It seems like the idea of “spring cleaning” has been around for centuries, and truthfully, it has! But wherein the world did this tradition come from? Back in the 1800s, homes were heated with whale oil or kerosene and heated with coal or wood. By the time winter was over, a layer of soot and grime would cover every room. When the warmer weather came, windows could be thrown open, and the home could be aired out and thoroughly cleaned. Thus, the tradition of spring cleaning was born.
While the tradition might not be as strictly followed today, people often see the spring as a time to start fresh. We often feel a bit reenergized with the warmer weather and sunshine and more eager to take on tasks beyond our routine chores. As we age, keeping things organized and clean becomes more important from a safety standpoint as well. Here are a few spring cleaning tips to consider when doing some spring cleaning for yourself or an aging loved one.
1. Store Items at an Appropriate Height
Items are best stored at hip height to prevent someone from bending low or reaching high.
2. Clear Clutter from Stairs
Keep steps clearly visible for easier and safer accessibility.
3. Keep Items Off the Floor
Remove any furniture that is no longer used and create a more navigable space.
4. Lock Away Valuable Items
Anything that isn’t regularly used should be locked away in a safe place
5. Store All Important Documents In One Place
Passports, medical records, life insurance, wills, and bills should all be kept in a dry, secure place.
6. Light Up Dark Areas
Add lights to stairways, hallways, or any dark areas that could be a safety issue.
7. Create Designated Storage Spaces
Hang a basket on a wall so items can be easily left and found.
8. Pack Light
All boxes should be packed lightly, so anyone can easily move them if necessary.
9. Check Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Ensure that everything is working and replace batteries if necessary.
10. Don’t Forget The Medicine Cabinet
Unused or expired medication can clutter your cabinets and increase the risk of someone taking the wrong medication.
The idea of spring cleaning—which has become synonymous with thoroughly cleaning—can be overwhelming. Remember that not everything has to be done in one day or even in one week.Enlist the help of family and friends, prioritize getting rid of clutter, and you’ll soon see your space becoming cleaner and safer
Stress-Free Senior Living
As we age, maintaining a home becomes a bigger burden. Spring cleaning is the perfect time to evaluate which stage of life you are at. Would downsizing or moving into a senior living community take away a lot of the stress? Visit our Independent Living page to learn more about how you can spend time doing the things you want to do, not the things you have to do.