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Spring Cleaning Tips for Older Adults

Spring is in the air. For many of us, it signals the time for spring cleaning. While this inspirational ritual always seems to deliver renewal and freshness, the strategies evolve as we age. Spring cleaning is an ideal time for older adults to rejuvenate living spaces for comfort and safety while purging unnecessary items and cementing their legacy. Here are a few tips to get you inspired and motivated.

Make a Plan

The best way to get started is to… get started. First, sketch out some goals, like:

  • Declutter and open up your space to make it easier to get around.
  • Add some safety feature enhancements like grab bars and handrails.
  • Discard all expired items in the medicine cabinet, refrigerator and freezer. (Make a list of all items you’ll need to replace.)
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers.

Then, decide how to “clean up.” Experts suggest starting with three main piles: keep, donate/sell, and trash/recycle. You may want to break up your donation pile into items to give to family and friends vs. items for charitable organizations.

Get Prepared

Gather what you need before jumping in. To thoroughly spring clean, you’ll likely need some cleaning supplies, garbage bags, and bins for sorting. Right-size your choices: one key to independence is matching tools to your capabilities, so don’t order and fill giant bins if you can only comfortably carry small to medium-sized containers.

Get Help

Some tasks are better left to others, whether you hire them out or have family and friends lend a hand. Moving furniture and heavy containers, climbing ladders to check detectors, cleaning hard-to-reach places, or even running donations to local drop-off locations is work best suited for the young. Your goal is to refresh and rejuvenate your space, not to injure and rehab after tackling too much.

Pace Yourself

Spring lasts for several months, and time is a plentiful commodity for many older adults. However, energy is more limited. One way to tackle your living space is to break it up into rooms. Start at one point in your home, complete it, then move on to the next. Set a reasonable goal of what you can accomplish each day. Some people work better with a time limit (say 45 minutes a day), while others prefer to complete one room at a time.

Additionally, while some prefer to tackle the “hard” areas first (think garage, basement, kitchen), others like to start small and build momentum into the more challenging areas. You know yourself. Set your own pace and start somewhere that makes you feel accomplished once you get started. Then keep at it. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Cleaning for Independence

Spring cleaning rejuvenates us by getting rid of what we don’t need and making what we keep work better for our current lifestyle. One proven way you can do this is with easy-to-install, safe, and secure American-made Hold-Tight Handrails.

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