Spring has sprung, which means it’s time for longer days, blossoming flowers and… ritualized cleaning sprees!
Back in the days when our homes were heated by fireplaces, the onset of spring was the time to air out the house and clear out the soot that settled over winter.
While fireplaces aren’t as common these days, spring cleaning is still a tradition for many. The new season presents the perfect opportunity to start afresh, by sanitising surfaces, wiping windows and putting things back in their place.
It’s a big job – and for seniors or empty-nesters, an even bigger one!
Here are some tips to make spring cleaning a stress-free experience.
Clear out the clutter
Before you put your cleaning gloves on, it makes sense to address your mess.
You might’ve accumulated a lot of stuff over the last few months (or years!) – so take stock of what you’ve got, and decide whether you really need it.
- Empty your cabinets of expired medications, empty bottles or unused products.
- Re-evaluate your wardrobe. If it hasn’t been worn in the last 12 months, you probably don’t need it. But someone else might – so gather up your unwanted clothes and donate them to your local op-shop (like Good Sammy, Salvos or Vinnies).
- Rethink your furniture. If it doesn’t serve a purpose anymore or is obstructing your passage, it might be time to say goodbye. You could sell it on Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree for some extra cash, or donate it. Many op-shops will arrange home collections, so you can get rid of your unwanted clothes and furniture in one fell swoop!
- Throw away any expired or unwanted food in your fridge and pantry. If you have non-perishable foods you don’t see yourself using, you could donate them to Food Bank.
- If it does nothing but collect dust, get rid of it.
Once you’ve decided what you want to keep, it’s time to get organised.
- Explore smart storage solutions, like compartments in drawers, small bins for craft supplies or tools, and transparent jars for dry food products.
- Put things where they should logically go, making sure that frequently used items are easily accessible.
- Keep important documents in a safe place – not all over the place. In the event of an emergency, you, your children or next of kin should be able to track them down quickly, so save everyone some stress and neatly organise your health information, identity documents, financial and legal documents.
Clean smarter not harder
Now that you’ve cleared out your clutter and re-evaluated your storage solutions, it’s time to clear out your shelves and surfaces, put some elbow grease in… then put it all back again!
We’re not going to tell you how to clean – we trust you know what you’re doing! Instead, here are some suggestions for smarter and safer cleaning tools you could try:
- A broom that suits your height so you’re not straining, paired with a dustpan that stands by itself.
- A cordless vacuum or one with a retractable cord to reduce any tripping hazards. You could even invest in a robot vacuum to do the work for you!
- A steam mop to save you filling and emptying a water bucket.
- A duster with an extendable arm for hard-to-reach places.
- Likewise, a squeegee with an extendable arm for windows (there are robot window cleaners, too!)
Make a maintenance checklist
While you’re at it, spring is a good time to check that everything else is in order. Ask yourself the following questions, then make a checklist of what needs doing so you can DIY or hire a handyman.
- Do the batteries in your smoke detectors need replacing?
- Are your exhaust fans working properly?
- Do you need to replace any light bulbs?
- Do you need to service your sprinklers?
- Do you need to service your air-conditioning?
- Do your gutters and downspouts need cleaning?
- Does your roof need inspecting?
- Do your pipes and faucets need checking?
- Are you due for a pest inspection?
- Do you need to address any tripping hazards, like loose tiles or area rugs?
READ >> Home safety tips for seniors
Ask for help if you need it
As we get older, cleaning can become more and more overwhelming. But don’t be scared to ask for help – that’s what family and friends are for!
If you’re 65, you may be able to access a government-funded Home Care Package to help you maintain your independence at home and in the community.
A support worker can visit you at home whenever suits you, lending a hand with everyday cleaning tasks or for a bigger spring cleaning spree.