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Healthy, Senior-Friendly Spring Cleaning Tips

Healthy, Senior-Friendly Spring Cleaning Tips

Health & Aging

As the calendar turns to spring, many people start to tackle projects around their home. One of those is deep cleaning the house. Sparkling windows and clutter-free kitchen counters are a great way to boost your mood. Research also shows that spring cleaning is good for your mental health in other ways, such as reducing stress, improving focus, and bringing peace.

For seniors, the idea of tackling the entire house at once might be daunting. Big projects usually are. So, breaking it down room by room might be easier. This checklist can guide you through the process.

Room-by-Room Spring Cleaning Tips for Seniors

Start in the kitchen

This is one of the hardest-working rooms in most houses. Constant use can make it difficult to keep clean, and it may be in need of a thorough scrubbing. Tackling this room first might help you feel you’ve accomplished something big right away. Here are a few tasks you’ll want to be sure to complete:

  • Using a disinfecting cleanser and textured cloth, wipe down the cabinets and drawers, inside and out.
  • Sort through the freezer and look for outdated foods that need to be pitched or donated to a local zoo.
  • Remove everything from the refrigerator, including drawers and storage bins. Scrub the inside and outside. Before putting things back in, be sure to check the expirations dates on condiments, dressings, and other infrequently used items.
  • Take out the oven racks and put them in the sink to soak in hot, soapy water. If you don’t care to use the self-cleaning feature on your oven, purchase a fume-free, easy-to-use oven cleaner.
  • Change the exhaust system on the range. Not addressing this task can create a hazard—grease, dust, and other items can build up and lead to a kitchen fire.
  • Clean out the pantry. While this is a chore that no one enjoys doing, it’s a good idea to take everything out and scrub down the shelves, walls, and floor. Replace shelf paper, if necessary. Dispose of items that have been around too long, or donate those you don’t use.

Once you have the kitchen behind you, spring cleaning the other rooms will likely go more quickly.

Scrub down the bathrooms

Cleaning Shower-1

While most people make it a habit to clean the bathroom regularly, it still needs a deep cleaning at least a few times each year. Be certain not to overlook these tasks:

  • Shower doors can be a real challenge to clean and maintain. If you don’t want to use a store-bought cleanser, you can make your own by mixing equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. For doors with built-up soap scum or hard-water stains, adding a teaspoon of a grease-cutting dish soap will likely help.
  • Scrub the bathtub and replace the bath mat, if necessary. If your bathtub doesn’t have doors, you’ll want to change the liner on the shower curtain. Don’t forget to wash the shower curtain if you have one.
  • If you store medications, whether prescription or over the counter, in the bathroom cabinet, take time to go through them and safely dispose of those you no longer need or that have expired. Use this database from the Department of Justice to find a safe medication collection site near you.
  • Clean out the linen closet and donate older linens to a shelter or animal rescue organization. Your local veterinarian’s office might also be in need of them.
  • Deep cleaning the toilet from top to bottom is probably everyone’s least favorite task. A bleach spray is usually best for this job.

Before you move on, you’ll want to give the floor a thorough cleaning, too. Depending on the type of flooring you have, it might be worth it to invest in or borrow a steam cleaner to disinfect floors.

Don’t skip the bedrooms

While it may seem like the bedrooms don’t need much in the way of spring cleaning, there are some chores you’ll want to tackle:

  • Wash or dry clean the curtains and bedding. Wipe down window frames and curtain rods. If you aren’t comfortable using a stepladder, a long-handled dust mop should work.
  • Launder or replace the mattress cover. Find a strong helper to assist you in flipping and wiping down the mattress and box spring before you replace the mattress cover and bedding.
  • Go through clothes closets and dresser drawers before you call it a wrap on spring cleaning. Bag up those items you haven’t worn to donate to charity.

You’ll rest better at night once your bedroom looks, feels, and smells fresh and clean!

Make the Cleaning Process Easier and Safer

Finally, as you are preparing to dig in and start scrubbing, it’s a good idea to line up supplies. If you haven’t already, take a few minutes to explore senior-friendly tools that can make the project easier, as well as products that contain fewer chemicals and are safer for the environment. See Spring Cleaning: Best Senior-Safe Tools and Cleaning Products for suggestions to consider as you get ready to spruce up your house!

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About Presbyterian Senior Living

PSL is a mission-driven organization that lives our values of integrity, mutual respect, creative curiosity, and connectedness. Building on a legacy of 96 years, we provide residential and care services to more than 6,000 seniors in 27 locations across the mid-Atlantic region of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and Delaware.