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June 03, 2015

Spring Cleaning Tips and Home Maintenance Strategies for Aging in Place

According to the 2013 Spring Cleaning Survey from the American Cleaning Institute, 72 percent of Americans spring clean annually. Priorities, by rooms, are as follows:

  • 76 percent target the bedroom
  • 73 percent target the kitchen
  • 69 percent target the bathroom
  • 61 percent target the family room or den
  • 45 percent target the dining room

As far as specific tasks, the top five are cleaning:

  • Windows
  • Blinds and curtains
  • Clothing
  • Closets
  • Drawers

Interestingly enough, in a somewhat older survey from the National Cleaning Surveys (2005), more than half surveyed say they still clean much like their own mothers did, years ago.

Tips for Spring Cleaning

Instead of tackling everything all at once, it may be easier to move away from heavy duty cleaning during the springtime and space out your projects throughout the year.

If this strategy appeals to you, then ApartmentTherapy.com provides a step-by-step approach that also incorporates key home maintenance tasks. Overall, the steps are straightforward:

  • Figure out the tasks your home needs to stay maintained.
  • Organize the tasks on your list by how often they need done (annually, quarterly or monthly, for example).
  • Make calendar entries for each task and set up reminders. Whether you use a paper calendar or an online one, without the reminders, it’s all too easy to forget the due dates and fall behind.

Make sure you have the appropriate cleaning and maintenance supplies on hand to make your jobs as easy as possible. And, before you take on any tasks, ensure that the floor is clear of clutter, as falls are a hazard for people of all ages.

As an older adult, you probably have a greater appreciation for the importance of health, so you’ll benefit from MedicineNet.com’s “10 Spring Cleaning Tips for a Healthier Home.” Tips include thoroughly dusting your home and replacing furnace and air conditioning filters — plus cleaning ducts and vents — to decrease your exposure to allergens.

Another tip suggests organizing your medicine cabinet and discarding expired medications. Ask your pharmacist for the best way to dispose of them and/or read this guidance on safely disposing of medications. Yet another tip includes checking under the sink and elsewhere for toxic cleaning supplies and disposing of them, and then choosing safer, greener cleaning products.

Donate What You Don’t Need

Over the years, it’s all too easy to accumulate belongings. Some you definitely need, while others have sentimental value. Still, it’s likely you don’t need or even want some of what you own, but don’t want to throw it away because it’s still in good shape. Consider donating these items.

Here are the big three organizations that accept donations and their purpose:

  • Goodwill Industries: Provides job training and employment placement services for people with disabilities
  • Salvation Army: Has Christian roots and works to fulfill people’s physical and spiritual needs
  • Habitat for Humanity: Dedicated to providing “simple, decent, and affordable” housing to those in need

Or, you can use Charity Navigator to check out other organizations that accept donations and help those in need while eliminating clutter and completing your own spring cleaning. Regardless of if you tackle your spring to-dos all at once or space them out, having a freshly clean and clutter-free home is a perfect way to welcome warmer weather. Not only that, you’ll be ensuring your home is maintained and looking its best. 

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