Lady dusting picture

A Few Tips for Cleaning Our Homes as We Age

February 1, 2021
by TammyS | For Seniors
Seniors Helping Seniors Logo

A Few Tips for Cleaning Our Homes as We Age

There is no question that, as we age, it becomes increasingly more difficult to clean our homes the same way that we did when we were younger.

Our eyesight is not as good as it once was so we may not see the dust on baseboards or small crumbs on the kitchen floor.  Or perhaps we used to be able to clean our entire house in just a day, but now we can only manage one room at a time.  Or we are no longer able to safely climb up on a chair to clean the fan blades.  It really does not matter how we do our cleaning as long as we are able to do it in a manner that is safe for us.

Let’s begin by addressing worsening eyesight becoming an impediment to cleaning:

  • Perhaps you cannot see the dust, dust bunnies, or crumbs on the floor or beneath a table or sofa.
    • If that is the case be certain to put on a bright light in the areas you are cleaning.  If you do not have a bright light, you can always use a flashlight to shine across the surface to see if you got all the dust or crumbs swept up.
    • Another option (if it is affordable for you) is to purchase a robotic cleaner for your floors.  They can sweep, vacuum, and wash your floors, depending upon how much you want it to do and which model you choose.  There are many models and price ranges to choose from and they can be programmed to operate in certain rooms at night while you are sleeping and then do your bedroom during the day.

Bending and climbing:

  • Bending over to clean baseboards or stretching and climbing to clean items above your head is not as easy as it used to be…nor is it recommended.
    • Wrap a soft dry cloth around your broom and pin it in place.  Lightly spray the cloth with Endust or other dust-attracting product and run the broom over your baseboards to get all the dust off of them.  Shake the broom or cloth out when necessary and repeat.  If baseboards are more than dusty and need washing, replace the dry cloth with one that has been dipping in warm, soapy water, wrung out, and repeat the process of pinning to the broom.  You can even use this broom method to clean the tub.
    • If you find you are not able to reach high enough to dust everything, there are self-extending dusters that make this job much easier and safer.

Drains:

  • Never pour grease down your drains:
    • If you cannot wait for frying pan grease to cool down enough so that you can wipe it out with a paper towel and throw it in the trash, here is a good trick.  Put the plug in your sink drain.  Fold a sheet of aluminum foil and form it to the sink drain.  Carefully pour the grease into it, give it time to cool, then fold up the foil and throw into the garbage.
    • A simple way to keep your drains clear without use of harmful chemicals is to fill your sink with warm water and vinegar once a week.  Then pull the plug and let the combination of vinegar and pressure from a full sink flush your pipes.  It will also smell fresher.

Refrigerator:

  • If cleaning the refrigerator is a difficult task for you, line the shelves with plastic wrap or some other paper or foil liner that will prevent spills from sticking to your shelves.  If the paper gets soiled, just throw it away and put down a new piece.
  • Don’t forget to sanitize your refrigerator handles frequently.
  • Keeping a small box of baking soda in your refrigerator will keep it smelling fresh.  Just remember to replace it every 30 to 60 days.

Assorted Cleaning Tips:

  • Keep a roll of paper towels and window cleaner under each sink in your home.  If your mirror, countertops, faucets, etc. are in need of cleaning, it is much more convenient to clean them right then.  If you must go into the kitchen or storage area for cleaning supplies, it may not get done as quickly or you may forget entirely.
  • Use a lint roller to dust your lampshades.
  • Put on a rubber glove to clean pet hair from furniture.
  • Household sponges should be replaced regularly, but in between you can soak them in a bowl of lemon water, squeeze out the excess and place in microwave for one minute.  This not only cleanse your sponges, it also loosens up spatters in your microwave, so give that a good swipe at the same time.
  • And, finally, keep clutter to a bare minimum.  Take a few minutes every day or at least once a week to throw away things such as old newspapers, broken items, items you no longer use, or clothes you never wear.  Also, put items back in their rightful place or return items that do not belong to you.

Share this page: