7 Spring Cleaning Tips for Older Adults

Launch your spring cleaning process with Truehold’s 7 tips for older adults looking to declutter their homes.

Retirement + Aging in Place
May 12, 2022
7 Spring Cleaning Tips for Older Adults

Living at home is the most suitable solution for many older adults. But as you get older, maintaining a home can become overwhelming, especially if you deal with mobility issues, memory loss, or other physical challenges. If you want to reduce your risk of falls or serious, launching a spring cleaning process might work for you.

In this article, Truehold offers you a practical blueprint and applicable tips for cleaning and organizing your home during spring. We’ll also show you how our services can help you maintain a clean and beautiful home, no matter your age. Let’s get started!

Why is Spring Cleaning Important for Older Adults?

First, let’s go over why spring cleaning is so important for older adults looking to declutter.

The idea of spring cleaning might raise images of teenagers being forced to pick up the messes they made over the long winter months. However, spring cleaning is also a good time for everyone—especially older adults—to evaluate their living space and home maintenance needs. 

As we  age, our physical conditions may change, making certain tasks challenging or impossible for us  to complete on our own. If this sounds familiar, spring cleaning can provide a helpful, seasonal reminder that you may need to pay some extra attention to some areas of your house to ensure you’re maintaining a safe and accessible  living environment.

Maintaining a clean home also boosts your happiness and some studies even suggest that cleanliness contributes to  a healthier state of mindFollowing these helpful tips for seniors can help keep your home safe from slip-and-fall hazards - and might even brighten the time you spend in the place you know and love.

1. Examine Your Living Conditions

An initial assessment of your house will give you an idea of what needs to be done to begin your spring cleaning efforts. First, check areas that may need improvement. Be sure to inspect whether you have all the necessary safety equipment and whether there are any safety hazards in your home that demand attention.

For example, do you have fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors? Are there any rugs or electric cords that could cause an accident?

Next, figure out where you have room to consolidate and free up any space inside of your home. Do you have one car sitting in the garage, while another collects dust in your driveway? Maybe it’s time to sell this extra vehicle and free up some room for your new workshop or exercise area –and earn some extra cash!

In fact, assessing your living conditions may uncover several new opportunities for you to access the wealth that was hidden in your home all along. If you’re looking for another way to attain cash quickly for any of your personal or health-related needs, Truehold offers a sale-leaseback program that allows you to unlock your hard-earned equity while remaining in your home for as long as you wish, provided you pay rent and comply with the lease. We also take care of your typical home maintenance needs, which can free you from the burdens of decluttering as you grow in your home. 

2. Invest in Storage 

Once you’ve identified where you need to clean, fix up, or otherwise improve your home, you’ll know how much additional organizational containers you’ll need to stay neat.

Invest in storage  containers such as binsand baskets to help organize your belongings. You can find storage  containers at most large department stores, as well as yard sales, thrift shops, and even grocery stores. 

Some companies sell custom-made closet organizers that make it easy to store and find what you need. This can be especially helpful if you live in a small space or are looking for extra storage without breaking the bank on an extensive remodel.

Learn more about Truehold's flexible sale-leaseback

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3. Start Early & Take it Slow

Spring cleaning can be overwhelming at first - but the hardest step is always starting. So, take that leap as soon as possible; start early and take it slow. Rather than doing all of your spring cleaning in  one weekend, spread out your identified tasks over a few weeks. 

You can break your tasks up into manageable chunks. Focus on one task or chunk of tasks at a time. You can also try setting aside 30-60 minutes each day to devote your energy to spring cleaning efforts. 

4. Eliminate Safety Hazards

Removing tripping hazards and other hazards will help you remain safe in your home. Identify risks such as loose carpeting or worn flooring. If you have old newspapers and magazines, recycle them once they become outdated or after you’re finished reading them. Consider storing your shoes on a  shelf or in a storage bin. Be sure to keep extension cords out of the way, in addition to any other cords hanging down from ceiling fans or light fixtures. Clean up clutter before it becomes a hazard and causes a fall.

Kitchens tend to have many sharp objects and hot surfaces that pose safety concerns for older adults with decreased dexterity or cognitive function. Consider removing kitchen knives from drawers and keeping them on a magnetic strip attached to the wall instead. 

It also might be worth it to install night lights throughout your home so you cansee where you’re walking at night without having to turn on bright overhead lights.Ensure that all the spaces in your home, from your rooms and hallways to your patio area (if you have one), are adequately lit so that any dangers are obvious and so you don’t need to perform any tasks in dim lighting. Performing tasks in dim lighting can hinder hand-eye coordination and your ability to see certain hazards. 

Remove throw rugs from hallways, kitchens, or bathrooms if possible; if you can’t, firmly attach these rugs to the surface beneath them with double-sided tape made for this purpose (which is available at most major retailers, including Amazon.com). Last, replace any worn-out flooring surface immediately; don’t wait until someone trips on it first!

4. Get Help for Heavy Lifting

Sometimes spring cleaning will require you to move, lift, and replace heavy objects including furniture and appliances. This can be a dangerous task to take on alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with heavy lifting from your friends, family members, or other members of your support network. There is no use in risking the integrity of your back, knees, or another vulnerable body part by lifting heavy things alone.

If you don’t have anyone to help you lift heavy objects in your home, consider hiring a moving company for one day. 

5. Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet

Expired medicine can be dangerous and ineffective, and it’s critical to keep up with the medications you have that may now be expired. Old medication might not work as well as it’s supposed to, which is especially bad if you’re trying to treat a serious illness or infection.

If you have any expired medications, you should dispose of these drugs properly. The FDA suggests that, to dispose of your expired or unused medications, you should drop the medication off at a drug take back site, location, or program immediately. You should not flush medications unless they are on the FDA’s safe-flush list

In some cases  you may be able to  dispose of your medicine in a bag or box and place it in your household trash. If you have any questions about how to safely dispose of your drugs, call your pharmacist for advice.

6. Deep Clean Your Bathroom

You've done your best not to let the bathroom get too dirty, but it's time to do some deep cleaning. Throughout the rest of your house, you have been able to quickly dust and wipe off surfaces, but in the bathroom, there may be a bit more work involved.

If you can open a window and turn on a fan or open an exterior door it will help ventilate the room during this process.

To deep clean your toilet: Get yourself at least four small disposable bowls (such as Dixie bowls). Pour household cleaner, such as Comet or Ajax, with bleach, into one of these bowls. You can pour Fantastik into the next bowl (which can clean around the seat) and Windex into the third, to clean around the top of the tank. 

Drop a toilet bowl tablet into the remaining bowl. Keep these tablets handy along with any other necessary supplies, such as a toilet brush, gloves, and paper towels. Have Lysol disinfectant spray within reach if you desire.

Be sure to use caution when using products containing ammonia or bleach. These two substances can create toxic fumes if you mix them together--so read labels carefully and don’t mix any products containing bleach with any products containing ammonia! Also watch out not to mix any products with any commercial drain cleaners, as doing this may also create toxic fumes. 

Now, scrub away using these products! You will want another bowl full of plain water on hand so that, after scrubbing an area with your cleaning products, you can dip your brush or other equipment into plain water and then dry it right away with a paper towel before moving on to your next area that needs cleaning.

7. Deep Clean Your Kitchen

Last, let’s take a look at your kitchen. Over time, kitchens can get dirtier than we might realize. When cleaning your kitchen, follow some of the following steps and tips:

  • Empty out your fridge, freezer, and pantry and identify whether you have any expired food that you should throw away. Wipe down your shelves, bins, and drawers. If you have a second refrigerator or freezer, spring cleaning is a perfect time to evaluate these items and discard them for extra space if you need to.
  • Wipe down your kitchen surfaces and countertops with disinfecting cleaner. Scrub grout between tiles using a toothbrush dipped in vinegar or baking soda.
  • Clean your oven by removing racks and pans, then sprinkle with baking soda to remove grease stains. Finish by wiping down glass panes. Clean the microwave--one of the most popular kitchen appliances--by dipping a sponge in water mixed with white vinegar or lemon juice and microwaving it on high for one minute; let the mixture sit in the appliance for another minute before scrubbing away grime with ease. Clean inside and outside of dishwasher thoroughly with all-purpose cleaning spray.
  • Clean your toaster by removing its crumb tray (and emptying its contents into the sink) as well as any other detachable parts that you can hand-wash in hot soapy water; wipe the exterior of your toaster clean using all-purpose cleaning spray.

What if I Need Help with Spring Cleaning?

If you need assistance with spring cleaning, there are a few different avenues for getting help. 

First, look to your family and friends. Enlisting the help of loved ones might be the most comfortable way for you to clean your home, and sometimes you can even bond with them while you’re at it! 

Some home care agencies may also  offer basic housekeeping services  like light cleaning and laundry services.

If you’re wondering how you’ll off-board and pay for some of your spring cleaning and family caregiving duties, consider Truehold’s Sale-Leaseback program. We offer a simple and transparent way for older homeowners to access their home’s equity while living better and safer at home. Through our Sale-Leaseback, you’ll be able to unlock cash that you can apply towards services such as home care and cleaning.  As a Truehold resident, you’ll also be able to eliminate the year round burdens of home maintenance – we’ll handle upkeep, repairs, and more! To find out if Truehold may be a good option for you, fill out the form below to request our info kit, or give us a call at 314-353-9757.

Lisa Carson headshot
Written by
Lisa Carson
OTD, OTR/L, CMC, Director of Care at Truehold
Dr. Carson is the Care Director at Truehold. She brings together recent trends in aging research and direct feedback from the customers we serve to build products and services that help people live easier at home. She also leads the Truehold Care & Service team, which aims to advocate for residents and ensure that their experience living at home is safe and enjoyable. Her care management team provides residents with access to resources and information at any time.
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Truehold's blog is committed to delivering timely and pertinent insights in real estate and finance, purely for educational and informational purposes. Crafted by experts, our content is thoroughly reviewed to guarantee its accuracy and dependability. Although designed to enlighten and engage, our articles are not intended as financial advice and should not be the sole basis for financial decisions. Our stringent editorial practices ensure the integrity of our content, empowering our readers with valuable knowledge.

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