How Older Adults Can Safely Tackle Spring Cleaning
Reducing Clutter and Creating a Safer Environment
When many of us hear the words spring cleaning, we instantly become overwhelmed: But spring cleaning doesn’t have to be an overwhelming all-day marathon. Older adults can work in small increments of time to make big changes in their home.
- Focus on removing clutter. Maybe there’s a countertop, a table, or even a room that has been designated as a “catch all” space. Over time, junk can accumulate–and this can cause us stress. Decluttering can actually reduce your stress as well as reduce risks of tripping and falling over piles or miscellaneous items on the floor in your home. Free up valuable space by tackling decluttering a little bit at a time. Separate items into Keep, Donate, and Trash piles. Ask a loved one or friend for assistance in removing items from your home.
- Check your medicine cabinet. Go through medications to check expiration dates and pull out any items that have expired. Properly dispose of any expired medications—for example, there are drug take-back sites that will take certain medications for safe disposal. Make a list of any generic medications that you discarded so that you can replace them and maintain a stocked medicine cabinet.
- Check smoke detectors and carbon dioxide detectors. Every year, it is a good idea to replace the batteries in these safety devices. If they are located too high, ask a loved one for assistance.
- Clean out your fridge and pantry. This is a good time to throw away any old and forgotten items in the back of your fridge. Also go through your pantry to get rid of any expired foods. Again, make a list of any pantry staples that you need to replenish.
Just remember: Small changes can have a big impact. Good luck with your spring cleaning!