The official first day of spring is just around the corner in March. And even if the cold winds might continue to blow occasionally for a while, early spring is a great time to get interior spaces in order. Then, you're ready to leave them and venture into outdoor areas for enjoyment once the days grow consistently warm.
There's something refreshing about opening up a window and cleaning and clearing out your space. But for seniors who live in an assisted living apartment, what might spring cleaning look like?
Many assisted living communities, including Cambridge Court in Kearney, offer optional housekeeping services. That means the day-to-day cleaning of your assisted living apartment gets done with professional equipment and care, reducing some of the more tedious aspects of spring cleaning. If you don't want to, you don't have to scrub bathroom fixtures or get down to give the baseboards a good polish, because your assisted living apartment has been kept clean all year.
That leaves the more enjoyable parts of spring cleaning (for most people), and allows you to give your apartment a new look for the season without some of the more exhausting cleaning work. How you manage your apartment and get it ready for the next season is up to you, but here are a few ideas seniors might consider.
Use the spring cleaning season to consider all the things you've collected during your time at the assisted living community. Even spacious, well-designed apartments can become cluttered with things, and clutter makes it difficult to maintain a clean, safe space.
You can follow a range of decluttering philosophies when you go through your space each spring. The pile process involves sorting things into different piles or baskets: Items to keep, those to give away or donate and those to throw away. If making these types of decisions stresses you out, you can use spring cleaning time to set the stage to make decluttering easier next year or season. Follow these tips to help determine what you might want to keep.
Hang all your clothes hangers backward (the open part of the hook facing you). As you take clothing off to wear it, turn the clothes hanger the other way. At the end of the year, if clothing is on a backward hanger, it means you didn't wear the item once through all four seasons. Ask yourself if you really need it.
Place small, easily removable stickers on personal use items such as kitchenware and cosmetics. Each time you use an item, take the sticker off. At the end of a set period, such as six months or even a year, consider what items you haven't used and still have stickers on them. If you're not using them, should you keep them around?
Use Marie Kondo's method of considering each item and asking yourself if it "brings you joy." If you don't feel strongly about something or it feels like it's just taking up space, perhaps it's time to pass it on. This works best for nonessential items, because even if your medicine cabinet or oxygen tank doesn't bring you joy, it might be helping to keep you healthy.
Decluttering makes room for another enjoyable activity: decorating. Whether you want to break out the Easter decorations or just give your assisted living apartment decor a refresh, spring cleaning season is a great time to do so.
Even if you skip the scrubbing, spring cleaning can be a long physical activity. Follow some of these safety tips to help make your project safe so you can enjoy your efforts afterward.
Take your time. You don't have to get everything perfect in one day, and some people may find it more productive to break spring cleaning into small projects over a few weeks.
Ask for help when necessary. Don't try to move heavy furniture yourself and avoid climbing on chairs and counters to reach higher places. Reach out the Cambridge Court staff if you need assistance in handling certain tasks, and follow common sense measures when cleaning alone.
If you're using any type of cleaning solutions, make sure your apartment is well-ventilated. Save this type of cleaning or project for days when you can open the windows, for example.
Incorporate future safety into your cleaning. This is a great time to make sure your medicine cabinet is well-organized, you can read all the labels and make sure none of your supplies are expired. It's also an ideal time to check your stocks of batteries or other supplies you might need to run or use necessary equipment.
Spring cleaning can be a fun way to renew your space for the upcoming season. And while it might take a bit of work, you are sure to enjoy your assisted living apartment even more once you're done.