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Housekeeping & Tips for Spring Cleaning

Housekeeping Is An Art

By Patricia M. Johnson

Housekeeping is truly an art; but is not always fun.

It takes physical effort for all of that work. These tips can help to ease the chores.

  • Always wipe baseboards with a dry cloth, not a wet one when dusting or vacuuming your floor. Dust sticks to a wet baseboard and builds up over time.
  • Send your draperies to the cleaners in the spring. Ask the cleaner to dip or spray with a soil retardant after the cleaning. This will keep good drapery fabric clean until next spring with minimal vacuuming.
  • Using a home carpet cleaning machine is wonderful for in-between cleaning jobs, but once a year professional cleaning is necessary. Apply a stain-resistant coating after the extra-deep cleaning from a professional.
  • Windows are the most difficult to keep clean. If you can’t hire a professional window cleaner, just do a few windows a day. The old-fashioned method of ammonia with warm water, followed by a rub-down with dry newspaper, really makes them shine! If you don’t have ammonia, use white vinegar. Either way, you’ll avoid streaks that some commercial products leave behind.

A fireplace should be cleaned now and then. Several companies and even fireplace stores sometimes offer this service. Here are some tips just for fireplaces:

  • If you use your fireplace often during the winter, it should be cleaned once a year to avoid creosote buildup.
  • Unless you’re very athletic, hire a professional. If you think you can do it, wear a safety harness and consider renting a roof ladder.
  • You’ve got to check the whole interior of the chimney and the exterior for water moisture and loose bricks, even cracks and pits. Inspect the mortar joints and flashing to avoid water seeping into your chimney.
  • While doing this housekeeping, check out the window sills, door sills and thresholds. You may need to fill in the cracks, repairing, caulk edges, and even replace some of these structures if necessary.
  • Check out any cracks or separations in the walls before you repaint. This is the best time to touch up those problems.
  • With standard paints, you may need to repaint each year. Semi-gloss, matte or semi- or full-gloss paints provide durability for many years. A simple wipe of a soap and water sponge, a spray of an instant cleaner, or a complete wash-down of the walls – it looks new each time it’s cleaned.

Enjoy spring housekeeping chores, keeping them light, and whistle a few tunes while you work. Always remember, you only need to do a little at a time.

Tips for Spring Cleaning

By Lisa Kelly PT, CSCI, C- NDT
of Alternative Physical Therapy

Make a plan & Stay Safe

Develop a written plan- divided into “Doable 2-3 hour segments.”

Pace yourself. It’s only March and the weather in Northwest Ohio doesn’t really demand your outside focus until Mid April.

Consider joining forces with a friend or family member to divide and conquer. Ask for help when needed.

Treat yourself as you mark off completed items.

Consider light background music to lighten the mood.

Assemble your supplies and tools before you start cleaning.

Prepare your body

Before starting your cleaning, do a couple of light stretches to activate your big muscles.

Do neck motions up/down and look over each shoulder.

For your shoulders, reach your hands over your head, out to the sides and behind your back.

Help your back by holding onto a counter and round your back like a cat, then drop your back down into an arch with your hips down low and your shoulders high while looking up in “cobra” position.

Once cleaning, Remember Safety

Keep your mop or vacuum close to you to prevent overstretching. Keep your abdominal muscles lightly contracted to support your back and step and sway your body as you mop or vacuum.

For high areas: don’t step too high on ladders or step stools, don’t over reach and ideally have someone steady your ladder and/or hand items to a helper.

For lifting: smaller boxes are better. Lift using a shallow squatting position using your stronger leg and buttocks muscles. Keep the item close to your body and keep your back straight and your head up.

For moving items: pushing with your body weight is better than pulling. Even better is placing the object to be moved on wheels, like a desk chair.

For more tips and pointers on pain-free movement, contact Alternative Physical Therapy by calling 419-578-4357 or
visiting alternativephysicaltherapy.com.

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