Hop to it: A Spring Cleaning Cheat Sheet for arthritis
By Charlotte Ryder-Burbidge, Arthritis Patient Advisory Board member
Spring cleaning offers a yearly opportunity to refresh our homes and spirits after a cold, Canadian winter. For people with arthritis, physically demanding household chores, while necessary, can come with pain and fatigue. We’ve compiled a Spring Cleaning Cheat Sheet to help you freshen up your home while minimizing pain and saving energy for life’s more enjoyable activities.
For the remaining tasks, consider the level of physicality required and plan your cleaning schedule accordingly. Save more physical tasks for the times of day when your body feels the best. Break big tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks, and don’t forget to take lots of breaks. Alternating standing and sitting tasks can also provide an opportunity to rest without slowing you down.
Everybody, but especially people with arthritis, can benefit from wearing a pair of rubber gloves while cleaning. Rubber gloves help to keep the joints in your hands warm, grip objects more easily, and protect sensitive skin from irritants often found in cleaning products.
Many people buy cleaning products in bulk to save money, but value-sized containers are heavy to move and carry. Transferring cleaning products into smaller, more portable containers will make the products you need easier to move around the house.
If a thorough purge of closets and cabinets is on your list this year, don’t hesitate to get rid of items that no longer offer happiness or use. As a rule of thumb, if it hasn’t been used in a year, it’s probably time to throw it away, give it away or sell it.
• Is your email inbox cluttered, too? Taking the time to delete old messages and unsubscribe from promotional email lists is a low-energy activity that will save you time (and potentially unnecessary purchases) in the future.
• Clean as you go and stay on top of fresh messes to make spring cleaning more manageable next year!