The Arthritis Newsletter

Spring 2016

Tips and Tricks for Spring Cleaning

By Kelly English


Don’t lift heavy items – try to hire students or get a family member to help.


Break jobs into small time sections, such as 5 – 10 minutes 3x a day. Try not to get too sore that you can’t do anymore.


Medications that have expired or you no longer require can be taken to the drugstore for disposal. This includes over the counter medications.


Open doors and windows to freshen the house!


Take a cloth with bleach water on it to wipe down computer keys, door handles and switches to help eliminate winter germs!


Baskets with lids hide a lot of things. Out of sight – out of mind.


Clean out old expired food in freezer and refrigerator. This will make finding things easier day to day.


Rotate your clothes – put away winter and bring out summer. Another tip is to place hangers pointing one way. When you wear them, put them back with the hangers pointing the other way. Evaluate the clothes you haven’t worn all year – do you need them?


Clothes in good condition to consignment stores. Most thrift stores will arrange a pick up of unwanted clothing and/or items.


Remember running shoes (especially if you have one pair) need to be replaced every six months even if the wear doesn’t appear apparent. People with arthritis need that support.


Make your cleaning tools ergonomic. If you have hand arthritis, tape foam or wrap a tea towel around the handles of your vacuum/dust buster etc. so the larger grip is easier on your finger joints.


Place items into a smaller, easy to lift containers for organizing.


Take the time to position your body square to and close to anything you have to exert force to do – lifting, vacuuming, and scrubbing. The closer in your arms are to your body the less strain on your extremity joints.


Use the right cleaners to your advantage, e.g. a no scrub bathroom spray that is easy to wipe off rather than one that requires lots of scrubbing.


Get into your bathtub to clean it! Then take a shower afterwards.


Get rid of junk by advertising it on a site such as Craigslist.com, and if you offer it for a low enough price or for free, insist that buyers come pick it up so you don’t have to move it.


Hire someone to do the actual cleaning if you can afford it. Even twice a year makes a difference and allows you to do the everyday tasks.


Pick up some spring flowers and reward yourself. You deserve to smile.

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