Spring Has Sprung
Spring Cleaning for Seniors
Pammy Auntie Asks: Have You Cleaned Yet?
I love spring! Everything about it. The showers that bring the flowers. The flowers that bloom and bring glorious scents and colors into our lives. The feeling of beginnings. I love the fresh newness of it all.
And one of my favorite things about spring is: spring cleaning!
When I was a little girl growing up in Delhi, spring meant Holi, Vaisakhi, and Easter. Living where we lived, we had the opportunity to celebrate so many different cultural holidays with our family, friends, and neighbors.
This meant that our home had to be spotless. My mother taught us that a guest was akin to God. And because cleanliness is next to godliness, we knew we had to get cleaning. All hands were needed on deck.
We took turns dusting, sweeping, scrubbing, and polishing. It was also a time to reorganize and de-clutter. In my household, we’ve been de-cluttering well before the Marie Kondo craze!
De-cluttering meant packing away our bulky winter clothes (jackets, shawls, sweaters, velvet, and wool), cozy kumbals (thick blankets), and curtains. We placed these into our large sandook (chest) and brought out our lighter clothing and sheets.
By the end of the week-long purge, we’d open our windows and doors and let the fresh air into our clean home. It was as if the whole place took a deep refreshing breath!
Our home was transformed and we were too. We felt lighter, as if we had sloughed off the winter and were entering spring with a spring in our step, ready for a fresh start.
I’ve brought a few of my mother’s tried and tested spring-cleaning tips with me to Priya Living. Our community apartments are beautiful spaces, full of color and light. With spring finally here, I’ve been sharing these tactics with the friends I’ve made in our new retirement home. If you’re thinking of making a fresh start this spring, whether in an independent living community or not, some of these tips may also be helpful for you.
1. Make a plan
If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you’ve arrived? Write up a to-do checklist for the week, listing the categories of tasks to complete, the drawers or rooms you’ll be sorting out, and the days and times you’ll allot to completing these tasks.
2. Ask for help
My mother wasn’t shy about asking for help and neither am I. As she always said, all hands are needed! And the job, which can seem daunting if you’re tackling it yourself, will get done so much quicker with a little assistance. So don’t shy away from asking your family or friends to chip in. Here at Priya Living I’m lucky to have friends literally around the corner. Get some shikanjvi (lemonade) ready, play some records, and invite them over! If heavy lifting or heavy-duty cleaning is required, consider hiring some help.
3. Space it out
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be done in one day or even in one weekend. You can break down the tasks that need to be completed over the span of a week or two. This will help keep the process more manageable and dare I say… fun?
Take time to reorganize your medicine cabinets, emergency kits, kitchen cabinets, refrigerator, and bathroom cupboards. Throw out anything that’s old or expired, as well as anything you no longer use.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, emergency kits, and old light bulbs need to be replaced on a regular basis. A Place for Mom is a great resource. They provide a handy senior safety and well-being checklist that you can use to evaluate the safety of your home.
6. Plants and Flowers
Bringing a little bit of nature inside is always a good idea. You should take my word for it, but this is actually a fact supported by science. Extensive studies (conducted by none other than NASA) have concluded that houseplants are good for your health. They can remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours. They can also help reduce stress and improve your concentration and productivity by up to 15%. Repurpose old mason jars as vases for flowers or try vertical gardens, which are a great idea if space is tight.
Wishing you a happy spring– and happy cleaning!
Are you ready to make a fresh start in an independent living community? Contact us to find out more about our beautifully designed spaces and innovative programs!