7 Ways to Take Care of You and the Household for Life
I’ve worked with a lot of determined people. These are people who live at home and want to take care of themselves and their own things in their household. They want to be in charge of their lives.
Truth be told, I’m one of those people too.
At the same time, I’ve come to the realization that barriers to taking care of my daily needs and my house eventually come into existence. It’s possible for me to have an accident, a progressive disease, or just basic aging that will make it more difficult for me to manage my household.
I won’t always have the energy and strength to take care of my needs and my house.
All of these possibilities can make me start to fear and worry about the future. Who will take care of the yard and change the furnace filter? How will the cooking and cleaning be done?
The antidote to fear is to plan on making changes in case life throws me a curveball. Here are seven painless ways to help you take care of your daily needs and household.
1) Move to the main level in your home.
Think about the places at home that you need to use to take care of yourself and the house.
In my case, I use the main entry (my back door), bedroom, bathroom, laundry, and the kitchen, all of which are on the main floor in my house. This eliminates the need for me to use time and energy to walk up and down stairs to do a daily activity. For instance, I don’t have to ask my husband to carry laundry up and down the steep basement stairs because I’m afraid I’ll fall. I can just do the laundry on my own time.
Sidenote: Although I don’t launder my clothes and linens daily, I do laundry once a week to keep things fresh! It still helps to keep laundry on the main level of the home as opposed to the basement.
Once you’ve identified the places you use the most at home, try to do as many daily activities as you can on the most accessible level. For example, let’s say your bedroom is on the second floor and you always sleep in the recliner in the living room on the main level. So do you really need a separate bedroom and living room? You could convert the living room into the bedroom and use the bedroom for a different purpose.
I know some of you may find this to be radical speak, but honestly, think about it. Humans are creative. We can make our homes whatever we want and need them to be.
If making a simple change, like moving our everyday activities to the main floor, ensures that you’re able to manage the household and take care of your physical well being, then what’s the problem in that?
2) Store seldom used items in the basement or attic.
What are younger family members for? To help out with physical labor when necessary! That’s an evolutionary fact!
When you store seldom used items, like seasonal holiday decorations or sentimental items, in the basement or attic, it gives the main floor in your home more room to keep things you need on a daily basis.
Don’t use the linen closet to store your inflatable Santa! Use the linen closet for storing linens, cleaning supplies, or pantry items. This way you’re not wasting time and energy shoving Santa to the side while looking for a clean washcloth.
Tip: Try to store infrequently used items in clear plastic totes or label opaque plastic totes in order for people to know what’s inside.
3) Make cleaning equipment accessible.
On the main level of your home, put your cleaning equipment within reach, not on high shelves or shoved in the back of stuffed closets.
Some easy ways to do this would be to:
Install pull down or pull out shelving in top and bottom cabinets.
Hang brooms and mops on the inside or back of doors, closets, or cupboards.
Designate a cleaning caddy to make it easier to carry supplies with you to different rooms.
Store specific cleaning supplies to the room, like leaving bathroom cleaning supplies in the bathroom.
4) Store cleaning solutions in smaller bottles.
It’s easier to handle smaller bottles than great big gallon sized bottles. Think about the cleaning caddy, would you want to lug a gallon sized bottle of cleaner around the house or a pint sized one? You save energy and reduce the risk of injury when you use smaller bottles for everyday tasks.
This reminds me of watching my grandmother struggle to pour a 32 oz bottle of dish soap just to wash dishes. I asked my mother to buy smaller bottles or pour dish soap from a large container into a small bottle. Granny doesn’t need to struggle with washing dishes and neither do you!
5) Use ergonomic designed cleaning supplies.
When looking for ergonomic designed cleaning supplies, consider the following:
Pump handles on bottles
Lightweight brooms, mops, dusters
Grips on handles made of rubber
Tools that do more than one thing: multifunctional
Handles that are length adjustable
Long handles on equipment like dust pans (so you don’t bend so much!)