Helpful Hints for easier house cleaning -
Editor Pam H. ( firstname.lastname@example.org
*put aluminum foil on the bottom of your
stove or lower shelf, if you have something to spill, just take it out and throw
it away, also, put foil on the broiler pans.
*Good air cleaners help reduce dust. Good
maid service or personal assistant does the rest.
*a sponge mop (dept store) with a handle on
it so you don't have to ring it out with your hands.
*Use a light-weight vacuum and use short
pushes instead of long ones.
*self propelled vacuum cleaner, with dust
*those dusters with the long extensions. http://www.eldercorner.com/
*cordless telephone headset or a
*a stool in the kitchen to sit or
stand, a electrostatic duster
*Placing everything you can, i.e. cleaning
supplies, trash bags, anything up where you don't have to bend down under a sink
or something to dig it out helps me a lot. Bending just kills me. I even bought
my washer and dryer in a stack so as not to have to bend over so much.
* I went to the doctor and got his
approval to apply for In Home Support Services through the local Social Services
in my area
*I hire my granddaughter to do heavier chores
like changing bed sheets, moping, vacuuming, etc.
*buy LG. bottles of detergent and have
husband or someone put in smaller containers so you don't have to lift heavy
*first a big carving knife, with a saw handle
my whole hand grips made by gustavsberg of Sweden ....this thing makes chopping
, cutting bread etc. a true breeze ....much safer than others I've tried .
*get a small wheeled tea cart for
moving heavy baskets of laundry , taking many small things from room to room (
like setting the table , serving food etc. ) these are great balance assistants
too , ( when your wheeling em you've got something to hang on too ) . which
brings me to my last tip ask for referral to an O.T. its astounding the number
of adaptive aides out there available these days ......a good O.T. , can
recommend all sorts of simple changes in your house and work areas that really
*Have the children and spouse do some of the
*get a long handled dustpan to sweep things
*make sure you get a goods night sleep each
*simple thing to avoid having to almost
stand on your head to really clean the microwave: put a tablespoon or so of
baking soda in a cup of water. Let it boil in the microwave for a couple
seconds. The steam loosens everything and just wipes out. Check your operating
manual before trying this.
*One of the things I find very helpful is
using my dishwasher, since my hands hurt so bad at times I cannot wash dishes
anymore. A friend of mine made a dust pan with a handle for me so that I don't
have to try and bend over to hold it......this is also a big help. There are
also gadgets (sorry I don't know what they are called) but they fit on the end
of your ink pen so that the grasp you have to make on it is fatter and
cushioned. I got a bread maker for Christmas..........wow what a wonderful
invention. I have not made homemade bread for ever and ever as I couldn't stand
the pain of mixing and kneading it. To clean the tub.....I use a mop. I can't
stand the instant headache I get from bending over
*I have a helpful hint for cleaning the bath
tub and walls of the shower and it keeps your broom/sponge mop really clean,
too. Put the plug in the tub, shake a generous amount of Ajax or Comet cleanser
into the tub, add a LITTLE bit of water, spray the walls with a spray cleaner,
and grab your broom/sponge mop and scrub real good. Dip your broom/sponge mop
into the Ajax every once in a while for easier scrubbing. When every thing is
cleaned simply remove cleaned plug and rinse good. Rinse tub, walls, and broom
in the same fashion you cleaned them. Use the shower for this. The shower/hose
combinations are great for this. Simply run clean water and swish the broom/mop
over everything. Your tub, shower walls, broom/sponge mop, and even
the plug are nice and clean quickly with absolutely no stooping or bending.
Hint: I allow the broom/sponge mop to dry in the tub.
*Something I have found enormously
helpful the last few years is my "Mr. Tubby" to clean the tubs and
showers. It is a swiveling scrubbing-sponge on a telescoping stick. Using it, I
can remain standing to clean the entire tub and shower. That's great for me,
because I don't have to get on my knees and then tip my head back to see what I
am scrubbing, as I would have to do if I used a hand-held sponge. (see the
previous idea) *The Gripper works great!!!(on anything). JC Penney's
has it in their special needs catalog.
* clean the bathtub by climbing into
it. This may not work for everyone, but I'm fairly small and can squat in it.
I'm just hoping my knees hold out. Often I don't do all the cleaning on the same
day either. That was especially true when I was first getting back on my feet a
couple of months after surgery. I've also trimmed the bushes and just left all
the clippings for my husband to pick up
*To easily remove burnt-on food from
your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover
bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stovetop - skillet will be much easier to
clean. "PAM" type coatings are very difficult to remove so avoid them
if you can.
*If you have a problem opening jars:
*Try using latex dishwashing gloves. They
give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy
*(for folks with vision and hand troubles)
When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers
or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, then pull it off.
Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.
* Look what you can do with Alka-Seltzer:
Clean a toilet - drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush,
and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous china. Don't
use other cleaners in conjunction with Alka-Seltzer. · - Clean a vase - to
remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and
drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets. - Polish jewelry - drop two Alka-Seltzer
tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes. ·
*Unclog a drain - clear the sink drain by
dropping three Alka-Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz
White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, then run the hot water. Don't use Drano or
similar products with this treatment.
*buy one of those inexpensive plastic utility
buckets with the rope handles for carrying laundry
Some yard and gardening tips:
*I, too, have one of those blowers. Black and
Decker makes them. They use chargeable batteries. They are great for blowing
leaves and other garbage out of the garage, from the sidewalk, driveway, etc.
They are so light you can do it with one hand. Also good for blowing light snow
off driveways and walks
*Gas powered blowers work even better, and
start easily. Homelite and Sears make good ones.
*There is a new rake)...you have probably
seen it advertised ..for sale at Sears. It is great & less stressful on neck
& back...you don't have to bend over to pick up the debris of yard
clippings, leaves, etc. It folds in half, kinda like tongs holding the debris
between the two sides then release & open over the container or lawn bags
*Lightweight leaf blower, with a mulcher,
electric or gas.
*use a soaker hose
*one of those 4 wheeled hand carts for
* a riding lawn mower or hire a lawn service
(no mowing, no maintenance, no storage and probably cost effective). Ditto for
snow removal services.
*time released fertilizer
*use mulch and/or Preen to keep weeds out of
*borrow a neighborhood kid to do your weeding
(some work cheap)
*have trellises next to the house for growing
*electric hedge trimmer
* use mostly perennials, and mix a few
*plant mums for fall color (remember to keep
them pinched back until the 4th of July for all blooming)
*use a foam mat if you have to kneel
*buy a carrying storage stool for
sitting/weeding etc. and use it to store your tools
*use raised beds to keep from getting on the
*have large container pots for growing
plants, or veggies
*if you can't work outside, bring some large
pot indoors and have house plants
* have a nice container of herbs indoors or
* remember when working outside- wear a hat,
sunscreen, have a water bottle handy, and carry the phone, oh and bug spray.
* use shovels and rakes with the bent,
Thanks to all those who helped out with this
list- (if I have forgotten anyone, my apologies) Sincerely Pam H. The
contributors to the house and gardening sections were: Pam H, Kathleen G, Scott,
Cindy's mom, Suzanne H., Lycia, Chip, Susan S, Judy Marie, Nancy A. Suzanne C,
Cassie, Sarah in Paradise, Carol J., Steppenwolf, Lauri, Luella, Diane K,
Barbara, Melinda D., Sue G., Dori, Bernie M.
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