Cleaning your own bedroom is a task on its own, but for some people cleaning the entire house is an even grander undertaking. This is especially true for people living with disabilities, though there are helpful strategies, as you’ll see.
Whether you’re paralysed from the waist down, partially blind or suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, cleaning duties require you to overcome a new set of hurdles beyond the chore itself. And frankly, if you’re living on your own, this can be one of the toughest challenges of homeownership.
Not only is cleaning physically demanding, but it could even exacerbate your pain and condition—something no disabled person wants. With that said, not all hope is lost. There are many cleaning hacks you can employ to make the cleaning process a smoother and more manageable ordeal. There’s also one cleaning hack that can help you steamroll through the cleaning process and keep your stress levels to the absolute minimum. Read this article to learn more about these disability-friendly cleaning tips!
1. Get Extendable Dusters
Do you find it troublesome to reach the upper corners of your room, such as the shelves and ceiling? Instead of risking your health by overextending yourself, get a tool that can reach these spaces instead. Your standard duster is quite short, barely exceeding two feet in length. For people who use wheelchairs, this tool doesn’t allow them to reach the top of most rooms. However, with an extendable duster, your height and reach will no longer be an issue. You won’t need to climb ladders or stand up on crutches to clean high or hard-to-reach areas. Furthermore, even if you don’t use a wheelchair, using extendable dusters also requires less physical strain. This can make dusting your walls feel less physically demanding overall.
2. Hot-Soak Dishes for 15 Minutes Before Scrubbing
Cleaning the dishes is one of the most frequent chores in any household, and it can take quite a bit of stamina for the less flexible of us. To make the dishwashing process more approachable, consider soaking dirty dishes in hot water after use for about 15 minutes. This time limit gives the dishes enough time to be fully soaked and for food crumbs to gently fall off the plate. By doing this regularly, you can remove stubborn food residue without as much physical exertion as normal. It’ll also save you more time, allowing you to use your time to rest or be more efficient with your chores. Alternatively, you can always utilise automatic dishwashers to do the dirty work for you. But if you don’t have this handy appliance just yet, the hot soak method is a good alternative to give you more breathing room during cleaning day.
3. Request the Aid of Professional Cleaners
The ultimate “cheat code” when it comes to getting your house in tip-top shape is, undoubtedly, getting cleaning professionals to do the work for you. Depending on where you live, you can easily access these services and have same-day cleaning done. In Australia, for instance, there are services like Absolute Domestic’s NDIS cleaning services that you can access to get your home looking spotless. In other parts of the world, cleaning services are often just an email or phone call away. Besides removing virtually every ounce of physical effort on your part, the people who provide these services are often equipped with tools and resources that uphold the best cleaning practices. You don’t have to worry about proper recycling procedures for well-worn furniture, for instance, as these services can do all the trouble for you. By enlisting the aid of these professionals, you can gain peace of mind knowing your home is cleaned properly.
4. Utilize Smart Home Cleaning Tools
The advancement of technology has granted us many useful tools to help us fulfil tasks more efficiently, and this testament is no different in the cleaning space. It’s true. Nowadays, there are a plethora of smart home appliances that can handle a variety of household cleaning tasks at the switch of a button. For instance, robotic vacuum cleaners can navigate your living room and suck dust, pollen, and dirt from your floors with ease. There are even robotic lawnmowers and outdoor vacuums that can clean up debris like twigs and fallen leaves in your lawn after a storm or a long period of overgrowth. There are also robotic tools that can clean windows, turn on lights, or mop the floors without you having to lift a finger. For people living with disabilities, investing in these tools completely revolutionises how household chores are done, making it easier and more accessible regardless of your physical abilities.
5. Dedicate Resting Time Between Cleaning Periods
It’s not surprising to know that a large fraction of disabled people tire more easily than the average person. This is why it’s important to recognize the breadth of your capabilities and listen to your body when it tells you it needs rest. A good rule of thumb is to spend 10 minutes dedicated towards cleaning, then having a short rest session afterwards before starting again. You may use a timer to help keep track of the time. Of course, this time period should be adjusted specifically to you and your abilities. Find your stride and stick with it, especially for more arduous and physically demanding tasks. Rest can mean anything from sitting down to focused breathing. Whatever slows your heart rate and calms you down, these can be considered intervals of productive rest. Once you’re well rested, you can go ahead and resume your cleaning activities.
6. Use Organizers & Cabinets to Store Items
One of the most effective ways to declutter spaces and enhance accessibility—especially for people living with disabilities—is by using organizers such as cabinets. These pieces of furniture can be mounted or freestanding. They’re also highly versatile, meaning you can put them anywhere in your home, from your kitchen and bedroom to garage and attic. Storage solutions such as drawers and cabinets not only make your room look less cluttered, but they also make it easier for you to reach and take stuff out with ease.
You don’t have to stretch your arms to reach a book on the shelves, for example, if you can put them inside your cabinet instead. Furthermore, having cabinets or transparent storage bins reduces the risk of injury through accidents like tripping over clutter. The benefits of cabinets come in abundance, making it a no-brainer addition to a disabled person’s home.