Spring Cleaning – De-clutter and Lifting
With the beginning of spring comes a flurry of traditional activities – grilling on the back deck, Saturdays at the park, and weekend mornings spent enjoying the new season of yard sales. Of course, all of the wares for said yard sales come from the closet purging, de-cluttering activities that are also common in the spring. But before you go exploring in the far reaches of your dusty attic, here are some pointers to make it a safe and successful venture for all involved.
Plan- To make spring-cleaning worth the time you invest, take a minute to determine a goal for your cleaning. Sometimes frustration boils over to the point that a closet ends up torn apart, but then it’s never actually put back together. Map out a feasible timetable and top priorities. Sure, it would be nice to de-clutter, deep clean, and reorganize every square inch of your home. But in the mad dash of modern life, that rarely happens. Instead, pick the top three weak points and focus solely on them. Then, determine not to leave an area until you’ve completely cleaned it. Leaving unfinished piles of items around your home can become an unnecessary threat to safety; stepping over things can easily lead to tripping and twisting an ankle or hurting your back.
Organize- A common rule of spring-cleaning is to get rid of an item if you haven’t used it in over a year. When evaluating your closets, basements, and attics, make a clear path and designate areas for things to keep, donate, sell, or trash. The importance of clearing a space to work isn’t solely to please those who are Type A; according to the National Safety Council, proper lifting and moving techniques require solid footing. If one is stepping over and on top of other items, they may inadvertently strain their back because they didn’t have the proper approach when moving items.
De-clutter- A proper spring-cleaning leaves no stone unturned. Use a step stool to access higher shelves or hard-to-reach items in the back of a low shelf. The National Safety Council advises moving as close as possible to the load you want to lower; lift with your arms and shoulders rather than straining with your back. In the future, labeling boxes clearly on the front will help you immediately assess what they contain and how heavy of a load to expect. If you are moving an unmarked box, try to figure out what it contains prior to moving it down. When moving larger items, it’s advisable to have a second set of hands. Always push up with your legs rather than bending at the back to avoid unnecessary injury to your lower back muscles.
Following these suggestions can lead to a safer, happier and healthier spring!