How to Create and Clean an Accessible Living Space
Spring Cleaning Time!
Cloudy days are gradually fading away and the weather is warming all over the country. If you're like most people, now is when you get the urge to clean and organize your home to toss out the accumulated mess from a quasi-hibernating winter stage and create a fresh environment to welcome in the new spring season.
Cleaning up your home is a proven way to take control of your life. But there are some unique challenges when it comes to cleaning a wheelchair accessible living space, especially if you are in a wheelchair and doing your own cleaning.
Make the Time to Clean
Not having the time or motivation is a very common theme in today's society and can keep you from tackling the project of cleaning your home.
It's important to treat cleaning like any other major project. Just as it takes time to find and install the right wheelchair lifts for your vehicle, it takes time to adequately clean your home.
That's why you need to schedule a cleaning time and day in advance. Don't wait for a day when you feel motivated. Instead, create motivation by scheduling a cleaning time.
A bonus of scheduling your cleaning time in advance is that you can recruit friends and family to help you out if needed. Maybe you regularly "tidy up" by picking clothes off the floor or wiping down surfaces. But certain deep cleaning methods may require extra help, like cleaning fan blades or shower walls.
Additionally, if you need to order any special cleaning supplies, you'll have time to get them before you start cleaning the house.
Extra Motivation for Yourself and Others
Sometimes, cleaning and renovating an accessible home requires the help of other people. For example, you may not be able to swap your doorknobs for levers without getting some assistance.
If your friends and family don't naturally volunteer to help out, you can always try to add some kind of special motivation. Maybe offer to buy dinner for everyone after a hard day's work, or buy small, individual gifts for everyone who helps out.
You can even add some special motivation for yourself as well. Try renting a new movie online and telling yourself you won't watch it until your cleaning is completed. Having something nice to look forward to can help you power through the annoying cleaning process.
Make a List, Check It Twice
Sometimes, people clean their accessible homes by focusing on whatever catches their eye. And while that may provide your initial motivation, it won't be long before you notice something else that needs to be fixed or cleaned that will take you away from completing your task.
If you're not careful, you'll end up bouncing from area to area and not giving anything your complete attention. And you may end up with a home that trades one haphazard look for another.
To avoid this, you need to make a list of things to clean ahead of time. Give yourself a few days to catalog everything that needs cleaning. You can then use this list to systematically move through the house, one area at a time until the job is done.
Don't Just Clean: Organize, Too
When you clean your house, the key to optimizing your cleaning time is to organize while you clean. Don't just wipe down the counter where your mail is piled. Sort through and throw anything away that isn't needed.
You can apply this approach to other areas of your home, including bookshelves and kitchen drawers. Take this opportunity to put loose items back where they go. The result is a less cluttered home where you can find whatever you are looking for when you need it.
Also, trying out new organizational techniques as you go is a great way to add some additional creativity and personal motivation to the cleaning process.
Less Clutter, Less Cleaning
You've probably heard the classic wisdom "work smarter, not harder." Apply this to your home cleaning by "de-cluttering" your home before you start cleaning. That means finding clothes and other items throughout the home that you no longer use and donating them to places like your local thrift shop.
Here's a trick you can try with your clothing. Place everything in your closet facing one direction. After you wear an item, place it back in the closet facing the opposite direction.
After a certain period (say, between 6 and 12 months), you can donate everything that is still facing the original direction. After all, you now have proof that you never wear these items, and you can create a streamlined closet that is much easier to eventually clean.
Try variations of this process throughout your home to identify things you don't use. You won't miss those old coffee mugs, but you'll certainly appreciate a cabinet that is easier to clean!
Make Future Plans for Home Improvements
Earlier, we touched on the importance of organizing while you clean. Another thing you can do while cleaning is to make plans for home renovations that seriously improve your quality of life.
For example, while cleaning in your entryway, you might decide to add a camera-enabled doorbell to your home. Such doorbells interact with your smartphone and allow you to see who is at your door. If it's a stranger or a salesman, you can save yourself a trip across the house and not bother answering the door. This is a great addition because it doesn't require much maintenance, giving you one less thing to worry about when you are spring cleaning. And when you are away from your home, you can rest assured that your property and your pets are secure because you get an alert every time someone comes to your door!
You could also decide that the layout of your living room makes navigating from a wheelchair more difficult. You could make a note to re-arrange your furniture to make your day-to-day life more comfortable in the future.
A More Accessible Living Space: What Comes Next?
Now you know how to create a more accessible living space. But do you have enough accessibility after you leave the house?
We specialize in helping people buy accessible vehicles or convert existing vehicles to be more accessible. To see how we can help you take your show on the road, come browse our local inventory today!
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