House Cleaning Checklist for Seniors – How to Make Life Easier in Your Later Years
Chores may not be something you love EVER. But as you get older there are even more challenges, right? From lower energy levels to lack of mobility, keeping the house spick and span can become more challenging. But a few tips and adjustments to your house cleaning checklist can make all the difference!
Cleaning can seem like an uphill task at the best of times. But it gets especially challenging as you get older. And while most people would be understanding if all your flower vases and ornaments aren’t dust-free all the time, you don’t want to risk ending up with rotten food at the bottom of the fridge.
Unfortunately, getting older brings many challenges and requires some changes in lifestyle—also your house cleaning checklist requires a new plan. So, we’re going to help you make sure you miss nothing on your cleaning journey, AND make life a little easier for you.
Facing the Reality—A Note to Seniors and Their Loved Ones
The harsh reality is that even tasks like cleaning carry risks. It could be necessary for younger family members to help the elderly take an honest look at their lifestyles and see what needs change:
- Is forgetfulness causing problems such as an unsanitary environment?
- Could certain cleaning tasks lead to injury, requiring a different house cleaning checklist than before?
- Do recent health changes require a change in lifestyle, including who does the cleaning around the house?
By asking a few honest questions and using our tips on creating a new house cleaning checklist, the new—improved—lifestyle can still be enjoyable and efficient.
Helpful House Cleaning Checklist and Tips for Seniors and Their Families
Have a To-do List
This tip is for anyone—not only for those scared of forgetting important tasks. A to-do list is the starting point of having an organized cleaning process. It’s also best to have it set up in a visual way, so use a chore wheel, a spreadsheet on your computer or an app like Enzo.
For each room, make sure you have a list of items to cover, both short-term and long-term. Do this before you schedule tasks into your planner. On that list, create categories:
- Is it essential? Or, can you leave it if you’re having a tough day with less energy than usual?
- Should it rather be done by someone else to avoid injury?
- How often must it take place?
Schedule All into a Planner
Most often, you won’t have the time or the energy to do all the cleaning on one day. So, create a week schedule with only a few tasks each day. Also, schedule the tasks throughout the day, so you can rest when needed.
Definitely don’t do it all, every day. Clean certain rooms on certain days. For instance, you can clean the toilet and bathroom on Mondays and Thursdays and the bedroom on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Often, deep cleaning will have to be done by other people unless you’re able to break it up into smaller tasks that you can cope with doing throughout the day.
If you can’t afford assistance, or if you have no family to help you out, ask about community services in your area. Perhaps a church or charity can help out now and then? If you live in a retirement village, and have access to a trusted cleaner, rather make use of this luxury.
Make Safety a Priority
Put your mind at rest that you’re allowed to take it easy. You don’t want housework to cause injuries like back ache that affects your later years! For example, slipping while scrubbing the bath shouldn’t even be a possibility! Rather ask for help!
Furthermore, also look for ways to limit risk. Perhaps you can move furniture out of the way for easier movement. A decluttering process is also smart, so there are fewer loose items in the home that you can trip over. Especially your high traffic areas should be kept open and clear of clutter.
Lastly, many electronic devices that send error messages via audio signals, such as ‘beeps’, may need to be checked by a third party on a regular basis. An elderly person may not be able to hear the sound, and this can cause risk of appliances or a smoke alarm failing.
Have a System for Cleaning
Now let’s discuss cleaning methods that require the least amount of energy but are effective.
When cleaning a room, clean from top to bottom and left to right. You’ll ensure you clean everything, but any dust falling from up high will be cleaned eventually, without you cleaning any area twice.
You obviously have to clean the kitchen and do the dishes every day. A wise approach to getting dishes done is to clean immediately after you’ve eaten, for minimal exertion at a time.
You’ll have to focus on the essential tasks to make life easier. You can’t do everything. So, consider closing off the rooms that you don’t use, and using fewer spaces. That way, you will clean much less.
If you’re living alone, chances are the bedroom, the kitchen and the bathroom are the only rooms you’ll use regularly. Keep others closed and only clean them when you have guests over.
Have All Products and Tools Ready
You’re at that stage in life where you wish to conserve energy, so you don’t want to be running back and forth to fetch items that you need. You’ll save a lot of time and effort if you have everything on hand from the start of the cleaning session.
To carry cleaning supplies, get a container that’s comfortable to carry or a small pushable cart that will put less strain on your back.
Clean as You Mess
The simplest and easiest way to clean a home is to clean as you’re messing, as mentioned above.
So, for instance, you clean the basin every time you wash your hands, or clean surfaces while cooking. Another idea is to make your bed as soon as you get up.
Clean with a Plan
The secret to cleaning as a retired person is to do housework in small increments. The following 1-day house cleaning checklist and schedule gives you an idea of how you can clean well, without overexerting yourself.
Monday House Cleaning Checklist
- 7 am: Rise, dress and make bed
- 7.30 am: Breakfast, wash up and sweep kitchen
- 8.30 am: Put washing in washing machine
- 9.00 am: Clean toilet and basin
- 10.00 am: Hang up washing
- 10.30 am: Teatime
- 12 pm: Make and eat lunch
- 1.00 pm: Clean dishes and pack away
- 1.30 pm: Have a siesta
- 4.30 pm: Make supper
- 5.30 pm: Eat supper
- 6.30 pm: Do dishes and wipe surfaces in kitchen
You won’t feel overwhelmed because you know what the day demands of you. And, the plan prevents you from taking on too much and regretting it later on.
Can Technology Help Seniors?
It’s 2022 and there’s definitely helpful technology that can make all the difference in how you or a loved one experiences day to day life. Cleaning chores included!
The notes above make it clear that many seniors may not be able to do all the cleaning tasks they usually did, even if they’re still living on their own. But home maintenance and cleaning must still happen.
With apps that track chores—like Enzo—family members can communicate with each other about what needs to be done to keep homes clean and tidy. So, use it to keep track of what’s happening at your senior family member’s home:
- Load all necessary chores on the tracker
- Make it clear which tasks they can do without harming themselves and only allocate those to their name—they will receive reminders for those tasks
- Allocate other tasks to family members who volunteer to assist, or who will organize a third party to get it done—this is an excellent way to get younger generations involved in chores and taking up responsibilities
- Show your senior family members how to confirm when a task is completed, so you’re also kept up to date of whether all is in order, even if you can’t visit every day
- The family can keep everyone informed of home maintenance and new tasks when they become necessary, even if everyone has busy schedules
As a bonus, if you use an app like Enzo you can also add events and manage bill payments if that’s something you want to help elderly individuals with.
It may take a learning curve to get used to the app, but thanks to user friendliness, almost anyone can enjoy using the software.
If you follow this house cleaning checklist as a senior, your life may become a little less stressful, knowing you’ve covered the basics. And as a family, an organized system along with an app can give everyone a little peace of mind. With the Enzo app scheduling is much easier, and you can talk to our team if you want to know more about how to implement it for your family.