Now that Spring is upon us it is time for the infamous spring cleaning extravaganza! Too long have we lived under the same roof as countless dust bunnies, cob webs, and indistinguishable food particles in and under the couch. Before you grab your mops and brooms, take at look at these 12 tips to make sure you don’t get injured while tidying up your home!
Before you get started, make sure your body’s ready to tackle this very physical task – as with any physical activity, it’s good to warm up. A brisk walk will get your muscles ready for the demands of heavy cleaning and lifting. On the plus side, spring cleaning can be as good as doing a workout, but you need to be careful!
Practice proper lifting techniques
Vacuum with Both Hands
Vacuuming can put a lot of strain on the spine and neck. Keep the hose in front of your body at waist height, use both hands to push the vacuum, and walk straight across the carpet, then turn and go back. Avoid pushing and pulling in short little strokes.
Use a Mop for the Tub
For bathtub cleaning, stand outside the tub with a long mop rather than sitting and leaning over the side.
Use a Ladder!
Ladder accidents are one of the most common at-home injuries in the United States. If you’re washing high windows or painting, use a secure ladder or step stool to stay level with the window rather than stretching your back and neck upwards for extended periods of time. Never climb on the furniture to reach high places.
Break Tasks Down
One of the best ways to avoid injuries is to break daunting jobs down into smaller tasks. Do little and often, take breaks and drink lots of water. You don’t have to finish all your projects in just one day!
Know your Limits
Be honest with yourself and know your vulnerable areas. If you already have problems with your back, don’t put any unnecessary strain on it – you’ll only pay the price for it by possibly causing a worse injury.
Everyone likes a clean home but you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Ask your friends and neighbors for some help and try to return the favor. People like to help and now would be a good time to enlist some willing helpers.
Protect You Knees and don’t Over-Stretch
Use a cushion or knee pad when scrubbing floors and don’t reach too far. While it’s good to stretch, it’s not good to put strain on your neck or back by stretching too far.
Mind Wet Floors
Don’t walk on wet floors – many accidents are caused from slipping on spillages and wet floors. Accidents from slipping can be extremely painful and can lead to torn ligaments and even breaks. Plan your work breaks after you wash the floor. This will give the floor time to dry before your return to work on it.
Take a Break
Remember to take frequent breaks and stay hydrated as you complete your cleaning project.
Don’t Ignore Pain
If you find your muscles tensing up, now might be the time to ask for a back rub, or again do some simple stretches to loosen up aching muscles. Mild discomfort can quickly lead to serious pain if you ignore it.
If you feel a pop or strong pull then you may need to seek care. Although it may only be tight at that moment you could find yourself in a lot of pain over the next few days. There is a lot to do this time of year, but you won’t be able to do anything if you have injured yourself.