If you have ever wondered how someone could work for a housekeeping service without being totally whipped by the end of the day, it’s time to sit down with a cup of coffee and listen. Housekeeping is as simple or as hard as you make it. Every chore has a routine that we fall into. Learning from watching mom, an older sister, a friend, or a TV station is where most people get ideas on how to clean.
Home Economics is no longer taught in high schools and when it was, housecleaning was never part of the curriculum. Hence, we have a generation that not only does not know how to clean but can become easily strained when trying to perform duties. The worse habit you can get into is only remembering the pain you feel after the job. Put some fun and a feeling of self-satisfaction into the game by learning how to put less strain on your body and improving your skills.
Warm-Up Before the Tackle
Stretching your muscles is always a good idea before beginning an active day. There are five major benefits to stretching.
- Increases blood flow to muscles. Getting your blood to circulate keeps muscles from tightening and becoming sore.
- Makes your muscles more flexible. We all feel that tightness when first waking up in the morning. Moving around helps to relieve this pressure and stretching your muscles improves the flexibility even more.
- Range of motion increases. Being able to reach further, bend deeper, and twist at the waist are all pluses when it comes to cleaning. Stretches give you that extra oomph in performing duties.
- Prepares muscles for the task. Muscles do not just wake up and take off when you command. They have to be prepared for physical injection, not unlike sports pros preparing for a game.
- Reduces back pain and pulled muscles. Forcing activity on the back can cause consequences of pulled muscles and muscle strain. This can lead to more serious problems down the road.
You don’t have to spend a lot of time on stretches. Stretch above your head, stretch down to your toes and bend sideways to get the blood pumping. You will feel much better at the end of the day.
Put Your Chores in Order
Stay focused on completing one room at a time or one chore at a time. Cleaning becomes difficult when you begin flying in too many directions. If you begin dusting the whole house, finish the whole house. Stress can overtake you if you forget what has been done and stress can cause sore muscles.
Cleaning High Spots
Trying to reach areas above your head can bring much strain on your back and shoulders. Before you even begin cleaning, locate a step stool for grabbing and using. Trying to reach spots that your body is incapable of can cause pulled muscles and distress in not being able to complete a chore.
Bathrooms can be one of the most challenging areas of the house to clean. Scrubbing corners of the bathtub and removing soap scum from shower doors canT be strenuous to shoulders. The best way to combat caked-on dirt is by letting cleansers do the work for you. Before you take a deep breath and head into the bathroom, mix up vinegar, dishwashing soap, and water in a spray bottle. Spray the tough areas and let the cleaner do its job. It will take about 15 minutes for the dirt to dissolve, but wiping a surface clean is much easier than scrubbing and sweating. Your muscles will love you.
Vacuuming does not have to be a science. Most people overtire themselves from vacuuming by making their shoulders carry the burden. A vacuum cleaner is designed to glide across the floor with very little effort. Putting a strain on your shoulders and back is not going to pick up more dirt. It will just wear you out. Go with the glide and forget about moving furniture to do a thorough job. Save it for Spring Cleaning Day or semi-annual shampooing.
Whoever decided to place microwaves above the oven was never responsible for cleaning them. Grab your step stool. Find a bowl and fill half-way with tap water. Place in the microwave and bring the water to a boil. Allow the steam to loosen the dried-on food on the inside for five minutes. Remove the bowl and wipe the inside clean.
Dusting is very simple and non-strenuous when done correctly. Never spray polish on the furniture. You will spend precious time trying to thin out the polish, then buffing to a shine. Instead, lightly spray a cotton cloth that has been folded in quarters. The dirt will stick to the cloth like a magnet with very little effort. When the cloth becomes soiled, simply turn it over or inside out and start again. This enables you to wipe down decorative items, lamps, and furniture legs without using more spray.
Window cleaning can be tough on your neck and shoulders if you let it. You first need to evaluate your windows. If there is more than just a thin layering of dust, wipe it down with soap and water. Window cleaner is designed to shine, not to clean dirt and grime. Allow drying then spray lightly with glass cleaner and shine. Do not use paper towels that have lotion added or you will be battling a foggy haze all day. Your shoulders do not have to get a workout from shining windows.
Many homes have opted to replace carpets with wood or stone floors. New mops have made it easier than ever to keep them clean. Sweeping or vacuuming hard floors should be done first and followed by damp mopping. Keep your posture as straight as possible and let the mop and cleanser do the work. When finished, bend down and go around the edges with a damp paper towel to pick up any crumbs accumulated in the corners.
There is nothing more back-breaking than making a bed. Leaning over, tucking, and pulling can leave you exhausted. Try working on one side at a time instead of fluffing out sheets to cover the whole bed. The corners can easily be pulled and you will not be straining to straighten out the entire sheet. Fold the pillowcase in half before trying to stuff an entire pillow in the case. You would not believe how many muscles are used in fighting with a pillowcase.
Cleaning your house does not have to take a toll on your body. These simple suggestions will not only save strain on your shoulders and back but will cut your cleaning time in half. Stay away from heavy lifting, scrubbing, and putting more effort than necessary into the job. Cleaning your home should make you feel satisfied and still have plenty of energy left.
Tidying up without the strain takes a little bit of prep work in the beginning. Doing stretches, gathering supplies, and pacing yourself are good practices in preparing to spend a couple of hours on housework. However, you will find that the planning will make you feel better and your muscles will be saved from over-exertion.