Healthy Spring Cleaning
For many around the country, winter is coming to an end. With the increasingly warmer weather and plentiful daylight, it is a great time to plan your spring cleaning. The ritual of cleaning one’s living space to usher in the spring season is often looked forward to and can offer a burst of energy and satisfaction to those who undertake the task. However while household cleaning may sound easy and routine enough, there can be unexpected risks of harm and injury that may present themselves to the unprepared. A spring cleaning project can merit some consideration to ensure you get things started right and finish strong.
Why Spring Clean At All?
To be fair, for many the prospect of spring cleaning does not come across as satisfying at all. It typically takes the form of housework projects, and some people just aren’t into that. But even if you do not consider cleaning a good time there are a few compelling reasons to place it on your to-do list heading into spring:
-Spring cleaning can reduce stress through the reduction of clutter and the steady completion of attainable tasks. You can even use cleaning products that incorporate scents like lemon and lavender to promote relaxation.
-Spring cleaning can alleviate allergies through the elimination of dust, mildew, mold, dander, and other impurities that accumulate in the home over time. Pollutants in your home can make you ill and seriously slow you down. When you take time to “clear out all the cobwebs” you invest in your health and your chances of success in the coming year.
-Spring cleaning can improve productivity by reducing distractions and optimizing your work/recreation space. When you remove waste and detritus from your environment, you are naturally able to increase focus and produce more significant gains on whatever projects you work on.
Recommended Preparations to Spring Cleaning
As mentioned before, one does not typically expect to suffer a significant injury while spring cleaning. But just to make sure, it may still be worth to consider a few things before starting.
-One thing you want to be sure of is having the proper equipment. Having an adequate broom and mop will allow you to clean floors while keeping your body straight. If you must do some detail work on your hands and knees, consider investing in some kneepads. Extended time on your knees can cause soreness which may radiate to your lower back an even further up your body. Another useful item is a proper stepstool for when you need that extra reach. If you lack a step stool but decide to proceed anyway, you may strain yourself trying to reach without it, or possibly open yourself up to injury if you try to improvise a step stool. Ensuring you have the right tools for the job will make sure your cleaning is done efficiently and thoroughly.
-While cleaning may not be as arduous as some other forms of labor, there is still a considerable amount of moving, lifting, and pushing. It may serve you well to take a few minutes to stretch your body and work your joints a bit to make sure you are supple enough for the task.
-While it may sound odd, you might want to consider a chiropractic consultation before heavy spring cleaning. A chiropractor can examine your back and spine to make sure you are in the best shape for any cleaning you undertake. Plus many people find the act of getting a chiropractic adjustment soothing and relaxing, which can be just the thing to put you in a mindset ready to work.
Things to Note While Cleaning
While you are engaged in your spring cleaning projects, there are some things to keep in mind to ensure you remain healthy throughout the task.
-While it may seem like common knowledge, you should always lift with your legs, and not with your back. Making sure you feel the lift in your quads will prevent you from straining or hurting your back.
-If you are trying to scour a particularly stubborn stain, it can take a lot of “elbow grease” to work out. But if you lean into one hand too hard, you can wear out or even sprain your wrist, elbow, or back. Alternate hands regularly to evenly distribute effort and preventing one hand from getting too worn out to continue.
-When you get on a tear in your cleaning, it can be natural to want to see the task to the end. However, you do want to avoid burning out or overworking yourself. Make sure you are taking breaks as needed. If the undertaking is particularly significant, you may need to plan out the project over several days as well.
With the passing of the seasons come new opportunities to improve ourselves, our health, and our lives. For many, spring cleaning serves as a means of launching into a new year in earnest with a clean home and a clear mind. Take a few precautions before doing so and some prudent measures during the task, and you’ll be reaping these benefits in no time.