Now that we have assisted Mom in clearing her “storage room” (don’t laugh — we all have one) and Dad’s overloaded garage, that stopped being garage 10-12 years ago and now is just another “storage room,” we can start the actual cleaning.
Cleaning From Top To Bottom Starts with High Surfaces
Since gravity works at all times, we want to make it work for us — not against us. The saying of “cleaning from top to bottom” makes a lot of sense, so let us start from the top. The idea is to be methodical. If Mom’s Home is a 2-story structure, it is best to start on the upper floor.
Examples of High-Surface Areas and Objects
High-surface areas are ceiling fan and their flat blades, chandeliers, lighting fixtures, high ledges, tops of door and window mouldings, wall picture frames, and, of course, tops of tall furniture and kitchen cabinets, which usually, because they have large flat surfaces, accumulate the most dust.
How To GetTo High Surfaces and Do So Safely
To get to high surfaces, we usually need a ladder and… patience. When it comes to ladders, safety really is the number one priority. Unfold the ladder fully, make sure that the safety mechanism is fully extended, and place the ladder on even and non-slippery surface. Position it as close to the tall furniture as possible, so you do not have to reach out too far. Reaching out too far may cause you to lose balance or grip.
Cleaning Tops of Tall Furniture
The best way to remove dust from the top of tall furniture is to vacuum it off. Please note that not many vacuums have a long (6-8 feet) attachment hose. Therefore, you may use fairly damp cloth and wipe off the dust in stages.
Cleaning Chandeliers and Lighting Fixtures
The best way to clean dust or cobwebs from the chandelier is to use circular (fluffy) dusting wand. The good news is that you may not need a ladder for the low-hanging dining room chandelier. If Mom’s chandeliers have shades made of fabric or glass, they usually are best cleaned by vacuum with a soft-bristle attachment. Remember to turn of the light if you use dump cloth.
For the high-hanging hallway chandelier, it is best to actually avoid ladder, and use dusting wand with an extender as an attachment. Some extenders (also known as Long Arms) are 6-12 feet long. Using a duster with an extender is much safer than using a ladder to clean chandelier, because chandeliers with their many arms and parts require a lot of “dancing” and maneuvering around them.
Do Not Rush It — Cleaning is a Process
Remember, spring cleaning, because it is often most thorough, is a process that may take 4-6 weeks. High-surface area cleaning, because it requires ladder climbing and careful balancing act, may be best accomplished by professional cleaning team or by recruiting grandchildren who are in their 20’s and 30’s. Please observe safety precautions at all times. Safety really is the number one priority.
Since haste does make waste, we should be more concerned with safety and progress, and less with the actual speed.
Home Sweet Home will soon turn into Home Sweet and Clean Home.
Now that Mom’s Home high-surface areas are clean, we can focus on cleaning the “bottom” areas.
We will offer best practices for cleaning the “bottom” areas in upcoming blogs.
With love for the Elderly…
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