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Spring Cleaning in Five Easy Steps for Seniors

Spring cleaning is a pretty antiquated practice, dating back to when people had smoky fires indoors and gas lighting, before central heat and air and modern cleaning tools. While we don’t have the same need to get the dust and dirt out we did decades ago, it can still feel good to refresh your life and make it feel as new as the season. Even though retirement communities take care of the day-to-day cleaning so well that you don’t need to do much spring cleaning, it’s hard to break with some traditions, especially when they can make such a big improvement to your daily life.

For example, this is a great chance to simplify your approach to medication. A daily pill organizer is one simple tool you can carry with you wherever you go and will keep you from missing a dose. Another option is to use a sticker, marker, or nail polish to color code the top of your prescription bottles in your medicine cabinet so you don’t get any of your medications mixed up. If, while sorting your pills, you find anything you no longer take or that has expired, called your local police department to find out where you can dispose of it safely through a drug-take-back program. Going through drug-take-back programs keeps medicines out of the world water supply or from leeching into the ground at landfills, protecting our environment, and all those beautiful spring blooms that make the season so magical.

Now is also the time to tackle all those little projects you have in the back of your mind but you haven’t gotten around to, whether because of time, the weather, or because of your busy schedule. Now is a great time to have rugs, curtains, duvets or winter coats cleaned, take shoes to the cobbler to be resoled, or clothing to the tailor for mending. Repot last year’s spring plants, as they might have grown and become root-bound. Put the photos, ticket stubs, letters, and magazine clippings you’ve accumulated into your scrapbook. Take your jewelry to get cleaned or your watch to be fine-tuned. It’s so much easier to go on all these little outings when the weather is pretty and warm.

Clearing up after tax-season is another great way to get a good jumpstart for your financial life in 2015. While you have all your financial documents out, and before you file them away, you can double check to make sure your budget is on-track, and that your investments and retirement funds are still working as hard for you as possible. Now is the time to go back over the numbers and see where you want to be by the end of the year, so you can get a head start on making next year’s tax season as stress-free and money-positive as possible.

Spring is also a great time to practice self-care, which can be its own kind of spring cleaning. Enjoying a sauna or steam room, especially after a workout, is a great way to clear your pores and increase circulation. So is getting a massage or body polish service at a local spa. There can be aches and pains associated with getting older, or with keeping up with your New Years resolutions like a regular workout regimen. Maintaing your body with self-care isn’t just for spring time, but it can feel especially good after a long, drying winter, when the cold can be hard on the joints.

These are just a few ideas for how you might spruce up your day to day life in only a little bit of time. By keeping up with the spring cleaning tradition, you just might be surprised at how much you can accomplish in a little bit of time, and how fresh you can make everything feel. Even something as simple as new towels or a new bedspread can make the whole season especially bright, in keeping with the sunshine and fresh flowers.