Inclusive Cleaning Tips for The Disabled and Chronically Ill Communities
Keeping the house clean is a challenge across the board. Perhaps you’re busy with work and kids, maybe you hate to do it, you may be chronically ill or disabled, or all of the above. At The Simple Scrub, we believe that cleaning should be as easy and pain-free as possible, and that means sharing tips that can help alleviate the unpleasantness, challenges and discomfort of chores. We’ve noticed that many lists of cleaning hacks don’t take members of disabled and chronically ill communities into account, so we asked some of our friends for tips they’d like to share. Keep reading to learn their inclusive cleaning advice.
1. Break Up the Work
When we look at house cleaning as one full task, it can be overwhelming. This is especially true for people with ADHD, fatigue and/or limited mobility. Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, let yourself feel good about what you can do. Forget about the big picture, and break up the work into small, manageable tasks. Try setting a timer for 10 minutes, or an amount of time that seems doable for you and focus on one area. You can also clean in spurts during ad breaks while you catch up on your favorite show. Rest is your friend. Take any break your body tells you to take.
2. Find a Good All-Purpose Cleaner and Degreaser
All-Purpose Cleaner & Degreasers are a valuable cleaning hack. It’s important to check the ingredients, though. Many all-purpose cleaners and degreasers on the market contain toxic ingredients that can pose extra health risks to people already living with vulnerabilities. Look for a natural pH, non-toxic cleaner free of VOCs, butyl compounds, acids and solvents. When you’ve found a good product, let it do most of the work for you. Spray it on a surface and let it break up the grime before you wipe it down. This will eliminate the need for heavy scrubbing which can be painful and tiring.
3. Write Things Down
Write down the tasks you complete each time you clean. Not only will this help you keep track of what you’ve done, it will also serve as a reminder of what you’ve accomplished. One friend put it this way: “Shooting a three-pointer isn’t a big deal for Steph Curry because it’s easy for him. But if it’s hard for someone they deserve to celebrate. That’s how I feel when I clean my toilet, and I should!” If to-do lists are helpful for you, you can write things down ahead of time and check off as you go. Be mindful that if seeing a to-do list is causing you stress, you get to throw it out.
4. Simplify Your Tools
There are a million products on the market designed for hyper-specific tasks. They take up space and can be hard to figure out. A major cleaning hack is finding one or two tools that are versatile and built for effective cleaning of multiple areas. Long-handled brushes and mops can enable people who use wheelchairs or who struggle with pain to reach hard areas without dangerous stretching. Tools that allow you to easily change out scrubbers to tackle different surfaces enable you to do more with less.
5. Take Advantage of Support Networks
One of the biggest challenges our friends reported was learning to ask for help when they need it. If you have a built-in support network of family and friends, know that they’ll be happy to pitch in to help out with chores that you can’t tackle. Remember that everyone needs help sometimes, and different people offer different types of support within their communities. Don’t forget that you provide a lot for the people in your life as well. If you don’t have a network nearby, empower yourself to reach out to local organizations who can connect you with the extra support you need. Mutual aid groups, places of worship and disability-focused nonprofits are great resources to get the help you need around the house.
Make Cleaning Simpler with The Simple Scrub
The Simple Scrub was created after our founder, Billy Manovich, discovered his grandmother had bent down to clean the tub and couldn’t get back up. He knew there had to be a better, safer way to clean. The Simple Scrub is ergonomically designed to make cleaning more comfortable. Its long handle and soft grip are ideal for people with chronic pain, illness and/or limited mobility. The Simple Scrub Shorty is scaled for close-quarters cleaning and can empower those whose size or wheelchair status makes conventional cleaning tools harder to use. The slight curve at the base of The Simple Scrub and Simple Scrub Shorty applies better pressure without added exertion. Our tools won’t bend or rust and pair with our range of easy-to-change, reusable pads. With our eco-friendly, all-purpose Simple Spray cleaner and degreaser, you can quickly tackle messes without dangerous and toxic chemicals. Our full range of safe and accessible products can be shipped right to your door. If you have questions or would like to share additional advice, reach out to us!