Spring is right around the corner! The official first day of spring is March 20, but it’s never too early to get a jump start on spring cleaning. If you are about to start cancer treatment, give your house a good cleaning so you don’t have to worry about it when you may not be feeling well. If you are a caregiver or a friend of a cancer survivor, cleaning a survivor’s house is a great way to help out. Getting rid of things we don’t need, can be a rewarding experience by donating to those in need. It can also help lower stress by making it easier to find the things you need when you need them. It’s also good to keep your house as clean as possible during cancer treatment because your immune system may be weakened. A good strategy is to tackle one room or area of the house at a time. Here are some tips for dealing with three commonly cluttered rooms:
Bedroom and Closet
Wash all your sheets and linens. Wash them with a scent-free detergent. If you are doing chemo, strong smells may trigger nausea. If you are doing radiation, the fragrance may be irritating to sensitive skin in the treatment area.
When cleaning out your closet, get rid of the following:
- Anything you haven’t worn in a year.
- Clothing that doesn’t fit or doesn’t fit you well.
- A piece of clothing that you’ve put on multiple times, but you always change out of before leaving the house.
- Anything with holes, stains, or broken zippers.
Make piles to keep track of things as you go keep, sell, donate, and throw away.
Check all the expiration dates. Throw out any food that has expired. If you aren’t sure and can’t remember when you bought it, throw it away to be on the safe side.
Sort your Tupperware and plastic containers. Does every container till have a matching lid? If you have lids or containers without matches, get rid of them.
Recycle all those plastic shopping bags you’ve been stock piling. If you need to keep them for trash bags or cleaning up pet waste, use an old soda can box or tote bag to store them.
Make sure to clean and disinfect all food prep surfaces thoroughly to reduce the risk of food borne illness.
Clean out your medicine cabinet. Throw out all the expired over-the-counter medications.
Throw out all the half empty conditioner bottles. If you haven’t used the product by now, you probably never will. When you replace them, buy scent-free soaps and shampoos for while your are going through chemo or radiation.
Get a new bath mat and shower curtain or give yours a good scrub down. Old ones can grow mold if they haven’t been cleaned disinfected regularly.
Invest in a toilet paper roll holder or use the handle of a plunger to keep extra rolls neat.
For more tips for spring cleaning strategies, check out these resources:
What are your best spring cleaning tips?