Spring Cleaning Safety Tips

Warm Up: A recent Harvard study shows heavy spring cleaning is considered the equivalent of a game of tennis or badminton. Try taking a brisk walk and doing gentle stretching prior to starting your spring cleaning.

  1. Get help: spring cleaning often means heavier loads. Neck and back injuries fall into the number one cleaning related injury category.
    • Have friends or family assist you
    • Use appropriate tools: dollies or carts are available to rent, and some complexes have them for free
    • Use small boxes so you don’t over-fill them
    • Use correct lifting form: wide base of support, straight back, squat down, keep the weight close to your body and avoiding twisting and bending
  2. Keep your projects to one area at a time: Falls are the second highest-ranking injury among recreational and employee cleaners. Plus finishing one area before moving on lets you check a task off the list.
    • Be sure to keep cords for cleaning supplies out of walking paths
    • Use ladders as needed and correctly
    • Avoid having clutter that blocks walkways
  3. Know your limits: Repetitive injuries are the 3rd highest ranked cleaning injury.
    • Overhead reaching or repeated bending/lifting are the most common mechanism of injury during cleaning.
    • Take frequent breaks
    • Start with a small task and work up to larger areas
  4. Ventilation: Spring cleaning causes prolonged exposure to chemicals, allergens and fumes.
    • Be sure to use protective equipment
    • Have adequate ventilation
    • Avoid doing everything at once
  5. Outdoor Reactions: after a long 6 months of winter our bodies aren’t prepared for all outdoor exposures
    • Use sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat- long sleeves and pants as needed
    • Know what you are touching – poison ivy, poison oak, yard treatment chemicals
  6. Rest: often spring cleaning is in addition to all of the demands of daily life – work, kids, driving, volunteering, etc.
    • The task will be there tomorrow – know when to stop
    • Complete one task and start something completely different, giving parts of your body a rest while others engage.