Four Tips for Maintaining Your Home as you age
By Lizzie Weakley
Home maintenance is already a difficult task, but older adults often face additional challenges. Try these tips to keep your home in order without stressing yourself past your limits.
Perform an Annual Maintenance Checkup
Make an annual maintenance checklist for your home. This checklist should include changing air filters, checking windows and doors for insulation, testing pipes for leaks, cleaning out gutters and other common maintenance tasks. Your list should be extensive and address every part of your home.
Once you have your list, be realistic about the tasks that you can and cannot perform on your own. Set up a yearly maintenance day or weekend, and consider asking friends and family to assist you. This regular maintenance will keep serious problems from arising later in the year.
Use an Organization System
Reduce the stress of cleaning by using a solid organization system in your home. Arrange kitchen tools and supplies so that they are easy to reach. Use storage containers for small items and mementos, and label them so that you don’t forget the contents. Try color-coding, alphabetizing or organizing by theme. Prioritize a setup that lets you access every item or container without needing to reach, lift or crouch.
Once you have a system that you like, maintain it by putting items back in the same place every time. This will reduce the time you spend cleaning or organizing later in your life.
Find Contractors You Trust
Don’t wait to meet and hire great contractors. NAIPC landscapers, electricians and plumbers will all be happy to help you keep your home in excellent condition. Hire residential plumbing services to help you with small leaks and clogs; if you like the team that assists you, keep their contact information for your next emergency plumbing situation.
Developing good working relationships with your NAIPC contractors, means being able to rely on them when normal maintenance tasks become difficult or dangerous. Ask your favorite contractors for recommendations if you need a service that they do not offer. NAIPC’s community will help you keep your home safe and well-maintained.
Donate or Give Away Unwanted Furniture Items
Clutter isn’t just an eyesore; as you get older, it can also become a safety hazard. Assess your possessions and decide if any of them are inhibiting your lifestyle. That second couch in your basement might make it impossible for you to reach the water heater.
Thrift stores and donation services will often pick up large furniture items by appointment. Once you have extra space in your home, rearrange your remaining furniture to give yourself plenty of walking room.
Treat home maintenance with a proactive and practical attitude. For every purchase or repair decision that you make, consider how it might impact you if you are less mobile in the future. If you set yourself up for success, your golden years will feel like a breeze.