16. House keeping

How do I clean the house to keep it neat and tidy?

Keeping a house clean is a big task. Identifying the different areas to clean in a house can make it easier to do regularly.

Most house areas which require regular cleaning include the:

  • kitchen
  • bathroom
  • toilet
  • living area
  • bedroom

Each of these areas should be cleaned every two weeks. It is important to keep your house clean otherwise you will get insect infestations and promote breeding grounds for bacteria. To regularly clean your house you need to make time to do so. One of the best ways to do this is to write it into your diary or onto your weekly timetable. See Section 13 Managing Your Time, to add necessary household cleaning activities to your timetable.

You may need to add cleaning equipment to your shopping list. Using the suggested cleaners below add them to your shopping list as necessary.



How do I keep the kitchen clean?

Equipment you will need:

Sponge, creme cleanser, spray cleanser, bowl with hot water and vanilla essence. Garbage bin, gloves, mop and bucket, broom.

What to do

• Kitchen benches need to be wiped down with a sponge and spray cleanser.

• The kitchen sink needs to be wiped down with creme cleanser and then a rinsed damp cloth.

• Cook tops also need to be wiped down with creme cleanser and then a damp cloth.

• The fridge needs to be emptied of food with passed expiry dates or old fruit and vegetables; shelves need to be wiped down with hot water and vanilla essence.

• The kitchen floor needs to be swept and mopped.

• The oven needs to be cleaned with oven cleaner once every six months.


How do I clean the bathroom and toilet?

Equipment you will need:

Sponge, creme cleanser, disinfectant, toilet cleaner, toilet brush, mop and bucket.

What to do

• Wipe over the vanity sink with a sponge using creme cleanser and then wipe or rinse off with a damp cloth

• Pour some toilet cleaner down the toilet bowl. Using the toilet brush clean the toilet bowl. Remove the brush and flush.

• Wipe over the toilet seat with a sponge cloth and disinfectant or creme cleanser.

• Wipe over the shower walls with a sponge cloth and creme cleanser. Rinse off using the shower water and damp cloth.

• Mop the floor of the shower recess and the floor of the bathroom with a mop and bucket of warm water and disinfectant.

• Wipe out the bath using a sponge and creme cleanser. Rinse with warm water.



How do I clean the living area?

How you clean your living area depends upon what is in your living area.

Equipment you will need:

Vacuum cleaner, or carpet sweeper, or broom, or disinfectant. Mop and bucket, soft cloth for dusting.

What to do

• If you have carpet on the floor you need to vacuum or use a carpet sweeper.

• If you have lino or tiles, you need to sweep the floor using a soft bristled broom or mop the floor using hot water and a mop.

• Furniture gathers dust. This needs to be wiped off using a soft cloth. Old, clean singlets or towels are useful for doing this.


How do I keep my bedroom tidy?

A bedroom is private and essentially how tidy you keep it is up to you. It is important to do a good room tidy at least every two weeks. If not you may find you get ants and cockroaches visiting. Also you need to change your sheets for personal hygiene reasons.

What to do

At least every two weeks you should:

• Change your bed sheets and wash them. Put clean sheets on the bed.

• Vacuum the floor.

• Dust your bedroom furniture.

• Pick up garbage from the floor.

Every day you should:

• Put dirty clothes in a dirty clothes basket in your bedroom or in the laundry. Don't leave them lying around the floor. They can be a hazard if left lying around. You may trip over them or it may be difficult to remember which ones are dirty or clean.

• Make your bed or pull up the covers.

Gemma's experience

Gemma got to the point of not wanting to spend time at home because she couldn't stand the mess. Gemma said she wanted to clean it up but didn't know where to start and couldn't seem to find the time. Gemma spoke to the occupational therapist at the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit and they came up with a plan.

First they identified what needed to be done. Gemma needed to clean the bathroom, toilet, kitchen, loungeroom and bedroom. She also needed to pick up the dirty laundry from her bedroom floor. Gemma stated she had problems working out what was clean and what was dirty.

Second, they identified what cleaning equipment they would need using the previous lists. These were added to Gemma's shopping list.

Third, Gemma and the occupational therapist set up a strategy where Gemma put all her dirty clothes into a dirty clothes basket straight after she took them off.

Fourth, Gemma timetabled into her week when each of the rooms had to be cleaned and when she was to do clothes washing. She cleaned one room each day. This allowed her to clean the whole house each week. Gemma stated she had heaps more energy and felt more relaxed because she knew when she was doing what household cleaning. Gemma kept the same timetable for cleaning her house and doing her laundry. She stated she liked staying at home now that her house was clean.

Who can help me with household cleaning?

The occupational therapists at the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit can help you to develop checklists to help you independently perform each of these activities.

If you have a physical difficulty you may require assistance to perform some or all of the household cleaning. If this is the case, some useful contacts include:

1. Home Care New South Wales who provide a fee for service.

2. The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit who can assist you to locate another fee-for-service or no fee-for-service program.


Person cleaning