Dancing as You Clean

A bar stool on the left is creating a boundary for sweeping or mopping . The broom is sweeping across in front of a pair of feet towards a kitchen cabinets. .
A bar stool on the left is creating a boundary for sweeping or mopping . The broom is sweeping across in front of a pair of feet towards a kitchen cabinets. .

No one wants to clean in hot weather, so why am I posting this in July ? Because I mostly don’t wear shoes indoors in summer. Maybe you don’t either, and feet are wonderful dirt and dropped item finders. (Unless you have diabetes. Then you have to stick to wearing shoes because of the risks that go with poor circulation.)

If you are living with significant vision loss you need your arms and legs and muscle memory to take on some of the eye work. Hands and fingers, knees and toes have to come alive. They have to become like dancers repeating measured movements as you clean along a countertop, or across a floor.

What to Do

Cleaning anything you can get your hands on like a counter, window or the shower

First you do the gliding check described in Your Wonderful Hands.This will tell you how much dirt there is to clean. Vinyl disposable gloves are very useful because you can feel through them well and reuse them over and over for cleaning.

If you find sticky or greasy spots, remove them first. Then use a damp rag to sweep crumbs onto a tray or dustpan held partly under the countertop. (Sweeping them into your other hand is not efficient even if you can see.)

Now place your left hand on the back left corner of the counter and place your right hand holding the damp cloth with some cleaning spray on it right beside it like putting your two feet together. Now the dance begins! Sweep your right hand along the back edge to the far end, and then sweep it back again to join the other hand. Now move both hands together a hands-length towards you and overlapping your first stroke a little. Now do it again, out and back, then move both hands towards you; out and back, then move together. It’s slow the first couple of times, but then you get the rhythm and get fast and thorough. You may want to rinse out your rag and respray it from time to time. When you have finished, glide over the surface again to check your work and for the pleasure of feeling that squeaky clean surface.

Now for your Dancing Feet

Cleaning a floor with a sweeping broom, vacuum or mop .

First you need to check the amount of dirt, either with your feet or your hands. You may know the dust bunny gathering places. Or start with doorways where the traffic is heavy. In the kitchen you will want to check in front of the stove, the sink and around the trash. Check it all with your hands or feet. Don’t believe your eyes. Your brain fills in from memory what your eyes can no longer see. There will be a post about this called “Tricked by Your Brain” in the fall.

Now put a chair or a stool to mark off a square or rectangle about four feet wide and stand with your back to the wall facing the chair at one end as if you were beginning a line dance. Place your broom straight ahead of you. Now sweep or vacuum towards you in overlapping strokes until you have to side step to keep up with the broom.  Keep the broom straight ahead of you and repeat. When you get to the end of your patch. Collect the line of dirt with a dustpan.  Don’t try to sweep it along with you as you go, you will lose half of it and feel frustrated.  Of course a vacuum deals with this problem nicely, and can be used in any room where the floor is dry. Now move the chair over 4 feet and repeat. If you are mopping keep the bucket somewhere safe like under the chair.

Keep the square or oblong fairly small, or your line dance will get off course.  As you work with your own height and the length of your arms, you will find out how big to make it.

There are other methods too. You can sweep across your body with the broom held sideways, check the caption and photo above. Or you can sweep out all the corners and the baseboards and vacuum up the dirt. Electric sweepers on smooth floors also work well and are light and often cordless.

Let us all hear about the ways you clean. Please post a comment here.

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