Household chores

How to rearrange your kitchen

  • Set up work areas so similar items are grouped together, such as dishwashing, cooking or mixing items.
  • Streamline your kitchen. Throw or give away things you do not use.
  • Plan meals ahead of time. Know which recipes are quick and easy or need more preparation.
  • Keep a grocery list on the refrigerator.
  • Shop for non-perishables once a week (or less if you have enough storage) and perishables as few times as your storage allows.
  • Shop in a store that has carts which the cashier unloads.
  • Let your dishes air dry.
  • Sit when peeling vegetables, mixing and washing dishes.
  • Use electric appliances (such as a mixer or blender) when you can.
  • Prepare and freeze extra food for later use.
  • Use paper napkins instead of linen.

How to do laundry

  • Sort clothes on a table and use a rolling laundry cart.
  • Buy easy-care permanent press clothing.
  • Sit down to iron. Place a rack next to the ironing board to hang freshly ironed clothes.
  • Fold sheets, towels and underwear. Do not iron them.
  • Put a front-loading washer on blocks to raise the opening and eliminate bending.

Loading and unloading washer and dryer illustration

How to make the bed

Making bed illustration
  • Arrange the bed so neither side is against the wall.
  • Unfold the covers on the bed. Do not shake the covers.
  • Make one side of the bed completely. Then, make the other side.
  • Consider not making the bed every day!

How to dust and clean

  • Store all of your cleaning equipment for one type of job together. For instance, keep the kitchen cleaners in the kitchen, keep dusting items together and keep bathroom cleaners in the bathroom.
  • Keep small items in a carrying basket.
  • Use pick-up tongs and long-handled sponges to decrease reaching.
  • Use vacuum cleaner attachments to dust.
  • Use long-handled dust pans.
  • Sit on a tub or bedside if using a long-handled scrub sponge to clean.
  • Avoid knickknacks you will have to clean.
  • Keep your furnishings simple.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Heart Failure, fifth edition, 1-931876-20-7
First Published: 10/04/2002
Last Reviewed: 05/01/2015