The last post in our Setting up House with Movement in Mind series has arrived! Don’t worry, I have 4 more easy-to-implement movement solutions for you to devour.
The dreaded task that we all put off. Well, the good news here is that you can actually use this to your advantage! It has to be done, why not enjoy it?
Use hampers to capture your laundry throughout the house. One in each bedroom and then a central one for things like kitchen towels is what we use in our house. My husband likes to sort the clothing near the hamper and just take what he needs to the laundry room. I can’t tell you how much I dislike this method because 1) he leaves the laundry that isn’t being washed on the floor and 2) it’s missing a perfect opportunity!
Instead of taking little piles of clothes to the wash, take the entire hamper to the laundry room! A large hamper filled with clothes can weigh 20-30lbs, easy. Picking it up and moving it when full is just like doing weighted squats, as long as you lift with your legs and not your back.
Now, wash your clothes and go stand somewhere and fold it. Use your kitchen table or a counter and put on a tv show while you power through that load. Don’t just stand there though. Throw in a few heel-lifts and air squats while you’re at it. Add in a counter-top push up.
Once everything is folded, walk each pile of clothing to it’s home and put it away. Walk your hamper back to its home and put it away. Movement is everywhere!
One thing that plagues my every day is the piles and piles of mail that just seem to appear out of nowhere. And of course, scanning the mail gets put off as being tedious. However! It’s a great chance to add some mobility to your day.
Gather all of the mail that need sorting. You can stand and sort at the kitchen counter or if you have large piles, set up a sorting station on the floor. See what can go through the scanner, what can be tossed, and what needs to be shredded.
In our home, our scanner isn’t on a nice, easy to access table top, because we have a small home. Flat surfaces are spaces to covet! Instead, the scanner sits on a shelf under my desk. So, to use it, I have to squat to load the papers, select my scanning method and then stand back up to drop the document in the right folder on the computer. Lots of prime bending/squatting/reaching action right there.
After everything is scanned in, you have a physical document that has to be dealt with. Walk it to the trash, or take it to the shredder and take this opportunity to empty trash or shredder in the outside rubbish bin if full. If you think you’ll need the physical document, read on for the next item.
My husband seems to have this small obsession with filing cabinets. He’s asked me multiple times when we are going to get one and even picked a few out. I can’t explain why this takes up so much of his focus, but it’s definitely been an ongoing thing for a while.
Me, I hate filing cabinets. I do not see the appeal of one large piece of furniture filled to the brim with paper. I do not want to dedicate a minimum of 2 sq ft to that cause! However, I do acknowledge that there are some documents that should not be trashed or scanned away, so we have established a compromise with two small filing boxes.
And man, those things are heavy.
My filing boxes live right above my printer/scanner. Anytime I need to get into them, I have to bend, lift with my legs, and walk it to an area where I can sit and go through it.
So instead of spending $300 on a new filing cabinet for “ease of use”, I ended up getting $20 file boxes that have the bonus of making me lift them if I need to open them. Sounds like a win/win to me! (Did I mention they’re small and don’t hold a ton? Less paper!)
Change your mindset and habitualize movement
I could write a whole series about cleaning and tidying and creating habits that emphasize movements (beyond simply exercising everyday) and I might do that at some point in time, but for today let me just share this:
Pick 2 or 3 things you can do that contribute to the care of your home and gets your body moving in short, small bursts. Establish a trigger that causes you to do your habit.
For me, this tends to be just a little bit of tidying that gets me off the computer for a few minutes when I just feel physically glued to my seat (my trigger).
- Sweep. Take a few minutes each day and sweep all of the hard surfaces in your house. Especially if you have pets, this begins to feel essential. Don’t think of it as a chore. Think of it as an opportunity to get out of your seat and move your body, while at the same time beautifying your home.
- Tidy the bathroom. Inevitably, I’ll cruise through the bathroom a couple times a day to just straighten up. I pull the shower curtain closed. I lower the toilet seat. I’ll straighten the towels and pick up any clothes off the floor. 2 minutes. Easy-peasy, up out of my seaty.
- Make the bed. Movement + Tidiness = bed that looks inviting by the end of the night.
- Straighten pillows and cushions in the living room.
- Quick vacuum of the furniture.
- Put stray dishes into the dishwasher.
- Pick up children’s or dog’s toys and return to their homes.
These little micro-cleaning things I do to get up out of my chair when I’m dying of boredom and my bum needs a rest.
Series Wrap Up
It’s amazing to me how many times a day we can find a reason to move in our own homes!
Have you implemented any of these tips? Share with us how you have added more movement to your day!