What is Light Housework and What Does It Entail? | Expert Guide

For the elderly, infirm, medically unfit, and disabled, the thought of doing regular household chores can seem overwhelming. Whether it’s heavy lifting or the monotonous tidying up tasks that make you feel exhausted before you even start. Tasks that are considered light housework are recommended for those who may have mobility issues or chronic pain from an illness or disability, or are recovering from an operation. Knowing what constitutes light housework is essential to safely keep up with chores around the home without worsening your conditions. In this blog post, I discuss what counts as light housework, how to keep it safe , and why it’s beneficial for you to do certain kinds of cleaning in moderation.

lady with shoulder pain

Defining Light Housework

What constitutes “light housework”?

Recognizing that the definition varies from person to person is crucial. Perhaps it’s simply tidying up the living room or doing laundry every week. You may have had instructions from your surgeon, you may be infirm , or suffering from chronic pain in which case you should decide how much housework you can manage safely. To find out how much housework you should be doing with your condition you can use the spoon theory, which you can read more about in this post.

By acknowledging our limitations and setting achievable goals, we can alleviate some of the pressure we put on ourselves to maintain an immaculate home. Remember, self-care is just as important as the cleanliness of our living space. Let’s give ourselves permission to redefine what “clean” means and prioritize our mental and emotional well-being.

lady dusting and doing light housework

Types of Light Tasks

Light housework tasks are the small things that ensure that the home runs smoothly. These tasks range from dusting, sweeping, and wiping down surfaces to watering plants and doing laundry. While they may not seem like much, these tasks are essential to keeping the home looking and feeling clean and organized. Doing these light housekeeping tasks can help to create a sense of order and control in your home, leading to a more peaceful environment that is easier to relax in. Additionally, regularly completing light housework will keep your home neat and tidy while reducing the amount of cleaning needed when visitors come over.

Light housework tasks include:

  1. Making the bed
  2. Dusting
  3. Water the plants / garden
  4. Meal preparation
  5. Light Vacuuming
  6. Ironing (seated)
  7. Online grocery shopping
  8. Wiping down surfaces
  9. Light Sweeping
  10. Folding Laundry
  11. Washing Dishes
  12. Organizing closets
  13. Cleaning out the fridge
  14. Taking out the trash
  15. Personal care

Light housework does NOT include :

  1. Heavy lifting or moving furniture
  2. Demolishing walls or re-arranging rooms
  3. Carpet Cleaning
  4. Window cleaning
  5. Washing the car
  6. Decorating
  7. Repairing appliances or electronics
  8. Gardening, lawn mowing, and landscape maintenance
  9. Cleaning gutters and downpipes
  10. Deep cleaning

What is considered light housework post surgery?

It’s important not to overexert yourself post-surgery, so it is recommended that you only do a few light chores each day. Avoid any strenuous activity or being on your feet for extended periods of time.

Post surgery tasks might include:

  1. Dusting
  2. Vacuuming
  3. Sweeping
  4. Mopping
  5. Meal prep.

Benefits of Doing Regular Light Housework

Regular light housework has many benefits for both your physical and mental health. Studies have shown that vacuuming, dusting, or organizing can burn calories and improve cardiovascular health. Additionally, the act of cleaning and decluttering can have a positive impact on your mental well-being, reducing stress and promoting a sense of accomplishment. Regular housework can also improve your living space’s overall cleanliness and hygiene, leading to a more comfortable and inviting home environment.

lady wringing out a cloth wearing pink rubber gloves

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Strategies for Making Housework Easier

  • One effective method to make cleaning easier is to break up your tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. Rather than tackling everything in one go, try setting aside 10-15 minutes daily to tackle a specific area or task.
  • Check out the spoon theory here to help you recognise how much you can cope with in one day.
  • Another helpful tip is to enlist the help of your family members. Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks and be clear about your expectations.
  • Lastly, try to make cleaning an enjoyable experience. Listen to your favorite music, eat a snack, or listen to an audiobook while tidying up.
lady ironing and doing light housework

Tips for Incorporating Light Housework into Your Routine

Keeping up with household chores can be a never-ending cycle of laundry, dishes, and cleaning. It seems almost impossible to stay on top of everything. Learning tips and tricks for incorporating light housework into your routine is key.

  • Start small by setting aside 10-15 minutes every day to tidy up. This will prevent clutter from piling up and ultimately make cleaning less overwhelming.
  • Another helpful tip is to clean as you go. For example, while cooking dinner, clean up dishes and wipe down countertops as you wait for the food to cook.
  • Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Family members can pitch in with easy cleaning tasks, and delegating responsibilities can help lighten the load.
  • From use the right cleaning products to properly maintain your home
 elderly lady and gentleman engaging in light housework together by washing windows

Regular light housework is essential to keep your living space clean and organized. It can improve your physical health and well-being, provide clarity and structure in your daily life, and keep clutter under control. Regularly scheduled light housework tasks can quickly become routine if you tailor them to your your lifestyle. Of course, there will always be occasional roadblocks or hiccups But if you find certain tasks too difficult you can always call in the help of professional housekeeping services.

If you have any questions about how much light housework you should be doing, feel free to leave them in the comments below and we will be happy to advise you!


  What type of light housekeeping services are available for senior citizens?

Some healthcare services provide help with light housekeeping services for senior citizens, such as dusting, vacuuming, mopping, laundry , changing bed linens, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and errands.

Can cleaning services help with senior citizens with light highsework duties?

Yes, many cleaning services can help senior citizens with light housework duties. Depending on the company you choose, they may offer specialized elderly care services.
Running my cleaning company, I got to develop a special connection with 90% of our clients who were elderly. My homecare services addressed all their needs from light housekeeping chores to heavy and deep cleaning tasks and they were always my favorite clients.

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