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Tips for DIY and housework

There are many things you can do to make DIY or housework easier and less painful. At all times, think about the position you're in when you're doing activities and try to always maintain a good posture. Using different tools that might make jobs easier is a good idea – for example, you could use tools with long handles so that you don't have to bend down.

DIY

Organise storage in your workshop, potting shed or garage using the same ideas as suggested for the kitchen – worktops should be at a comfortable height and you should sit or 'perch' to work.

Pad the handles of tools to make them easier to grip. Some manufacturers now produce tools with large grips. Look for non-slip, comfortably shaped handles. Lightweight, power-assisted tools such as drills or screwdrivers can also be useful.

Housework

Wear wrist splints while polishing, sweeping and doing DIY to ease pain. Use a long-handled dustpan and brush so you don’t have to bend down.

Use a towelling mitt for dusting or cleaning mirrors/windows as it’s easier than gripping a cloth.

Raise your washing-up bowl by putting it on blocks or another upturned bowl in the sink.

Washing and drying clothes

Raise your clothes basket on a block or box to make it easier to pick up, or use a clothes basket or plastic box with wheels and a handle if possible. You may find it easier to do half-loads when washing.

A reaching gadget may help to get the clothes out of the machine.

Use a tumbledrier – take the clothes out straight away and hang up to reduce creasing (and ironing).

Ironing

If you can, plan ahead and buy non-iron clothes and fabrics.

For small amounts of ironing, use a metallised ironing cloth/ thick towel on a worktop.

Setting up an ironing board to a low level can help with shoulder pain, but it shouldn’t be low enough to make you stoop. It might help to sit down to iron. Use a reflective ironing board cover so you only need to iron clothes on one side.

If you're redesigning your living space, you may want to consider a pull-out ironing board.

An iron-flex holder which keeps the iron's cord out of the way can reduce wrist strain.

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