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Your HomeFit 'To Do' Lists

Some improvements are so simple they can take seconds to complete — and you really can do them yourself. Other projects require both skill and time

The Do-It-Myself List

En español | You’ll likely be able to handle all or some the following tasks. If in doubt about your abilities, seek the help of a family member, friend or skilled professional. You can download and use the worksheet "My Room-by-Room Do-It-Myself List" to identify the improvements you can take on yourself and where.

  1. Install night-lights in the bathroom and hallways that are used after dark

  2. Apply nonslip adhesive strips to uncarpeted stair treads

  3. Remove all scatter rugs or use double-sided tape to secure them to the floor

  4. Install a rubber-suction bathmat or anti-slip floor strips or decals in the tub and shower

  5. Place a lightweight, easy-to-use ABC-rated fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location in the kitchen

  6. Arrange furniture to allow for easy passage

  7. Check the carpeting on stairs to be sure it's firmly attached

  8. Set the hot water heater to 120F or below to reduce energy costs and prevent scalding

  9. Install address numbers that can be easily seen from the street

  10. Install lever-style door handles, which are easier to use than doorknobs

  11. Keep a phone near your bed and in the rooms you spend a lot of time. (If you use a corded phone, take care to avoid tripping over the cord.)

  12. Install a hand-held, adjustable-height showerhead for easier bathing

  13. Check the wattage ratings on your lamps and light fixtures, and install the brightest bulbs allowed

  14. Place electrical and phone cords along a wall where theywon't be a tripping hazard

  15. Install smoke and carbon monoxide dectectors on all levels of the house, especially in or near the bedrooms

  16. Replace knobs on cabinets and drawers with easier-to-grip D-shaped handles

  17. Add a work surface you can sit at by placing a table where needed, or by removing some cabinet doors and shelving beneath a countertop

  18. Check outdoor walkways for loose bricks or pavers, and keep the paths clear of debris, including slippery wet leaves, moss or mold

  19. Trim overgrown shrubbery to provide a clear view from doors and windows

  20. Create an emergency exit plan for getting yourself and others out of your home

The AARP "Don't Do-It-Myself List" Worksheet

The Don't Do-It-Myself List

For certain improvements you may need to hire a skilled contractor or seek help from a handy friend or relative. You can download and use the worksheet "My Room-by-Room Don’t-Do-It Myself List" to keep track of these tasks.

Following are some examples:

  1. Replace traditional light switches with easier to use rocker-style light switches

  2. Install a handrail on both sides of any staircase

  3. Mount grab bars next to the toilet, tub and in the shower

  4. Install swing-away or swing-clear door hinges to add two inches of width for easier access

  5. Install a security peephole on exterior doors

  6. Install deadbolts and other protective hardware on exterior doors

  7. Install photosensitive porch or entryway lighting that will turn on at dusk and off at dawn

  8. Install outdoor floodlights with motion sensors

  9. Replace or remove any worn, torn or loose carpeting

  10. Install adjustable, pull-down shelving to facilitate safe access to upper cabinets

  11. Install a Lazy Susan in corner cabinets and pull-out cabinetry or shelving under counters

  12. Insulate the attic for better heating and cooling energy efficiency

Published February 2015


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