Sunday, January 13, 2019

Stepping up

During my cleaning blitz recently, I had to share something that made a world of difference, to what I could accomplish. I didn't always own one of these. A chair often sufficed. But when you have a lot of jobs that require "height", it's worth getting this simple tool.

In the kitchen

A portable step-ladder has several advantages over a chair - ease of getting up and down, non-slip rubber surface, and a place to stick a bucket, or tools, if you only need to go as high as the second step. Plus, you don't have to wreck your chairs. Especially if they're wooden, like ours

This folding step-ladder lives in one of our utility cupboards (flat) for the most part - which saves on storage space. But easily unfolds again, for use. It's handy for reaching on top of, or inside, wall cabinets. I like to be able to see right inside, to clean the back corners.

Near the ceiling

With a step-ladder, I can also see right over the ceiling fans as well. Which is handy for reaching that built-up grime, you wouldn't normally see from the underside. Thankfully, we have a standard ceiling height, throughout our house, which makes this step-ladder a suitable tool.

Nine-foot ceilings, on the other hand, require a proper safety ladder, to get up that high. We've lived in rentals with those lovely high ceilings before, but sure was difficult to change light bulbs. Getting the big ladder inside the house, was quite a task too.

Fiddly jobs

In fact, changing light bulbs, would have to be the #1 reason, we now keep a smaller step-ladder in the house. If you have light covers (like ours) that require unscrewing several nuts, to be able to clean the bug carcasses out - you'll really appreciate the step-ladder, for this specific job too.

Because if I don't have a pocket to place the bulbs, or screws into afterwards, I just use the top of the step ladder. No traipsing up and down, which can be incredibly arduous. Especially since I never clean just ONE light cover, when the ladder is out.

Caution required

Step-ladders, are also handy to reach above sensitive areas, such as the television. Recently, I needed to clear the shelf above the television for Christmas decorations - then put them away in the new year, again. Followed by a good dusting.

I try to avoid reaching up so high (on tiptoes) close to the television screen. Just in case, I bump it with my body. A sturdy step-ladder however, keeps my footing secure, while allowing enough clearance to reach the shelf, without accidents.

Use with care

Each brand of step-ladder, is designed to hold a maximum weight capacity. So observe the limitations, clearly identified on the ladder. Occasionally, you may want to use the top step, to hold a bucket of water while cleaning. So keep in mind, not only your weight, but anything you might take up with you.

If you're in the market to buy a new step-ladder, be sure to open it out and test it, before leaving the store. We purchased ours a while ago now, but there were so many that wobbled like a drunken sailor. I've never regretted our investment in a step-ladder. There are so many jobs I do, which require a higher purchase, it's made my life easier.

Has a step-ladder found it's way into your home yet? Or how else do you make do? Other things we've been known to use in the past, were coffee tables and overturned, milk crates. Just not as easy to get up and down from.


  1. I have a two step step ladder, not because I'm tall, I just am not good with heights, so two steps is enough for me. My hubby is 6'2" so handy to reach things from the top shelf. I also keep a kiddies plastic folding stool handy, which tucks away , but can be used for just one step height.

    1. I don't like getting up high either. I get vertigo easily. So with our 3-step ladder, it helps to have the railing to hold. Good point, about having the smaller step too. We also have a one-step, plastic step, originally for our youngest to reach the bathroom sink. Now it's used to reach the top of cabinets or shelves, to get items within arms reach. Easier to use, than the step ladder, for small acquisition jobs.

  2. That is an excellent step ladder. I have one that's similar but it's much shorter (only two steps). A taller one is important for those near-to-the-ceiling jobs though.

    1. I agree about the taller step-ladders, if you need to get up close to the ceiling, to see what you're doing. But we actually need a taller ladder, to enter our manhole, in the ceiling. My biceps just aren't that strong to lift me up that high, lol.

  3. Hi Chris, I am having a coffee break from my housework and catching up here. Behind me is my step ladder ready for when I finish my coffee. I have been cleaning the tops of cupboards and walls. I actually started this job a couple of weeks back, but we had visitors drop in and I had to put the ladder away and be sociable. So I thought it was a good idea to finish the job early in the week before the forecast heatwave arrives.

    1. We're predicted to get to 37C, during the week. Which might be hot, but considering we experienced low to mid 40's last year, I'm happy it will be that mild, lol. Good idea 99, to get ahead of your jobs - especially involving the ceiling, before that hot-weather arrives!

  4. Chris, what brand did you get and where from? I really need one as all my hubby's ones are the tall ones and quite dirty as well. You know what red dirt is like and I am a bit paranoid about getting my new kitchen floor stained. The only problem is where to store it but now that our son has moved out...hmmm perhaps I have just solved that problem ;-)

    1. Not sure if they sell our brand (Geelong Ladders) any more, Chel. We purchased ours from Home: Timbre and Hardware, in Highfields, many moons ago! I was looking online, and I think this one, from Bunnings, looks to be in the same price bracket ours was, originally. Only you get a handy utility tray, up top, and it looks to be lighter. So easier to lift maybe? Rated to 120kgs, so takes 20kgs more than ours. The downside perhaps, are the narrower steps.

      I did find one at Howards Storage World, that looks very similar to ours. Only it has a rounded railing up top, with an extra rubber grip we don't have. It's rated to 150kgs, so takes the most load. What I liked about our ladder at the time, was it's sturdy build and wideness. Not that I'm wide, but when getting up high, I don't like to feel like I'm hedged in.

      When testing out at the store, I'd check whether (a) it wobbles, (b) is easy to carry when folded flat, (c) you feel comfortable with it's wideness and the grip on the steps. Lastly (d) how thick is the ladder, when folded flat. Because when folded flat, you can pretty much store them behind any door, beside furniture, or inside a closet. I hope that helps, Chel.


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