A new year is a great time to do a clean-up around the home beyond the wardrobe.
With the warm weather, we've packed away the woollen throws and swapped out the wintery scented candles for something more uplifting. We open our windows and doors to let the fresh air flow inside. Try getting some pretty cut flowers to dress your room giving it a refreshing feel.
New year is the time where many re-boot their fitness journey after over eating in the holiday period. With summer in full swing (a.k.a swimwear and flowing frocks) bootcamps and detoxes become all the rage.
But what about our homes? Ever thought of giving your home a detox and making it a little healthier to live in?
We spend a lot of time inside our home. We also invest a lot of money in our property from buying/renting and maintenance to filling it with furniture and making it feel like welcoming. Investing some money and time into making your home a healthy environment for you, your partner, children, grandchildren and friends is worthwhile.
Here are 9 easy ways you can make your home a healthier space.
1. Get dusting
Some people love housework and other people loathe it! If you’re in the latter group, chances are the thought of moving every object and piece of furniture in the home of a thorough clean sounds laborious. And we’re not going to disagree, but it’s worth it!
Take the opportunity of the new season to pull everything out a give it a good dust. Move your sofa, pull your bed out from the wall and remove all your little trinkets and accessories. Dust accumulating in the home is made up of all sorts of particles including fibres from clothing and fabric, dead skin cells, plant pollen and even the dreaded dust mites.
Instead of getting out your feather duster, you want to use a damp or microfiber cloth to wipe away the dust to avoid circulating the particles through the air. Same goes for your boom. Vacuum up any dust you see before using a microfiber cloth or mop to finish off cleaning the surfaces.
2. No shoes in the house
Source: Keltainen talo rannalla
If you don’t have a ‘no shoes in the house’ rule, there’s no better time like the present to implement one. Just think about it – you’ve walked on footpaths, office carpets, toilet floors, grass before stepping into your home. While your shoes may look clean, the number of germs and microbes calling the soles of your shoes home is remarkable.
Not only that, the dust and toxins you walk into your home have the potential to worsen the interior air quality.
The added bonus of a no shoes rule is that you reduce the time you need to clean and avoid marks and scratches on your floor. You only have to look at hardwood floors to see what stilettos can do to the finish!
3. Invest in a good carpet cleaner
Vacuum cleaners are a saving grace in many households, especially those with kids and pets. How did we ever live without them? But if you’re dragging around an old vacuum with a dust bag and a clogged-up filter, you could be blowing out some of the dust particles and contaminants back into your interior air.
Consider investing in a vacuum with an HEPA filter that captures particles at 0.3 microns in size. If you have carpets, look for one that has a motorised head that can dig into the pile rather than only removing the top layer of dust.
4. Swap chemicals for natural remedies
Heard of the green clean movement? Many people are making the transition from chemical laden cleaning products to natural remedies. Conventional cleaning produces contain toxic substances that are often carcinogens, mutagens, neurotoxins and endocrine disrupters. These can be potentially damaging to your health, especially when you’re are exposed to them on a daily basis.
By swapping out the chemical cleaning products for natural remedies you’ll not only be protecting your health, you will be reducing the environmental damage and saving plenty of money.
Pantry staples like vinegar and baking soda are the ideal cleaning products. However, if making your own cleaning supplies doesn’t interest you, try out one of the many natural alternatives available such as Abode or Eco Store products found in supermarkets or health food stores.
5. Get rid of the mould
Mould and mildew building up in the home is not only unsightly but also known to cause health issues such as allergies, skin irritation, persistent coughs and sinus infections. Most of us probably associate mould with moist and poorly ventilated spaces of the home like the bathroom, toilet and kitchen. But actually, mould is most commonly found in the bedroom! Yikes! That’s because we don’t often move our furniture around and it can be a space that’s regularly shut up.
Getting rid of mould can be an arduous task and depending on the extent, it may require a professional. Repair any existing leaks, check ceiling and walling materials, move your furniture and dry up any moisture. Then try some natural solutions such as Tea Tree Oil or Clove oil to kill the fungus and prevent any future growth.
6. Air out your bedding
Beyond washing your bed linen weekly, airing out your mattress, pillows, blankets and duvets will help remove some of the dust particles and kill dust mites. Summer is the perfect time to hang your bedding up outside in the sunshine.
You can also vacuum (with your healthy vac) your mattress before flipping it over regularly. It’s recommended you replace your pillows every two years and your mattress every 10.
7. Introduce indoor plants
Source: La Cotovie
While it’s a popular interior trend, placing indoor plants in your home isn’t just about looks. Indoor plants mimic nature by improving the indoor air quality and absorbing carbon dioxide and other chemical emissions. They also help to balance humidity levels and reduce airborne mould and bacteria.
Try any palms and Boston ferns, peace lily, mother-in-law’s tongue or the green spider plant.
8. Ditch the plastics
Love Tupperware? So, do we! But, unfortunately plastics have been identified as potential toxins to our health, even those that say BPA free! As the plastic breaks down, is heated or scratched chemicals can leach into our food.
Reducing your plastic exposure is one of the best things you can do for your health right now. Instead of plastic containers, use glass, stainless steel or porcelain. Ditch the Glad Wrap for bees wax paper and use a glass or steel water bottle.
9. Open up the windows
Summer is the perfect time to throw open the doors and windows to let the fresh air in. Well-ventilated spaces decrease the potential build-up of moisture and mould. If spaces in your home such as the bathroom or kitchen are poorly ventilated consider installing an extraction fan or opening up the window when you shower.
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