The hectic pace of modern life can take a toll on the cleanliness and health of your home. Toys don’t get put away, the trash is overflowing and junk mail is piled up on the kitchen counter. Clutter builds up and you put off cleaning. When you do clean, you use products that contain hazardous chemicals that can harm your health.
A clean, healthy house naturally supports the mental and physical well-being of your family. So what can you do to get the clean, healthy house that you desire?
Understanding what is causing your home to be unhealthy and finding alternatives can get you started in the right direction. Below, we identify four common problem areas and what you can do about them.
Clutter is probably the biggest obstacle to having a clean and healthy home. Clutter slowly takes over flat surfaces, closets, under-bed areas, floors and furniture. If it’s not addressed, it can quite literally make you sick and tired.
Do yourself and your family a favor and get rid of the clutter. You’ll find you have a lighter, brighter house that is far easier to clean once the clutter is gone.
Toxic Household Cleaners
“Clean” and “healthy” are often linked together in the same sentence. But the reality is that cleaning products are anything but healthy.
Many household cleaners contain ingredients that are known to cause health problems such as cancer, immune disorders and fatigue. To find out if your cleaning supplies include any of these, check the labels for the following: APEs, formaldehyde, organochlorines, styrene and phthalates. Some of the biggest culprits are disinfectants, floor wax, all-purpose cleaners and laundry detergent.
Many toxic household cleaners can be replaced with benign products such as vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda and borax. If you don’t feel like making your own, there are many green cleaning products in stores these days.
Common allergens such as dust, mold, pollen and pet dander can create an unhealthy environment and your life miserable. Removing clutter will cut down on a lot of nooks and crannies where these substances can collect and build up to the point where they cause serious health concerns.
Dusting and vacuuming regularly will help eliminate allergens from carpets, furniture and other surfaces. Washing bedding can remove dander left behind by a sleeping pet. And you can trap pollutants floating in the air by installing a HEPA air filter in your HVAC.
If you live in a damp climate, mold can be problematic. Use a dehumidifier to dry out the air in damp areas such as basements. Dry air creates a less hospitable environment for mold to grow.
There are a few other toxins that regularly end up in your house that should be avoided for optimal health.
Upholstered furniture and carpet often contain toxic materials. Several furniture and carpet manufacturers have started using safer materials and labeling their products accordingly. When it’s time to replace an item, look for these alternatives.
Scented products from air fresheners to garbage bags are very popular. Synthetic fragrances can release dozens of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, some of which are regulated as hazardous materials. Unfortunately you won’t find these ingredients listed on the label because the compounds are considered “trade secrets”. Avoiding them altogether is your best course of action.
After you’ve eliminated some of these items from your home, you may start to notice some changes in the way you feel. The side-effects of a truly clean and healthy home include: better sleep, improved mood and an overall sense of well-being.