On spring weekends, maybe cleaning isn’t your number one priority. But, maybe health is! Here are some ideas and areas to consider to make your home healthy.
When blessedly warm air blows in on the spring breeze, all I want to do is throw open the windows and clean the house. Top to bottom, even in the back and bottom of closets, I want to clean the place so that not a speck of dust remains, and then just sit back and let that breeze freshen the air in every last room.
A breath of fresh spring air
That fresh air always seems to wash away the doldrums of winter, but it does something else too — it reminds me of just how stuffy my house has become over the long days of being closed off. That then makes me wonder about just how unhealthy those months might have been, and that prompts yet another round of cleaning.
This year, I am going to invest in a few upgrades that will keep my house healthier. Here are a few great options for healthy home upgrades that won’t break the bank.
Eliminate stuff tracked into the house
Now is the time to invest in a new doormat, one that has strong bristles that are perfect for brushing away the dirt and grime on the bottom of shoes. Look for a doormat that can stand up to a rigorous cleaning with a brush and water — that counts out those flimsy mats that are meant for looks only. Invest in a second mat, one that has a little shorter pile, for just inside the door. The inside mat allows for a place to remove shoes without tracking anything across the floors.
Got pets that love to go outside? You can keep the house cleaner during the summer months by keeping a small basket of supplies just outside the door, along with a nice place to sit. This allows you to brush through their tangled fur, use a flea comb, and clean off their muddy paws before opening the front door.
Spruce up the kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of the home, so it pays to keep it healthy. Start by preparing for the spring influx of rodents and insects. Use fresh caulk in any areas that need it, and clean the countertops until they are sparkling. For heavy cleaning, move the appliances away from the wall and sweep and mop underneath them — this gets rid of even the tiniest crumbs that might attract mice.
Now is also the time to do those little things that you might have put off. Change the filters in the fridge (if you have an icemaker and cold water dispenser), change the filters on your faucets or pitchers, and have your water tested if you draw from a well. Don’t forget a thorough cleaning of your range hood, as it catches numerous particles throughout the year.
Tackle the bathroom *ick*
Bathrooms are a haven for mold, mildew and other icky things that you definitely do not want to breathe in. Take a few days and tackle the bathroom, making it sparkle. Start with new caulk where needed, and add a dehumidifier to help keep the mildew and mold down during the warmer months. Don’t just clean the faucets — sterilize them with disinfecting wipes. Replace the aerators, too. And of course, apply serious elbow grease to get rid of soap scum and other troubles.
Lose the vinyl shower curtain — the smell when you take it out of the package makes it clear it’s not good for you! Use a washable one instead, and wash it once a month. While you’re working on the shower, why not go for a showerhead that filters the water, removing any contaminants before the drops hit your bare skin.
Bedrooms and playrooms
Don’t forget the most personal areas of the house! Start by sanitizing anything you touch regularly, such as doorknobs, closet and drawer pulls, and bedside tables. Vacuum thoroughly, and consider steam cleaning play rooms — kids are constantly on the floor, making them more vulnerable to allergens found there. In fact, consider installing hardwood, cork, or other flooring in place of carpet for a much fresher, cleaner space.
Vacuum pillows and mattresses on a regular basis, and use dust-proof covers. Use cedar chips to keep closets fresh, and add essential oils for scent, ignoring all those air fresheners that are filled with chemicals. If your bedroom has a private bathroom attached, consider a humidity monitor for the bedroom. This can help you avoid mildew and mites where you sleep.
Little upgrades for the whole house
Open up those windows, and make sure the screens are clean — they might have gotten dusty over the months of storage. Now is also the time to invest in a heavy-duty vacuum with a HEPA filter, to better get rid of everything from dust mites to pet dander.
Potted plants can help clean the air, and an air purifier can work wonders. Get a solid chimney cleaning done in the spring, then close up the damper for the warmer seasons, to prevent particles from wandering around. Finally, walk through the house and sanitize everything, including those laptops, remotes and other things that you normally touch but rarely think about.
Never a better time than today
These are just a few of the great options for creating a healthier home. There is never a better time than today to get started, so throw open the windows and get to work!