Your home should be welcoming, comfortable and calming. But seasonal and year-round environmental allergens can make life at home an itchy, wheezy, congested nightmare. If you have or are developing allergies (adult onset allergies are extremely common!), first talk to your doctor. Then get ready to minimize environmental allergies at home.
Tackle as many of the following suggestions as possible to minimize pollen, dust, mites, mold, and bacteria.
Check your potted plants carefully. Download a plant app that will indicate whether plants are pollen producers or air purifiers. When growing your plant menagerie, choose plants that purify the air and have shorter pollination cycles.
Switch out your curtains for blinds, which are easier to dust. (Or launder the curtains a few times each year.)
Pull up the carpet and replace it with laminate or hardwood. (On a budget, for a deeper clean than vacuuming, rent a carpet steamer with furniture attachment twice yearly.)
Invest in allergen-blocking window screens, starting in the rooms where you’re more likely to enjoy a cool breeze.
Change out the filters in your HVAC system or invest in an air purifier and a dehumidifier. Vacuum out the AC filters before you turn them on for the season.
Switch your fabric shower curtain for PVC, which can be wiped down or replaced for a few dollars.
Buy an allergen-blocking mattress cover and pillow covers (which go under the sheets and pillowcases.) They stop mites from multiplying. Decorative pillows should be machine washable or in removable shams.
Create a cleaning playlist on your music app that makes you feel motivated – like superhero movie music!
Scrub all wet surfaces – bathrooms and kitchens alike. Wet areas are primed to breed mold and mildew.
Regularly brush or shampoo pets. Pet dander is a common allergen which can affect even those without allergies.
Launder the sheets and pillowcases.
Vacuum and dust!
Use a cleaning calendar to keep a record of what has been cleaned or changed for easy reference. Spending 20 minutes daily on a focused task really adds up.
First, do a thorough inspection of the walls, ceilings, siding, roof, and foundation. Look for cracking, stains, bubbling under wallpaper, or other signs of deterioration. Keep a list of damage you see and begin making repairs to minimize further damage. Start with spots that appear to be getting bigger and always look for the root cause.
Ditch cardboard storage and other unsealed containers. Switch to reusable, plastic, airtight containers for food stuff, clothing, and other goods. Plastic vacuum storage bags are critical for storage in small spaces.
Empty the kitchen and bathroom trash and keep trash in a covered can away from the foundation of the house.
Efficiency is Key
With focused effort, it’s easy to keep allergens in your house to a healthy minimum. Breathe easier knowing you’re keeping your house tidy and your surfaces clean.