These days we’re all trying to live healthier, but you can’t concentrate your efforts merely on your fitness routine and diet. Your apartment might need a cleanse, too![find-an-apartment]
Our cozy homes often trap allergens in carpets, linens and other sneaky spots. And to make matters worse, the cleansers we use can be just as toxic as the gunk we’re trying to get rid of.
Try cleaning up your apartment’s act with these tips!
1. Lose the shoes
A great way to start your detox is to prevent dirt and dust from getting into your home in the first place. Start a “no shoes on at home” rule, and make sure all residents and guests leave their footwear at the door. (Provide a cool shoe rack for storage!)
2. Get rid of clutter
The more knick-knacks and clutter you keep around, the more surfaces dust can settle on. One of the most important cleaning tips for keeping your home allergy-friendly is to dust and vacuum often.
3. Change air filters
Here’s a simple one. Change your air-conditioner filter every month or two. You might be lucky enough to live in an apartment community that does this for you. If not, take the extra time and do it yourself — your lungs will thank you.
4. Purify the water
Speaking of filters, your HVAC system isn’t the only place where pollutants hang out. Water sources can bring contaminants into your bathing and drinking water every day. Invest in a water filter for your sink faucets and your shower.
5. Change your cleansers
Many people are allergic to the chemicals in cleaners — the same cleaners that are supposed to remove allergens and dirt from your home. To help avoid irritants, switch to environmentally-friendly cleaning products like Mrs. Meyers and Seventh Generation, or try making your own cleansers from scratch.
More Cleaning and Organizing Tips
6. Open the windows and let fresh air in
Our insulated, comfy apartments are great, but a lack of air circulation can make for a stale, polluted environment. Try airing out your space by opening the windows for a few hours every now and then. It’s like giving your home a chance to take a deep breath. (This might not be the best idea at the height of the spring pollen season. Wait until the coast – achoo! – is clear.)
7. Monitor moisture
Mold isn’t always easy to see, but it’s the cause of many toxic reactions in the body. Keep an eye on the moisture levels in your home to combat mold growth. Make a visual check of areas that stay damp and dry out any areas that appear wet. You can also get a hygrometer to check the general humidity in your apartment. Invest in a dehumidifier if your humidity levels are above 50%.
8. Check for carbon monoxide leaks
Gas stoves, hot water heaters, furnaces and fireplaces should be checked regularly for leaks. You might invest in a carbon monoxide detector. This is especially important for apartment dwellers, as your neighbors could have a leak that you don’t know about.
9. Get expert advice
If all of these detox cleaning tips have overwhelmed you already, don’t worry – there are people who can help! Hiring a professional organizer is a great way to get your detox done quickly from someone who can teach you about the process. The National Association of Professional Organizers has a helpful database to search for “green organizers” in your area.
10. Give it time
Creating a delightfully detoxed apartment might involve many changes, but you don’t have to take them all at once. Just tweaking one thing you do, like switching cleansers, can make a big difference. Move at your own pace and, in time, your environment will be home to fewer irritants.
Like any life change, detoxing your apartment will be more fun if you enlist a buddy to help you. Find a friend to go green with, and you can celebrate your success together. To your health!
Photo credits: Shutterstock / sunsetman, Africa Studio, swinner