Spring is here, which, for many, means spring-cleaning. If you hate cleaning, though, you may want to rethink foregoing this annual ritual. Though there are worse things in life than a little clutter, a good spring-cleaning can go a long way toward promoting good health, and potentially a longer life.
Most of our homes are filled with untold amounts of dust, mildew, mold, toxic chemicals and other substances that can compromise our health, and we don’t even know it. Here’s quick primer on a few areas where a little attention can go a long way toward safeguarding your, and your family’s, health and well-being.
– Dust: Thoroughly dust all of the furniture in your home. Wipe wood surfaces down with a natural furniture polish, vacuum rugs and upholstery, and wash draperies, pillows, throw rugs, and anything else that’s small enough to fit in your washing machine. Be sure to clean or replace filters in air conditioners and furnaces, and clean all ducts and vents to improve the air quality in your home. Dust and pollen are major irritants that can lead to respiratory problems for those with allergies and/or asthma.
– Bathroom, kitchen, laundry room: Check rooms in your home with running water and carefully clean any mold and mildew using non-toxic cleaning products. Like dust, mold and mildew can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory distress.
– Medicine cabinet: Get rid of any prescriptions or other medications that are expired or no longer in use. Don’t throw them in the garbage, where they could end up in the water supply. Instead, contact your local pharmacy to find out when and where to dispose of old medications in your community. Pharmacies, hospitals, police stations, and town hall buildings often offer free medication take-back services for safe disposal.
– Garage, basement, attic: Check for old paint cans, turpentine, solvents, cleaning products, batteries, and other noxious and potentially toxic items that you have no use for. Contact your local public works department to find out where to drop off this hazardous waste.
– While you’re at it, take this time to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Batteries should be changed once a year to prevent failure, and what better time than during a good old-fashioned spring cleaning?
Now, throw open the windows, let in some fresh air, and take a long, deep breath. Don’t you feel healthier already?