Health means different things to different people, but there are some undeniable aspects of our lives that can affect our well-being in positive or negative ways. One of these is the home that we live in, given that we spend so much time there, and our daily routines have a huge effect on our health. There are some small (and not so small) changes you can make to three key areas of your home in order to make them healthier – and frankly, safer – places for you and your family to spend time in each day. We have five tips for the bedroom, kitchen and foyer that could boost healthy qualities of each space.
The magic of de-cluttering
As they say, if there is chaos on the outside this means chaos on the inside. Not everyone is negatively affected by a cluttered space, but you might be surprised to find how clear your mind becomes when you clear the spaces you deal with every day, even if you don’t see them all the time, like the closet. Get your clothes off the floor, make your bed, and bask in all your new-found space.
Spin your mattress and wash your pillow
This is a less-well known tip, but think about it. Your pillow and mattress support you all night long for years on end, absorbing your sweat at night. Even changing the sheets doesn’t mean that that mattresses and pillows don’t get dirty. So spin your mattress around every once in a while and throw your pillows into the washing machine, you’ll thank me later.
Pick calming colours – nothing flashy
Bedrooms are meant for sleeping, and if you are not a teenage girl, you probably won’t be doing -that- much else there. It should be your slumber sanctuary, and this is best achieved with calming colours and a minimalist decor. Avoid bright, hot colours and instead go for pale pastels with dark accent walls to jazz it up.
Clean your makeup bag and brushes, girl!
If I had a pound for each time I’ve picked up my makeup bag and thought “this needs a wash” and not actually done it, I wouldn’t be using my year old Lancome mascara, I can tell you that for nothing. In all seriousness, these are breeding grounds for germs so make sure to properly wash and dry your makeup bag and brushes to avoid spreading those germs on your face.
It’s getting hot in here!
Temperature really affects our sleep, but honestly it’s not something we always think about when we’re drearily wiping our face and falling into bed. If you can, set the thermostat to somewhere between 16-20°C, close those curtains in the afternoon year-round to make sure you’re not too chilly and not too warm. Sleep is incredibly important to our mental and physical health, so make sure you create an environment that allows you to sleep properly.
Replace, clean and chuck things out often
Did you know that soapy sponges in particular, if left to sit, are perfect germ play parks? If you leave it sitting without rinsing, those things can get nasty really quickly. Microwave damp sponges for a minute or soak in water with a drop of bleach. Clean that coffee machine too, they can get really disgusting without us even realising. Regular maintenance is super important. For everyday cleaning, just use disinfectant wipes to make it easier.
Get everyone involved
Everyone should have little jobs to do so that you don’t have to do every single thing, and that way the house stays under control. It is so common for women to take on the burden of house chores without anyone asking, so make sure to delegate as much as possible, and write it down. This can also be fun, so work out a system that will get your whole family involved.
Ventilate very well
If you’re doing a remodel, consider windows with extra openings for easy and secure ventilation. Tilt and turn windows, popular for a long time on the continent, are gaining traction in the UK. They open from the top or from the side and allow for flexibility. Triple glazed windows could also help to keep noise levels down which is another factor that can negatively affect our health. Replacing windows can do a world of good for our health, saving energy on top of that.
Choose smaller plates
A healthy diet is so important for our well-being both mentally and physically, and there are simple ways to make small adjustments, making a big difference in the long run. One quick tip is to chuck out the huge troughs and trays (some of) us seem to use as vessels for our food. Using smaller plates, bowls, glasses and utensils automatically makes us cut down on portion sizes, and psychologically we will feel fuller with less.
Keep fruit and veggies visible at all times
This is both a style issue and a health issue – keeping vibrant fruit and veggies clearly visible on the counter makes us more likely to use them than if they are strewn at the bottom of the fridge, probably to be forgotten and found in the form of mush in a couple of weeks. Try to use Sundays to prep some staples to keep in the fridge like quinoa, beans and roasted veggies so you can prepare healthy meals at the drop of a hat throughout the week.
Put your foot down
Tracking the muck in from the outside makes for a dirty home which can become exasperating as it happens day-in, day-out. Install mats outdoors and inside your house so the dirt gets caught on those instead of going inside your home. Make like the Japanese, who in their eternal wisdom always take their shoes off when they come indoors and put on special indoor slippers, creating a clean and inviting atmosphere for all.
The dirtiest things ever
Perhaps you’re one of the smart ones who already does this, but I never even thought about this – everyone is touching that door handle and those light switches all day long, so wipe them down more often than you’d deem necessary if you’re not a germaphobe like myself! Other germ mansions are our phones, keys, wallets, money, purses and lunch boxes – all things that come in contact with floors and tables in entry ways. So disinfect that stuff to avoid germs getting all over your home.
Mucky pups running around?
Do you keep your pet bowls or bed near the door? Make sure they’re cleaned regularly, because no-one wants to see a grubby space when they walk in. And wipe your furry friend’s’ paws when they walk through the door. Just a friendly reminder, too, to wash pet bowls with warm soapy water daily and soft toys monthly.
Feng-shui boost your foyer
The way to do this faff-free is to have a bright entrance, clear of clutter, with two tall healthy plants on either side of the front door which makes for a welcoming approach to your home.
More plants for better health
You are not the only one who enters your home – air-borne chemicals and pollutants can enter through the front door only to contaminate the air purity inside. Thankfully there are some plants that can absorb toxins and particles, improving your air. The best ones are the feston rose plant, devil’s ivy, phalaenopsis, english ivy and parlor ivy.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post