Having a clean home is incredibly important. Not only does it make you feel good (who doesn’t love coming home to a tidy and sparkling kitchen?), it can make you healthier! So if you thought an uncluttered living room or shining bathroom was only for your parties and extra-motivated weekends, think again. Here are some ways having a clean (or dirty) home can affect your health.
Allergens & Irritants
If you’ve lived in southwest Oklahoma for any amount of time, you’re probably no stranger to the irritating effects of allergies. While you can’t eradicate them completely, you can lessen the effects of indoor allergens by taking certain cleaning measures. If anyone in your home suffers from asthma, skin conditions, or seasonal allergies, here are some areas you should pay special attention to when cleaning:
Floors, Carpets, and Rugs
Pet dander, fungus, and other allergens easily build up on floors, particularly soft carpeted ones. To keep your home fresh and irritant-free, sweep, vacuum, and mop regularly, especially if you have pets. If you have rugs in your bathroom, don’t forget to toss them in the wash to prevent a buildup of mildew and fungi.
Sheets & Pillowcases
You should also wash bedding regularly, particularly if you or anyone in your family has oily or break-out prone skin. Dirt and oils can collect on sheets and pillowcases, and washing your bedding (at least once every two weeks) will help prevent these germs from spreading to your skin. For those with sensitive skin, use a mild, fragrance-free detergent.
Dust and other allergens also collect on hard surfaces, so don’t forget to wipe down walls and, occasionally, your ceilings. Dusting smaller objects will also help eradicate dust and prevent a buildup of allergens.
Substantial mold exposure can be harmful to a person’s respiratory health, particularly if you suffer from asthma. As such, it’s important to regularly clean areas of your home that are prone to mold, like showers and sinks. Disinfect your showers and sinks at least weekly, and make sure to watch for any mold buildup.
Viruses & Diseases
Of course, one of the most important reasons to keep a clean home is to prevent the spread of germs that cause illnesses (a task we know has been on many people’s minds lately!). Here are some ways to prevent the spread of disease-causing bacteria in your home:
Believe it or not, dust can contribute to the spread of certain viruses. As such, it’s important to dust your home about once a week in addition to your regular disinfecting routine.
Tackle the Kitchen
Rule #1 of Clean Cooking: Never prepare food in a dirty kitchen! Leaving dirty dishes unattended or counters uncleaned can create a dangerous breeding ground for bacteria like E. coli, which can cause extremely unpleasant illnesses. To stay ahead of germs, do some light cleaning before and after each meal. For example, if you’re preparing food on the counter, make sure the surface is disinfected beforehand. When you’re done, clear away dirty dishes and wipe down the counters again.
Don’t Forget the Bathroom
It’s gross, but true—bathrooms are another common breeding ground for E. coli, and as such, you want to disinfect them regularly. If your toilet is close to the counter, shut the lid before flushing to avoid any germ splashing, and wipe down counters, faucets, and toilets regularly.
Mental & Emotional Health
Having a clean home affects more than your physical health; it impacts your mental health, too! Cluttered environments can make you feel stressed and unsettled and can even contribute to feelings of depression. Conversely, creating order in your home can improve self-esteem and make it easier to focus (which is incredibly important for everyone now working from home). Here are some ways to make sure your home contributes to positive mental health:
Create a Routine
Cleaning everything at once can feel overwhelming; as such, it helps to create a routine that allows you to clean your home in steps. For example, you could start a load of laundry every day when you get home from work, or make dish washing an after-dinner family affair. The important thing is to have a system so tasks don’t build up and become unmanageable.
Find a Place (for Everything)
“Clean as you go” is one of our favorite pieces of advice. That said, you can’t do it if you don’t have a designated spot for, say, the remote or your magazines. Take some time to find a place for every item in your home and commit to putting things back when you’re done using them, or at the end of each day.
Give Yourself Credit
We love that we can make our clients’ lives easier by cleaning their homes, but there’s also a sense of pride that comes with cleaning your own home. Even if you don’t have time to get your house in tip-top shape as often as you’d like, remember to give yourself credit for the work you do. Recognizing that the counters are gleaming because you made them that way will give you an extra dose of satisfaction!