Although doctor’s visits and regular exercise are huge in your health and wellness routine, don’t discount the importance of what your home can do to take care of you as well. Your environment plays a huge role in your overall wellness, between the air you breathe and the water you drink. Since you’re stuck at home this winter anyway, what better time to improve your health from the inside out?
Instead of moaning and groaning about the injustice of being forced indoors, take a good, hard look at your house. What kinds of factors could be contributing to your health? There are plenty of ways that you can live a healthier life simply by tweaking a few things inside the home. Your home shelters you from the cold and gives you a safe place to hang your hat at night. Take care of your house and it will continue to take care of you — and improve your health at the same time.
Give the House a Deep Cleaning
You’ve heard it approximately every day this year: Wash, rinse, and sanitize anything and everything you can get your hands on. Germs can spread as easily as touching a doorknob, and bacteria can make you and others sick. You already do the everyday housekeeping like loading the dishwasher and folding the towels, but giving your house a weekly (or bi-weekly, whatever fits you the best) deep cleaning can drastically improve you and your family’s overall health.
A great tip is picking a room and working your way forward from there. Use some of our favorite deep cleaning recommendations to get your house sparkling in no time — and improve your family’s health at the same time.
- Dust all surfaces with a microfiber cloth. Yes, ALL surfaces. This includes not just tables and shelves, but other places like blinds and shutters, molding and baseboards, the tops of doors and window sills, picture frames and other hanging art, and your walls too.
- Wipe down commonly touched areas with an all-purpose cleaner and cloth, then sanitize them all with a bleach solution. Some of these might include your light switches and doorknobs, as well as other knobs, buttons, and handles like your microwave and refrigerator doors. Be creative. Your health is at stake.
- While we’re on the topic, let’s discuss all-purpose cleaners. They can be purchased at any grocery store, but a cheap and super effective do-it-yourself method is a simple recipe: In an empty spray bottle, add two tablespoons of Dawn dish soap, two tablespoons of white vinegar, and fill the rest with water. Give it a good shake and bam! Instant all-purpose cleaner.
- Make sure that your appliances are clean and sanitized too. We don’t just mean your kitchen appliances (but yes, do those too!), but the ones that you probably forget to clean. Run your washing machine with a few rags inside on a hot cycle with bleach and a couple tablespoons of Dawn to sanitize it. For your dishwasher, splash some vinegar inside of it and run an empty cycle. Take apart your vacuum and soak the parts like the collection cup, filters, and attachments in hot, soapy water. Remember, your health depends on clean appliances, so do your job to properly maintain them.
- Get your towels back to their fluffy, absorbent selves. If you are noticing that your towels no longer do the job that they used to do, it’s simple to recharge them. Run a short wash cycle on the hottest water that you can, adding in half a cup of baking soda and two tablespoons of Dawn to the soap slot. In the bleach slot, add about one cup of vinegar. Run the cycle (it’s your choice whether or not you want to run a spin cycle), and when it has completed, run another regular cycle with laundry soap. Do NOT add fabric softener, as this will coat your towels in a sort of waxy film and prevent them from soaking up as much liquid as possible. If they are whites, use bleach in the cycle as well. (Remember to NEVER mix bleach and vinegar, even in the wash cycle, because the two chemicals combined will create a toxic gas.)
- Sweep and mop your walls. Yup, you read that correctly. Your walls deserve as much attention as the rest of your house. If you have high ceilings, fill up a bucket of hot, soapy water with a cup of white vinegar, and use your broom or mop to scrub them. (Ensure that you’ve cleaned and rinsed your broom before doing this, though. Nobody wants muddy smears all over the walls.)
Whew! Are you tired just looking at that list? It’s a ton of work, but a deep cleaning is so satisfying once it’s done. Not only are you ensuring that your personal health is taken care of, but a clean house is the peak of relaxation. When you flop on your couch and order a pizza at the end of a busy cleaning day, you can actually rest assured that you’ve put your own and your family’s health first.
Improve Your Home’s Overall Air Quality
We already discussed the importance of everyday dusting, but what is the condition of your home’s air like? People who are prone to allergies and asthma are more sensitive to poor air quality, which can cause more serious health issues after breathing it long-term. To prevent potential medical emergencies, do your part in keeping the home’s air clean and pure.
Regular HVAC inspections should be part of your home’s maintenance regimen. It is recommended that you have your furnaces inspected every six months to ensure that everything is running properly and that clean air is circulating inside. If you’re seeing more dust motes floating in the air than you previously remember, or if you’re needing to dust more often than you used to, these are good indicators that your vents need a good cleaning. Look into vents cleaning services near you to find a company that will give your air ducts a professional deep cleaning. Ensure that you price-check before blindly hiring someone, though. Prices can vary and not all services are created equal.
Get Rid of Nasty Visitors Before They Come
Baby, it’s cold outside. You bring your pets inside when the weather turns sour to keep them warm — but unfortunately for you, other creatures might want the same luxury treatment. Even creatures with too many legs and exoskeletons get cold and want to find a warm place to nest for the winter — but by all that is holy, DO NOT let that place be your house.
Bugs are not just creepy and wiggly and ugly. They’re bacteria-ridden little germ pods that can present health hazards when left to their own devices. Bacteria is carried with every roach you see — and if roaches get into your food, they can most definitely make you sick. Mosquitos, the little bloodsuckers that they are, are full of potential bloodborne illnesses. Please don’t ask about bedbugs or else you might gag. The point is, bugs are not a science project when they infest your house — they’re putting you at risk for illness.
Pest control services are affordable and give you peace of mind in more ways than one. Most services charge a flat fee to come and spray pesticide around the perimeter of your home, creating a barrier against bugs that will kill them on contact. These services will come usually every quarter to do a wellness check, so please take advantage. We are begging you to do whatever you can to guard your home against the little fugitives that can hurt your health.
Unclog Your Gutters
You already know that improperly cleaned gutters can present a leaking risk, but did you ever think about what happens to uncollected debris that your gutters catch? Think for a moment: If you leave your gutters full of leaves and other debris carried by the wind, then water cannot flow properly throughout. Over time, not only will the debris begin to decompose and mold, but the excess water that cannot flow down the pipes will find somewhere else to flow — and that can mean inside your siding and your roof. In fact, about 76% of home insurance claims are directly related to wind and water damage.
What happens to moisture left unchecked? You guessed it: Mold. If your gutters haven’t been cleaned in awhile, there’s a very solid chance that you’ve got the beginnings of a mold issue somewhere outside. Check for soft spots in your siding and roof, and make sure that you use your nose as well. Mold has a pungent, earthy smell likened to dirt. If you’re unsure, a mold detection service can help you to identify potential danger areas and treat them accordingly. Additionally, you can hire gutter services to do a professional-grade cleaning to get rid of leaves and yard debris in your gutters.
Improve Your Water Quality
Proper water treatment is more important than you might give it credit for. Remember that our bodies are made of about 75% water, and proper hydration is one of the most basic human needs. Improperly filtered water can be hazardous to your health in many different ways, including but not limited to:
- Gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting, which can dangerously dehydrate you.
- Transmission of long-term diseases like polio, hepatitis, and typhoid fever. In some extreme cases, poor water quality can even impact your reproductive system and render you infertile.
- Parasites and other nasty diseases lurking in your organs and intestines.
You might associate these conditions with third-world countries, but look at the news in the United States. There are plenty of communities in poorer communities that have a tainted water supply, causing health problems and even, in radical cases, deaths. Regularly have your water filter changed and inspected to avoid potential health problems down the road.
Improve Your Sleep Quality
Mom always told you that a good night’s sleep can do a world of good, and she’s not wrong. Your sleep quality is directly linked to your personal health, and there are several ways that you can ensure that you get it. There could be several reasons why you’re not sleeping well. Between the stress of world events and day-to-day living, we understand that life can be scary sometimes. But calming yourself down enough to get a good night’s rest is imperative to your overall health and wellness.
If your mattress is the same age as a third-grader, it’s time for a replacement. Mattresses that are more than ten years old have lost their elasticity, making them sink and slump as the years go by. This can mean negative effects for your back, like waking up with odd aches and pains with muscle spasms. Plus, old spring mattresses can hurt your back even worse over time and cause permanent damage, not to mention the excess skin flakes that weigh it down in the meantime.
If you are pretty sure that your mattress is not the issue, consider using medical cannabis to help you catch some Z’s. If you’re not crazy over the idea of smoking marijuana, then never fear: CBD is perfectly legal in every state in the United States, as it has no THC and cannot get you high like traditional marijuana. It has many positive health effects and can help to calm you down to get a good night’s rest, alleviating muscle aches, calming down your nerves, and allowing you to relax enough to fall into a deep sleep. Believe us, you’ll thank yourself later.
There are many ways that your house can improve your health and wellness, and you are in charge of all of those. Between regular maintenance, deep cleaning, and hiring professionals to keep you healthy, you can take action to help maintain good health in your household. Take care of your house to ensure that you are taken care of in return.