5 Things to “Tidy Up” From Your Life for a Healthier Home

Sep. 9, 2019It’s hard to deny the satisfaction of a good spring cleaning. Scrubbing down every surface until it gleams, laundering every last piece of clothing and donating unwanted and unused items to a good cause—to name just a few of the tasks involved. But the seasonal shift from a long, cold winter to a bright and early spring isn’t the only time of year we should be focusing on tidying up our homes—the transition from summer to fall offers the perfect opportunity to clean and maybe even Kommari your life.



While summer may seem like the chillest season, it’s also often packed to the gills with plans and commitments—bbq’s, beach days and family vacays during the gorgeous warmer months often take precedence over spending an afternoon sorting and dusting – and who could blame us? Like winter-to-spring this in-between, summer-to-fall season, with it’s open weekends and weather ideal for throwing the windows wide open, offers the perfect chance to vacuum up all that summer beach sand and get your house in order before the calendar inevitably fills back up with your favorite fall activities.

But tidying your home isn’t just good practice—it’s essential in supporting good health, both physical and mental. Regular cleaning keeps germs at bay, which we know can compromise immunity—especially when the cooler air rolls in and dries out, making us more susceptible to sniffles and sneezes. But germs don’t only reside on your countertops and where you’d expect them – they also live in the dust beneath your bed and couch, and on surfaces that aren’t regularly wiped down, along with dust mites and more, which can affect the air quality in your home. Regular cleaning and tidying —that is, vacuuming, mopping, disinfecting, laundering (and then putting that laundry away)—prevents those germs and dust mites from getting out of control. This is especially important to do as the cooler months approach and we’re less likely to have our windows open to allow fresh air to circulate—no one wants to be breathing in a bunch of dust! If the physical benefits aren’t enough to convince you, perhaps this will: a recent study found a positive correlation between a tidy home and physical fitness. While the jury is still out as to why people who keep tidy homes are often in better shape than those who don’t—it can’t be denied that when your home is clean, it feels good. Who doesn’t feel better with a sparkling clean kitchen or bathroom (ideally both)? Or motivated when our rooms are clean and tidy? 

If you’re ready to start your season on a clean note, below are 5 areas of your home and life to tidy up before the cold weather sets in:

#1—Curtains

Wash your curtains? Yes! If your curtains have just been hanging there since you installed them, it’s time for a bath. The fabric of your curtains—and yes, even your blinds—can be a catch-all for dust, dust mites, germs and more. Regular cleaning can keep them looking fresh and help ensure good air quality in your home. If your curtains or drapes can’t be cleaned in your washer, take them to your local cleaner for a good scrubbing. If you have blinds, wipe them down with a duster or damp rag to remove built-up dust and grime. While you’re at it, wipe down your window sills, baseboards and ceiling fans, other spots where dust loves to gather.

#2—Rugs & Furniture

Similarly to curtains, rugs and carpet is a favorite gathering place for dust, mites, and grime—especially if you have pets and wear your shoes indoors. Investing in a good vacuum can make a world of difference in your cleaning routine—especially if there’s a lot of pet fur to contend with. Vacuum up the rugs, then visit any other plush areas where your pets love to hang out, like pet beds, couches, chairs and pillows. Wash what you can in the washer and hang to dry (or follow specific washing directions), and vacuum thoroughly what can’t be washed to remove fur, dander, dust and more—not only will you be healthier for it, but your pet will be, too—unwashed pet beds can be a gathering place for fleas and other pests that can make your loyal friend sick.

 

#3—The Fridge

When was the last time you cleaned the fridge? Like, really cleaned it? If you’re more of a post-grocery shopping fridge cleaner, it’s time for a total wipe-out. Keeping a clean and tidy fridge can save you money, by making it clear what you have available while minimizing food waste, and can keep you feeling good by minimizing germs. First, take everything out and examine expiration dates—on everything. Empty and recycle and compost what you can, then use a non-toxic cleaning spray and wipe down every surface inside—we also love this trick for cleaning fridge trays and drawers. When your fridge is good and sparkling, put back what’s left and make your shopping list!

#4—Your Car

After a busy summer, your car could probably use some love. Sand, dirt, beach gear and empty coffee cups not only look messy, but can breed bacteria—especially those coffee cups and damp beach towels. Remove everything and vacuum it out, wiping down surfaces with upholstery-friendly wipes or spray. Clean fingerprints off the windows with window spray and newsprint to ensure you can see clearly. Now is also a great time to get the exterior washed and protected in preparation for winter!

 

#5—Your Mail

if you have a tendency to let unsorted mail, receipts, and more pile up, make a date with yourself to organize it. Unsorted mail and papers can be stressful to look at and may allow important things to fall through the cracks—like the electric bill (!!!)—which isn’t good for your mental or physical health. While you’re at it, now is a great time to clean out backpacks, bookbags, purses and anything else where stray papers and odds-n-ends may have accumulated over the past several months. You’ll be going into fall feeling more organized and there won’t be any unsavory surprises later in the season—like that pb & j from July’s backpacking trip you forgot all about!

 

What areas of your home are you organizing for fall? Share your tips and tricks with us on social by tagging @AvocadoMattress and #AvocadoGreenMagazine!

Julie O'Boyle

By Julie O'Boyle

 —  Julie O'Boyle is a freelance writer and content strategist with a background in fashion and DIY and a devotion to the outdoors and functional nutrition. Currently residing in the woods of Maine, when she's not writing you can find her at the beach or on a mountain, or otherwise getting her hands dirty.

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