What “vibe” does your house emit? When you open your front door, how do you feel? Your castle should be a respite from the outside world, but it might not feel that way if you arrive home to a chaotic environment. How can you make your home a healthy haven?
Fortunately, you don’t need much DIY skill. Many of the improvements you need to make require relatively little money or effort — your only hurdle is giving yourself time to enhance your environment.
What can you do in a single weekend to breathe more comfortably when you walk in the door? Here are five creative ways to make your home a health haven.
Table of Contents
Bring the Outdoors In
Nearly everyone’s health can benefit from spending more time outdoors. Today’s hectic lifestyles rarely allow sufficient time for normal human fun in the sun, but you can capture a little more of the next-best thing by bringing the outdoors in. Surrounding yourself with plants has fabulous health benefits like the following:
- Reduce anxiety and stress: This complicates the symptoms of nearly every condition.
- Improve your attention span.
- Strengthen immunity and speed healing: Plants emit phytoncides for defense that bolster the human immune response when inhaled.
- Boost your indoor air quality: Way back in the 1980s, NASA discovered plants clear substances like formaldehyde from the air.
Adding a few houseplants costs little, but what if you have a bigger budget? If you began telecommuting during the pandemic, why not add a sunroom or enclose an existing deck to transform it into a home office? You’ll increase your energy levels while producing natural vitamin D in such an environment, helping you be more productive and sleep better at night. You’ll even mitigate the seasonal blahs that can hit when the days grow shorter.
Clear the Clutter
Clutter does more than present a tripping hazard. It stresses you out big time — it’s like looking at an endless to-do list. Even if you aren’t overly concerned with tidiness, the excess visual stimuli overload your senses, making you feel frazzled even if nothing’s wrong.
Please don’t let easing stress, well, stress you out! You can create an organizational system that makes cleaning up a snap. For example, soft-sided woven baskets fit neatly inside ottomans and cabinets to keep stuff from falling out when you open them. A hanging rack of them in a corner adds country charm while providing spaces to quickly stash scattered Legos when unexpected guests knock. Other easy organizational tools include:
- Shoe racks: Keep your rugs cleaner by putting one by the front door.
- Pegboard: Perfect for hanging keys and small tools.
- Repurposed containers: That old kitty litter tub makes the perfect storage bin.
Correct Any Health Hazards
What is a home health hazard? How about that railing along your front porch stairs that wobbles when you put too much weight on it or that slick, smooth tub surface inviting slip and falls? Even a dead light bulb can present risks if it’s in the lamp that illuminates your basement steps.
Do a walk-through of your home like a new parent, even if your kids are grown. Address any potential health hazards you detect.
Add a Quiet, Private Retreat
Mind-body practices like yoga and meditation are among the fastest ways to improve your health. Make your home a haven for such pursuits by adding a quiet, private retreat space where you throw down your mat.
Your retreat may not be large. It might be outside in your garden or on a sunny patio if you dwell in an urban setting. Perhaps you set off a corner of your studio apartment with a folding screen, creating privacy while allowing your kitty to join you on the mat. Indulge all your senses using scented oils, soft, sumptuous pillows and blankets and relaxing music or background noise like a water feature in your quiet place.
Improve Your Ventilation
When did you last inspect your HVAC system for signs of trouble? For that matter, when did you swap your filter?
Your ventilation system plays a significant role in keeping your home healthy. Bacteria and fungi can flourish in such regions, blowing around your home each time the system kicks into gear. However, research shows that filters can reduce the load of these contaminants and keep you from inhaling them.
You should change your filters every three months at a minimum, with more frequent swaps if your home has pets, smokers or humidifiers. Once monthly is ideal — coordinate it with your mortgage or rent payment to make it easy to remember. If you see grayish discoloration on your vents or grates, take these steps:
- Turn off your system.
- Remove the filter, filter grate and vent covers.
- Use your vacuum cleaner hose to sweep away debris.
- Wash vent covers and grate with hot, soapy water.
- Replace everything, include a fresh filter and restart the system.
Make Your Home a Health Haven
Do you feel blah instead of relaxed when you walk in your door after a long day? If so, it’s time to make your home healthier.
Use the above tips to make your home into a health haven. You’ll breathe more comfortably and feel happier each time you pull into your driveway.