Home is where the heart is. It is where we relax and unwind. It is the place we are most comfortable in.
But how healthy are our homes? Are they clean and free of toxins? Do they inspire positivity and radiate good vibes?
These are some of the questions this article seeks to answer. It discusses how we can transform our living quarters into spaces that promote health and well being.
Compulsory Door Mat
Now you might think, ‘What’s a door mat got to do with wellbeing?’ Well, actually, everything. When you come home from office or the supermarket, you bring in a lot of dirt, germs, pesticides and other toxic chemicals in your footwear. Most of this gathers on the floor of your living room considering its proximity to the front door. Using a door mat is a simple and effective way to make sure these contaminants don’t enter your house. You can have one outside the door and one inside. You should do this for all the entrances of the house. That way you can be sure no sand gets in. A door mat also improves the décor of your porch. So get creative and mix and match all you like!
Avoid Rugs And Carpets
Rugs and carpets are breeding grounds of microscopic organisms like dust mites, fungus and bacteria. Pet dander, human hair, human dead skin and soil particles regularly get deposited on them, and the microbes feed on these organic sheddings. If not cleaned regularly, rugs and carpets can be a major health hazard, especially if you have asthma or skin allergies. Hence, it is important that you use as few of these things around the house as possible. A bare floor is also easier to sweep and mop. Your living room will be easy to maintain and free of allergens.
Hand-held Vacuum Cleaner With True HEPA Filter
This is a must-have for any living room. A hand-held vacuum cleaner is for quick touch-ups. It is great for cleaning dry waste like food crumbs and dust from couches, tables and floors. Wet spills can also be scooped up if the vacuum has wet-cleaning capability. A hand-held vacuum has three main advantages. One, it is compact and lightweight. Two, it is portable and easy to store. Three, it can access tight spots and extract hidden dirt from narrow spaces.
We would suggest you get a hand-held vacuum with a true HEPA filter. A HEPA filter intercepts up to 99.97% allergens as small as 0.3 micron. It locks the dust inside the dust chamber and prevents it from spilling out. Check the cleaning accessories included in the package. You will at least need a multi-purpose brush, a crevice nozzle and an extension tube.
Use Non-toxic Cleaning Agents
Cleaning supplies contain a lot of chemicals that can be harmful to your health. These chemicals are known as volatile organic compounds and they leave behind toxins on surfaces after they have been cleaned. A good deal of it also mixes with the air as these compounds evaporate easily.
A simple way to minimize chemicals is to make your own homemade all-purpose cleaner using washing soda, white distilled vinegar, rubbing alcohol and essential oils. You can look up the preparation process online. It is fairly simple. You can make it in bulk and store it. Air the room when you clean it. Open windows to let out stale air and let in fresh air.
Air Purifier Cum Humidifier
This is an absolutely essential gadget. Given the rise in air pollution in our towns and cities, we need to make sure the air we breathe is free of smoke and dust. Installing an air purifier in our home is the first step towards achieving this goal.
An air purifier takes in dirty air from the room, passes it through a bunch of air filters and gives out purified air. The allergens are collected in a dirt bag or cup and can be disposed of later. So what filters should you look for in an air purifier? Well, here are some of the filters we think are necessary: HEPA, activated carbon, ionizer, UV lamp, anti-bacterial and photocatalytic filter.
We suggest you get an air purifier that also has a built-in humidifier. A humidifier prevents the air from becoming too dry. It is good for your skin as it keeps it moisturized. If you are unable to find a device that has both functions, you can go for a stand-alone humidifier.
House plants and creepers are known for their air-purifying qualities. A NASA study revealed indoor plants remove air-borne toxins like formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene. It reduces indoor air pollution and promotes health. Further, during photosynthesis plants take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen. This keeps a tab on the amount of carbon dioxide in the room.
Ideal house plants include English Ivy, Peace Lily, Warneckei, Janet Craig, Spider plant, Aloe Vera and Bamboo Palm. The NASA study recommends plants that have broader leaves like ivy and fern. These plants have a larger leaf surface area and hence clean air faster. Ideally, the more the plants, the better is the air quality indoors. We would say aim for two plants per 100 ft2. Ensure proper drainage to prevent mold and breeding of insects.
The good thing about house plants is that they add character to your living room. You also get a good vibe from watching the plants grow. The color green has a calming effect and rejuvenates the senses.
Plan Around Wellness If you are like most people, the living room is where you spend most of your time. Therefore, it is vital that you rethink this space from a wellness perspective, meaning reorganize it for the purpose of wellness. You can designate one area to yoga and meditation, another to lounging and reading a book. Do no other activity in these spaces and keep gadgets away. The idea is to instill a sense of tranquility and help you relax after a tiring day.