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How Cleaning Your House Helps Your Mental Health

Ever wonder why you always seem to have the symptoms of a cold without actually having one or you frequently suffer from unexplained headaches but only when you’re at home? Has your home suddenly developed a slightly mildewy or gaseous smell? Chances are you live in a toxic house. The symptoms of a toxic house are similar to toxic (or sick) building syndrome: you (and others) develop acute health- or comfort-related symptoms connected directly to the time spent in the building.

What’s more, according to a 2017 story by HuffPost, building materials can make us feel sick. Issues like mold, radon, and carbon dioxide can be hazardous to your health. If your home contains one or more of these elements, you might be at risk for ailments that could be avoided!

And it’s not just things like mold and carbon dioxide that can make us feel uncomfortable in our homes. Some of us have large and small rooms full of clutter, which can make us feel oppressed. You can clean your home to make it less toxic and organize it to make it feel less oppressive while also getting in a good workout. Here are some things you can do.

Get Rid of Most of the Cleaning Products You Have

It sounds ironic that the first step in cleaning your home is to not use the cleaning products you have. However, many of the common products can irritate your eyes and lungs, especially if you use them full-strength. Two natural cleaners you should always keep on hand are vinegar and baking soda. Why? Vinegar has a high level of acidity, and baking soda has grit. Lemon juice is also highly acidic and makes a good cleaner. All three are completely natural, and you can use them without adding more toxic odors or substances in your home.

Declutter and Organize

Writing for Prevention.com, Leah Wynalek says banishing clutter and restoring a sense or order to your house can definitely improve your mental state. You should move from room to room and either throw away stuff or store it. If you can’t decide whether to store or throw away something, apply the “Does it Bring Me Joy” test. If it doesn’t bring you joy (or it’s useless), throw it away.

As you go from room to room on your decluttering journey, sweep or vacuum the floors and dust the furniture using a homemade furniture polish. Keep moving as you clean; it adds a little bit of exercise to the routine. If you’ve worked fast and hard, you should probably break a little bit of a sweat, plus you’ll start seeing the results of your work from room to room.

Find the Source of Moisture

A lot of mold and mildew problems come from moisture in our walls, under the floorboards, and in basements and crawl spaces. As you do your room-by-room decluttering and cleaning, look for areas that seem to have mold or too much moisture. If you notice dark flecks or spots on walls or in corners, it might be mold. Clean them right away with your vinegar cleaning solution. Also, check around your furnace and central air unit (especially if you have a crawl space) for mold odors. If there’s a strong smell of dampness, invest in a dehumidifier.

Invest in Radon or Carbon Dioxide Alarms

Radon or carbon dioxide leaks are also a source of illness or discomfort in a home. An alarm that detects radon or carbon dioxide can help you pinpoint where the leaks are. You can then seal the cracks with a special paint or epoxy.

It won’t happen overnight, but if you work one room at a time, you’ll soon have a home that smells good, is decluttered, and is once again pleasant to live in.

Author

Alice Robertson began her career in the home organization industry as a professional house cleaner. After cleaning and organizing her clients’ homes for years, she decided to open her own home organization business. Over the years, she has built an impressive client list, helping to make spaces in homes and businesses more functional. She recently created tidyhome.info as a place to share the great cleaning and organizing advice she has developed over the years.

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