While the beauty of spring draws us outdoors, it’s also time for the “spring cleaning” ritual that has become a venerable rite of passage for finally breaking free from winter.
The idea of “spring cleaning” has become something of a cliché, but I want to remind you how important this concept really is. I’m not talking about going through closets and cleaning up the garage. Yes, that’s important, but the spring cleaning I’m talking about involves ridding your home of toxins and germs that may have accumulated over the winter months, when shut doors and windows combined with heating systems conspire to create a less than healthy environment.
The number one thing I like to do in the spring is to let my home air out. For many of us, early spring is a unique time – we can finally turn off the heating system, but don’t yet need to start using the air conditioning to feel comfortable. While this period only lasts a few weeks, it’s the perfect time to open up the windows in your home and let that fresh spring air detoxify your home. You’d be surprised at how many people just keep their homes completely closed up season after season, missing any opportunity let their home “breathe.”
I recommend opening up every single window in every single room – and keeping them open as long as it is comfortable and safe to do so. If you have ceiling or floor fans, keep them on to create as much air circulation as possible. The goal is to replace as much stagnant air as possible with fresh spring air.
Additionally, don’t forget that products you buy such as carpets, appliances and furniture may leach toxic fumes. In fact, a recent study showed that indoor air quality can be worse than outside air quality for this very reason. But I don’t need scientific equipment to know that my efforts are working. When I’ve let my home air out, I can just walk in the house and take a deep breath to get a sense that the entire home is cleaner, fresher and healthier. If you suffer from allergies and are afraid to get pollen in your home, there are several natural allergy fighters that can give you relief, so hopefully this won’t stop you from letting your home air out.
Five Tips You Need For Spring Cleaning:
1. Get houseplants: Invest in as many houseplants as you can afford and have space for. They not only look great, but these natural “air scrubbers” will work day in and day out to improve the air quality in your house. And by no means substitute fake plants, whose plastic parts accomplish the exact opposite effect.
2. Clean from top to bottom. There’s no sense in cleaning the floors if ceiling fans are next on your list. Make sure you clean every room from top to bottom–literally and figuratively.
3. Purify the air: Before you turn on your ceiling fans again, wipe the top of each blade thoroughly with a wet cloth. This way, when you turn them on again as the weather warms, you’re not distributing dust all over your home.
Also, if you use air conditioning, make sure to replace your air filter with a high quality one, and replace it frequently all summer long. You can talk to the staff at your local hardware store to find out what’s best for your system. My system requires that the filter be replaced every 3 months, but I usually replace it monthly. I find that it’s worth the extra expense. It also helps to have an air purifier.
4. Ditch the chemicals: When you finally roll up those sleeves and get down to cleaning, make sure you’re not “cleaning” your house with dangerous chemicals that may in fact make things worse. There are plenty of natural cleaning products out there at this point, and they cost about the same and are just as effective as the chemical-laden ones. The same goes for air fresheners.
5. Rid of dust: Take any floor coverings that are moveable, such as area rugs, bath mats and door mats, outside BEFORE you vacuum them and shake them clean. If possible, wear a simple respiratory mask (the kind you can get at any pharmacy) to avoid breathing in all that dust. Then, once you bring the rugs and mats back in your home, vacuum them to make sure you got everything.
There are also some great spring cleaning checklists you can find online. Here is one of the most thorough checklists I’ve found. You can also print this by clicking here.
Joshua Corn – Editor-in-Chief
Josh is a health freedom advocate and veteran of the natural health industry. He has been actively involved in the natural health movement for over 15 years, and has been dedicated to the promotion of health, vitality, longevity and natural living throughout his career. Josh has successfully overcome several personal health challenges through natural means, and believes that sharing information can empower people to take control of their health so they can solve their own problems and live life to its fullest potential. Josh is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Live in the Now. Additionally he serves as CEO of Stop Aging Now, a company that has been formulating premium dietary supplements since 1995. Josh is currently working on his first book about natural health, and is gearing up to launch the Live in the Now radio show. In addition to his work in the natural health field, Josh is an avid outdoorsman, animal lover and enjoys “living in the now” with his wife and two sons.