If you’re like most Americans, health is an important aspect of your resolutions when each new year rolls around. While factors like diet and exercise are keys to healthy living, so are the ways you care for your home and belongings.
Your home living environment plays a major role in your health and comfort, so incorporating some new habits can help you establish a healthier lifestyle.
Control Air Quality
Especially during the winter months when your home tends to be closed tight, air can grow stale. Do your best to keep air quality strong by opening windows on mild days to circulate fresh air, using an air purifier to remove irritants and pollutants, frequently vacuuming and sweeping to keep floor dust and debris under control and regularly cleaning textiles that can trap allergens and other particles.
Scale Back Detergent Use
Using too much laundry detergent isn’t just risking buildup and unnecessary wear on your washer and dryer; it can also increase the residue and buildup in your clothes, which can lead to skin irritation and damage fabric faster. Using only what you need helps protect your belongings and your skin. An option like Swash Laundry Detergent, which features a Precision Pour Cap, dispenses the detergent for you, so you only pour what you need to effectively clean each load and fight stains. A single bottle of the ultra-concentrated formula – available in Simply Sunrise, Free & Clear and Pure Linen scents – washes up to 83 loads while taking up less space than traditional, bulky detergent bottles.
Make Use of Natural Light
When winter brings day after day of dark, dreary weather, it can take a toll on your mood. Brightening your living space with natural light can positively influence your emotional state while helping with your electric bill. If you’re concerned about privacy, utilize window treatments at night, but let the sunlight bring good cheer to your living spaces during the day.
Switch Bedding on Schedule
While you sleep, your body sheds oils, cells and elements you carry into your home like pollen. Sheets should be washed once a week on the hottest water setting your fabric will tolerate (check tags for laundering directions on your sheets before washing). If your schedule makes weekly washing, drying and remaking the bed unrealistic, consider having a couple sets you can rotate so you always have fresh, clean sheets waiting to remake your bed on laundry day.
Work Up (and Wash Out) a Sweat
The materials that keep you feeling cool and fresh by wicking away sweat can quickly get stinky, but over-washing can make them lose their shape and fade. Even so, washing after every use is a must. Washing workout clothes inside out exposes the surfaces that have absorbed sweat and body oil to detergent and agitation. Be sure to close zippers, buttons, clasps and other fasteners to prevent snags. Pre-soaking with equal parts vinegar and cold water can also help eliminate odors, and washing in a gentle, cold-water cycle and drying on low heat can help protect the fabric’s elasticity and wicking properties.
Start your year off right with more advice for healthy habits around the home at Swash.com.
5 Ideas for an Organized, Intentional Laundry Space
Having an organized and decorated laundry room can ease the weight of your to-do list and the tension you feel from the day-to-day grind. It can also help keep your laundry routine simple, orderly and organized. Consider these tips from the laundry experts at Swash:
1. Think like a minimalist.
Empty your laundry space and sort through what you need and what you don’t. Eliminating the extras leaves room to evaluate your space. Consider whether you could organize differently to make frequently used items more accessible and make the most of your storage space. Cutting down on clutter may even make it possible to incorporate shelves or cabinets that add stylish functionality.
2. Update your space with open shelving.
Open laundry shelves offer a sense of more space, and the horizontal lines can lend a sense of calm. For an easy and attractive upgrade, try hanging 2-3 open shelves within easy reach. If you’re hesitant about the open feel, limit to just one shelf for the everyday necessities and keep the rest of your laundry supplies out of sight in a complementing cabinet. Baskets offer another option for concealing your belongings, whether you use them on the open shelves or inside cabinets to keep things tidy and clutter-free.
3. Create a practical workspace.
Mundane laundry chores like folding can be more enjoyable when you have a comfortable, dedicated space for the job. An open counter or table that folds down from the wall gives you the surface you need to fold clothing within your laundry space without disrupting the rest of the house. Other ways to add practical space include areas for sorting garments that need special attention and a place to hang items that shouldn’t be dried in the dryer.
4. Use colors and materials that evoke calm.
Natural materials and a neutral color palette can lend to a more peaceful space. Lighter neutral colors reduce stress and anxiety, promote relaxation and can even make a space feel more expansive. For a calm, refreshing area, start with a base of white then add natural textures like woven baskets, faux or real plants and marble stone accents in the tile flooring or backsplash. Add a calming color like blue to evoke the tranquility of the sky or ocean, or consider green to incorporate the soothing effects of nature.
5. Invest in products that bring you joy.
Choose quality pieces that aren’t overly trendy and will stand the test of time. Consider how your investment of laundry decor, including your washer and dryer, will serve you in the space in the coming years.Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman making bed)