Spring Clean Your Home: 5 Easy Steps to Take Towards A Less Toxic Space
These days, it seems the word detox is practically synonymous with juice cleanses and hot yoga. While this can be a great way to jump-start a cleaner lifestyle, there are other simple steps we can take towards a toxin-free lifestyle — and they happen to be much easier and less expensive than green juice or a ClassPass membership. One of the best places to start? Your home.
Below are 5 easy steps you can take towards a less toxic space, supporting your body’s natural detoxification (and weight loss) and ultimately a healthier lifestyle.
#1 Purify Your Air
True Story: Indoor air is actually 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that people spend roughly 90% of their time indoors. While we obviously can’t control the quality of air of the indoor spaces we spend time in (like work) we can easily detoxify the air in our own homes.
The easiest (and prettiest) thing to do? Invest in some plants. Plants are major contributors to clean indoor air as they’re capable of absorbing a number of toxins and removing them from the environment. Some of the best air-purifying plants include:
- Aloe vera
- Spider plant
- English ivy
- Bamboo palm
Alternatively I suggest regularly vacuuming and dusting, opening your windows to let fresh air in and investing in a HEPA air purifier, especially if you suffer from allergies.
#2 Make like Marie Kondo and Declutter That Shiz
Decluttering dates back to ancient practices of feng shui and Traditional Chinese Medicine, which is rooted in the belief that staying connected to nature and flowing with seasons brings about health and prosperity. While this may be a little too woo-woo for some, I think most of us can agree clearing out the clutter in our space feels pretty damn good. We have more space to be productive and less distraction from focusing on what really matters.
Start small with one particular area (think: closet, bathroom cabinets, fridge etc.) as it will make the project much less overwhelming. Then think like Marie Kondo and go through each item asking yourself if you have used the item recently (or ever) and if not does it bring you any joy? For example I may not have worn that sorority date-dash t-shirt since college, but holding it does spark joy and nostalgia. In this instance I kept one, and tossed the other dozen 🙂 Boom.
#3 Replace Toxic Cleaners
Your skin is the largest organ in your body and anything that touches your skin is absorbed into your system. One huge — and often missed — way to protect your skin (and bod) from absorbing toxins? Keep your household products clean. This includes bathroom, oven, drain and laundry detergent cleaners. Many of these products contain harmful phosphates, surfectants, chlorine and petroleum-based ingredients that have been shown to cause cancer.
Purchase clean products that don’t contain any of the chemicals listed above (I prefer this brand) or you can make your own DIY cleaning product using this recipe below (which is less expensive to boot)!
DIY All Purpose Kitchen Cleaner: Combine 1 cup water, ½ cup rubbing alcohol, ½ teaspoon dish soap, and 10 drops of thyme essential oil. The dish soap lifts dirt and bacteria while the rubbing alcohol and thyme disinfect the surface. This cleaner is safe for virtually all surfaces.
#4 Filter Your Water
Water is essential for optimal health. Every cell in your body needs water to function properly, making hydration a crucial step in proper detoxification. Since more than half of the body is comprised of water, it’s important to take note of the quality of water that you consume, both by drinking and bathing. We absorb water internally as we drink it, but we also absorb water through our skin.
And these days tap water has been found to contain a witches’ brew of health-killing chlorine, fluorine compounds, Trihalomethanes (THMs), assorted hormones, pesticides and even trace amounts of prescription drugs. Boo.
While the info above might sound scary, there are some easy things you can to do protect yourself and the water you absorb (both internally and externally). First, invest in a tap water filter. While there are multiple kinds (some super expensive) I prefer the good old fashioned Water Filter Pitcher. Secondly, invest in a shower filter system. Not only will your water be safe and non-toxic, but your hair and skin will look amazing as well!
#5 Be on the Lookout For Mold
Okay I know this one is gross, but mildew and mold in your home is more common than you think and can wreak some serious havoc on your health (think inflammation, brain fatigue, neurological and immune-related issues like Lyme disease).
To fight mold in your home, pay close attention to damp areas—like basements, kitchens and bathrooms—and be sure to clean up water and fix any leaks. If you do already have mold, it can be tricky to clean up. Start by running a lab grade test for it to see if it’s best to have a professional mold remover tackle the job. Otherwise, rid your home of it immediately by using a non-toxic cleaning agent—and be sure to wear a mask and gloves to avoid cross-contamination.
It’s unfortunate that we live in a toxic world, but taking these simple steps will assist your body’s ability to flush out harmful chemicals and pollutants in order to look and feel your best. Not only will you and your family be living a less toxic lifestyle, but cleaning out useless clutter in your home has been show to help us find purpose, gain confidence, become happier and even reduce anxiety. #Springclean FTW.
Now I want to challenge you — What item(s) could you get rid of in your home to spark more joy in your life? I challenge you to spring clean your home using ONE of the five tips listed above. Let me know in the comments below what you’re cleaning out of your home (or post to instagram with the hashtag #sofreshnsogreen).