Home Ideas for Spring: How to Rid Your House of Toxins

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 I’m telling you with every new season I’m convinced it’s my favorite season.  Every single one just feels so fresh and makes me feel alive again — no matter what the season is. Spring leaves me filled with new fresh, home ideas that will carry us into summer with fewer toxins and ultimately recover my home from a winter of being closed up.

While every home is unique, most homes struggle with the same health issues indoors.  And the bigger problem is that as a homeowner, no one teaches us HOW to make our homes a healthier space.  

Think about that — we are making the likely the BIGGEST investment of our lives and we are going into it blindly. With very few ideas on what actually needs to be done to maintain our home spaces, let alone home ideas to IMPROVE and make this space positive for our bodies.

But honestly, it makes sense that we don’t know these things.  So much in our world is based on aesthetics and instant gratification.  And unfortunately this spills over into our homes where we make decisions based on these two factors INSTEAD OF the fact that the environment we live in makes or breaks our health.

You’re in the right place if you have had the realization that the home ideas we should be focusing on not only improve our home, but also improve our health.  I’m about to show you six of the best home ideas that you can use this spring to DRASTICALLY reduce toxins in your space and create a healthier home.

These Home Ideas Will Reduce These Toxins:

First, let’s talk about WHY it’s so important to pay attention to the health of our homes.  Essentially it comes down to this idea that it’s impossible to have a healthy body when it’s living in an unhealthy environment.  I’ve heard it compared to a fish not thriving because of a dirty fish bowl.  If you don’t change the water and clean the bowl, the fish won’t improve. 

The same is essentially true of our homes.  And this is ESPECIALLY true now that most of us spend the majority of our time INSIDE our houses.  If you were to make a graph of the hours each day that you spend in a variety of places, inside our homes would be the largest portion. 

And here we are, inside our homes surrounding ourselves with:

  • pesticides in our textiles, causing damage to the nervous system and kidneys and an increased risk of cancer (SOURCE)
  • formaldehyde from our furniture, causing asthma, dermatitis, and increased risk of cancer (SOURCE)
  • toxic fragrances chemicals in our products causing cardiovascular issues, neurological problems, increased risk of asthma and respiratory issues (SOURCE)
  • High levels of moisture increasing mold and VOCs off gassing
  • PFAs in our kitchen products and building materials causing reproductive issues, increased blood pressure issues and hormone related problems (SOURCE)

Open Your Windows

One of the best home ideas you can practice is getting ample ventilation in and throughout your home.  It is often an overlooked habit, but it makes a WORLD of difference. 

Opening your windows does two things for your indoor air.  First, it allows toxin-filled air to travel outside your home.  The toxins literally leave your space through an open window. 

The second thing that happens is that the indoor air is diluted with fresh air.  So the fresh air actually replaces the indoor air with air that contains almost zero toxins. 

VOCs, dust particles, radon and mold spores can all be in the air inside your home.  By opening your windows, you can reduce the amounts of these toxins in your air. 

I have laid out a systematic plan to follow in the Healthy Home Blueprint for opening windows and using mechanical ventilation to improve your indoor air quality. 

Outdoor Maintenance (To Reduce Moisture Intrusion)

Another home idea to reduce toxins this spring brings us outside to work on some maintenance.  This is probably one of the LEAST glamorous parts of owning a home, but OHMYGOODNESS, if you do this right, you will prevent SO many potential issues. 

Essentially the goal is to prevent moisture from ever getting near your home as a first route of prevention.  The second route is to seal up your home as much as possible to ensure that water that DOES get near it, doesn’t actually enter your space. 

In order to do this we have route water AWAY from our home as much as possible.  This looks like:

  • Adding gutters (and making sure they’re clear from debris)
  • Attaching downspouts and routing them at least 6 feet away from foundation walls
  • Make sure foliage and greenery are not touching exterior siding
  • Keep grading sloped away from your home (creating a small hill for your home to reside on)
  • Make sure sprinkler heads are not pointed at your home’s structure

But inevitably, some water will get near your home, either when snow melts or when it rains.  This is why it’s so important to seal up areas around your home to fully protect the inside from water and moisture intrusion entering your space.   This is simply done by:

  • Adding waterproof coatings to exterior foundation walls
  • Painting/Sealing any wood siding and trim
  • Checking for places that caulking may have deteriorated around windows and doors
  • Look for exposed or protruding nails on the roof and repair this area
  • Fix any loose shingles

Be sure to check out my Seasonal Maintenance Guides for a full list of items.

Embrace Spring Cleaning

Another way to get toxins out of your home is by decluttering and getting items out of your space.  Afterall, the fewer items you have in your home, the fewer toxins are in your space to begin with. 

Spring is often a time we start in with a good round of decluttering and removing items we no longer need from our space. Get rid of unwanted items that could potentially be toxic like textiles, plastic kitchen storage and items that collect dust. 

It may also be a time to rearrange furniture, which can also be beneficial to the health of your home.  Make sure furniture is placed where it doesn’t block air flow to windows or air flow to or from venting.  This can restrict air flow and create issues with condensation on windows and trap dust inside your space.  

Forgotten Places to Remove Dust

It seems like I’m always talking about dust, doesn’t it?  But the truth is: dust is one of the easiest things to remove from your home.  And it removes A LOT of toxins.  Any textiles that contain flame retardants, pesticides or PFAs end leaving these toxins in our house dust. Mold spores and other toxins also end up in our dust.  

But when you work to remove dust frequently, you can actually also remove toxins.  This list of forgotten places are good to check in on once in a while:

  • Fan blades
  • Window screens
  • Under the fridge
  • Vented fan grates
  • Air registers
  • Shelves
  • Corners (high and low)
  • Light shades

I’ve also created a MASTER cleaning and dusting list that can help you remove toxins throughout your home in the Healthy Home Blueprint. 

Work to Reduce Indoor Humidity with Wet Spring Weather

While we talked about home ideas to keep water out of your home, there are also ways you’ll need to actively work to reduce moisture inside your home.  Most homes have indoor humidity levels that are much too high.  

Typically, we want levels to be between 35% – 40% for a healthy indoor climate.  Higher levels than this can create a space where mold and mildew thrive and a place where VOCs off gas at much higher than normal rates.  

Mostly, habits just need to be adjusted in order to reduce the levels throughout your home.  And luckily, none of them are too difficult to accomplish:

  • Cook with lids on pots and pans
  • Wipe down window condensation
  • Avoid overwatering plants
  • Limit line drying clothes indoors
  • Squeegee shower walls after bathing
  • Run vented fans while cooking, doing laundry and bathing

Plan an Outdoor Bonus Space

And while it’s important to have a healthy home inside, it’s also important to have a space outside that you can enjoy.  We all need WAY more fresh air than we realize, and by creating a space outdoors to enjoy, you’re more likely to spend time outside eating, relaxing and socializing rather than indoors.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but just a space to either sit or eat outside that is welcoming is a GREAT way to remind yourself to get outdoors. 

Things like outdoor lighting, umbrellas for shade and cushioned chairs are a great thing to start planning to purchase now so that your space is read when the weather is warm enough to spend time outside. 

Each season our home has different needs and different ways we can reduce toxins.  By using these home ideas, you can help improve your space by reducing moisture and toxins and by improving the indoor air quality in our home.  It’s essential for our bodies to be surrounded with a healthy space to support our needs. 

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