Tips for a Healthy Home for the Holidays
When planning a healthy home for the holidays there are a few things to keep in mind. Cleaning messes can help. However, there are some simple changes that can help with the emotional health of the household as well. With a few tweaks to your routine, you can make the holidays even healthier. Here are a few ideas to consider.
Cleaning and Mental Health
Did you know there is a direct link between a clean home and mental health? Research has shown living in a messy home has a direct correlation to cortisol levels. By making changes to living spaces so that they are cleaner, you can help the overall mental health of everyone in your home. Many of the messes that work to cause stress can be combated with a few small changes. Here are a few things you can start with.
- Clean as you go - Many of the messes that are found in the house come from small messes that add up over time. One simple way to help is to pick up small messes as you see them before they turn into bigger messes. This might mean picking laundry up off the floor, washing dishes when they get used, or wiping down countertops when cooking.
- Have a place for paper items - One of the biggest culprits of clutter in the house is paper. Items such as mail, holiday cards, and artwork from children can quickly pile up. One easy way to reduce stress and clutter is to have a place for these items in the house. This might mean having a filing cabinet for paperwork, having a spot for bills, or a plan for items such as a child’s artwork or holiday cards.
- Talk to the other people in the house - Some items may not feel like a mess to you but for your partner or children, they may be a big mess. Have a conversation about the little messes that can stress the other people in your home and find simple ways to keep those clean.
- Have safe cleaning products on hand - The cleaning products you use in the house can impact your mental health. Have safe non-toxic cleaning products on hand so that it is easy to pick up messes and clean up spills. It can help to have these items in the room they would be used in so they are easy to grab in a hurry.
Get Things Ready for the New Year
Right after the holidays, you will move into the new year. Setting the house up for the new year can help you to stress less during the holidays. Spending the time during this season can help you to be ready for a new year. Start new habits early on. Here are a few things to do to prepare for a new year.
- Clean out your closet - Clutter in closets and dressers can be a problem heading into the holidays and into a new year. Take some time to clean out your closet and dressers. Ask yourself if it is an item you have worn or used in the last year. If not, it may be time to part with that item.
- Focus on decluttering - Take some time to remove clutter. Clutter can often feel messy. By taking the time to throw away or donate clutter you will have the ability to keep the space cleaner more easily. It is important that items for a donation actually leave the house to be donated. Don’t store them in a pile somewhere waiting to be donated.
- Organize and store holiday decorations - While in the holiday season it can help to take some time to plan organization for the decorations that will have to be put up after holiday celebrations. Some of these decorations will need new containers or storage solutions.
- Air out the house - Take some time to open up windows and air out the house a bit. The house can get stagnant and stuffy during the holiday season. If the weather allows it, try opening up the windows and airing the house out when possible.
Have a Plan for Cleaning
During the holiday season, everyone can have their own things they want to do. This could include a desire to unwind or activities they want to participate in. It can help to have a plan for the responsibilities of each person. By taking time to delegate these responsibilities you are more likely to keep things clean this holiday season. Here are a few tips for making a cleaning plan.
- Keep jobs age-appropriate - When planning to assign cleaning jobs it can help to keep things age-appropriate. If children feel like they can complete a task they are more inclined to be helpful. This might mean having younger children help with washing walls with a safe wall cleaner or helping to match socks.
- Work on one messy area at a time - When the house gets messy, it can be tempting to try and clean everything at one time. Instead, focus on cleaning one messy area at a time. One way to keep focus when cleaning one area at a time is to have a laundry basket for items that need to go to other rooms so that you don’t stop working. When you finish in that room you can move items to the place they belong.
- Switch up your cleaning supplies - Some cleaning supplies can have chemicals in them that make cleaning a less enjoyable experience. Switch out your cleaning supplies for safe cleaning supplies. This will take the negative health implications out of cleaning and help to get more people involved with cleaning.