Home is where the heart is – but it’s also where your health is. Gone are the days of stuffy, uncomfortable living rooms that nobody lives in; today’s home is a place of relaxation, entertainment, and even conducting business. The more we understand that home can be anything we make it, the more important it becomes to make home a healthy, comfortable haven for everyone who lives or works there.
Appearances Aren’t Everything
Is your home filled with beautiful furniture that nobody can sit on because it’s so uncomfortable, or it’s “off limits” to the kids? Add a couple of throws and some big comfy pillows to convert that stuffy, museum feeling into a warm and welcoming place to hang out. Children shouldn’t be banned from any rooms in their own homes. It’s perfectly okay to have a more formal, fancy room, but make sure there’s plenty of space in your home (besides the kitchen) where everyone can gather to munch, drink, and be merry.
The only exception to the “kids should be allowed in any room” rule is the master bedroom – no kids allowed! Parents need a place to call their own; a sanctuary away from the responsibilities of parenting and the household in general. Time spent alone as a couple makes for happier, healthier parents – and happier, healthier kids as a result.
Home Office Away From Home
Many people that work from home complain that they never get to leave the office. Whether you work full time from home or have a small desk where you handle monthly bills, it’s important to designate the hours you are willing to devote to working, and stick to them.
Keep work away from your living spaces. Work and home should never mix; you have to be able to detach from numbers, business, and money. If at all possible, have a separate office and a dedicated phone line for business calls only. If you simply don’t have an extra room, at the very least invest in an armoire or roll-top desk that can be closed in the evenings.
If you have pets, then you have pet hair and dander – in your clothes, in your carpet, on your furniture, and even in your vents. Reduce the amount of hair in your home by brushing your pets often and outside if possible, vacuuming your floors and furniture daily (remember to change your vacuum bag and filter), emptying the lint traps on your washer and dryer with every load, and keeping your animals off the furniture.
Cleanliness is Next to Healthiness
Use antibacterial products on all kitchen and bath surfaces, and clean these surfaces often. Be aware of chemicals and toxins in your household products. When purchasing soaps and other personal hygiene products, opt for natural products with low or no fragrances and chemicals. Air filtration systems greatly reduce airborne allergens so everyone can breathe easier.
If you smoke, there are a million reasons to stop. But if you just aren’t ready quit, at least take the cigarettes outside. Secondhand smoke carries the same risks as smoking does, and it can seep through walls, under doors, and through your ductwork. Smoke leaves a thick film on walls, ceilings, and windows (similar to the residue it leaves in your lungs!) and makes your drapes, furniture, clothing, and carpets stink. Still not convinced to quit? Studies show that children of parents who smoke are twice as likely to become smokers themselves. Not exactly the legacy you want to give to your children, is it?
A healthy home is more than just clean, sterile, or germ-free. It’s also emotionally healthy – creating an environment that encourages your family and friends to be comfortable, relaxed, and content. In the end, the health of your home and your family rests squarely on your shoulders. Make comfortable, practical choices that fit your family’s lifestyle and create an environment conducive to happiness, security, healthful living, and love. W