A clean home helps us stay well and healthy. We have compiled a list of 8 simple habits to maintain your physical and mental well being.
1. Shoes off at the door
Taking your shoes off at the door is a small habit that can have a big impact on your home! It will make your home healthier and safer.
A study carried at the University of Arizona found an average of 421,000 bacteria can be found on our shoes! This included nine different strains of bacteria, such as Ecoli, which can cause illness and infection. Wearing shoes in the house can cause this bacteria to spread. According to microbiologist Dr Reynolds “potentially harmful bacteria can survive on your shoes for days or even weeks”. If that isn’t enough to convince you, taking your shoes off prevents floors from getting dirty which means less cleaning for you!
2. Keep kitchen counters clean
Keeping sinks and counter tops clean, where we prepare food, is especially important.
According to a study by the NSF, the kitchen is the dirtiest room in the house. They found that around 45% of kitchen sinks are contaminated with coliform bacteria, which included E.coli and Salmonella. If sinks and countertops are not properly cleaned, bacteria could spread to food and make you ill.
To stay healthy, it is still important to keep the following habits:
- Wipe up all spills straight away
- Always clean your worktop and sink area before preparing food
- Always clean worktops after placing raw meat on to them
- Clean your chopping board using warm, soapy water or a scrub mixture of lemon and salt.
3. Clean your phone
Nowadays, we take our mobile phones everywhere and believe it or not, the average person checks their phone approximately once every 12 minutes. As a result, huge amounts of bacteria can build up on our phones.
In fact, a recent study found mobile phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats! Whilst, much of this bacteria is harmless, some can pose a potential threat to our health and homes. Simple actions, such as placing our phones on the dining table, after using them on public transport can cause harmful bacteria to spread.
But there’s no need to worry! Giving your phone a quick clean, once a day, is the simple solution. You can either pick up some antibacterial phone wipes, or simply use a soft microfibre cloth. Just be sure to avoid liquid spray cleaners, as these may damage your phone.
4. Clean your cleaning equipment
Finding time to clean is difficult enough, but how many of us remember to clean our cleaning equipment?
In reality this is just as important as any other household chore, as cleaning with dirty equipment is potentially dangerous. Kitchen sponges and dishcloths can harbour a range of harmful germs, especially as damp environments are the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria.
It is important to get into the habit of cleaning your sponges and cloths a few times a week. A couple of easy methods include: soaking them in white vinegar or a mixture of bleach and boiling water. Don’t forget to replace your sponges and dishcloths all together every 2-3 weeks!
5. Declutter once a week
We all know how easily clutter can build up around our homes. Whilst we may shrug off this mess as harmless, decluttering is essential for keeping a tidy home and a healthy mind.
Clutter can overwhelm our brains with an excess of sensory information and this can lead us to feeling stressed, irritable and unable to concentrate. Piles of letters and old newspapers can also collect dust, pet hairs and other allergens. So, regularly decluttering can help to boost our productivity, reduce anxiety and stress levels, as well as rid our homes of irritants and allergens. Why not try setting aside an hour each week to dedicate to decluttering? This will make the task more manageable and more importantly will ensure you have both a tidy home and a tidy mind!
6. Make the bed
We all make excuses for not making the bed, but in reality, it only takes a few minutes and it can have huge impact on the rest of your day!
In a powerful speech given at the University of Texas, Naval Admiral William McRaven, shared several lessons he had learnt during his 36 years as a Navy Seal. One of which was the importance of making your bed:
“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day,” he said. “It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another”.
Whilst it may sound far-fetched, several studies have found that this simple chore does in fact lead to greater productivity throughout the rest day.
Making the bed will also instantly transform your bedroom and effortlessly make the space appear neater. As we have already seen, having a tidy room can improve your mood and mental well- being.
7. Cleaning as exercise
The average adult needs around 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. But, in between going to work, cleaning the house and entertaining the kids, it can be difficult to find time to go to the gym or exercise.
So, why not try turning your household chores into exercise sessions?
Many housekeeping chores can be turned into moderate exercise routines. In a 30 – minute session, you can burn 90 calories vacuuming, 130 scrubbing the bathroom and 160 washing the dishes.
The key is to plan your cleaning session to ensure you keep moving and keep your heartrate up for the entire 30 minutes. You can intensify the sessions by adding simple exercises, such as lunges whilst vacuuming or running up and down the stairs in between tidying different rooms.
8. Go natural
Many of the chemical in our everyday cleaning products are toxic, polluting and can have a potentially harmful impact on our health.
Natural cleaning products are a great alternative and can be just as effective. You will be surprised just how many natural products you can find by simply opening your kitchen cupboards! Salt, baking soda, white vinegar and lemon are just a few.
Lemons have natural antibacterial properties and are great for lifting stains and removing smells, whilst baking soda is also great for whitening clothes, clearing drains and deodorising.
Switching to natural products, can help you to save money on expensive products and improve the air quality in your home, creating a safer environment, especially for children.