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Let’s Clear the Air: How Your Home Can Make You Sick & What You Can Do About It by Guest Blogger DIYMama Erin Reynolds

Bed, Sheet, Sleep, Relax, Plant, Room, House

We all want a clean living space, but did you realize that even when your home is clean, indoor air pollutants can still be hanging around? Indoor air pollution is often worse than the pollution we’re exposed to outdoors and living with poor indoor air quality can lead to immediate and long-term sickness. To improve indoor air and live better, check your home for these common causes of pollution and take steps to eliminate them.

 

Seek Out the Source

You can’t get rid of indoor pollution without knowing where it’s coming from. Some of these causes are obvious, while others are less well-known and often harder to find.

 

  • Tobacco smoke – Smoke from tobacco contains thousands of chemicals, which are trapped in your home when anyone smokes inside. In addition to being released into the air, the chemicals in tobacco settle into furniture, rugs and just about any other surface in your home. According to The American Lung Association, secondhand smoke can cause respiratory infections, asthma, cancer and even heart attacks.

  • Household chemicals Chemicals come into our homes in many ways you wouldn’t expect. They can be present in your home’s building materials and paint, as well as in furniture, carpet and cabinetry. Many people also unwittingly add harmful chemicals to their home by using chemical cleaning products, air fresheners and personal care products.

  • Pets – Many people have allergic reactions to pet dander, which can be can be mild to severe and often include asthma, sinus problems and respiratory infections.

  • Mildew and mold – According to Bob Vila, mold can grow about anywhere there is excess moisture. If you aren’t sure if mildew and mold are a problem in your home, track your home’s humidity and search for any water leaks.

  • Harmful gases – Radon is a gas that is naturally occurring, but exposure to it has been linked to cancer, so it’s very important to have your home checked to determine if radon is present. Carbon monoxide is another deadly gas that could leak into your home from gas appliances such as gas stoves and hot-water heaters. Installing a carbon monoxide detector is an easy way to keep your family safe.

Simple Steps to Clear the Air

Even though indoor pollutants and allergens are rampant, you can make simple swaps and do some easy, environmentally friendly DIY repairs to eliminate problems.

  • Choose greener cleaning products – Look for cleaning products that are free of petrochemicals, artificial fragrances and other toxic ingredients. Natural alternatives are easy to find and they are much healthier because they don’t release toxic substances into the air.

  • Avoid toxic building materials – One of the biggest culprits of harmful off-gassing comes from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in paint. Fortunately, low or no-VOC paints are easy to find and repainting your home with environmentally friendly paint is a simple DIY project. When replacing cabinets, look for ones that are made from solid wood and use only non-toxic finishes. You can also find environmentally friendly materials for all kinds of home projects such as glue, caulking and insulation.

  • Purify the air in your home – You can’t avoid all pollutants entirely, but an air purifier can clean the pollutants out of the air in your home that can cause allergies and asthma.

  • Take advantage of nature – Outdoor air is purified naturally through trees, but you can get the same effect at home with houseplants that remove chemicals from the air. And along with all of these other steps, one of the simplest things you can do is open windows regularly to let fresh air in.

It sounds a little scary to think of all the dangers lurking in our homes, but the good news is that you can easily eliminate many of them. Making these simple swaps is better for your health and the environment, so it’s a win-win. When you make these changes, you will likely notice a difference right away, and you can rest easier knowing you’re protecting your long-term health too.

 

Photo credit: Pixabay

Check out our Guest blogger Erin Reynolds at http://diymama.net/

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2018 in Health

 

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Make Your Home More Appealing w/ These Easy and Affordable Projects by Guest Blogger Erin Reynolds

baskets, clean, color

Image courtesy of Pexels.com

Make Your Home More Appealing with These Easy and Affordable Projects

 

When you have to sell your house, you want to make the most you can and do it as fast as possible. Of course, moving is also very expensive, and you don’t want to put a lot of work into your home that won’t necessarily pay off. Fortunately, there are plenty of things homeowners can do to make their place more appealing to buyers that take only a little effort and even less cash. We’ve outlined some of our favorite home improvement projects anyone putting their house on the market should consider doing.

 

Paint Vinyl and Linoleum Floors

 

When it comes to making DIY home projects affordable, your best friend is paint. A gallon of paint costs as little as $30 depending on the brand, so your time is the biggest cost when it comes to this project. Vinyl and linoleum floors can make your house look cheap. Painting vinyl floors a bold color or pattern gives your home a cool and modern look that appeals to buyers.

 

Add Mirrors Throughout the Home

 

By adding mirrors throughout the home, you don’t just make the place look larger. When people tour the place, they will constantly be seeing themselves in it… literally! A great way to add mirrors to your place without spending too much money is by securing cheap, framed mirrors to doors with the frames and doors painted to match. This is especially great for closet doors, where that last-minute reflection can catch outfit snafus before heading outside.

 

Declutter Everything

 

When it comes to staging a home to sell, all real estate agents suggest two things: get rid of personal items and declutter like there is no tomorrow. When it comes to personal things like pictures, diplomas, and souvenirs, you may not be ready to get rid of a lot of them. However, you still want them out of sight and out of mind while you are showing the house. Get a head start on packing by boxing these items up and keeping them in an off-site storage unit where they can be safe and secure until it is time to relocate.

 

However, when it comes to extra items that have no sentimental value, it’s time to get tough. Decluttering your home means getting rid of anything that doesn’t have a purpose in your life. Eliminate thoughts of “what if” or “maybe in the future.” If you need something in the future, you can buy a new one when that moment comes. For now, it can either go in the trash or to a local charity, wherever it best serves its purpose. Best of all, this project costs you absolutely nothing and will cut down on your packing once you finally sell!

 

Tips for decluttering:

 

  • Don’t just clean out the areas you can see! Your home’s storage is one of its biggest selling points. Get rid of junk hanging out in cabinets, closets, the attic, and anywhere else you store things so browsers can get a clear idea of all the house has to offer.
  • Send items places where they are needed most. While used decor and clothes can find a new home through a thrift store, your old towels, blankets, and cleaning supplies can be a huge help for the animals living in your local shelter.
  • Get your hands on a copy of Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Not only will you learn how to successfully let go of items that do not “spark joy” in your life, you will also learn how to keep your home tidy and organized so it looks great and is ready for people throughout the home-showing process.

 

If you want your house to look great and sell faster, you don’t have to put a lot of money in it. You can give cheap vinyl floors a chic update with not much more than a can of paint. If you want your house to look bigger while appealing to more people, add mirrors throughout the place. Finally, the most cost-effective way to make your house look great to buyers is by clearing out clutter. Box up and store sentimental items, but be ruthless when it comes to letting go of things that do not “spark joy.”

 

Thank you Erin!! You can follow her at http://diymama.net/

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2018 in Organizing

 

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Super Product- Getting the Right Shredder!

A desktop shredder is a great way to destroy a few confidential documents.

A paper shredder that sits on the floor is a great way to get rid of a LOT of confidential documents.

Picking one isn’t as easy as it seems. Some shredder are made cheaply and can break down soon after a few uses. Here are a few I like:

Insignia- 6-Sheet Crosscut Shredder Black

 

https://www.ebay.com/p/Aurora-6-Sheet-Crosscut-Paper-Shredder-WM675XBC/1400865998?iid=253315161670&chn=ps

http://www.machineadvantage.com/cross_cut_deskside_paper_shredder_1310_16595.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwre_XBRDVARIsAPf7zZiNWcOqlGpg2ZbaEBk7i8r8Gxu3b9oLyNiZJDdB7yIxaFDkTCg_NAYaApvUEALw_wcB

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Sort Out Sunday- Before You Use Your Basement For Storage or As An Office

Many people ask me about basements and are they good spaces to store stuff or make as a home office. I say YES! But here are a few things to consider before you do.

Any space below ground level are more prone to dampness, poor lighting, poor ventilation,and bugs and other creatures. Make sure its a secured space. Check the walls and floors. Is it fully covered. If there is a window down there, can it be securely closed. Also can it be opened for air. Maybe a screen over it will help with anything flying or crawling in. 

If you can put a heating/AC system in there, I say do it! The bottom line is you want great ventilation down there. Your house and your stuff will thank you! 

Make sure its well-lit. You may have to bring lights/lamps down there. Make sure all electrical outlets can handle all the plug-ins. An electrician has a device that can scan and tell you. Sometimes the basement houses the washer and dryer or an additional freezer/fridge, you want to make sure all circuits can handle any additional things you plug-in down there. 

Also check that the steps leading down are secure, with something to hold onto going up and down! 

 

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2018 in Organizing

 

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Quick Tip Wednesday:Bag It!

bags Trash_cans_in_row

 

Trashcans! Wastebaskets! Whichever name you use, we can all agree that they are important assets to any home (indoor and outdoor). Everyday we throw away all kinds of trash and the trashcans get full and we tie it up and take them outside for pickup. Today’s quick tip is about the trash bags. Not about what kind to use (there are many different kinds on the market) but a time saving tip.

Trashcans are usually stored throughout the house where you need them, kitchens, bathrooms, home offices, bedrooms, etc, but the trash bags are probably stored in ONE place. Maybe they are way down in the basement, or out in the garage on a shelf. So maybe you go back and forth to empty the cans and then go get the trash bags or you carry the new trash bags draped on your shoulder and replace as your doing. My suggestion is to keep a couple of extra trash bags at the bottom of the trashcan UNDERNEATH the open one. Then what happens is that you always have one handy and ready at each one and it saves time and energy.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Organizing

 

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A Mudroom Was NOT What I Thought It Was.

traditional-laundry-room mudroom#1

 

I make it my business to know all the terms for rooms, appliances, and everything related to home. But recently i was asked to organize a room and when they said which room, A Mud Room.  I didnt recognize the name! Of course i stayed professional and said that i can do it. Right after our conversation I went online and looked it up.  When i saw the description, I was familiar with the area they call a mudroom. I knew of other names that part of the house was called like Entryway or Service Porch. SO the learning never ends….

What is a Mud Room?

 

A mud room is a separate room in your house that normally opens to the outside or to the garage. This room is meant to buffer the rest of your house from dirt that may be brought in from the outside. Thus the name mud room. They often have sinks where you can wash off and also places to store boots, umbrellas etc.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Organizing

 

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