Easy Ways to Detox Your Living Space
We know our bodies need a regular detox (we talked about Easy Tips to Detox Your Diet in our last post), so we can feel refreshed and cleansed of toxins. It’s an essential form of self-care that supports a healthy lifestyle. But did you know your home also needs a regular detox? It’s true! When we rid our living space of toxins, we give it a needed cleanse and restore harmony to our homes. We also create a healthier environment for us to live in. This is where my guide to detox your living space can help.
Being in a space that you believe protects you from external physical and mental stress is what makes your home a safe space for you to unwind. Your home should be your haven. It’s a place where you can rejuvenate and preserve yourself from the outside world. But when this is disrupted, your internal balance can go haywire, letting in more toxins to your holistic health.
Think about it this way. We use face masks (skincare, not COVID-masks) to detox our skin when it feels tired or heavy (our favorites are from Beautycounter), and we follow diet detoxes when our bodies feel similarly (we love the 21-Day Purification and 28-Day Detox Program from Standard Process – ask about these at our offices), but we don’t typically think about taking care of our living space in the same manner.
These days we’re more conscious about what we put into our bodies like the food we consume or the drinks we sip because we want to cleanse ourselves. But we need to be more aware that it’s not just what we put in our bodies that can restore or negatively affect us. It’s also our surroundings. This includes the toxins that we’re exposed to every day in the things we touch and breathe. It also consists of the clutter and dullness that inhabits our home and workspaces.
The average household contains approximately 600 chemicals – some of them in places you least expect. Not only that, studies have shown that clutter that resides in your home generates psychological pressure and irritability. It can also add to stress and unhinge your inner harmony. And then there are the dull themes around the house. These can make your living quarters feel more like a cage that an open space, leading to depression and anxiety.
To rid you of the old, the toxins, and the ugly, here are a few ideas to detox your living space and make your house a home again.
- Toss Out Old Makeup
Many of us have that one lipstick shade that we won’t trash until it’s down to its last drop. Or that one concealer that we count on to renew a puffy morning face. But nothing lasts forever, even makeup.
Tossing out expired makeup is a way for you to declutter a place that makes you feel empowered – your makeup bag. It also allows you to detox your face. That’s because makeup contains several chemicals and toxins that get harmful over time and can lead to cystic acne, irregular texture, and rashes.
In general, drugstore foundations and concealers last six months to a year. Mascaras and lipsticks have a shelf-life of between three to six months. Here’s what you can do to detox your makeup bag.
- Gather all your make-up and lay them out where you can see everything.
- Toss out anything that is expired, or you haven’t used in the last 6 months.
- Rearrange all the leftover make-up according to either category or color.
- Voila! You’re done!
TIP: If your makeup is toxic, you should consider tossing it out anyway. Try switching to makeup that uses more natural ingredients. This way, you’re not only saving yourself several trips to Sephora but also getting your money’s worth. We recommend makeup that rates well at ewg.org’s skin-deep database, like Beautycounter.
- Install Water and Air Filters
Hidden dust, improper ventilation, chemicals from cleaning products and other toxins in the air put our immune system at risk. In fact, hard drinking water can contain 700 chemicals! That’s more than those found in cigarettes. Investing in tap water filters, air purifiers, and vacuums with a HEPA bag filter can keep chemicals at bay.
Our favorite air purifiers are from Air Doctor (do a Facebook search for the best deal), and our favorite water filters are Aquasana, ProPur (we like it better then Berkey), and Springwell for a whole house filter. Most water softeners are toxic and we don’t recommend them. If you have a filter than is a water softener look for a natural salt option or just leave it out. We have seen lead levels in children due to water softener use. We don’t have any affiliation to the companies we recommend. We are just going by our personal research and use.
TIP: If you have fluoride in your water, be sure the water filter you choose has a fluoride filtering option for your drinking water. Also, most filters do not filter out pharmaceuticals. There is a device called a MEMON that you can use to neutralize pharmaceutical contaminants in your water. This company also has EMF protection devices.
- Use Greener House Products
We are all so accustomed to resort to the nearest chemical we find when it comes to cleaning our house. But what we don’t realize is that it’s causing more harm than help. Strong chemical cleaners in the form of sprays, foam, or liquids are often associated with asthma, respiratory problems, eczema, and skin allergies. These chemical cleaners are indirectly consumed through the skin and respiratory system and pose a high threat, especially for children.
The first step to protecting you and your family from chemicals in house products is to toss them out. Then keep your home clean with all-natural ingredients. A few options include:
- Vinegar to replace bleach
- Baking soda to wash your tiles
- Hydrogen peroxide to remove nasty stains.
- Essential oils for cleaning (we like doTERRA, Plant Therapy, and Aura Cacia)
Alternatively, you could switch to greener house cleaning products, which are relatively easy to find at your local grocery or general store. Just watch out for “greenwashed” brands like Method and Mrs. Meyers.
- Bring in the Plants
Growing an indoor plant sanctuary might be a bit too extreme but incorporating plants into your living space can actually remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours. That’s even better than air purifiers, comes at a cheaper cost, and looks good too! Adding plants to your space is also known to boost concentration levels, uplift your mood, and improve productivity. Studies have also proven that indoor plants can decrease your stress levels.
For many, gardening or being around plants can be therapeutic and bring immense joy to those who believe they are one with nature. Whether you’ve got a mansion or a little condo, introducing your house to plants, can improve your happiness and reduce depression. Nurturing a living thing gives us a purpose and seeing it blossom is gratifying.
TIP: According to NASA, the best non-toxic houseplant choices are spider plants, philodendrons, and rubber plants.
- Dust It Out
This might not be on the top of your list, but make sure it is a part of it. Your home in infested with furniture and electronics that are coated with a chemical called PBDE to protect them from catching fire. But after a while, these chemicals leave traces that combine with the existing dust and can be inhaled or consumed. Using a handy microfiber cloth to clean can help. The microfiber material will collect dust rather than spreading it around the house, even without a spray solution.
The monster of all furniture, carpets, contains the most amount of dust particles. To avoid making your floor rugs a hangout spot for dust and dirt, experts advise having them washed every 6-12 months. An all-natural carpet cleaner can make a massive difference to your home.
- Switch to Natural Garden Products
You and your plants coexist in harmony in an endless cycle of giving. To benefit from your plants, you need to ensure they are thriving too. And taking care of your plants sometimes requires the use of herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers. Unfortunately, a large number of these products contain dangerous chemicals. And contact with chemical-induced pesticides and fertilizers in the garden can lead to migraines, nausea, and even nerve damage.
To save yourself from these chemicals, here are a few tips.
- Instead of pesticides, plant a mixture of vegetables and plants to inhibit a particular type of pest from reproducing.
- Use ladybugs since they are natural pest eaters, and plus, they’re pretty too.
- Look for all-natural pest repellants, herbicides, and fertilizers.
While you’re at it, switch to natural pest-relief for your pets. We like Wondercide.
TIP: Eating cilantro, gooseberry, and pomegranate can help detox your body of already ingested pesticides. Taking clay baths can also help. We also handle this at our offices.
- Tackle Your Clothing
All hail the home detox Queen, Marie Kondo! Watching her declutter a hoarder’s wardrobe makes me want to whip out my magical organizing wand and transform my closet. As Marie can tell you, detoxing your wardrobe can not only leave your closet feeling refreshed, but it can also give you the benefit of a mental detox.
Here are a few Kondo tips to help you get started.
- When you begin clearing out your closet, don’t just pick out those that you think you won’t use. Instead, pull out everything and visually take in the volume of clothing you own. It can surprisingly reveal the number of unused pieces you’ve been hoarding.
- Keep clothes that bring you joy, but don’t let nostalgia cloud your judgment.
- Sort by category, not by room.
- Respect your clothes.
- Store everything standing upright.
- Separate your clothing space from your partner’s.
- Have 3 bins…Keep, Trash, Give Away. Fill them regularly.
TIP: As Marie Kondo would say, “If it doesn’t spark joy, throw it away”…or something like that. 🙂
- Minimalize Your Display and Setting
You know that feeling when you eat too much of something like chocolate or candy, and you reach the point where you don’t want to look at another piece? Similarly, too much color or decor in your personal space can become too much. After a stressful day of work, you don’t want to come back to something that visually strains you. Putting up too much color, clashing prints, and covering each and every corner with decor allows little breathing space. Research shows surrounding ourselves with light colors is more likely to put us in a calm state.
Gathering “stuff” ties us down like an anchor. Instead, opt for a minimalistic approach. Want to be unique in the way you style your room? Rather than stocking up, choose a statement piece that grabs attention. Or alternatively, if you have an interest in collecting various pieces to enhance the room, select a few showpieces that give off a gradient effect, so it’s light on the eyes.
This may not seem like an important step in your detox plan, but it is. Coming home to a calm environment can help revive and prepare you to fight off toxins mentally and physically.
- Check Your Lighting
Those home decor shows tell us that different tones and levels of light can help diffuse any unattractive elements of a room. But did you know that light can also affect our appetite, circadian rhythms, and alertness? Not only this, improper lighting can lead to depression and vitamin D deficiencies. In contrast, an appropriate choice of lighting can positively affect mood and energy levels.
Here are some simple changes you can make to improve the lighting in your home.
- Bedroom lighting should promote a sense of peacefulness with soft yellow lights.
- Office lighting should enable productivity with the help of bright white lights.
- The living room should aspire to be a place of tranquility with a hint of enjoyment and so should be flooded with natural lighting.
TIP: Add salt lamps to your home for beautiful ambiance and a happy glow while ionizing the air at the same time.
- Ditch the Fragrance
As much as it’s nice to see your favorite fragrance on sale, resist the temptation. Artificial air fresheners and diffusers release fumes that often cause migraines, headaches, and asthma. Even if you don’t experience any of these symptoms, these products can still be harming you. We have had people come into the office and I’ve actually smelled their air fresheners on them when they walked into the room.
Studies show that a quarter of the ingredients in artificial air fresheners are either hazardous or dangerous. Having children around gives you a bigger reason to avoid such products as kids don’t have a fully functioning metabolic system. As such, their level of activity or height might put them at a greater risk of inhaling toxins. If your children suffer from chronic sinus issues, allergies or asthma, getting the chemical fragrances out of the home is a must.
The amount of exposure and your sensitivity to such chemicals can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation. After a long day, that’s not what you should be getting as a welcome home gift. Instead, using essential oils, natural potpourri, and simmer pots can provide pleasant fragrances without the worry of burning toxins.
We have a no fragrance policy at our offices because of how detrimental to health they are.
Let’s Get Started!
Now you’ve reached the final stage of your living space detox – actually doing it! So, bring out your mops, pull out those clothes, brush away the dust, and put these tips to practice. A full home detox doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it requires you first to understand your surroundings, plan out a cleansing regime you can follow weekly or monthly, and act accordingly. So, give your home a well-deserved self-care treat and give it a detox so it can go back to protecting you from the outside world.
Tried any of these methods and seen a change? Or want to know more? I’d love to help out. Share your thoughts with me.
Be Well & Thrive!
With Love & In Health,
Sarah Outlaw, MH, MSACN
- For more information on who we are and what we do at Natural Health Improvement Center of South Jersey and Natural Health Improvement Center of Des Moines, browse the rest of our website. We offer Root Cause Nutrition, Nutritional Coaching, Nutrition Response Testing, Functional Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Flower Essence Therapy, and Homeopathy. We also offer detox services including an infrared sauna, and PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field therapy mat, and foot bath (DSM office). We are on the front lines of wellness for you!
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