Whether you’re trying to make your office a healthier place to spend your day or your home safer for your family, the best way to start is with a thorough cleaning.
Clean working and living spaces typically are healthier and safer than those full of dust, dirt, clutter and neglect. But not every cleaning product or tool is healthy or natural to use in your quest for clean.
Here are four tips that will leave your office, cubicle or house fresher, more naturally clean and healthier:
- Make your own cleaners using ingredients from your kitchen. Before store shelves were filled with chemical-strength cleaners, everybody cleaned the windows with a mix of white vinegar and water. Try it for cleaning your computer screen and office windows, too. Other easy-to-make, nontoxic cleaning potions: For truly tough stains, mix up a paste of baking soda and water with a pinch of coarse salt. Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice into a cupful of cooking oil and use the mix to polish furniture.
- Clean the unseen. Look up and look underneath, and you’ll find plenty of dirt, dust and grime. Busy people often skip hard-to-reach areas, so filth builds up on top of file cabinets and under heavy desks. Take your dust mop to ceilings, ceiling fan blades, cabinet tops, molding, under desks and furniture, and around wires and cables.
- Remove the carpet or vacuum it more often. Some people react with greater sensitivity than others to the pollutants and dander that gets stuck in the pile of carpet. It’s pretty hard to get every speck of dirt out of a carpet, but you can try. Vacuum every other day if you can, and invest in a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter that won’t blow the allergens and pollutants it sucks up back into the air. And call a carpet-cleaning pro once a year for a deep-cleaning extraction of particles that might be lingering in the pile. If you’re ready to replace your carpet, consider laying an easy-to-clean hardwood or tile floor instead.
- Get rid of clutter. Create a place for everything, from papers to books to computer cables. Store items in the drawers/file cabinets below your desk and hide computer cables and cords. Removing physical clutter from your path and your sight will cut down on distractions and discomfort and help you work more productively.