A pesky cough that won’t go away. A runny nose that leaves you sniffling all day long. A sneeze that seems powerful enough to blow a house down. Before you know it, your coworkers are giving you side-eye, passive-aggressively handing you tissues — or, even worse, avoiding you like the plague!
“It’s just allergies!” you insist.
Just allergies? JUST allergies?!? There’s no need to downplay your pain here. We know how incredibly frustrating allergies can be. Even though your condition isn’t contagious, that’s no reason to sit back and put up with it. If taking medication isn’t enough to keep your symptoms at bay, we’ve got just the remedy that can assist in making you feel better: allergy-proof your apartment.
Make these simple changes and you’ll be one step closer to your regular, healthy self in no time.
1. Upgrade your vacuum cleaner. If you’ve been using the same vacuum cleaner since the dawn of time, consider shopping for a newer, more powerful model. Look for something with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filter, and make sure it’s easy to empty so that you can limit your exposure to all of that trapped dust.
2. Read labels on cleaning products. Could cleaning your apartment be doing more harm than good? Next time you’re shopping for cleaning supplies, avoid products that are made with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Better yet, make your own green cleaning solutions.
3. Stay away from the feather duster. They might make your cleaning routine feel a little more whimsical, but feather dusters are better at spreading dirt around than actually cleaning it up. In the future, use a plain old damp cloth for the best results.
4. Treat yourself to new bed linens. Your bed should be your sanctuary, so purchase linens that are designed to prevent allergy attacks. Hypoallergenic sheets, comforters and pillows in a variety of styles and price ranges are available from just about any major retailer.
5. Don’t let Fido sleep with you. Wash your sheets in hot water at least once a week, and clean your pillows and mattress using vacuum attachments. If you’ve got a pet, make sure it has its own bed to sleep in. Amazon offers a range of sleeping solutions for dogs and cats alike.
6. Invest in an air purifier. If the device has a HEPA filter, great reviews and a reasonable price point, it might be worth purchasing. For something a bit more high-tech, check out Awair. It’s a smart device that tracks air quality factors and provides recommendations on how to prevent allergy flare-ups.
7. Choose rugs wisely. Opt for low-pile instead of high-pile, as fluffier rugs tend to accumulate dust and other irritants. No matter what kind of rug you end up purchasing, make sure to vacuum on a regular basis — at least once a week.
8. Use the AC. Opening windows is just asking for trouble, even if you live in a place like San Diego, California where the weather is beautiful almost year-round. And ceiling fans can stir up dust. Air conditioning might not be the cheapest or greenest option, but at least you won’t have to call in sick to work because of a code-red allergy fit. Check with your apartment manager regarding the schedule for AC unit maintenance and filter cleaning is performed.
9. Crack down on clutter. Trinkets can collect dust, and we all know what that means. Display your most prized knick-knacks on the wall in a glass case or shadow box, and stow the rest away in clear plastic bins. Minimalism is all the rage now, anyways!
Ahhhh -- the sweet satisfaction of relief. While spring is in the air for sure, don’t let allergens spring into your apartment life.