The High Cost of Clutter: 5 Effects You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Whoever came up with the expression “we’re supposed to own our stuff, not let our stuff own us” no doubt spoke from first-hand experience.

The realization that you own far more than you need or use is a sobering one. It’s also the perfect time to re-evaluate what’s truly worthy of occupying space in your home.

Clutter is a nuisance, a productivity killer, and has a negative impact on your finances, health, and overall quality of life.

The high cost of clutter can be found in ways that are quite obvious and others that you may be completely overlooking.

high cost of clutter storage units

Renting a self storage unit is nothing more than a long-term drain on your finances.

How much does the cost of clutter affect you?

Any room in a house or condo that’s disorganized and cluttered has some type of detrimental impact on the occupants of that home.

And belongings that are stored remotely from your residence may not be taking up living space or slowing down your productivity at home, but they sure are a constant drain on your finances.

If you take the time to “edit” your belongings, you’ll end up saving money, getting more out of your living space, and feeling less stressed.

Here are five ways the cost of clutter may be affecting you.

1. Clutter affects your health

It’s an all-too-common occurrence where someone looks around their cluttered home, wonders how their living space got so disorganized, and gets incredibly discouraged.

Clutter is known to be a liability to your mental and physical well-being. Being surrounded by physical clutter ironically adds to your mental clutter, making you feel unsettled and not in control of your surroundings…in other words, stressed.

This can affect your sleep, your confidence level, and your mood. You’ve undoubtedly had a few run-ins with a family member at some point over their (or your) organizational shortcomings.

Like any problem, the longer you avoid dealing with decluttering, the more daunting the whole process seems. This overwhelming and hopeless feeling only exacerbates your lack of motivation to take action.

A Huffington Post poll found that 55% of Americans cite their home’s lack of organization as a major source of stress. 84% of them worry about whether their homes are clean enough. This reveals another cost of clutter – it tends to be an embarrassment and makes you less likely to have visitors over.

In extreme cases, excess clutter literally makes a home less safe. Stacked piles of junk become tipping hazards, loose floor clutter presents tripping hazards, and a home becomes a greater fire risk. The higher presence of allergens like dust, mould, mildew, and various bacteria types also contribute to a less healthy living space.

2. More clutter = less living space

It’s a natural inclination for us fill up any empty space in our homes with stuff. If you set down roots in the same spot for a long time, that can lead to a lot of stuff you don’t use much (or at all) taking up valuable square footage.

For most people, their home is their most sizable investment. And high real estate prices, particularly in major cities, makes every square foot in your home even more precious.

Consider these statistics:

  • One in seven Americans have a room in their home they cannot use because it is filled with things they rarely use. (ClearVoice Research study)
  • 20% of the 1,500 North American respondents to a Garage Living poll say they’re unable to park in their garage due to clutter.
  • Only about 20% of the things we own are actually used. (LexisNexis study)
  • Disorganization (not lack of space) causes 80% of household clutter. (Soap and Detergent Association study)

As one of the above stats points out, garages are particular clutter magnets, as are spare rooms. If it feels like your home is just too small, eliminating the junk you don’t need and making better use of your home’s underutilized storage space will open up a wealth of space that can used more effectively.

Your garage could actually start accommodating parked vehicles once again or perhaps that spare room could be turned into a craft room or home office.

cost of clutter messy garage

25% of people with 2-car garages can’t park in them at all because of clutter and a third can only park one car. (U.S. Dept. of Energy study)

3. Storage units waste your money

There are more than a few stories online of people who came to the realization that the money they’ve spent renting a self storage unit for years actually cost them more than the estimated value of the items being stored.

This is an extreme example, of course, but in most cases it’s hard to justify renting a self storage unit long-term. Exceptions could include any of the following instances:

  • you’ll be out of the country for an extended period of time and it doesn’t make financial sense to keep your current residence
  • a recent move to a smaller home has left you with more belongings than you have room for
  • you’re using a storage unit temporarily to hold the belongings of a recently deceased friend or family member

A Self Storage Association stat shows that one in 17 American households rented a storage unit in 1995. Today, that number has increased to one in 10 households.

Maclean’s magazine reports that there’s a boom occurring now in the self storage industry in North America. Americans use a whopping nine square feet of self storage space per capita, while Canadians use two square feet.

Comparatively speaking, that might not seem like much, but it’s still a lot. The price for a 10′ x 10′ storage unit (the most popular size) in the Greater Toronto Area can cost anywhere from $190-$395. If we use the amount that’s right in the middle of that gap ($292), that works out to $3,500 per year in storage fees.

Trust us, self storage facilities want you to forget about your stuff or not deal with it. Here are three more reasons to reconsider using them:

  • there are often hidden fees that drive the advertised cost of a storage unit up (for insurance, more secure locks, or an easier-to-access unit location)
  • you’re leaving the safekeeping of your belongings to strangers and a (hopefully secure) lock
  • the climate control and lighting costs for the massive amount of space storage facilities occupy has a huge environmental footprint

The remote storage business model has evolved in recent years, too. Startup companies in major cities like Toronto, New York City, and Los Angeles now offer a “valet storage” service. They’ll pick up and store your things and return them to you when needed, if you can believe it.

4. Clutter slows down your productivity

Whether it’s at work or at home, clutter unquestionably slows down your productivity.

Naturally, there’s the time that gets wasted searching for things like car keys, makeup, home office supplies, a remote, a tool, or a wallet. It’s estimated the average person will waste a full year of their lives looking for lost or misplaced items.

“Choice overload” is another time waster. An example of this would be taking more time than you should to choose an outfit because your reach-in closet is overloaded and disorganized.

Having too many things to choose from can also be caused by duplicate purchases being made because you’re unable to find something and buy it again.

Digital clutter is another problem. If you’ve ever gone for a long period of time without replying to emails or deleting messages from your email account, you know how it feels to be staring at an overwhelming amount of digital clutter that needs cleaning up.

It’s a simple fact that “standard” clutter (like stacks of boxes or storage bins, unused furniture stacked against a wall, or obsolete electronics stashed in a closet) makes it less easy to clean a home.

You have to clean around it, move it around, or ignore cleaning certain areas altogether if you don’t feel like moving things.

Here’s another sobering statistic for you – a National Soap and Detergent Association study estimates that the average home would have 40% less housework to do if its clutter was eliminated.

cost of clutter open closet

A tidy closet like this one improves the efficiency of your daily routine by cutting down on time that’s wasted searching for things.

5. Hiring pros to deal directly with clutter gets expensive

A lack of time or simply not knowing where to start cleaning up are common reasons clutter doesn’t get dealt with.

If things really spiral out of control with your clutter, hiring a cleaning service, professional organizer, junk removal service, or renting a dumpster bin may be your chosen course of action to fix things.

Most of these clutter cleanup services don’t provide lasting benefits, especially if you’re unwilling to change some bad organization habits.

Your home will need cleaning within a week or two. It’s going to refill with clutter eventually and need another visit from a junk removal company.

And consider the pointlessness of the time and expense it takes to transport your clutter if you’re moving and hire professional movers.

Instead of spending money on services that don’t deliver substantial long-term benefits, invest in better storage and organization systems that will serve your home well for years to come.

Cut the high cost of clutter in your home

Cleaning up your home’s clutter won’t be a one day project. Focus on organizing one room in your home at a time. You’ll be carried by the momentum that comes with seeing each untidy area of your home become tidy and functional once again.

Why not speed up the process of achieving your goal of a clean, orderly home? Our organization systems aren’t merely “one more thing just taking up space in your home”.

They’re highly functional and will actually improve your living space by making it a lot easier to keep your home tidy and running smoothly.

Book your free in-home consultation with one of our design consultants today to begin taking action to minimize the cost of clutter in your home.

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Murphy Wall Bed Ideas: A Classic That Never Goes out of Style

Some things just never go out of style.

Jeans, white tees, Converse sneakers, hardwood floors, and white interior walls are all examples of classics that have survived many decades of trends and are considered staples of modern living.

The Murphy wall bed might not be quite on the same level of these things as far as its ubiquity in our daily lives, but it can very much stand alongside them in terms of the timeless appeal it has.

wall bed Ideas bed in bedroom

7 Murphy wall bed ideas you should know about

William Murphy’s wall bed design has been around for well over a century.

It’s come a long way from it’s rather crude beginnings as an uncomfortable-to-sleep-on piece of furniture that was difficult to open and close and commonly found in cheap apartment units.

Nowadays, Murphy wall beds can be found in upscale condos and houses and beautifully add a stylish, modern touch to a home’s décor.

Let’s look at seven Murphy wall bed ideas that show why this classic piece of furniture remains so appealing.

1. Murphy beds are a classic brand for a reason

There’s a reason most wall beds are commonly referred to as just “Murphy beds”, even if they’re not the Murphy brand. The Murphy name is associated as much with wall beds as Kleenex is with tissues, Band-Aid is for bandages, and Google is for online searches.

All of these brand names are used as shorthand to describe even their competitor’s products because in some cases they invented the product, they perfected the product, and they became market leaders.

All wall beds are not created equal, however. DIY wall beds, such as a Lori wall bed, have only one thing going for them compared to a Murphy wall bed – their lower cost.

Aside from this, DIY wall beds fall well short of a customized authentic Murphy bed in five important areas:

  • appearance
  • ability to customize
  • quality of construction materials
  • functionality and ability to add storage space
  • ease of use when opening and closing the bed

2. Wall beds are big space savers

Even if your living space isn’t small, wall beds are great when it comes to saving space in a room. Their pulldown design means wall beds take up very little room and won’t be in the way when they’re not in use.

The bed stays folded up and out the way during the day. That frees up floor space, which allows for more space to move within the room and also makes vacuuming the room easier.

When it’s needed, simply pull the bed down and it’s all ready for a good night’s sleep.

wall bed ideas bed closed up

wall bed ideas bed pulled down

3. They’re ideal for small living spaces

Between consumers being more mindful of reducing their carbon footprint, embracing a more minimalistic lifestyle, and being less able to afford property due to sky-high real estate prices, small space living is more popular than ever.

So whether you’re a middle-aged professional who’s downsized to a much smaller home or a millennial living in a studio apartment, a Murphy bed was made just for you.

When space is really at a premium in a small home, a wall bed is virtually a must-have piece of furniture to own.

4. Wall beds are perfect for overnight guests

The small footprint a wall bed occupies within a room also makes them absolutely perfect for guest rooms. A proper guest room with a comfortable bed makes for a better overnight visiting experience for your guests.

And if you only have one spare room available, it can double as a guest room and a small office space with bespoke cabinetry.

Any other use for a spare room such as a craft room, fitness room, or kids playroom can incorporate a wall bed design that lets you also use it for a guest room. It’s all about maximizing the functionality of your home!

5. It’s more than just a pulldown bed

Another outdated stereotype that some people have about wall beds is that they’re unattractive and lack style.

Organized Interiors’ customized wall beds are anything but visually unappealing, however. In fact, we’re confident you’ll find that they nicely enhance any room’s appearance with custom finishes and design features that beautifully complement your décor.

One of our clients had a spare room that was right by her home’s front door and she didn’t want this guest room to actually look like a guest room. We were able to add a wall bed unit that keeps the bed hidden and the room open with lots of floor space.

Even though a Murphy bed takes up less floor space, it can actually add useful storage space to a room. This integrated piece of furniture can have storage add above, behind, and to the sides of the bed unit.

Choosing a wall bed that you can have customized gives you many more options for sizes, finishes, decorative hardware, and other features.

6. A Murphy bed is the easiest-to-open wall bed

Some people have the perception that wall beds are a pain to open and close and that you need to have the strength of a bodybuilder to operate one.

Ease of use when using a wall bed can definitely vary, depending on what type of wall bed you buy.

Murphy beds are hands-down the easiest wall bed to open and close. The high quality hardware and mechanisms Murphy beds use makes opening and closing them simple and quick.

Interior designer Jane Lockhart demonstrates in the video below how easy peasy it is to open and close an Organized Interiors Murphy bed:

7. Wall beds are super comfortable to sleep on

To conclude our list of wall bed ideas, let’s dig a little deeper into the incorrect perception that wall beds have lumpy mattresses and aren’t comfortable to sleep on.

That may have been true back in the 50s and 60s time period where 70s TV hit Laverne & Shirley took place. Their Murphy bed was the source of numerous hijinks and was virtually a recurring character on the show. It also led to somewhat of a Murphy bed boom with American consumers.

Not to worry, though – a high quality Murphy bed coil mattress is every bit as comfortable to sleep on as a conventional bed mattress.

Visit our showroom for inspirational wall bed ideas

If you’re intrigued by the Murphy wall bed ideas listed here, visit our showroom to experience the stylish looks and practicality of our custom wall beds for yourself.

Organized Interiors’ Murphy beds are built to last and come with a lifetime warranty on the bed’s parts.

You can also schedule a complimentary in-home design consultation with us to plan your wall bed project or guest room makeover.

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Simple Closet Ideas to Upgrade Your Storage Space Quickly

Organized Interiors is renowned for our showpiece closets but that’s not the only type of closet design we specialize in.

Not every home has the space for a large walk-in closet with features like an island and decorative add-ons such as crown moulding, baseboard, sculpted edges, and glass cabinet doors.

And naturally, a more elaborate closet project doesn’t fit into every homeowner’s budget.

A custom reach-in closet or smaller walk-in closet with a simpler design can still work wonders for your bedroom’s storage functionality, while still providing high quality and stylish looks.

Advantages of choosing simple closet ideas

Transforming a closet space of any size with a smarter layout and features to maximize storage space is a great investment and comes with undeniable benefits.

Most importantly, you’ll streamline your daily routine by having a home for everything, which makes the closet easier to keep tidy.

Your closet’s old interior may have consisted of little more than a well-worn hanging rod, sagging top shelf, and poor lighting. A closet makeover will refresh the appearance of your wardrobe storage space.

There are also some specific benefits to using more simple closet ideas when you’re having a closet’s design put together by a professional:

  • they’re obviously more affordable, allowing homeowners with more modest budgets to still have a closet designed that fits their needs
  • your order will usually be able to be turned around in less time, so you can get your closet storage needs addressed quickly

Get inspired with these simple closet ideas

We wanted to show you some simple closet ideas that we’ve incorporated into some of our completed projects. 

The photos show that a less elaborate and modestly priced reach-in or walk-in closet makeover still projects a stylish, elegant, and very tidy look.

Take a look and maybe you’ll see a concept that based on some simple closet ideas that are right for your home.

Double reach-in closet with Chocolate Pear finish

Here is a double reach-in closet in a master bedroom. For this space, we used a melamine finish called Chocolate Pear that’s one of our most popular dark finishes.

Chocolate Pear’s rich, appealing look is one reason for the finish’s popularity. Another reason is it tends to be available in all the various materials (like thermo and formica/arborite in addition to melamine) we use when making our cabinetry on-site at Organized Interiors’ manufacturing facility.

We created a space within the closet that has useful access from both doorways. As you’ll see in the next image, this closet is completely open inside and there’s no dividing wall between the door openings.

The name “reach-in”, of course, is derived from the fact that the closet’s shallow depth typically doesn’t allow you to step inside of it. With this particular closet, you could technically walk between the interior space between the closets but for all intents and purposes, it’s a reach-in.

Double reach-in closet with a Chocolate Pear finish.

Utilizing a smart closet layout design is crucial

Two separate closet spaces with identical dimensions can deliver drastically different levels of functionality and storage space, purely because of how the layout was conceived.

Our design consultants always strive to devise creative and practical designs that enable each of our clients to get the most out of their remodelled closet.

With this closet, the absence of a dividing barrier between the closets allows for flexibility with the closet’s layout.

We set up the left side of the closet with double hanging rods for short clothes. The biggest part of any closet renovation is freeing up the “real estate” by doubling up closet rods and opening up the length of the space.

The right-hand side of the closet is split. On the left is a tower of shelves for folded clothes, handbags, shoes, etc. To its right is space for hanging long clothes.

Remember that long hanging does not mean just dresses. Oversized shirts and suit jackets typically need more vertical space than other short items. And if you prefer to hang your pants long by the pant cuff, they too will need more vertical clearance than shirts and blouses.

More simple reach-in closet ideas

This closet features a very common setup for a small reach-in closet design.

Trying to shoehorn drawers into a narrow closet such as this one isn’t always practical. Instead, a narrow bank of shelves can still accommodate plenty, whether it’s folded shirts, pants, sweaters, or even smaller items like socks in baskets on shelves.

Although it’s difficult to tell from the photo, the upper shelf in this closet is recessed. The shelf tower itself is a good depth (around 16″) for storing folded adults’ clothes. The top shelf is shallower at 12″. This choice was made to provide better access to the shelf, considering it’s at the same height as the doorway.

Once again, we’re showing a combination of double and long hanging for clothes – how that is split or not is entirely up to you.

If you don’t need to hang many items in the closet (such as with a guest closet), we can simply install a single rod. Don’t have anything long to hang? We can set your entire closet space up with double hanging rods.

A standard white closet never goes out of style.

Simple closet ideas for walk-ins

Here’s an example of a straightforward walk-in closet. Clothes on the left side of the photo below combine double short hanging with long hanging on the right for a bathrobe.

A shelf tower uses the wall as the back for the shelves. The closet rods are suspended between walls and gables.

You may prefer to use some of the space on the closet’s side for a full-length mirror. Perhaps you’d favour moving the placement of the shelf and drawer tower to another location in the closet’s design. Whatever your space allows for, Organized Interiors is all about meeting your specific storage needs.

Luxury walk-in closets feature lots of decorative detail that certainly enhances the appearance of the closet space. These additions don’t always serve a functional purpose.

Every inch counts when you’re striving to boost the functionality of your closet storage. Unless you have a particular look in mind for your closet, you don’t need to add extra decorative touches and features.

 

Don’t forget the linen closet!

The linen closet tends to get overlooked as a home storage space worthy of an upgrade.

Yes, it’s a utilitarian storage area but that doesn’t mean it can’t function better and look nicer. Simple closet ideas apply perfectly to a linen closet, which doesn’t require quite the same level of design detail as a bedroom closet.

This catch-all space for towels, bed sheets, blankets, and other linens can easily become overwhelmed and untidy.

Adding custom cabinetry with adjustable shelving will make the space function more efficiently. You can space your shelves close together to store soaps and other bath essentials or open up the spacing for thick blankets and pillows.

A linen closet in a Toronto condo.

Simple closet ideas for a unique closet space

“Simple” definitely doesn’t need to mean inferior or low quality when it comes to your closets. The simple closet ideas and designs featured here are unique projects that, we think you’ll agree, look great.

Organized Interiors specializes in closet makeover projects of all sizes that can accommodate any budget.

Whether you’re searching for an affordable simple closet design that you can have installed quicker or are looking to splurge on a dream closet, we have a solution for you.

Request your free in-home design consultation to get your closet project started.

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Space Solutions Joins Organized Interiors

Make space for living. It’s our tagline. Who knew it would have special meaning for us in 2019 as we make space for a new company?

We are thrilled to announce that Space Solutions has joined Organized Interiors so we can serve you better!

Barb Larocque opened Space Solutions in 1986, with innovation and dedication for the last 33 years, and will continue to ensure every customer’s organizational and space solutions are completed, “the right way, on time, for every project.”

The Space Solutions location in the Sunnybrook Plaza at 660 Eglinton Avenue East closed on March 29 and moved to Organized Interiors’ facilities. “Our commitment to outstanding service will continue. We are thrilled that we can now offer more selection, options, and features, with furnished room displays in a 10,000 square foot showroom space at the Organized Interiors”, Barb says.

Organized Interiors showroom in Vaughan.

President of Organized Interiors, Mike Albo says, “We are both pioneers in this business and we share the same passion, business integrity, and family values” he added, “Aligning our businesses will only help to better serve our clients with competitive pricing and continued, high-quality customer service”.

The continuing need for space solutions in the downtown condo market will benefit from this new business alliance.

Visit the Organized Interiors showroom in Vaughan.

7 Home Air Quality Tips to Freshen up Your Living Space

home air quality bed

With your spring cleaning efforts currently in full swing, it’s worth taking a little time to consider your home air quality.

Most of us take it for granted that our indoor air quality is fine. Scientific research, however, has found it to be an area we should be paying a lot more attention to.

Studies by the Environmental Protection Agency and other environmental health organizations show that the quality of most indoor air is actually worse than the air outdoors.

Air pollution levels in indoor spaces are typically 2-5 times higher than pollution levels outside. So how can that be?

What causes poor home air quality?

A big contributor to poor air quality in homes and other indoor spaces is, quite simply, that not enough time is spent cleaning them, especially when it comes to vacuuming and dusting.

The products we buy and the chemicals they contain are another major reason our home air quality suffers. Unless you’re ultra-vigilant about what’s being brought into your home and used there, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy level of indoor air quality.

Indoor airborne pollutants also come from things like cooking residue, pollen, mould, and pet dander.

The fact that we inhabit tightly sealed environments that don’t get much air flow exchange with the outdoors doesn’t help matters, either.

How to improve your home air quality

Because the average person spends about 80-90% of their time indoors, it’s important to do what you can in your living space to improve its air quality.

The spring time is typically when a home is most in need of a refresh. Those long Canadian winters keep us indoors a lot more and don’t give homeowners many opportunities to open some windows. That keeps stale air, allergens, and other pollutants trapped inside.

Of course, leaving screen doors and windows open can also bring in outdoor pollutants, particularly in high traffic areas, downtown areas, and during hot weather. It’s a tricky balance, to be sure.

Here are some tips to help you improve your home air quality by reducing the number of pollutants in your living space.

1. Clean your home regularly (and properly)

Finding the time to clean your home as much as it really needs it is always a challenge. But as you would expect, regular cleaning is one of the single-most impactful ways to reduce the number of toxins indoors.

It’s generally recommended that regularly used areas of your home should be vacuumed a minimum of once per week. Higher traffic areas should get a little more attention, perhaps two or three weekly vacuumings. Carpeted areas in your home will also need more vacuum maintenance than hard floor surfaces.

Cleaning properly is another key to make your cleaning efforts more effective. Avoid using dusters, for starters. They don’t actually remove dust, they merely disperse dust from one surface to another. Wipe shelves and other surfaces with a damp soft cloth or microfibre cloth.

Thorough cleaning is also important. You can’t realistically get to every single nook and cranny in your home every time you vacuum, dust, and mop. It is important, however, to occasionally attend to those areas of your home that aren’t the main floor surfaces, such as curtains, ceiling fans, baseboards, walls, and behind large appliances.

To eliminate the headache of vacuuming underneath beds and sucking up all those elusive dust bunnies, consider getting a bed surround. They replace all of that wasted empty space underneath beds with useful drawer storage and incorporate additional storage space around the bed.

home air quality woman mopping in kitchen

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

2. Control home clutter

Let’s expand upon that “clean your home regularly” point and specifically address home clutter. You might not see a direct connection between excess clutter and poor home air quality, but it’s there.

To illustrate how clutter affects the air quality in your home, picture several stacks of boxes in the corner of a spare room that haven’t been touched in months.

Those stacks (and floor clutter in general) make it harder to vacuum the room, which gives you an excuse to not to do it.

Extra clutter also impedes the airflow in a room and gives dust more surface areas to rest on and accumulate.

Take advantage of the wealth of effective storage and organization products available to keep your home tidy with less effort.

3. Look closer at the products you buy

The most popular laundry and cleaning products boast about how fresh they’ll make your clothes smell and how immaculate and spotless they’ll leave the surfaces in your home.

The irony is that while these products may be effective at cleaning and eliminating germs and bacteria, most of them also add pollutants to your home’s air when used.

Even getting your dry cleaning done can bring pollutants into your home (from the chemicals used in the cleaning process).

Here are just a few more of the common household products that release chemicals into your home’s air:

  • beauty and grooming products
  • spray and plug-in air fresheners
  • certain types of clothing (including water-repellent apparel and some polyester and fleece fabrics)
  • many plastic products
  • building materials
  • home furnishings

It can take a big effort to make major changes to what you buy and to check on the environmental impact of every product you purchase. But controlling the source of indoor pollutants will help to improve your home air quality.

4. Get an air purifier

Adding a standalone air purifier (or two) to the areas of your home that are most frequently used is another solution for improving your home air quality.

Bedrooms, the kitchen, and the living room are ideal locations. If you don’t want to deal with moving a standalone air purifier from room to room, whole-house air cleaning systems are available which are integrated into your HVAC system.

Air purifiers remove contaminants from the air and can help improve the comfort level of those with allergy and asthma issues. Air purifiers are also recommended for homes with smokers.

Ionic and HEPA air purifiers are the two most popular types of standalone unit choices. Do your homework before buying, as features (such as whether the unit can remove odours, square footage covered, and operating volume levels) vary widely from model to model.

5. Change HVAC and kitchen air filters regularly

Dirty air filters that trap pollutants and allergens recirculate poor quality air indoors, so they need to be maintained to keep your home’s air quality healthy.

Timely air filter replacement on HVAC systems, range hoods, kitchen and bathroom air vents, and vacuums tends to get overlooked. Staying on top of this task is a cost-effective way to maintain healthy home air quality.

Energy Star recommends changing your HVAC filters monthly during the winter and summer seasons, when your furnace and air conditioner are being used most. Change them every three months at the very minimum, regardless of the time of year.

Unclogged air filters improve the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems and can reduce your utility bill.

Energy Star also recommends a yearly tune-up for your HVAC equipment to keep them operating at peak efficiency and to prolong the life of your heating and cooling units.

You should also have your air ducts inspected and cleaned periodically. Whichever air duct cleaning company you use, ask them about their maintenance process. Some professionals use sealants and chemical products that kill and inhibit bacteria and mould growth, which you may wish to avoid.

6. Get home air quality-friendly plants

Adding several air purifying plants to your living space won’t just improve your home air quality, they also enhance a room with character and colour.

House plants convert carbon dioxide into fresh oxygen and certain plants are very efficient at eliminating or reducing household toxins like benzene and formaldehyde.

Here are some of the most effective plants for reducing toxins in the home:

  • Philodendron
  • Spider plant
  • Rubber plant
  • Dracaena
  • Snake plant
  • Ficus
  • Bamboo palm

Be mindful that even plants which are known for their air purifying benefits aren’t practical for every home. If one or more house occupants have sensitive allergies, some of these plants may not agree with them.

home air quality potted aloe plant

7. Prioritize the air quality in your bedrooms

Taking steps to improve the indoor air quality throughout your home is important, but it only makes sense to prioritize the quality of air in the room your family spends most of their time in – the bedroom.

A Statistics Canada study of the sleep habits of 10,000 Canadians between the ages of 18-79 found that they averaged 7.12 hours of sleep every night.

With approximately a third of our lives spent sleeping, your bedrooms should undoubtedly be one of the cleanest, most organized rooms in your house.

In addition to managing your bedroom clutter, using an air purifier, and adding some plants to the bedroom, consider changing your mattress.

Switiching to an eco-friendly mattress that’s chemical-free will be beneficial for your bedroom’s air quality. At the very least, vacuum your existing mattress regularly to get rid of dust mites and get anti-dust mite mattress and pillow covers.

Get organized to help improve your home air quality

Our lifestyles make eliminating 100% of indoor pollutants at home virtually impossible.

However, with simple regular maintenance, making changes to the products you buy, and investing in appliances to monitor and improve your home air quality, you’ll reduce your family’s exposure to indoor air contaminants.

Consider having your home air quality tested. An expert can help you gauge what areas of your home might benefit from some measures to reduce indoor toxins.

Organized Interiors can also help you to get your home organized so it’s easier to clean on a regular basis.

Schedule a complimentary in-home design consultation with us today.

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