Winter—especially if you live in colder climes—is primetime for getting cozy and cranking up the Hygge factor in your home. But there are four quintessentially winter hazards that threaten to undermine even the most dedicated efforts to feather your nest for winter.
- Poor Air Quality. Closed windows. Home heating. Cooped-up pets. Burning wood fires and candles. Gas cooking. Dust-harboring blankets, pillows, and other heavy linens. All of these combine to dry out and diminish indoor air quality. Solutions for minimizing risks to air-quality include: keeping your home consistently cleaned and dusted, adding a few air-cleaning plants, and—for replenishing moisture AND adding pleasant scents—try a fragrant simmer pot on the stove.
- Cold, flu, and other contagious illnesses. While it’s nearly impossible to avoid contact with germs in winter, you can still arm yourself with facts about what works (and doesn’t) for safely and consistently disinfecting your home during cold and flu season.
- Salt, grit, wet, and mud tracked in on boots and shoes. Hardwood and stone floors are especially susceptible to long-term damage as grit left sitting will cause etching that eventually makes it impossible for these surfaces to shine, even when perfectly clean. Your first line of defense is to stop boots and shoes at the door, offering a protective space (such as a lipped rubber mat) for storing footwear and keeping extra slippers on hand for visitors’ comfort. Should that line of defense fail, be sure to clean susceptible floors promptly and often throughout both winter and spring mud seasons.
- Untidiness. The simple factor that can result when too many humans (and possibly pets) are cooped up inside for too long. While big cleaning tasks can wait for spring, there are a few areas of the home that lend themselves well to tidying in winter, and can be easily accomplished while relaxing to music, taking in an old movie, or binging a favorite show. These include: purging old digital files and photos, tidying your email inbox, and sorting and discarding old bills, statements, filed papers, and other media such as movies, music, magazines, and books. While you’re at it, consider sorting and donating to those in need any gently worn winter coats, boots, gloves/mittens, and other protective gear your family no longer wears.
Happy nesting for winter!