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Allergy-proofing your home

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Spring is finally here. Unfortunately this wonderful season also brings with it nasty allergies for most of us.

Thankfully there are a few things we can do in our homes to keep as many allergy side-effects at bay as possible. Having a safe haven to retreat to can make all the difference this time of year.

The first thing we can do is no easy change, but can be kept in mind when building or renovating your home. Traditional wall-to-wall carpeting is notoriously difficult to keep clean. Wherever possible, go with hard flooring such as hardwood, laminate or tile instead.

Rugs are a great option to keep in a space for added warmth, texture and pattern because they can be removed and cleaned easily. If carpeting is a must, opt for a low-pile carpeting, which is less likely to attract dust, mites, and other allergens.

An easy change we can all make is to eliminate clutter as much as possible. Piles of magazines, newspapers and other knickknacks collect dust quickly. Utilizing baskets and boxes will go a long way to help minimize allergens.

There are tons of stylish options out there for storage, even at places like Target or Ikea. Customize simple or plain boxes by covering the top with wallpaper, wrapping paper, or even stamp it. There is no need to sacrifice style when eliminating clutter.

A great change to make in bedrooms is to zip on dust mite covers to protect each sleeping area. We spend so much time in bed — if you can get a good night’s sleep, you’ll be off to a great start.

In the bathroom it is great to make sure you have good ventilation to prevent mould growth and to keep the shower curtain and bathroom door open when not in use. Also replace broken tiles and re-caulk sinks and tubs every few years to discourage mould growth behind walls.

Another great way to eliminate allergens is to choose easy-to-clean furniture. Avoiding too much upholstery will be immensely helpful. Choosing washable pillow covers, blankets, and other textiles is preferable whenever possible.

Blinds or shades trap fewer allergens than fabric window treatments, but if curtains are a must, opt for something machine-washable, which are easier to keep dust-free. Replacing horizontal blinds in your home with washable roller shades will also make a big difference.

There are numerous things we can do in our homes to help minimize triggers for allergies and also asthma. Hopefully these few tips will help make your home a bit more comfortable for this lovely spring season.

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 24, 2014

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Spring is finally here. Unfortunately this wonderful season also brings with it nasty allergies for most of us.

Thankfully there are a few things we can do in our homes to keep as many allergy side-effects at bay as possible. Having a safe haven to retreat to can make all the difference this time of year.

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Spring is finally here. Unfortunately this wonderful season also brings with it nasty allergies for most of us.

Thankfully there are a few things we can do in our homes to keep as many allergy side-effects at bay as possible. Having a safe haven to retreat to can make all the difference this time of year.

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