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Isn’t it true that when your home is cluttered, messy and grubby you feel the burden of overwhelm? You can’t seem find anything you are looking for, you may feel embarrassed about the state of your home, you don’t want people coming over and you feel helpless and don’t know where to begin. Cleaning your home is good for your mental health because it’s directly linked to your health and well-being.

In this article we’re going to share some cleaning and organising hacks that will promote a bright, clean, organised and happy home environment. A home environment that supports peace, happiness and living life as it should be lived.

Bliss Home Care | Why Cleaning Your Home is Good for Mental Health

Why a Messy Room Is Bad For Your Mental Health

When you see a photo or image of an organised home, bookshelf or room do you feel an unexplained sense of satisfaction? Let’s face it we’re all busy so we sometimes overlook the fact that keeping your home clean and tidy is actually good for you. Leading research has correlated clutter with stress and anxiety, so it’s really true, cleaning your home is good for your mental health!

Join us as we take you through each room of your home…

The Living Room

This is one area of the home that you probably invite your guests into so make it as welcoming as possible. You’ll want to hang out there more often too if the space is inviting and uncluttered.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is often the heart of the home and a place where families come together to share a meal and some family time. Make the area as clean and stress free as possible and get everyone, including your kids involved in sharing the joy of cooking (and cleaning up afterwards).

The Bedroom

There’s no better feeling than having a great night’s sleep. Here’s a few things you can do to make your bedroom the blissful and peaceful room it deserves to be:

The Bathroom

There’s no greater satisfaction than a clean bathroom, particularly when it’s sparkling clean. You won’t want to leave!

The Study

When you’re in work or study mode the last thing you want is distractions. If your desk or study area is messy then chances are you will be unable to focus and have the clarity to get through your tasks. Give your study and desk a tidy up and you’ll be more productive!

Getting Started

If it’s overwhelming start with one room and work your way through your home. Once you get started you’ll build momentum and realise the connection between cleaning your home and good mental health. There have been studies which show that decluttering and housekeeping reduces cortisol stress levels and also extend to your physical well-being. If you’re after a more comprehensive guide to decluttering, then be sure to read our article, Tips for Organising Your Home.

At Bliss Home Care we promote cleaning with eco-friendly and natural products so that you, your family, pets and the environment avoid harmful and toxic chemicals in your home. Throughout our article we have referenced natural cleaning solutions so if you want more information take a look at 10 Natural Home Cleaning Hacks.

Once you’re done, put your feet up and enjoy your clean and stress-free home!

Bliss Home Care | Benefits of indoor plantsThe change in urban environments and our work commitments means that many people now live in smaller spaces and don’t get out in the fresh air as often. So why not bring the benefits of the outdoors into your inner sanctuary by using beautiful, green and lush indoor plants?

While this may seem like a new trend, the benefits of incorporating plants into the indoors have been around for hundreds of years. Not only are indoor plants easy to look after and maintain, they are powerfully packed with lots of health benefits too. Here we explore the benefits of indoor plants for your health and mind, and which plants are best to use.

5 Benefits of Indoor Plants

  1. Breathe Easier

Indoor plants drastically reduce indoor air pollution and purify the air inside your home. Our homes can harbour unhealthy invisible toxins such as benzene formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene. These toxins are emitted through furniture, carpets, appliances and household products. Studies have found that incorporating plants into our indoor space can eliminate and neutralise the air within our homes and purify it so we can breathe easier.

  1. Boost Your Happiness & Alleviate Stress

Recent studies have shown that green indoor plants with broad leaves help boost your mood and alleviate stress levels. They stimulate the mind and enhance productivity so are a great addition to a teenager’s room who is studying for exams, your study nook or your home office. Green luscious leaves and plants also add colour and life into the indoor space you inhabit. Plants are also known to increase positivity and mental well being.

  1. Have a Restful Sleep

With the busy lives we lead these days having a restful and blissful eight hours sleep each night can be challenging. There are some plants whose fragrance can stimulate relaxation and promote a better night’s sleep, in particular lavender or jasmine. The fragrance from these plants are beneficial when placed in the bedroom and can help you relax and unwind prior to drifting off to sleep.

  1. Natural Humidifiers

Ten percent of the moisture in the air we breathe is released by plants. This is particularly helpful when the air quality in our homes is rather dry especially when the heating is running during the winter months. So if you have family members who suffer from eczema and asthma they will benefit from the humidifying effects of natural living plants in the home.

  1. Natural Healers

You might already know about the health benefits of the aloe vera plant and its gel for the skin, but the plant itself is also great for purifying air. It has many healing benefits with the gel acting an effective healer for cuts, abrasions, skin conditions and for soothing burns.

Top 5 Indoor Plants

There are numerous indoor plants to choose from which will provide you with the greatest health benefits, but how do you choose one that will look great and will thrive indoors. Here we have compiled our top 5 plants to use indoors…

  1. Rubber Plant

The rubber plant (Ficus Elastic) is a great ornamental plant with glossy oval shaped leaves.

  1. Areca Palm

Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens) is also known as golden cane or butterfly palm. It has a beautiful, luscious whisply leaf and is a very popular addition to any indoor space.

  1. Lavender

Lavender (Lavendula) is easy to grow and maintain in pots and ideal particularly for bathrooms or bedrooms for its calming fragrance and affects.

  1. Peace Lily

The Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum Sensation) has dark glossy green leaves that presents as lush foliage. A great indoor plant that grows beautiful white flowers.

  1. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera (Aloe Barberae) is often celebrated for its medicinal, soothing and air cleansing properties.

All of the plants listed above work well to eliminate air pollutants and toxins by taking in the toxins and converting them to oxygen.

Looking after indoor plants is relatively easy and will be enjoyable. Be mindful that plants will grow so ensure you choose a plant and pot that it lives in to suit your space and environment. To get the most from your indoor plants keep them well hydrated with regular watering. Most indoor plants will thrive in medium light so try and avoid dimly lit areas and direct sunlight. If you find leaves are wilting take your plant outside for some fresh air and a good water when the sun is shining.

Have some fun in your home by experimenting with decorative pot plant holders, hanging baskets and filling your rooms with green energy and life. To get the full benefit from indoor plants place them within two square meters of where you normally sit or sleep. Your health will thank you for it!

Make sure it's Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) certified - Why?

Until recently and even at present time, most cleaning companies cleaned for appearance which is what their clients were looking for.  However, more and more home owners are concerned with the chemicals that are used in their homes and are looking for better alternatives.  Green cleaning is not only cost effective, but it is better for a home’s indoor air quality and making it better environment for families.

But with so many products on the market these days, how do you know which ones are truly "Green"? Here are some suggestions on what to look for when choosing green cleaning products:

  1. Is the product certified? Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) is Australia's only independent, not-for-profit, multi-sector Eco-labeling program and is the only Australian member with GENICES recognition from the Global Eco-labeling Network (GEN).
  2. Is the product non-toxic? Look for products that are non-toxic to humans and aquatic life.
  3. Is the product biodegradable? Biodegradable means that it can be broken down by microbial action. The longer it takes to break down, the more harmful it is to the environment. Check the label to see if it says it's biodegradable.
  4. Is the product concentrated or ready-to-use? Ready-to-use cleaners are composed of 90% water, which means extra energy and packaging went into making this product. And extra packaging means extra solid waste ending up in our landfills. Concentrated product however, uses very little water and less packaging, which is much more environmentally friendly. It also cuts down on weight, which means less cost associated with the fuel needed to transport product to its final destination.
  5. Does the product work in cold water? Using cold water saves energy, whereas the need for using hot water with the chemical uses more energy.
  6. Does the product contain chlorine bleach? The waste water after using a product containing chlorine bleach can react with other chemicals, which can be toxic.
  7. Is the product derived from petroleum? Petroleum-based solvents are made from non-renewable resources, they are flammable, and can be toxic when inhaled. It's better to use solvents derived from pine oil or citrus because they're considered renewable resources.
  8. Is the product an aerosol? Aerosol bottles can be dangerous if punctured, as they may produce an uncontrolled spray, which can put you at risk of exposure.
  9. Is the product neutral in pH? Neutral pH products are safer for the environment and end user. Acidic or alkaline products can burn if accidentally spilled on your skin. A pH of 7.0 is considered neutral.
  10. EDTA and NTA. Avoid purchasing products that contain these ingredients.  Instead look for alternatives such as sodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate or sodium silicate.
  11. VOC Concentration. Look for products that have a VOC concentration of no more than 10% of weight of the product when diluted for use as directed.
  12. Is the packaging made from recycled products? Many containers and cardboard boxes are made from "post consumer" materials.

Once you've decided to make the switch to green cleaning products, use this as your guide for making the right choices.

Microfiber: More Than Just a Cleaning Cloth

Microfiber is no longer a "buzz word" that is taking the cleaning world by storm.  Most cleaning companies should be using them on a daily basis as a basic cleaning tool.

How to choose the right microfiber cloth for your all cleaning needs.  There are different grades of Microfiber for different types of tasks and most manufactures will carry at least 3 different types of  Microfiber cloths.  The most common types are:

  1. Heavy Duty Microfiber Cloth - which is mainly used for heavy duty cleaning to remove deep soil and oils.
  2. Medium Grade Microfiber Cloth - used for dusting and medium duty tasks such as wiping bench tops and sinks.
  3. Microfiber cloths that have a suede like texture are used for glass, mirrors and for polished surfaces.  These cloths are usually much thinner than heavy or medium grade cloths, are more tightly woven and may come in blue colour.

When purchasing for your Microfiber cloths, visit your local cleaning suppliers, as they more likely to supply high quality Microfiber cloths.  You can usually tell a good quality Microfiber cloth by doing couple of tests.  First, run the cloth across your hand.  Does it seem to catch?  This is caused by the dense fibers and indicates quality Microfiber.  Next, put a small amount of hand lotion on mirror and then wipe your mirror cloth to see how many passes it takes to remove the lotion.  A good quality Microfiber cloth will remove the lotion in only one or two passes.

Microfiber cloths come in variety of colours and the reason for that to prevent cross contamination.  You certainly would not want to use to clean a toilet and then use the same cloth to clean your kitchen bench tops.

Bliss Home Care Microfiber Cloth Earth Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

How to Care for Microfiber Cloths

when washing microfiber cloths, it is best to wash and dry them separately from other laundry items such as cotton cloths, towels or clothing.  If you don't wash them separately, they will pull the lint off these items and become so loaded it may make them useless.  Avoid using bleach and fabric softener.  Bleach will damage the fibers and fabric softener will reduce the static charge, which is an important part of what makes Microfiber cloth works so well.

when cleaning Microfiber, use about half the amount of laundry detergent you would normally use for a load of laundry.  Microfibers release soil very easily when washed, so more is not better in this case.  It is recommended that your water temperature not to exceed 95 Celsius.  Microfibers can air dry (Microfiber cloths dry very quickly) or you can use a machine to dry them as long as you use a low heat setting and do not add a fabric softener sheet.

The Importance of Green Cleaning

Green cleaning is much more than using few chemicals labeled as GREEN.  Green cleaning is defined as a system of cleaning promotes healthy surroundings for children, families, visitors and pets that we love.  It is equally important and detrimental to environment that we live and share.

We are becoming more concerned and aware about the health of the environment.  Awareness is also growing about importance of air quality.

Did you know that the air in our home can be more toxic than the air outside....

The air inside your home can be two to five times more polluted than the air outside.  If you are not regularly airing your home (allowing fresh air to enter) will have stale, stagnant and filled with chemical pollutants. Poor air quality in your home can lead to health problems such as allergies, respiratory problems, eye irritation and tiredness.

We are also constantly adding to the air pollution in our home with products we use such as hair spray, deodorants, perfumes, cleaning products, pesticides etc. and we are constantly breathing this polluted air in our homes.  The air in the home is not moving around and refreshed by winds and renewed by plants.   Pollutants and soil is brought in all the time with our shoes.  Cleaning is an important part of removing dirt and pollutants from your home and allowing fresh air to flow in pushing stale air out will create healthy breathing for you and your family.

It has been, and still is a traditional practice, in many countries to air out the blankets and rugs on a daily cleaning ritual.  This would remove dirt and toxic spores and the sun light would kill and re-freshen bed coverings and rugs.  These days houses are sealed, covered to avoid nastier from coming in but what we are doing is trapping pollution from the outside and concentrating the fumes from hundreds of products we use inside in our homes (air fresheners, deodorants, insecticides, cleaning products) which can lead to toxic indoor atmospheres.

How a home is cleaned can be a major factor in the quality of indoor air.  It is important to eliminate individual sources of pollution or reduce their emissions.  A simple practice is to OPEN THE WINDOWS on a regular basis to let fresh air in and help move the stale stagnated air to move around.  Good practice to air your home on a regular basis, especial your bedroom after you have woken up let some fresh air in.   When cleaning your home open the doors and windows.

Another is to use non-toxic and eco-friendly cleaning products in your home.

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