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10 benefits of a healthy home

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3. Cut clutter – cut stress

Not only does clutter and stuff gather dust and dirt it can also cause stress. Living in a home with no free surfaces and lots of knick-knacks can be physically draining. Your environment has a significant impact on how you feel and too much going on can overwhelm you. So, throw away anything you don't love or has no use. You want your home to be a haven from daily life not another irritation.

"Decluttering your home can be an overwhelming but life-changing experience," says professional declutterer and organiser Lesley Spellman.

"The concept of decluttering is simple. If you have too much stuff for the space you live in and it's getting you down, it's time to take action. The hard part is knowing where to start," Lesley adds. "You can make decisions about what to keep and what to let go of, so that you can learn to love your home again and take pleasure from things you want around you."

If you feel you need some professional help or if you don't know how to go about the task there's an organisation called the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers (APDO) who can give help and advice.

4. Sleeping sanctuary

Having a relaxing bedroom environment that's conducive to sleep is good for your health. The health benefits of sleep are well known - a good night's rest is restorative and sets you up for the day. If you don't get good, quality sleep it makes you cranky and on edge. Research also shows it makes you more accident prone and even more likely to put on weight. Try to make your bedroom a sanctuary for sleep. Don’t bring laptops and other screens into your bedroom as they will keep you awake. Even when you do want to sleep it may be harder to drop off. Some research suggests screen glare may disrupt the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, causing sleeplessness.

Make sure your bed is comfortable with a decent mattress that's not going to give you a bad back. Also wash your sheets, pillow cases and duvet covers regularly at a hot temperature to kill bugs and dust mites.

5. Organise foods

A healthy home needs easy to access healthy foods so give your kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer a clear out. Buy healthy staples from the supermarket like wholemeal pasta and brown rice, tins of chopped tomatoes, chick peas, butter beans, tuna and sardines. Buy frozen vegetables, chicken and fish portions for the freezer, and keep fruit on the side and vegetables in the fridge or vegetable box for an anytime snack. If you don't have highly processed, high calorie foods in the home you're less likely to eat them. Do away with fizzy sugary drinks of all kinds as they have no nutritional value and are full of calories.

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