Cleaning and Organizing with Allergies

By Heather Legg

Spring has kind of com and gone around here, but that doesn’t mean that I get to stop my spring cleaning; it’s clear my house can use it! But I’ve also noticed some allergy issues, especially when getting in the dusty areas. It’s also interesting who it effects – me, who claims to be the most allergy free one in my family, and my older daughter, who definitely has a slew of allergies.

I remember it happening to me as a kid, and it happens to her now, when she has to clean something like her closet, or under the bed. We try to keep out house fairly dust free, but we all know that can be difficult, especially in a preteen girl’s room who is a collector at that. So I need to figure out a balance of how to not let her get out of cleaning, but not induce fits of sneezing either.

Of course, I know the best answer, PREVENT the accumulation of dust. I do notice certain times of the year are dustier than others, and right now our dog is really shedding so that contributes, too. We just got the dog groomed, so that helps, and rooms do continually get dusted. It’s more of the cluttery areas, like her closet or book shelf that causes trouble.

When we tackle those big areas, I think I need to remember to maybe give her a Benadryl beforehand instead of waiting for possible sneezing to set in. I also try to tell her that the less things are strewn around, the less dust can accumulate. She really is a neat child, but her closet….

We’re pretty good about packing things up in covered boxes, too, as I know dust can settle in open containers. She just “graduated” 5th grade and wanted a special box to keep some special projects from throughout the year. She kept eyeing the open, pretty containers of fabric or wicker, but I had to keep steering her back to the closed plastic containers, explaining how the open ones will just collect dust (think magazine holders). We finally found a pretty, plastic polka dot box with a tight fitting lid that fits everything just right. It beats everything sitting on her dresser or a pile on  her floor, now we just have to find a home for the box!

That’s the other thing that works, is to keep things in closed containers. Whether they are swim team ribbons or projects from school, it helps to keep a lid on the stuff. And watch out for older things, too, that could have collected dust, even mold, through the years. She is reading some of my books from when I was a kid, and I had a worry that they may be dusty or cause her a reaction. So far, so good, but when she played an old Monopoly game, that was another story. The game ended before it’s time with too much sneezing and itchy eyes.

Collecting is okay, but know when to toss it and replace it, too!

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