If there’s one thing all indoor air owners share, it’s indoor space maintenance. Creating and sticking to a consistent plan of attack will help eliminate stress and save money on cleaning chemicals.
That’s right, cleaning your home MORE OFTEN means using LESS CHEMICALS. This might seem counter intuitive, but it makes sense if you understand two things:
1. It’s easier to maintain chemical free spaces than it is to correct them
Picture yourself texting. It takes a lot of effort to get started, but once you’ve reached a certain proficiency, you can maintain it with a fraction of the exertion. You learn by doing it, by doing it wrong, by mis-spelling, by getting back in there, by doing it again. As long as you maintain the skill (and aren’t always stopping and starting again), you can go for a long time with very little energy and brain power.
The same is true for your indoor air quality. If you maintain the “balance” of all the natural and non-toxic materials and products, you can coast along without adding large quantities of expensive chemicals.
This means the maintenance itself is less stressful and time-consuming because you’re actually doing less work, and, healthier for it! You are actually in ‘balance’.
2. All of your room’s materials and products affect one another
Taking care of your indoor air doesn’t require a degree in biology or chemistry, because sensible people have created simple frameworks that work efficiently when applied to indoor spaces.
In other words, as long as you stick to a schedule and keep all of the important indoor materials and products and living spaces in check, you’ll never have to worry about the different, underlying complexities of air chemistry and building science, and how adding large quantities of one chemical to correct something can significantly impact something else.
Now that we’ve made several arguments for why you should stick to a schedule, we’ll answer the more important question: how?
NOTE: There are a lot of different resources out there, and if you’re feeling stressed, you should consider The Quality Indoor Air Care Planner, a FREE download that will give you a list of important things in the home to be checked. It also includes an easy to use Bonus – your Appliance Service Record.
1. Choose a Single Indoor Air Care Resource
Every room or space is different, and every person is different, so there is no “one-size fits all” plan or resource that can solve your every problem. But no matter if you take advice from this website, your practitioner, or a friend, an app, the most important thing is consistency.
Make sure to take your time at the beginning of each season to choose and take advice from reputable sites or practitioners you trust. Read enough until you know how each of the chemicals you’re using will affect your indoor air chemical properties.
Lastly, once you are aware of your options, pick one particular plan or method and stick to it. Mixing and matching advice from different sources does more harm than good. Hopefully you’ll choose Mitey Fresh Australia Building Biology ♥
2. Put Someone In Charge
You don’t have to do it alone. If you have any family members or staff that might be interested, caring for an indoor space together can be a great bonding experience. However, if you’re new to indoor air maintenance, then the first few services can sometimes be frustrating (like assembling wooden furniture for the first time or fixing your internet connection). Share the work to your advantage!
If you have children, it seems to work best if you start by doing most of the work yourself and gradually allowing them to take ownership of increasingly complicated tasks. Start them out dusting the furniture or sweeping the floor, then work them up to vacuuming, and handle most of the furnishings and product cleaning tasks yourself until it’s time.
If you have staff, it seems to work if you put together a schedule and gradually tweaking it so as anyone can pick up the challenging tasks. Same as I mentioned earlier, start out dusting the furniture, removing office rubbish, working up to sweeping the floor and to vacuuming. You will create a good understanding to help cleaning crews understand what to do.
3. Know Your Family’s House Keeping Habits
Learning whilst growing up, asking family and friends, from the internet might help boost your understanding of indoor home care, but to create a truly unique and effective plan, you need to know what works for you.
• Do you or your family clean daily or maybe on the weekends or just whenever?
• Are you diving in all at once or do you tend to procrastinate?
• Does your business engage your own colleagues or employ cleaners?
Whatever your habits, download Your Indoor Air Care Maintenance Schedule and Bonus Appliance Service Record, and jot down your plan to use less toxic treatments and maintenance tasks so they won’t interfere.
4. Stick to a Simple Schedule
Print off your Indoor Air Care Maintenance Schedule, laminate it and or tape it on the wall, fridge, or even somewhere near your cleaning items. If others in the household or office are available on certain days to do some of the simple maintenance tasks, jot down a name beside each task and share the work load! It should be very clear who is responsible for what on which days. There should be space next to the task list to actually check items off the list, just so that there are no complicated excuses and everyone stays accountable.
When finalizing your maintenance schedule, it is important to be realistic. If you start to deviate from the schedule very often, then it defeats the purpose of having one in the first place.
5. Create The Schedule
Next up, here’s a basic weekly list from us about what steps to take each week. Feel free to add to it or rework the frequencies. Make sure these things get done on a regular basis:
- Vacuum at least once a week or whenever it’s dirty. If you have a HEPA vacuum with power head, the longer you vacuum on the surface, the better.
- Dust x 1 per week. Wipe the dust settling on hard surfaces weekly with a microfibre cloth, and remember to throw them into the wash!
- Run your air purifier for 10–12 hours a day.
- Simply check every day. (Basic Indoor Air Biology 101) Do your simple 3-way biology checks at least every day. You’ll be ready for any impromptu changes in the indoor air quality that come your way.
The list above will cover your weekly maintenance tasks. However, here’s those monthly maintenance tasks:
- Damp dust blinds, skirting boards
- Move furniture when vacuuming – your chairs, lounge, bed and desk
- Vacuum floor, heating/cooling vents, and vents located on walls and ceiling
- Vacuum soft furnishings
And those tasks that don’t fit in a weekly or monthly schedule but are just as important!
- Wash pillows, vacuum mattresses
- Clean in corners, top of wardrobes
- Clean extractor/exhaust fans in bathroom and kitchen, clean ceiling fans
- Sort through fridge and cupboards for expired items, declutter, clean, disinfect garbage bins located inside
- Check for leaks, drips and anything water and repair (or getting it professionally checked)
- Dehumidifier at least 10 – 12 hours a day during humid climate and after a time where a lot of moisture accumulates, like in winter.
- Safety checks of electrical equipment: once every other month.
Write it Down, Plan it Out, and Get Started
By now you know what to do and you’ve picked an organized method, a calendar, post-it notes, no, not bits of paper that can be lost! Next, it’s time to skip all the articles (including this one!) and cut to the chase.
Write down and or tick off WHAT you’ll do and WHICH day you’ll do it. Assign a name and check it to make sure it works for everyone. Proof read it once over or twice, check this with the family and staff, make sure you are all happy with the schedule.
When you think “maintenance”, think “ahh, my schedule’s right over here in ABC place” and make any updates there. Tell others maintaining, supplying or servicing your home or office the system and have them follow the schedule you put in place. Make a “one-stop shop” and keep it updated.
Now Go Do It!
At this point you know:
• WHO is assigned each task
• WHAT to do on a weekly and monthly basis
• WHEN to do cleaning maintenance around your family’s living habits
• WHERE you’ve saved your maintenance schedule
• HOW you’ll remind yourself.
Towards healthier living! Carol Parr ♥
By returning indoor spaces to more natural conditions, we strengthen you and your family’s mind, body and spirit. It’s nice that it also sustains our planet’s ecology, you’d agree.
You can find my latest enterprises by clicking here: http://www.linkedin.com/in/carolparr