Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, New Me??

Been reading a lot of blogs lately about people becoming a new person in the new year. I am not sure I will do that because it is already hard enough to change someone else, let alone yourself.
Anyways, there are ways I can change the way I live though---first starting with mainly the bedroom!

Emily Anderson, eco-style expert and author of Eco-Chic Home, has developed a 10-step plan to improve your bedroom health:

1. Leave your shoes at the door. I actually don't do this unless my shoes are wet, but I don't have a very large entry way. Therefore, I tend to take my shoes OFF at the doorway and carry them to my closet where I hang them on a shoe rack over the door.

Going shoeless does more than keep your house clean. “The rubber on the soles of your shoes picks up chemicals and toxins from the pavement,” says Anderson. “You don’t want to bring those things into your bedroom.”

2. Manage your mattress. I have rotated my mattress but since I have a pillow top, I cannot flip it.

Rotate your mattress every six months. “Rotating gets rid of dust mites and toxins and will prolong the life of the mattress,” says Anderson. Flip the mattress both horizontally and vertically. Forget what side you’re on? Anderson recommends pinning a note to the foot of the bed.

3. Chill out. Ha, I used to grow up saying this all the time. Actually, in reality, we do sleep with the temp about 68*-70* each night even in the winter but I still get very hot. Doesn't help I am sleeping next to a big dude each night either.

“Sleeping in a cooler temperature is not just the green thing to do — you actually sleep better when the thermostat is down,” says Anderson. Aim for 68 degrees in the winter. Toes still cold? Toss on an extra blanket.

4. Cover with curtains. Oh, trust me, we have a dark sheet (we couldn't afford curtains at the time of move in) and we have black out curtains over that. Our bedroom is a like a cave, it is so dark.

Window coverings are key. “You lose a tremendous amount of warm and cool air through windows,” notes Anderson. But it’s not the cracks that are the culprit. “Most windowpanes are not engineered to be energy-saving,” says Anderson. He recommends choosing curtains over blinds because they can be easily removed and washed. “And they actually cover more of the window.”

5. Don’t ignore the closet. It is hard to do when I see that each time I walk into our master bathroom. I do need to clean out and minimalize it. Hubby has A LOT more shirts than I do and I don't think I have seen him wear but maybe HALF of them.

When was the last time you took inventory of your wardrobe? Exactly. Anderson suggests digging into your closet and pulling out what you no longer need. “Getting rid of excess is one of the best ways to save money,” she says. “You become more conscious of the things you own.”

6. Add a splash of vinegar. I heard this works but I am very scared it will make my laundry smell of vinegar. That is not THE BEST smelling thing in the world.

“Vinegar is a great natural antibacterial agent,” says Anderson. “When washing sheets, add a cup with your regular detergent.”

7. Dry naturally. It also takes longer to dry too and I am a very impatient person but maybe I SHOULD try this just once! I noticed though when our heater on our dryer stopped working, we hung items out to dry and the detergent smell lasted a lot longer than if I was dry them in the dryer. I LOVE that scent! Clean clothes!!!!

“Once or twice a season, dry your sheets in the sunshine,” says Anderson. “Not putting sheets in the dryer all the time means they’ll last longer — plus, the sun is a natural whitener.”

8. Protect your pillow. I'm sorry, but YUCK if you do NOT cover your pillow with a pillow case. I am not sure how many pillows I have ACTUALLY seen in real life that were that nasty yellow because they have not been protected. You will NOT catch me sleeping on those!

Pillows are susceptible to stains from makeup and natural face oils. Anderson recommends always covering your pillow with a washable case. “A pillowcase will protect your pillow and allow you to keep it longer,” she says.

9. Choose lavender. Well, it will also make you or the moths sleepy too as that is a great sleep agent!

Trade stinky mothballs for the soothing scent of lavender. The fragrant herb is a natural moth and mite repellent. “Homemade sachets are easy to make,” says Anderson. “Buy dried lavender in bulk and sew a little pillow. They also make great gifts.”

10. Illuminate naturally. That is hard to do in my bedroom because if we put the bed on the wall facing the ONLY window in our room, we would be blocking our bathroom door. Therefore, we have it where one side of the bed is facing a window. But then again, with our black out curtains, we don't get much light in the room!

Anderson recommends setting up your bedroom to optimize the lighting. “Arrange your bed so it’s facing at least one window. Natural light wakes you up and makes it easier for you to get out of bed in the morning.”

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