Detox Your Living Room With These 5 Simple Changes
Unlike the software update that for some reason makes your phone really slow, updating your living room is a simple and sustainable way to optimise your day to day existence. But we’re not just talking about adding a new rug or buying fresh flowers for your coffee table, we’re talking about nuts-and-bolts detoxification that will have real benefits for your own health – body, mind and spirit (because who doesn’t love a holistic approach).
In photos, the presence of an indoor plant (or three) creates the aesthetic of a life well lived. Imagine, then, what an actual indoor plant could do for your actual wellness. Indoor plants clean the air by absorbing toxins, increasing humidity and producing oxygen. That’s science. So if you’ve never experienced the magic of indoor plants, there’s no time like the present.
Head to the nursery and stock up en mass, or set alerts on Craigslist to gradually build up your collection. In the interest of detoxification specifically, find out which purifying plants will suit your home in terms of space, sunlight and geography. If you haven’t got the best track record keeping even a succulent alive for more than a few weeks, get yourself a soil moisture meter (they cost around $10 at hardware stores) to remove the guesswork with how often you should be watering.
Dusting makes a difference, so do it once a week. Even if you think you can’t see dust, it’s there, and not to be alarmist but it may contain toxic chemicals from your seemingly innocent household items made from certain plastics. Work from the top down (as in ceiling fan before skirting board). Vacuum once a week and spray surfaces on the regular, using a natural spray (store-bought or homemade). Wash your couch cushion covers and blankets because it’s probably been a while.
Not a fan of cleaning the house? Think of it as a form of Me Time but instead of pampering yourself you’re pampering the space you live in. It’s pampering by proxy. Still dreading it? Put on a good podcast or TV series while you clean and before you get to episode two the room will be sparkling and you can enjoy some quality downtime in a non-toxic environment.
If the kitchen is for cooking and the bedroom is for sleeping, then what is your living room if not for Quality Time™ spent with friends, family, pets, or the most important person in your life (you)? These days, a room with four people in it could contain eight or nine screens (a phone per person, maybe a laptop, a tablet, a TV, a desktop computer...) so try establishing a rule for your living room that no more than one screen may be on at any time.
If you’re watching TV, put your phone in another room so you can follow along properly. Have work on your laptop to finish? Do it now and then retire that device to another part of the house so you can give Normal People your full attention. And if you’re catching up a loved one, remove screens from the equation so you can give each other your full attention without the white noise.
For most, the idea of going screen-free for any sustained period of time is (unfortunately) laughable, but designating one room in your house for mindful screen use will make screen time all that more special. (And remember, when it comes to your bedroom the goal is zero screens always. Replace your phone alarm with something more old-school – your sleep cycle will thank you for it.)
Even if you’re someone who claims to be fine living life under the harsh rays of the white-tone overheads that came with your rental, you should absolutely switch to something a bit softer and more forgiving – if only for the sake of unsuspecting visitors. And since the living room is usually the place you’re in before you relocate to the bedroom, you want to have the option of low lighting in warm tones in order to produce the sleep hormone melatonin. The new rule is: omit all overhead lighting from use in your living room. Instead, use a series of lamps with warm-tone bulbs, and keep a candle nearby to light for extra mellow vibes.
Instead of toxic roach bait and fumy Mr. Sheen, opt for an organic pest control service and static brush dusters. If you’re partial to home crafting, diversify your skillset and experiment with homemade cleaning solutions made with vinegar, lemon juice, or certain essential oils. You’ll find that when you clean regularly, they’re just as good at getting rid of mildew and mould as those chemical-packed products from the supermarket – and they smell much better.