Family & Wellness Links


Make your home healthy

Small improvements can lead to a more pleasant family environment.

By Excel Dyquiangco

MAY 2013

Cleaning your house twice or thrice a week may not be enough in order to create a truly healthful environment for you and your family. But, a few minor home improvements and adjustments might do the trick.

“The home is an indirect reflection of your personality,” says Rosemarie Serrano, M.D., a fellow at the Philippine Pediatric Society. “If you make improvements in your home, you are improving yourself and the members of the whole family as well. You become harmonious if the home is pleasant to live in. However, if your home is disorganized, your mind [also becomes disorganized].”

A leading brand of U.S. household items commissioned and released in February 2011 the results of a survey that showed 91 percent of Americans feeling anxious, stressed and overwhelmed by all the clutter at home. Nearly half of the respondents said they wouldn’t ever invite their friends over to their houses.

“In fact, when you become stressed, the whole family members become stressed too,” confirms Dr. Serrano. “When you become stressed, you get headaches, cardiac problems, heart attacks, even diabetes. If your home is cluttered, these accumulate dirt and breed diseases which can give rise to respiratory sicknesses such as cough and colds, allergy or asthma.”

So what home improvements should you do to make your home healthful for you and your family? Here are some tips and advice to de-clutter, one room at a time.

Living room redux

• Use available lighting by allowing sunlight to come in your house. Open your windows instead of opening your indoor lights. You don’t only get energy from the sun but you’ll also get to reduce your electric bills.

• Curtains and adjustable blinds can help vary the amount of light in your sala.

• Ornamental potted plants in strategic locations around your living room can give vitality to the area.

• Buy furniture that doesn’t accumulate dirt. Upholstery that looks like carpetry or leather can be uncomfortable during warmer weather. If you’re stuck with the upholstery you have, slipcovers can be a good solution, as they are easy to strip and clean.

• Be a minimalist. Avoid using excess furniture such as dividers, more tables and chairs and even extra book shelves. If possible, choose furnishings with clean and simple lines, which also offer the added bonus of being easier to clean.

• Reduce the number of picture frames in the living room, which only serve to collect dust. Keep the ones which only have sentimental value or are important to you.

• Avoid or minimize the use of carpets, which accumulate dust. Bare wood or tile floors are easier to clean.

Bathroom beautification

• Maximize space in your bathroom by hanging your towels, clothes or laundry bag at the back of the door.

• Repurpose items of furniture. An old side table can be used as an alternative place to keep towels.

• Keep only the essentials, or install racks and shelving solutions.

• If you’re concerned about the potentially toxic chemicals in commercial cleaning products, use natural ones made from organic materials.

• Conserve water by using faucets that automatically close.

Bedroom balance

• The bedroom should be cozy and quiet, so minimize or eliminate distractions like TVs or computers.

• Wall colors should be in neutrals to enhance relaxation.

• Make use of empty spaces under the bed or above the closet as storage spaces to keep clutter at bay.

• Avoid crowding the bedroom with too much furniture. If you keep bumping into too many things on your way to the bathroom at night, it’s time to reassess the room layout.

• When purchasing a bed, buy one with a pull-out drawer for added storage.

The kitchen and dining room are other areas that could use some healthy sprucing. Find out how in the May issue of

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