Monday, August 20, 2012

14 Days to a Sneeze Free Home -- Day 12

The English translation of this painting's name: Wanderer Above the Fog.  It would have made a good photo to go with my last post about dealing with brain fog.  :)

At this time of year, you may be going off to college or sending off a son or daughter.  Or, you might be a young single or couple moving into a first apartment.  As fun as these beginning are, it's important to put in a little effort to keep a dorm room or first apartment sneeze free.

Dorm rooms and first apartments often are in older buildings.  They are full of young and active people who are in and out all day and who can track in pollens.  They are occupied by people in a time of life when cleaning is, understandably, lower on the priority scale than a number of other things.  They have a high turnover of occupancy and are often being painted, sprayed, or remodeled.  These are the very things that make our first homes away from home so charming.  Yet, the effect of these things can make those with allergies suffer.

Two allergens that love dorms and small apartments are molds and dust.   Here are some ways to keep these allergens down:

1) Do your laundry frequently.
2)  Sweep and dust out closets before unpacking for the first time and then several times during the year.
3)  Use a well-ventilated laundry hamper.
4)  If you have a bath in your room, keep it clean and well-ventilated.
5)  Consider protective allergy covers for a previously used dorm mattress.   
6)  Consider a HEPA allergy filter but know that it won't take the place of elbow grease in keeping your space sneeze free.
7)  Request a smoke free room.
8)  Wash your towels frequently.  Don't let wet towels build up.
9)  Keep sports clothing and equipment dry and clean.
10)  Know what allergy/asthma meds you need, as well as when and how to use them, and store them in a safe, easy to get to space.
11)  If you can, avoid storing things that you don't immediately need in your dorm room, such as off season clothes and shoes or big boxes of keepsakes.  Keep what you do store as dust and mold free as possible.  If you go to school far away from home, you may need to store more things. 
12) Don't feel weird about keeping your spaces clean.  You may have to pay more attention to this than most students/young professionals.  But, a little time spent in preventative measures can save you time in the infirmary.


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