Tossing things out is never easy. Many of us hold on to things to get the most value out of them, or we just get used to our stuff. Reducing clutter around your house or in your closet (like those clothes you never wear), can make you feel more organized and more in control of your life. Here at GetHealthyU, we are all about decluttering and getting organized so you love the space you live in, but did you know that some of the things you are holding on to might not even be good for your health? Some of the things we own deteriorate over time, or were never good for us in the first place. Use our list to get rid of these five things at your house.
1) Squashed Pillows
No good night’s sleep is possible without the proper fluff of a good pillow. Whether you like soft or firm, where you lay your head at night can also be the source of health problems. You may think pillows just cause neck problems, but some of the chemicals in pillows will make you sick. Synthetic fibers dosed in chemicals are typically the culprit. Worse, pillows that are kept too long also can cause problems such as dust mites since they feed on dead skin cells. (Uh, gross!) Investing in a hypoallergenic or organic pillow is a great way to cure these icky pillow problems. Replacing your pillow periodically can offer a positive boost to your health and sleep.
2) Old Plastic Containers
Who hasn’t used a plastic container to pack your lunch for work? The problem is harmful BPA (bisphenol A) can be found in some plastic food containers or canned goods. This chemical can cause health problems because it mirrors hormones in your body. Even small concentrations of BPA can have side effects. Many containers are now made BPA-free, but older containers may still have the chemical. Getting rid of these old plastic containers, particularly those that have a 7 or pc on them, will eliminate the dangers BPA products pose. Continued use of products that contain this toxic element can lead to many illnesses, including cancer, impaired immune function, liver dysfunction and more. Consider ditching those old Tupperware containers for good. There are so many cute tote bags, mason jars and fun alternatives to carry your lunch that won’t have any negative impact on your health. Ideas are just a Pinterest click away!
3) Old Mattresses
The support of a comfortable mattress can be invaluable when you need a good night’s sleep. And we all know sleep is vital to maintaining your good health. Unfortunately, the mattress you are sleeping on could be causing health problems. Some people have suffered damaging health effects such as eczema, allergies or blurred vision due to problems with their mattress. This can be attributed to the way some mattresses are manufactured and the flame-retardant chemicals used to produce mattresses. These chemicals break down over time and are released into the air. If you are experiencing health problems due to a mattress, get a new, organically-manufactured mattress. And don’t keep holding onto grandma’s hand-me-downs.
4) Antibacterial Soaps and Detergents
Antibacterial products have proliferated in their production and use. Many homes are outfitted with a variety of every scent of antibacterial soap. Schools even use antibacterial hand products all the time. Using antibacterial soaps and detergents due to the main ingredient, triclosan, can actually cause more harm than good. Triclosan has been linked to hormonal imbalances, the promotion of drug-resistant bacteria, as well as the development of allergies, including peanut allergies and hay fever. On top of this, antibacterial soaps really don’t perform any better than regular soap. If you’re still concerned about keeping germs at bay, one solution is to simply wash your hands thoroughly (until you can sing the entire Happy Birthday tune) under the fingernails and down the wrists—and shop for environmentally friendly products. Or, you can go DIY with your hand sanitizer and soaps!
5) Expired or Unused Medications
Sometimes you don’t always use the entire bottle of your prescription or you purchase an over-sized bottle of antacids thinking you are saving money through buying bulk and you haven’t used it all before the expiration date. Similar to other chemicals, medications break down as they age. Medicines that are expired lose their potency and should be discarded the proper way. This proper disposal protects both consumers and the environment. Making sure to clean out your medicine cabinet on a regular basis will protect your health.
There is something cleansing about getting rid of the old and welcoming the new. Eliminating these old products from your home gives you both purification and health benefits. So what are you waiting for? Look through your medicine cabinet, clean your kitchen out, and ditch those nasty pillows. Think about what you are giving up—your health—if you hold on to these harmful hosts. And think about how good you will feel after the dust (not dust mites) has settled. Reduce your clutter and freshen up your life!