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Posted on Jul 29, 2013 in How to simplify, My Journey | 0 comments

4 Ways Simplifying my Life Improved my Allergies


It seems that everyone in my family has always had allergies, but I didn’t until well into my adult years.  Unfortunately, this change came with some severe health consequences.  While my special doctors were prescribing medication after medication, I took advantage of an insurance benefit I had at the time.  Who knew that 3 hour meeting with a nurse practitioner that specialized in “chronic health challenges” would change the way I looked at my life?  Well, she probably did.  Soon after that meeting, the benefit was discontinued, so I consider myself very fortunate to have met her.  My doctors confirmed everything she told me, but never volunteered any of this information!  This may not apply to you, but most of it helped me.


I am allergic to my bed

I have an allergy to dust mites, which live in my bedding, carpets, drapes and upholstered furniture.  She encouraged me to remove as much of these items from my home as possible.  She also told me that I could reduce the number of dust mites in my home with a few simple actions.

  • Dust mite covers on my box springs, mattress, pillows and comforter.  You can find these in any big box or department store that carries bed linens, but they can be expensive.  I use this mail order site that has low prices ( I am not affiliated with any company, and did not get any compensation for this post!)
  • Vacuum every week with a vacuum that has HEPA filtered bags
  • Wash bed sheets and pillow cases weekly in very hot water
  • Dust often with cloths that hold onto the dust (try these)

I really resisted these actions, but within 48 hours of doing them, my breathing improved significantly.


Dust in the house is the enemy

I was just beginning my simplification journey, so I incorporated several of these over the next 10 or so years.

  • Get rid of most of my upholstered furniture
  • Replace carpeting with wood floors
  • Remove most decorative objects, rugs, pillows and curtains
  • Keep clothes in the closet clean and dust-free

I thought these things would make my house cold and harsh, but it hasn’t.  I still have my grandmother’s chair, and now have some leather and wood furniture.  I have plantation shutters to control light and privacy.  I have wide open areas with no furniture or decorations.

Many chemicals just make things worse

At first I hired someone to do the cleaning in my home to avoid the dust and chemicals, but now I am able to do it myself.

  • Squeegee the shower after every use, to reduce the frequency of cleaning soap scum and mildew.
  • Clean with less harsh chemicals like white vinegar, salt  and baking soda
  • Use a steam floor cleaner for routine cleaning

One more thing

I have had a neti pot recommended by several people, and it does help.  I have never been able to get used to this.  If you use it, be careful not to get hurt.


I still have allergies to dust and pollen, among other things.  I still see my doctors, and take some medications.  Having fewer possessions, and simper ones where possible has allowed me to regain much of my respiratory health with fewer prescriptions, as well as reducing the amount of time I spend cleaning.


Photo credit: Listener42

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