7 Easy Home Fixes That’ll Improve Your Health

It may not be spring cleaning season yet, but you don’t need to do a huge cleanup to see major improvements. In fact, there are some small upgrades you can make to your home right now that can improve your health, boost your focus, reduce stress and even help you slim down.

Ready to get started? Keep reading for easy home upgrade ideas:

De-clutter your kitchen.

It’s not just what’s in your fridge (and on your fork) that affects your weight—it’s also the clutter in your kitchen and sink. In a study conducted by the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, researchers found that when stressed women were asked to wait for someone in a messy kitchen, they ate twice as many cookies compared to women who waited in an organized kitchen. “Being in a chaotic environment and feeling out of control is bad for diets. It seems to lead people to think, ‘Everything else is out of control, so why shouldn’t I be?’” the study’s lead author Lenny Vartanian, PhD., said in a press release. Keep surfaces free of clutter and wash dishes as you use them instead of letting them pile up in the sink—it could help you cut down on stress-snacking.

Add plants to every room.

Plant life certainly livens up a room, but it’s not just your decor that gets an upgrade. Studies from the Agricultural University of Norway show that plants inside the home decrease dry skin, colds, sore throat and dry cough. They also clean the air of indoor pollutants, according to NASA, whose researchers recommend one plant per 100 square feet of space. Look for peace lily, golden pothos, English ivy, chrysanthemum, gerbera daisy, bamboo pal and spider plant, which are particularly effective. Just remember to do your research if you have pets—some plants and flowers are toxic to animals.

And don’t forget the home office.

Plants give your mental health a boost, too, so don’t forget your home office or desk when going green. Studies have shown that adding plants to an office setting can improve attention capacity and increase productivity by 15 percent.

Hang a bundle of eucalyptus in your shower.

Feeling stuffed up? Hang eucalyptus in your shower and turn up the heat. A steamy shower will help release the essential oils in eucalyptus, giving you quick relief from nasal congestion.

Treat yourself to fresh flowers.

We don’t blame you for waking up grumpy on the weekdays…but there’s an easy way to perk up before you’ve even had your coffee. A study from Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found that study participants who looked at flowers first thing in the morning reported being happier and more energetic. “The morning blahs, it turns out, is a real phenomenon, with positive  moods—happiness, friendliness and warmth, for example—manifesting much later in the day,” says lead researcher Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D. “Interestingly, when we placed a small bouquet of flowers into their morning routines, people perked up.” It might not help you look forward to your morning meeting, but it’s something.

Turn down the thermostat before bed.

In a 2014 study carried out by researchers affiliated with the National Institutes of Health, men who slept in a 66 degree Fahrenheit room for four weeks doubled their volumes of brown fat, a type of fat thought to be healthy. And the benefits don’t end when you wake up—more brown fat is associated with less risk of diabetes and other metabolic issues. Sleep in a colder room also burns more calories overnight.

Wrap up that unfinished home project.

It’s hard to unwind if you scan your living room and spot a pile of mail in one corner, your kids’ toys in another, and a half-finished home improvement project in yet another. In a 2012 study, women who described their homes using words like “disorganized,” “unfinished,” “repair,” “junk” and “chaos” had more chronic stress, greater increases in depressed mood throughout the day, more fatigue in the evening and a harder time transitioning from work to home compared to women who described their homes with restorative words like “relax,” “calm,” “peaceful,” “homey” and “solace.” Spend each morning tidying up clutter before heading to work, and make a quick evening project out of finally hanging up that photo gallery, hanging up the new curtains or fixing a broken doorknob.

Related
Top Ten House Plants That Clean the Air
Everyday Items That Could Contain Lead
Facts About Cats and Women

174 comments

Carl R
Carl R4 days ago

Thanks!!!!

SEND
Rosemary H
Rosemary H9 days ago

I imagine C2 publishing "Rosemary's Take on why Excessive Tidiness (as opposed to tidiness when it suits you) is Bad for You!" This article has done one good thing; in a very busy day it's provided me with motivation to earn points to save the rainforest!

SEND
Rosemary H
Rosemary H9 days ago

Finally, that unfinished home project! Advice for the winter, not the summer, surely! I'm an artist and I prefer working in the living room to a studio. "Just finish that painting before you go to bed.. !" Oh, wouldn't it be lovely to have the time!!!! .................................................................................................................................... I deliberately leave unfinished paintings where I can see them, then I get more good ideas on how to finish them. Leaving the appropriate paints and brushes where I can see them helps as well - If I put them all away, I'll forget how I mixed that shade of green.... and it's a bigger incentive to do a bit more when I can than putting everything out of sight........ Now I'm off my soapbox!

SEND
Rosemary H
Rosemary H9 days ago

"Easy home fixes indeed! This woman has a lot more time than I have; there are very good reasons why my kitchen is frequently untidy - yet it doesn't lead to me snacking too much! ................................................................................................................................... I live on my own with no partner or family, and loneliness is as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. So I go out a lot to meet friends and I like to be on time! I do get up early, but this is the best time of day for jobs that require more brainpower than housework - frequently there's not time to do it and I'm too tired when I return. ...................................................................................................................... I like the place tidy, but if you don't do it until it needs doing, and choose a suitable time, you appreciate it a lot more than you would if you make a rod for your own back by constant repetitive tidiness! ....................................... Also, there's a saying "Use it or lose it!" I wonder if there is a link between excessive boring housework and eventual dementia - you are prioritising stuff that doesn't stretch your brain! ............................................................ I have a couple of slogans in the hall for visitors to see: "Dull women live in tidy houses." "This house is cleaned every three months whether it needs it or not!" "No-one ever reached the Pearly gates and

SEND
Rosemary H
Rosemary H9 days ago

"Wash up as you go along" Duh! If you can rinse something in cold water and leave it to dry on its own - fine! If you think it needs hot water, then this woman has more money to waste on electricity than I have! Washing up plenty of things together saves on your electricity bills and also on the time you spend at the kitchen sink!

I said "Flowers - early morning is the best time of the day! " It sounds unconnected, but the article explains it...

SEND
Rosemary H
Rosemary H9 days ago

Flowers - early morning is the best time of the day! I go away a lot, and I'm not there to care for most flowering plants, so I have orchids. If you feed and water them much less than the instructions say, they can live on after flowering for several months and flower again. Water once a fortnight - maybe - and feed once a month - easy-care flowers! There's no space left for fresh flowers because I can never resist buying yet another orchid....

SEND
Rosemary H
Rosemary H9 days ago

Plants in every room - yes! Big plants have more impact than small plants, and dry out much more slowly but small plants cost less, and there are always cuttings from friends... It's good to choose species that will grow, if you have space. I have two 20 year=old Swiss Cheese Plants that are floor-to-ceiling. I love them! .............................................................................................................................. Whatever you choose, let it dry out between waterings unless you are specifically told no to. Many people keep plants wet, and it rots their roots. ..........I have more comments to make, but I'm very busy. so I 'll make them whenever I need a break.

SEND
Dennis Hall
Dennis Hall11 days ago

Thanks.

SEND
Ingrid H
Ingrid H13 days ago

Thank you

SEND
Jetana A
Jetana A13 days ago

Interesting list of seemingly unrelated "fixes."

SEND