Organize & Clean

How To Avoid Dusting (And Still Live Happily Ever After)

published Oct 1, 2014
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(Image credit: Paul Zansler)

I’m no clean freak and will do my fair share of avoidance and procrastination when it comes to household chores. But allergies are raging this time of year so I’ll also do whatever it takes to avoid an itchy, runny nose and chronic headaches. These opposing forces all come down to one thing: dust. Namely, how I can kick it to the curb with the least amount of work possible. Here’s what I’ve learned….

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  1. Keep It Outside: Put a good quality doormat outside your main entrance and, at the very least, wipe those shoes off at the door. Consider a “no shoe” policy in your household for family and friends. Keep windows closed as well and prevent dirt from blowing in.
  2. De-Clutter: The fewer knick-knacks you have in the house, the less time spent cleaning dust from crevices. Keep things minimal and free up your time for more worthy pursuits.
  3. Reduce Shedding: Pets are the most obvious culprit here, and regularly brushing your furry friend reduces errant hair. But fabrics and paper also disintegrate and produce their own form of dust. Pack up unneeded clothing and linens when not in use, and prevent them from contributing to the mess. Regularly recycle old magazine and newspapers.
  4. Use Wax Paper: After a good cleaning, line the tops of kitchen cabinets with wax paper. You won’t be able to see the paper from down below, and it will prevent buildup. Switch out the paper a couple of times a year.
  5. Don’t Over Polish: If you spray too much on your furniture, waxy buildup happens, and dust loves that stuff. Keep product use to a minimum and don’t over do it.
  6. Avoid Dryer Sheets: Skip softener or dryer sheets when laundering rags you use for cleaning — they decrease cloths’ ability attract dust.
  7. Maintain/Upgrade Your Air Filter: Catch dust before it hits the ground with the right filter for your heating/cooling system. Figure out how much you want to spend, what type you want, and maintain it as directed.
  8. Turn On Your Blower: Along those same lines, after you are done cleaning the house, leave your blower on for awhile to prevent dust from settling in and accumulating after it’s been kicked up by the vacuum cleaner.
  9. Decrease Moisture: Dust clings to moisture, so run a dehumidifier, or use the exhaust above your stove while cooking.
  10. Use Dust Covers: Cover your computer keyboard, blender, or any other appliance or item that can capture particles before they make their way into little tiny places.