Dusting becomes crucial as the summer wears on. Kids and pets running in and out of the house in the sunshine may be a pretty picture, but it’s actually a fuzzy trifecta: hair and skin from people, dander and fur from pets, and dirt from the outdoors make up the majority of dust. You can reduce how often you dust by swapping out some common household decor items for ones that trap less grime. Spend more time enjoying the summer with these helpful swaps that you can start today.
#1. Carpeting to area rugs
Wall-to-wall carpeting is a haven for dust. Living rooms and bedrooms are most likely to be carpeted, because they’re also to most common places to family members or children sitting on the floor. Since you can’t pry up your carpet to shake it out, whatever doesn’t get caught by the vacuum stays there. Forever.
Tearing out the carpeting entirely would be best, but that might not be in your budget. Layering carpet and rugs can provide a more mobile setup. If the dog has a favorite spot, try throwing an area rug over it. If a pet sits on a rug, it can easily be vacuumed, picked up, shaken out, and replaced without dirtying the carpet. The same goes for humans. If someone likes to sit a little closer to the TV, lay an area rug there before the show starts.
Wool rugs work especially well for this because they are made of natural fibers that protect animals from dust and dirt in the wild. We’ve chosen a few below that would stand up traffic and lots of beatings. (REMEMBER: always vacuum a rug with the beater bar removed!)
#2. Paper towels to dryer sheets
It’s tempting to just grab a paper towel and wipe down the TV or computer screen. Who knows what kind of stuff is hiding between keys or mouse buttons, or in the remote? While it’s easy to throw a paper towel away when you’re done, there’s another disposable product that has science on its side.
Try dryer sheets instead of paper towels. The sheets have small amounts of positively-charged ingredients that help reduce static electricity when you use them in the laundry. That same principle helps them grab dust and reduce friction that holds dust to a surface. To keep them handy, hide them in a decorative tissue box beside the TV or computer. As long as you keep some real tissues close to the seating area, no guest will notice!
#3. Throws to throw pillows
When is the last time you washed the blanket near your couch? Never. While it may add a cozy vibe and give you something to hide under during scary movies, it also collects dust. Textiles are guilty of a lot of microscopic shedding you might not realize is happening.
Change your decor to incorporate throw pillows with removable covers. Multiple pillow covers are easy to add to a load of laundry, as opposed to a bulky blanket. Even embellished or beaded pillows can be hand-washed more easily than cleaning an entire throw. These pillows all have removable covers for easy cleaning:
#4. Shoes on the floor to shoe racks
Taking your shoes off at the door is a good habit, but most of the time they don’t make it back to where they’re supposed to go. Even when they make it to the closet, a lot of them end up on the floor or in bins. Kids that fling their shoes the moment they get in the door also fling the dirt. How can you contain something that makes up the entire outdoors?
A shoe rack will get all those soles off the floor and make it easier to clean around. The dirt that would normally be all over the entryway is now gathered in one easily-swept place. The shoes themselves will look better as well. Use a handheld cordless vacuum to get into the small space.
Bonus: Never dust corners again!
Photo via Vintage Hardware
These neat little metal details were the height of fashion in Victorian times. They’re called “dust corners”, and they keep the tiny spaces between your furniture and walls or the corners of your stairs clean. You can still buy them online in lots of different finishes. Pretty fancy, right?