by AINSLEY LAWRENCE
Everyone knows that Southern hospitality can’t be beaten. But, keeping your home ready for company can involve more than setting out some cheese straws and sweet tea when someone stops by.
The South is home to a wide range of natural and unnatural health hazards. Keeping your home clean, fresh, and free of these hazards can seem like a constant uphill battle. But, doing so will keep you and your family safe, and will ensure your home is always ready for company. There is no feeling quite like inviting someone in and knowing they can be safe and comfortable in your house.
So, how can you fight back against some common home hazards that often creep up in the South? What else can you do to spruce up your space and make your company feel comfortable?
Reduce the Risks
The best way to get started with a fresh and healthy home is to understand some of the most common risks and hazards you could be facing. A lot of it will have to do with your state, specifically. For example, living in a coastal state like South Carolina will make you more susceptible to hazards like:
- Mosquitos and fire ants
As you can see, bugs are particularly prevalent, and it’s not just in South Carolina. One of the best things you can do is to pest-proof your home by using traps, sealing off everything, and keeping things clean. In extreme cases, you may need to contact a pest control service.
Hurricanes and storms affect plenty of Southern states, so making sure your home is safe and secure with a strong foundation will make everyone feel more comfortable when they stop by. Even on the sunniest days, the weather could be harmful. The south is known for being humid, which can increase the risk of mold in your home. Make sure you’re constantly checking for mold spores in areas that see a lot of moisture.
If you live in a more rural environment, the hazards could be even more serious. Several southern states have environments that can wreak havoc on seasonal allergies, including Louisiana, Kentucky, and Mississippi. Keeping your home clean and making your air quality a priority will help anyone with allergy issues or respiratory problems that might stop by.
Speaking of respiratory issues, the South is full of wonderful homes with beautiful architecture and plenty of history. But, older homes can often be a greater risk when it comes to things like foundational issues and asbestos. If your home was built before the 1970s, it’s a good idea to get it checked out to ensure the materials used for construction won’t cause breathing problems or increase your risk of developing certain illnesses.
Keeping things clean and tidy will ensure your home is always company-ready. Decluttering and making sure everything is organized will also make for a healthier home, overall. However, it’s important to make sure you’re using cleaners that aren’t causing more harm than good. Certain cleaning supplies can actually serve as hidden health hazards within your home. Try using non-toxic cleaners whenever possible, and keep all cleaning products locked away from children.
In addition to decluttering and cleaning, you can make your home more inviting for company by making sure it smells comforting. Take out the trash frequently, keep your pets bathed, and regularly vacuum rugs and furniture that might try to trap odors.
One of the best ways to stay on top of keeping your home clean and ready for visitors is to develop a schedule. You don’t have to clean your entire house every day. Setting a schedule will allow you to focus on a certain room or area each day, so you don’t feel overwhelmed by doing it all at once. This is a great way to ensure your house stays clean without having to spend all of your time cleaning it.
Now, go take a break and think of how you can get creative.
Add a Few Finishing Touches
Your home is safe, clean, and organized.
Have some fun and let your personality shine. Decide how you want to present your home to company, whether you want to focus on outdoor landscaping for a backyard BBQ or you want to invite your favorite ladies over for tea, decorating your home should be the fun part. It’s also one of the best ways to make guests feel invited and comfortable.
There are plenty of ways to improve the interior design of your home without spending a lot of time or money. Keep the following ideas in mind to spruce things up:
- Repainting rooms
- Changing the lighting or utilizing more natural light
- Adding accent rugs
- Creating curiosity with art pieces
Another great way to make your home more inviting while adding mental and physical health benefits is to include more plants. Having flowers in your home can improve the air quality, boost your mood, and improve your emotional health by reducing stress and helping you to relax. Imagine how comforted your guests will feel when they see fresh flowers or beautiful plants having a strong presence in your home. You can make it feel like your own little sanctuary. Who wouldn’t want to come over more frequently for that?
You’re a Southerner. You know hospitality like the back of your hand. But, make sure you also know how to keep your home fresh and safe for company. Being prepared at all times will make it a fun, relaxing experience whenever someone stops by, rather than a stressful one.