Five Ways to Make a Healthier Home

Words by Christina Martinez

Photography by Christina and Robert Martinez

We’ve all spent a lot of time at home over the last year—probably more than we ever have before. For me and my husband Rob, it really offered us the opportunity to slow down and give our home the love it needs. Along with some organization and small decor swaps, making our home the safest and healthiest place possible has been at the top of our list. Below we’ve rounded up five ways we keep our home healthy and safe for our family. You might be surprised how easy it is to clean up the toxins in your space and create a clean environment for your loved ones.

New Darlings

Shoes (or lack thereof)

We have always had a no-shoes rule in our home. It’s how I grew up, and although I thought it was silly when I was younger, now I cannot imagine tracking in all the dirt and germs from the bottom of our shoes into our home and onto our rugs and wood floors. The thought of it really gives me the creeps. I’ll never forget reading an article a few years ago in a magazine about a woman whose father got cancer, which doctors linked to common pesticides used on grass. He was an avid golfer, and the link between everything was just too much for me. It was jolting. Taking off our shoes when we are at home is something Rob and I have been doing since we moved into our first apartment as newlyweds. Now our son Oliver even knows to take his shoes off at the front mat when we first walk in the door. It’s pretty cute.

New Darlings

Non-toxic cleaning products

When I first got pregnant, I became addicted to using the Environmental Working Group’s app. I looked up every product in my home; I couldn’t believe how many items were harmful to use on my skin, in my hair, and in our space while pregnant. I became obsessed with reading the labels on every product and became dedicated to finding cleaner, safer, non-toxic cleaning products to use in our home. We have used Shaklee for a while now as a safer yet effective cleaning option. It’s an organic and sustainable company, and it has refillable containers, which I love. We also use Seventh Generation throughout our home.

New Darlings

Air purifiers

When we first had Oliver, we invested in an air purifier for the house. We’ve had some AC issues in the past, so after having a few scares, we now set a reminder on our phones to change out the vents every two weeks. Because we live in a busy downtown area in Phoenix, the pollution can make its way through the AC vents and pollute our home if we’re not diligent about it. For us, adding in a standalone purifier to make sure that the air was as clean as possible in the house has been so important. We purchased one from Molekule for the main living area and sometimes move it into our bedroom; we bought Molekule’s Air Mini+ for Oliver’s nursery, as well. You can control everything from the app and get notifications if the air quality lowers to a dangerous level.

New Darlings

New Darlings

Essential oils

We love vitruvi’s essential oil diffusers. Incorporating natural oils in your home is such an easy way to create a cleaner environment. Many candles are made with artificial fragrances and dyes that when lit, release potentially harmful toxins into the air. I love diffusing different scents at different times of the day to really set the mood—an energetic citrus aroma in the morning, a fresh Eucalyptus scent when cleaning or showering, and a calming Lavender scent when winding down in the evening. The Essentials Kit from vitruvi is a great place to get started.

New Darlings

Air-purifying plants

Plants are the easiest way to clean the air in your home. So if you’re a crazy plant lady like me, here’s another reason to add more greenery to every corner: plants naturally purify and remove toxins from the aire. Plus, they’re beautiful—a win-win.