The holi-daze are approaching, so it’s time to get the house in tip-top shape for the influx of guests, decorations, and presents. Whether you have people stay over, host parties, or just need a good reason to deep clean your house, ‘tis the season to allergy-proof your home. It might sound hard core, but these five simple tricks will have your home fresher, cleaner, and more breathable than ever for you and your holiday guests.

1. Beds
Your bedroom might be your comfiest room, but that also makes it the most allergen-prone room in the house. Luckily, there’s tons of easy changes you can make to help reduce irritants: make the switch from down-filled duvets and pillows to synthetic, and encase your pillows and mattress in covers to reduce dust mites, hair, and possible pet dander. After all, dust mites can’t get enough of warm, moist spaces, so pillowcases and mattresses are their mecca. Not only will you sleep easier, but so will your holiday guests (aka no more passive aggressive sneezing from your MIL).

2. Windows
For years, we couldn’t get enough of oversized, heavy curtains—they were the epitome of luxury and sophistication. Luckily, styles are now trending towards simplistic blinds, which is great news for allergy-prone people! While curtains love to trap dust, bacteria, and basically anything that comes into contact with them, blinds will be your new best friend. They’re super easy to wash regularly, making them way more sanitary and allergy proof than curtains; try and remember the last time you took down your bulky curtains to wash them—didn’t think so. Choose blinds and roller shades, and make their cleaning a regular part of your week’s routine.

3. Flooring
A lot of people think the worst flooring for those with allergies is carpet, but it’s actually not true at all: carpeting actually traps dust, skin cells, and dander into the fibres of the carpet until they can be vacuumed up or steamed out. With hardwood and tile, the allergens simply float back up into the air and, inevitably, your airways. The key is to regularly clean your carpets to make sure you’re eliminating these allergens: the absolute best and most effective way to do this is with a reputable carpet cleaning service (bonus points if they have a targeted dust mite treatment). While you might want to DIY, professional services can really make the difference and transform your carpets and upholstery.

4. Kitchen
Kitchens are natural breeding grounds for bacteria and other nasty things, but so many of us do the bare minimum when it comes to cleaning them. Deep cleaning gets done maybe once a year, and our health is paying the price. Holidays are a great excuse to do a thorough scrubbing of cupboards, in and around your fridge (the tops and bottom of your fridge are pretty scary places), your pantry, and anywhere else that might get missed on a regular basis.

5. Clutter
Your knickknacks and décor might have sentimental value to you, but they could also be making your allergies much worse. Dust absolutely loves to collect on and around them and for most of us, daily dusting just isn’t a reality. Holidays are a great time to take down any unnecessary clutter; you’ll make more room for temporary decorations, and once the holiday is over you’ll realize you really didn’t need sixteen cat figurines. Maybe three will do the trick instead!

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