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Cue the sniffles. Spring is lovely, but there are some days we’d forgo the tulips and the trees and the cherry blossoms if it meant we didn’t have to keep a to-go pack of tissues in our pocket at all times. Still, with a handful of small steps, you can help soften the allergy blow at home.

RELATED: 7 Places in Your House That Are Making Your Allergies Worse

vacuum mattress
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Vacuum Your Mattress

Damn you, dust mites. The best defense against these microscopic creatures (which can cause allergy symptoms to pick up) is the crevice tool on your vacuum. Strip your mattress and go over every nook and cranny at least once a month.

RELATED: The One Thing You Should Do to Your Mattress Once a Month

vacuum couch

…And Your Couch

Unless it’s leather, fabric upholstery tends to be another pollen and dust trap. Giving it a once-over with your vacuum every other week will help minimize sniffles.

wash sheets

Wash Your Sheets Weekly

Especially if you sleep with the windows open. (You’d be surprised how much pollen drifts in with the breeze.) Hot water is the best for zapping allergens, FYI.

clean bed

Clean the Area Beneath Your Bed

You already know it’s a dust bunny haven, but it’s also a receptacle for pollen and other allergens to collect. An easy strategy: When you vacuum your mattress and wash your sheets, take that time to clear (and clean) beneath your bed frame, too.

clean AC filters
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Give Your Air Conditioner Filters a Good Scrub-Down

It’s as simple as popping them out of your window unit and soaking them in warm, soapy water to remove any air-particle buildup. (A little elbow grease is required, but you can handle it, we promise.)

wash curtains

And Machine Wash Your Curtains

Be honest: Have you ever washed them? (Yep, us either.) All those folds are just another place for pollen and dust to catch and latch onto. Just be sure to check the washing instructions on the label first.

RELATED: 7 Common Allergy Myths, Busted

method soap

Replace Toxic Cleaners With Natural Ones

Chemical-based detergents and cleaning products—and the noxious odors they give off—can actually aggravate allergy symptoms. Swap them out for something plant-based instead. (We love the Method line.)

air filter
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And Pick Up an Air Purifier

OK, so it’s an investment up front, but an air purifier (like this one from Dyson) can actually capture pollen, mold and bacteria that are airborne inside your home. (It’s especially great if you keep your windows closed up and run your AC.)

plant circulation

Relocate Plants to a Place With Good Circulation

Whether it’s coming from a breeze or an oscillating fan, a good airflow around your philodendron will prevent mold from building up when temps start to climb.

take off shoes

And Set a Strict No-Shoes-in-the-House Policy for the Season

It’s all about minimizing how many allergens you track in. (Yep, pollen latches onto your espadrilles, too.)

RELATED: Is It a Cold or Is It Seasonal Allergies (Aka What the Heck is Happening to Me?)

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