Spring in Norfolk, VA is beautiful, with flowers in bloom and clear skies ahead. Our region is also well-known for its beautiful and abundant plant life, and with that comes a heavy dose of seasonal pollen.

One way to prevent your allergy symptoms from spiraling this spring is to try to avoid bringing excessive amounts of pollen into your home. Believe it or not, tracking pollen into your home can become just as uncomfortable for allergy sufferers as it is outside.

You’ll want to take simple steps to keep pollen outside, where it belongs. Here are simple tips to help you keep your home pollen-free, so you can breathe easy this spring.

Start at Your Front Door
The simplest way to avoid bringing outdoor elements inside is by removing outerwear upon entering your home. This includes shoes, coats, scarves and hats. Every bit of your outerwear will have a coating of pollen on it – even if you’ve only been out for a short walk with your pup.

A simple way to do this is to place a rubber mat and hooks by your front door, so you can remove as much of your outerwear as possible before even stepping more than a foot inside. If your allergies are serious, it may be worth washing outerwear daily to keep pollen away from your face and hands.

Choose Your Air Filters Wisely
While you are likely already changing your air filters every 30 days, it’s important to know that not all air filters are made alike. Choose a HEPA grade air filter to be sure that your air filters are truly removing even microscopic particles of dust and pollen from your air. These may be more expensive, but they are well worth the cost in terms of improving your air quality indoors.

Shower Every Night
It may sound like a lot of work, but taking a hot shower to rinse off at the end of every day can make a huge impact in your efforts to avoid pollen. You’ll not only wash off the coating of pollen that is likely in your hair and on your skin, but you’ll avoid bringing it into your bed and onto your sheets and pillows.

Smart Dusting
When pollen season picks up, it might seem intuitive to start ramping up your indoor dusting. Before you begin going hard with your dust wand, remember that dusting with dry cloths or wands can actually kick more pollen and dust particles around your home, decreasing the air quality in your living spaces.

Dust smarter, not harder, by wet dusting instead. Simply wet a duster or rag before you begin dusting, and the moisture will prevent dry dust particles from flying around.

Blinds Open/Windows Closed
We know you want to throw your windows open when spring arrives, but beware of open windows when pollen is around. It’s best to keep your windows closed as much as possible, as pollen can easily blow into your home through screens and open windows. You can still experience the brightness of the spring season by opening up blinds and pulling drapes back to let the sun in. It’ll give you the experience of bright sunlight without the suffering of allergy symptoms.