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How often do you change your sheets?

If you were to ask a random group of people, "How often do you wash your sheets?" you'd likely get drastically different answers. There are the "Every single Sunday without fail" folks, the "Who on Earth washes their sheets weekly?!?" people and everyone in between.

According to a survey of 1,000 Americans conducted by Mattress Advisor, the average time between sheet changings or washings in the U.S. is 24 days—or every 3 1/2 weeks, approximately. The same survey revealed that 35 days is the average interval at which unwashed sheets are "gross."

Some of you are cringing at those stats while others are thinking, "That sounds about right." But how often should you wash your sheets, according to experts?

Hint: It's a lot more frequent than 24 days.

While there is no definitive number of days or weeks, most experts recommend swapping out used sheets for clean ones every week or two.

Dermatologist Alok Vij, MD told Cleveland Clinic that people should wash their sheets at least every two weeks, but probably more often if you have pets, live in a hot climate, sweat a lot, are recovering from illness, have allergies or asthma or if you sleep naked.

We shed dead skin all the time, and friction helps those dead skin cells slough off, so imagine what's happening every time you roll over and your skin rubs on the sheets. It's normal to sweat in your sleep, too, so that's also getting on your sheets. And then there's dander and dust mites and dirt that we carry around on us just from living in the world, all combining to make for pretty dirty sheets in a fairly short period of time, even if they look "clean."

Maybe if you shower before bed and always wear clean pajamas you could get by with a two-week sheet swap cycle, but weekly sheet cleaning seems to be the general consensus among the experts. The New York Times consulted five books about laundry and cleaning habits, and once a week was what they all recommend.

Sorry, once-a-monthers. You may want to step up your sheet game a bit.

What about the rest of your bedding? Blankets and comforters and whatnot?

Sleep.com recommends washing your duvet cover once a week, but this depends on whether you use a top sheet. Somewhere between the Gen X and Millennial eras, young folks stopped being about the top sheet life, just using their duvet with no top sheet. If that's you, wash that baby once a week. If you do use a top sheet, you can go a couple weeks longer on the duvet cover.

For blankets and comforters and duvet inserts, Sleep.com says every 3 months. And for decorative blankets and quilts that you don't really use, once a year washing will suffice.

What about pillows? Pillowcases should go in with the weekly sheet washing, but pillows themselves should be washed every 3 to 6 months. Washing pillows can be a pain, and if you don't do it right, you can end up with a lumpy pillow, but it's a good idea because between your sweat, saliva and skin cells, pillows can start harboring bacteria.

Finally, how about the mattress itself? Home influencers on TikTok can often be seen stripping their beds, sprinkling their mattress with baking soda, brushing it into the mattress fibers and then vacuuming it all out. Architectural Digest says the longer you leave baking soda on the mattress, the better—at least a few hours, but preferably overnight. Some people add a few drops of essential oil to the baking soda for some extra yummy smell.

If that all sounds like way too much work, maybe just start with the sheets. Pick a day of the week and make it your sheet washing day. You might find that climbing into a clean, fresh set of sheets more often is a nice way to feel pampered without a whole lot of effort.

via Kristi Hammatt

Turena Johnson Lane with her kids and dog

True

When Turena Johnson Lane took a jackhammer to the kitchen floor in the summer of 2021, she had no idea that her house would soon become a metaphor for her life.

Johnson Lane, a stay-at-home mom of four elementary-aged children, is a keen do-it-yourselfer with a feisty spirit. A former elite marathoner (she was a two-time Olympic trials qualifier), she parlayed that talent into motherhood after her first child was born. After all, running takes endurance and grit; motherhood does, too.

That grit served her family very well. She managed the household solo for long stretches while her husband was traveling for work, juggling everyone’s needs as well as working on the house. She also wasn’t afraid to do things like rip out the old kitchen cabinets simply because she was sick of looking at them, and wasn’t afraid of doing the necessary upgrades. She was, in every way, a Home Maker—except that, if you type the word “homemaker” into a search engine, you know what you’ll see?

Images that look like this:

Free photo Wife Cooking Family Woman Housewife Retro Kitchen - Max ...www.maxpixel.net

Yikes. Most will agree that this concept is as outdated as orange shag carpeting and is due for a major facelift. Why should there be this one idea of what a "homemaker" looks like when we have unlimited ideas today to define what a home is and who it is for? These days, the role that moms play in their families has evolved almost beyond recognition, alongside the evolution of society. This Mother’s Day, Lowe’s is renovating the term “homemaker,” reflecting on all of the unique ways moms ‘make’ their house a home and what it means (and looks like) to be a Home Maker. Lowes is launching its #HomeMaker series for and about women just like Johnson Lane.

To pick up on Johnson Lane’s story, shortly after her house became a construction zone, her marriage did, too. Her husband of 24 years abruptly filed for divorce, throwing her into several entirely new roles, including that of breadwinner and general contractor. She scrambled to secure two jobs to make ends meet while juggling childcare and fielding calls and emails from the divorce attorney. The inside of her house was coated in drywall dust, the dog continually escaped from the backyard, things were breaking faster than she could fix them—including the dryer and two of the toilets — nevertheless, she persisted.

Turena Johnson Lane with her four children Via Turena Johnson Lane

“Adjusting to the unexpected, persisting through a tough patch, [and] staying focused on the bigger picture are all lessons that apply to both marathoning and motherhood. Neither one is for the faint of heart,” said Johnson Lane. “One minute you are cruising along holding your own and the next minute everything changes.”

As Johnson Lane struggled to find her own footing, she was patently aware that her kids needed her to help navigate their new normal. At night they all piled into her bed, needing reassurance and love that only a mom can give, and in the morning she worked hard to put one foot in front of the other, even though she was exhausted and terrified. Her days looked drastically different as a single parent, but she was determined to show up for herself and her kids. Keeping things moving helped her figure it all out.

“A sudden detour into single motherhood was a long way from the journey I thought I was on,” said Johnson Lane. “I have had to wear more hats than I did before, but I've learned that it is just an opportunity to learn new things and to be an example to my kids in a way I hadn't planned on. We may not have control over what life throws at us, but we always have control over how we handle it. I know they are proud of me.”

Johnson Lane’s situation is far from unique. In 2020, there were approximately 15.49 million families in the United States with a female head of the household and no spouse present. Although for moms like her, the day-to-day can be a slog, and the days turn into weeks and turn into months and years, reflecting back provides an opportunity to celebrate the incredible achievements and own them. This Mother’s Day, Lowe’s invites you to check out their new #HomeMaker series, which highlights all the incredible moms who bring a world of possibilities and joy to their homes every day, just like Johnson Lane. The amazing thing about these moms is that they just keep going and doing, assuring a safe environment and giving their love unconditionally, even when they feel like they have nothing more to give. It’s the truly magical gift of motherhood that we believe is worth championing and celebrating.

We invite you to join the conversation and post your own #HomeMaker photo to your social media and help redefine the definition of a “homemaker.”

Image via Moonpod.co

In today’s stressful world, it’s important to take time out of your busy schedule to destress and relax. Having a dedicated space to meditate or just take a nap every once in a while can improve your overall wellness. That’s why Moon Pod bean bag chairs and accessories are the perfect products to help you chill out after a long day or prepare for one to come.

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In 2015, nearly 60,000 refugees arrived in the Netherlands needing a place to live.

The Netherlands is a small country, just more than half the size of West Virginia, so housing all of them was going to be a challenge. As the worldwide refugee crisis continues, innovative solutions are needed so that the people fleeing civil war and sectarian violence have a safe place to live.

Refugees arriving in the Netherlands in January 2016. Photo by Arie Kievit/AFP/Getty Images.

In this case, the solution involved, in part, opening up an old abandoned prison as temporary public housing. It was a less-than-ideal situation to say the least.

The country was determined to do better.

In January 2016, the Netherlands launched a design competition called "A Home Away From Home" in which entrants were tasked with designing temporary housing for refugees and disaster victims.

All of the winning designs rethought the idea of public housing, adding amenities and innovations to make the buildings more like fully functioning homes than simply a bed to sleep on.

The winners of the contest recently appeared on display in Amsterdam as part of Dutch Design Week and included things like solar power, water purification systems, and ingenious use of space and material.

Photo courtesy of A Home Away From Home.

This Farmyard shelter is designed to transform vacant farmland into mini villages.

Photo courtesy of A Home Away From Home.

The cube design of the Farmland means dozens can be stacked, placed together, and moved easily. The architects of this design imagined the miniature villages establishing a "DIY economy" with local towns.

Interior of the design. Photo courtesy of A Home Away From Home.

Another designer created these styrofoam towers as perfect low-waste housing for refugees being processed at reception sites.

Photo courtesy of A Home Away From Home.

They're insulated, waterproof, fire resistant, and very cost-efficient. They have all the amenities of an apartment — beds, a sink, a toilet, a shower, and a kitchen table — and can easily be rigged up with electricity.

Comfort City is one designer's solution for cities that don't have enough space to house a large number of refugees.

Photo courtesy of A Home Away From Home.

Every part of the Comfort City design is modular and adaptable, meaning it can be easily constructed in empty industrial buildings — or even abandoned prisons — while providing the homey comfort that abandoned prisons tend to lack.

Then there were designs like this modern Solar Cabin that can actually generate revenue and electricity.

Photo courtesy of A Home Away From Home.

Its solar paneled roof actually generates more energy than is needed to power the home, so the occupants can sell electricity back to the local grid to make a profit.

Interior of the Solar Cabin design. Photo courtesy of A Home Away From Home.

And finally, this sleek cube design actually comes with a built-in water purifier.

Photo courtesy of A Home Away From Home.

The cubes are Finch Evolutionary Wooden Buildings and are portable, easy to construct, and run on solar-powered batteries. They also have a vacuum toilet system that recycles water on site, making the whole thing self-sufficient.

We're going to need more and more of this type of housing and way of thinking about the refugee crisis.

Home is a concept many of us take for granted, but it's not a small thing. It makes us feel safe, comfortable, and human.

The current refugee crisis hasn't showed signs of slowing down, and with climate change creating more and more dangerous weather systems, we're likely to see climate refugee numbers grow sharply. All of those people are going to need places to live. Innovative solutions like these help them to not only live, but live with dignity and opportunity.

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