woman placing doormat on entryway floor
Photo: Matthew Benson
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Right Now:

1. Keep pollen out. During hay fever season, shake or brush off outerwear, and keep a brush and wet wipes handy to clean pets' fur and feet. Don't hang laundry on outdoor clothes lines, at least for now.

2. Add mats on both sides of the door. Up to 80 percent of the dirt that gets tracked inside—along with countless allergens, bacteria, and lawn chemicals—can be caught with a double length of washable matting before it makes itself at home. Shown at left: Waterhog mats, which can be hosed down (from $40; plowandhearth.com).

3. Air out dry cleaning. Take off plastic bags before you come inside so that any residual perchloroethylene, a common dry-cleaning solvent and suspected carcinogen, can evaporate. If your dry cleaning has a strong chemical odor when you pick it up, give it back and ask that it be properly dried. Or Google "organic dry cleaning" to find a perc-free service near you.
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