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4 Small Upgrades That'll Clean Your House for You

Yep, you read that correctly. Make these changes at your entry to stop dirt from ever entering your home in the first place

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. And, here are even more ways to allergy-proof your home.

2. Add mats on both sides of the door (shown above). 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 above: Waterhog mats, which can be hosed down (from $40;

Photo by Casey Dunn

3. Establish a no-shoes-indoors policy. Keep a basket of slippers at the door for family and guests alike.

4. Create a pet checkpoint (shown above). Treat cats and dogs with a monthly tick-and-flea medication, and use a fine-tooth comb (from $4; to catch fleas before they come inside. Flea shampoos and collars contain pesticides, which can rub off on kids and furnishings. Here's a step-by-step project to help you build an entryway organizer like the one shown.

These ideas were originally featured in 72 Easy Upgrades for a Healthier Home