Preparing Your Home for Cold and Flu Season

It’s coming.

It’s unavoidable that someone in your home will get sick with the cold and/or flu sometime over the next several months as we head into the cooler months.

You know it’s bound to happen and it’s certainly not any fun either.

I’ve been sick more as a parent then I ever was as a 4th grade teacher which is crazy to think because I definitely got sick a lot when I taught! My adorable little, chubby cheeked, cuddly and squishy little bundles of joy are in fact walking sees pools of germs. They bring a lot of viruses into our house, catching them at the playground, at preschool, at church, on the shopping cart… you name it.

Usually about mid-October when the first sign of a runny nose appears, I know I’m in for a long winter of sneezing, wiping noses, tummy bugs and other ailments that are swapped back and forth between the family.

The longer I have become a parent, I have become more prepared each year so I’m not totally caught off guard. I’m not in denial anymore that cold and flu season is coming and I have even come to accept the fact that we will all be sick once, if not more.

It's unavoidable, cold and flu season will be arriving shortly but we don't have to take it lying down. Prepare your home for cold and flu season with these simple tips to keep everyone healthy and happy.

All of us will probably face one round of the sickies at least once this coming winter but instead of just rolling over and it letting it attack our families with no defense, there are some simple things we can do today to prepare for cold and flu season, maybe even possibly preventing it? (If we could be so lucky!)

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6 Tips for Preparing for Cold and Flu Season

1. Take stock of your medicine cabinet

If you haven’t cleaned out your medicine cabinet or first aid kit in a while, now is the time. Many over-the-counter medicines and prescriptions expire by a certain date and could lose their effectiveness.

It’s also a good idea to throw out anything that has lost it’s box and you have no idea what it is.

Now is a good time to stock up on some natural remedies too. I’ll admit my family does a mix of both. I like to explore homeopathic remedies to treat sniffles, stuffy noses and other common discomforts of colds but I’m not against using OTC medicines or prescriptions when needed.

Some of my go-to supplies are:

2. Stock up your pantry and freezer

There is nothing quite as comforting then warm and soothing chicken soup when you are sick. Or maybe a fresh kettle of herbal tea with lemon and honey for a sore throat.

There is also nothing more frustrating then having to run out to the store to purchase one of these things when either you or one your family members is sick.

Instead of waiting to get sick to run to the store, use this time to stock your pantry and freezer with some basics to have on hand when you need them.

It's unavoidable, cold and flu season will be arriving shortly but we don't have to take it laying down. Prepare your home for cold and flu season with these simple tips to keep everyone healthy and happy.

Some great things to keep on hand are:

  • Herbal teas- I personally love and use Traditional Medicinals teas, the Seasonal Sampler box is a must
  • Chicken broth and stock- I always have a carton of Organic Chicken broth in the pantry for emergencies but I also love to have jars of homemade broth too. Purchase a whole chicken or two next time you are at the store. Roast it and separate the meat into meal portions. Then use the bones and fat to make delicious and rich broth to freeze.
  • Honey
  • Lemon’s
  • Crackers
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Noodles for chicken soup
  • Cooked, shredded chicken for soups
  • Frozen vegetables for quick meals or to throw into soups, and of course plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables too 😉

3. Pick one or two natural, homeopathic remedies to focus on

If your goal is to start implementing more natural, homeopathic remedies into your at-home health care (good for you!) it can be really overwhelming to know where to start.

There is so much out there!

It’s best to make small baby steps and instead of thinking you have to jump all in, it might serve you better to focus on one or two natural remedies to start with.

Last year I focused on making my own vapor rub for when we where congested and had stuffy noses, and diffusing some essential oils into the air and placing a few drops in the cool vapor humidifiers we placed in our bedrooms at night.

4. Build up your immunity

It may seem like it’s not late to build up your immunity now to prevent colds or flus from running rampant in your home this winter but there are some simple things you can do to make your body stronger.

You may be familiar with the ever popular phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” There is truth to that.

The more your diet consists of lots of fruits and vegetables, the more you are filling your body with disease fighting nutrients.

It’s also helpful to kick your sugar habit by limiting the amount of processed sugar you are feeding your body. This doesn’t mean you can’t have an occasional treat, but it’s probably not doing your body any good by constantly eating and drinking sugary treats.

I’ve been slowing eliminating sugar sugar from my diet following the Trim Healthy Mama plan and I can honestly say that not only do I feel better and more energized, but I’m finally starting to lose all those stubborn baby weight pounds too!

Keeping your body hydrated with pure water is also important. Many of us don’t drink enough water as it is and as a result our bodies feel run drown and without energy. Make it a goal to drink 8 glasses of water a day, you may be running to the bathroom more than normal for a few days but your body will quickly adjust.

Getting enough sleep should also be a priority for your family. Right now sleep is an oxymoron in my family with an 8 month old who still wakes up about once a night (sometimes more) and a 3 year old who gets night terrors but we still make sleep a priority by using nap time to rest, shutting down early in the evening to relax and setting a strict bedtime for both kids and adults.

5. Prepare your cleaning supplies

At the first sneeze I get a little compulsive and start wiping down all the doors, remotes, cabinets, bathrooms and change all the hand towels.

Anyone else?

It's unavoidable, cold and flu season will be arriving shortly but we don't have to take it laying down. Prepare your home for cold and flu season with these simple tips to keep everyone healthy and happy.

September is a good time to take stock of your cleaning supplies because if your cleaning cabinet is anything like mine (it’s sad and overflowing), it’s probably a good time to clean it out.

It sounds kind of funny… cleaning out your cleaning supplies 🙂

How many half empty bottles do you have that could be combined into one? How many full bottles do you have that you used only once but didn’t like enough to use again? What are you completely out of that you need to purchase or make?

Cleaning and organizing your cleaning supplies is good practice not only for being ready for cold and flu season but just in general.

It’s much easier to tackle the day-to-day cleaning when it’s all organized, full and ready to go. No more wading through half empty bottles to get to the one product you need.

I use a mix of homemade cleaning supplies and store bought varieties. I like making my own cleaning products because I know they are generally safer to use around my children, plus it usually costs a lot less to make your own. However I love the ease and convenience of purchasing some trusted staples that I know do the job.

6. Create a “feel better” basket

It’s hard to watch your kids when they are sick. They look and feel so miserable and helpless!

To try and make them feel as comfortable as possible, I like to make a special basket of books, small toys, a special movie or two, and some crayons and a coloring book that only gets pulled out when they are sick.

They might feel pretty lousy but at least they have some special activities to keep them occupied on the couch when they feel up to it.

It’s also a good idea to make sure you have plenty of tissues on hand, as well as a small portable bucket or basin on hand for the child who can’t make it to the toilet on time when sick.

It's unavoidable, cold and flu season will be arriving shortly but we don't have to take it lying down. Prepare your home for cold and flu season with these simple tips to keep everyone healthy and happy.

A little planning, preparation, organizing and stocking up on some staples now can really help make the cold and flu season feel a little more bearable this year. Obviously it’s hard to prepare for every single illness that might come our way but thinking through the basics you know you’ll need will really come in handy down the road.

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What supplies do you like to stock up on and keep handy for when the cold or flu hits your home? 

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20 Comments

  1. Great tips – I can’t believe it’s already flu season!

  2. Tanya C. {@Treats by Tanya} says:

    This is such a clever idea to start preparing for the inevitable NOW. I just revamped my list of things to do this week – stocking up on supplies 🙂

    1. Hopefully being preventive will help ward off sickness for you and your family this winter.

  3. honey and Celestial Seasonings green tea does it for me 😀

  4. Lemon and honey are our go to’s during cold/flu season. With kids in school now we often get hit hard with the germs that little kids share so nicely. Here’s hoping this year it isn’t bad!

    Marissa

    1. I know, we just started preschool last week and already the runny noses have begun! Hopefully since I have been preventive it won’t get too bad this year.

  5. Marie with spreading-joy.org says:

    Tis the Season for sure. thanks for sharing this.

  6. I love making a tea with ginger, honey, and lime for sore throats. Ginger has so many healing properties! I keep it on hand. When our throats start to get the littlest bit scratchy, this will kick it before it grows into anything.

    1. Yes, ginger is so good! I pretty much lived on it when during my pregnancies when I was so sick. Ginger tea and chews where the only things that helped my constant nausea.

  7. I love the idea of a “feel good basket”!! My number one go-to thing is a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup. I stock up on chicken and make it for everyone 🙂

    1. Chicken soup is our favorite too. I love making it even when we aren’t sick! It’s so good and comforting, I can’t wait until we have our first cold day where I can make soup.

  8. Jonathan Key says:

    We stock up on food and do essential oils in our family. Good thing too my allergies are starting to act up!

    1. Ugh! Allergies are the worst, especially this time of year when it’s hard to tell if it’s the beginning signs of a cold or just allergies. I’ve never had to deal with allergies personally but my husband and son are pretty much allergic to everything! 🙂

  9. Samantha @HealthyWifeys says:

    Awesome tips! We just finished up stocking our medicine cabinet for the winter. I feel like a squirrel harboring nuts! Can’t believe it’s almost here!

    1. Ha! Yes, that’s exactly what it feels like 🙂 My husband always gives me hard time but then he’s always grateful when we have what he needs when he gets sick 🙂

  10. These are all great tips. I can identify with number 1 right now because I just ran out of pain medicine! We don’t even wait until mid-October. The sniffles start the second week of school. Building immunity is something I need to be better at! Pinned your post. Have a great day!

    1. Thanks! Yes, our kids just started preschool last week and their noses are already runny! Glad to have taken the time to clean out and organize our medicine cabinet all ready 🙂

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