The return of warm weather is thrilling. But if you suffer from allergies, spring might be a frustrating time for you. Between stocking up on allergy medications and dealing with watery eyes all day long, you may feel like there’s no relief in sight.

You can’t force the flowers to stop making pollen. But you can control the air quality inside your home. Here are a few tips to help keep allergens outside and alleviate some of the pain of allergy season.

1. Remove shoes at the door

Shoes don’t just track germs in from the outdoors. They also bring in crazy amounts of pollen, dander, and dust. Take the safe—and healthy—route by leaving your shoes at the front door before entering your home. It’s a simple action that can go a long way in keeping your allergy symptoms at bay.

2. Keep clutter at bay

If you suffer from allergies, the last thing you need are piles upon piles of clothing, books or unnecessary items scattered about your space. To avoid dust mites, stay organized, and make a habit of using a damp cloth or mop to clear your floors daily of any dust build-up.

3. Beware of open windows

Who doesn’t love breathing in fresh air? Unfortunately, if you suffer from allergies, an open window is the perfect way for pollen to get into your home. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America suggests that allergy sufferers keep their windows (and doors) shut as much as possible. An air filter with a high MERV rating can also help reduce the amount of pollen and other allergens that gets into your house.

4. Control mold

Mold tends to creep up in areas like bathrooms and kitchens, where humidity and moisture are typical. Clean your shower regularly, making sure tiles are scrubbed thoroughly to prevent mold. Use your bathroom exhaust fan when showering, and your kitchen hood fan when cooking. Kitchens should also be cleaned frequently. And whatever surface you’re cleaning, be mindful of drying it well.

5. Vacuum daily

Carpeting isn’t the best option for those who suffer from allergies, as dust mites and pet dander take residence in its long fibers. But if there’s no way around using this type of flooring in your home, make it a priority to vacuum as often as possible. If there are area rugs in the home, always wash or steam clean them regularly. Hard flooring, like wood, tile, or laminate, is the best option.

6. Steam-clean upholstery

Not only does steam-cleaning help extend the life of furniture, it’s a great natural solution for keeping allergies at bay. A good steam cleaner can get rid of dust particles and dirt—elements that bring on allergies. Just take care to vacuum furniture before the steam-cleaning, and to let it dry completely before it’s used.

7. Groom pets often

Even if pets aren’t the cause of your allergies, their fur and dander can contribute to a dusty house—which breeds dust mites. For this reason, it pays to maintain pets’ grooming routines. Bathe and brush pets regularly to help keep dust bunnies off the ground and out of the air. It’s also a good idea to set boundaries for where your pets are allowed to roam in the home. Keep them out of your bedroom, an area that you definitely want to keep allergy-free.

Top Image Credit: Foley & Cox Interiors

Do you have spring allergies? What allergy-beating tricks work best for you?