Give your home better air.

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This past May, when we first moved into our new house by the beach (which is just a rental), I worried about who had lived there last and what their lifestyle was. Were they smokers?  Did they clean the kitchen counters with bleach every day? I had no idea what the indoor air quality was going to be like.   On top of that, a day or two after being surrounded by boxes, my husband says “um, I don’t feel so good, I think those boxes have a lot of formaldehyde in them.”


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I was already in maniac mode to get all the boxes out as soon as possible, since I am a wee bit OCD and so is sweet Penelope- it’s part of her Sensory Processing Disorder.  Seeing the piles of boxes was physically painful to me.  Like nails on a chalkboard 24/7.  It was hard on both of us to see everything out of place and in complete chaos.  But then when I realized they had chemicals in them, that was it, they had to GO!

All in all, we lived in a house with boxes for about four days: a day and half in Tallahassee as we packed up and then another three days as we unpacked, so it could have been worse, but breathing formaldehyde fumes for any amount of time is no bueno.

In addition, we finally got a bed for our guest bedroom.  We had been using a mattress on the floor for a over a year, because we didn’t want to buy anything before we were sure we were going to have room in our new house for a king sized guest bed.  But once we got settled in and realized we did have room, it was off to IKEA for some cheap, particle board furniture, filled with, you guessed it, formaldehyde.

We did our usual thing, letting it off gas outside for awhile before bringing it in, but it can take a long, long time for it to off gas everything.

My solution?

Indoor plants!  Everywhere!  I have at least two or three in each room to help improve the indoor air quality and in turn improve our health.

All of the plants I chose pull out toxins and chemicals in the air and of course put back out clean oxygen.

Click the button to turn the page and read what plants I picked——–>

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About the Author

Hiya! I'm Stephanie. Mama and Baby Love is all about helping mothers on their own personal health and healing journey and enjoying life along the way. You can learn more about me and what I'm all about. Sign up for my newsletter for more tips, info and inspiration!


  1. Are these plants ok if you leave them unwatered for a long weekend? We go to my in-laws’ house quite often, and I’m not great at remembering plants, anyway. My aloe plant is about as adventurous as I have been willing to go since I killed a palm tree by forgetting to water it. I’m tons better about stuff like this than I was when the poor palm died, but I have been wondering what, besides the aloe, will survive our weekends away.

    • All of these plants only need to be water every several days. Just touch the soil with your finger and if the soil is dry water it. But you could easily get away with leaving for a weekend.

  2. Thanks for this very thorough and awesome article. I love that there are pictures and very detailed descriptions.
    Awesome job!

  3. I had no idea the moving boxes contained formaldehyde, we just moved and I am surrounded by them. Some extra motivation to get through them fast. And to get some more plants.
    My 5 year old daughter also has sensory-processing disorder and OCD tendencies, I’m going to have to look through your archives now to see if there are some related articles that I have missed!

  4. What is a good plant to have inside an office with no lights and in hot humid south Louisiana? Thanks!!!

    • The Spider plant is probably your best bet. :)

      • Thanks Stephanie! One more question – one of my coworkers had a plant in her office (not sure of the kind), but she noticed nats flying around in her office and come to find out they were coming from the soil she used in her pot plant.
        Do you have any reccomedations on a good soil to use for the spider plant inside my office? Sorry if i am getting to technical here:).

        • That is interesting! I have never heard that. I just use regular potting soil. Sometimes I put my coffee grind on top and then water as a fertilizer, but I don’t know too much aobut specifics of soil content and ph for indoor plants…outdoor a little but not indoor, sorry.

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