2. Rethink your bedtime routine: Hopping in the shower in the morning is one way to kick-start your day, but switching to a nighttime routine during the spring and summer can curb your symptoms. You'll wash away the allergens that stick to your hair and face, so they won't rub off on your pillow and irritate your eyes and nose. "At the very least, gently clean your eyelids with a little baby shampoo each evening," suggests Clifford W. Bassett, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, New York.
3. Hit the laundry room more frequently: When you get back from a walk or barbecue, change into a clean set of clothes. Then toss the old ones right into your hamper or laundry so you won't track allergens throughout the house. And wash your sheets once a week on the hot cycle: Korean researchers recently found that water heated to 140°F eliminates virtually all allergens, including pollen and dust mites, sneeze-causing organisms that thrive in humid weather.
4. Put pets in their place: Dogs and cats that frolic outdoors can collect pollen in their fur and transport it into your home. During hay fever season, ban your pet from your bedroom or at least keep him off the furniture, says Bassett. Bathe him as frequently as possible or wipe him down when he comes in from the yard with a premoistened cloth, such as Simple Solution Allergy Relief from Pets ($7; petco.com).
5. Clear the air: Almost half of seasonal allergy sufferers are also bothered by irritants such as fragrances and cleaning products, according to a recent study in the journal Indoor Air. To breathe easier, invest in a HEPA air purifier, which filters out aggravating indoor pollutants. A good pick: Honeywell HEPA Tower Air Purifier ($250; target.com).
6. Trim your lawn: Not only will your manicured yard be the envy of your neighbors, the shorter blades won’t trap as much pollen from trees and flowers. (But because mowing can stir up pollen, ask someone else to do it—or cover your nose and mouth with a face mask or handkerchief.)