Spring Cleaning

Spring time is here, the perfect opportunity to dust off that winter layer and ring in a new season.  While dusting things off and making way for a new energy in your home, consider integrating some simple green elements into your space.  This is an ideal time to begin developing green habits while turning your home into a nurturing, healthy sanctuary. 

 

Spring Cleaning 123/365 Start off by opening all the windows and doors and allow the fresh aromas of this season to move through your house.  Even if you live a bustling metropolis, outside air is usually cleaner than stagnant indoor air, a bit surprising isn’t it?   
 

Consider a deep cleaning of furniture covers, linens and rugs – an excellent opportunity to get rid of dust bunnies and hiding cobwebs.   


During this clean sweep, consider storing heavy winter blankets and trade them for lighter cottons and natural fibers.  If you have heavy drapery on your windows, safely store them for the Fall and hang light-weight fabrics that will allow the warm sunshine to stream into your home.  

photo via sashaw


Since this is a time of natural transformation, consider taking a full approach and remove any items from your home that have piled up over the years.  Donate what you don’t need and safely remove anything that needs to be handled properly, such chemicals and hazardous materials. 
 

A great place to start is by removing the toxins that already reside in your home.  Check under the kitchen/bathroom sink and garage for unknown and miscellaneous products that may be potentially hazardous to your health and that of your family.  Many everyday products fall under this category, always read ingredients and caution labels.  My rule of thumb is, if I cannot pronounce the ingredient or recognize it, I trust that it is dangerous and opt to not have it in my home.   Should you find some of these things and want to get rid of and don’t know how?  Drop them off at a Haz Mat (hazardous material) collection site.   
 

Instead of spending extra money on future purchases of some of these chemicals, consider how our grandparents used to clean – naturally!   
 

Here are some DIY recipes:   
 

Toilet Bowl Cleaner 
 

  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • ½ Lemon
  • 1 cup vinegar

 
 
 

Mix ingredients into a paste, place inside rim and let sit for a couple of minutes and then scrub.  
 

Add essential oils (ie:  tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus) for pleasant odors and anti-fungal/bacteria fighting properties. 
 

Tub / Tile Cleaner 
 

  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups baking soda

 
 

  • For tough stains use white vinegar on a rag to help first.

              * Careful as vinegar may also break down grout.   
 

Mix ingredients into a paste and apply with a brush and scrub. 
 

Add essential oils (ie:  tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus) for pleasant odors and anti-fungal/bacteria fighting properties. 
 
 

Bronze Cleaner 
 

  • ¼  cup sea salt
  • ½ lemon

 
 

Sprinkle salt on bronze and use half lemon like a sponge and work in circular motion.  Voila!   
 

With these simple recipes you will quickly realize that harmful and expensive cleaners are not necessary to get the job done.  You can find more recipes here
 

Some other easy tips would be to incorporate aerators on your faucets and low flow showerheads for your bathroom.  Be cautious with the amount of water you use and consider it a source for life rather than a resource! 
 

Another simple tip to consider is shopping at the farmers market at least a few times a month.  Not only do you support your local economy but you will be assured with knowing where you food comes from.   
 

Spring-cleaning is optimum for enticing the senses and promoting a lighter sensibility.  Take advantage of this metamorphosis that is happening all over nature and incorporate elements into your life to help you live a more simple and green life – Happy Spring!


For more on Nancy, visit Astrid Design Studio

 

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