Minimalism + eco cleaning
Cleaning is just about my favourite activity. But I can understand why some people find it daunting. When the prospect of cleaning your house top to bottom is likely to take half a day and the notion of discovering mouldy food in the bottom of your fridge or creepy crawlies lingering in the depths of your cupboard is a high possibility, is it any wonder why most people avoid it like the plague. There's also the fact that in our busy modern lives, who has the time to clean?
But our modern lives are half of the problem. With the plethora of chemicals escaping from our furniture and toxins from our environment, we clean our homes with toxic products and pump air fresheners into our air. Is it any wonder that people have asthma, eczema and allergies. Cleaning should be pure, simple and natural. Cleaning should also be inexpensive. Did you ever notice how pricey it is when you do a grocery shop for cleaning products?
When I first moved out of home years ago, I stocked my cleaning cupboard with separate products for the kitchen, bathroom, toilet, dusting, windows and floors. Not only did it cost me a fortune and my house smelt somewhat like a hospital but I was buying up a bunch of unnecessary crap that I had no idea what it was made out of. It's no surprise that as I started to become more concerned about my health, the environment and my time, that my cleaning practices began to change. I now keep my cleaning products to a minimum and try to keep then as natural or plant based as possible.
My go to product has been distilled white vinegar. I use it primarily as my 'furniture polish' but have also recently found out that it's good at keeping mould away. Because our bathroom doesn't have good ventilation, I spray the vinegar on the ceiling, leave for abit then wipe away. Another cheap go-to is bicarb soda. It's great for removing bad smells so before I vacuum, I sprinkle some on the carpet and let it seep in. This is also a good idea if you have pets in the house. Mixing the vinegar and bicarb into a paste, you can use them to clean your shower and toilet. For the dishes and the washing I use Eco Store, it's a tad more expensive than other products but does the job without containing any nasties. To replace those horrid air fresheners, I use coffee beans that I keep in recycled candle jars and have copious plants around the house to help filter the air. I keep a peace Lily in the bathroom because they are supposed to be good at preventing mould. Dyson vacuums are my favourite, the HEPA filter helps to trap dust particles that cheap vacuums cannot get to.
Cleaning should be safe, but it should also be efficient. Because I have been reducing the amount of unnecessary clutter in my house, zooming over with the duster and vacuum is an easy job. I generally start in the kitchen as I wash up for breakfast, then move on to the bathroom and other areas of the house. All the while, the clothes are being washed and generally finish around the same time as I finish up the house. Everyone has their own cleaning routine, but it's about finding a system that works for you and your lifestyle. Parents or people who work on the weekend may not be able to do a Saturday morning clean like I do, in which case, perhaps dedicating a night or different jobs for different times is a better system. Start to think about how you clean and the way that you want your home to look and feel. start making small changes or swaps that will enable your house to be naturally fresh.