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Better Choices - Green, Clean and Organized
April 02, 2010
What's In This Issue:
Green Spring Cleaning
It's spring.... and my fancy turns to spring cleaning (I have got to get a life.). Oh well, this is a time for a fresh start and what better way to lift your spirit and make your home a pleasure to be in than to do some cleaning, maybe a little painting and work on ridding your house of clutter.
Sounds like a plan to me but why not try to approach this from a greener perspective by choosing safer, green products. If your usual cleaning products carry warning labels consider looking for alternatives.
1. Green cleaning products have come a long way. You can find products in all price ranges that clean just about anything safely. Many popular store brands now offer their own line of more natural and naturally derived products at affordable prices. This is one alternative but if possible shop with companies that don't sell conventional cleaning products and then offer a line of safer, green products. To find out more about choosing safer cleaning products check out my page on green cleaning products.
2. The safest and most economical products to use are those you make yourself. If you have yet to try making some of your own products give it a try. I use both products I buy and those I make. I know you can make your own laundry detergent and I applaud those that do but this and some other cleaning products I will buy.
I have a few ingredients that I have around all the time and use for cleaning. They are the basics lemons, vinegar and baking soda. They are the ones always mentioned for homemade cleaning and for good reason they work. Read homemade cleaning products for recipes and other tips for using these and other natural ingredients.
3. Skip conventional air fresheners. Most of these products are just a mish mash of chemicals. The fragrance ingredients alone cause many people to have allergic reactions and ingredients such as formeldyhyde are not those that I want my family to be breathing. You can purchase natural air fresheners made from natural fragrances and essential oils that are much safer and as effective. Consider making your own homemade air freshener it's easy to do.
Here is one to try:
In a new clean 2oz spray bottle mix:
2 Tbsp Vodka
Shake & Spray!
4. If painting is on your to do list look for paints with low VOC's (volatile organic compounds) these are chemicals in the paint that make it smell. They aren't good to breathe and they make some of us feel sick. I know some people who ignore this but if I am headachy or nauseous when using a product I feel like my body is trying to tell me something and I don't ignore it. Sometimes our bodies are smarter than we are.
Fortunately we now have easily available options. My local Lowes carries Olympic Paint that is zero VOC and it works great. Check out your local hardware and paint stores for zero or low VOC paints. It's even possible to use natural paints. All it takes is a little on-line searching.
5. One of the biggest lifts to my spirits is cleaning up clutter. It has been an on-going process. Years of keeping things that I might use some day left me with just too much stuff. At one time I rented a storage unit to keep it all but realized how much money it was costing me to keep things I hadn't used for years. I've used various techniques to reorganize much of my home so that I do not need the storage unit any more but I still have areas of my house that I am frustrated with and feel a little over whelmed whenever I think about getting them straightened out.
I needed some inspiration so my first place to turn is books on the topic. (I do love books but they are a part of my clutter problem). This time I ended up buying an e-book (Yeah!, no book to store) called Declutter Fast. I was hoping to find some ideas to tackle these areas quickly.
This book was a quick and easy read and I found some great suggestions that I had not used before for clearing clutter from an area quickly to provide immediate relief to a clutter problem. I'll use these on one of my worst storage areas.
One of my favorite suggestions is a simple and obvious system based on a place for everything and everything in it's place. The author suggests having specific areas set up to store the 17 essentials. I wasn't don't this. Sure I had clothes in the closet, cleaning products under the sink etc but I had pet supplies in a couple of different spots, household tools in drawers and closets, craft supplies everywhere and the biggest problem of all paperwork all over the place. It made sense to me to start with this idea and so far I am pleased with the results. By having a clearly defined area for these items I am starting to make sure everything at least gets returned here.
It seems like finding an organizing technique is different for everyone I found the techniques in Declutter Fast worked for me. Maybe this e-book will help you. No matter which method you use make getting rid of the clutter a priority. From my own personal experience it has been one of the best things I have done. It has brought a feeling of comfort and serenity to my whole house and has helped me feel more in control. I can find things easier so that means much less stress. It's a good feeling.
So go grab some lemons, find some empty boxes and get going on your projects for spring.
New To Natural Living For Women
Thanks to all the readers and contributors to Natural Living for Women. I hope in some way this site has been helpful to you.
Please feel free to contact me at any time with comments or ideas you would like to see in the future.
Until next time.
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