July 2009

Cleaning With Lemons

When life gives you lemons, use them to clean! Lemons and lemon juice can be a great natural cleaner to use around your home. The clean, fresh scent is great for a nice pick me up feel around your home and using lemons provides a safe, non-toxic way to clean that will not harm your pets or your children and they add a natural antibacterial property that is safe for you and the environment unlike some of the harsher chemicals.

Here are but a few of the great ways that you can use lemons to clean around your house:

Have Dingy and Dirty Silver and Copper that you Want to Clean? Lemon juice works great for a safe and non-toxic way to shine them right up, just wash the lemon juice off and be sure to dry the items immediately.

Making Your Own Laundry Detergent

Homemade cleaners are definitely the way to go these days. Not only are they cheaper, they’re also generally more environmentally-friendly. Since you know all of the ingredients that go into your creations, you also shouldn’t have any worries about possible allergic reactions.

You have the added benefit of choosing only materials that are safe on both your body as well as the earth, as well avoiding the purchase of additional packaging materials.

Assemble the following ingredients:

1 cup of pure soap, finely chopped or grated

Half a cup of salt

Half a cup of baking soda

Half a cup of washing soda

Half a cup of borax

Cleaning 100 Things - And Getting Rid Of The Rest

Several years ago I moved from a 1,200 square foot apartment to the 400 square foot cabin in the woods where I live now.  I soon found that I essentially had three households' worth of stuff crammed into my single home.  And sadly, I was not alone.

I have become a decluttering fiend in the time since then - and even so, I have to confess that I have a long way to go.  At the very least, decluttering is an ongoing battle that can never be won.  I mean, until you die.  And you're lucky, and you go to a place where there is no clutter, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

Take the 100 Things Challenge

Could you live with just 100 things?

Think about it. Between the microwave and a few outfits, a reusable mug and your car, you’re pretty much set, right? But what about your significant other’s things—and your children’s things?

Americans generally have the monopoly on buying and hoarding. Some call it “gross consumerism;” others call it “my precious” a thousand times over. With closets, storage containers, under-the-bed boxes and attics and basements full of crap that we rarely ever use—if at all—we’re all like that creepy garbage lady on Labyrinth (“Here you go, make yourself up!”), even if just a little. We even make contraptions to shrink our storage bags so we can store even more stuff—and we pay storage facilities to do it for us!

Good Chores for Small Children

When your three-year-old spills water all over the floor or leaves his or her toys strewn across the house, you may find yourself spending the majority of the day feeling like a human vacuum cleaner, following him around and cleaning up every mess. But toddlers need to learn to keep clean just like every other family member in your house, and there’s no better time to teach them than now.

Toddlers will get a kick out of cleaning, so you’ll hear less whining and more “Ok!” responses if you maintain the enthusiasm. Don’t command, “Lucy, clean up this room now!” Instead, excitedly say, “Lucy, let’s clean up! It’s fun!” Follow up with an engaging cleaning song or a CD, make a game about cleaning quickly, and boom, you’re done in ten minutes.

How to Get Some Cleaning Help

Sometimes we feel like we’re leading double lives—our first career and then our second, unpaid job of house cleaner/manager. Housework should never fall on one person alone. Even if a couple decides that one person will work while the other stays at home to take care of it, it’s still important for everyone to pick up after themselves and respect one another.

When the members of a household start taking one person for granted because he or she tends to do all of the laundry, dishes, dusting, or all of the chores completely, not only is it hurtful and disrespectful for that person—it’s also quite slovenly of the rest of the house! If you, for example, microwave a bowl of chili and simply leave your microwave mess because “so-and-so will clean it,” there is a problem. But it’s an easy enough problem to fix. Here are some tips to use in dividing up household chores.