Have you been noticing that parts of your house seem to have an ever growing pile of clutter? No worries, it happens to us all. It starts slow, a little bowl that is especially cute, a cd that provides a feeling of nostalgia and let us not forget, that little gorgeous shirt that became too small that will be worn again just as soon as 5 pounds are lost.
Doesn’t it always seem that the holidays approach so quickly that you feel like you are running around like crazy at the last minute? That is sometimes how I feel, but I have found that by beginning my preparations now, I can avoid a lot of that.
Baking soda, renowned for its odor-controlling properties, makes a great partner to the disinfecting and deodorizing attributes of lemon juice. When you combine the two, few odors can resist the attack. Best of all, baking soda and lemon juice are harmless in septic tanks, non-toxic, and leave your whole kitchen smelling cleaner after they are used in the sink.
To clean your sink drains with baking soda and lemon juice, pour a generous amount – about one-quarter cup – of baking soda on the drain. Next, squirt a good serving of lemon juice onto the baking soda. One or two tablespoons should be sufficient. When the two get together, you will see a lot of fizzing and bubbling. Let this mixture sit for several minutes, and then pour a half-gallon of water all at once into the sink. This will help wash the mixture evenly through the drains.
Usually after one application of baking soda and lemon juice, your sink will no longer stink and you can get back to enjoying a clean kitchen.
Like every small child before me I loved going to see my grandma, except for cleaning days. At my house when my mom cleaned it just smelled like cleaners, but grandma’s, it could smell like most anything, though the smell I remember the most is vinegar. When I really think about it, vinegar doesn’t smell that bad, I think it stood out simply because it wasn’t the smell of cleaners that had already become my norm.
Naturally as I became older and had to clean my own house I bought what my Mom used, typical everyday chemical based cleaners. As time went by green living became more and more important. I took great care to do my part, I recycled and reused. I was careful to make sure that any clothing, furniture or other household items went to someone who could use them rather than the trash. I made sure that my lunch was packed in containers rather than Ziploc bags. The one area that I failed in was my chemical and possibly toxic cleaners.
Two stories come to mind when I think about cleaning my kitchen counters; one is a story written by David Sedaris in his collection, Holidays on Ice in which he describes a mother who mumbles obscenities to herself as she tries to scrub sports out of her kitchen counter. The other, of course, is Macbeth, and the infamous line: “Out, damn'd spot.”
I began to think about this and realized that I have a lot to do. With these holidays only weeks away, I decided to begin now. There are numerous things to do now. I am somewhat of a perfectionist, so my house is generally “neat,” at least that is what my friends and family always tell me. What I can do though is start cleaning closets, decorating and planning my menus.
Just last week, I went through the clothes in my closet. I removed all of them and sorted them by style. I placed them on my bed in stacks of sweaters, t-shirts, dress shirts and so on. I then moved my summer clothes near the back of my closet, and replaced the front of my closet with my winter clothes. Another thing I also did was all of my laundry. I am usually good at completing the laundry each day, but this day in particular, I made sure I completed all of it, including putting it all away.
The nice part about doing this is that I get rid of a lot of items. If there are shirts, or pants, that I have not worn all year, it’s time for them to go. Luckily I have a niece that fits in my size and I offer these items to her. The ones she doesn’t choose go straight to the Salvation Army. After completing this project (which really doesn’t take long) I am left with an organized closet, a lot of empty hangers and I only have clothes that I really like, or wear often.