The other day I saw a meme on Facebook that said there are only 50 days until spring. With the arrival of the warmer weather, I wanted to share some tips for spring cleaning your home with a smaller carbon footprint. While I cannot imagine that housework will ever be FUN, there are ways to make it easier, quicker, and healthier for our planet. Clutter in our homes can effect our health (like dust collection!) and stress levels and the cleaners we use can have a huge impact on our planet. So, how do we declutter, de-stress, and green up our living spaces? Here are 10 simple solutions to get you started on your journey! A cleaner, greener home can be good for US and good for the planet! I will include affiliate links to a few products that may help you declutter your house.
10 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Home
Declutter the house:
Look around you…do you need all that stuff? Take it slowly but go through each room and get rid of the clutter. Recycle the paper products (old phone books, junk mail, etc), donate the clothes and toys to children’s shelters or goodwill, check out Freecycle and find a new home for the things you no longer need (check out my post on what to do with old books before tossing them!). Just because you want it out of YOUR house, doesn’t mean somebody else can’t use it! You can’t clean your home unless you declutter it first! Check out a few books on Amazon to learn how to declutter the house.
Start a Cleaning Routine
Now that you have uncluttered, you can start cleaning. Develop a routine…mine is morning laundry, empty dishwasher, make the beds, fix the lunches. Get up, get dressed, get moving and get those chores started. You will feel better about yourself because you have been productive and your housework will get done because it will become a habit. When you throw in your laundry, make sure it is a full load and wash on cold with an eco friendly detergent!
Natural Room Deodorizing
I think my mood is lifted and I am more energized when my house smells good! When you have your next orange, save the peel. Put it in a pot of water on the stove with some whole cloves and a snip of a vanilla bean. Put it on low and let simmer. You could also buy a soy candle and burn that. Don’t forget to recycle the jar when it is gone.
Green Cleaning Products
Choose your cleaning products carefully. Being eco friendly is important to me not only because it is better for our planet but it is also safer for my kids. Read the labels and pick a company that you know cares about the ingredients they use in their cleaners. Vinegar water make a great wood floor cleaner. Just dilute 1 to 4 in water and add a drop or two of eco friendly dish liquid. Mop the floors…no need to rinse!
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Since green cleaning can be a bit more expensive, look for coupons and stock up on things when they are on sale. That way, you will never run out and you cannot use that as an excuse to not clean the toilets! Keep one of every item you need in a bucket along with sponges, toilet scrubbers, paper towels, etc. Tote the bucket from room to room when you are cleaning. When something is empty, recycle the bottle and grab and new one to restock.
Green Pantry Products
One of my favorite tips for spring cleaning your home is to look to your pantry for some of your cleaning supplies. Cleaning the microwave is easy…add 1/3 cup of lemon juice to 2/3 cup of water. Put that in the microwave for 4 minutes. The steam will loosen the dried bits on the inside of your microwave and they can be wiped off. Then, immediately sprinkle baking soda in your drain and pour the lemon juice/water mixture down the drain. Now, you have a clean and fresh smelling drain as well!
Enlist the help of others
There is no reason you have to do ALL the work! Most likely, YOU did not make all the mess! I like the 2-hour weekend power cleaning method. Give everyone chores (assign children to different rooms so there is no goofing off!) and get moving…sheets, bathrooms, dusting, window cleaning, etc. Now that you are using green cleaners, you don’t have to worry so much about your kids handling them! Use old rags to dust and not paper towels for less trash production.
Clean Your Sink
Never go to bed with a dirty sink! Have a before bed routine. Pick up toys, straighten couch pillows, wash stray dishes, set out backpacks for school age kids, wipe down bathroom counters and mirrors if they are covered in leftover toothpaste. Major cleaning can last the whole week if you keep things tidy and swish and swipe bathrooms and kitchen counters regularly. Vinegar water is great for cleaning mirrors and sinks! Just put it in a spray bottle and keep it within reach! They will sparkle!
One of the best tips for spring cleaning your home is to not let things pile up! I have a tendency to stack paid invoice in piles to be filed…I should just file them right away and have it done! Have a two story house? Put a basket at the bottom of the steps and toss things in that need to go upstairs. Next time you go, grab the basket! Put it away while you’re up there…no need for multiple trips!
Make a list every night
Lists are great…write down things that need doing (clean out the fridge lately?) and supplies that need to be purchased (did you just use your last roll of recycled paper towels?) You will sleep better knowing you are prepared for tomorrow and you will have a list of necessary items to purchase so you can make ONE trip to the store instead of 3. Less driving means more time at home and less pollution in the air!
I hope these tips for spring cleaning your home help you be more productive with your efforts. Don’t forget, we are all human. We have bad days and good days and hopefully those balance each other out in the grand scheme of things. If you have a sick child, put the housework off for a day and don’t stress over it. One day won’t matter! But, if you stay organized, uncluttered, and stock up on eco-friendly cleaning supplies you will never have to worry about a messy home again! At least until your kids have their next play date!
Have any other tips for spring cleaning your home?
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Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.