If you're ready for spring cleaning, but don't want to expose your family or pets to an entire weekend of harsh chemicals and toxic fumes, you're not alone. With more families going green and choosing a more healthy lifestyle every year, many of us are also looking for new, toxic free ways to clean our homes. Here are three natural household products you've probably got on hand that are amazing, natural cleaners:
- White Vinegar - Vinegar is probably the best, streak-free glass cleaner around. Use it in a spray bottle at a mixture of one part vinegar and three parts water. Add three or four drops of citrus essential oil to the mixture as well. Use a clean and lint free cloth for mirrors, windows, and any other glass in your home.
Vinegar is also great as a stain and grease remover on fabrics or carpeting. Use 1/2 cup vinegar and 2 Tablespoons of salt to lightly rub the carpet stain. Let it sit until the solution is dry and then vacuum. If the stain is older or dark add a couple of Tablespoons of Borax to the mixture.
Are any of your drains backed up? Mix three parts vinegar to one part baking soda, pour down the drain and let it sit overnight. Not only will this mixture help clear your drain, but will deodorize them as well.
- Baking Soda - Since we mentioned baking soda, here's a few other uses for this gem of a cleaner. It can be used to clean your stove top, sinks and counters, since it has a slight abrasive quality. Baking soda will also remove the grimy buildup that gets around the bottom of your sink faucets. Need to deodorize your rooms? Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and vacuum it up in an hour or so.
- Peroxide - Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a bleach substitute and it also doubles as a sanitizer. Use it in a spray bottle for counters, shower walls, and anywhere you need to clean and disinfect.
Armed with these three natural cleaners, you'll be able to complete all your spring cleaning without having to worry about how it will affect your health or the health of your family members.
Once everything is shining, here's a few declutter ideas for your garage shelving:
Rethink Your Garage Shelving Plan
Spring cleaning is also the perfect time to declutter and to rethink your current garage shelving plan. Are your cleaning supplies and household items currently stored in the back of your garage for easy access from within the home? If not, you may want to map out a new garage storage solution. If your items are properly categorized and stored in easy access areas, you'll find it much easier to keep your garage neat and tidy.
A few quick garage shelving ideas to consider: Drop down garage shelving on the back wall will allow you to store overflow from your kitchen pantry, as well as brooms, mops, buckets and cleaners. The side wall is perfect for yard equipment, bikes, and sports equipment. If you still need more storage space, consider a garage ceiling storage system. This is perfect for bins and items not frequently used, such as luggage, camping supplies, and holiday items.
Going green with your cleaning supplies and decluttering go hand-in-hand. When we have a large accumulation of "stuff" we just naturally feel more overwhelmed. Letting go and choosing a more minimalist lifestyle helps you to detach from "material things" so you can focus on the things in life that really matter.