I try to be a minimalist, although I find myself being a collector. In the back of my mind plays the mantra that my father would always say, “You never know when you might need this!” True, but do I really need to keep it until I MIGHT actually need it? I might never need it!
I’ve worked hard this past year to clean out and re-organized and get rid of clutter that I don’t need sitting around. We do have a small house so that is a good incentive, however, it’s still easy to find unclaimed corners!
We thought we were going to move a year ago, so I packed up and simplified as much of my home as I could… preparing to put it on the market and try to make the home look as big as possible! It was so freeing to clear out so much stuff. I did get rid of a lot, but I also packed up a lot as well. I’ve found, though, as I’ve gone back to unpack things (so frustrating) that I need I find so many things I’ve done without for a year and have hardly missed. Once we unpack in a new home (in the next 2-5 years! or so it feels) there will be so much more I can unload since I won’t be as attached to it!
But anyway… this post wasn’t supposed to be about minimizing, de-cluttering and packing…. it’s about cleaners!
I have three little cleaners in my house. Thankfully they enjoy cleaning the bathroom and they actually do a pretty good job! I HATE cleaning bathrooms, so it is a huge blessing for me! One of the boys cleans the two toilets and the other cleans the two sinks. I have the 1 shower to do and baby girl like to help… so she gets a wet wash cloth and she cleans the floor or whatever else she so desires!
All that to say I don’t want to give them any bleach or other unknown chemicals to clean with. I usually make my own and use it for everything! It may not be the absolute best, but I know it cleans and I know my kids are safe using it.
All Purpose Cleaner
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1-2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup vinegar
Mix together (be careful, it will foam up with the vinegar hits the baking soda!) and store in a spray bottle.
I use this for every part of the bathroom (sink, toilet, shower, floor and diaper pail), on the kitchen counters, door knobs and finger prints on walls and doors, spot cleaning the kitchen floor, and anything else you could think of!
Kitchen floor cleaner
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 gallon warm water
I used this mixture on the vinyl floor we used to have and now that we have wood laminate flooring. I can’t get it as wet, but still use it and then use a cloth to dry the floor as much as I can to help keep it from having water spots all over it.
These are my two favorite cleaners which are easy to make, simple to use and safe for little hands. They have a nice smell to them, although the vinegar smell may take some getting used to. Now when I smell it I associate it with cleanliness! I’m sure it’s just grown on me!
Just as a quick explanation of why these mixtures work. The baking soda deodorizes, whitens and is mildly abrasive for scrubbing. The lemon juice also whitens, disinfects and adds a nice smell. And lastly, the vinegar is also a disinfectant, removes some odors, stains and mildew and cuts grease. Why wouldn’t you want to use these ingredients?
I’m sure there are essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, and many others that would add a nice smell, but I’ve never experimented with them. If you’ve given it a try let me know! I’d also love to hear how these cleaners work for you!