Spring into Healthy Cleaning!
Spring is so many things - new life, more energy, longer days... and cleaning. Spring cleaning is more than a chore, it's a ritual. For a lot of people, it's a way to celebrate the gentler seasons by freshening and reopening the home. Historically, the sanitation overhaul that starts sometime in March served to wash away the soot of a dark winter, when heat and light came from fires and oil lamps. Before electricity and gas lines, ash and smoke clung to every indoor surface. When the days started getting longer, everyone could see that some major cleaning was needed.
The thing is, spring cleaning, even without the layers of soot, is a surefire way to stir up dust and spread harsh chemicals. Coupled with allergies this time of year, the winter residue can really put a damper on seasonal excitement. Since colds and sickness are best left for winter months, why not make the switch to healthy and eco-friendly spring cleaning? It's easier than it sounds.
1. Trade conventional, store-bought cleaning products for homemade solutions from your own cupboards. The following ingredients can be mixed together in a multitude of safe cleaning and disinfecting formulas:
- Baking soda
- Unscented soap liquid, flakes, powders, or bars
- White vinegar
- Washing soda
- Citrus solvent
- Tea tree oil
2. Let in the fresh air! Open windows and doors to let the crisp spring air sweep through the house. The outdoor air is free of indoor pollutants that come from carpets, furniture, and the house itself. Not only will it make the home seem refreshed, but the new air helps energize your body.
3. Start from the top of your home and work down to the bottom - literally. If you go to the extent of dusting the tops of door frames, you'll pick up that dust when you clean the floors. Likewise, tossing dirty laundry and other unneeded items down the stairs and into unclean rooms will get them out of the way, and designate them as property yet to be cleaned.
4. Use a good vacuum that really cleans your air. Old vacuums with exposed bags permit a lot of dust to get back into the rooms. Newer models with water filtration systems do a better job of capturing the aggravating debris. 5. Introduce plants into the home. NASA research indicates that indoor plants can not only beautify and provide oxygen, but also absorb elements that are harmful to humans and pets.
6. There is a wonderful term for sorting through and parting with old possessions: Decrapifying. This elimination of the year's clutter minimizes the surface area for settling allergens. Consider getting together with neighbors for yard sales, or taking a trip to local thrift stores that accept donations.
7. Look for storage areas that haven't been cleaned lately - or ever. This could be the insides of cupboards, desks, or refrigerators. Knowing that these "hidden" places are organized and clean will make you feel better, and free up space for other items that need to be stored. And making sure that kitchen areas that hold or warm food are clean will lessen the chances of bacteria growth and resulting illness.
8. Listen to upbeat music or other entertaining audio to lift your spirits and keep yourself motivated. You might even begin to associate cleaning with fun! Spring is the perfect time to start anew with a clean and healthy home. These helpful and healthful ideas should make it easier for you to clean your house without toxins or increasing the allergen levels. What better way to start the season?