The Joy of Cleaning
If you are like me, once you get into the rhythm of a deep home cleaning, you begin to enjoy it. And, most times, actually love it! There is something quite relaxing about washing dishes with some favorite tunes playing in the background, or vacuuming the house while planning dinner in your head, or even cleaning out (and purging!) your closet.
As I get older, I become more and more of a minimalist. I’d rather purchase one thing that I absolutely love than ten things I like – which I will undoubtedly discard after a year when I do another closet purge anyway.
While I love having a clean home, I do not love the smell of bleach or other heavily chemical-based products. For the most part, I actually prefer to make my own cleaning products, made from natural and therefore safe ingredients.
For instance, I can’t imagine spraying my kitchen countertops with a bleach-based product. My kids are constantly setting food down on the counter and then eating it, and the thought of bleach getting into their systems freaks me out. Instead, I mix 1 cup of white vinegar with 2 cups of water and add half a dozen drops of lemon essential oil to make cleaning spray. I mix these ingredients in a glass spray bottle, shake and spray! I prefer to use a rag instead of paper towels because it provides a deeper clean and is better for the environment.
The same white vinegar and water solution can be used for cleaning bathroom tile and counters as well. For the toilet, I combine 3/4 cup borax, 1 cup white vinegar, a dozen drops of lavender essential oil and half a dozen of lemon essential oil. Again, I mix these in a glass spray bottle, shake, and spray all over the inside and outside of the toilet. This mixture cleans just as well as chemical cleaners, but leaves out the nasty smell and harsh chemicals.
I have two fur babies and their health and well-being are extremely important to me. I avoid using harsh products on my floors because of my pets. Instead, I mix 1 gallon of hot water, 3/4 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup lemon juice for a fantastic wood floor cleaner and polish. It works like a charm and is safe for my pups.
While I get pleasure from clean counters and floors, my secret obsession is the refrigerator. Do you ever feel a small triumph after a proper fridge clean like I do? It’s almost alarming how long we hold on to expired food products. I’ll embarrassingly admit to discovering 2 year old (expired) sauces and spreads, as well as moldy produce and sad looking leftovers. While the process of cleaning might be tedious, I love the feeling of accomplishment once I’m finished scouring and scrubbing. I especially feel this way after cleaning out closets. While deciding what belongs in the “donation” pile might sting a bit at first, I thoroughly enjoy the open, less cluttered look and feel of a closet. Space between hangers, no clothes rolled into a ball in the back corner, nothing from my days of “pre-kids”. (You know what I’m talking about, and no, those pants have no plans on fitting again. Time to toss!)
I love this piece about closet purging. Whether it’s your closet, your kitchen, your overall home aesthetic, or your life in general, it’s important to remember to ‘collect moment, not things’. While I am just as fashion-obsessed as the next guy, I think there is something really spectacular about living a minimalistic life: to collect and keep only what you love and cannot live without, and then donate the rest. Don’t hold on to something for the sake of a memory or the idea you might “want to wear it one day”. Once you release the clutter, you will feel amazing and your home will look amazing.