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Monday, April 2, 2012

5 Steps to Green Spring Cleaning and Refreshing Your Home

Spring is in the air - everything smells fresh and seeing nature wake-up from wintertime is fascinating. With spring, comes spring cleaning - there is just something inside of us that wants our home to feel and smell fresh and new, just like nature in springtime. The last thing you want to do while freshening your home is to introduce toxic chemicals by using commercial cleaners or creating a lot of waste by purchasing new things that you don't necessarily need. Read on to learn my 5 favorite ways to get your home clean while adding a refreshing "new" element, while saving the environment and your family's health too.

1. Open Those Windows
First things first, now that it is warm and sunny outside, it's time to let mother nature's fresh breeze do her magic. You will be amazed at how much fresher and cleaner your home will feel and smell if you simply let the fresh and clean air in!

2. Declutter It
For some reason clutter seems to build up over the winter months and springtime is the perfect time to go through it all. Make it simple, by using my simple sorting tip, go through everything and separate it into five bins; Keep, Donate, Sell, Recycle, and Trash. This makes things so much easier in the long run, you make a quick decision and roll with it. I always make a promise to myself that I will never look back into any of the bins, if I initially thought that I should donate or recycle it, then that is exactly what happens. The decluttering stage is also when I have Eben try on ALL of his clothing and we immediately donate or sell anything that no longer fits - this goes for Mr. Sweet Greens' closet and my own as well.

3. Organize It
Make your spring cleaning work last all year long by getting truly organized. This means only keeping items that you absolutely love and use and finding an exact place for everything in your home. I know that may sound a little harsh, but if you have an exact spot that you keep all of your crafting supplies for example, then when you have a few minutes to steal away to scrapbook - you won't waste that time looking for your scissors or glue. This goes for everything in your home - if it belongs in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom etc; that is where it should always stay.

4. Make Your Cleaners
Spring is the perfect time to make fresh batches of all of your favorite natural household cleaners. You can find some of my favorite household cleaner recipes here and my favorite laundry cleaners here. Green cleaners are amazing because you aren't poisoning the environment or your family and you save a bundle of cash making your own cleaners too!

5. Utilize the 6 R's for Refreshing Your Home
You can freshen up your home and give it a whole new look without spending a lot of money or making a huge impact on the environment. To give your home a "new" look and feel, utilize my 6 r's for re-freshening your home
  • Recover: if your sofa or chair has seen better days but has great bones, give it a make-over by recovering it with a slipcover. 
  • Reorganize: Give your rooms a new look by switching around your furniture!
  • Revamp: Touch up walls with a fresh coat of no-VOC, eco-friendly paint, replace broken knobs, handles and hardware on cabinets and furniture. 
  • Refresh: Switch out your regular towels and linens with a new eco-friendly version, add potted plants and soy candles to your home. 
  • Repurpose: If you have a dresser that isn't being used, repurpose it into a buffet in your dining room or as a gift-wrapping station in your office. 
  • Reconsider: The next time you are considering purchasing something new, ask yourself whether the purchase is absolutely necessary - could  you borrow the item, rent it or could you repurpose something that you already have. 
Do you have special spring cleaning tips that you utilize every year? 

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