Spring Is Here, Time to Clean Up
I am pretty excited to start spring cleaning this year. I know that probably sounds crazy, I mean, who likes cleaning? During the past week, I have been researching Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks and how to use essential oils to do most, if not all my cleaning.
I will admit it, I am itching to get started. It’s been a long winter, the doors and windows have been kept closed for months to keep the heat in. We’ve also had some renovations recently done and the plaster dust is EVERYWHERE! So, yes, I look forward to getting my home shipshape!
I am fortunate to have the next week off from work (Spring Break) and I have BIG plans! LOL Since I am a firm believer in the benefits of essential oils, I intend to make and use my own DIY cleaning products. These products won’t contain any toxic chemicals and the scent they leave behind will be quite lovely!
Spring cleaning can seem a little overwhelming, where do you start? I have written this post for all of us who may be tackling spring cleaning, to give us some ideas of how to plan out this task.
Do You Need Some Motivation?
Get yourself motivated! I am fortunate to have this website. I get to study, think and write about spring cleaning before I get started, and this is really helpful. I’ve been researching ideas about the best way to tackle this big job. So writing about spring cleaning is helping me.
An idea that may give you that get up and get started feeling might include looking at pictures of clean and organized homes (I would suggest looking at pictures of real homes, not those unrealistic made up pristine shots of fake homes!)
Visualization is also something that might work for you. An example might be your dining area. Maybe right now it’s cluttered with papers, a dusty china cabinet, a stack of books you have been thinking about reading, and perhaps a sewing machine (there is a sewing machine in my dining area…LOL). Take a moment and visualize the area in a clean state. Imagine using that area in the future when it has been cleaned. For me and my dining area, I can think about eating at the table on a regular basis or having loved ones over for a meal. Visualization can be an effective tool for some people.
Let’s Get Real, Make a Plan
Spring cleaning is a major task and it is going to take some time. I know it’s easy to make these great plans to get a ton of stuff accomplished and at the end of the day well…you haven’t done it. This is true for me too sometimes. I have these great ideas but I have not been realistic about it. A job like this is sure to take a few days unless you are some kind of magician. So make a plan, and don’t try to get everything done in one day. If we think about what needs to be done, and plan it out in a thoughtful manner, we are more likely to be successful.
Step by Step List
Step One – Diffuse Essential Oils
If you have an essential oil diffuser get it out and start diffusing some essential oils while you work. I like to diffuse Lemon when I do housework. I use this oil because of its purifying, energizing and detoxing properties. It’s a great pick me up!
When we begin the process of spring cleaning, we will be disturbing the dust that has settled on our belongings and the air will soon become contaminated. The mist from a diffuser is great at capturing and removing those dust particles from the air we will be breathing as we work.
If you don’t currently own a diffuser, Amazon has a huge selection! Check out this one!
Step Two – If in Doubt, Throw it Out
I remember my mother saying “If in doubt, throw it out”. This was probably because my bedroom was usually pretty messy. These words have stayed with me throughout my life, especially when I am cleaning I can still hear her saying them.
So, step 2, go to each room of your house with three boxes and/or garbage bags. One box/bag for trash, one for donation or give away and one for items that need to be put back to their proper location.
Take a look in the fridge and toss food that has expired (condiments for example). Look in the pantry for expired dry goods. Check the bathroom for old medications and get rid of them. (If you find items that you just can’t decide about, you could start another box that’s called the MAYBE box. Toss items in there and decide at a later date if you want them.)
Did you know that clutter has psychological influences? Studies have shown that a disorganized home adds to your stress level. Inhaling the dust that often collects around the house combined with the psychological stress of a cluttered home can really take its toll. Once the clutter is gone you will be more efficient at keeping your surroundings clean and organized. You’ll feel so good!
Step Three – Collect the Important Paperwork
If you are like me, you may have run across some important papers while you were gathering up the unwanted items in step two. Now it’s time to gather them up. Don’t sit down to deal with them just yet, just make sure they are in a pile and you can deal with them later. You don’t want to get bogged down at this point.
Step Four – Before the Washing and Cleaning Begins Try This
It’s almost time to start the actual cleaning, but there is one more thing I would like to mention before doing so. If you find that you have numerous items on a particular shelf or room, throw as many of those things into a box just for now. It’s difficult and time consuming to clean in and around a cluttered space. Clear the surfaces and get clutter out of the way before beginning to clean. This will make the cleaning process much faster and you can always organize things later.
Step Five – The Moment You’ve Been Waiting For
Well, OK, maybe you haven’t really been waiting for this moment. LOL This is where the cleaning actually begins. Time to put in some “elbow grease” so to speak.
Work from top to bottom. Start from the ceiling down. This will force dust and debris downward and remember to keep that diffuser going. The mist will help to capture that dust in the air and force it to the floor, away from the air you are breathing.
A good place to start is to vacuum (using your extension hose) cobwebs from the ceilings and fans first. Next wipe down your walls with a damp cloth and clean your windows. Dust surfaces, vacuum the couch (underneath it too), wipe down baseboards and lastly vacuum/wash your floors.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so if you have made a reasonable plan, these tasks shouldn’t overwhelm you. It may take a couple days to complete everything you need to do.
Step Six – Change Air Filters
Replace the air filters in your home. It’s a great idea to change the HVAC and furnace filters at this point. Now that the house is all fresh and clean, let’s keep the air as fresh as possible too. I typically change the filters in the fall, changing them in the spring after a good thorough cleaning of the house is a fantastic idea!
Step Seven – Buy Something Fresh and New
Freshen up the look of your living room or bedroom with new pillows or buy yourself a new shower curtain. It doesn’t have to be expensive by any means, a little change in your surroundings is good for the soul! 🙂
Step Eight – Reward Yourself
Once your home is all fresh and clean, you might want to reward yourself to a little treat too. Perhaps you would enjoy a movie night at home…rest, relax and take in all that you have accomplished. Maybe you would like to show off all your hard work and invite people over. Whatever you do, you should definitely acknowledge the huge task you will have accomplished.
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DIY Cleaners with Essential Oils
I have collected a few DIY cleaner recipes to use around the home. I am excited to start cleaning this week and I will definitely be incorporating essential oils into my spring cleaning tasks.
- 1 ½ cups of water
- 1 ½ tablespoons of white vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoons of rubbing alcohol
- 3 drops of Peppermint essential oil
Combine the above ingredients into a spray bottle. Spray a liberal amount on your glass surface and wipe down immediately.
All-Purpose Cleaner and Disinfectant (#1)
- ¼ cup of white vinegar
- ¼ cup vodka
- 15 drops of your favourite essential oils (Lemon and Lavender work nicely)
- 1 ¼ cups of water
Mix the above ingredients into a spray bottle. Spray surface and wait 10 minutes before wiping.
- Vinegar is not safe on natural stone-marble, granite, etc.
- Rubbing alcohol is often be substituted for vodka (at least for cleaning purposes 🙂 )
- If you have stainless steel appliances, follow the manufacture instructions for cleaning.
Multi-Purpose Cleaner (#2)
- 15 drops of Lemon essential oil
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- 1 cup of water
In a clean spray bottle, mix the above ingredients. Spray surfaces to be cleaned and wipe down. Nice and easy! Not to mention a lot safer than many cleaners that are filled with harmful chemicals.
Peppermint Shower Cleaner Spray (for daily use)
- ½ cup of vodka
- 1 cup of water
- 10 drops of Peppermint essential oil
Mix the ingredients above into a spray bottle. After your shower or bath, just spray down the area, no need for rinsing. This recipe is intended to keep soap scum at bay and will make cleaning your tub area easier when you do a thorough clean. Sounds perfect!
Carpet Deodorizer Recipe
- 10 drops of Lemon essential oil
- 20 drops of Lavender essential oil
- 1 16 ounce box of baking soda
Put the baking soda to a large bowl and add the essential oils. It is important to mix the oils into the baking soda well. Since Lemon essential oil is normally a yellow colour, be sure to mix everything well so that no undiluted Lemon oil stains your carpet. You may adjust this recipe in order to use your favourite oils. Store this mixture in an airtight container. To use this mixture simply sprinkle onto your carpet, wait 10-20 minutes then vacuum.
Making DIY Cleaners with essential oils is a fantastic way to clean your home. You can rest assured that you are not exposing yourself to toxic chemicals and the cost to make your own cleaners is quite economical. Essential oils smell great too! If you don’t care for a specific oil, you can usually substitute another one for it.
Eucalyptus essential oil is a great oil to use for cleaning. I recently wrote an article about the benefits of this fabulous oil. Check it out in the related articles area!
Essential oils not only smell wonderful (most anyhow!), but essential oils like lemon and orange can help dissolve grease while oils like lavender, tea tree, frankincense, cedar and thyme can help kill germs and keep your surfaces clean.
Wendy Robbins, AromaWeb
I sure hope this article has given you some ideas for spring cleaning. I definitely gained some great tips as I studied for and wrote this article. I have a solid plan in place for tackling my home. Creating a plan is essential for me. I have often had unrealistic goals when it came to housework. Now I know to be realistic, make a plan, and things will work out fine.
Aren’t essential oils wonderful? I am always excited to learn new ways to use them. If you don’t use essential oils in your life, consider doing so. The benefits are numerous and your overall health, both mentally and physically, will most definitely benefit from doing so.
I would love to hear any thoughts, tips or tricks you may have regarding spring cleaning. Please take a moment and comment below.
I wish each of you a fabulous week ahead. Happy Spring everyone! Take good care and stay happy and healthy.
Angela (founder of Your Aromatherapy Store)
Essential oils are very POTENT and should be used with common sense and caution. Always read the labels. If you are currently taking any prescribed medication speak to your doctor before using essential oils. If you are concerned about allergies, you may want to perform a patch test on your skin. Some essential oils are photo toxic. Avoid the sun as necessary when using these oils. Some oils are not recommended if you are pregnant or nursing. Essential oils are considered “complementary and alternative medicines” and are not a substitute for professional medical intervention and advice. If you are experiencing severe physical or mental illness contact a medical professional.