Food: It?s spring cleaning time
While the first sighting of a robin is usually a welcome harbinger to spring, growing up it was the time of year my mother would get a determined glint in her eye. Mom had many unique and wonderful traits but the one thing she did with vigor and persistence was clean. There were very few times in my life that I can remember our home messy.
And while Mom ran a pretty tight ship all year long, it was robin sighting time that the housework bug really hit hard. “Spring cleaning” was a somewhat disruptive practice as far as us kids were concerned with rugs and bedding hanging on the line; ladders in the middle of the living room to clean the windows; carpet shampooers whirring persistently and the smell of lemon furniture polish filling the air.
I learned at a young age to make myself scarce when mom got in this mood. Any complaining was grounds for recruitment so as soon as I saw that glint in Mom’s eye I was out the door.
In my own mind, I never would have believed that I could be as consumed with spring cleaning as my mother. If fact, for many years as a young adult, when the urge to clean hit me, I would simply lay down and wait for it to go away. However, over the years some maturity has set in, so those times are not as frequent as they once were.
I do have to admit though that I’ve been getting some persistent cleaning pangs lately. I did spot a robin this week so maybe that’s it or maybe it’s because the days are longer; maybe it’s because when the sun shines in my house the dirt seems to jump out at me or maybe it’s simply genetics. The urge to purge winter from my environment, at least on the inside, has me rearranging closets, bringing the ladder indoors for window cleaning and basically performing all the same techniques as my mother employed when I was a kid.
While housework may seem in fact, boring and tedious, the result of cleaning and decluttering your environment actually has some very real psychological benefits. I read an article a few weeks back that claimed disorderly surroundings can result in some serious negativity, even when you are not sitting in the middle of the mess.
With that in mind I have been spending a few hours every weekend doing some household chores I really hate. I decluttered a couple of cupboards; cleaned a closet and one Saturday I spent a couple of hours doing a total and thorough refrigerator purge. Talk about a lot of “oh my” moments.
This week I’m featuring some homemade cleaning solutions you can make yourself. I try and use ingredients that are earth-friendly and not as toxic as many manufactured solutions. The ones I have included really work great and you can also save a few pennies by making them yourself.
I do have to admit though, that I will never clean house like my mother did. She was diligent and industrious in keeping our home clean and orderly while personally I’m not above laying down for a spell, just to see if the mood passes.
Powdered Laundry Soap
1 bar Castile soap, grated
2 cups Borax
2 cups washing soda
1 cup baking soda
Combine all of the ingredients and store in a covered jar. Use ¼ cup per load.
1 Tbs. white vinegar
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. Castile soap
1 Tbs. Borax
1 cup water
Combine all the ingredients then pour into a spray bottle.
1 cup distilled water
3 drops essential oil (I use lemon or orange)
Combine in a spray bottle and use with a cotton cloth. This also makes a great non-toxic air freshener.
I large bottle of hydrogen peroxide
2 Tbs. baking soda
1 Tbs. Dawn dish soap
Mix all ingredients together in a sprayer bottle. Saturate any carpet or upholstery stain thoroughly. Let the solution sit for five minutes then softly mop up with a rag or paper towel.