I was so moved by the photos Crystal from Money Saving Mom shared a few weeks back of her kitchen (which I can’t find the link to), I thought I would love to have my counter tops look like that! Her’s were empty, I mean empty of everything at the end of the night. She showed before and after pictures and I was so impressed with both. I thought of all the reasons why my kitchen couldn’t look like that and then I decided why not?
We live in a house that has been in the process of being remodeled since we moved in, 7 years ago. We have had a lot of set backs and hiccups along the way and well, so has my organizational skills. I have allowed things to accumulate and because of having a lack of storage there are piles of items that don’t really have homes, on the desk, counter, you get the picture.
With that said I decided that I need to stop using my home as an excuse and do something. We aren’t filthy by any means but I am speaking of the clutter, the things that accumulate over time. Being the person that I am (a growing treehugger), I tend to think well I could use this for… and tend to hang onto things. We have downsized and simplified in so many ways but why hang on to things that are not being used.
While I was deciding what I would tackle first I decided I would post a “Green Your Cleaning” Series. It is late, as some may have already started or even finished their spring cleaning but it is never too late to start using everyday green cleaning methods.
I decided since I was inspired by Crystal’s kitchen I would first with my kitchen. At the end of a long day I don’t always finish cleaning the kitchen. Some days I feel like all I do is wash dishes. This task is much easier since I now have a dishwasher, other than myself I mean! When I start my morning off with a clean slate my day just starts better. I don’t feel defeated and behind before I start my day. So clearly I still have a few items on my cupboards but what do you think? I am very happy how it looks, now the key it keeping it that way!
Due to our kitchen layout and storage abilities I couldn’t put every item away from the counter tops but I cleared them off of all the extra clutter. By going through my cabinets and getting rid of extra odd dishes and a few small appliances we don’t use I was able to create enough cabinet space to put almost all the appliances I had on my counter away! It feels so good to go to bed at the end of a long day and know I don’t have to wake up to a messy kitchen.
This week I will focus on the kitchen and sharing green cleaning tips and cleaning recipes. Our society has come to accept that harsh chemicals are the only way to get everything clean. Through marketing we are taught that anti-bacterial is best, that white suds equates clean. If you ask my good friends and family you will find out that I was once one of those people. I still am germ conscious but I have come to appreciate it doesn’t take harsh chemicals to clean my home. Why would I want to use products that could actually harm my family’s health?
With a few simple household products you can create a vast number of homemade cleaners that are very effective. Most of us have or can easily obtain baking soda, vinegar, lemons or lemon juice, Castile soap, salt, olive oil, limes and essentials oils. These basic ingredients can effectively clean your home without posing a toxic danger.
No you don’t have to make your own cleaners to start being green, but really be careful of green-washing with brands. Not everything that totes a green, all natural or eco-friendly label is actually good for you. On the labels look for “phosphate-free” rather than “environmentally-safe,” “phthalate-free” rather than “non-toxic,” and “90% post-consumer content” rather than “eco-friendly packaging.”
Are you interested to find out what may be in some of your cleaning chemicals you have tucked under your kitchen sink? Head over to the Household Products Database to find a lot of helpful information. Here is a list of hazardous chemicals to avoid from Harvard’s Green Cleaning Team.
Our journey down the road to a more natural organic life-style started with purging our cleaning products.
Here is a simple yet very effective recipe to clean your kitchen counter tops.
- Tea tree oil instantly kills bacteria, viruses and mold. Because of its properties it’s an ideal antiseptic cleaner for extra-germy spots (like the kitchen). Add two cups of hot water plus 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon liquid dish soap and 1/2 teaspoon tea tree oil. Put it all in a spray bottle, shake it to mix and apply it to any surface that needs to be disinfected. (I like to purchase my tea tree oil from Mountain Rose Herb).
Since this post is already lengthy I will share many homemade recipes with you over the next few days from how to clean your microwave, oven, sponges, kitchen sinks and even deodorizer for your home naturally. I hope that you will join me and maybe give one recipe a try to see what you think. If you are feeling a little intimidated, start slowly and choose one recipe or tip to try out. There is nothing that says going green has to be all or nothing, every little bit makes a difference!
Over the next few weeks I will share a few green companies that offer great products as well. This week I am sharing with you Ecover, go here to see my review and how to enter the giveaway.