Part of my intentional journey is ridding my home of chemicals and turning to environmentally-friendly alternatives. Natural cleaners work just as well and often better than their chemical laden counterparts. Our bodies reap the benefits of not breathing in those harsh chemicals or dipping our hands in them where chemicals can seep through our skin. Encouraging you to switch out your cleaners will do wonders for hidden stress they add to your body. (If you prefer to watch video, scroll to the bottom of this post.)
But before heading too far down the path of discussing the benefits of switching out cleaners, first, I want to focus on the outcomes of our March Micro-Minimizing Challenge by discussing the cleaners you have in your home currently.
For today’s challenge, bring all of your cleaners out where you can see them. That may be your dining room table, or in my case I keep my cleaners in my laundry room, so I can use the top of my washer or dryer.
As you bring them out to the open space, categorize them into appropriate sections – general cleaners, window cleaner, dust control, bathroom specific, etc.
Consider what types of cleaners you actually need for your home. And decide how many of each cleaner you need. It’s not likely you’ll have items to donate, so create a keep and garbage pile. Discarded glass and plastic bottles should be rinsed and recycled.
Go through your cleaners one-by-one and ask yourself:
- Does this item serve a purpose in my home?
- Do I use this item?
- When was the last time I used this item?
- Do I like the job this item does?
After you’ve sorted the cleaners, ask yourself if where you had them was the best home for them? If no, where is the best home? When you ask yourself this question, the first place that comes to mind is the proper home. If yes, then go ahead and place the cleaners back in their home. The items used least often in the back and working your way forward with items used most often.
Depending on where your cleaners are kept, would a container to hold them be helpful for you? An example, if you keep your cleaners under the kitchen sink, as we touched on on day eight of this challenge, if the cleaners are towards the back of the cupboard, a container may be useful so you can pull them towards the front of the cupboard for easier access. I keep my cleaners on a shelf in the laundry room, so have no need for a container. If you need help determining the best way to organize your cleaners, feel free to reach out to me, I’m happy to help.
To touch on the chemical load that enters our home from household cleaners, I’d like to encourage you to consider changing out your cleaners to products more healthy for your person, your home, and also better for the Earth. The most cost effective way to replace cleaners is to use up what you have and as you finish them replace them with a healthier option.
Believe it or not the wonders of vinegar are astounding. But if that’s too much of a leap for you at this point, check out health food stores and refilleries in your area for greener cleaner options. I utilize my health food store, and refillery as often as possible.
The list of household products that I have switched over are:
- dishwasher tabs, dish detergent, and dishwasher rinse aid.
- a high concentrate organic multi-purpose cleaner that when I run out I will switch to vinegar for my general household cleaning.
- a year’s worth of laundry strips at a time last me longer than a year and the only waste is a small cardboard box which is recyclable or compostable.
- Swiffer dusters have been replaced with a washable option I found on Etsy that fit on the Swiffer handle.
So your challenge today is two-fold.
- Go through the cleaners and purge any that serve no purpose.
- Consider seriously the idea of reducing chemicals in your home. Make a commitment that as you finish an item, seek an environmentally friendly replacement.
I welcome your ideas, thoughts, and questions in the comments below.
Remember you can share your journey with me and others by using hashtag #MarchMicroMinimizing, and tag me on Facebook or Instagram using handle @suzannegouldenILC.
Here’s me talking about household cleaners!