simple non-toxic floor cleaner

Cleaning is not my favorite thing in the world. Really it’s something that I’ve fought for a long time. Stupid adult responsibility. While we’ve all got different standards of cleanliness, we all have to do it. I mean eventually you have to do laundry. Eventually you have to sweep. Eventually you have to clean dishes. I have all sorts of tricks up my sleeve to making cleaning “fun”. I’m motivated by activities that involve multiples senses. I like to turn on an audiobook, light a good smelling candle, have a snack in a bowl that I can grab every time I complete something, or try to get my space as bright as possible. Doing at least one of those things helps motivate me to clean.

Recently though I’ve gotten more interested in cleaning techniques, products and tricks. Often I look up new ways to clean whatever it is, which makes the whole process more enjoyable. Mopping for example. I’ve always used some chemically floor cleaner. About 3 times a year, I dump some blue super chemically smelling stuff in a bucket and mop up the floor.

I decided to try something new with the whole floor cleaning business. I found a non-toxic formula that had great feedback online and gave it a go.

IMG_8888Mix one gallon of hot water with 1/2 cup white vinegar, 2 Tbs baking soda and a few drops of your favorite dish soap.

It’s that simple. You can use it on your kitchen floor and it’s great for your wood floors. After a good sweep and dust mop, I was actually excited to clean. The moment I started mopping I could tell the difference. First off it smelled amazing and fresh. Secondly, it actually got marks off the floor much more easily than my chemically store bought stuff.

Here are some “after” photos…well more like “during” photos. I had recently finished mopping and while the floors are still shiny-wet in these photos, I’m amazed at how they’ve retained a nice reflection in them after drying.

IMG_8893

IMG_8896 IMG_8897But I don’t know why I felt it necessary to mop the floor this particular day. Especially since we’re in a muddy after-snow transition, and without any type of entryway for said muddy stuff the floors quickly got some nice spots on them. But hey you can’t stop living. IMG_8887Maybe I’ll tell you about my laundry tricks someday. It’s seriously a little wacky. I just like trying new things to keep it interesting, which makes my laundry methods a bit intense.

And here’s a picture for your viewing pleasure. Gideon, on nicely laundered bedding. IMG_8919

My calming corner.

I am extremely blessed. We’ve got a tiny little house, but in that house are two bedrooms. One of those bedrooms in my very own “craft room”. As far as I’m concerned having a whole extra room to hold crap that you make more crap out of, is a luxury and I don’t take that for granted one bit.

As any of you crafty people out there will know, craft rooms can get a little…cluttered. My craft room has a hodgepodge of old/free furniture items in it, none of which are actually fitted for their current use. For example I’ve got a rickety old shelf holding about a ton of fabric pieces that spill out onto the floor. There is also an old clear bin that is overflowing with thread and ribbon. So even when things are “away” it looks chaotic in here. To some degree that’s fine, but in its current state it’s completely uninspiring.

BUT I’ve finally got one corner of the room, exactly how I like it. A while ago I picked up a $5.00 dresser at our church rummage sale. It used to be spray painted silver with some gnarly drawer pulls, but my hubby brought it back to life for me. We used left over white paint, old cabinet knobs with a fresh coat of dark spray paint, and Matt did a number of things to the structure of the dresser to make it “better”. He basically beefed the thing up a little, I won’t get too into that now :)

So after filling the drawers with all those little things that don’t have a home and look cluttery, I took a step back and let out a sigh. I will actually feel good when I open this door now. The pinwheels spin when the window is open, and just like a baby and a mobile, the movement is calming for some strange reason.

I found some old frames and decorations and used old spray-paint to get them all matching. I hung pictures of things that make me smile. My chickens, my dog, and a picture of me as a kid.

The pinwheels are left-over decorations I did for a friend’s wedding. With the help of some trusty friends (especially you, Amy) we made tons of them out of old music sheets and book pages. We hung them all around ceremony site. I, of course, snagged a bag full when I left.

I probably wont be doing a whole lot of crafting literally on this dresser. This room gets so much light and a nice, flat, white surface is the perfect place to snap photos. It’s amazing how much it improves your pictures when you have a white backdrop to reflect all the natural light streaming in the windows. Here are the first pictures I tested of it, with a bouquet of flowers from our garden that I arranged for a friend’s birthday.

I’ll save this surface from the terror of my hot glue gun as long as I possibly can. All craft room projects will be on hold for a while but I hope to get a bigger shelf and a large table in the fall to finish off the space. I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll make another awesome “bins” discovery.

I hope you too have a nook, wherever you call home, that helps clear your mind and allows you to really appreciate life a little more deeply.