A SUSTAINABLE CLEANING ROUTINE JUST IN TIME FOR SPRING

     The first months of the year are usually slower than the rest, and winter hibernation can encourage an accumulation of stagnant energy. Spring is the season of renewal and manifestation, so having a clean living space allows fresh energy to come into your life. This month's coming of Spring provides a perfect opportunity to clear the clutter from the past year and open your life to the new. With the help of Conscious by Chloé, you can do your cleaning without the use harsh chemicals or expensive cleaners.

See below for Chloé's DIY and natural cleaning solutions:

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Chloé Lepeltier is a French globetrotter now based in Portland, Oregon. Her passions span multiple disciplines — from feminist literature to sustainable fashion to backcountry snowboarding — with curiosity & creativity as the common thread. On her blog, Conscious by Chloé, she chronicles her daily style, travels and life and aims to inspire and motivate her readers to live a simpler, greener and happier life. Check out the original article here.

 

Set reasonable goals

A deep cleaning is a very big task, so instead of diving into it and spending a whole week-end scrubbing and vacuuming, try to spread it over a whole week, focusing on only one area a day.

Whether it's scrubbing an oven or writing a school paper, setting an attainable goal is a good motivation, and an encouragement to keep going. One good example, is cleaning a very dirty stove. Decide from the beginning that you'll allow yourself to stop after you've scrubbed the first burner. Once you've finished this task, your mission will be accomplished. If you feel like to can do more than one, good for you. Otherwise, pick up where you've left off the next day. What's important is for you to know that if you stopped at the first one, you've reached your goal. Motivation is key and you'll quickly get to a spotless stove, one burner at a time.

Gather your supplies

Another important factor is to make sure that you have everything you need for when you'll decide to tackle this major project. To me, there's nothing more frustrating than realizing that I'm missing one key ingredient for a recipe or, like it happened for this photoshoot, realizing that 2 of my measuring spoons were missing (I should have left them hooked to that ring!).

I like to keep a shopping list on Wunderlist, adding tools, ingredients and other supplies for DIYs so that when I'm at the co-op, the home improvement store or second-hand shop, I can grab what I need without having to go back to the recipe or Youtube video.

Once you've prepared your cleaning mixtures, put them all in one location, so you can conveniently grab them in the room you're gonna be cleaning (use a tote bag, a bucket or a basket, whatever is convenient/eye-pleasing to you).

Schedule your cleaning time

And last but not least, schedule your cleaning time. Whether it's a deep-cleaning session or routine cleaning and, more importantly, if you share this task with a partner or housemates, knowing that a special date or time in the week or month is dedicated to this task makes the decision-making way easier. No arguing, no convincing, no debating, it's in the calendar so that's when it should be done!

Chloe's personal schedule:

  • Monday - Bedroom
  • Tuesday - Bathroom
  • Wednesday - Mudroom/Pantry
  • Thursday - Kitchen
  • Friday - Living Room
  • Saturday - Office

I try to keep the same schedule for weekly maintenance cleaning but mostly rely on our common bimonthly cleaning session, scheduled on Wednesdays, every other week (I'll talk about conscious cohabitation in an upcoming article).

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Supplies

  • Baking soda
  • Borax
  • Cheap vodka
  • Distilled water
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Essential oils (sweet orange, lemon or lemongrass, grapefruit, peppermint)
  • Kosher salt
  • Liquid castile soap
  • Powdered oxygen bleach
  • Washing soda

I had most of these ingredients at home, except for the powdered oxygen bleach and granulated citric acid which I easily found in bulk at the coop.

Tools

  • 16oz spray bottles
  • Funnel
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Parmesan shakers

You can use bottles that you already have at home and just get trigger sprayers that will fit and drill holes in the lid of Mason jars to turn them into shakers.

Tips

Work top to bottom, don't backtrack, and clean by circling the room:

  • 1st loop: Tidy the room and pick up what goes in the trash and items that belong in another room
  • 2nd loop: Dust
  • 3rd loop: Clean and wipe surfaces and glass with the relevant cleaners

Lastly: vacuum, sweep and mop toward the door. Finally, put away the misplaced items and your cleaning supplies