Monday, March 3, 2014

Spring Cleaning! Some Tips for Decluttering, Cleaning and Freshening Your Apartment for the Rest of the Year!!!

renew and refresh your home for the spring and summer

Step One to Spring Cleaning is DECLUTTERING!

1. Take everything out of drawers, closets, campartments and cabinets

2. Throw out any trash (expired foods, unuseable items...)

3. Set all un-needed items for donation!

4. Organize items in piles

5. Clean all cabinets and drawers before replacing your things

6. put everything back! Make sure you remember where everything goes so you can put it back after use! ---If everything has a place, you will never waste time looking for things again!

Here are some great Organizations to donate all of your gently used items to: 
(All donations are tax-deductable! What a great incentive to help your community!)

STEP TWO: Clean all the nooks and crannys you have missed throughout the year!

Its important to take the time to clean your home because the accumulation of dust and dirt can cause health issues from breathing unclean air. This includes the air of chemicals from harsh cleaning products!  

10x10x10 Green & Thrifty Cleaning Products--this is really cool! Just 10 different household items mixed 10 different ways can make 10 awesome cleaners (enough to clean your whole house!)

Here is my magic list of 10 essential green & thrifty cleaning products:

white vinegar
baking soda
lemons and/or lemon juice
olive oil
Ivory bar soap
liquid dishwashing soap 
washing soda
essential oils (I like lemon, lemongrass, & eucalyptus)
{P.S. These tools are also handy to have around}
clean rags
scrub brush or sponge
empty spray bottles & lidded containers

And here is how to use them!

1. Bathroom Cleaner: 
3/4 c. baking soda
juice from 1/2 a lemon (about 1/4 c)
3 tablespoons salt
 3 tablespoons liquid dishwashing soap
1/2 cup vinegar
10 drops essential oil (optional)
Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl to make a paste; use scrub brush or sponge to apply to tub, shower walls, & sinks.  (Be sure to test a small area to make sure paste does not scuff tub surface; if so, eliminate the salt from the mixture!  Rinse well with water and a wet rag, then dry with a clean rag or old towel.
*   *   *
2. Toilet Bowl Cleaner:
1 cup baking soda
1 cup vinegar
10 drops essential oil (optional)
Turn off flow valve to toilet & flush 1 or 2 times until water is drained.  Pour in baking soda, then slowly pour in vinegar, being sure to get vinegar to cover as much of the bowl surface as possible, then add essential oil.  The baking soda will react with the vinegar–this is normal!  Use your toilet brush to scrub surface & remove any rings or stains.  Turn water back on and flush.
*   *   *
homemade furniture polish
3. Furniture Polish
3/4 cup olive oil
juice from 1/4  lemon
1 tablespoon vinegar
3-4 drops lemon essential oil (optional)
Dampen rag & squeeze out excess water.  Dip damp rag into furniture polish, the wipe on surface of furniture.  Buff off with an old dry towel.  Can also be used to polish stainless steel!
*   *   *
4. Glass Cleaner
1 1/2 cups vinegar
1 1/2  cups water
5-10 drops essential oil (optional)
Mix vinegar, water, & essential oil together in spray bottle.  Spray on glass & use squeegee, crumpled newspaper (Tip: use newspapers that are at least 2 weeks old to avoid black fingers!), or a lint-free rag to get a streak-free shine.  Also works well to shine chrome and countertops after you’ve disinfected them.
*   *   *
homemade cleaners5. All Purpose Cleaning Spray
1 tablespoon borax
1 tablespoon washing soda
1 teaspoon dishwashing soap
1 cup vinegar
4 cups hot water
25-30 drops essential oil (optional)
Whisk all ingredients together well in large bowl, then pour into spray bottle.  Spray on, then wipe surface clean with a damp cloth.  Can be used to clean and disinfect almost any surface!
*   *   *
6. Stainless Steel Cleaner
2 tablespoons baking soda
1/2 cup vinegar
2 cups warm water
Mix ingredients in spray bottle.  Mixture will foam up; when it stops bubbling, put on cap and spray stainless steel surface, then wipe clean & dry with lint-free rag.  To add extra shine, use furniture polish above.
*   *   *
7. Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
1 cup baking soda
1 cups borax
1/2 cup salt
vinegar (add to rinse compartment!)
Mix first three ingredients well & store in airtight container.  To use, add 1 tablespoon to each of the 2 compartments in your dishwasher and 2 tablespoons of vinegar to your rinse compartment.
*   *   *
8. Floor Cleaner
1 cup vinegar
1/2 cup baking soda 
8-10 cups hot water
1 tablespoon borax
1 tablespoon washing soda
30 drops essential oil (optional)
Mix vinegar & baking soda together in bucket; add hot water, Borax, washing soda, & essential oil and mix until all powder is dissolved.  Use mop or sponge to wipe down floor; wipe dry with clean dry towel.
*   *   *
homemade laundry detergent
9. Homemade Laundry Detergent
1 bar Ivory soap
1 cup borax
1 cup washing powder
This homemade laundry detergent is so cheap and easy to make that you will kick yourself for not trying it until now.  Place Ivory soap in a large microwave safe bowl.  Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes, until soap turns to foam.  Quickly stir foam until it becomes small soap chips, then mix well with borax and washing powder.  Allow to cool completely, then store in airtight container.  Use 1-2 tablespoons per load.  (Tip:  This detergent works best in warm or hot water; for cold water washing you may want to first dissolve in 1/4 c. of hot water.)
*   *   *
10. Fabric Softener
essential oil (optional)
Add 1/4-1/2 cup vinegar with several drops of your favorite essential oil to the rinse cycle (or simply place in fabric softener compartment of your front load washer.)
*   *   *
So that’s it….10 ingredients mixed up 10 different ways to create 10 different cleaners.  Are you psyched yet?
And finally, I thought it would be fun to put together a little 10x10x10 green & thrifty cleaning products cheat sheet for you.  This printable page includes the list of all 10 ingredients plus all 10 recipes so you can hang it on your fridge or laundry room or wherever is most handy. You know, just ’cause I’m just nice like that!  :-)  Please feel free to Pin It on Pinterest or share it on Facebook!10x10x10 Green & Thrifty Cleaning Products--FREE PRINTABLE!  Just 10 cleaning products mixed 10 different ways can make 10 awesome cleaners--enough to clean your whole house!

End your apartment search today!

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