by Susan Boyoung Bailey Schabacker
Spring into a healthier and more vibrant lifestyle this spring! Want to find quicker, more efficient and effective ways of spring cleaning, home improvement, gardening and creative crafts? Make life easier and more budget-friendly with these clever and crafty hacks.
GREEN-CLEAN, CLEAR AND CLUTTER-FREE WITH BETTER BREATHABILITY
Jumpstart your spring cleaning, but don’t overdo it. Conserve time for the other things on your “to-do” list by keeping these time-saving “S” words in mind: Strategize, Support and Simplify.
STRATEGIZE: Start first by strategizing and getting a game plan going. Based on priority and urgency, decide which areas to tackle first. Where do you even start? Should you go through your refrigerator to discard expired food and beverages before you tackle cleaning out your closet? The first step is to think it through, make a choice and make a plan.
SUPPORT: There’s no need to overwhelm yourself with all the chores and associated organizing and cleaning. Instead, infuse yourself with positive reinforcement and invite the support of family and friends to lighten the load. How about throwing a cleaning and clearing party which could be fun and make a world of difference?
Consider catering or have your food delivered, designate a family or friend DJ for turntable tunes as well as a bartender/bartendress for the best of beverages. Designate a place for tradeables, a separate pile for giveaways and another stash for items you intend to resell. Keep trash bags handy for discardables along with bins or baskets to organize as you go through things.
SIMPLIFY: Thanks to a simple summon of “hey Siri” or “hey Google,” you can find a myriad of tips and how-to’s for organizing and cleaning, including pure, organic and natural, chemical-free, green cleaning. Thankfully, the following tips are really simple.
Need some budget-friendly kitchen cleaning staples? Baking soda, white vinegar and castile soap, available almost everywhere, are ideal for multi-purpose use in DIY pure products. Type the keyword “green cleaning” into the search on ForsythWoman.com for more ideas and a list of pure ingredients to include in DIY recipes.
For showroom sparkle, try buffing a few drops of olive or another plant-based oil to give stainless steel sinks, appliances and wood furniture a surprisingly simple professional polish. For that extra touch, add a drop or two of orange or lemon essential oil.
Odors taking over your environment? Cleanse and purify the air to banish bacteria for better breathability. Skip the room spray which is laden with chemicals. Instead, mix together distilled water and several drops of essential oils. Refresh and energize your senses as you purify the air with a combination of tea tree oil, peppermint and/or eucalyptus, or create a citrus scent with drops of lemon, lemongrass, orange and/or lime.
GREEN-GROWING TIPS FOR A MORE GLORIOUS GARDEN
Adding plants to your environment can also improve the breathability and add natural beauty to your space. A splendid spring garden with beautiful blooms will attract pollinators like butterflies and bees. Type the keywords “spring gardening” into the search on ForsythWoman.com for an article on Spring’s Budding Beauties.
Green gardening is the way to go. Avoid harsh chemicals; instead, substitute purer, healthier ingredients. For a more natural DIY recipe to keep your garden healthy and pest-free, try this simple alcohol spray mixture to control whiteflies, aphids and scale. Add ½ cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol and 1 teaspoon castile soap or Dawn to 1 quart of water. Shake and add mixture to a spray bottle. Spray both sides of the leaves and repeat in 3 to 7 days. Be careful not to overspray or allow the mixture to drip into the roots.
Coffee and tea drinkers can recycle and repurpose spent tea leaves and used coffee grounds (or fresh and never used) for composting and pest repelling. Also consider including eggshells with composting to add a multitude of nutrients into the soil.
Easing into spring is the ideal time to grow green and get green-clean.