This past weekend, something just snapped. All of the warmth and comfort of winter routines began to feel a bit stifling. Suffocating. Whether it’s been from many mornings spent inside cozied up near a fire or a sad browsing of my closet to reveal stacks of gray, black and cream colored knits and sweaters — I am just ready for a change.
Whereas even my neutral home decor (and wardrobe) felt quite cozy and appropriate for chilly winter days … now I just feel the need for something different. I want color! Vibrance! Movement! Freshness! Playfulness! Green vegetables!
Ah, so spring fever has officially hit over here. Which is not to be confused, in Colorado, with actual spring. We still have weeks to go before we can fully count on constant warm temperatures and sunshine, but there’s no harm in nesting for spring in the meantime. Right? Right. And the most obvious starting point for spring nesting is, of course, giving our home a good scrubbing.
This weekend I propped open the windows and let the brisk air seep into our rooms while I took a sage stick to the entire house. Usually I do this immediately after a huge cleaning spree to purify the air and energy that has gone stale. I lit one end and took it from room to room, letting the musky smoke waft around in the air. Afterwards, I opened up the windows as a sort of exhale. Then, I got to work wiping down counters and sink tops and my grimy kitchen floor. (We were on the tail end of a stomach flu so this felt especially good … and necessary.)
I’ve been making my own basic, toxin-free all-purpose cleaner for over a year now, which isn’t something I ever thought I’d do — make my own household cleaners. I mean, who even has time for that? Or a desire? I didn’t think I actually did … until my health caused me to rethink things.
My health wasn’t awesome at that point and so I decided to take anything out of my home (and life) that was harmful. It was a gradual process and continues to be a work in progress (if you saw my makeup bag, you’d know that I haven’t yet let go of my Sephora favorites in favor of “natural” makeup. Baby steps, friends.) Anyway, now that I make my own household products, it’s second nature, and admittedly, way less expensive and time consuming than driving to the store. I also love knowing that my girls aren’t exposed to harmful toxins when I’m cleaning. Plus, the dog no longer throws up after licking my kitchen floor (true story). And I will say that there’s a sort of nerdy satisfaction that comes from pretty cleaning products that I’ve made myself. So there’s that.
Here’s the basic recipe for this all-purpose cleaner:
1/2 part distilled white vinegar
1/2 part water
20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil/s (*for this springtime cleaner, 15 drops of lemon essential oil + 15 drops of rosemary essential oil makes a really fresh, uplifting scent)
I like these glass amber spray bottles because they keep your essential oils from degrading … and they look pretty on the kitchen counter, so they never need to be put away. (ahem – lazy girl’s guide to cleaning)
All you need to do is fill up your spray bottle, give it a shake and spray on whatever needs cleaning. I especially love it for countertops after meals, spot cleaning my hardwood floors and bathroom counter tops. Every so often I’ll switch up the essential oils, depending on the season or my mood. The thieves blend from Young Living is great during sickly winter months to kill germs. Sometimes I’ll do a patchouli-orange-pine blend in colder months. Other times, it’s lavender and clary sage for something relaxing. It’s nice to mix it up.
There are so many other household cleaners that I make and love, so I’ll be sharing those with you in the coming months as we move into warmer weather. Enjoy, friends!