Showing posts with the label Cleaning

Soap is the Prep You Should Never Be Without

Soap is a necessary and good thing to have in your preps and stockpiles. You need it to stay clean, hygienic, and safe to be around. Soap gets rid of germs, body odor, and more. You keep your clothes clean, dishes clean, and sanitize counters, floors, and more with it. 

Soap can mean the difference between life or death, literally, in a grid-down and disastrous situation. If you can keep yourself clean and your area clean in this kind of situation, you will not be as susceptible to germs or bacteria that can creep into your system. 

In terms of stockpiling, soap should be after food, water, and light/warmth. You need to have it.

What kinds of soap should you be stockpiling though? That just depends on your preferences and your habits. You know what you use and that is what you should be having on hand. I have ten kinds of soap I like to stockpile at all times. This is what I and my family use all the time or will use if need be.

These are the 10 kinds of soap I like to stockpile for mysel…

Yes, You Can Live Without A Clothes Dryer!

There are some modern conveniences I would not want to live without: running water and a washing machine for starters. There are some modern conveniences that are not really necessary, but they make life easier. I lived without a microwave for over four months until someone took mercy on my children and bought one. I was fine without it.

Another appliance I lived without is a clothes dryer. I lived for over two years without a clothes dryer and I really didn't miss it! The clothes dryer would no longer dry the clothes. I didn't want to hire an appliance repair person to come out to my place. I knew it was a minimum $85 for them to come out, plus parts, and any additional labor. I don't like spending my money like that because sometimes I am cheap (not frugal).

I didn't fix the clothes dryer myself because I was slightly baffled by my clothes dryer. I don't always have faith in myself when it comes to fixing things. So I lived without it while having four kids (two in…

How I Get Things Done: Doing 5 Things In One Area

I am often asked how I get things done. I know I am a single mother with busy kids so that means I have to get things done. Of course, I enlist my kids into helping because, most of the time, it is their mess. At the end of the day, though, most of the work falls on me to keep the house running smoothly and to get things done.

I often don't feel like doing anything. Morning is my best time to get things done because I am tired at night after being at work most of the day. When I get home, I don't want to do anything including cooking. I often have prepping and homesteading tasks to accomplish. I have blogging to do. I have an Ebay store that needs daily attention. 

I have things to do! 

Crazy, right?

This is how I get things done: I choose an area and get five things done in that area. 

I will grab a piece of scratch paper or use my Any.DO app on my phone and make a list of five things I want to get done. I often will have a list for the morning and one for the evening. My morning …

Don't Throw Away Those Old Bed Sheets: 22 Ways to Reuse Old Bed Sheets!

Do you have this problem - a pile of old bed sheets that for whatever reason are not suitable for your bed anymore? Or your kids are not into Barbie anymore? Or the dog decided to play tug of war with them while drying on the clothes line? (Real story!)

What to do with them? I hate to throw them out. I tried to give away the kids' sheets to friends or family when my kids outgrew them. However, I still have a pile of old sheets that I keep around just in case.

I am huge believer in reusing and recycling whatever I can. I know people who throw away their old sheets which seems like a huge waste to me. Those sheets have at least twenty-two ways they can be reused!

1. Make cloth napkins. Cut the sheet in fourteen inch squares and hem the edges.

2. Cut them in quilt squares. Just make sure to label them if they are 100% cotton or cotton blend. According to my mother, you want use similar materials when making quilts.

3. Use them as paint drop cloths, either under you or the project as you p…

Homemade Laundry Detergent Revisited

I don't usually mess with my recipes once I make them. Especially my cleaning recipes. If they work, why mess with them?

Also I hate to fail. Usually failure costs money and I hate wasting money too.

The truth is that I liked my homemade laundry detergent, but I wasn't in love with it. It worked great, but I thought it could do better. I didn't like what it was doing with my whites, but I have resigned myself to a lifelong affair with OxyClean. I guess that makes me a little demanding, but I can live with that.

Also I wanted to find something that killed the smell of clothes that have been a car too long. Those who have teenagers in sports might feel my pain.

I started doing some research and found that just about everyone makes their laundry detergent just a little differently. Some recipes have more borax than I used. Some recipes used more bar soap. Some added essential oils. Some omitted the borax altogether.

So many options...more confusion for me....

I finally decide…

How to Simplify The Life and Mind: Home

Simplifying the life and mind is to get rid of the stuff not needed anymore. Needing less to live better.

When I talk about simplifying my life, I am not talking just about the material things I own. I am talking about the commitments I have, the obligations I try to meet, and the people in my life as well as our homes.

For now, I will talk about the home and things we have in it. As this series goes along, we will get to the rest of the simplifying of our lives. As you will see, this all flows together and one thing will lead to more.

In my home, the worse the house becomes, the worse I become. I become grouchy, disorganized, lazy, cluttered, emotional, and very frustrated. I like my house to be clean. Not a perfect clean, just a liveable clean. You will never see the dusting done every week and the dining room table totally cleared. But you will see things being picked up, put away, and cleared walkways. That is my goal every week.

What does your home look like? Is it something you …

Decluttering Life and Mind

Lately I have been doing a lot of decluttering at home. As I alluded to in Monday's post, I have been noticing things. The more cluttered I am in mind, the worse the stress seems. If my house is really messy and very disorganized, I feel disorganized and sort of lost with what I need to do.

If I go through a pile of papers and deal with them, I feel better. If I clean, tidy, and organize a shelf, I feel better. I feel less stressed when I accomplish something. Going through a pile of papers is an accomplishment. Cleaning off a shelf is an accomplishment. Fixing the broken lampshade is an accomplishment.

I like feeling accomplished. It's good for my self.

Don't get me wrong. I don't have a clean house. More times than not, I think we can be hard on ourselves about having a clean house and we unintentionally cause more stress. I can't have any more stress in my life. So having a perfectly clean house is not going to happen.

However, I like knowing where everything i…

Re-evaluating Routines

I have been re-evaluating our household routines for the last few weeks. What I was doing was not working anymore. I have been following FlyLady for quite some time now. She has been wonderful for decluttering my house and getting into a routine. She believes in baby steps and that worked for me, especially after my divorce when I was trying to get my feet back under me again. I would highly recommend her for anyone wanting to declutter their home and start a household routine.

In this stage of life, I am finding that this no longer works for me or for our household. Not that we are done decluttering. We are never done decluttering. That is a constant with a household of our size. But only working on one room a week with a weekly cleaning of the house? That is just not working anymore.

However, I will keep the doing of one load of laundry a day. That has been a game changer at our house! This makes laundry day look a lot more attractive! Shining the sink will also be kept. Believe it…

All-Purpose Cleaner - DIY Style

I have been using this recipe for All-Purpose Cleaner for three months now and I love it. I had previously used Lysol 4-in-1 All Purpose Cleaner, but I did not love the toxicity of the cleaner. I use this now and I think this cleans and disinfects better than Lysol did.

I got this recipe from Better Basics for the The Home by Annie Berthold-Bond. Please check her book out! It rocks!

Basic Formula For Antiseptic All-Purpose Cleanser

Up to 1 teaspoon antiseptic essential oil (thyme, sweet orange, lemongrass, rose, clove, eucalyptus, cinnamon, rosemary, birch, lavender, or tea tree)
1 teaspoon washing soda
2 teaspoons borax
1/2 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent
2 cups hot water

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake to dissolve and blend the minerals. The author suggests spraying this cleanser onto a surface, then leave for 15 minutes or so before wiping it up with a rag, to give the essential oil's antiseptic qualities time to work.

I use sweet orange essential oil when mak…

Cleaning House Guilt

I have Cleaning House Guilt (CHG). Does anyone else ever get this? I think it should classified as an illness, but I doubt any doctor would take me seriously. I just know that when I get CHG, it takes over my life. I start to view myself as lazy and undisciplined. I come home from work, sit down for a few minutes and...see a mess. I see everything I promised myself I would get done. Yesterday. Three weeks ago. Last year.

The best way I can describe CHG is nesting for the unpregnant and unexpecting. I start feeling like my house has to be clean. My house needs to be in order and organized. My projects need to be done before summer is done and fall gets too chilly. Everything needs to be done before I contract Cold Weather Syndrome (CWS). Again, this is another "illness" that no doctor will take me seriously on. With CWS, I just want to hunker down under a blanket with my books, notebooks, laptop, and a TV remote. I don't want to move or go anywhere unless more of the same…

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

For the last year, I have been making my own dishwasher detergent. I use the powdered version as I haven't found a liquid one that I like and works well. My kids have their doubts on the powdered version working well, but if they would keep up on the dishes and not let the food dry to the dishes they would find out differently!

The great thing about this recipe is that it uses some of the same ingredients from the homemade laundry detergent. I like stuff like that - makes life easier!

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

3 cups Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
30 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
2-5 packets of unsweetened powdered lemonade (optional)

1. Mix washing soda and borax together in a container or bowl. I prefer to use the container that will be storing the detergent. Less mess.

2. Add the 30 drops of lemon oil in a random pattern. If you add it all in one location, you will have some clumping issues.

3. Mix the oil in the washing soda/borax. Using your hands works rea…

Seven Ways to Save Money on Your Laundry!

Laundry can be so expensive! The cost of laundry detergent, the cost of electricity to run the washer/dryer, and the cost of the water used can add up quickly. The costs go up even further when you add in the extras like fabric softener, dryer sheets, and laundry boosters. 

I don't know about you, but I don't like wasting my money this way. Laundry doesn't have to be so expensive! 

I have several ways that I save money on doing laundry. Many of these ideas are not original and I give credit to those that I have taken them from. I just don't remember who you are! Thanks for the ideas though!

How can you save on your laundry? Let me count the ways...
1. Make your own laundry detergent! I have two recipes for homemade detergent: original and revamped! Both work very well and are very cheap!
2. Make your own washing machine cleaner! How? Fill your washer full of HOT water. Add one gallon of vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda. Let the washer go through the wash cycle and then tu…