Tag Archives: cleaning

Snap-Shot Cleaning: Jack’s Room

As many of you may know, Jacks, our mini-rex, kind of has his own room. Since he needs to be let out twice a day for exercise and really does not like the dog he gets to be outrageously spoiled. However, that also means that Jacks’ room tends to get cluttered with my work supplies and other useless junk. His was the first room that I decided to try my “Snap-Shot” cleaning approach on.

On the left are the “before” shots with the ones on the right being the “after” shots.

Amount of time spent cleaning: 30 minutes.

While this room was cleaned close to a week ago in this style, what I can remember is the following:

  • Floor swept
  • Blanket folded and put away
  • Unused router wire removed from room.
  • Folders stood up and organized according to information contained.
  • Bureaus dusted off.
  • Books in boxes gone through and some donated to charity.
  • Random papers, over-used chew sticks, and twist ties from hay bags thrown away/recycled.

It’s absolutely amazing how much of a difference just a little bit of time put into a room can make. While it didn’t feel like I had worked in there for half an hour), it was a nice feeling afterward to actually see the before and after. (What boxes that are left on the floor are strategically placed so that Jacks can’t get under anything and will have to remain on the floor until we get the extra few dollars to pick up some untreated lumber to place in front instead.)

“Snap-Shot Cleaning” Project Idea

The other day in the shower, where I swear all of the greatest ideas are created, I thought of a wonderful idea that I might start implementing soon, maybe even today.

I was thinking about how much cleaning needs to be done around our home. (Even though it’s the holiday season, I still feel the cleaning urge. I think I’ll blame it on the full moon that came by.) A lot of times I try to spend a full half hour cleaning one room at a time, which not only keeps me on task, but also helps to focus my energy. As most of us know, sometimes it’s impossible to feel like you’ve gotten anything done in only half an hour, an hour, or however long you put into cleaning a room. This is where my idea comes in: I plan to take a before and after photo or video of the room at hand in a way to visibly see the difference a set amount of time can make. After posting the before and after of each room, I’ll go through and list what I can remember doing.

Before any of your start asking, let me address how I feel this fits into the ideas of homesteading, modern or otherwise. In order to do as much at home as we do and dream of doing, organization is a key ingredient to it all. I’ve been told that I’m overly organized and keep my house nice and neat (which I think it the biggest overstatement of the year). However, I would love to get it to the point that the only amount of cleaning needed is a ten minute sweep of each room to pick up the odds and ends. I think this it the ultimate goal of any home owner or renter.

So here begins project “Snap-Shot Cleaning.” If you’re going to play along with the idea, PLEASE comment with your link! We’ll list the links in their own section in hopes that others can glean ideas from organization, cleaning, and living styles, along with getting the much needed support we all need!

Natural Beauty…Products, That Is.

Since I was about ten years old, I’ve been dealing with psoriasis. (I won’t get into the details of what it is here, but later on I might post more on this. If you need a good definition, click the link and you’ll have a really nice, simplistic one that just about sums it up.) I’ve noticed that one of my biggest issues tends to be sodium lauryl sulphate, a very common chemical in shampoos, soaps, and even toothpaste. (Which according to some information explains my constant battle with canker soars.) That being said, with sodium lauryl sulphate in almost everything, it’s almost impossible to eradicate out of your household.  But, we did it with corn syrup, so why not with this!

First off, the daily shower soap we swapped to goat’s milk soap a long time ago. I  really love the Canus brad, especially since they disclose all information and are from Canada, which is essentially right next door.

border: 0pt none;For my shampooing, my first try on changing things was to switch to Dr. Bronner’s. We use the peppermint soap as an ant deterrent around the house. While it works wonders at that job, it’s a wonderful all purpose cleaner. I’ve been using the almond scented version specifically, but I’ve noticed that the oils weigh my hair down a bit. For some, they might not mind it, but I’ve been feeling a like claustrophobic in my own hair. I kept using the product, however, since it was lacking sodium lauryl sulphate and didn’t seem to bug my psoriasis at all.

However, I constantly keep my eyes out.

Yesterday, I happened to go to Reny’s in Farmington to check out their clearance sale. I wandered into the health and beauty area to thumb through the shampoos and conditioners as I do every trip. Needless to say, this is what I found:

These products not only smell delicious, but:

  • contain over 95% natural products
  • contain certified organic ingredients
  • contain natural plant extracts
  • sulfate and paraben free
  • phthalate free
  • contain NO propylene glycol
  • contain NO artificial colors

According to the website for the products, they retail for $6.99. I found these are Reny’s for $1.99.  I tried the product this morning, and I have to say that I love the way it left my hair feeling. We’ll see in a couple of days if it really fits the bill.

Here’s to natural, organic products!

Changes in Laundry

In order to break even late on with the outdoor woodboiler we plan on eventually installing, we need to try to cut 2 – 4 kWhs a day. Seeing how we only use 13 kWhs/day in the winter and 9 kWhs/day in the summer (the average household uses 30 kWhs/day average), we do fairly well. BUT we’d like to stay within these numbers, if not make them smaller so that they balance back to what we have now when we have little ones.

Over the past couple weeks, one of our mini-projects has been coming up with even more ideas on how to save electricity. I stepped in and came up with a couple ideas for the laundry around the house.

While we already had the drying rack, it’s a small one that doesn’t hold much. We decided that the laundry room would be a perfect place to add a couple clothes lines. Using some cup hooks I had bought for another project and help rope from my crafting stash, I rigged the first one up and then realized that with a second one I could get a full load of laundry on the lines and rack. Instead of using the dryer for every load, we now use it maybe once every five loads or so. It does take a little over a day for the clothes to dry, but that’s fine by us!

As a reminder to not use the dryer when it’s not necessary, I made a quaint little cover for it.

(Keep in mind, I’m not a seamstress and this cover could have been much more appealing. On the plus side, I made it with fabric I got free from work.)

The three sachets in front of the last picture are dryer sachets that I made. In between realizing that a chunk of chemicals in dryer sheets are cancerous, some cause anxiety attacks, and other are animal based, I decided to give making my own sachets a try. They’re cotton cloth filled with rice and lavender. The scent seems strong, but when you pull the laundry out, there’s just enough to make it smell fresh. The lavender I bought on Etsy for $8.00 total. I have enough for roughly 12 sachets. The fabric was left over from a earlier project years ago. Over all, when you figure out the cost, each sachet is only pennies. The plus side of all of this is that we no longer have to worry about what we use causing havoc with my psoriasis.

How time does fly!

My! Has it really been close to a month since my last post? I apologize in advance for the delay. A lot has been going on around this little homestead, keeping me away from the blogs. Since I haven’t posted since the holidays, I’ll start with that.

Between the two of us, there were a lot of gifts received, but the most important ones to me are the ones I can use for the home and create from. I think right now, my favorite thing is something that became a gift because my mom bought herself a gift. :-) I am now the owner of a 20+ year old 3.5 quart Rival Slow Cooker Crock Pot. I’ve already made chili in it and am very excited for next year’s jam season! :-) Mom and dad also got us an Oster Blender/Chopper with the black finish.

The hubby bought me two skeins of Nature Spun sport weight in Enchanted Forest, a skein of Ultra Alpaca in Dark Chocolate,……and a yarn ball winder! I can’t begin to tell you how much storage space this little thing takes up!

I also got a lot of Red Heart from my BIL and FSIL which will be used for a sleeve for my digital art pad and an iron cozy, not to mention for various other projects.

I spent a good chunk of time the other day rearranging the bedroom so that we have more baseboard out in the open. This, in turn, created more storage space in Jacks’ room, and got the TV that we weren’t using out of the bedroom. I was able to remove a stand, move the book cases around, and end up with a lovely little sitting area. Hopefully I’ll have time this weekend to upload some pictures.

Another improvement that we have made has been in our wash room. We added two clotheslines (yes, inside) so that we now have enough hanging space to dry a full load at a time. So far, in the past week, I’ve only run the dryer once. I’m very excited, though, to get a line up as soon as the thaw hits. (Which from the feel in the air already, might come early.)