Living Arts Wednesday: Cleaning your Home (when you are home all the time!)

April 15, 2020

“When your environment is clean you feel happy, motivated and healthy”
                                                                                                                            Lailah Gifty Akita

Depending on where you live in the world, you may be in week 3, 4 or 5 of social distancing and staying home. New rhythms may still be in the trial stage and you’ve no doubt found that being flexible, yet at the same time needing to create cleanliness and order in the home are essential to staying sane.

This nursery rhyme reminds us of how our mothers and grandmothers lived with a task for each day of the week. I offer this to you and to update it to suit your needs!

Wash on Monday
Iron on Tuesday
Mend on Wednesday
Churn on Thursday
Clean on Friday
Bake on Saturday
Rest on Sunday

Along with doing the laundry one or more times a week, cleaning surfaces must be right up there at the top of the weekly list. For the past ten years we have taught how to make non-toxic natural cleaners in the California Coast/San Francisco Bay Area LifeWays Trainings and I would like to share a few things from our Cleaning and Caring class.

One of the first steps towards order is simplifying your space…and if both partners in a home cannot agree, than you start where you have the most interest…your sleeping spaces, your cooking space, your family life space…take it one step at a time because it takes time to really implement something new…like order!

Creating a space for cleaning means we need to take it seriously, stick with it, invite our children to help us clean so they can learn alongside us…caring for the wood table we eat off of…the chairs we sit on…the carpet we rough house on…the bathroom we all use, and so on! We now all have time to be present and to help children learn about caring for their living space …they need to see us do it…over and over and over. We need not buy every new cleaning gadget and spray, and asking our children to help make cleaning products which they then use in the home makes a deep impression…this has value!!

Making your own cleaning products is very easy, inexpensive and can be a very enjoyable thing to do with children. Perhaps at the start of each month you can dedicate an hour or so to making your cleaning products and then set a day of the week that everyone helps in tidying, cleaning and deodorizing all the rooms in the house. Please note that none of these homemade cleaning recipes are at the level of destroying the COVID 19 virus, for that you will need bleach and or alcohol.

You will need:
Recycled, washed, spray bottles that have been used for non-toxic cleaners in the past.
Glass jars with screw top lids
Baking soda
Liquid soap or detergent ( Dr. Bronner’s is recommended!)
Vinegar or Lemon juice
Essential oils like lavender, lemon or any of your own favorites
Rags, cut up small enough for assorted hand sizes, that can be machine washed with hot water afterwards
Hot water

If you are in a state of overwhelm or feeling low, perhaps just make some lavender water to spray around the house:
Lavender cleaner
2 cups water
2 teaspoons lavender essential oil

Combine ingredients in spray bottle, shake and spray in all living areas. For toilets, spray inside the rim and on the floor…leave on for 30 minutes or so before scrubbing with a toilet brush and wiping the floor with a rag.
Makes 2 cups

Please download the recipes and start with one or two. Cleaning the kitchen sink with baking soda and vinegar is always exciting for young children…lots of fizz…and checkout these two favorite books on cleaning: Better Basics for the Home by Annie Berthold-Bond and Make Your Place, by Raleigh Briggs, a highly recommended jewel of a book! A favorite resource for essential oils is Mountain Rose Herbs.




4 thoughts on “Living Arts Wednesday: Cleaning your Home (when you are home all the time!)”

  1. Vicki Seastrom, California Coast LifeWays Class of 2012

    I spent a morning in mindfulness this week washing my kitchen floor. I have no children at home, so I had the time and space to spend, doing it by hand, the “old-timey” way — on my hands and knees with a cloth and a bucket. Usually I use a mop and swish – swash and done. Working up close down low was wonderful, slow, rhythmical, and just what I needed. Not that I knew that when I started. Like so many things when taking time, the beauty and simplicity of the act becomes all. I enjoyed the wood grain, reminded of the hard work of my husband when he first repaired, sanded and re-finished our ninety-five year old kitchen floor. Section by section, the beauty of the wood was restored, along with my soul.

  2. My mom is 75 years old, and maybe not as often now…but she still gets on her hands and knees to clean the kitchen tiles. She believes its the only way to REALLY get your floors clean from corner to corner (including the baseboards)… and this makes her feel good in her home.

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