In this article I’d like to just open your mind to the many positive things you can do, to not only keep your home looking amazing, but also keeping everyone who lives and visits you, happy, harmonious and well!
Cleaning, well I know it’s not everyone’s favourite experience, but I love it because I’ve made it more interesting and more fun. Put some great music on and assemble the non-toxic selection I’ve mentioned further in this article and away you go.
Oh and get your clutter sorted! Mental health is affected very much by ‘clutter’! Some people cope well with excess stuff around them, but the majority don’t. The one’s that are aware of the ‘clutter effect’, display the concept of minimization around them. You can see it when you visit their home or office. It’s easier on the eye and therefore the mind when there is less to take your attention. Consider how you feel when you look out at an ocean, your attention is not being manipulated or perverted, instead, you have an endless landscape of simplicity which is calming and healing. The healing comes about because your mind is not being bombarded with conflict.
My own office can vary in its presentation. When I’m in the middle of preparing for events, or writing or just working away, I can have papers everywhere, but I strive to get it back into order as soon as possible because the less chaotic it looks, the less chaotic I feel! So my OCD nature compels me to have it in order, the same compulsion can also be my undoing, as too much mess distracts me from the task at hand.
The same can be said of my kitchen. This environment is where we prepare food. This is a place that needs to be hygienically clean, and fresh, and benches need to be clear until of course, you are in the midst of your creation. Preparing food on surfaces which have obviously seen more action than they can cope with, is quite dangerous. Air born bacteria have a field day when you are working on damp affected surfaces. I’m referring to the surfaces that haven’t been cleaned properly or have been wiped over with sponges that are full of bacteria and bugs. Get rid of the sponges!
We use micro-fibre cloths and cleaning sponges where possible, or if we use a conventional sponge it is turned over routinely and disposed of carefully. We use essential oils like Lemon and Grapefruit to freshen the air and surface. We turn over chopping boards regularly! I don’t mean turn over as in one side to the other, I mean get rid of the chopping board altogether and invest in new ones to take their place. This way, there is less chance for food poisoning or bugs getting into the meals. Look at your appliances like blenders and mixers, clean the blades and use boiling hot water on the blades. Look at your kitchen gear and if something just looks a little tired, then replace it. These items are used every day, so make sure they are the best quality you can afford, and they are clean and in the best working order.
Bathrooms are the ‘wash areas’ of our homes, like the internal bowels of our bodies. If our bathrooms are full of mould and grime, then we are not really going to ever feel clean if we shower in those environments, not to mention how we are going to feel in our lungs with mould etc. So keeping the bathroom clean is crucial for health. Use fresh towels and face washers, and bath mats too. I’m sure Bed and Bath, are going to love me for this, but towels have a life-span, so turn them over. Change your towels to match the seasons. What a difference that will make! We use Lemon essential oil and both diffuse the oil and apply a few drops to a clean damp cloth and wipe over the tiles and benches. The aroma is just gorgeous and makes such a profound difference to one’s energy levels too.
Bedrooms are full of dust, even when freshly vacuumed, in fact, that is a time when the ‘dead skin’, which is dust, is disturbed the most, and if you look at your room in a shaft of sunlight, you will see particles of dirt and dust just floating in the air. This is what we inhale. How do we keep these rooms in a good state? Be sure to keep your linen fresh and clean by regularly changing your sheets, and again washing in an organic style washing liquid, with a few drops of chosen essential oils. We like to use On Guard, or fresh essential oil of Lime, Ylang Ylang, even Lavender, just give the linen a beautiful smell. Eucalyptus is my favourite, and during winter absolutely perfect for our sheets, towels and blankets. Diffuse Easy Air essential oil in the rooms during the day or even at night, to improve your overall sleep experience.
Lounge and Living Areas - (TV Room). Once again these areas are breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses. Wipe over your coffee tables, and TV stands, and the remote controls. Gosh, these devices are, like your phones and computer keyboards, a playing field for bugs. Use On Guard essential oil, a few drops on a rag and gently wipe over all your remotes for added protection and hygiene. Don’t forget to clean thoroughly the handles on things too. This is where all those bugs hide and why when one person gets sick in the house, others can fall like cards, one by one because the virus is still on the surface or hidden on some object that hasn’t been cleaned.
Look at your front entrance, take a good hard look. Is there anything obstructing your doorway? Is there adequate lighting for when people come to see you at night? Are there cold drafts in various parts of your home? There are so many more questions to ask, and for you to answer, but for the sake of this article, be very mindful of the ‘top use areas’ in your home or office, and how you have lit them, furnished them, and cleaned them (or not).
Make sure you have peaceful colours around you, like mauve, and pale olive greens, or even just slightly off white shades around you. Too much dramatic colour, like dark purple, or dark blue can be very enclosed, and make you feel like you are withdrawing. Red can keep you energised, but it may not be the colour for the bedroom if you plan on getting good sleep! This is debatable by the way! A small amount of red can be great in an area where you want energy! Check your colours, because they do relate back to how you feel, be it healthy or not!
A healthy home must be dry, when it’s raining outside, cool when it’s windy and hot, and calm when you need to unwind after a full-on day. In summary:
- Take time to clean up your clutter.
- Get rid of things that you no longer use.
- Change colours to suit the level of calm you strive for.
- Prepare food on clean non-toxic surfaces. Get rid of old chopping boards!
- Refresh bath and hand towels often.
- Eat less at night and more during the day!
- Empty indoor Compost bins regularly - to avoid insect breeding grounds!
- Change Linen weekly.
- Sterilize blades in blenders etc.
- Wash clothes and Linen in Essential Oils.
- Diffuse Essential Oils like Lemon, Lavender, Lime, Ylang Ylang, On Guard, Grapefruit and Bergamot for purified and fresh aromas (excellent for your health).
- Get rid of your plastic, and de-clutter your cupboards.
- Clean out your wardrobes and give away unused clothes to charity. (wash them first).
- Shred unnecessary paperwork and use as mulch!
- Employ a dehumidifier to not only keep the inside of your home dry but to dry clothes (more affordable than a clothes dryer and doesn’t damage your clothes).
Okay, you get the idea. Your home is an extension of you. Keep it clean and in order, and you will feel better, especially in winter, because you are usually inside more.
Catch you on the next one. x Annie Clark. www.anneclark.com.au