23 April 2009

It is straighten up, clean up, throw away, e-bay and give away time at my house. It's so nice to be out with the old with no hopes for filling up the space with new. You hear people say often what a satisfying feeling they have after purging the household. I am happiest when I have freed up an empty space. I'm a big fan of the harmony that well placed negative space brings to a home, yet you would never know that if you came to visit. We simply moved too much furniture into this place, and planning not to be here for more than 4 or 5 years I haven't parted with pieces I really like.

Earth Day opened up opportunities for people to share their cleaning tips. For quite some time I've intended to go back and try some of my grandmother's tried and true mixed solutions and techniques for cleaning that in almost all cases include white vinegar. I haven't had such good luck in the past with products like Melaleuca or homemade solutions but now realize I can adjust some of the ingredients for better results including no lingering vinegar smell. Real Simple Magazine emailed a list a couple of weeks ago that lists 66 All-Natural Cleaning Solutions. Find it here. So far I'm having great luck working my way through the list. They've amped up some of my grandmother's techniques. Everything old is new again. The real test will be replacing my chemical bathroom cleaners with the natural ones and being just as happy with the results. A bathroom has to smell like a swimming pool when I'm finished cleaning it. A couple of things Real Simple has left off of the list are: 1.) To remove smells from your microwave, put a bowl of 1/2 water and 1/2 white vinegar inside and microwave for 5 minutes. 2.) Use 1/4 cup of white vinegar in your rinse cycle when washing clothes as a fabric softener (there is no vinegar smell left after washing) 3.) Mix equal parts of white vinegar and hot water, apply with sponge over old wallpaper to soften the adhesive and peel away easily
I'd like to hear your unique suggestions that we may have never heard before. What are your favorite supplies and why?

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