Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be boring, rather it can become quite the cathartic experience. Make some tea, grab your favorite essential oils, and let’s breathe in some new ideas to take home or add to your Spring cleaning list:
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As the notion of Spring cleaning is brought into motion come the warmer weather seasons, what does it really mean to clean house? Beyond its buzzword, such seasonal cleaning can become quite the art form and useful in various forms, including refreshing our emotional health. In fact, there is a science to keeping it clean – Feng Shui – it’s the Chinese pseudoscience that uses energy forces to balance and harmonize individuals through their external environment. Other concepts like the Danish practice of Hygge use “coziness” and comfortable living to better align us with a healthier home front.
Natural Cleaning Techniques: Earth, Wind, and Feng Shui?
Because of the modern barrage of bad ingredients that are held in common household cleaning products, it’s prudent to be picky and keep it simple come time to scrub the tub. Many commercial brand cleaners like floor, window, and toilet solutions have highly toxic endocrine disruptors such as nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) which completely disharmonize the delicate balance of your hormones and harm the various ecosystems and biosphere. Consider these basic elements before grabbing for Windex:
Using the elements of earth is essential to biologically helpful cleaning. Ultimately, it is best to create your own unique cleaning products by adding ingredients found in nature. Essential oils are one of the easiest ways to safely and effectively disinfect the home, all while adding a nice ambience and natural aroma to your environment. Lavender, Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint, and Lemongrass, for example are all wonderfully antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiviral. There are many wonderful ways to disperse their benefits. Their aromatherapy is an added benefit to its air freshening qualities – lavender is celebrated for its deep calming qualities, while peppermint can stimulate the senses. Consider a diffuser to permeate your entire home with its antibacterial qualities, especially during cold and flu season. Essential oils can also add ammo to your cleaning products. Simply add a few drops of peppermint oil to baking soda and voilà – you’ve got a highly intensive tub scrub and grout grabber. This is an excellent replacement for common toxic products like Soft Scrub.
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Perhaps the most simplistic practice of all – the element of wind – is vital to our physical health and the freshness of our environment. It’s amazing how the action of just opening a window can awaken all of our senses and invigorate vitality. Allowing a fresh breeze to circulate in your home will clear the air of harmful mold, dust, and other pesky toxins. Not only that, it’s a great immunity booster! Even Benjamin Franklin was famed for sitting in the buff in front of an open window first thing in the morning. Who needs air fresheners? Even our Founding Fathers knew the wonders of real…fresh air.
Pro-tip: Couple fresh air with sunshine and you’ve got a powerful antibacterial duo. The sun’s UV rays are potent disinfectants that actually hinder the growth of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Whether it’s a rug that needs drying or shoes that need airing out, placing any dirty objects in the sun is sure to knock the bad bugs out cold.
Not only is the act of cleaning our environment great for our physical health, it’s also an added bonus to our emotional health. The artful organization of Feng Shui is all about allowing the energy (chi) to circulate. Clearing the clutter quite actually creates more space for the movement of this energy. Imagine the concept of a spinning wheel: when it’s free of debris it moves swiftly, yet when mud gets stuck in the spaces (aka negative thoughts and junk), the wheel stops. This analogy applies to our bedrooms too. As we clear the space for newness, we clear our thought space too. Truly, our homes can become a sacred space for healing and innovation. Make your living space comfortable by adding things that bring you joy. This is all about the individual. Could it be a candle lit each evening that brings you to that “happy place”? Maybe it’s a velvety blanket strewn across your couch. Lighting incense is another act of ceremony that embodies a bit of magic and sacredness to everyday life.