Spring Cleaning Extravaganza - Part II

It's time to evict the snowmen.

This shouldn't be a big deal. They've been hanging out in my porch since November.  My plan, as per usual, was to leave their display intact until the end of February.  Truth be told, the weather was so springy they were looking out of place at the beginning of February, and yet here we are at Mid-March and they are still keeping residence.  

I'm afraid to take them down.  

Snowmen in Residence
In much the same way that washing your car, planning a stay-cation, or putting laundry on the line will bring on rain, I'm afraid that if I put my snowmen into hibernation, the snow will come back.  I love snow, I really do, but now that the grass, bulbs, and rhubarb are firmly committed to making an appearance, I'd kind of like it if the snow stayed away.

And so, as part of my Spring Cleaning Extravaganza, I will be facing the snow demon and putting the snowmen away.  And, as promised, I'm ready to share my plan of attack as well as an exciting (well, to me!) challenge I'm integrating into the Spring Cleaning Extravaganza!!!

 In previous posts I have discussed how my husband and I are taking steps to "go green." A few weeks ago I was e-chatting with Ainsley at Patty Cake Manners about this very subject, and she mentioned that she often prepares her own natural household cleanser.  This got me thinking about the things we use to clean our house, the chemicals they contain, and the waste produced by many convenience cleaning items. Indeed, I had planned to go out and stock up on many of these very items, in the name of Spring Cleaning; surely such an endeavor justified a few less than green products?

Or maybe, just maybe, it deserved something a little bit more...

And so, the Spring Cleaning Extravaganza is now The Great Green Spring Cleaning Extravaganza!  My challenge is to complete my spring cleaning using "green" products and methods.  This means avoiding (hopefully altogether):
  • Paper towels
  • Electrostatic cleaning cloths
  • Disposable wipes and floor cleaners
  • Store bought cleansers (unless at least 95% natural, and biodegradable)
  • Aerosol sprays (including fabric and air fresheners)
To get this fun-fest started, I googled.  There's a huge amount of information out there!  After some research , I had recipes for the following:
  • All purpose cleanser
  • Oven Cleaner
  • Microwave Cleaner
  • Tub & Tile Cleaner
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Mirror Cleaner
There are a lot of great websites out there on this topic. I referenced the Natural Healthy Home Cleaning Tips website a lot.   I really liked that they placed a strong emphasis on safety when using home made products.  There seems to be a misconception that anything "natural" is automatically gentle and harmless.  Not so!!! Make sure you exercise caution to protect yourself, your family, and your home and possessions.  Follow the recipes; now is not the time to become a mad scientist!!!  Also, be very aware of manufacturer's instructions and warranty requirements when dealing with your home, furniture, and possessions.  You are all smart people!  It will totally defeat the purpose of this exercise if you poison yourself and ruin your floors!  As well, I'm not publishing recipes because I would like you to actually visit the websites people work so hard on.

Moving right along, I composed a shopping list.  Ingredients and supplies included but aren't limited to:
Some of my new cleaning supplies!
  • Borax
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Laundry Detergent Powder
  • Essential Oils
  • Liquid Castile Soap
  • Spray bottles
  • Microfiber cleaning cloths
  • Black and white newspapers
  • Salt
  • Lemons
The only ingredient I wasn't able to find was liquid castile soap (if anyone in the Kitimat area can suggest a source I would appreciate it). I did purchase a bottle of unscented 95% pure dishwashing soap,which I will use as a mild soap for cleaning.  The laundry detergent isn't natural but it's in one of the recipes for oven cleaner that I found.  My plan with the oven is to start with the greenest recipe and move up to the one with the detergent if required.  I'll keep you posted.  The only cleaning items I'm leaving alone are those used for laundry and dishes.   As well, papertowels are allowed for cleaning up after pets.

I was so excited that I whipped up three bottles of all purpose cleanser; cinnamon for the kitchen, tea tree for the bathroom, and lemon for everywhere else.  They did a great job and smelled fabulous!  Be sure to research before you use an essential oil as some are stronger than others and can be caustic.  My enthusiasm continued so I also washed the kitchen and living room floors.  I've been going green with them for years, using a mix of hot water, vinegar and dish soap.  I took a microfiber cloth, wet it with the solution, wrung it out lightly,  and used it with the broom that came with my electrostatic broom system.  It worked great!  The microfiber clothes I'm using have a net cloth over them that provides a light scrubbing action.  I used baking soda to scour the kitchen sink.  When I was finished the rooms looked and smelled great but without that artificial, chemical clean smell that makes us sneeze.

And so, it's time to make a plan for the Great Green Spring Cleaning Extravaganza!  Here is what I hope to achieve:

  • Floors & Walls
  • Fridge
  • Cupboards (empty, wipe down, sort and discard items that aren't being used)
  • Oven
  • Sink
  • Microwave
  • Surfaces
  • Drains
Living Room:
  • Floors & Walls
  • Upholstery
  • Dust
  • Sort & Discard
  • Floors & Walls
  • Closet
  • Sort & Discard Clothes; launder and put away winter things; start bringing out warm weather items.
  • Sort bedroom linens and switch to warmer weather sheets.
  • Floors & Walls
  • Fixtures (tub, toilet, sink)
  • Sort and purge health & beauty products
  • Sort bathroom linens; take old towels to humane society; make list of new items needed
  • Drains
Craft Room:
  • Floors & Walls
  • Dust
  • Sort items and donate items to goodwill / second hand store
  • Floors & Walls
Storage Room:
  • Sort storage, discard and donate!
  • Floors & Walls
  • Make into a study for my husband!!!
My only time frame for this work is to have it completed by the May long weekend.  Hopefully it will be completed earlier but that's my realistic goal! I hope to be gardening by the May long weekend so it seems like a good time to get the inside of the house finished!  I'll be updating from time to time.  

If you have a tip please share it in the comments! I love comments!


  1. Love it!!! I'm going to copy your list and try to get psyched to do my own Spring cleaning. Don't you feel good about green cleaning?

  2. I do!! I'm so enthused that I went back to the dollar store and bought more spray bottles for room freshener and window cleaner!

  3. hey if green is the way you want to go you should check out norwex it's cleaners without chemicals they have everything laundry soap, household cleaners and cloths and personal cleansers as well. you should host a party I got tons of free stuff...their web site is www.norwex.ca call me if you want my consultants name and phone number :) oh and it is a canadian company woo hoo


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