Cleaning used to be one of my least favorite tasks. My younger sister can attest to this. When we lived together in Kansas City, I did all the cooking and she took care of all the cleaning. I even paid for the majority of the groceries to offset all the messes I left while popping in and out of the apartment for college classes and work.
At the time, it seemed like a fair trade-off, although looking back now I think she got the short end of the stick. Why? Because I'm a messy person by nature (or habit), probably both!
I tend to leave books & journals scattered about, a hodgepodge of papers piled on countertops, dirty clothes on the floor, and dishes in the sink. If you're anything like me, there's a good chance you're nodding your head right now. Sloppy person solidarity! ::fist pump::
However, if the previous paragraph caused you to bite your lip and reflexively tidy up your surroundings, it's a sign...that you should come clean my home! You get asked that a lot, right? (Probably by your messy and/or busy friends.) I would totally bake you some banana oatmeal breakfast cookies or pumpkin apple harvest muffins to show my appreciation.
How to Make Cleaning More Enjoyable
In all seriousness, cleaning is a reality of life that doesn't go away no matter our preference for or against it. But the two things that have helped make it more tolerable (heck, even pleasant) for me are:
- Decluttering using principles taken from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up book, which focuses on removing things from your home that aren't useful or joyful.
- Switching to non-toxic cleaning products (like this homemade furniture polish)
I've been slowly swapping out ALL of my household products for "cleaner" commercial or DIY versions that have less toxic ingredients for the past three years. (I really need to dedicate a whole post to it!) You have to pay attention to labels and ingredients because companies love to "greenwash" stuff, but switching to something with less junk in it is better than not at all.
I know it can be overwhelming to do it all at once, so taking baby steps and focusing on one product at a time can help you chip away at the changes. Start with the things you use most and go from there.
TIP: You can also use the EWG Skindeep Database to search for products you regularly use in your home to see how their ingredients rate in terms of safeness.
Evoke the Freshness of Spring Cleaning All Year Long
As you can probably guess, I don't dust that often, but now that I have this homemade furniture polish recipe it's really enjoyable. I'm serious!
I use a citrus essential oil in this mixture that leaves my furniture and the rest of the room smelling fresh and bright. Unlike commercial products, which include synthetic fragrances that often make people feel gross, you'll walk away after a dusting session feeling energized and happy!
However, what I love most about this homemade furniture polish recipe is that you can literally make it with TWO ingredients that are likely sitting in your kitchen right now: olive oil and distilled vinegar. Talk about frugal!
How I Like to Use This DIY Furniture Polish
My favorite way to use this polish is to make a small batch in a 4-ounce glass mason jar, stick my hand into an old (but clean) sock, dip the tip of my fingers into the mixture and polish away! A rag works just as well if you don't have any socks with holes in them lying around.
For folks like me who don't dust often, this recipe will pick up the dust and polish at the same time, so you can do less work. And if you prefer spraying rather than dipping, you can pour the olive oil and vinegar into a small spray bottle. Just make sure to shake it each time as the two ingredients will naturally separate.
Homemade Furniture Polish
Learn how to make your own homemade furniture polish with two frugal ingredients that are likely sitting in your pantry right now. If desired, add your favorite essential oil (citrus is popular) to leave your room smelling bright and fresh after every dusting.
3 parts olive oil (I used THIS)
1 part distilled white vinegar (like THIS)
15-30 drops of essential oil (optional - I only use THESE essential oils)
Mix all three ingredients (or just two if you don't have any essential oil on hand) in a container with a tight-fitting lid and shake well until the olive oil is emulsified (mixed completely with the vinegar). Since oil & vinegar naturally separate, you have to shake the mixture before each use. No big deal, right? Polish away to your hearts content, store in a cool & dark space, and toss the batch once it starts to smell "off" (that's an indication the olive oil is going rancid).
Notes & Tips
- If you're a person that dusts frequently or cleans for a living, feel free to whip together a larger batch. But keep in mind that olive oil goes rancid after awhile, so it might make more sense to try a smaller amount first.
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