Spring Cleaning

As you might have noticed, I've been doing a little clutter control. Both on my blog, and especially in my home. I am more and more aware of the "things" we accumulate, purchase, and want. This "stuff" can weigh you down and letting go and de-cluttering can provide clarity ~and~ support living a more simple life~ which is exactly what we are working towards.
I have gone through each room in our house with the exception of my son's bedroom and bathroom and the our school room/art room.
I first started by gathering my daughters plastic toys. I have read so much about the ill effects of plastic (here is one link) and of course the dangers of lead in toys from China. This coupled with the desire to, not just have toys laying around that are hardly even played with. My goal is to collect a few wooden, toys (and make some dolls), and let her continue to play with regular household items. (her favorites at the moment are: metal lids from canning jars, she likes to sort items in the dishwasher's utensil holder, boxes (of course) , and spoons and pots).
Second, I gathered up the plastics in my kitchen. It helped that we have been recycling all our glasswares (jam, pickle,olive...jars) so that they could be used to store bulk items vs, plastic storage. I also purchased some glass storage containers, for leftovers, and replaced any utensil we needed.
The kitchen is now plastic free, for the most part. This was easier than I thought it would be.
Then I began to slowly get rid of our liquid, antibacterial soaps and gels and cleaning products. (This is big for me. Last year I became obsessed with anti-bacterial products.) I have always believed in the power of using natural items to clean and disinfect. Having a little baby around made me paranoid about germs- but my views have changed. Here is an interesting article.
I could rant about the affects of indoor pollution caused by all the chemical cleaners and fragrances, and the importance of building your immune system from the inside out, but I will save that for another time. Back to the original topic...

I replaced all of our liquid soaps with natural, bar soaps. The ones in our showers are olive oil soaps (good for the skin- replinish moisture) ,and for the baby, Dr. Bronners baby unscented bar. In the kitchen, Dr. Bronners lemon bar soap (I love lemon in the kitchen.)
I am going to be on the look out for local soap makers, and purchase from them next.
To continue our quest for simply living, I de-cluttered under my kitchen sink.
This is what I was left with: Seventh Generation all purpose, Method unscented dish soap, Ecover rinse aid (for dishwasher), Seventh Generation powder dishwashing soap, Fruit and Vegetable wash, Dr. Bronners (glass jar) that we use for floors, and a vinegar and water spray. I hope to have even less soon. Once we run out I will make my own veggie wash, all-purpose, and find a different dish soap, or use Dr. Bronners. These items are all we use in the house for cleaning. I like to add essentials oils to the cleaners. Right now I have eucalyptus in my vinegar spray. Also, lemons to clean cutting boards. I plan to experiment with some other cleaners from my book: The Naturally Clean Home
Lastly I got rid of items in my bathroom and kept only essentials. I am using olive oil as my face moisturizer now, and love it!!! We all use the Dr. Bronners for shampoo, olive oil bar for body, I use a conditioner but I plan to start buying one in bulk, and olive oil for moisturizer. Pollywog has her own soap as mentioned and California Baby moisturizer) thats it!

The before's and the after

-and organized our hallway closet by the foyer. Now we can grab what we need and go. We have a container for the gym and swimming, jackets, shoes, and pollywog's shoes are with-in her reach. Also, her socks and hats are stored in the pockets.
It feels nice not to be drowning in things. Now I just need to donate and sale all the clothes, toys, and "things" I got rid of, that are sitting in the garage!