I suppose it helped that my internet’s been wonky the past few days, so a good cleaning schedule became a must. Today was the big day, and if I were to look at my very segmented list of items to tackle and ways to clean and make my spaces more efficient… well, it would probably be disappointing.
But when you have some eureka moments, you have to go with them in the end, because that will make the rest of the list easier to handle.
I figured because the birds have a set bedtime, I’d better clean up the area around them first, and get re-organizing done. That “re-organizing” was NOT on the list, I was just trying to condense everything into an area. But when I realized that skinny cabinet wasn’t going to help me with my goals, and my supply shelf in the utility room just didn’t make sense the way it was anymore, it was time to switch things around.
The first thing I did was figure out what I had plenty of already and box up the rest, because I’ve already subscribed to Blueland cleaning products and don’t want to have all these other cleaners around. But I didn’t want to just throw them out, either. I’d already started the sifting process without knowing it a couple of days ago.
I was incredibly tired the past few days, and tried to eat right, but I also couldn’t stop itching my arms. Even now if I look down my forearms are red with small raised bumps and itch if I don’t think of something else quick. I think it’s a reaction to something because this has happened periodically, but only in the past few months. I realized that it seems to have coincided with when I was using liquid fabric softener. I used to always use dryer sheets, but I figured the regular clothes might benefit from the liquid stuff (towels I kept the sheets for because of massive static cling). And now I’ve decided to get rid of them.
And the dryer sheets. At least for clothes; I’d still keep a small box around to get the bug guts off the front of my car before the soaping.
My bestie has gone on to warn about all the chemicals in everything around the house and how we have to purge them. Well, I have been doing it gradually, but not because I’m so afraid of that kind of thing, it’s more the scent and the fact that I just want the static gone. I don’t need my clothes to be super fluffy soft (and because I sucked at sorting out my workout clothes for ages, all my old sports bras have been totally ruined by the fabric softener or dryer sheets). I also don’t need my clothes to smell like I rolled around in a perfume factory’s idea of a flowery meadow.
I like flowers, and I’d love to traipse through a quiet meadow of ’em and smell ’em, but I don’t want to wear it day in and day out.
Hopefully in the next few days I’ll get rid of this itchiness. And today I tried an alternative to dryer sheets when washing towels: wool dryer balls.
I hadn’t heard of these before and suddenly saw them on Amazon (I think I clicked a link for a site talking about DIY alternatives to stuff, but I can’t remember. I do know that I was looking for ways to reduce static cling in the dryer without using softeners or dryer sheets.
I figured “what the hell” and bought a bag of 6. Don’t remember how much they cost, but it wasn’t bad, especially if it’s supposed to last for ages. And today I made sure to toss the balls into the dryer with my two loads of towels.
I love these things. Reduced most of the static cling and my clothes don’t smell fake as all hell. I will say there was SOME static, but that’s because with my towels are occasionally sheets (had to wash the bird cover because it had bits of poo on it) and microfiber towels I use to wipe down everything instead of using paper towels. My microfiber towels stuck to the sheet, but peeled away easily without trying to attach to something else. I flicked it in the air a bit and it “settled down.”
I am so glad I heard of those wool dryer balls. A few sites I saw mentioned they can last for up to a thousand washes, and it’s easy to tell when you should replace ’em. They smell fine at the end, too. Just clean wool. I cringed at the idea of maybe putting essential oils on the balls. Why does everything have to have essential oils added to it? If I want to smell something, I’ll cook or bake something, or I’ll light a candle for a short time. I don’t need everything smelling of one thing (and heaven forbid you get into aromatherapy and have different scents on different things around the house… it’ll be a catastrophuck for the nose. Time to get woozy, pass out and “enjoy” the migraine.
But I digress.
But the birds can’t stand crazy smells; they’re not good for them. I also had an issue with my garbage can in the kitchen, next to the bird cage. Because I don’t have as much trash as I used to anymore (ooh, another benefit of eating cleaner), the trash would take longer to get out the door… and would start to stink a little. It’s an enclosed can with a foot-activated lid, and generally works well. But I had to think of something without squirting Febreeze everywhere or hosing down the can.
I remembered when I had to stay in my garage for a while and the port-a-potty I made for daily business. Underneath the liner I had a scent absorber, and it worked pretty well. Had a bit of a lavender scent to those beads if I recall correctly, but it wasn’t so bad because I could twist the vents to get as little or as much as I wanted. I’ve had a difficult time finding those scent-absorbing beads, but lucked out at the dollar store. I got two just in case (charcoal kind) and cut holes in the top of one for the vents. Not many, just a few, because when I peeled the seal off, whew, that smell was potent. I figured just a little could come out and it wouldn’t be so bad. I stuck it in the bottom corner of the can and put the liner over it.
Worked so well.
So I got better drying, a better smelling garbage can… but what else was I going to do to improve the kitchen? Get rid of extra cleaning stuff. Again, I’d subscribed to Blueland cleaning products (impressed so far), but it was gonna take me forever to use any of it if I had all these older cleaners in my possession. Many were in boxes I’d forgotten about and put in the shed for sorting later (and it somehow never happened). Others were just stuff I’d bought not realizing I already had plenty, or it was another brand of something I used a bunch of anyway.
I got my small cleaning caddy and emptied it out. My goal is that the only bottles I should be using to clean with is one meant for multi-surface, one for the bathroom, one for glass cleaning (all from Blueland), one for wood finishes and polish, and another for Comet powdered bleach in the toilet. And a ton of microfiber towels to clean everything. That’s it. I coudn’t believe how many shower cleaners, dish soaps, etc. that I had already. And I had no room or real ability to get under the counter and grab what I really needed in a hurry. And since it was so cramped, I’d think I was out of something that I really wasn’t, I just couldn’t see it.
So now, I can finally put things where they make the most sense because I’m not wrangling 5 or 6 of a certain item, their refill bottles, or whatever. And I ended up boxing up what I had and brought it to my neighbor’s house to take what she might need. The rest I’ll give to another neighbor if she wants any of it.
That hadn’t been my initial intention today, but considering I needed to get rid of that fabric softener (huge bottle, barely used), I figured I’d just get a box together and see what else I should get rid of that others could use. If it was half used or more, I kept it because it’s not up to others to take my trash out for me. And in my deep cleaning this week, I could use a lot of it up. It felt weird getting rid of my Febreeze, but I barely used it and got annoyed by the chemical smell. The only reason I bought that stuff in the first place was my dad’s tendency to come in from outside still smoking his cigar and that awful smoke would get all over the furniture (especially his lazy chair–ugh).
So, I got some good stuff done, though my inner to-do list is going “but-but-but!” Oh well. That’s what tomorrow afternoon is for. Morning is for getting the routine back on track, and taking care of my mental side.