Weekly Musings: Housework Healthlift

My house is dusty. Yes, we burn wood in a wood stove, which is notorious for creating dust, but my house is dusty because I haven't made dusting a habit.

Growing up, the kids in our house were tasked with weekly dusting of all rooms on Fridays. I disliked the rigidity but I remember savoring the clean, cared-for, dust-free environment and enjoyed the sense of accomplishment in making that happen. As an adult, I abandoned scheduled housekeeping and adopted cleaning as the spirit moves. When I notice something is dirty, I clean it. While I enjoy more freedom from housework, I also live with dust.

Enter a toddling granddaughter onto the scene and nothing moves the cleaning spirit faster than quick, little hands popping everything at child and floor level into the mouth. Oh, the dust! Dusting has sprouted a new purpose in my life again. If I can make it into a habit and do at least one cleaning project a day, even if it's just a single shelf on the bookcase, I will enjoy that old success once again.

I notice a secret beauty in dusting, that I'm cleaning things I cherish and have saved for a reason and things that are useful to me, which makes me feel good. A positive mind frame is a health booster. In addition, housekeeping provides actual physical health benefits with all the bending, stretching, squats and isometrics it requires. Turn the act of dusting a radiator into a yoga lunge. See how far you can stretch around it and under it to clean. Breathe. Switch and lunge with the other side of the body and clean even more area around the radiator, floor and walls. Why just clean when you can multitask your yoga and housekeeping together?!

I found these cleaning tips that work and make life easier so I’ll share them with you. If you have others to share, please include them below. Happy housekeeping!

Cleaning Tips

  • Remove crayon masterpieces from your TV or computer screen with WD40.
  • Find tiny lost items, like earrings, by putting a stocking over the vacuum hose.
  • To get something out of a heat register or under the refrigerator, add an empty paper towel or giftwrap roll to your vacuum hose. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.
  • Fruit flies in your kitchen? Fill a cup with half an inch of apple cider vinegar and two drops of liquid soap. Mix well and leave on your counter. The flies will swarm to the cup and drown.
  • Dryer sheets leave a film over the mesh lint screen of your dryer that could potentially burn out your heating unit or even catch fire. Wash the screen with hot soapy water and a brush every six months if you use dryer sheets.
  • Fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water and keep it in your bathroom to disinfect without harming your septic system like bleach or most other disinfectants will.
  • Best natural orange cleaner? That Orange Stuff® is non-toxic, organic, super concentrated and capable of replacing virtually every cleaner in your home.
  • A made bed makes a room look cleaner, even when everything else is untidy, so make your bed each morning.
  • Overhaul your linen closet. Store bed linen sets inside one of their own pillowcases and there will be no more hunting through piles for a match.
  • Attach a Velcro strip to the wall to store soft toys.
  • Install a tension rod to hang your spray bottles.
  • Use wire to make a space to store giftwrap rolls against the ceiling, rather than cluttering up the floor.
  • Store plastic grocery bags in an empty tissue box in the car or bathroom — tidy, compact and convenient.

Carol Bedrosian is the publisher of Spirit of Change holistic magazine. Email carol@spiritofchange.org

See also:
9 Effective Habits to Keep a Tidy Home
A Mom's Guide To Decluttering: Why My Kids Gave Up Almost All Their Toys