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Posts tagged ‘garden’

I don’t ever remember my mom doing a proper spring cleaning, so I haven’t ever done one either. However, the ideas here could be spaced out over several weeks (to keep it from being overwhelming), and I think I want to try some of the ideas here! –Lisa

A clean home gives you many benefits, the best one being a great stress reliever. After a long day at work, wouldn’t it be nice to go home to a clean and organized house where everything you need is at the right place?

Spring is the perfect time to clear your home of all the clutter and chaos. This doesn’t mean you have to throw out everything, though. Here are some green solutions you can try during your spring clean this year.

Be open to change

The best way to go about spring cleaning is to dispose items that you no longer use. These can be empty lotion and shampoo containers, clothes that no longer fit, or maybe the really old toys that you loved as a child. In order to do this, you must have the heart to let go of the stuff you’ve been keeping for a long time. Springtime is a season of growth and change, so allow yourself to move on and let go.

Organize and Segregate

Go through all your belongings and sort out the ones you want to donate, recycle, and discard. Bring out the items that you know you will be able to use often and keep the things that you only use once in a while in a box. Label each box accordingly. By doing so, you will be making your life a lot easier.

Decide which ones need to make their way to the garbage and which ones you can still use. Group the other items into things you can reuse or recycle and stuff you can donate to charity. Find clothes you haven’t used in months and give it to someone you know will benefit from it more. Remember that the lighter your home feels, the better your life will be.

Find another use for your old items

There will always be stuff that you’d be too embarrassed to donate, like tattered clothing and lone socks. Instead of throwing these out, use them as cleaning rags. Old shirts and towels make good cleaning cloths so don’t waste your money buying new rags when you already have good ones at home.

Your old toothbrush is also another item you can recycle. Use it to clean your faucet and bathroom sink as well as your shower and toilet. If you are going to use one brush for everything, make the toilet its last destination to avoid contamination.

Detoxify your home

Houses may be home to the most toxic products that could compromise human health in the long run. Now that you’re in the mood for cleaning, check areas that need extra attention such as medicine cabinets and the refrigerator. Collect all your medicines and throw out the expired ones. You can also bring them to your local pharmacy and they’ll take care of the disposal.

If you’ve accumulated lawn care products and pesticides that haven’t been used in years, it’s definitely time to get rid of them. These types of wastes are labelled as Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) and most states require that they’re properly discarded. Find facilities in your locality where you can drop off hazardous for proper disposal.

Clean your garden

Spring cleaning is not just about de-cluttering your home but also renewing your connection with nature. Freshen up your home by including the garden in your clean-up. If you don’t have a garden, now is the best time to start one! Being eco-friendly means being one with nature as well as taking care of it.

It can be a small plot in your backyard or a container garden for your kitchen. Use old ceramic pots or empty mason jars to plan herbs and spices. Meanwhile, you can use expired food items and vegetable or fruit peelings as fertilizer.

Gardening offers you lots of benefits like having your very own source of flowers, fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, you actually burn calories from 45 minutes of gardening as with a 30-minute aerobic workout. All that fresh air and nature’s scent will do wonders for your health and well-being.

With these eco-friendly ideas in mind, you’re well on your way to reaping the benefits of a healthy earth and home. Happy (green) spring cleaning!


Jessica Phan is a designer for a purveyor of high-end artificial Christmas Trees. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area is perfect for her because she has a wide range of interests, including Art & Design, Fashion, Photography, Painting and Thrift Store Shopping.



I know it has almost nothing to do with this post, but it's just too cute!

By douglasleemiller on Flickr

It’s the end of the year, and time to think about New Year’s resolutions. I haven’t been one to make a lot of resolutions; some year I don’t even bother to make any at all. But this week I read a couple of blogs that made me think about setting goals for next year. Caroline at The Modest Mom blog talked about several goals she has for the new year. Sarah at Sarah’s Hearts Home reviewed the goals she made last year and shared how she had had succeeded–or not. So I have been inspired to make a list of things I would like to accomplish this next year, and I want to share it with you. (Note about the picture: I wanted a picture, and I just couldn’t resist this one! You should click on it and read the caption under it!)

First Month’s Goals

These are things I would like to focus on during the first month of the year–my top priorities:

Work on obedience with the kids. This will mean keeping them with me more and following through when I issue commands to be sure that they are executed. Gislaine specifically needs to learn to deal with disappointments and to willingly obey the first time, quickly and cheerfully. To accomplish this, I plan on helping her by practicing proper responses to problematic situations, to help her learn how to react instead of just letting her react however she wants.

Make and keep the home more organized. I have gotten a good start on it–I promise to update the office decluttering project soon, but so far it’s coming along.

Go to the gym or walk at least 4 days a week. Just basically more exercise, and that’s how I plan to make it happen.

Spend more time in personal devotions. The next goal is the key to this one; when I can’t get up early, I want to learn how to take time during the day to connect to God.

Go to bed before 10:00 every night.

Have more consistent morning worship. I guess I always thought of this as the husband’s job, and it is so hard to stop my day once it is started… But my husband leaves home just as the kids are waking up most days, so having him lead out in morning worship most days is not practical. I’m not exactly sure how I am going to do this, but I am going to pray about it and then just do something–even if it’s just a song, a prayer, and reading a Bible story. This is very important.

Not get online until the important housework is done

Watch the seminar. This looks interesting. If I really like it, I may blog about it later.

Wow! That seems like a lot of things to do in January. But some of them are not too involves (like bedtime) and some I have already started (like being more organized), so we wlll see how it goes. I’ll have to post an update at the end of January to let you know how I’m doing–and to help myself see where I need to focus more.

Second Month’s Goals

Come February I would like to add the following items to my 2011 goals:

Structure the kids’ days more so I can keep them with me more. This means that instead of saying, “Go play,” I will try to come up with an activity they can do near me. This will require some creativity and probably some sacrifice on my part, but I know it can be done.

Spend more time playing with the kids. This is one way of binding their hearts to mine. I haven’t done it enough lately.

Get my monthly and semi-annual cleaning on track. This means all the lists of things that need to be done on a not-so-regular basis will get incorporated into my iPod’s to-do list program. That way things will come up on my daily to-do list so I can remember to do them. This will include things like washing windows, dusting baseboards, cleaning the light diffusing bowls, etc. I have lists already made up, but I need to get them where I will actually see them.

Blog more consistently, at the same time limiting my time online. I want to post 3-4 times a week at least, but I need to focus on what I am doing online and avoid surfing and wasting time. I need to plan my posts, too, so that I can be more efficient with my time online.

Eat more vegetables. I like veggies, but they get expensive and sometimes I just forget to eat them. So I’m making it a goal to try to get more of them in my diet–to just be more consistent about making sure they are on the table to eat every day.

Goals for the Rest of the Year

The rest of my list is more of a want-to-do, or else a seasonal activity that isn’t something I could start in the winter. So once I get the above under control, or when summer comes, I want to keep these things in mind:

Try at least 2 new recipes every month. I have gotten into a rut of just fixing the same ol’ stuff all the time. I need to put in some variety once in a while. But I’m not going to stress about it in January; my monthly menu is already made up.

Plant and maintain a small garden. I got gardened out as a kid (my mom once had a 1,000 square foot garden!), but I really want to have some home-grown delights. And hubby has spent so much time and effort on getting rid of the blackberries that overran the garden area…

Spend more time outside on nice days. The previous goal should help this one. And now that I have an iPod, I could go out and sit under a tree and write blogs while the children play nearby. But that won’t be happening for a few months yet!

Knit Gislaine a sweater and everyone some socks. I learned to knit before learning any other related craft. But now it seems so slow compared to crocheting or sewing. But I love homemade wool socks and found some expensive wool at the Goodwill for cheap, so I really should do it. I even found good free patterns online, and my mom gave me a whole set of needles, so I have no legitimate excuses.

Do the bulk of my sewing in the winter when it’s too cold to be outside. Last summer I spent too much time sewing and got burned out by winter, when it’s too cold to be outside. I don’t want that to be the start of a trend. Which means I need to start figuring out what I need to make for next summer soon.

So there is my list. I will review the first two items over the next two months, and then the whole thing at the end if the year.

So what are your resolutions/goals for the new year? I’d love to hear them. If you have blogged about them, be sure to post the link in your comment.