Each year, the ambitious spring cleaning season arrives with more resolutions than New Year’s Eve: I will keep my house clean, fresh and calm year round. I will not let my closet fall into a pit of madness. I will absolutely sweep under my furniture more than once a year.
And so, the annual overhaul of your home begins, putting a significant dent in your budget, time and energy. But in this wonderful moment, your house is pristinely tidy — and the dream is to keep it that way after spring cleaning is over. After all this effort, the last thing you want is for your home to slide back into its winter mess by the middle of summer.
Below you will find a few simple habits to keep that fresh spring cleaning feeling hanging around throughout the year—all the while saving money and ditching harmful chemicals. As you know, this yearly purge can be pretty rough on your budget. In a perfect world, these pricey products wouldn’t make it into our monthly expenses until next spring. By purchasing quality, durable and natural products—and changing up a few daily rituals—you can both stretch your cleaning products and save yourself a whole lot of time and energy.
Read on for 5 natural, budget-friendly ways to maintain your home’s spring cleaning!
Spring Cleaning Shopping List:
5 small spray bottles: You can find these at most dollar stores or on Amazon for $1-$2 a pop.
Extra Tip: Choose festive colors or labels for a clean, playful approach, or to match the scheme of your room. This way, there is no need to hide them away in a cabinet— encouraging the occasional spritz throughout the day. Make them work for you.
Essential Oil Starter Kit:
Your best bet for budget-friendly Essential Oils (EO’s) is Amazon. Prices often fluctuate (with some fantastic sales) and starter or gift sets include a nice, basic range of oils that will cover all your cleaning needs. I have had a nice experience with Kis and Young Living. Splurge on your favorite oils down the line if this method works for you, but budget-friendly options are always available. Most importantly, a starter pack of five 10-milliliter bottles can last you a full year when used in the method below, and they’ll add great aromas to your spring cleaning routine.
Extra Tip: Check out your local health food stores for deals, or to speak with someone personally about EO benefits. Many grades of Essential Oils are useful for way more than cleaning—including aromatherapy, fancy bath time or as body lotions (when combined with a carrier oil such as coconut or olive). Convenient EO apps for your phone are also widely available.
Baking Soda: $2
White Vinegar: $2
Reusable Cloths/Washable Sponge: $5
Not only do these items create less waste, but you can also toss them in the wash after a particularly messy day. Unlike regular sponges, they barely wear over time.
Total for full year of supplies: $39
Spray Bottle #1: Bathroom Shower & Sink
Fill one 12-ounce spray bottle with distilled water, and add about 10 drops of lavender and lemongrass EO. Lemongrass has significant disinfectant properties while the lavender oil contributes a sense of peaceful calm to your bathroom—a nice touch for both you and your guests. As dust, spills or other fuzzies accumulate on surfaces, spritz and wipe with the reusable cloth. Constant ventilation while using EOs is unnecessary, unlike bleach and other harsh cleaning products, since all oils are safe to breathe and may even provide emotionally beneficial responses – which may be especially helpful during dreaded spring cleaning. As with all products, adjust amounts and preferences based on your sensitivity to certain aromas.
Tip: Add a few drops of tea tree and eucalyptus and spritz across your shower tiles after each wash to combat mildew.
Bottle #2: Toilet
To keep up with the demand of the harder-to-sanitize parts of your bathroom, reach for the stronger, sanitation-ready EO, tea tree oil. Combine with a tablespoon of baking soda and ¼ cup of white vinegar for an easy, eco-friendly fix to keep your toilet — and the air around it — germ-free. Toss the reusable sponge in the laundry between cleanings.
Bottle #3: Closet & Bedroom
This one is all about you. Find the aroma that provokes the strongest sense of calm — a reaction that differs from person to person. Spritz a combination of distilled water and the EO of your choice on bedsheets, in your closet, or between washes on clothing.
Tip: Nightly wiping your bedside table is one simple way to reset your day. Since this is often the first area you reach for in the morning, practicing this ritual will start things off right, and you’ll maintain the great feelings of freshness that spring cleaning provides.
Bottle #4: Kitchen
This is where the readily available spray bottle really shines. Remove rogue food bits from the stove, small spills on the counter and residue in the sink without stopping to pull out harsh cleaning chemicals. It’s safer for your food and reduces the stress of post-cooking cleanup if you spritz as you go.
Bottle #5: Living Room & Office
When guests turn up without notice, aromatherapy is one of the best ways to transform a room in a hurry. Similar to the bedroom, find a scent that is both energizing and fresh. The oil and water combination is easy on wooden surfaces and equally helpful on couches and carpets. You can also give the rug a spritz before vacuuming. The vacuum will warm the oil and infuse the air throughout the room.
For electronics, especially in your home office area, water and essential oils are not ideal for the delicacy of technology. Wireless Wipes are excellent products to safely clean your tablet, phone and computer. Their variety of aromas will seamlessly blend with the essential oils used throughout the house.
Extra tip: Keep a tiny spray bottle in the middle console of your car for a naturally scented interior and dust-free dashboard.
And there you have it! This little spray bottle trick is a simple, budget-friendly method to set you on the right path toward a sustainably clean home, car and wardrobe. Removing harsh, expensive chemicals is a long-term fix for your budget, lifestyle and durability of your home. Above all, simplifying your cleaning rituals frees up time and money for the rest of your daily life—for the more important things. And perhaps by the time next spring rolls around, you will no longer need to make those spring cleaning resolutions.