Toxic cleaning products that should be avoided and all natural cleaning products to use instead

Toxic cleaning products that should be avoided and all natural cleaning products to use instead

When I first became a mom, I became very conscious about the products I was using in my home around my babies.  I began reading labels and researching ingredients. I was shocked to learn about all the harmful ingredients in popular household name brands that I, and majority of families, were using in their homes.  

Many common household cleaning products can irritate the eyes, throat and cause headaches and other health problems, including cancer.  Some products release dangerous chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

 

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After learning about the dangers of the products I was using, it became my mission to find safe, non toxic, eco-friendly cleaning products that I feel comfortable using around my family… And actually work.

 

 

 

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My goal in this blog post is to enlighten you on some of the most toxic household cleaning products that could be in your arsenal of cleaning tools.  It is also my goal to provide you with non toxic, effective, alternative options that you can use instead.    

 

Toxic cleaning products that should be avoided and all natural homemade cleaning products to use instead

 

 

Air fresheners

Who doesn’t love a fresh, sweet scent lingering around their home?  But at what cost? Common air fresheners often contain phthalates, benzene, formaldehyde, propellants, solvents, benzenes, and synthetic musks to name a few.  These have toxic effects and are known to trigger asthma and allergies.

 

Safe alternative – Essential Oils

 

natural homemade cleaning products

 

 

 

 

 

Essential oils are a safe, non toxic alternative to toxic air fresheners.  You can choose from a variety of different scents depending on your mood or desired mood..

Some of my favorite blends to diffuse are 

Lemon – Neutralizes the air 

Lavender – Calming and relaxing

Peppermint – invigorating

Orange – Uplifting

 

use Code SPM10 to get 10% off  Revive essential oils

 

For more on essential oils visit Essential Oil Uses and Hacks for Moms That Will Change Your Mom Game.

 

 

 

 

Dryer sheets

Dryer sheets may seem like an innocent little sheet of heavenly scent that leaves your clothes smelling delightful and soft.  But dryer sheets are actually super toxic and should be avoided.  Some common ingredients in dryer sheets are benzyl acetate which is linked to pancreatic cancer, benzyl alcohol which is an upper respiratory tract irritant, ethanol is linked to central nervous system disorders, limonene, a known carcinogen and chloroform, a neurotoxin and carcinogen.  

Do you still think it’s worth it to have soft sweet smelling clothes?

 

Safe alternative – Wool Dryer Balls

natural homemade cleaning products

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wool dryer balls help your clothes dry quicker, reduces static, and they last for thousands of loads.  

Ad a couple drops of your favorite essential oil to the wool dryer ball before tossing it into the dryer.  It will leave your clothes smelling fresh and clean. This is especially helpful for musty towels that often lose their fresh scent.  

 

 

 

 

Lysol

Lysol is a chemical disinfectant that claims to kill 99.9% of germs and is a go to in many American households especially during cold and flu season.  What many consumers do not know is that the EPA classifies Lysol as a pesticide.  The main active ingredient in Lysol is benzalkonium chloride and is highly toxic and increasingly shown to cause serious health problems including ADHD and Autism.  It effects the endocrine system, respiratory system and reproductive system.  

 

Safe alternative – Lemon Essential Oil

 

natural homemade cleaning products

 

 

 

 

 

 

Studies show that lemon essential oil works as a natural antimicrobial, anti-viral and ant bacterial making it a powerful, natural cleaning tool.  It disinfects and neutralizes the air.

 

DIY Lemon Essential Oil Air Purifier

In a 4 oz glass spray bottle, fill with filtered water

1 tablespoon of witch hazel

30 drops of lemon essential oil

shake and spray throughout your home 

 

 

 

 

Oven cleaner

Most chemical oven cleaners are super toxic and should be avoided at all costs.  Some chemicals found in oven cleaners are lye, ethers, ethylene glycol, methylene chloride, and petroleum distillates.  Oven cleaners can cause breathing difficulties, It can irritate the eyes and lungs and can burn a hole through you skin if you come in direct contact.  

The Self Cleaning option on your oven is just as bad.  It creates carbon monoxide buildup, it triggers asthma and respiratory issues, and is super toxic and dangerous for pets and small kids.  

 

Safe alternative – Baking Soda

natural homemade cleaning products

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baking soda is a safe, all natural alternative to get your oven sparkly clean.  Here is a natural oven cleaner recipe that I use:

DIY Natural Oven Cleaner

1 1/2 cups baking soda

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup liquid dish soap

2-4 drops lavender essential oil mix in water to make a thick paste Apply, let set, wipe clean

 

 

 

Toilet bowl cleaner

An active chemical in toilet bowl cleaner is hydrochloric acid, or HCl. This chemical is corrosive to the skin and toxic if ingested. It causes eye irritation, kidney damage and irritation to your respiratory tract if inhaled.

 

Safe alternative – White distilled vinegar

 

natural homemade cleaning products

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vinegar and all of its acidic nature, kills viruses and bacteria and is a great all natural disinfectant.  

 

DIY Natural Toilet bowl cleaner – Disinfect and get your toilet bowl sparkly clean.

Pour 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar into your toilet bowl

add 1 tablespoon of baking soda

10 drops lemon essential oil

Swish around with toilet brush and let sit for 15-30 minutes then scrub clean.

 

 

 

Furniture polish

Many brands of furniture polish contain nerve damage petroleum distillates which are flammable and dangerous.  Aerosol spray furniture polishes are easily inhaled into lung tissue and can cause damage.

 

Safe alternative – Olive oil

natural homemade cleaning products

 

 

 

 

 

Olive oil is a great natural alternative to cleaning finished wood furniture.  

DIY wood furniture polish

Mix 1 part olive oil to 1 part white vinegar.  Using a soft cloth, gently massage the olive oil solution into the wood.  Allow to soak in and air dry.

 

 

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I have spent countless hours over the past 10 years researching safe and effective household cleaners.  After much time, money spent and trial and error, I have created an eco friendly, safe arsenal of Natural Products that I use, love and trust for my family.   

 

 
These are the brands that I trust and use in my home that are safe and eco friendly.

 

 

 

Mrs. Meyer’s

natural homemade cleaning products

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products was inspired by Thelma Meyer, an Iowa homemaker and mother of 9.  Thelma’s daughter was inspired by her mom to create natural cleaning products, that worked against dirt and grime and smelled heavenly like her mother’s garden.  Today there are a variety of garden inspired scents to choose from. The formulas combine essential oils and plant based ingredients, and they obtain materials from renewable plant resources when possible.

Some Mrs. Meyer’s products I love like their bathroom cleaners, while other’s didn’t get the greatest rankings according to the EWG.  Click here for more on their ratings.  

 

 

 

 

Seventh Generation

natural homemade cleaning products

Seventh Generation has become quite popular in natural cleaning products in many households today.  The company is committed to reducing the environmental impact of production, ensuring product safety, and enhancing sustainability.  Their products are safe for people, pets and the environment.

I really like the dishwasher detergent packs.  They get my dishes squeaky clean and don’t leave a soap residue.  The package comes with individual tablets that are chlorine and phosphate free and do not have any synthetic fragrances.

I also like the disinfecting multi surface cleaner, and I use Seventh Generation diapers, baby wipes and toilet paper.

 

 

 

Molly’s Suds Laundry Detergent

natural homemade cleaning products

After giving birth to a stillborn, whom they named Molly,  nurse and mom of 3 was determined to find out why her baby never took a breath.  She learned of all the toxic chemicals in everyday household products and since has created laundry detergent and other household products that are safe for people and the environment.  It has simple, earth friendly ingredients that are safe for sensitive skin, allergies, fragrance sensitivities, eczema and even new born baby clothing and bedding. It is gluten free, certified vegan and cruelty free.  Molly’s little footprint is affixed on the packaging to remind consumers that Molly’s Suds detergent is safe, even for babies.

Molly’s Suds Laundry Detergent is my favorite laundry detergent.  I have been on a mission for the longest time searching for safe and effective laundry detergent.  I had given up on my search for the “perfect” laundry detergent, and then I found Molly’s Suds. Besides being safe for people and the earth, it works.  We are a family of 6 and I love how our clothes come out looking and feeling fresh and clean.

 

 

 

 

Ecover

natural homemade cleaning products

This 40 year old company is committed to lead a clean world revolution.  Their mission is to create powerful cleaning products that won’t harm the planet or the people on it.  They introduced the world’s first phosphate free laundry detergent and make plastic derived from sugar cane.  They now have 35 products distributed in over 40 countries. All of their products are plant based and have mineral ingredients, are biodegradable, and never tested on animals.

I really like the Ecover stain remover to treat tough stains before washing and the chlorine free, color safe bleach.

 

 

 

 

I hope you found this post helpful and you can replace some of the toxic household cleaners if you’re using them, for safer alternatives.

 

Sadly the health and wellness of our children is not a priority so we need to play by our own rules.

As moms, we must do our homework and make informed decisions about everything we put on, in and around our kids.

 

Be sure and share this post on your social media.  Let’s spread the love and encourage moms everywhere to have toxic free homes.

 

 

 

Leave a comment below with your thoughts on toxic vs. natural household cleaners.  

 

 

 

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About Me

About Me

Hi there!  I'm Danielle, mom blogger, visionary and dreamer.

I'm on a mission to help moms create a Simply Pure life of Joy + Balance + Optimal Health & Wellness for ourselves and our families.

My goal is to un-complicate life and provide moms with the tools and strategies to make informed decisions so you can live your best mom life.  .

Read more about the girl behind the blog here

Want to live Naturally?  Click here for my FREE Natural Cleaning Guidebook

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How Busy Moms Can Tidy Their Home Using the Konmari Method

How Busy Moms Can Tidy Their Home Using the Konmari Method

 

Marie Kondo has been receiving quite the buzz lately, and rightfully so.  I read her book The life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing, about  a year ago and it completely changed how I view my things and how I approach organizing.  When I learned that she had her own Netflix series, Tidying up with Marie Kondo, I knew we would be in for a treat.

Marie Kondo, professional tidyer, developed the KonMari Method which is a philosophy that encourages you to surround yourself with only items that spark joy in your life.  It’s a way of life and a state of mind. This method believes that we should surround ourselves with only the things that speak to our hearts and add value to our lives.  Imagine creating an environment where you’re surrounded with only things that you love?  Where do I sign up?

 

We are focusing on the wrong thing

A few years back, we moved our family of 6 out of our home we were in for 10 years.  It took me months to pack up all of our things.  It took our movers 2 full days and 2 and a half large moving trucks to move us.  My mover told us he’s never seen anyone with so much stuff.  My husband and I laughed it off not really believing him.  He moves people for a living, I can only image all of the stuff he sees on a daily basis.  We had 4 kids, one of which was a newborn, so considering our large family we had a normal amount of stuff or so I thought.

Just a few months after moving into our new home I read Marie Kondo’s book, The life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing.  I was looking for storage solutions that I haven’t already tried.  But instead what I learned was that my mover was right, we had too much damn stuff.  All this time I was searching for a solution to organizing all our stuff but what I should have been focusing on was the fact that we had too much stuff to organize.  I wish I read this book before packing up my home and then un packing everything in my new home.  We would have saved a ton of time and money.  But It was the Universe’s plan and for whatever reason I was meant to do it all ass backwards and learn a very valuable lesson the hard way.

Now, as part of my mission to live my best mom life and be a present, positive and happy mom, I am in the process of applying the KonMari Method to my home and surrounding myself only with the things that spark joy in my life.

 

 

Here are the top 5 tips of The KonMari Method

 

1.  Organize by category not location

Konmari for the busy mom

Photo credit Messy Bun & Getting Things Done

Gather every item you own in the same category and lay it all out in a pile so you can see it all.

The sequence to follow is based on level of difficulty in deciding to keep or discard something, starting with the easiest.

Clothing – Lay every piece of clothing you own in one pile on the floor.  Include off season clothes and any clothing you might have stored in different areas of your home.  Seeing every piece of clothing you own in one large pile is very impactful.  Especially if you are one who “never” has anything to wear.

  • Tops
  • Bottoms
  • Clothes that should be hung up
  • Socks/tights
  • Underwear
  • Bags
  • Accessories
  • Special events clothes (uniforms, swimwear, winter clothes)
  • Shoes

 

 

Books – Lay all the books you own in a pile on the floor.  According to Kondo, it’s easier to make a conscious decision if the books are laid out as opposed to sitting on a bookshelf where they fit comfortably.

The sequence to follow for books is:

  • General books (books you read for pleasure)
  • Practical books (cookbooks)
  • Visual books (coffee table books)
  • Magazines

 

Papers – Kondo feels there is no need for papers and they should all be discarded.

Papers that need attention should be divided into three categories:

  • Papers that need to be dealt with (school forms, letters that require a reply, bills, etc.), should go in one pile and should be dealt with as soon as possible
  • Papers that need to be kept for a limited time (school announcements, invitations) should be kept together and be easily accessible.
  • Papers that need to be stored indefinitely (birth certificates, social security cards, etc.) should go in one folder without much thought into organizing them.  I disagree with Kondo here.  I think as moms, we need an organizational system to keep track of all our kids’ important papers.

 

Komono  (Japanese word for accessories or small items)

Here’s the Komono sequence she recommends following:

  • Cd’s/dvd’s
  • Skincare products
  • Make up
  • Accessories
  • Valuables
  • Electrical items
  • Household equipment
  • Kitchen goods/food supplies
  • Other (spare change)
  • Hobby items if you have

 

Mementos (sentimental value)

There isn’t a specific sequence for mementos as this is the most difficult category

  • keepsakes, souvenirs and photo’s

 

Storage Experts are hoarders.  ~ Marie Kondo

 

 

2.  Go through each item you own

Konmari for busy momsHold each item in your hands and ask yourself “does this item bring me joy?”  If the answer is “yes” put it aside to be organized after you have gone through all of the items in that category.  If the answer is “no” the item doesn’t bring you joy, thank it for it’s service and discard it.

There are usually 3 reasons why we are reluctant to get rid of things:

  1. It has sentimental meaning
  2. It has monetary value
  3. We may want/need it one day

According to the Konmari Method,  when you’re having a difficult time deciding to get rid of something or not, it’s a sure sign that this item doesn’t spark joy in your life and should be discarded.  If the item you’re contemplating discarding was a gift from someone and you feel guilty getting rid of it, then you appreciate the good intention the person had when they bought it for you and then let it go.  According to Kondo, we already got everything we needed out of the gift when the giver gave it to us. 

 

 

3.  Designate a place for each thing.

Konmari for busy moms

Designate a home for every item that you decide to keep.  According to Kondo, one of the main reasons people rebound and go back to their untidy ways, is because they didn’t designate a specific spot for each item.  Having a place for everything and everything in it’s place is the key component to keeping your home tidy.  In theory this is a great concept, but a difficult one when there’s little ones involved.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Store all items of the same type in the same place or in close proximity.

konmari for the busy mom

 

It’s easier to find and put items away when they are grouped together.  For clothing, the preferred method is folding, following a very specific system and storing clothes vertically.

 

 

 

 

Proper folding and storing of clothes

The goal is to fold your clothes into a simple, smooth rectangle.

  1. fold each lengthwise side toward the center making a long rectangle
  2. pick up one short end of the rectangle and fold it toward the other short end
  3. then fold it again in halves then in thirds  Here’s a video demonstrating KonMari Folding Method

 

Konmari for busy moms

Photo credit Messy Bun & Getting Things Done

 

Store vertically in your drawers 

  • storing garments vertically allows you to see each garment in your drawer and allows you to add more garments.  This method will leave your drawers super organized.
  • drawer dividers and organizers work well at keeping garments grouped together and it saves a lot of space.  Shoe boxes in assorted sizes work well for inside drawers.

 

5.  Tidy all at once and aim for perfection

Konmari for busy moms

 

According to Kondo, If you follow the process quickly, within a 6 month period and do it perfectly one time, you will never again go back to your untidy, unorganized ways.  The Konmari Method belief is that when you tidy all at once in a short period of time, you will see instant results that will shift your mindset and you’ll feel empowered to keep your environment tidy’d.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In theory this is spot on and I’m sure those that do it this way experience success, but as a busy mom, the tidy all at once and aim for perfection didn’t work for me for two reasons:

 1.  As mom’s with little ones, we are constantly evolving and changing so are our needs and wants.

As I stated earlier, we’re only 2 years in our home so we’re kinda still learning the flow of the house and how to maximize space.  I “Konmari’d” as my husband calls it, my living room after reading the book and I got rid of a decent amount of stuff but I kept a lot because they had sentimental meaning.  A lot of the stuff was from our wedding and we felt obligated to have it displayed.  It was sentimental obligation.  But now, a year later, we are in the process of updating our living room and items I had previously wanted, I no longer do.  They no longer add value to us at this point in our lives.  There are a few items that we love and bring us so much joy and these are the items that we will surround ourselves with. The tidy once and aim for perfection doesn’t work too well for moms, at least not for me.

 2.  I didn’t have large chunks of time to dedicate to tiding

With 4 kids and working from home, I didn’t have the time to dedicate to tidying my home all at once in short time span.  Just the thought of it was completely out of reach.  I really liked the concept but It wasn’t for me.  I started thinking of how I can apply the concept of the Konmari approach on my own terms.

 

Konmari with a twist – The Simply Pure Mama Way

I started tidying in short intervals.  I started with clothing and each day i would focus on a sub category of clothing for a 15-30 minute time span.  I would limit distractions as much as I could control and i would work efficiently during that time.

This approach worked for me.  One day I would focus on shoes, I’d spend between 15-30 minutes sorting and organizing my shoes.  I got rid of a ton of shoes, organized the ones I loved, I didn’t spend a large amount of time doing it and I was successful at completing the task.  If I had another 15-30 minutes later that day i wold choose another sub category to target or it would wait until the next day.

When we break it down into small steps, it becomes doable.  We can fit it into our busy lives.  So if you want to “Konmari” your home, but you’re worried you won’t have the time, or you’ll start, then dig yourself into a big hole of a mess that you won’t have the time or energy to dig yourself out of, you can still do it, using the Simply Pure Mama way ~ I shall call it the “Interval Tidying Method”.    

 

Interval Everything

I found the interval tidying method to be really successful so I started applying it to all of my housework.  But I’ve been maximizing my time by working as quickly and efficiently as I can in a specific time frame.     

I give myself a set amount of time, usually 15 minutes, to tidy, organize or clean a certain area of my home.  I limit distractions and work as quickly and effectively to get the most done during that time.  Listening to music or your favorite Podcast is encouraged to keep you going.

When we have a big task to accomplish, like cleaning the playroom after a bunch of kids were over, we often get overwhelmed by the amount of work we have to do and we’ll either procrastinate getting started or we will get through it with low energy, taking us double the time to finish.  But when you break it down into smaller tasks and give yourself a specific amount of time to get it done, you work quickly and efficiently in less time.

Think about it, when you get a call that an unexpected guest is on their way to your house, like the Tasmanian Devil, you rummage through your house tidying and organizing everything in your path.  You know you are short on time and you want your house to look presentable for your guest.  So you work quickly and efficiently in a short period of time.

If we apply this approach to not only tidying our homes but to organizing and cleaning our homes as well, we can get much more done in less time.       

 

konmari for busy moms

 

How you can apply the Interval Tidying + Organizing + Cleaning  Method to your home

1.  Decide what areas of your home you want to target.

2.  Set a timer for the time you are giving yourself.  Fifteen minutes is a good rule of thumb. 

3.  Take Action – work as quickly and efficiently as you can limiting all distractions that are within your control

4.  Repeat

 

 

I hope you can apply this method in your life to help you work smarter not harder.

What do you think about the T + O + C Method?  Is this something you can implement in your busy mom life?   How about the Konmari Method?  Do you agree or disagree with her approach?  Is this something you can apply in your home?  Leave a comment below. 

Share on social and tag a friend.

 

Check out how How to lead your best minimalist mom life.

About Me

About Me

Hi there!  I'm Danielle, mom blogger, visionary and dreamer.

I'm on a mission to help moms create a Simply Pure life of Joy + Balance + Optimal Health & Wellness for ourselves and our families.

My goal is to un-complicate life and provide moms with the tools and strategies to make informed decisions so you can live your best mom life.  .

Read more about the girl behind the blog here

Want to live Naturally?  Click here for my FREE Natural Cleaning Guidebook

Living Your Best Minimalist Mom Life ~ Top Tips on How to Lead a Simple Life Without a Lot of Stuff

Living Your Best Minimalist Mom Life ~ Top Tips on How to Lead a Simple Life Without a Lot of Stuff

 

Imagine living a life surrounded by only the things that add value to your life.  Imagine having free time to actually enjoy your things instead of spending all your time organizing and sorting them.  I dream about being a minimalist mom.  

Open space, less to clean and more to enjoy.  

A few years back, when we surprisingly found out we were pregnant with baby number 4 we decided that we needed to move into a bigger house.  Another baby means having more things so of course we need more space.  So me and my big belly started packing up our home.  It was quite the process.  We were in our home for 10 years and we had 3 kids ages 7, 6 and 3 years old who had an average amount of stuff, so I thought. 

It took our movers 2 full days to pack up our home.  We filled 2 and a half large moving truck and filled a very large storage unit.  In fact we had to leave stuff behind because we couldn’t fit it in our large storage unit.  My mover told us he has never seen anyone with so much stuff.  We laughed and thought “yeah okay”.  We were a big family so rightfully so we had a lot of stuff.  It was normal.

I spent days and nights unpacking and making our new house a home.  Because of my OCD tendencies, we were completely unpacked in less than a month.  Our home looked like we’ve been living in it for years.  Each room was filled with all of our things.  It was warm and cozy and we all loved it.

Well it wasn’t long before the honeymoon phase ended, and our nice, clutter free  home was becoming disorganized and overrun with stuff.  I spent so much time organizing and then re organizing to find the perfect place for everything.  If everything had a specific place, I can keep my house tidy, or so I thought.  I went out and got bins, baskets and bookcases.  I must have rearranged things a thousand times.  There was a point in time that my husband would come in from work and our entire living room was rearranged on a daily basis.  But, it didn’t help.  With 4 kids in the house, things got disorganized  And I thought maybe I’ll just have to accept the fact that I will never have the clean, organized home that I craved.  

I am all about embracing the chaos and I absolutely do, BUT…  all of our stuff was getting to me.  I was constantly organizing and implementing systems for my kids to tidy their stuff without me having to constantly remind them.  #brokenrecord  I read tons of books, magazines and Netflix documentaries (check out Minimalist if you haven’t watched it), to come up with the perfect solution to organizing all of our stuff.   

I finally accepted the inevitable, we had TOO MUCH STUFF.  So my mindset shifted from organizing all the stuff we had to only organizing the stuff that adds value to our lives and discarding the stuff that doesn’t.  

Why take steps to become a minimalist?

When you have less things, you have less to organize and less to clean.  You will be surrounded by only things that bring you joy leaving you happy, less stressed and with healthier relationships.

  • You’ll be able to find things more easily.

If you have a place for everything and everything in its place, you and your family will know exactly where everything is.  

  • You will shop less

Once things are organized, you can better see what you actually have and you can avoid constant, unnecessary trips to the store.  I can’t tell you how many times I bought scotch tape when I already had about 10 of them scattered in different places throughout my house.

  • You will have more time

Since you will have less stuff, you’ll spend less time organizing and tidying.  When you do tidy, you’ll be tidying the things that are important to you and warm your heart, so it will feel less like a chore.

 

Practical Tips to Start Leading a Minimalist Life

leading your best minimalist mom life

1.  Go through each room in your home and tidy

Start with a room in your home that is filled with mostly your things.  Your bedroom, closet, living room, office, etc…

  • Make a tool kit
    • two bins (or two bags),
      • one labeled discard
      • one labeled donate
    • cleaning products and cloths
    • ear buds or bluetooth speaker playing your favorite jams

Start by category.  For example if you are organizing your clothes, take out every piece of clothing you own and place them all on your bed.   

Start going through all of your stuff.  Pick up each item, hold it in your hands and ask yourself if this particular item gives you joy.  If the answer is yes put it in the keep pile to put away when you are finished going through all of your clothes.  If the answer is no, the item doesn’t bring you joy, then either place it in the discard or donate bin.  This is the Kon Mari Method and has proven to be highly effective.   

Once you’ve gone though every item in that category

  • give the room, walls, shelves, etc., a nice good cleaning
  • start putting away items by grouping them by similarities

Enjoy your new space that is filled with only the things that you love and add value to your life.

Make a plan that fits in with your schedule to go through each room in your home until you have gone through each room in your home following this process.

 

2.  Turn around the hangers in your closet

leading your best minimalist mom life

This is a tried and true method that has worked for many.  At the beginning of a new season, turn around all the hangers in your closet.  As you use each garment, put them back correctly.  At the end of the season donate or discard those items that have not been turned around.

 

3.  Avoid sales

leading your best minimalist mom life

Don’t buy yourself a pretty top or a cool new pair of earrings just because it’s on sale.  Avoid bogo, 2 for 1 or buy 3 get 3 deals.  Only buy items that you need and love.  If you happen to find an item that you need and love and it’s on sale, kudos to you.

 

4.  Create centers for troublesome areas

leading your best minimalist mom life

A command center is a designated space in your home that serves the purpose of establishing important family information.  It can be as large or small, as simple or complex as you like.

In my home backpacks, lunchboxes, homework and folders was a problem as they would be thrown as soon as my kids walked in the door.  We created a cubby system with hooks and shelves so each kid no knows to hang their belongings in their designated cubby when they come in the door.  

Think of a trouble spot in your home – kids belongings, mail, keys, laundry and implement a center that can help solve the problem.

 

5.  Tackle things immediately

Living your best minimalist mom life

Sort mail, shred, file, pay bills, go through homework folders and read important flyers and notices and take immediate action.  Either discard, pin up, or put to the side in a designated “needs attention” folder to get back to later.  The point is to avoid having a paper pileup on your kitchen counter.  Have a system and be on purpose for everything you do.

Take pictures of important documents, magazine clippings, random pieces of paper with contact info and create a folder in your phone of “important images”.  This way you will have them in your phone and you can discard the hard copy so you have less random papers cluttering your personal space. Upload to the cloud or backup on a hard drive to be safe.

 

I hope you found these tips valuable!  If you lead a minimalist lifestyle tell us how in the comments.  If you strive to lead a minimalist life, what steps are you going to take to get there?  Share below.

 

 

 

 

 

About Me

About Me

Hi there!  I'm Danielle, mom blogger, visionary and dreamer.

I'm on a mission to help moms create a Simply Pure life of Joy + Balance + Optimal Health & Wellness for ourselves and our families.

My goal is to un-complicate life and provide moms with the tools and strategies to make informed decisions so you can live your best mom life.  .

Read more about the girl behind the blog here

Want to live Naturally?  Click here for my FREE Natural Cleaning Guidebook

Simply Pure Living ~ 5 Steps You Can Take To Reduce Toxins and Create a Safe, Natural Environment For Your Family

Simply Pure Living ~ 5 Steps You Can Take To Reduce Toxins and Create a Safe, Natural Environment For Your Family

As a natural, holistic mama, majority of what I put on and in my kids bodies is as natural and non toxic as possible.  I am also realistic and I know that I cannot control everything that goes on outside of my home.  

However, inside my home I can control what my kids are exposed to. I do everything I can to limit toxin exposure and create a safe and natural environment for my family.

 

Here are 5 stps you can take to limit toxins and create a safe, natural environment for your family:  

 

1.  No Microwave

 

When my husband and I got our first apartment many moons ago, our kitchen was pretty small.  So we decided to hold off on getting a microwave until we knew how we were going to situate our small kitchen.  Time went on and we did just fine with out a microwave so we never got one.  A few years later when we bought our first home that had a bigger kitchen and can fit a microwave, I started researching the best microwave to get and instead I learned how dangerous they are.

 

  • Microwaves emit radiation that is dangerous for human cells and tissue and can have hazardous long term effects.  According to Dr. Mercola, people who have been exposed to high levels of radiation from  microwaves  can experience “microwave sickness”.  Some symptoms include headaches, dizziness, swollen lymph nodes, weakened immune system and impaired cognition, just to name a few.

 

  • Cooking and heating food in a microwave depletes foods of its nutrients and creates carcinogenic substances.  Microwaves use electromagnetics to cook food from the inside out.  It heats the water molecules inside the food which is the main reason why microwaves heat food so fast.  This process rips apart food molecules and changes amino acids into toxic carcinogens that could cause nerve and kidney damage and even cancer.

 

We are now almost 20 years without a microwave and I do not miss it or have any desire for one.

 

If you have a microwave oven in your home, I strongly encourage you to limit it’s use or completely take the plunge and get rid of it all together.  If it’s “part of” your kitchen and you can’t get rid of it now, use it as kitchen storage unit you can.

 

What you can do as an alternative to a microwave

 

  • Instant Pot – a multifunctional cooker that cooks food quickly
  • Air Fryer – fries bakes, roasts and grilsl with little to no oil quickly
  • Toaster oven – I recently got rid of my toaster oven as I got a double oven that took its place, but before I had the double oven I used my toaster oven often.
  • Stove Top – heat food the good ol’ fashion way.

 

Take the plunge and trash your microwave!

2.  Avoid Fast Food

Growing up my mother always had a hot meal on the table and we all sat and ate dinner together like a family.  I always appreciated this special family time and this is something I like to do with my own family.  But with four kids and everyone’s busy schedules, we don’t get to do family meals as much as I would like.  I know I am not alone on this one.  So many moms are so busy with over booked schedules, there’s little time for a family dinner.  How many times have your kids eaten dinner in the car in between activities?  Minivans should come equipped with a cooler.  #MealsonWheels

Fast food has become increasingly popular to keep up with our fast paced world.  You don’t even have to get out of your car to get your kids a hot meal.  No cooking, no mess and a quick meal on the go.  But at what cost?  I can count on one hand the number of times my kids have eaten McDonalds.    I will get them the hot cakes on occasion, but going to the McDonalds drive through is not the norm for us.  Would it make my life so much easier to pick up some yummy fast food for dinner?  Hell Yeah!  I grew up eating McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken.  We didn’t have it often, but we did have it.  It was always a delicious treat  that we enjoyed.  I know my kids would love it and it would make my life a whole lot easier.

BUT… It has ZERO nutritional value.  Fast food is loaded with preservatives, high in fat, and empty calories.  Food is deep fried in a corn based oil, which is the most unhealthiest oil for human consumption. It’s high in saturated fat which is a known contributor to heart disease.   Do you remember the pink slim debacle that was in McDonald’s hamburgers?  McDonalds was using “pink slime”,  lean beef trimmings treated with ammonia, to bulk up the meat products to get more bang for the buck, until they got called out on it in 2011.  The crazy thing is the USDA approved the pink slime back in 2001.  What else are they using in their food that we don’t know about?  This thought turns my stomach and is why I don’t feed my kids fast food.

What’s a busy mom to do when they’re short on time and have to feed their kids dinner?

  • As I stated above the Instant Pot and Air fryer are good alternatives.  They cook food fast, it’s healthy and delicious.  You can even

    air fryer

    Chicken wings in Air Fryer

    throw frozen food that you forgot to thaw in these babies.  It can’t get any easier.

  • Crock pot – prepare your meal the night before and turn on your slow cooker when you wake up in the morning and let it cook throughout the day.  You will have a nice, hot, healthy, home cooked meal ready for dinner time.
  • Make a bunch of sandwiches and have them readily available to take on the go.  Make your own version of uncrustables by making PB&J sandwiches and freezing them.  They thaw in 15 minutes making it a great on the go food.
  • When you do cook, make double.  Freeze the leftovers to have on a night when you don’t have time to cook.

I know there are times when you are mentally and physically exhausted, you are out of uncrustables and the last thing you want to do is go home and start preparing dinner.  I get it!  If fast food is a non negotiable one tired evening, choose a “healthier” fast food restaurant.  Some of our favorites are Elevation Burger, Salsa Fresca or Chipotle.  These restaurants use grass fed beefs, healthier cooking oils and more natural ingredients than some other fast food restaurants.  Is it completely healthy?  No, but it’s a better alternative.

My wish is that “healthier” fast food restaurants would open up.  Maybe one day!

 

3.  Buy Organic Food

organic food

 

Did you ever hear the saying you are what you eat?  Our bodies function based on the fuel we are feeding it.  When we fuel our bodies with foods that are riddled with pesticides, fertilizers and genetically modified organisms, we are harming our bodies.  All of the toxins in conventional foods can lead to many of the common diseases we see today ~ obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Organic foods have the most nutritional benefits as they do not have pesticides, fertilizers, insecticides and gmo’s like their conventional counterpart.  The more organic foods that you can expose your family too the better.

Learning how to read labels and understanding what the ingredients are in our foods can be tricky, but it is also essential to making informed decisions on the foods you are buying for your family.

Here are some tips for when you are shopping in the supermarket

  • Look for labels that say
    • USDA Organic
    • 100% organic
    • If a labels says “Organic” then at least 70% of the ingredients are organic
  • Buy organic produce from the Dirty Dozen List.  These fruits and vegetables are contaminated with pesticide residue.
    • Apples
    • Strawberries
    • Grapes
    • Celery
    • Cherries
    • Peaches
    • Pears
    • Spinach
    • Sweet Bell Peppers
    • Nectarines
    • Cherry Tomatoes
    • Potatoes

If buying 100% organic isn’t an option…

Get grass fed, free of hormones and antibiotics when buying diary and meats

Choose Free-Range, Pasture Raised when buying eggs

Opt for wild caught over farm raised fish, preferably locally sourced or from areas that are not highly polluted.

4.  Water Filtration System

 

berkey water filtration

I’m a water snob, I admit it.  I take my h20 very seriously.  I spent almost 6 months researching the perfect water system for my family and my findings during this time made my stomach turn.  The Environmental Working Group revealed that our drinking water is tainted with chemicals at levels that exceed health protective guidelines.

Here are some of the chemicals that are in our drinking water

  • Chlorine
  • Arsenic
  • Mercury
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Lead
  • Hormones
  • Nitrates
  • Pesticides
  • pharmaceuticals
  • Fluoride – Fluoride is a known neurotoxin that is added to our drinking water in many parts of the United States as a way of improving tooth decay.  The practice of “fluoridation” is considered safe and effective by the Environmental Protection Agency.
    • Studies show that fluoride is hazardous to our health Source
      • Can cause brain damage
      • Reduced IQ
      • Impaired ability to learn and remember
      • Neurobehavioral deficits
      • Impaired fetal brain development

Many water filtration systems Do NOT remove even a fraction of these toxins in our drinking water.  Bottled water may be nothing more than an expensive version of tap water that leeches hazardous chemicals from the plastic.

So then how are we supposed to drink clean, healthy water?

I literally spent months searching for an answer to this question.  Behold a water filtration systems that removes toxins and impurities ~ The Berkey Water Filtration System.

The Berkey water filter is classified as a water purifier because it removes 99.9% of pathogenic bacteria and viruses which exceed the standard.  The Berkey can even filter untreated raw water from lakes, steams and ponds, making this system ideal for emergency situations.

It removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts, and parasites entirely and extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes, and reduces nitrates and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury. It can also remove food coloring from water without removing beneficial minerals.

click here for the latest lab test results.

It uses black charcoal filters that can purify 3000 gallons of water before needing replacement.  You can also add on ceramic filters that remove fluoride and arsenic that need replacing after 1000 gallons.

My family uses the Big Berkey System, 2.25  gallon and it is perfect for our family of 6.  We use two black filters and 2 ceramic filters that we replace yearly.  We drink only water in my house and I use the filtered water to cook with as well.  I fill the system 1-2 times per day and the supply works fine for us.

When my filtered water isn’t available, Mountain Valley in glass bottles is my next choice of clean water.

There is nothing more refreshing thank knowing you are drinking clean, pure, safe h20.

5. Non Toxic Products

 

non toxic products

Many household cleaners, shampoos, body soaps and lotions, even ones targeted for babies, have harmful toxic ingredients that are hazardous to our health.  When my oldest was born 10 years ago, I really started gaining interest and researching the products I was using on her.  When I learned that Johnson & Johnson baby products contained formaldehyde in products targeted for babies, I could not believe what I was learning.  How could this trusted company who’s products are a staple in so many American households, use an ingredient that is used to preserve dead bodies?  This was a huge wake up call for me and the start of my mission to find natural and safe products.  Johnson & Johnson has since removed the toxic ingredient from their products but I no longer trusted the most trusted brand in baby care.

I began questioning everything and sure enough everything I knew to be true, was false.  I felt lied to and I knew I needed to be my baby’s advocate and do what’s best for her.  Now I only use products that contain safe ingredients from trusted brands and safe cleaning products. 

I hope you found the content in this post valuable.

 

What steps do you or will you take to limit your family’s toxic exposure?  Leave me a comment below.

About Me

About Me

Hi there!  I'm Danielle, mom blogger, visionary and dreamer.

I'm on a mission to help moms create a Simply Pure life of Joy + Balance + Optimal Health & Wellness for ourselves and our families.

My goal is to un-complicate life and provide moms with the tools and strategies to make informed decisions so you can live your best mom life.  .

Read more about the girl behind the blog here

Want to live Naturally?  Click here for my FREE Natural Cleaning Guidebook

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