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Housekeeping, Health and Harmony

Whether your home is big or small, in the city or in the country, it is a space that should embrace you with comfort, health, beauty and a sense of harmony.

As author Cheryl Mendelson says, “When you keep house, you use your head, your heart and your hands together to create a home. Housekeeping is an art: it combines intuition and physical skill to create comfort, health, beauty, order and safety.”

Like Feng Shui, good housekeeping involves our commitment to ourselves through attention to our health, and our environment. We are profoundly affected by the environments we inhabit. It is to our benefit when those environments support our health and well being. An easy way to do this is through your choice of cleaning products.

Did you know that indoor air pollution often exceeds outdoor air pollution? One of the reasons is due to the type of cleaning products we commonly use.

According to Real Simple magazine, April 2009 issue, the following inexpensive items can provide you with all-natural solutions to any household cleaning chore.

  1. Lemons. The acid in lemon juice removes dirt and stains. It is especially effective when mixed with salt and used as a scouring paste. Lemons cut grease, eliminate odors and even remove lime scale.
  2. Essential Oils. One of my favorites! When combined with white vinegar, tea-tree oil cleans scuffed floors. Orange oil is great at removing greasy, sticky items. (think gum stuck in the carpet.) Lemon oil removes soap scum from shower doors and lavender mixed with water makes a great window cleaner that also repels flies!
  3. Liquid castile soap. This plant based soap is gentle and thorough at removing dirt from floors, countertops, leather upholstery, sinks, showers,even stovetops and hoods.
  4. Borax. Add borax to your laundry detergent to make it more effective. Use it to clean your baseboards, countertops and walls. Mix a little with water to make a paste and use it to clean your pots and pans. Borax is great at removing rust stains, put it in the toilet, let it soak overnight and flush away the stains!
  5. Vinegar. Simple distilled white vinegar inhibits the growth of mold and mildew. Use it to clean your coffee maker, dishwasher, drains, floors, glassware, showerhead mineral deposit build-up and windows.

These five all natural items can tackle almost any household cleaning chore without adding harmful pollutants to your environment and they cost less than the alternatives. You have nothing to lose and improved health and well being to gain by changing your cleaning products. Learning ways to live better, healthier and more balanced lives is the foundation of sustainable living. And sustainable living is living with the principles of Feng Shui – you just may not know it!

Feng Shui is an appreciation and understanding of the importance of maintaining a balance in all aspects of our lives. When we embrace the principles of Feng Shui along with sustainable lifestyle choices we truly embrace health, harmony and balance in our lives.

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