It’s the little things

Jumbled mess under bathroom sink

Jumbled mess under bathroom sink

Sometimes a small change can make a HUGE difference. I hate to admit it, but I let a lot of stuff go the last few years. Look at this mess under my bathroom sink. Most of those bottles are empties. Never got around to rinsing and recycling them.

Washing the bottles in the kitchen sink

Washing the bottles in the kitchen sink

Perfect fifteen minute clutter zapper task! So I pulled those bottles out and rinsed them clean. There were nine of them, and by the time they were thoroughly rinsed, pumps and all, twenty minutes had passed. Never mind I was off by five minutes. Job well done and all that.

And hey, the under sink space looks a whole lot better!

And hey, the under sink space looks a whole lot better!

But what to do with all those bottles?

As much as I love Mrs. Meyer’s products, we’ve stopped buying them. We simply cannot justify bringing all those one-use plastic containers into our home any longer. We’ve been making some of our own cleaning supplies for years. Now that we know that many of our one-use plastic containers could end up in the oceans, choking sea turtles, filling the gullets and guts of pelicans and puffins, well, we just have to find alternatives to plastic.

I’ll advertise most of these cleaned bottles on Freecycle, to see if anyone wants them. A few I’ll keep and reuse for the cleaning solutions I am learning to make from simple ingredients like vinegar and Borax.

Not finished yet

I know. The plan is to clear clutter for fifteen minutes a day. And some days, that’s exactly what I’ll do. But today, well, I just couldn’t stand the filth. It doesn’t show so much in these photos, but it looked something like that mess under the kitchen stove I showed you in yesterday’s post.

So I grabbed a couple of extra rags, got down on my hands and knees and pulled everything out of that cupboard.

Half an hour later, the washed shelf liners were nearly dry and I’d found a used container from the kitchen to hold the discarded toothbrushes I save for cleaning those tight spots and between the grout. Plus, a lucky find! Last month, before the holidays, I looked all over the house for my homemade carpet and upholstery cleaner, with its recipe taped right to the bottle. I know I looked under the sink too, but it was buried so far back, I missed it. Today, voila! I’m especially happy to rediscover this recipe, because none of the recipes I found online worked as well as this stuff.

Easy homemade carpet and upholstery cleaner

In case you’d like to try it, here’s the recipe. It’s not mine. We got it from a book, or maybe from a Public TV fundraising special years ago. I cannot for the life of me remember where it came from, or I’d give credit where credit is due.

Before I share the recipe, please read and take to task these few words of caution before you mix or use this stuff:

1) Ammonia is caustic. Keep this out of the reach of children, and Google first aid for ammonia spills before you begin to mix or use the solution.

2) NEVER, NEVER, NEVER mix ammonia or vinegar with chlorine bleach. Together, they make an odorless gas that can kill you.

3) Test the solution in an inconspicuous area of your carpet or upholstery and let it dry overnight before you use it to clean anything.

Got it? Good. Here’s the recipe.

3/4 C Water
3T Dish soap (unspecified)
1t Vinegar
1/2 t Ammonia
Beat to a frothy lather and apply to carpet or upholstery, having first tested on an inconspicuous spot and let dry overnight.

And now, the clean, much improved bathroom under-sink cupboard

Under Bath Sink, Nice and clean

Under Bath Sink, Nice and clean

Ta da! Here’s the cupboard after fifty minutes, start to finish.

How I feel: Pleased as punch, if I do say so. Lovely feeling to get something like this off the back of my mind, where it’s constantly hovering, sucking up energy.

Up next: I still have that table full of holiday gifties to finish packing and mailing. I’m determined to get them ready for the Post Office before Monday. That means I’ll be working on them over the weekend, since I failed so miserably to get them off this week. Consequences, consequences!

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