Sunday, March 7, 2010

Minimalist Cleaning

I'm feeling very minimalist lately as you might have noticed ... I always thought I was but recently I have realised there is a whole new level of anti-consumerism I can aspire too (eye-rolls from the mother in law no doubt).

If think we could even live in an RV I should at least be able to seriously declutter our wee house (its about 1200 square feet so perfectly sized for 4 of us).

One of the areas that is getting some of my attention these days is the cleaning cupboard. Actually cupboards, I have both a laundry one and a kitchen one, and they were embarassingly full. I have written before about using natural cleaners, and I do ... but every now and then I buy something when we are on holiday, or the mother in law buys something to help out, and ta-da, cleaning products start to take over the cupboards.

What would I take into the RV?

- baking soda and vinegar
- ecostore multipurpose cleaner
- ecostore dishwashing liquid
- ecostore washing machine powder
- napisan (because sometimes you need more grunt with kids!)
- essential oils (lavender, clove and tea-tree)
- a few spray bottles
- a copy of Shannon Lush's 'Spotless'
- a large pile of dishcloths and teatowels.

I am pretty sure I could clean everything with these ... baking soda and vinegar clean most things, lavendar repels insects and flies, clove repels mould, tea-tree is antiseptic, multipurpose cleaner in a spray bottle for most other things.

Now, I just have to be brave enough to bin the last of my 'extra' cleaning supplies ... wish me luck!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Our Simple Bathroom

Is it just me or do others find that bathroom 'stuff' seems to breed and multiply? I have been decluttering the bathroom for what seems like years, but I blink and it clutters up again! We are now blessed in our small-ish (1200 sq ft) home to have 2 bathrooms ... both very small but a luxury nonetheless. And yet, without constant vililance they both end up cluttered.

I know how it happens. Case in point - when I was pregnant I got an infected mozzie bite on my back. My attempts to fix it went on for days before I ended up at the dctors getting antibiotics ... to cut a long story short. 1 mozzie bite = 7 'pottles' of stuff.

Then there is the lure of the makeup counter. Before children I used to work near a very upmarket department store. Walking through all the cosmetics counters was a constant temptation. Usually I resisted, but it only took the odd splurge to add more lotions and potions to the bathroom cabinets. A trip to the hairdresser was another hazard ... the miracle creams to thicken and tame my flyaway locks.

Being a 'natural' sort of girl I tend to accumulate naturopathic stuff too ... homeopathic remedies, weleda creams, vitamins and supplements.

So constant vigilance is the only answer, and a tight rein on my credit card!

I've been applying my 'if I lived in an RV' test to the bathroom cabinets and streamlining my bathroom as a result. I plan to tape a list to the inside of the cabinets as a way to keep myself honest!

I have tried wherever possible to get rid of 'uni-taskers' - i.e. potions that only fill one purpose. So I don't need cleanser for my skin, eye make up remover, and bodywash. I can just use goatsmilk soap. I don't need eye cream, face cream, body lotion, hand cream and dry skin cream. I can just use shea butter. I don't need nappy cream, burn cream, zit cream, and bite cream ... I use pot of gold.

I haven't quite got the cupboards down to the list just yet. There are a few nearly finished bottles that I will finish up rather than send them to landfill.

I did send a few old half used lipsticks and eyeshadows to landfill though. Now that I am back at work part time, I need to wear make up again. But seriously - how much does one woman need? I have decided I only need one eyeliner, one mascara and one lipstick. Do you know how liberating this is?

I have put my list up, partly because I am so self absorbed I like to share the minute details of my life, and partly to keep my honest.

So, tell me, what do you need in your bathroom cupboard.

Gypsy's personal stuff

- eyeliner
- mascara
- lipstick
- moisturiser
- deoderant (not made in NZ but totally natural and it really works!)
- contact lenses stuff
- glasses

Combined stuff

- shampoo
- conditioner
- goats milk soap
- bodywash (hubby loves it)
- shea butter (miracle all purpose cream)
- pot of gold (the other miracle all purpose cream)
- toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss (no, we don't share toothbrushes)
- sunscreen
- insect repellent

First Aid

- a fully stocked first aid kit of bandages etc
- arnica cream and drops
- weleda levisticum for sore ears
- herbal throat spray
- rescue remedy spray
- weleda plantago chest rub
- braun ear themometer
- paracetamol and iboprofen
- antihistimine
- antiseptic cream