This time of year tends to sweep us gardeners and outdoors-y types away with projects and plans. Even if you’re not a gardener, there are plenty of activities that spring adds to our Honey-Do lists; family gatherings, spring cleaning, graduations, vacations, weddings, cookouts…. In the midst of all this madness I find that keeping just a few things around the house and garden can help make cleaning, cooking, or personal care an absolute breeze.
Baking Soda. A must have (sodium bi-carbonate). A step up for cleaning, Washing Soda (sodium carbonate).
Castile Soap. Castile soap is our mainstay for cleaning bathrooms and floors although I wish there was an alternative to the plastic bottles.
Borax. For general cleaning. This is what we use to scrub our toilet bowl with instead of toxic chemicals. We also use it in our laundry mix.
Vinegar. For cleaning, rinses, or cooking, this is one of my faves.
Plain old Salt. Sometimes it seems nothing is better than salt for scrubbing, and a pinch of salt in cooking goes a long way for flavoring.
Rosemary. This herb is wonderfully aromatic, but it also has mild antiseptic properties and can help balance oily skin. I adore it on roasted or rotisserie chicken, but it’s even better when used as a skewer. You can add it to a rinse for your hair to help keep it shiny.
Lavender. Another fabulous aromatic. Used as a odiferous relaxant, an edible floral addition, or a natural moth repellant. I keep a few wands in each of my closets, if anything to keep our clothes smelling fresh. I also give extras away as gifts because it seems everyone loves the smell of lavender.
Peppermint. We use a lot of mint in cooking (tzatziki sauce, anyone?) and when friends come over for mojitos. But it’s also great for cooling compresses, teas for upset tummies, and a great clean odor.
Lemon Grass. I adore lemon grass tea. Lemon grass, along with some ginger and honey makes some of the finest tea, in my opinion, and is great for those with chronic tummy issues. It’s also great for cooking with and it has … you guessed it, a wonderful odor.
Oatmeal. This one seems out of place, I know, but not only does it make a quick and filling breakfast – it also makes a great, soothing scrub.
I feel like with a shoelace and a can of tuna that I can MacGyver just about anything so long as I have the above items. What about you? What do you keep around your home and on hand to keep life simple?
Jennifer also blargs at Unearthing this Life where she ponders deep and meaningful issues like how to best break up clumps of soil, where to place her imaginary llama and future goats, and how to keep a family entertained while getting spring gardening accomplished.