*This post does not contain any affiliate links. I am simply recommending what works for us.*
At the recommendation of a friend of mine, I started exploring the YouTube channel called Darci Isabella. This YouTuber has inspired me to fall headfirst into spring cleaning and work towards the goal of a more minimalist lifestyle. Though I am excited about a new goal to work towards, I must mention that the term “minimalism” means different things to different people. To some, it may mean owning less than 100 items total; for others, like myself, it’s an umbrella term that generally means getting rid of nonessential or unimportant belongings. Less stuff, less stress. Makes sense to me!
Along this line of thought, a topic which may often be overlooked during one’s rather obsessive “decluttering manias” (mm-hmm, I am talking about myself) are ingredients. Long lists of ingredients which are found in “food” are often a telltale sign of low food-quality. Obviously, everyone could benefit from eating more simple, whole, nutritious foods such as raw milk, grass-fed beef, pastured eggs, et cetera. No need for 50 ingredients when your food tastes so good already! A solution to this problem is simply making food yourself. Have fun with it!
Unfortunately, long lists of ingredients are also present in personal hygiene products and cleaning products. They’re often filled with cancer-causing toxins that are completely unnecessary to their function. A solution to this problem is…just get rid of all that stuff! Learn to care for yourself, your family, and your home with simple, safe, cost-effective methods. Going toxin-free in your food and other products is something worth doing! Here are a few ideas that my family uses in order to reduce toxins, cost, and of course, all those ingredients:
Many people enjoy the benefits of oil-cleansing, but I like to splash my face with Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, let it soak in for a few seconds, and then wash it off with a warm washcloth. After doing this, my face feels refreshed but not overly dry.
After my nightly apple cider vinegar wash, I generously rub my face and neck with castor oil, let it penetrate my skin, and then blot off the excess with a towel. My skin loves it; it stays hydrated through the night and all through the next day. It does not give me oily skin (except after first applying it!) or acne, and I have almost no acne scars left from my greasy high school years. My eyebrows have filled out, too, so that’s a nice benefit. 🙂
In the morning, I do not wash my face. I simply apply Thayer’s alcohol-free Aloe Witch Hazel. It makes my skin look dewy and moisturizes lightly. That’s it!
Though I’ve made up specific recipes in the past, lately, I’ve found that combining whatever nourishing oils or butters I have laying around does the trick. My throw-it-together current blend is coconut oil, cocoa butter, tallow, and a little beeswax. I use a blend of coconut oil, tallow, and avocado oil for my children. Remember that whatever you put on your skin is what will probably end up in your bloodstream. So, slather on some tallow or coconut oil for some real food nutrition!
I do not wear makeup, except the occasional tinted lip balm or even mascara and concealer on rare occasions. Besides that I don’t know how to do my makeup, I do not enjoy it, it’s expensive, and I don’t like feeling that I’m wearing a mask (weird thought process, I know). It’s so much easier to just not wear it! That’s just my personal opinion, though. If you enjoy makeup, oil-cleansing your face at the end of the day works wonders for makeup-removal and wrinkles, of course 🙂 There are many DIY makeup recipes if you want to avoid makeup with heavy metals and other ingredients that can cause cancer and other not-so-fun adventures. The recipes found on Mommypotamus’ and Wellnessmama’s blogs are worth checking out.
-Baby bottom balm for rashes:
We use organic virgin coconut oil and Redmond bentonite clay in a 1:1 ratio. Usually within 1-2 applications, the rash/redness is gone. This recipe is cloth-diaper safe.
-Foaming hand soap:
-All-purpose kitchen and bathroom spray:
We use this on our counters, stove top, and even the kitchen floor. In a 16 oz spray bottle, add 1 part white vinegar to 1 part water and ~1bteaspoon dish soap OR 2 tablespoons of Castile soap in filtered water.
-Cloth diaper wipe spray:
Just use water! It cleans those delicate baby butts entirely and we wash our cloth wipes with the rest of the cloth diapers. So simple!
-Toilet cleaner, bathtub scrub, and pretty much used to clean everything:
Baking soda. Simply add water to make a paste or liquid and use as desired. It’s so cheap and comes in bulk at Sam’s Club. You can use borax for this, too.
Borax. Make a paste or liquid with water and smear/spray it where you need to. Let it dry and dust/wipe it off. It’s a natural antifungal and I am completely comfortable using it around my young children. Inexpensive and incredible!
-Reusable items so you don’t have to keep repurchasing:
1. Washcloths in place of paper towels
2. Washable mop/microfiber duster: Just throw it in the washing machine. All done!
3. Cloth napkins
4. Cloth diapers: these will literally save you THOUSANDS of dollars a year! This is not an exaggeration.
-Reusable items for feminine needs:
1. Mama cloth: cloth menstrual/postpartum pads. Take good care of them and you’ll never have to buy disposable pads again!
2. Menstrual cup: forget those nasty tampons. So freeing!
3. Cloth nursing pads: throw them in the wash with the cloth diapers. Easy peasy!
What I love most about these recipes/ideas is that they’re safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding, which it seems I’m doing constantly. No need to go buy products made especially for those few short months when you’ve already got safe and effective products at hand. It’s just one less thing to worry about.
Overwhelmed by clutter? Are your possessions closing in on you, making your home smaller and disorganized? Sick of having to buy disposable items over and over again? Finished dealing with too many toxic chemicals in your home? Just get rid of it all! Donate, sell, recycle, or throw away. Make life simple again. Hopefully these ideas can help you eliminate toxins in your home and inspire you to eliminate chemicals in your diet as well. Anyway, time to dive into my next subject of interest: floor sleeping for back-pain relief. Woohoo!
What are your solutions for toxin-free and clutter-free living?
Disclaimer: All information on this blog is for informational purposes only. I am not a licensed medical professional. Please discuss any dietary or lifestyle changes, supplements, or medical questions with your doctor.
Diane Stanislowski is a wife, mother, and researcher with the goal of restoring the practice of traditional holistic approaches to wellness and sharing evidence-based information with the public.
She lives in Grand Forks North Dakota with her husband and daughter Jane and son Thomas, and enjoys raw milk and pastured meats from Bartlett Farms.