Posted in Healthy Home, Nontoxic Lifestyle, Organization, Uncategorized

Creating a “Shoe-Free” Home

If you have followed me for a bit, you know that this is one of the FIRST things I advocate for when trying to create a cleaner, more organized, and most of all HEALTHIER home. (And it happens to be the question I get asked the most frequently, too!).

There are so many good reasons to leave the shoes at the door–the biggest being viruses, bacteria, waste, herbicide and pesticide toxins, heavy metals, and dirt & grim, in general, which Medical studies show are very common on the bottom of your shoes, AND can live there for several days. A friend shared an article today about the corona virus and how it can live on your shoes for up to 5 days. So there ya go! YUCK.

The good news is, you only need 4 key things to make a Shoe-Free House happen!

For EACH Entrance:

1. Rug or Mat to wipe shoes off when you immediately enter.

2. A Shoe Rack/Basket/Tray to store your shoes in an orderly way.

3. A organized corner to store the “goods”.

This is important, because if you come in through the garage one day, the front door another, or in-and-out from the backyard when playing or gardening, you’ll need a spot at each entrance to kick off the shoes right away. It defeats the purpose if you walk through the house to get to the spot where your shoes are stored.

4. A commitment from the members of the house to make it a habit.

It may take a few kind reminders but after a week or so, everyone will be in the groove of kicking off their shoes as soon as they walk through the door. If you aren’t used to bare feet at home, you may want to stick some socks or indoor slippers nearby for family members to slip on. 🙂 I have found this especially true for guests–like when my in-laws come to visit. After a bit, they got used to packing a pair of their own socks to bring along when coming over.

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First Step: Prep

To start out fresh, spend an afternoon doing a deep clean on the hard surfaces and carpeted areas of your home. (Sweep/Vacuum, and wash). Dont forget to throw the mats and rugs in the washer, as well.

We love Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner for a safe and effective option. For other hard surfaces, a mixture of White Distilled Vinegar with warm water and (optional) a few drops of DoTerra’s Lemon Essential Oil for extra disinfecting power and a great scent. Remove all the rugs and move the furniture to do a full-floor clean! This helps with the motivation to keep them clean and free of outside germs.

Second Step: Procure your supplies

Here are a few of my favorite options (click the photo to shop the images):

Expandable+3-Tier+15+Pair+Stackable+Shoe+Rack-Wayfair
3-tiered expandable shoe rack from Wayfair
Target Iron Shoe Tray
Iron Boot Tray by “Smith & Hawkin” from Target
10073743-shoe-tree-3-tier-chrome_Container Store
Shoe Tree from The Container Store

 Third Step: Find a corner or closet near each entry and set up your shoe storage zone!

Shoe Free Home_MakeSimpleHappen

This doesn’t have to be fancy. Just make it work for your family. I like to have a rug immediately in front of the door, and then a tray, rack or basket next to it where we can easily and neatly store the shoes. Some friends have a closet or a cupboard where their shoes fit in. Awesome. Once the bin fills up, it is time to store some pairs in the bedroom, or distribute to the other “shoe storage zones” around the house. You’ll probably find you have to sweep and vacuum less, too!

Have an outdoor pet? You can add a hanging towel nearby to wipe their paws as they come back in the house. (Norwex would be my preference with natural antibacterial qualities). Because they typically don’t go with you to public spaces like stores, restaurants and public bathrooms, their paws won’t carry nearly as many germs as the bottom of your shoes, so even if you have a pet that comes and goes from the house, having your family remove their shoes is one BIG win in the health and cleanliness column. Whoohoo!

You’re done!

 

Posted in Family Daily Wellness & Checklists, Family Health & Wellness, Simple Habits

Focus On Your Well-Being, Loves!

Writing you during the Covid-19 home lockdowns with some free resources and encouragement to look after your well-being! I know it is hard to try and figure out a “new normal” and balance, transitioning to perhaps working from home AND helping your kids learn from home, too. Take solace in the fact that we are all in this together–lean on one another, have extra grace with yourself, and focus on what you can control! (and might I suggest having some general wellness “goals” for the day, rather than hour-by-hour rigid rules).

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Free Wellness Printables:

I usually am pretty scheduled and like to keep to a detailed routine, but right now, I am ramping up the grace and flexibility. It’s what we all need most!

I am however still being very intentional with minding our health & wellness. Making sure we are taking care of our:

  • physical
  • emotional
  • mental
  • spiritual
  • & healthy home needs each day.

And because it helps keep a little bit of normalcy, we’ve been filling in a daily checklist that we all work to create together (a very loose “schedule” filled in with our won goals, and whatever amazing resources are available online that day! Today was free beginner karate class, a behind-the-scenes at the zoo, and a drawing class!). These templates have been a great guide for our family, and wanted to share them with you, as well.

You can use the editable template and personalize it to your/your family goals, or the pre-filled template for some examples in each category that might help guide you.

 

(Free download! Includes the “Daily Checklist” and “Daily Wellness Goals” worksheets). Let me know how they work out for you! And please share with friends & family, tagging Make Simple Happen.

I love the advice from many, many educators out there: “At the end of all of this, your kids’ mental health (and yours too!) will be more important than their academic skills. And how they FELT during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they DID during these crazy months. So keep that in mind, every single day.”

Lots of love to you and your families! This too shall pass.

xo

-Amber

Posted in Healthy Home, Nontoxic Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Healthy Home Spring Cleaning Challenge

Hello! I have been wanting to write this post for a while, and NOW seemed like the perfect time to kick it off, with mostly everyone at home and perhaps even with some extra time on our hands.

Spring Cleaning:

Focusing on what we do have control of right now, and enjoying the safety and comfort of our home, our family has created some household goals for spring cleaning and organization! I wanted to put a little extra love out in the world, so I’ve created free worksheets that go along with it. Simply download the empty templates and personalize them, or use the already completed task sheet we are following in our home. (You are welcome to tag “MakeSimpleHappen” and share with friends as well!).

 
(Free Download with a bonus section on Larger House Project Goals, and two “Big Impact” project ideas from me!)

Healthy Cleaning Tips

MakeSimpleHappen Cleaning Bin

I have spent the last several years transitioning our household over to safer, more natural products, and some DIY cleaners as well.

Many times warm water 💦 ,basic soap, and a good scrub, are ALL that is needed to give a deep clean and protect from nasty germs—hands included. So PRETTY PLEASE don’t bring back the yucky harsh chemical cleaners 🚫 (the coronavirus has shown to have a lipid barrier and proteins, which can be broken down by regular soaps, if washed long- and well enough! Isn’t that reassuring?).

Household Basics for Cleaning_MakeSimpleHappen

There are some fabulous resources out there (👇) so I won’t go into too much detail, but here are our “always have on hand” basic household items for cleaning:

  • Distilled Water
  • Distilled White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Castile Soap (Dr. Bronner’s is our fav)
  • Rubbing Alcohol (or a cheap vodka works too!)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (if you can find it right now)
  • Reusable Brushes and Rags (Full Circle Home is our fav for these items)
  • Norwex Cloths (Especially the Dusting Mit, Window Cloth, and Enviro Cloth–you can get all three in this set here).

Favorite Safe Cleaners:

Humble Suds  I especially love the All Purpose Cleaner, Scour Cleaning Paste and Laundry Soap. Use code MAKESIMPLEHAPPEN for 15% off your orders.

Branch Basics is also wonderful for safe and effective cleaning. Their concentrate lasts quite a long time and makes a wide variety of cleaners for around the house. Get $10 off your first purchase using my link.

DoTerra OnGuard Concentrate is great when we need to do a deep “disinfect” (I’ll mix it and spray on door handles, light switches and other frequently-touched surfaces after someone comes home with a bug 🤒), and for surfaces like our yoga mats!  Below are the DoTerra oils I keep on hand for cleaning, as well:

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The @EWG has a great “Guide to Healthy Cleaning” and does the research for you on toxicity, giving “grades” for products. The “🅰️“and “🅱️“s are the safest. 🌱

https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners

Happy Cleaning! Reach out with any specific questions and let me know how your spring cleaning goes!

-Amber