Tag Archives: spring cleaning

5 Ways to Step Up Your Spring Cleaning

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While warmer temperatures and sunnier days have many of us breaking out the short sleeved t-shirts, it also makes us notice all the clutter and dust that has collected in our homes over the winter months. Giving your living space a good spring cleaning lets you hit the refresh button, helping you feel less mentally cluttered and ready to take on the year. It can be hard knowing where to get started, but by picking a task and just getting going you can make the most of your spring cleaning efforts. Start with these five easy ways to get started helping your surroundings to feel cleaner and more conducive to productive living. Continue reading

Clean “House” with These Inspiring Quotes

One of the most important skills in maintaining balance and wellness is to de-clutter your life of negative influences. Sometimes that’s easier said than done because we are attached to things that aren’t necessarily good for us (food, people, habits) or we can’t recognize the negative effects they are having on our lives. It’s important to do a regular clean out of the things that are weighing or bringing you down. To help you keep on track with your New Year’s goals we’ve compiled a few inspiring quotes to help you “clean house” and keep yourself motivated!

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What is your favorite inspiring quote for letting go? If you don’t see it here please share it with us in the comments below! 

4 Reasons To Put Spring Cleaning On Your Family Agenda

parentingspringcleaningAh, spring. A time of rebirth and renewal. A beautiful time to lighten your load and refresh your spirit. A perfect time to clean up and clean out the excess trappings of life.

Ah, spring cleaning.

I have a confession to make. My first spring cleaning exercise this year involved taking down my Christmas tree. Yes, it came down before Easter… but not much before. It was definitely spring.

My second spring cleaning task? Peeling the purple and orange lights out of the shrubbery in front of my house. Those would be the ones that I put out for last Halloween, only we got an early snow and I never actually replaced them with the sparkly white lights reserved for Christmas.

Hmm.

For me, spring cleaning often feels like a game of catch up. I come out of hibernation sometime in March and finally get motivated to do all the jobs that I’ve been contemplating throughout the cold, low-energy months of winter. I guess the good news here is that I do (eventually) get motivated.

Eventually.

I love the whole idea of spring cleaning. It is helpful for everyone, I think, but absolutely critical for families with growing children. And I think it is totally consistent with the practice of conscious parenting. Clearing space for conscious living is a physical as well as mental (and spiritual) endeavor.

Just in case you need a little extra motivation yourself, here are four great reasons to put spring cleaning on your family’s agenda:

Reason #1: Atrophy and Decay

Like it or not, life takes a little maintenance. When it comes to house and home — or car and yard — winter is a tough season. The world is cold and dark and frequently covered in snow. While the elements are battering the exteriors of our property, house-bound kids are beating up the interior.

Even with the best of intentions, home maintenance projects take a back seat to the Christmas holidays, winter sports and an inborn desire to snuggle in front of that warm fireplace.

You know how it goes. Cars become crusted with mud and road salt. Paint peels. Clutter accumulates.

Take a walk around your house and yard. Do you see anything that needs a little TLC? Maybe it’s time to start a list of potential spring cleaning projects. Don’t worry… you won’t have to do it all today.

Reason #2: Growing Families

By definition, we grow out of stuff on a regular basis: shoes, clothes, toys, books and sports equipment. Depending on the age of your children, you may also be growing out of furniture — like high chairs, trundle beds and baby carriages.

For the truly organized among us, there is already a process in place. We diligently sort through our cold weather clothes, packing them up according to size and carefully storing them for next winter. We bring out the warm weather clothes, all neatly packed from last season and ready to be shaken out and hung in closets or folded into drawers. Anything that we’ve outgrown goes to younger relatives or the thrift store.

For those of us still stuffing Christmas decorations into the far reaches of the basement, extra attention is required. And for those of us still hoarding baby clothes because we cannot bear to part with our child’s Blue’s Clues overalls (they looked so cute!!)… well, extreme action may be called for.

Take a few deep breaths and look at your children. Accept that they are growing up — it is a natural part of life. What has your family outgrown? It’s okay to let go, just a bit. Take your spring cleaning To-do list and add tasks as needed.

Reason #3: Maturing Adults

As adults, we continue to grow out of things, as our focus (hopefully) shifts from the accumulation of material goods to the growth of spirit. Spring is the perfect season for recognizing and releasing the clutter of our youth — all the stuff that we acquire, use briefly and then just hang onto for no really good reason.

As we mature, we might naturally need less stuff to make us feel good about our lives. As we watch our parents age and our children grow, we come to find that relationships and experiences account for most of the joys in life.

Those pristine Partridge Family albums from 1972? Not so much.

For many of us, this clutter becomes an anchor, holding us back both physically and emotionally from the adventures of life. If you are afraid to have friends over to socialize because your kitchen / living room / garage / driveway is serving as a storage shed for all those things that are too “valuable” to part with, you know what I mean.

Spring is a time for big projects. These can be big as in, “I need to paint the house,” or big as in “I need to grow up now.” Don’t forget… as parents, we are teachers. With conscious parenting comes a greater awareness of the major and minor choices of our everyday lives.

What lessons are you teaching your children? Is your behavior sending the messages you would choose, if you chose them consciously? Perhaps you want to help them learn how to care for what will probably be the greatest financial investment they will ever make. Or do you want to teach them how to live more lightly on our planet — accumulating less clutter and producing less waste?

How does spring cleaning fit in your conscious parenting practice?

Reason #4: You Deserve It

Spring is a natural time for a major cleansing because we are coming out of the stillness of winter, ready for action. We are reawakening physically, mentally and spiritually. With the snow melting, the sun shining and temperatures warming, we can feel our blood stir and energies rise.

Take a moment to shift your focus. Try to stop viewing spring cleaning as something onerous. It is more than a chore and less than an overwhelming obligation. Think of spring cleaning as a gift that you give to yourself. It will get you moving — mindy, body and spirit. It will help you shake off your winter blues and open you up to growth and renewal.

It will feel really, really good when you are done.

Take a few moments to prepare. Go outside, if you can, and feel the fresh spring air on your skin. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Absorb the sounds and smells of the season — fresh flowers blooming, the chirping of birds. The hum of bees.

Give thanks, for the absolute perfection of the universe. Give thanks for spring and the season of cleansing. Accept this opportunity to make positive change in your life.

What a gift!

Related Posts:

Recharge your batteries with “Welcome, Spring!”

For additional inspiration, see “Eight Great Ways to Keep Your Family Organized.”

Originally published in 2011

Spring Clean Your Friendships

Summer StartBy now we all know the true meaning of “friends with benefits:”

* Improved emotional health
* Longevity associated with good life quality
* Helps prevent dementia
* Thinner people flock together

Since we are so busy and have little time for relaxation, this spring take an inventory of your friendships. Do what great gardeners do which is prune away dead wood, rip out weeds, agitate the soil and plant new seeds.

First on your list should be pruning a toxic friendship even if you have a long history with this friend since kindergarten. This kind of relationship is stressful and inflammatory to your health. Stress is at the root of many disease processes. You absorb negativity and hurt not just emotionally and spiritually, but on the cellular level. For example, a toxic friend might dwell on what’s wrong in your life reviving the drama to create a negative loop for you. This makes them feel better about themselves at a cost to your wellness.

Facebook encourages you to amass many friends like a badge of honor, diluting the whole notion of friends into acquaintances.  However, when you have too many plants in the garden, you obscure the special flowers – more becomes less. Weed out the shallow acquaintances and don’t spread yourself thin. Cultivate the special friends into flowering relationships. These are the friends you really want to confide your issues, seek their advice and return the favor: The balance of giving and receiving.  One friend affirms the other.

Sometimes you need to shake things up in a friendship which is not working like agitating the hard compact soil to make it more receptive for new growth.  If you feel hurt by what a friend did or did not do, maybe your friend has no idea of the resentment you harbor. This is the time to communicate instead of suppress. After a disagreement or misunderstanding, many friendships grow together towards the light.

Planting new friendship seeds can be the hardest, especially if you have moved to make a fresh start. You long for an instant friend, someone you have that immediate connection, the kind of connection you recognize instantly in the eyes. However, like a seed, a close relationship takes time. Many people are impatient and rush a seed by overwatering which causes that seed to die. In human terms this means sharing too much of yourself too soon or stalking than new friend. Others let a seed dry out because they have not watered it enough. In human terms this means being aloof, waiting for the other person to initiate, not sharing enough of your life story.

As any master gardener will tell you, it takes time, experience, love and devotion. You learn from your mistakes.  Even after a long rough winter, there is always spring. What will you do with this special energy?

photo by: vonSchnauzer

6 Rewarding Ways to Spring Clean Your Relationships

Spring cleaning coincides with the changing of the clocks and so, we need to reset our biological rhythms once again.  During this yearly ritual most of us are polishing our mirrors and cleaning our windows to the world to shed more light. Oh and don’t forget getting rid of the useless clutter to lighten up the living space. These physical activities inevitably lead to spring cleaning relationships and if there has been a breakup, time to take an honest inventory of what went wrong and why. Usually, we attribute blame to someone else.

Is this really true? The number one cause of relationship ruin is you.  Embrace responsibility. When you are rhythm with yourself, you are in rhythm with another.  Clinging to past anger and frustration will trigger future self-sabotage. The mental clutter is yours alone, so spring into action and regenerate.

Here are 6 ways to spring clean for more rewarding relationships:

1. Identify your stressors, label them and reduce them.

Stress robs you of your identity and joy and smothers the hidden child within causing you to become more irritable with a fragile self-esteem. Break your tasks down to become more manageable.

2. Improve your focus.

Be a more aware individual. This means observing yourself while you participate in life. An aware individual can see the bigger picture to understand that important people in your life are not your clones.

3. Become what my friend Agapi Stassinopoulos calls, “singular.”

Singular people cultivate their purpose and search for self-improvement.  They percolate ideas and travel both within and without. They do not always need to be in a romantic relationship. They are in a relationship with the self, setting aside time to reflect and recharge.

4. Adopt the qualities of a dog.

Observe what my ten-year old dog Bailey does. Bailey never worries if her thighs or butt are too big. Bailey enjoys the sun, her dog food, snuggling and sniffing the grass.

5. Clear out the notion of entitlement and immediate gratification.

Dr. Mischel of Stanford University is known for the children’s marshmallow test where he tells nursery school children that they could either eat the marshmallow on their desk immediately or wait for him to return to the room in a few minutes and get an extra marshmallow. Fast forward years later: Dr. Mischel finds that those children who waited had better coping skills, higher grades and less drug addiction.

6. Unleash your spiritual energy.

Less can mean much more. We seem to have a bad relationship with the term, “less.” That’s why we need to clean out the clutter every spring. Get rid of toxicity and energy vampires. Do your relationships support the kind of person you are or want to be?

photo by: bies

6 Spring-Cleaning Tips for Your Relationship

Spring signals the end of seasonal sluggishness.  We are inspired to shine up our living space, shed layers and get active outdoors. The birds and the bees are chirping and buzzing. Why not tap into this seasonal rhythm to improve our relationship rhythm?

Are there any cobwebs in your romantic life that you need to get rid of?

Here are 6 Seasonal cues to revive your love life:

* Get rid of the predictable in your relationship; what meteorologist can reliably predict spring weather? Plant new seeds in your relationship to create novelty and an element of surprise.  Relationships thrive on even a small change in perception, environment and routine.

* A plant has no consciousness of the past – it’s a new beginning every spring. A green shoot pushes up through the earth with a powerful energy and grows toward the light. This is a great time to choose to release old hurts and the usual repetitive arguments to see the person you live with through a new lens.

* Ironically, sometimes after participating in self-improvement activities like coaching, counseling, a support group or reading self-help books, you start to feel like you have outgrown your beloved.  Consider sharing your self-growth. Grow together instead of apart. Lead by example without using the dictator-to-doormat approach.

* Get rid of both the physical and mental clutter in your home which has created an obstacle course that your significant other has to tiptoe around. Instead, create a safe haven where your partner feels secure around you, and is able to open up and express honest opinions without igniting an argument.

* Enjoy the outdoors together, hiking, walking, jogging, bicycling, etc. Activity reduces stress and will promote quality conversation. Sometimes, walking sided by side encourages an intimate communication as there is no aggressive gaze.  Also note: physical activity often jumpstarts libido for the both of you – so you can get physical together in more ways than one.

* Bring in the spring with fresh flowers. Fresh flowers help to relieve stress and improve mood. Place them in prominent locations in your home to see and sniff.

 

5 Steps To Create Your Ideal Summer Closet

There is nothing I love more than summer. I could live in a tank top and cut-offs for the rest of my life but that doesn’t mean I want to spend my life in the same tank top and cut-offs. It’s natural to want to spice things up for the season with some new additions to your closet. If you’re anything like me (aka, a normal woman who loves clothes and feeling good in them), you probably already have a full closet. And it’s probably full of a lot of things you don’t wear, are worn out or just flat out out of fashion. Take a day to spring clean your closet & pump up your closet with summer styles with these five steps!

1. Do Inventory

Clean the living daylights out of your clothing space. I’m talking rip a part your closet, dump out every drawer and pull out every storage box. Maybe not all at once of course but you get the ‘gist. Take the items that are totally busted, worn out and God awful straight to the trash bin. I know, it can be hard but letting go is a part of life. Take everything you haven’t worn in a year and separate it into two piles

  • Sell/Trade Pile: These are items you know you could take to somewhere like Buffalo Exchange and either get a little cash or credit for. I’ve found the best things to take are designer pieces (jeans and handbags especially) or Vintage items. These places are not so likely to buy that Forever 21 mistake you bought last summer. This pile comes in handy in step five so don’t forget it!
  • Donation Pile: Basically anything that isn’t sellable- for example the Forever 21 piece I mentioned above and other items from your frequent mall stops- can be donated to many charities including the Goodwill or Out Of The Closet (whose profits go towards helping the AIDS Foundation). Either way, your donation will be helping people who are less fortunate who are DYING to wear that dress you haven’t touched in ages. 

2. Put It Together

Now that you’ve cleaned out everything you aren’t going to be sporting, look at what you have left and go shopping in your own closet. Many times we forget all that we have and it takes us laying it all out to see the outfit opportunities that have just been waiting for us. Flip through your favorite fashion magazine and you’ll be surprised to see you probably have items that can add up to a fantastic and trendy new getup.  This far in the game, you might as well go all out and make your closet easy for you to navigate; organize your closet possibly by outfit options or my personal favorite, color coding! Go to the 99cent store and buy matching hangers (I personally like mine all black) and new plastic containers for seasonal items and accessories.

3. Make A List Of Everything You Need 

Now that you know what you’re working with, what do you need? This is not the adorable House Of Harlow bangle you’ve been eyeing or those red striped wedges you saw in Vogue that match absolutely nothing aside from the sun dress you have dreamed up in your head. This list should be things that are staples that you can use over & over again for years. For me, this list includes:

  • Two pairs of black shoes- one casual, one dressy
  • A pair of neutral shoes
  • A good black cardigan to throw over anything (makes those shoes go with everything!)
  • One simple dress that you always look amazing in for any occasion
  • A good pair of jeans
  • Your favorite T-Shirt
  • A comfortable pair of shorts
  • A bathing suit you feel beautiful in
  • Optional: a versatile pair of flip flops (in southern CA, they’re a MUST for me)

Black can always be exchanged for Navy or another color that suits your preference- I personally love black because it goes with everything and makes you look slimmer! 🙂

4. Make A List Of Everything You Want

Now here is where those wedges come into play if you really want them. Think about what you’d love to wear out and about this summer and list those things. That lovely little sarong that matches your bathing suit you so diligently disciplined yourself from sneaking into your purchases is perfect for this list! 

5. Budget, Prioritize, Plan

Now that you have a list of things you need and things you want, budget for them. This is a good idea anyway if you haven’t budgeted in awhile. Write down all your expenses and see how much you have left. Take a manageable percentage of that and allocate it to purchasing your needs and wants. Prioritize what you need first- are your shoes completely busted? Well, that should be first on the list. After you have prioritized and know how much you can spend each month, do some online shopping to find the perfect item in your price range. Honestly, anything you want can be found on the internet! As a twenty four year old writer and internet junkie in Los Angeles, my budget is pretty slim but these are my favorite places online to find exactly what I’m looking for to complete the looks I’ve been dreaming of:

  • Forever21
  • H&M
  • Etsy
  • Shop It To Me (a mailing list you sign up for that sends you all your favorite brands on sale on the internet!)

This is also where those sell/trade clothes come in REAL handy! You can either take that pile and use the credit to buy things there or take the cash and use it on the pieces you need/want from other places. I made myself a rule I wasn’t allowed to buy anything new without getting rid of some old so this is a fabulous way to not only keep your closet clean & lean but also keeps the guilt of splurging at bay! 

Photo: Flickr / BrittanyBush

Spring-Clean Your Make-Up Tools: 8 Beauty And Self-Care Tools You Should Regularly Clean And Disinfect

Everyone talks about spring-cleaning your house and kitchen, but no one talks about spring-cleaning the stuff that is used for your face and body: your powderpuffs, make-up brushes, eyelash curler and other self-care tools that go on your face, near your eyes and all over your body.

When you keep your beauy tools sparkling clean, you are also keeping your face and the rest of your body extra-clean, too. Think about it: you are sparing yourself the constant exposure to accumulated dirt, bacteria, oil, chemicals and other nasty stuff that builds up on your utensils.

So when was the last time you took the time to give your make-up tools a good spring cleaning? Don’t really remember? Didn’t even know that you were supposed to clean them on a regular basis in the first place? Just as we thought. 

1. Clean your powder compact powderpuff. You know, the stuff you use to powder your face? They have probably accumulated months’ worth of skin bacteria, sweat, old powder, facial oil–not the prettiest picture. Run your powderpuff under luke-warm water, rub it gently with baby shampoo and lay them out somewhere where they can air-dry.

2. Clean your make-up brushes. Your make-up brushes for your face and eyes can also harbor a lot of dirt and bacteria if not cleaned regularly. Run the bristles of your brushes under warm running water and lather them with shampoo. The water running from your brushes will be tinted with old make-up; keep running them through until the water turns clear. Place them somewhere to air-dry. If you want to keep your make-up brushes extremely clean like a professional make-up artist, you can buy specialized make-up brush cleaning solutions at a beauty supply store near you.

3. Clean your tweezers. It is especially important to keep your tweezers sanitized, as these are tools that get very close to your eyes. Before you pluck your eyebrows, sanitize the tips of your tweezers with alcohol or peroxide, and rinse them under water so there is no chance of the chemicals getting into your eyes. After you pluck your eyebrows, sanitize the tips of your tweezers again with alcohol or peroxide to keep them clean. Be sure to replace your tweezers if they are getting dull or rusty.

4. Clean your hairbrush. Your hairbrush quickly accumulates hair, hair products, scalp oil, dirt and who knows what else. First, remove as many tangles of hair from the bristles as you can. Then slide a wide-toothed comb over a trash can to take out more hair from the bristles. After that, fill your sink with warm water with a few drops of shampoo. Swish your hair brush in the water for a few minutes to loosen out the extra-stubborn hair and dirt. Give your brush a final rinse and air-dry bristle-down over the edge of your sink or bath-tub.

5. Clean your eyelash curler. You know, the thing that regularly gets close to the surface of your eyes? Better keep those clampers clean, too. Apply a few drops of eye make-up remover to the padding and metal clamp, and wipe excess make-up residue with tissue. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, and apply a little bit of liquid hand soap to padding and clamp to lather the area. Then rinse it all out with warm water until the metal clamp and padding is completely clean. Dry off with a very clean hand towel or wash cloth, and you are all done! Be sure to repeat at least a few times a month. 

6. Clean your bath loofah. Fill a clean basin or your bathroom sink with hot water, hydrogen peroxide, and a little bit of white vinegar. Let your loofah soak for an hour, and then squeeze dry after shaking off excess water. After you do that, blow dry it with a hair dryer set on cold until loofah is dry.

7. Clean your toothbrush. Your toothbrush, by the way, should be replaced every three to four months. While you’re using it, you can run it through the dishwasher from time to time–and be sure to do it in the top rack so the excess heat doesn’t melt or warp the plastic. You can also swish your toothbrush in a mixture of 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with 1 cup of water immediately before brushing your teeth.

8. Clean your razor shaver. If you are like most ladies, you are probably regularly shaving your armpits, legs, and bikini area. It is important to keep your razor blades regularly clean to keep them sharp for a safe, clean and effective shave. Check out this very handy eHow article, which gives a thorough step-by-step process for cleaning and drying out your razor blades with hot water and antibacterial soap.

Do you regularly clean out your beauty tools, or are you guilty of being a Dirty Diva? Do you have other handy tips for beautifying your beauty kit? Share your tips and ideas with the community by commenting below! 

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / lucy_baxter

Spring Can Help You Change Your Habits

Spring time reminds us that just because you don’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. New growth is percolating underground at the root level. Ever wonder why we feel better, more alive with hope and possibility in the spring? Creativity breaks out of the ground and envelopes us, reminding us to start growing into unique individuals and to see the world with fresh eyes. Spring inspires us to go out on a limb and become something daringly different: “What’s gotten into you?”

For example, when you look at a rose on a stem, do you see the thorns? However, look again and you can see that the thorns have a rose on top of them. We have so many habits and knee-jerk reactions that have become like a second nature to us causing us not to notice a different angle or come at an idea from its opposite direction. Life is filled with mandatory changes, but our growth is optional. I don’t know about you, but I live one life consciously, and many more lives in my imagination. This is why I love spring because it reminds me to breathe the fresh air and appreciate what I can do well. And if I am feeling negative about my skill set because let’s say my sister or mother can do it better and get paid more for it, now is the time I can clear the air of my negative feelings to own what I can do as a unique individual.

Even if you believe that you have lost your identity because you have lost your job, this is the time to see how you differ from others. Distinction will lead to re-appreciation and vigorous new activity. Prune the dead wood in your life, clean out the clutter of your habitat in a frenzy of  spring cleaning and watch positive changes begin to take root in all other aspects  – like getting motivated to lose that winter weight and finally doing it.

Here is how to find what lies beneath your surface:                                                                                                                                                                                                        1.What makes me happy?
 2.What do I enjoy doing?
 3.What energizes me?
 4.What helps me to serve myself, so that I can better serve others?
 5.What can I clearly communicate so that others understand my needs?  

 In the spring many gardeners like me draw up a plan for landscaping including, small spaces and container plantings, to create peaceful settings. Similarly, do you have any sort of plan for finding inner peace in your life?

There is an integrative power in the garden. Both plants and our bodies adapt to their environment, transforming light into creative energy. A tree growing in the shade will alter its straight path to angle itself towards the sun, even if it has to distort its trunk. So too, will our path twist and turn in search of well being and enlightenment. Happy Spring!

Spring Cleaning for Earth Day

Sometimes we underestimate the power of spring cleaning. After all it’s just one more thing to do along with taxes, trying to stay on an exercise regimen or plan of healthy eating or dealing with economic concerns or rising stress levels, there may be more seemingly important things to get done. But a bit of time spent on spring cleaning can have payoffs for our overall health and well-being from a variety of angles: reducing the negative impact of stress caused by things we can control in our environment, mitigating the effects of dust or other allergens on breathing and increasing our feelings of satisfaction for a task well-done. When the level of stress in our lives seems to be increasing, making sure we stay on top of daily tasks and maintain a level of organization, peace and calm in our environment can be a way to reduce our overall burden of stress.
 
One of the ways to make the task of spring cleaning less daunting is to break it up into smaller pieces. Choose one drawer, one refrigerator shelf or one segment of the closet. Keep at it until you’re done. Just before sitting down to write this, I felt inspired to practice what I was writing about, so I opened the refrigerator, and went for the condiment shelf and opened all the jars and bottles. Many only needed to be placed back on the shelf, while others had remained on the shelf past when they needed to be discarded to keep a more sanitary and health-promoting kitchen. Regularly ensuring that we’re not creating the conditions for molds and mildew to thrive can be helpful for reducing the potential irritating effects of mold spores and the other components of fungi on breathing and the respiratory tract.
 
We’re also more likely to enjoy cooking in a kitchen that is clean, free from clutter and without hidden jars with unwelcome surprises. And the more we actually enjoy cooking, the more our health will benefit from having freshly prepared fruits and vegetables as opposed to packaged convenience foods.
 
Embarking on spring cleaning, particularly in the kitchen, can be a good time to evaluate food preparation habits. To prevent cross-contamination of foods while cooking, specifically when preparing raw meat and vegetables, it is shown that using separate cutting boards for meats and vegetables is the safest method in a home kitchen. Look at which cutting boards you use and make sure you are cleaning them well with hot and soapy water or running them through the dishwasher with hot water for a greater degree of sterilization.
 
Studies show that ordinary wiping of the surface, or just rising, is not enough to rid the cutting board’s surface of bacteria and prevent contamination of other foods. As we get ready for the late spring and summer picnic season, we want to take extra care to have all of our surfaces ready for an onslaught of food preparation for healthy meals. Speaking of which, the spring cleaning season can be a great time to look through the cabinets and make sure we have matching bowls and lids that aren’t warped or dusty, leaking or moldy. Remember as well that it is best not to put plastic bowls or food containers, or plastic wrap in the microwave, because some of the plastic polymers can leach out into the food. Inert ceramic or glass is much safer for microwave use. And if you have some warped or melted containers shoved in the back of the cabinet, spring cleaning might be a good time to recycle them or let them go.
 
While cutting boards, old condiment jars or dust in cabinets may seem like trivial matters in the face of more weighty concerns, all the everyday things in our environment can have a profound impact on our health and well-being. After all, studies show that most of the diseases that are common in our modern world are a result of a complex set of interactions among genetics, our environment, our habits, other health challenges, timing, the negative effects of stress, and a host of other factors. Cleaning up our home and habits on a regular basis can be both inspiring and health-promoting.
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