Spring Renewal: Spring Cleaning Awesomeness for "The Nest"

I believe that your home is an extension of your body and spirit. As you give to your home, you give to yourself. As you might have experienced, your space reflects and affects your inner life. If you take care of your home-- honor the space and fill it with love and light, it truly becomes your sanctuary and gracious foundation of hopes & dreams.

My home is my definitely my sanctuary and foundation. My little escape from the rest of the world where I retreat and recharge to renew the energy needed to grow and build toward my goals. My home is a space where I truly love to just Be. As a total homebody, a great day for me is as simple as a slow rise in the morning and getting to flit around my home tackling odds and ends, cooking in my kitchen and enjoying the space and coziness around me.

I am always looking for ways to make the nest (my boyfriend and I call our home the "WeNest") a cozy-comfy and organized space; there is something so inviting about an orderly home, isn't there? I mean, of course, we live in these spaces so its unrealistic that everything will be in perfect order all the time, but keeping things tidy and clean can really make a huge difference in a one's ability to relax and unwind.  

When it comes to decorating, arranging, cleaning and organizing within my home, by the time I get it to a good spot is usually when I'm ready to redecorate, rearrange, clean it and organize it all over again! It just never seems to end but it never gets old because for me these things are (great! and simple!) ways to infuse love and light into my world. And today's post is all about doing just that-- in the Spirit of Spring Renewal, this is your guide to spring cleaning with love and light!

...a few Spring renewal and cleaning must have's...all natural multi-purpose surface cleaner, laundry soap and a white buffalo smudge stick

With the arrival of Spring, (and with all change of seasons, really), I become extra-inspired to freshen my space. This includes purging my closets and pantry! Before doing a big, refreshening clean it's a good idea to clear out excess clutter. Over the past few years, I've done a lot of work around "living simply" so I've literally been purging for almost half a decade now as I've made important life changes like shopping less (although my love for fashion hasn't changed, I've realized that the material focus that keeping up will all the latest fashion trends required doesn't serve me or my bank account) and moving to a home that is a bit smaller (and more practical) but closer to my day job and my favourite yoga studios downtown (I used to live really far South in suburbia). It amazes me, after all this time, that I still have anything left to purge but  it just goes to show how things can collect!

Spring decluttering and purging, while therapeutic and the crucial pre-work of a proper spring cleaning, is also a great opportunity to spread some love and light into the community where you live...there are so many worthy causes and organizations looking to take gently-used items off your hands and help many deserving recipients across the city. 

One of my favourite (and VERY important!) organizations to donate to is the Making Changes Association in support of the Walk In Closet and My Best Friends Closet initiatives. The Walk in Closet provides personal consultations on professional business attire, to women facing financial barriers who want to join the workforce, return to school or engage in volunteer opportunities. All of the business attire provided to women in the program is obtained through donations. Having been a volunteer image consultant with this organization I have witnessed first hand the amazing and meaningful impact this program has on the women involved; having access to work/ interview- appropriate attire that might otherwise not be available to them goes along way in feeling confident and prepared to return to work and to their journey of financial independence.

The Making Changes Associations also offers the My Best Friends Closet program that provides teenage girls from low-income homes (ages 12-18) with a broad selection of fashionable and functional clothing to meet their back to school and recreational needs. 

For household items I need to let go of, my go-to is the Calgary Drop In Centre.

So for those of you living in Calgary, as you're de-cluttering and making space around your home this Spring, I hope you'll keep these awesome local organizations in mind as recipients for your gently used clothing and household items.  

And now, once you've got things de-cluttered, it's time to clean! These days, I'm embracing safe and natural alternatives to cleaning with chemicals; not only is it better for us but it's also better for Mother Nature. I've switched most of my cleaning products, dishwashing detergent, laundry soap and stain remover for all-natural alternatives. Have you checked out Nellies products? Cuz, seriously I'm in love with them. 

And, lets not forget about good ol' vinegar and lemon! My Mom was always a huge advocate of using vinegar and lemon to clean just about everything around the house and she was of course, wise and brilliant in doing this. Vinegar will clean just about anything. Check out this cool website Versatile Vinegar  dedicated to all the different ways to incorporate vinegar into your cleaning regime. I've recently swapped my all purpose chemical cleaner with "Squeaky Clean" surface spray (available at the Apothecary in Inglewood); it takes only a small capful of the concentrated essential oil formula and filtered water to make a natural and organic cleaner useful on all kinds of surfaces around the home. It's ideal for change tables, countertops, sinks, shopping cart handles, room surfaces and even as a hand purifier! Oh and on top of all that, it just smells lovely! I even use it to clean my yoga mat. 

Once I've got the Nest all fresh, clean and organized the finishing touch is to make it smell amazing. Often, the "just cleaned" smell is enough for me but when I want a little something more,  I like to give my home and a thorough smudging and then infuse it my favourite scent using a reed diffuser or an ultrasonic nebulizer from Saje Natural Wellness. Saje has tons of amazing scents to choose from; my favourites are lemongrass (essential oil), rose (essential oil), spa spirit and tree scents which are all so fresh and clean,. I even use them in my car with their aromatherapy car diffuser...it's like making your car into a little spa on wheels! 

...Saje Natural Wellness products for a well-scented sanctuary

So, if you're like me and pumped about the arrival of Spring not just for the longer days and the sunshine, but for the fun of spreading love and light within your home and community, then you're probably glad you stopped by today, aren't you? Now you know where to take household items and clothing that can be recycled and used by those in need and what all-natural products are the must-haves for cleaning safely and effectively.

Happy Nesting! 

With Love & Light, 

.cjd