Spring Cleaning: Baby Edition

So as a new mom I admit sometimes I don’t have time to clean as thoroughly as I’d like and most days all I have time for besides work, dinner, baby and hubby is some laundry or the dishes.
But there’s just something about spring that gets me in the mood to clean and purge.

So that said I’m going to commit to another series. I know I’ve got the Tip Tuesday and for now I’ll share my spring cleaning tips with you over the next couple of weeks. I’m a big fan of diy projects (as you can tell from my Tip Tuesdays) and I do like to try to make or buy natural products, if I can. If I can save a dime and the environment, then why not?

So in honor of Earth Day I’m cleaning up, recycling, reusing and overall lessening my carbon footprint. I took an online quiz through the Nature Conservancy, mostly because I was curious and researching carbon footprint. But I wanted to understand how much of what my family actually does hurts the environment. I discovered that although our carbon footprint is less than the United States average we could still be doing a whole lot more to make this world better and cleaner.

So I give to you the first in a series of natural (or as close to it as possible) spring cleaning projects. Now that said, I haven’t gone the way of composting and buying only organic meat (which by the way would lessen your carbon footprint), but even the smallest of changes like recycling or buying less chemical-laden products helps. By the way, if you want to try the quiz you can find it here. No, this is not a sponsored ad or an affiliate link, just an FYI.

As the weather in North Carolina has gotten warmer I’ve been slowly transitioning my daughter to much cooler clothing. I’ve washed all of her winter items and packed them away. I’ve set aside several items to consign and I’ve even given away some clothing that is too small. Those small baby clothes I still want to see go to a “good home” so gave away quite a few pieces.

My first in this series is cleaning the baby items. My daughters’ bottles, clothes, toys, bedding and other items are high on my priority list. Having a child spend nearly a month in the NICU gives you a new perspective on what’s clean. When I say they CLEAN, they really clean.

Spring “Baby” Cleaning Tips

  • Make a list. I love a good check list and creating one keeps me organized. It also let’s me know what I’ve accomplished and what I have left to do.
  • One day at a time. Don’t feel as though you have to go through your list in one day (unless you want and in that case, you go girl or guy!)
  • Love it or lose it. If you simply can’t part with an item then keep it, but truly consider whether your child will continue wearing an outfit, will play with that particular toy or needs 24 baby bottles.
This pile of baby clothing will be consigned or donated to a friend. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

This pile of baby clothing will be consigned or donated to a friend.
https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Cleaning Products

Here are some of my favorite go-to “natural” products:

  • Distilled vinegar
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice
These four products can clean just about anything. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

These four products can clean just about anything. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Favorite DIY All-Purpose Cleaner

Fill a spray bottle with half distilled (white) vinegar and the rest with warm water. This can be used on carpet stains, no-wax floors, windows, remove soap build-up in bathrooms, prevent mildew on shower curtains, clean kitchen counters, stovetops and the fridge; use on cutting boards, make brights brighter with a half cup in the rinse cycle, remove onion or other food odors from hands.

Baby Plush Toys

I don’t recommend washing plush toys or stuffed animals, but what you can do is use baking soda, vinegar, a baby wipe and dish soap.

Place the toy in a brown paper bag or just reuse a plastic grocery bag, put in baking soda and give it a shake for 2 minutes. Use an old toothbrush to wipe off the excess or use the vacuum attachment for larger toys. You can wipe plastic toy parts with hot water and vinegar or dish soap and a wash cloth or just use a baby wipe.

This is my daughter's most played with toy. Just sprinkle in some baking soda, wipe the hard parts with vinegar and hot water. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

This is my daughter’s most played with toy. Just sprinkle in some baking soda and give it a shake, wipe the hard parts with vinegar and hot water.
https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Quick ‘n Easy Clean Baby Bottles

I promise this won’t be hard. All you need is baking soda, dish soap and hot water. We like Dapple, which is a fragrance-free, plant-based dish soap that cleans bottles, pacifiers, sippy cups, baby bowls, spoons and breast pump parts. Soak the bottles and voila! Take a bottle brush to loosen any stubborn milk. Now if you use Dapple like we do then you don’t need baking soda because it already contains baking soda.

Hot water, baking soda and dish soap is all you need for a quick clean for baby bottles. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Hot water, baking soda and dish soap is all you need for a quick clean for baby bottles.
https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Organize/Declutter

Organizing and decluttering is simply the easiest way to a spring clean a house. Period. After I’ve washed all my little lady bugs winter clothes I’ve created a donate pile and packed up the rest, which I’ll save for a friend or family member when the time comes. The items in the winter container are organized by size. We’ve been gifted some items that little mama can’t wear yet, but by the time fall and winter roll around, they will fit to a T.

I’ve gone through and organized the T-shirts, pants, socks, headbands and onesies. When I ran out of space to put all of little ones clothes into, we used cloth-lined baskets. Really any open bin for shelves would make the space look neat while “hiding” your clothing and other items.

No parent really wants to throw all of their child’s art work or crafts out, but in my household we really don’t have the space for it all. So it’s time to purge. I’ve taken pictures, made a collage, which I’ll then print out and save in a file folder or frame.

Just organizing winter clothes and putting them away or donating them is one way to a clean house. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Just organizing winter clothes and putting them away or donating them is one way to a clean house.
https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

I’ve also cleaned out the diaper bag of duplicate items and made sure we have all the essentials – wipes, burp cloths, bib, changing pad and of course the Aquaphor.

Spreading out all the contents of your diaper bag will help you figure out what's needed and what can be purged. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Spreading out all the contents of your diaper bag will help you figure out what’s needed and what can be purged.
https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Are you spring cleaning for your household or just your little one, what are your favorite diy or store-bought natural cleaning products?

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