There is something you should know about me.
I am really lazy. Like really lazy.
Two weeks ago I vacuumed my apartment for the first time since I got married…6 months ago. I straight up won’t hand wash things. I use my Laundry Pod and the dishes sit around until my husband washes them. Many things just don’t get done because it seems like a lot of work. Coming up with Christmas gifts? Going to the bank? Please.
Another thing about me is that I hate spending money. I’ll spend what I need to on books and organic animal products, but I don’t like spending money if I can avoid it.
Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to believe that if I can simplify my life some way, I will. If I can save money and not go to the store, sign me up.
I found that eliminating chemicals by making all of my cleaning, personal care, and medicinal products at home drastically simplified my life and saved me a ton of money.
Here are some of the things you can do to get started, too:
- Make homemade all-purpose cleaner. 1 cup filtered water, 1 cup white vinegar, and 30-40 drops of lemon essential oil in a spray bottle. Use for basically anything you want to clean. It disinfects and cuts through gummy residues. This recipe costs less than a dollar for a 16oz bottle, can be used on almost any surface. It’s made from ingredients that you already have in the house. The essential oils are optional, but they do add extra cleaning power.
- Use coconut oil for everything. You can find organic coconut oil from Costco for a really good price and then use it for everything: In cooking, as an ingredient for homemade products, as a moisturizer, as a quick deodorant, as a personal lubricant, the list goes on! By keeping this one ingredient in your home, you can replace countless products.
- Use essential oils. I keep my home well-stocked with essential oils for use in homemade products, medicinal uses, and in cooking. Because they are so concentrated, you only need a a drop or two at a time. This means a bottle lasts a long time and costs just pennies per use. You don’t have to worry about running out of products for symptoms, and if you run out of fresh herbs or spices, you have an oil that can deliver a similar flavor (I got through fall without purchasing pumpkin pie spice!).
- Stop showering. Okay, that sounds really gross, right? Really? You expect me to neglect personal hygiene? No, I don’t. But as you remove toxic chemicals from your life and eat a real food diet, you may notice that you don’t need to shower as much. At first, it was just using No ‘Poo. Then it was transitioning to water washing. Out of sheer laziness and working from home, I would forget to shower. Now I shower once a week and as long as I keep my diet clean, I don’t smell.
How do these things simplify your life?
I alluded to this in the previous section, but I want to make it clear that reducing your toxic load and making your own products from scratch truly simplifies your life.
- It costs less. What would you be able to buy if you no longer had to purchase cleaning supplies or personal care products? Many ingredients, like coconut oil and vinegar cleaner, have many different uses, so you don’t have to pay for several products that may or may not get used before they go bad. This greatly simplifies living on a tight budget.
- You always have what you need. Back when I used shampoo, I would go days stretching out the tiniest amount left in the bottle because I kept forgetting I needed more. When you are making your own products, simply make more from the ingredients in the house. You can always adjust the size of a batch to reflect how much of an ingredient you have left. If you are caught in a pinch, it is easy to find a new recipe or a replacement ingredient that you do have (Essential oils and coconut oil are always good options).
- You can make large batches. You aren’t constrained to the amounts available at the store, just the containers that you have. It is easy to make large batches to use over time. For example, I’m still working on a 10 month old lotion and an 8 month old laundry detergent. DIY isn’t a lot of work when your products last so long! Most recipes will let you know if they spoil too fast to do this and how to properly store your creations.
- Your family will be healthier. Since I started using essential oils, I haven’t had to deal with any side effects. I have never been without what I needed to deal with various unpleasant symptoms. After using a homemade deodorant to detox my armpits from commercial deodorant, I found that I have almost no body odor. Homemade lotion and body butter never irritate my skin, even though sensitive formulas of commercial lotion would exacerbate my eczema. These are just a few of the health benefits you will see from reducing your toxic load!
- You will save time. Think of how much time showing once a week saves me every morning. Instead of having to run out to the store to buy more of whatever you need, you can simply throw the ingredients together. The time it takes to make my deodorant is the time it takes to melt beeswax. My laundry detergent takes about 2 minutes to combine. You don’t have to emulsify lotion or meticulously craft foundation to your exact shade once a week. It is easy to find incredibly simple recipes that will save you time over driving to the store.
My life has undergone a lot of changes and stresses over the past year, but one thing has stayed the same: my commitment to making my own products. It has kept me healthy, helped me stick to a budget, and generally simplified my life. I hope I have inspired you to reduce your toxic load and simplify your life, too.
Chloe is the writer behind How We Flourish. Recently married and graduated from college, Chloe is always searching for ways to create healthier people and a healthier planet without breaking the bank. She writes about green living, homemade products, and her own health journey.