Living Simply at Home

by Judy Gates

Be clean at home. Nope, I’m not talking about your language or your jokes.  I’m talking about the word’s primary definition: free from dirt.  What’s that got to do with living simply?  A lot.

A Little History

In the beginning, mankind relied primarily on what’s known as the universal solvent to make things clean.  What’s that?  Just plain water.  But as far back as 2800 B.C., soap making may have taken place—fats being boiled with ashes.

The importance of cleanliness has waxed and waned over the millennia.  For example, the Romans loved their baths, perhaps more for social than hygienic purposes.  But when the Roman Empire collapsed in 467 A.D. there was a decline in bathing habits and any emphasis on cleanliness.  Filthy living habits led eventually to the plagues of the Middle Ages, especially the Black Death.

It’s only been since the mid 1900s that more complicated cleaning products began to be introduced leading to the plethora of products on the market today, many with long lists of questionable ingredients.  Today, there’s a cleaning product for every little aspect of your life. They’ve cluttered up our homes and often adversely affected our health and the environment.

Waking Up

But finally, we’re waking up. Now we know that keeping our homes, our clothes, our surroundings, and ourselves clean and healthy can be quite simple.  And it’s better for our health, our environment, and even for our pocketbook.

For example, here are the basic ingredients you need to keep your home clean:  Water, baking soda, distilled white vinegar and plant-based liquid soap (e. g. castile soap). These are natural products and safe to use.

All kinds of information about cleaning can be found on the web, a lot of it aimed at women since they spend around 85 cents out of every dollar.  Ignore the gender bias!  Take note, women AND men.

Here’s my simple list to help you keep it clean:

  1. Cleaning with Simple Products. Click  to download a document assembled from Real Simple that lists all kinds of uses for simple products you probably already have that will take care of almost any cleaning problem you face.  I suggest printing it out and keeping it handy.
  2. This is a short list of websites you can consult for more helpful information:

Good luck keeping it clean!