October is the month for spring cleaning, according to our friend, and simple living author and blogger, Rhonda Hetzel. We met Rhonda through her writing in Slow magazine, and regularly reference her 2012 book 'Down to Earth' for natural cleaning materials and methods, and kitchen garden recipes. Rhonda found herself a source of frugality and sustainability knowledge after retiring early at 55-years-old as a journalist and technical writer to live on the Sunshine Coast with husband Hanno and chronicling their grow-your-own, do-it-yourself skills and habits (this ironically brought her out of retirement into self employment). We’ve been advertising on Rhonda’s blog, now in its 11th year, for several years and met in person when she visited our store.
With a healthy dose of spring energy resulting in random decluttering and repairs, I thought it was time to talk to Rhonda about how she approaches spring cleaning methodically. Rhonda's 2016 book, 'The Simple Home' has a chapter dedicated to spring cleaning. She says there are two approaches; either tidy room-by-room, or the whole house by task, for example cleaning all the ceiling fans.
A good place to start is to pack away heavy winter items like doonas and flannelette sheets that you're not going to use in the warmer months.
"Changing to summer weight sheets and storing heavier linen can be cathartic in itself," Rhonda says. "Then cleaning out the kitchen pantry and drawers, wiping surfaces, and organising food cupboard and cutlery drawer contents leaves me feeling good. Everything is there because it should be there. I go back and look at what I've done and think 'Good job, keep going'. "
"It's an opportunity for big cleaning tasks that don't usually fit into a weekly regime, like washing curtains, wiping blinds, and vacuuming under white goods and behind heavy furniture."
Rhonda says the aim is not perfection, which is not achievable, but what works and is a priority for you.
"I write about what I do, but I also encourage people to do their own thing and find their own level."
Visit Rhonda's Down to Earth blog here. Pics by Rhonda Hetzel.
Rhonda's leather and wood conditioning cloth
Grate 1 tsp of beeswax over a soft, lint-free cloth. Sprinkle 1 tsp citrus essential oil and 1 tsp lavender essential oil over beeswax. Place on a ceramic plate and microwave for 15 seconds. Once cool enough to handle use cloth to wipe down leather and timber furniture. After use, fold and freeze, and it will last for about a year. Just remember to take it out of the freezer and thaw before you want to use it next.