"When your dreams turn to dust, vacuum."
~ Author Unknown
Housework can be a healer. It removes dust mites and dirt for a healthier home. It keeps your mind busy on useful endeavors that you can actually control. It creates a sense of peace and order. Even vacuuming can become a pleasant (and somewhat romantic) task if you implement some of these aromatherapy ideas:
- Prepare an all natural carpet freshener using essential oils. Simply add 15 drops of your favorite scent to 1 - 2 cups of baking soda. Stir well and allow the ingredients to "marinate" for a day. To use, sprinkle the freshener on your carpet, let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes and then vacuum up. Enjoy the fragrance!
- Create a carpet deoderizer using dried lavender and baking soda (our tutorial is shared here). For variation, replace the lavender with your favorite dried herbs such as rose petals or eucalyptus leaves (great option if you have indoor pets since the aroma is a deterrent for fleas and ticks). Enjoy your fragrant but frugal concoction!
- "add 6-8 drops of essential oil on a cotton-wool ball and pop it in the bag. Replace it with a new fragrance, if you wish, each time you change the bag, or empty it out— whichever is applicable to your machine. An even simpler method is to place the drops of essential oil directly onto the bag, just by the air outlet, but this isn’t a good option for non-replaceable bags because you may wish to change the aroma later. Try the essential oils of lemon, orange, lavender, or pine to eradicate that dustiness which so often makes vacuuming the sort of job that you feel you want to take a bath after!" (Valerie Ann Worwood, Inspiration Excerpted from The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy)
How often should you vacuum? At least once a week. I would suggest more often if someone in your home suffers from allergies, asthma, emphysema and/or if you have indoor pets. Keeping shoes off in the house helps to reduce dust and dirt but this can be a challenge for some of us. It is also recommended that you deep clean your carpets at least once a year to maintain a healthier home environment.
As far as vacuum cleaners go, we love the Oreck Classic Upright (we are on our 2nd one after 16 years)! It is very lightweight (therefore gentle on my back and easy to maneuver), simple to maintenance ourselves (just use a seam ripper to remove all strings and hair from the roller on the bottom of unit once a month), is energy efficient and offers HEPA filters which are highly recommended for removing the unwanted airborne articles and allergens from the air. What kind do you use and why?
And finally, the age-old question (well, not really but...), do you dust or vacuum first? In our household, we do all the cleaning and dusting at the beginning with the assumption that all the particles are making their way down to the dirty floor. At the end of our session, we vacuum everything up and the house is finally clean! What is your thinking on this? If interested, you will find more housecleaning inspiration here.
"There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus."
~ Blaise Pascal