A LIST OF ESSENTIALS FOR ALL-NATURAL HOME CARE AND BEAUTY

A LIST OF ESSENTIALS FOR ALL-NATURAL HOME AND BEAUTY - This Wild home

A couple years ago, I decided to be a health and wellness blogger. I dove into the world of essential oils and natural goods so quickly that my head nearly spun right off. It’s quite a rabbit hole to go down all at once so I very quickly went back to the easy, cheap stuff I could grab from the store.

The thing that I’m finding now is, natural beauty and home care don’t have to be complicated. Honestly, it can be a thousand times simpler than the list of toxic ingredients that are found in most of the “easy” products you see on shelves (even the ones that like to say they’re natural).

There is an ever growing list of stuff to avoid. From the packaging to the ingredients inside, everything will kill you. It’s terrifying and there is no real way to know what’s a marketing scheme and what is real. It’s also impossible to remember the giant list of stuff you’re suppose to avoid which has turned shopping for basic items like body wash and all purpose cleaner into a very stressful experience for anyone who’s attempting to be conscious of what they’re bringing into their home and onto their body.

Honestly, if you do it right, staying natural with your products can actually be easier and even cheaper.

There’s always the option to go down the rabbit hole of natural products we all need, but I’ve found it’s much simpler to stick to a very basic list of items that can serve multiple purposes and branch out for fun every once in a while.

HOME

For my house, I keep it super duper simple. It really doesn’t take much to keep a house clean. So many things can be used multiple ways to where you really don’t need a different product for different things and half of the stuff you do need can also be used in your very own kitchen!

BAKING SODA

My holy grail of cleaning products. It single handedly cleans my whole entire bathroom. From a very effective toilet bowl cleaner to soap scum remover to faucet shiner (and really all things stainless steel shiner), it seriously does it all. It’s also great for freshening carpets and laundry or for cleaning stuck on food from pots and pans (with a little help from our next friend, white vinegar). You can add some essential oils to give it a little extra scent, but it really smells fairly neutral and clean all on it’s own. This ingredient single handedly acts as a super cleaner and deodorizer all in one. I’m actually about to make an “After Your Business” deodorizing shaker bottle thing (I really don’t know how to describe it. I’ll just share the DIY when I have it) for the bathroom because it’s so subtle, yet so powerful!

WHITE VINEGAR

This is a really good cleaner for counters and glass especially. For an all purpose counter spray, just do half vinegar and half water with some lemon juice or about 10 drops of essential oils for smell (or infuse it with some orange peels) and then use the same spray for your windows and floors! - The vinegar smell goes away when it dries. You can add two tablespoon of vinegar and sugar to flowers to help them last longer. It can also help with stains and pen marks and water marks and pretty much anything that needs to be wiped down in your house. It’s even a good thing to use to try unclogging drains before turning to the very intimidating drano.

COCONUT OIL

This is amazing for all things wood. It’s a naturally antibacterial so it’s really great for wooden cutting boards, utensils, or handles. You can also bring out your trusted white vinegar and mix the two with some water and lemon to make a wood furniture polish.

ESSENTIAL OILS

For my cleaners collection of oils, I like lemon, orange or grapefruit, and cedar wood. Along with being great for masking some of the stronger smells (like vinegar), they have a lot of immune boosting and anti fungal/bacterial properties that are never bad to add to your home. Cedar wood is also a natural insect repellers which is a nice boost for your home cleaning products to keep away unwanted pests.

BEAUTY

I have been making a very strong effort to make everything that touches my skin a natural product. For my face, I tend to try and let the professionals take charge by finding trusted, natural products. For everything else, I’m all into simplicity and homemade!

COCONUT OIL

Amazing amazing for so many things. I use a coconut oil + coffee scrub for my body that leaves it buttery smooth. Some use it as a moisturizer for their face and swear by it (my face is way too persnickety for that). You can also add a little (a very little) to the ends of your hair if it’s looking a little dry or frizzy. It’s amazing for your teeth, as weird as that may sound, and you can use it as a mouthwash. It’s also perfect for massages or just a general body lotion. Plus it’s like, $7 for a jar and a little really goes a very long way.

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

This is a really great one for hair especially. I’ve been doing a no-poo thing for a few months now and apple cider vinegar not only helps to remove any dirt build up, but it also leaves your hair feeling soft and clean and smooth. Seriously, my hair is beautiful these days. It’s also great for balancing Ph levels in your skin which helps control acne and makes a great addition for a homemade toner.

HONEY

This is perfect for making a very simple face mask or you can add sugar to make a scrub. It’s moisturizing and soothing, full of antioxidants to help with aging, and antibacterial which helps with treating and preventing acne. Just throw a little honey in your tea and on your face and head to bath to relax while the honey does all the work for you.

CHARCOAL

Another great addition to oral care. Charcoal is not only cleansing, but it also can whiten your teeth. I don’t quite trust myself to make my own toothpaste yet, but I’ve been using this and I swear my teeth are whiter than any other “whitening” toothpaste has ever come close to. It also makes a great deep cleaning mask.

HERBS

Chamomile, rose hip, lavender, mint, and dandelion are all great ones. It can be a little cheaper on the front end to grab some herbs than their essential oil counter parts and they’re very effective for adding a spa feel to your baths or adding to a facial steam to open up your pores and let in some good stuff.

As you can see, natural products don’t have to get complicated. Keeping simple routines and putting on horse blinders can help you to not get overwhelmed by all of the “must-haves” or “must-not-haves” in the world of cleaning and beauty products. It can also save you money on things that say they do something that they really can’t do or from having too many products to store and maintain.

What are your go-to’s for natural products?

HOME IMPROVEMENT: SPICE CABINET

I’ve naturally spent a lot of time in my kitchen this past week. I also added quite a bit of ingredients to my cabinets that I normally don’t keep at my house. Useful ingredients that I can get creative with, but still, more than what I originally organized for.

So basically, I learned two things this past week:

  1. My kitchen is horribly disorganized.

  2. I actually kind of enjoy cooking.

Knowing these two things has motivated me to get a little more organized in my kitchen so I can get a little more creative without having to dig through all the ingredients most home chefs need to keep.

BEFORE

HOME IMPROVEMENT: SPICE CABINET

As you can see, I didn’t have much rhyme or reason to my cabinet. I mostly just threw in items as I got them and tried to smush everything far enough back to prevent things from falling out.

Would you want to cook in the kitchen? Me either.

So finally, I took sometime to get it organized. I went in with a few goals.

  • It needed to look nice.

  • I wanted to put as much as I could in air tight containers (and out of plastic).

  • I wanted to be able to look in the cabinet and immediately know what I have and how much.

So then, I got to work on making these things happen.

HOME IMPROVEMENT: SPICE CABINET - This Wild Home


First thing, glass jars and a chalk pen are an organizer’s best friends. They are relatively inexpensive OR if you’re patient enough, you can collect enough glass jars over time from groceries like sauces or spices that eventually you’ll have a nice little, basically free collection!

I happened to have a stupid amount of mason jars lying around from moments here and there when I thought I’d be more proactive in meal planning than I’ll probably ever be, so that was pretty lucky I guess. (plus, mason jars are usually under $10 for a 12 pack depending on the size which makes them really accessible)

I pulled everything out of the cabinet and went to work taking things out of the package and putting it into a nice, glass jar.

AFTER

HOME IMPROVEMENT: SPICE CABINET - This Wild Home

Now, I’ve got my miscellaneous, rarely used items up top. My flour, sugars, grains, and spices in the middle. And a few, more commonly used or “ready to use” items on the bottom.

I can see what I have. I can now use things that I honestly forgot I had in the mess of everything before. It helps me meal plan a little easier to be able to open the cabinet, see what’s in it and what needs to be used and plan accordingly.

The best part is, when I run out of something I can refill it from the bulk section and save money while also wasting less packaging and all that good stuff!

At some point, I’d love to find or buy a few larger jars so I don’t have to put one tiny bag of flour into 3-4 different jars, but I’m working with a budget here so that will just have to wait.

So there you have it! An organized space cabinet that brings a little more piece to my otherwise overwhelming kitchen!

HOME IMPROVEMENT: CUTLERY + UTENSILS

HOME IMPROVEMENT: CUTLERY + UTENSILS - This Wild Home

Cutlery and general utensils are those things where it seems like there’s an obvious space for them, but the obvious space isn’t always the most practical.

If there’s something I’ve learned from moving a billion times and just finding my own adult rhythm, it’s that the conventional thing is not always the right thing.

This could be explored on so many levels. From being your own type of person to your own type of parent to creating your own kind of career and so on. But for now, I’m sticking to the surface with home organization and creating standards that suit your needs, even if they don’t make sense to anyone else.

So utensils. In a typical home there’s a drawer where they live. You will usually find enough utensils for everyone to use plus a bunch of extras. This drawer can often be found with a plastic organizer that separates the forks from the knives and the spoons and so on. It makes a lot of sense so why not just stick to that tune?

Well, because I have a toddler that can reach the drawer where the knives once lived. Because I’ve lived in homes with big drawers that were made for cutlery organizers and I’ve lived in homes with tiny drawers that barely stretch long enough to fit the cutlery. Not to mention the fact that I don’t like tedious tasks like organizing the cutlery. I like to reduce my chores to be as mindless and quick as I possibly can.

In my life right now, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have an organized drawer for these things, so I’ve had to find another way.

THE CUTLERY

HOME IMPROVEMENT: CUTLERY + UTENSILS - This Wild Home

This was something I found a solution to a little while ago. First of all, I had enough cutlery to where Ian and I each had 5 of each utensil to ourselves. Why? Well, who knows. Because I was suppose to? So I got rid of a lot of it and left us with 2 of each utensil for each of us. For me, cleaning a fork every once in a while is so much better than storing a bunch of utensils that never get used.

IF (notice that really big “if”) we have company - which we haven’t in like, a year. We’re hermits. It’s fine. - we can either grab some plastic or bamboo utensils or just make finger food.

And now our cutlery lives in a jar by the toaster where we can easily grab what we need or put things away without thinking twice.

THE SHARP STUFF

HOME IMPROVEMENT: CUTLERY + UTENSILS - This Wild Home

You guys. The day I learned my son could reach the knives was the day I started having dreams of him horrifically hurting himself in an irreversible way and those knives were moved to a higher location immediately.

To start, we don’t have an on-the-counter knife holder because, ain’t nobody got room for that (remember the moving all the time to places with all different sized storage space?) and also that’s just not how our hand-me-down knives came.

So for a very long time our knives lived on the counter next to my little notebook/planner/computer station and I’ve got to say, that corner went from tidy and organized to a stress inducing mess.

I left it like that for a good while because:

  1. There isn’t a great space to hang a magnetic holder in our current place.

  2. We’re moving very soon so it doesn’t seem worth it to put holes in the walls or buy something that may not work in the next place right before we leave.

I also felt pretty limited on counter space because I haven’t quite figured out how I want to organize everything over here so there we were. A bunch of knives haphazardly sprawled about on the counter.

Finally, my slow pregnant brain thought, “Why not do the same thing with the knives that I do with the cutlery?” DUH. So there you have it! A much neater solution to my very specific problem!

HOME IMPROVEMENT: CUTLERY + UTENSILS - This Wild Home

For these home improvement posts, my goal is really to show that there is no “right way” to do things. Every single one of us has specific problems that need specific solutions. We have our own preferences and our own strategies to bring peace to our lives and they are all the right way.

The right way for us may even change over time. Realistically, I’ll probably upgrade our knives along with their storage when we’re moved into the next place.

For now, here are my solutions to improve my at-home experience and hopefully, this will encourage you to think outside the box and do what you need to do to bring yourself peace in your home!