Over catering for guests.

Most people enjoy having visitors occasionally, family or friends who stay longer than just a fleeting few hours. As a result we also like to be able to cater for those visitors with enough room and household items to keep them comfortable during their stay.  A comfortable bed, clean linen, bathing facilities, crockery and cutlery items and food to keep the tummy grumbles away.

There is nothing wrong with this in fact it is preferable to not being able to keep your visitors happy and comfortable or worse, not being able to accept visitors at all. But my experience is that many people over cater for these occurrences rather than just satisfying a need. Resulting in linen closets, pantries and kitchen cabinets literally bursting at the seams with enough household items to cater to a small army.

Lets take linen for a start. An average household of two adults and two children require no more than three bath towels each to satisfy their bathing needs. If two of each person’s towels are washed at one time that makes a full load of eight towels with one each left for their immediate needs. Given that most households have only one guest room that is inhabited for less than one month a year on average there is no need to permanently possess three more towels per visitor for these occasions. If four people are to visit at once two towels per person spread across the entire household would be enough the wash a load of eight with one each left in use. Therefor four extra towels is enough to be visitor ready at any time which is a total of sixteen towels.

A similar equation works for sheet sets. Given that visitors rarely stay longer than one week two sets per permanently occupied bed with one per spare bed ought to be enough. The once a week washing of the sheets could be alternated between family and visitors so there is always at least one spare set available. That is if you have two queen beds and two single (twin) beds in the house three sets of queen sheets and four sets of single bed sheets ought to be enough when catering for the family plus another couple.

Even if a family has no dryer and the weather turns foul it is always possible to utilise a neighbours dryer or use a local laundromat.

Kitchen cutlery and crockery also need not be over catered for. With the extra people in the house either the dishwasher will be turned on more often or you can utilise the extra occupants to assist you in hand washing the kitchenware. Both options give you a regular supply of clean dishes without having to own an over abundant supply. While the hand washing option is yet another opportunity to chat with your guest and before you know it the task is done.

As for food, with grocery stores never far away and in some cases  open 24 hours a day seven days a week there is no need to overstock. This may not be the case further out in the country but even in that circumstance a little forward planning should make it possible to bring in just enough to be adequately stocked for the duration of the visit without having to plough through the leftovers for weeks after the visitors have moved along.

If you have a tendency to overstock give some rational thought to how much you really need verses how much you feel you need. Take into account what is the greatest number of people who would normally visit you at any given time and how long they would usually stay for. Keep in mind that if you have other family near by you can always borrow some extra provisions if necessary.

Coming around to a new way of behaving may take a little adjusting of long held traditional thinking. My advice is to aways question such thinking as that is usually what causes homes to become cluttered in the first place. I am constantly questioning the way I do things, testing new ideas and  adapting to them or rejecting them as the case may be. As the saying goes “Nothing ventured nothing gained.” I feel liberated in my ability to question how I do things and adjust where necessary. It is so much more interesting to experiment with ideas than insisting on being set in my ways.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter something that has been relegated to the garage because it has been replaced with a better model or has broken down altogether.

Today’s Declutter Item

This item had been relegated to the garage where it sat on the top of the shelve while I procrastinated about decluttering it. The reason behind that is because my dad made it for me. But the truth is I no longer have a need for it so I am ignoring the guilt of letting it go and sending it on it’s way.

Mini side table/magazine rack

Eco tip of the day

Try some home made environmentally friendly cleaning solutions. There are plenty of recipes to be found on the internet so why not give it a go. I am experimenting with a vinegar solution as an all-purpose surface cleaner at the moment.

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. Hmmm…. This weeks mini-missions are stumping me. I’m still working on some use-it-up declutters (and slowly getting through them).
    Today (It’s barely Monday morning over here) I’ll be going through and organizing my closet. I don’t know that I’ll get rid of anything, but my side of the closet is a mess. I’ve been focused on getting the boyfriend a capsule wardrobe that he knows how to use (since he recently started his first job, but is still a college student, and the two have radically different clothing options). As such, my side is a mess because I know what I have, so I just dump it all together…. not good.

    My self-imposed challenge is to not buy food this week, and to use what we have in the kitchen. (I think one dinner will likely be a date night out, but I’m not counting that). As well, I’d like to see it continue on, with perhaps only buying milk next week (It goes on sale every other week). We technically haven’t bought anything other than milk and juice (and a few dinners out) in the last week, but we were also out of town for a good chunk of time. I’m ALSO trying to NOT eat the pre-packaged stock we have on hand (cans of soup and chili) and instead trying to make food each day. We’ll see what happens. Yesterday was cereal for breakfast and lunch, and homemade mac and cheese for dinner (and today’s lunch).

    I totally agree on sheets though. We have 3 sets of full size sheets(with one comforter) between bf and I, and one set of twin(with comforter). In the house we have two full size beds in regular use (our beds), a full size couch, a queen size air mattress (normally for vacations) and a couch that’s about a twin. Even if all were in use, we actually have enough sheets for all of them… to be honest, we’ve done it before we bought the third set of full sheets.

    • Amanda, you are not alone in your mission. I have usually a very good stocked up kitchen with all sorts of fresh food around. (partly because I get a box of veggies every tuesday morning)
      every end of the money, if there is too much month left, I am going through my kitchen. and I can actually (except for milk – I drink faaar too much coffee) survive on my kitchen for almost 2 weeks. that comes in handy for guests too. if someone is hungry, my kitchen can provide a minimum of 5 different speed meals – at whatever time of the day.

      • Hi Amanda, a well organised closet is a time saver. I put like things together ~ pants with pants arranged by length, button up shirts with button up shirts, dresses together, t-shirt… I also have a section where I hang once used clothes that can be worn again before washing is required. Much as a prefer not to over wash things I also don’t want to store the clean with the once used.

        Using up food is a great idea. By Sunday each week there is never much left in my refrigerator and sometimes even the freezer and pantry. Very little goes to waste or out of date this way. I have to say though that cereal, cereal and mac and cheese doesn’t sound like a very well rounded diet. I hope there was some fresh fruit or veggies in there somewhere. Forgive me it is my mothering instincts butting in here.

        • Ah, there’s the delicious juice from last weekend providing fruit (while not fresh, tis cheap and all natural). The Mac and Cheese had peas in it. A wee bit short on the vegetable side, but not terrible. Today’s dinner will include veggies as well (summer squash and zucchini) in a tomato sauce. I try to maintain balance of vegetables and fruit, but dairy/protein and carb based meals are unfortunately often cheaper. Budget often wins out over everything else.

          And yes, my closet used to be wonderfully organized, but I apparently can only maintain one closet at a time 😛 Alas, my hangers are all organized now, but the tubs of undergarments and pajamas are still a hapless mess. Soon, soon, these shall be tamed again.

          • Amanda, you had me researching food prices in the USA now. Just to say: it’s really not cheaper to leave out vegetables. It may be more convenient, but it’s certainly not cheaper. It always depends on which vegetables you buy though, but things like e.g. cauliflower, carrots or onions won’t be expensive. Canned (but unsugared) tomatoes or corn or frozen veggies add convenience.
            Cooking with vegetables also means “needing” less cheese and other dairy products to get a tasty meal as well as less pasta etc. to fill.
            I’m sorry, I don’t want to be too preachy. However that is a topic close to me. I hear that argument oh so often here, while those who use it use a lot more money on food than we do. We have come to eat a lot of vegetables BECAUSE we had/have to eat on a low budget.
            I think, vegetables and the need to cook and season them in order to eat them scare people off. It’s not that hard though.

          • Sanna: I wrote a huge post responding to you because you touched a nerve and I was upset (I get criticized here for what I eat because in my hippy-town a lot of people are vegan and hate on those who aren’t)

            In the end though, it doesn’t really matter, and that’s not what this is about. I am happy with my food choices (that are admittedly usually better than yesterdays). They are extremely low budget (half the average “low cost” food budgets) and as healthy as I can manage for the time and money I have to spare.

            Food costs vary greatly by area though, even here in the states. The lowest fresh fruit/veggie prices I’ve seen in the last week are $1.30/$1.20 (for anything other than squash, which I’m using in abundance from a garden), with meat at $1 a pound. Rice of course is less than half that, with pasta slightly more than rice. Beans are about the price of meat, but far more filling, so I’ll take them. Frozen veggies usually clock in around the $1 a pound.

            Regardless, I appreciate the concern, but let’s get back to the decluttering eh?

          • Good effort Amanda, both with trying to maintain a balance diet on a limited budget and on your efforts at getting your closet in order. It is a shame when meat and dairy are less expensive than fresh fruit and vegetables. The price of tomatoes here in my town is ridiculous at the moment. I have no idea why that is but can tomatoes are still inexpensive and nutritious so they will do. I must get some tomato plants for my garden before we move too far into spring and I miss the opportunity to grow my own.

            I just read your response to Sanna and I only wish we were paying the price you are for vegetables. Those tomatoes I mentioned were $8.88 per kilo which would work out roughly to $4US per pound. I am not cooking on limited funds though but can appreciate your plight.

          • You are right, your food choices are of course utterly up to you. I wasn’t reacting to your eating habits but to the comment that vegetables are (too) expensive. I also can’t see in your listing that (frozen and the cheaper fresh) veggies would be much more expensive than meat. However, it’s up to you what you spend your money and time on.
            I’m not vegan either and certainly wouldn’t want to sing in that choir. We also eat meat, cheese and milk with our vegetables. 🙂

            But alright, topic closed, back to decluttering.

          • uh, before you close the topic:

            I have lived years (you know the first semester at uni) on pasta with ketchup, because I decided to spend the little money I had on other important things, like going out. So Amanda, I get your point, and I agree with you. its not just cheaper, but all this veggie-cutting cooking thing is also a pain sometimes. 😉
            Sadly I turned vegetarian (I am not one of those missionaries, everyone should eat what they want) and I wanted to lose weight, so there is no point that I dont eat vegetables on a daily basis… but then I also spend a good amount of my budget on organic and local food.

          • One last thing: Sanna, I rarely buy meat (except on the occasional date night). I included it for the sake of comparison, but I usually go with beans instead of meat. Pasta or rice (with something) is also a regular meal for me because the pasta/rice is the cheapest and fastest “filler” that there is.

            I use what is cheap. Sometimes that is veggies/fruit (apple season is almost upon us, and during cherry season I think I ate my fruit quota for the year – fruit trees in the backyard), but most of the time it is pasta and rice with some veggies, cheese, meat, whatever’s on sale thrown in.

  2. True. Don’t overstock for guests. Because that thinking (plus other clutter-habits) can lead to a house, where there is plenty of guest linen and a teaset for 20 people but actually no space for the guests …

    Sorry if this sounds sarcastic – but it’s a bitter truth that being prepared for every possible happening in life stuffwise (and only theoretically so … ever asked a hoarder to lend you a tool or one of the countless spare bikes? Most likely they a) can’t be accessed or b) are not in good working condition …) often means the things you are prepared for won’t happen. Because you have not space, no time, no peace to make them happen. You are much to busy sorting, mantaining, stocking up. Or in other words: People who want to be prepared for everything are too busy with all the preparing that the events they prepare for can really take place.

    • Hi Ideealistin I agree with you on this but my experience also proves that many people have homes that are guest ready but just ridiculously overstocked in the linen, food and kitchenware departments. Quite often they are people who once had a larger family at home to cater for and have never thought to reduce the numbers or insist on being able to cater for the entire extended family at once. Actually that sounds like a good post for Thursday.

      • I have CUSHIONS!!!!!! Plenty of cushions, I won’t soon but at the moment I have a cushion for everyone!!!!
        HEEHEE I am laughing hysterically at the moment because about 10 mins ago I asked my hubby for a cushion and he sarcastically asked which, colour, shape and thickness would I like. To which I replied ‘it don’t matter honey I was just gonna shove it in ya mouth!! hahaha joking, honestly!!

        I laughed at your comment about the bed cushions Colleen, I had six on the bed at one stage with 2 extra pillows WTH!!! I feel faint now I’ve said that. So far I’m up to 347 items GONE GONE GONE, (this total has included allsorts, I am aiming for 365 things.

        Am I doing well Master? Actually it feels great to know that I won’t be unpacking things I don’t want at all. I will however be taking a good look again at some china and ornaments and deciding what to do with them. They are beautiful pieces so I will really be going through the list and making sure If I don’t really see myself keeping them, then I shall endeavour to release them. 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Well done Dizzy – talking of decorative cushions, a comedian here did a skit on decorative cushions on the master bed and he reckoned (he says it so much better than me) that its like being in a foam pit or one of ball pits trying to get into bed.

  3. Somewhere I read a guideline of 2 sets of sheets for each normally occupied bed + 1 for each guest bed + 1 extra set in each sized bed in the house. That seems to be plenty.

    Similarly 2 towels per person + 1 extra and 1 towel per guest bed + 1 extra seems like enough.

    But that’s an American who loves her dryer!!!

    • Hi Holly and welcome to 365 Less Things. That sound like a reasonable number of sheets and towels to me. What inspired this post was linen closets jam packed with sheets and towels in varying states of wear. The old less than perfect ones, kept just in case, relegated to the back of the closet never being used because there are just so many (even with a houseful of guests) after yet more new ones are purchased.

      Having a dryer does make this easier to orchestrate but like I said in the post, if guest are in and the weather turns foul there is likely to be a laundromat nearby to take care of things.

  4. When we have family come, we make do with what we have. If I don’t have enough plates, we get out a few china plates or we use salad plates for some people for dinner. If there still aren’t enough, some of us use bowls. Or, maybe my husband and I will share a plate or bowl. If you feel comfortable enough to have them in your home, then you should feel comfortable enough to make do together. We also use sleeping bags if we run short of beds or linens.

    • Hear Hear! That’s why we have so many extra beds and so few extra linens (and plates and bowls and towels and all else). We have enough to comfortably (read: give them full treatment of linens without sacrificing our own) one pair of guests (or single guest) at a time. If we have more than that, then people start sharing and sacrificing, but they should be ok with that. I mean, we’re college kids living in a rental. We can fit 7 guests at one time if they are in pairs (or comfortable enough to be paired off). On the rare occasion that that happens (or close to it, we had 5 one time but not paired off), they had better be comfortable enough to share some things. If they aren’t, then they can just find a different place to stay 😛

    • Good for you Spendwisemom. There you go living up to your name again. You are so right, the people you would want to stay should be comfortable enough to be around that sharing or stretching the supplies shouldn’t be an issue.

  5. Good advice! For the first time in our lives we have a guest room, since moving to my childhood home with three bedrooms. Out of the five months we have lived here, it has been occupied in four. First we stayed there while living with my dad, and now my brother is staying with us for two months. And his wife stays here occasionally on the weekends. I really like being able to be hospitable like this. I don’t want it to clutter up my life though. I don’t keep separate guest towels, we have a pile of clean ones and guests can grab one from there just like we do. A pile – but a small one. 9 linen towels don’t take up much room 🙂 Instead of keeping lots of guest duvets, our wool blankets can double as guest duvets in a pinch. One set of linens per guest “spot” is enough.

  6. I grew up in a household that had appoximately 10 sets of sheets for each bed. Ridiculous. Years ago, a friend of my Mother’s told me that she had one set of sheets for each bed. She launders them and puts them back on the bed. I loved this. With the exception of one extra pillowcase per pillow (I change every three days), I adopted this policy and for thirty-five years of marriage and raising a family, I have never said, “If, only I had an extra set of sheets?”

    • Kimberly, I have to agree with you. Our second set of sheets wore out, and I didn’t replace them. Now I never have to fold sheets for that bed. I just launder them and put them back on. Now if I can only get down to one or two sets for the guest room bed! It’s time to purge again.

    • Hi Kimberley – I grew up in a similar household, tonnes and tonnes of linen. Why? I don’t know? Maybe its from an era before dryers were common.

      I commented yesterday that my kids (teens) have one set of sheets and they all get washed and dried and put back on in the same day. I have a spare set for my bed and if we have some sort of emergency those can be used, yes, a lot of tucking in but still a sheet.

      • Moni,
        Loved your comment. My mother always had a washer and dryer. She never had to hang her laundry on a clothes line. Maybe it came from growing up in the depression. Her Mom, my Grandma, hung all of her laundry outside on clothes lines.

    • Hi Kimberley I like the idea of wash and put back on the bed. I think as my spare ones wear out I wont replace them and then I will adopt that system.

      I had written a longer response to this comment but it disappeared and it is getting too late in the day to rewrite it all – dinner to cook etc.

  7. We have one set of sheets per bed. We have two sets of towels for guests and that’s it. We don’t have a guest room. My mother chooses to sleep on the couch. It’s one of those things I can’t get her to change. So far we have only had one guest in the four years we have been here. She comes once a year. My mother wishes we had a guest room and I ask her why. In our lives we have seldom had people come visit. To see them we have had to go to them, including family. We have stopped going for physical & financial reasons and thus we don’t see them. I hate that but in some ways I’m tired of always doing the going and the paying to go. We have plenty of local friends to see and those who live futher away know they are welcome. We will rent a bed if needed. Unfortunately, I am finding that most friends have to choose who they see in their limited vacation allotment and most choose family. I don’t blame them. When it comes to guests for a meal we have gotten rid of all of the fancy stuff and now have an 8 place setting of Ivy Corelle dishes. If we have more guests than that coming we usually serve casual, buffet style and use the two different sizes of plates. the men get the bigger ones (too big in my book) and the ladies get the smaller ones (that we use on a regular basis). That still leaves 8 salad plates for kids if they are around.

    • Hi Deb j,
      the allotted two weeks vacation in the US doesn’t leave much time to visit and take a real vacation. I am glad we get four weeks here in Australia and hope that never changes.

      Aren’t Corelle dishes great, they stack so well that even if you have a lot of them they don’t take up much room. Gotta love that.

      • I had worked up to 3 weeks when I had to quit my job and go on disability. The problem was that with my job if I took all that time off at once I would be in a world of hurt when I got back. Even on vacation I still had to wear my pager and have my laptop with me. I learned to take a week here and there so I could be away but not too long. Just the email was bad enough with one week. I would get 250-300 a day at work and my box would fill up before my week was out.

        Yes, I love our Corelle. What’s great about the ones we have is that they have green ivy around the edges. You can dress up the table with a fancy tablecloth and centerpiece and they look elegant even though they are just Corelle.

  8. Inspired by this post and also adding to a personal bigger project of mine I will have a evaluation of every linen and towel I have in the house. I really have no idea how many towels and linen that I currently have. I think I have too much of one and too little of others, but it remains to be seen. Anyway I know some pieces that should already be gone and I am keeping “just in case”.

  9. Good post – I went thru this stage, whenever my parents came to stay I’d totally spring clean the house in advance, pull an all-nighter (joke) getting everything up to spec, filling the pantry and fridge with delicatessen level foods – and realistically, they lived with me the first 20 years of my life – who was I fooling?

    • I am guessing, no one Moni. That is the beauty of family you can be yourself with them. Actually I am myself with everyone and if they don’t like it they always have other options because this is me and that is that.

  10. Today’s mini mission is great for me. We had to move around some furniture late last week and my hubby decided it was time for a number of things to disappear from the lounge and it was dumped in the garage. I have two items being picked up tomorrow from a freecycle member and another item which has had no bites, I might need to re-think how I will get rid of this.

  11. Colleen, I think you hit the nail. Those are areas I struggle with, too. I think, it’s partly because these items are ones that dwindle through natural progression as well as fall in to the “might need”(for guests) category. It’s not easy to settle on the perfect number. I have given up on searching for the “perfect number” here, but am not adding to those areas and don’t replace broken or worn out pieces, so maybe I will reach the state of “too few” some day (thus knowing that one more than too few would be the perfect number), but so far I don’t see it coming soon.
    Everything does fit in its designated places though, so no worries.

    • Hi Sanna,
      that makes perfect sense to me. There are some things that I am happy for natural progress decluttering to take care of but until I am happy with the overall level of stuff in my home I will continue to question all else.

  12. This post speaks to me (and whilst I’m good with maths, all the written numbers had be bummbled, but it has been a tough day at work!)

    I realised my ‘issue’ with guests was that I unnecessarily stressed about not having the ‘spare’ sheets for the queen, washed and in the cupboard (see I give guests clean sheets in my bed, which I either share with a good gal pal, or I sleep on the single mattress!). But, then I thought ‘why do the set I’ve been using need to be in the cupboard, or washing/drying (in my apartment, so it’s Chinese laundry for the guest, no good). Then I realised… when they go, I either use the sheets they likely hardly used (most guests are a night or two), or I can put my ‘dirty’ ones back on… OR I could just wash a set when they leave – they don’t take THAT long to dry! Sigh… takes time to talk me off the ‘stress head’ ledge, but I’ve done it!

    I do have extra plates (small and large), but they are in that annoying corner of a cupboard (good place for irregularly used things). They are grandma’s hand me downs, that lived with a ex-flatmate for years (sorta her housewarming gift to me?!).

    Food – I’m well trained on that, being all of in the same block as an IGA!

    • Hi Snosie,
      I did wonder if my math gobbledygook would confuse anyone. Of course the numbers will be different for everyone but the real plan is to not have a cupboard with 50 towels and 15 sets of sheets to cater of two people most of the time. That just seems like insanity to me.

  13. Inspired by this post I went through my towels again. 2 small ones went out, because there is no point in having that many. thanks for the reminder…

    I have 3 sheets for my queensize bed. Because I have no dryer, and hang my clothes on the line, I need at least two. And then the third (old one from my brother) functions as the “guest sheet”, for the small mattress.
    Last year I got a new duvet, with bigger size, so my old one gets used for guests. I am thinking about getting rid of it, as I have plenty of other blankets and a sleeping bag that can also work. I might take the winter to think about it though…

    • Hi Lena, I too am often paying particular attention to certain things in my home in order to determine whether I have too many, too few or just enough. Mostly I am hoping that I can manage with less. I am also often on the look out for items that can do double duty so that I can eliminate something else. I really enjoy this process.

  14. Hi all,
    Just reading about everyones experience with extra linens etc, got me remembering when we all lived at home my mum always had heaps of sheets and blankets etc etc, having 4 at home and no dryer probably made extras seem like a great idea. We never had a dryer in our family home until all us kids left home. My dad bought my mum her first fully automatic washer and dryer, when we were all gone, he said she deserved to have a really good machine, problem was it was way too big for just 2 people, would have been great years earlier, but my mum was just organised and got it done with a small machine twin tub type and a small kinda automatic Hitachi washer, managed really well, she also held onto all the sheets and blankets and doonas that we had all used over the years. Weird upgrading but funny when we talk about it now, my mum bless her, still has enough to accommodate all us kids with our partners and our kids, and enough crockery for us all, yet, and I am amazed I am saying this, but the kitchen doesn’t look crazy cluttered!!! I don’t get it! Maybe she puts it all away like I put away my cushions!!! hahahaha I think my Mum has a Narnia Cupboard coz I swear she has enough to cater for a footy team and the entourage!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Hi Dizzy – Narnia – that is exactly it! In one house that we lived in when I was growing up the hot water cupboard (that’s what we have here) was in a L shape and so there was space behind the cylinder which literally was the black hole. Being the smallest person in the house I was always sent on retrieval.

      • This is a hoot Moni. Ours was an odd shaped cupboard that was tall enough for the hot water tank and then had this area that got smaller as it was under the stairs. I was another one that was a retriever.

  15. The mini mission of the items in the garage. Where we live, our closest thrift shop has become rather picky when accepting times…ie, no single dishes only sets…IF approved by the manager; no dust collectors, I mean knick knacks. Well, that won’t work for us because we have quite a bit of both (odd glasses and LOTS of knick knacks we’re getting rid of…well, trying). Soooo there is another one that is a bit further away that takes pretty much anything, BUT I don’t speak Italian. Just a few days ago, a dear friend of mine (Italian by birth) went with me to ask the pertinent questions. All that’s left is to sort the MOUND…or mini-mountain to me…of stuff into their respective piles: Kitchen Stuff (for another charity shop), clothes (to be tossed into donate bins), Waiting to Be Sold (to be posted on a local Junk to Treasure site), Thrift Shop, and everything else (to be put into a FOR FREE box to go out front of the house). It’s all a mish mash of stuff. Had been waiting for cooler days and now a lovely migraine sidelined me. *sigh Maybe Thursday or Friday.

    I’ve been trying to go a bit “greener” with products. I’ve switched to Tom’s toothpaste (like it better than Colgate {which I LOVED before this}), Arm & Hammer deodorant (works really well with a minty scent, but doesn’t “stick around” forever like the other products), donated our bleach to a friend who uses it (switch to baking soda or hydrogen peroxide for whiteness…haven’t tried it yet, but have a lot of both), and switched to Jason (can’t add the line or the dots above the letters) for shampoo…realized my hair does better without the conditioner as well.

    • Good for you Gen, that is what proper decluttering is all about ~ finding appropriate homes/outlets for your unwanted items. Yes it can take a bit of effort sometimes but the effort is usually less than the effort it took to acquire the stuff in the first place. The difference for many people is that one they enjoyed while the others they just can’t be bothered making the effort with, and that really irritates me.

      Also good on you for trying some more environmentally friendly options for cleaning etc. I have been dabbling a lot in this myself lately.

  16. Thank you. I do try…it’s hard here in Italy, but not impossible with a lovely Italian-speaking friend. 🙂

    I started going more “natural” with my products after a long (still ongoing) bout of infection. What started as an insect bite the last part of July has turned into a constant-fighting skin infection. Thankful it’s nothing worse (one doc was worried it got into the bones…oy!). I figured all of the chemicals I was dealing with (tests) and the drugs I was taking (antibiotics), my body needed a bit less added chemicals in the form of hygiene and household stuff.
    After reading another blog (lady is obsessed with going green), some of the articles on the chemicals in our household products (I think it’s the EPA that has a site where you can look for a specific product and it will tell you what’s in it and if/how it can harm/kill you) were a bit scary. I’m not as “must go GREEN!!!!!!!” as some, but a step or two here and there instead of a giant leap will help and not be as life-altering to me or hubby when he returns from his loooooooong work trip.

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