Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


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Cruelty-free summer cleaning hacks

In the run up to the summer holidays is when I start to notice what needs doing around the house. I realise that spring has passed me by in a whirlwind of work, and with it the notion of ‘spring cleaning’ has wafted off into the distance. Those windows never did get cleaned and that grim grouting never did get replaced. I start thinking to myself since when did those skirting boards get so dusty?’ and I realise that a lifetime of work-sleep-and-play leads to not much success in the way of cleaning. I know life’s too short, but eventually it becomes time to clean. And today is the day.thrifty low cost summer cleaning hacks kitchen bathroom diy cruelty free-6 thrifty low cost summer cleaning hacks kitchen bathroom diy cruelty free-3I sort of want to get the house in order before I take a break for summer. I don’t want to start my holiday with a long to-do list of cleaning task. In an ideal world, someone else would come in and blitz my house, so that I could begin my summer break in a holiday-cottage-style state of cleanliness. However, I’d probably be too embarrassed by the slightly mouldy fridge seal to let anyone else do the cleaning for me. So, onwards, with some spring/summer cleaning hacks.

As you may have spotted in my previous blog posts, I’m very keen to live a cruelty-free life. We’re not just talking animal-testing for make-up here, oh no. Cleaning products are under scrutiny here too, and I’ve found it super-easy to replace my old sprays and soaps with lovely new cruelty-free versions. And it hasn’t even been an expensive process. Thanks to budget brands such as Astonish, Morning Fresh and supermarkets like the Co-op and Waitrose, I’ve been able to find a CF replacement for pretty-much every cleaning product I use. But that’s not all…

I’ve also searched for some cleaning hacks to save me having to use products at all. What could be more animal-friendly than using lemon juice to clean your taps, eh? Unless a cat wanders across the sink at an inappropriate moment, it’s unlikely that my homemade lemon-and-salt cleaner will have been tested on an animal! You don’t need to waste lovely fresh lemons for the purpose of cleaning – stick them in your drink instead! For this hack, I simply used the cheapest bottle of lemon juice I could find in the supermarket and soaked my sponge.

A quick wipeover with a lemon-soaked sponge brings taps back to their sparkling best. If you have a crust of limescale on the taps, simply use an elastic band to attach the sponge to the tap and leave it for a few hours to gradually wear away the limescale. Any stubborn bits can be scrubbed with an old toothbrush soaked in more lemon juice. And speaking of toothbrushes…

You can easily clean grout by mixing baking soda with a splash of water to create a paste. Use an old toothbrush to scrub it into white grout to freshen it up. If there’s a stained patch on the grout, add lemon juice directly to it and allow it to sit for a while to ‘bleach’ it out. Of course, there’s an easier way to clean tiles and grout – with Astonish Grout and Tile Restorer. Don’t be alarmed when you use it for the first time – sometimes the grout turns bright pink when you spray it on! Again, an old toothbrush will sort this out and your tiles will come up sparkling.

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A spring cleaning surprise (& a cruelty-free gift!)

You may have already done the big spring clean in your own home, but what about your relatives? In particular, I’m thinking about your grandparents, parents, uncles and great aunts who may be less able to give their own home a thorough clean this year. When I heard about the #RiseToTheChallenge campaign on social media it really made me think – why not give a little something back to our relatives by helping them out with a mini-makeover? I packed up my dusters and headed straight out this weekend to see what cleaning up I could do for my family.

I wanted my little clean-up to be a surprise so I headed to the shops on Saturday morning before heading to mums to surprise her in the afternoon. I headed to Savers, The Range, Poundland, Superdrug and Sainburys to stock up on plenty of cruelty-free cleaning products and bagged them up as a treat for my mum. She’d recently expressed an interest in my cruelty-free quest and wanted to make the switch over to non-animal-tested products herself. As I’ve mentioned before, chucking out all your old products and replacing them with a whole new cupboard of cruelty-free alternatives just isn’t feasible – it’s wasteful and costs a lot. It’s better to replace each product as it runs out and make the change gradually.

Well, I wanted to give mum a head start (I’m just so pleased she wanted to get involved) and I wanted to take on the #RiseToTheChallenge project and spruce-up her home. Rather than taking all my own cruelty-free household products over to mums (I’ll blog about all my favourite cruelty-free cleaning brands soon, so watch this space!) I decided to pick up a few bottles and give them to mum as a treat, along with a thorough clean-up of her living room. If you’re interested, here are the CF cleaning products I found: Astonish (all around £1 – £1.99), Sainsburys (from just 40p for bleach!), Cussons (£1 for a huge washing up liquid) and Original Source handwash from Poundland. Just goes to show that being kind to animals doesn’t have to cost more – in fact, I’m pretty sure everything I bought costs much less than the branded version.cruelty free cleaning products animal testing CFcruelty free cleaning products animal testing CF spring clean wood floor astonish

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My new years plan ~ Tidy house, tidy mind

Today, I’m having a clean up and a clear out. Or rather, I am procrastinating by writing a blog post about clearing up and clearing out! But I will get round to it today – honestly! Because I’ve heard it said a million times that a tidy desk/kitchen/home leads to a tidy mind and I could really do with going into the new year (and lets face it, just next week…) with a more restful mind and a better ability to cope with all the things that life and work throws at me! It’s a well-documented truism that clutter in your environment can contribute to an equally disorganised and disturbed mental attitude. Let’s face it, if my workspace is messy surely I’ll be less productive and if my home is untidy I’ll find it harder to relax during my time off while thinking of all the chores I need to do! Whether it’s the product of a lazy few days or the result of months of ‘to-do’s piling up, I think we’ll all feel better for tackling the clutter face-on and tidying up our spaces.

It’s basically a smoothing over of your life and therefore it will cleanse your mind too and make you feel considerably more relaxed and free – or at least that’s what I’m hoping will happen when I set to work on my massive tidy-up this week! I’ve previously written about decluttering your wardrobe to save you time and money and similarly a clear-up of your home will be equally beneficial to you. I’m not talking about cleaning here – even the most untidy homes can be clean and likewise the cleanest homes can be untidy, so what I’m really focussing on are tips for improving your living and working spaces so that you can start the new year afresh and be better able to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself in 2014.

declutter your home and workspace messy desk

Pretty much what my desk looks like at the moment! via Pinterest

Workspace – When was the last time you saw your desk under all those piles of paperwork or craft materials? Workspaces always start out clean and efficient, but gradually gather stacks of books, unfinished projects and other odds and ends that don’t have anywhere else to live. I’m not asking you to put away all your work, as that will stop you completing tasks altogether but I’m suggesting that you clear everything off the desk and keep the things that you need in an organised way. Storing papers and magazines in files is an easy way to keep similar documents together and store them upright so that they are easy to access rather than being at the bottom of a pile. You don’t need to spend out on costly office storage solutions – simply cut the tops off cereal boxes, cover them in wrapping paper or newspaper and stick a label on the side so that you can easily see what the contents are at a glance. Standing these files on a shelf above your workspace will save you space on the desk and means that you can assess related should be moved on elsewhere. Next time that you go to sit at your workspace to organise your finances or make a piece of artwork, you’ll have a clear desk to work on and everything you need will be to hand, which will inevitably speed up the process and help you to be more productive.

clearing out your closet Friends episode

Monica’s messy closet in Friends via Pinterest

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