- Read cleaning product labels
- Make your own non-toxic cleaning supplies
- Simplify storage options
- Clean your rugs and carpet regularly
Tip #1: De-Clutter - Rinse and RepeatWe don't know if you need to hear this right now, but it's okay to let items you and/ or your child no longer use move onto other families. As parents, we know how easily we can become emotionally attached to blankets, rattles and books, but our landfills (and homes) will be much emptier places if we pass items on for other families to enjoy. Don't know who to donate to? Many churches, synagogues, schools and online platforms can help point you in the right direction.
Tip #2: Check cleaning ingredients carefullyGone are the days that the smell of bleach and pine equated to clean. With so much research showing just how harmful chemicals like phthalates, antibacterials, formaldehyde, and ammonia can be, it's crucial that parents are hyper aware of what they're using in their nurseries. Babies and kids have extremely delicate endocrine and respiratory systems, sensitive skin and are extra vulnerable when it comes to having an allergic reaction. Couple that with the fact that they spend most of their time making direct contact with carpet, rugs and flooring AND also love putting things in their mouth and you've got yourself a recipe for disaster. When shopping for cleaners, read the ingredients list in detail. Just because it says 'natural' or 'organic' on the front label does not mean it is actually safe. If you're unsure of what a chemical is or does, you can always look it up on the non-profit Environmental Working Group's, website EWG.org.
Tip #3: Make your own non-toxic cleaning suppliesDepending on what you're trying to clean (could be a mummified candy bar, could be poop - who knows!), there are plenty of non-toxic DIY cleaning supply recipes that can get the job done. And chances are that you already have many of the ingredients in your fridge or pantry. Wonder workers are: distilled white vinegar, vodka, lemon juice, baking soda, eucalyptus oil and various essential oils.
For a quick, easy and effective surface spray, try mixing the following in a spray bottle:
* Note - Because there is lemon juice in this recipe, it's important to keep this mix refrigerated between uses and discard after three weeks to avoid the growth of bacteria.
- 1 cup distilled water
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup of lemon juice*
- Optional: Addition of 10 drops of an essential oil like lemongrass or peppermint
Tip #4: Simplify your storageIn a perfect world, toys would go back in their original packaging, book pages would never rip and parents would get eight hours of sleep at night. Until then - we are huge advocates of simplifying your storage. Help your kids help you by giving them baskets for their stuffed animals, easy to use bookshelves and cubbies that make the mess look manageable. The hardest thing about keeping a nursery clean is getting kids to put back what they took out. We've listed some great products below that will help keep your tot's craft supplies, hair accessories, doll collections, toy cars and costumes neat and orderly!
Tip #5: Make sure your carpet (and rugs) are actually cleanWe mentioned this before, but babies and kids seem to spend a lot of their time on the floor. And more often than not, carpets and rugs can contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that off-gas and cause irritation to eyes, skin and lungs. They also harbor dust mites, bacteria and dead skin! At The Tot, we only sell items that pass The Tot Test, meaning they're free of harmful chemicals like phthalates, PVC, formaldehyde and toxic dyes. (We also make sure they're super stylish and easy to maintain.) Speaking of easy to maintain - you need to know about the machine washable rugs from Lorena Canals!
The Tot Storage and Organization Picks
Available in more colors
Available in more colors
- Looking for more tried and trusted products? Here are Our Storage & Organizers