I partnered with the #SmellsClean campaign in the fall and have so enjoyed my experience. The quality and pleasantness of the air in our home was never a high priority for me. I loved going into friends’ or neighbors’ homes and being greeted by fresh air and sweet scents, but I didn’t really know how to transform my home into that environment.
Last week my sister-in-law was visiting. She’s 8 months pregnant and has a 2 year old daughter. I consider her to be rather on top of it when it comes to keeping her home lovely, tidy and fresh. So when she walked in our home and commented on how she loved the way it smelled, I knew I had finally arrived! There were still piles of toys and folded laundry tucked into various corners of the front room and there were remnants of breakfast left on the table. But by golly, it #SmellsClean!
So I thought I would walk you through how the air care aisle has helped me transform my stuffy home into a fresh environment that fosters creative expression and hours of play. My journey started with the recognition that we had a problem. I have the best mother-in-law in the world. She raised 8 kids and is bursting with wisdom and help. She was visiting in May one year and gave me my first experience of Spring Cleaning. She started the day by walking around the house opening windows. Honestly, I cringed inwardly because all I could think was, “Now I have to walk around and close them all late. Ugh!” Maybe she sensed my apprehension because in a totally random, cheerful ways she said, “I just love bringing in the fresh air to sweep out the slept-in smell a house gets overnight. Huh, awareness was dawning in my sleepy brain.
An Environment to Invigorate
The problem with “slept-in” air is that it is lifeless. It hangs heavily about me and dims my motivation to get going with the day. I had been opening windows and bringing new life into the air in our home, but in this new house, we had a hiccup. Our bedroom windows don’t have screens. Plus, they are dangerously uncooperative. The style of window is heavy with a sharp edge. Brent had cut his finger on one downstairs so severely he required a trip to the ER and stitches. So I was a bit hesitant to mess with the ones in our room. Then Ben became the King Climber of our family. The thought of an open window with no screen on the second story of our home that he could likely find access to despite my best efforts made my heart sick. And then, he became obsessed with devices. So I started shutting them up in our room. So now our room had extra, extra stuffy, slept-in air making each morning more and more difficult as I tried to get up and get kids one their way to school.
Enter the candle. Simple, I know. I should have thought of it eons before now. But remember that I lacked the “how” to transforming our home? Yea, I was slow. I love the candle over a plug-in because it felt like the burning candle burned up the yucky of the air while the scent released spread life through the room. I closed the door and let the candle burn for about 15 minutes. When I went back in to blow it out I was shocked at the transformation. There was an energy in the room and I couldn’t help but want to tidy up and make the appearance match the clean smell.
I’ve kept something going in the kitchen, whether a warmer or a plug-in, and it is seriously my most productive room now! I enjoy spending time in there cleaning up the counters and dishes and making dinner. I am even drawn there inspired to do extra baking just because I now love it in there.
Whenever I have a mess to tackle, I just bring along a treasure from the air car aisle. The fresh air invigorates and motivates me to tackle big jobs like sorting Barbie shoes from Noah’s Ark animals and finding homes for all the mixed-up toys in our playroom. In fact, this weekend’s task is the garage and if the cold weather refuses to warm, I’ll be relying on my tiki colada candle to help me get the job done.
An Environment to Inspire
There’s nothing I love more than to see my children’s creativity come alive. They are at their most creative when they have a clean slate. My favorite is having the craft room completely cleaned up with the house smelling like a spring explosion of daffodils and rain and seeing what they create when they get home. We currently have a sprawling beach scene along the long blank wall in a darker area of our home. Every so often they create something new for the wall: sea stars, surf boards and even a coconut tree on a deserted island.
As we’ve moved through the seasons and the changing scents of each one, the kids’ projects have really reflected how their environment inspires them.
An Environment to Calm
So with all the creativity comes lots of messes and chaos. As an only child parenting 4 children, I find the one thing I want more than anything else is peace and calmness. After the adrenaline rush of an awesome creative project wears off, or the exhaustion of cleaning the house top to bottom sets in, I am ready to sit down. But the kids rarely are. I stumbled on a post from Planting Peas about the Montessori Silence Game. After watching the video of her darling son being silent in anticipation of blowing out a candle, I knew this was my ticket to helping the kids unwind and calm down.
Not only did they sit still and silent when it was their turn to blow out the candle, but they were still and silent during everyone else’s turn, too! We created 10 minutes of calm and mindfulness. I actually found that filled my need and got me ready to get back to life than 30 minutes of vegging on the couch has ever done.
I love that spring is a time of new life. The increasingly long days, the warmer weather and the signs of new growth invigorate and inspire. If you are looking to bring Spring in to your home, check out your local air care aisle at Walmart or where ever you regularly shop.
This post was sponsored by the #SmellsClean campaign. This is my personal story based on my own experience.