Scrub a dub dub

One ongoing concern for me during my pregnancy journey was chemical exposure. Pregnancy wasn’t something that was as simple as a one time “oops”. It look a long time and for a while there I wasn’t sure it would happen. As I talked with friends and co-workers about what helped them, two things stuck out:

1. Reduce your stress
2. Reduce your exposure to chemicals

The first was difficult for me. My career was very rewarding; but also extremely high pressure and nothing about that seemed likely to change soon. The second, I had a fighting chance with. Initially, I did this by eating organic whenever I could; and changing to the eco-friendly cleaning products in the store. I reduced my reliance on frozen meals and tried to cook more from real ingredients. Nothing drastic; but small changes.

Obviously, from the name of this blog, you know that something eventually worked. Shortly before my son was born and after a long battle with pregnancy related hyperemesis; I left my job to move and prepare to be a mom. That took care of my primary source of stress, but the dodging of chemicals became even more important after Drake was born.

I’ve come a long way from those eco-friendly detergents in the store. Thanks to my friend Karen, I discovered DoTerra essential oils and pretty much live bathed in them. They support my system and because they are therapeutic grade; I don’t feel bad using them. Of course, to justify spending the money, I have to find ways to use every oil I bring into the house. Enter my “miracle spray”. It’s not really a miracle. It’s just good old fashioned household ingredients with a touch of Purify oil.

In my squirt bottle I use:

1/2 bottle water
1/2 bottle vinegar
10-15 drops Purify or Melaleuca (tea tree oil)

Now, how did I use this during my move? In addition to scrubbing the walls, floors, and counters, there were three particularly smelly jobs I did not want to do (thank goodness for rubber gloves!!!!!).

Rubber gloves and spray

Remember that cat I was so worried about with this move? Well, I knew that as soon as we got to the new place she would need a fresh litter box. So, rather than throw out the one I had, I disinfected it and put it in my checked baggage. That’s right, I put a used litter box in my luggage!!!

Does that freak you out? If I didn’t have so much confidence in the disinfecting properties of my miracle spray, I would probably have freaked out too. No need to freak out people. My hound like nose declared that box to be clean and sanitized.

The next two things I cleaned are tied for nastiest. One was certainly the smelliest and the other mentally traumatizing.

First for the smelliest. Yes, I gagged. Ugh… Here we go. Compost is a big thing in England. The wonderful thing about Guildford was the weekly compost pickup. Unfortunately, it took me a really long time to discover compost bags. So, initially I would just put the compost into the household bin during the week and then transfer it to the outside bin for collection. As you may expect, some things would cling to the bottom of that outside bin… I did eventually discover compost bags and they kept things a lot neater; but I never got around to cleaning out the outside bin. Then came moving week.

Armed with my miracle spray and some industrial sized kitchen gloves; I set about scrubbing out the bin. And promptly found myself in the backyard gasping for air. Once my stomach settled, I continued my task. Happily, living up to it’s reputation, the spray had that bin smelling fabulous within just a few minutes. I will never again put myself in that situation. You too should never experience this misery. Learn from my mistakes. Compost bags for the win!

The final chore I had to do was equally dreaded. I call it…the poop bin. When we moved into the house, it came furnished with a kitchen trash bin the prior tenant had left (I think). Since we already had both a recycling bin and a trash bin; we didn’t have space in our petite kitchen for this additional bin. Thusly it was placed in the backyard and became “the poop bin”. No, we didn’t just shovel dog poop into the bin. We did indeed place a liner in the darn can. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to enjoy being lined and the hubs didn’t seem to enjoy checking to see if the liner had stayed in placed. As such, I frequently found the bin liner had slipped and dog poop bags and cat litter kept finding their ways all around the interior of the bin. I should have dealt with this bin after our dog passed away; but instead I turned a blind eye and ignored it. Finally, it was moving day. I realized I hadn’t dealt with the bin. Egads! Thankfully, I had one additional pair of industrial sized kitchen gloves and an entire bottle of miracle spray.

Mentally, I cringed as I heaved the interior liner into the kitchen sink. Yes, I know I could have done this in the backyard. However, my spray is largely vinegar and vinegar is terrible for keeping plants alive. Great weed killer, terrible grass fertilizer. There was logic to this decision. As I reached my arm into the can to scrub, I counted my blessings; which were many. Essential oils, vinegar, gloves; these were all things that were going to keep me from smelling like dog and cat poop the rest of the week. Fifteen minutes and one hubby intervention later (my arms are really short…) the deed was done. The can smelled worthy of household use and took up a position of honor in the kitchen.

There you go. I promised to regal you with stories of cleaning before the move and I did. Bet you didn’t count on all the gory details. Sorry about that. I’m naturally detail oriented. Now that you know the minutiae of the move out; the next blog will get to the fun stuff—moving to Sweden!

In future writings, I will fill you in not only on life in Gothenburg; but also about the travels we’ve taken through Europe so far and future travels as they come up. Hopefully you will enjoy all the toddling we’ve done through Europe as much as we have.

Until next time 🙂


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