4.10.2013

Spring Into Cleaning | Multi-purpose Items

You're probably wondering, multi-purpose items? Really? Well, I'm serious.

Increasing my knowledge about multi-purpose items has been incredibly helpful in regards to home organization (cutting clutter & keeping the house clean) and even time management (less trips to the store) and budgeting (saving money).

So what are multi-purpose items?

They're exactly as it's named- items that have multiple purposes.  Two items that I've learned about the past few years are coconut oil and lemons.

I've used both as beauty products, as food, as medication, as cleaning products, as a baby product, close to everything. And the best part? They're ALL natural and even organic.

From Babycenter, here are 21 uses of coconut oil for moms and babies:
1. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a powerful anti-microbial fatty acid that protects the immune system of the fetus and newborn. Expectant mothers can ingest a couple spoonfuls a day to boost their immune function.
2. Add several tablespoons to bathwater for added moisturizing to your skin. A few drops of lavender essential oil will also make the bathwater soothing and relaxing.
3. Rub the oil onto your skin to prevent stretchmarks and itchy skin associated with a growing baby belly.
4. Take a spoonful to help with heartburn, acid reflux or indigestion.
5. Mix with a drop of lavender oil to soothe pregnancy-induced hemorrhoids.
6. Virgin coconut oil balances blood sugar and controls diabetes and helps keep morning sickness at bay.
7. Mix it into your favorite pregnancy herbal tea, such as red raspberry leaf tea.
8. When applied to the perineum in the weeks leading up to labor, it can help reduce tearing and the need for an episiotomy during the birth.
9. During those first few newborn diaper changes, coconut oil will help remove the sticky meconium from baby’s bottom.
10. Coconut oil is the perfect carrier oil to remove baby’s stubborn cradle cap.
11. Nursing mothers can use it on their nipples, which can become cracked and painful during breastfeeding.
12. Consuming coconut oil can increase your milk flow.
13. Rub the oil on your baby’s diaper rash–it’s especially good for a yeast infection rash.
14. Add the oil to your homemade infant formula.
15. When baby is sick, make your own homemade vapor rub.
16. Need a pick me up after the hard work of taking care of baby? Eat a spoonful for a boost of natural energy.
17. Coconut oil taken both internally and topically can help treat the yeast that causes both thrush and candida. A little oil dabbed inside the baby’s mouth, as well as mom eating it and applying it to her nipples before breastfeeding is very effective.
18. Take coconut oil to reduce or eliminate headaches and migraines.
19. If you or your baby have eczema, rub coconut oil on your skin to soothe it.
20. Take a spoonful of coconut oil 20 minutes before a meal to help curb your hunger.
21. Coconut oil makes a great hair conditioner that can tame that weird dry/falling out stage your hair goes through after pregnancy.
And from Real Simple, just 10 of the 101 uses of lemons:
 1. Sanitize a chopping block. Run a slice of lemon over the surface to disinfect. 2. Eliminate the browning that occurs when food sits out too long. Sprinkle apple or pear slices with lemon juice before serving, or squeeze a bit into guacamole and give it a stir. 3. Remove tough food stains from plastic and light-colored wooden cutting boards. Slice a lemon in half, squeeze the juice onto the soiled surface, rub, and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with water. 4. Fade tea stains on cloth. Dilute lemon juice with an equal amount of water. Use an eyedropper or a Q-tip to make sure the juice targets the stain. Thoroughly flush with cool water. 5. Decorate on the cheap. Fill a glass bowl with lemons for a sunny centerpiece. Or display a row of them along a windowsill. 6. Relieve a sore throat. Cut a lemon in half. Skewer one half over a medium flame on a gas stove or an electric burner set on high and roast until the peel turns golden brown. Let cool slightly, then mix the juice with 1 teaspoon of honey. Swallow the mixture. 7. Whiten fingernails. Rub a wedge on the surface of your nails. 8. Shine the interior of copper cookware. Sprinkle a lemon wedge with salt, then scrub. 9. Brighten laundry whites. Add 1/2 cup lemon juice to the wash cycle of a normal-size load. 10. Remove soft cheese or other sticky foods from a grater. Rub both sides of the grater with the pulp side of a cut lemon. 
Having multi-purpose items around your home is so necessary. In our household, it has cut the clutter ten fold, while saving us money. I've used coconut oil in practically everything from food to beauty products. Lemons serve as cleaning products and a refreshing way to start your day. Lemons also make for great centerpieces to liven up the kitchen.

Multi-purpose items are single items that can make a major impact on kicking off your spring cleaning. Do you have any items you want to share with me? I love hearing about new ones.


~Kristina

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