The Fledgling Household

Rethinking the way I clean

Back in the apartment, I never really gave much thought to the cleaning products I used. I went with what I knew, which was generally what my mom used, or what friends had recommended. I had heard of people making their own “green” cleaning products, but this conjured images of spending days on end combining all kinds of obscure ingredients.

It wasn’t until we were moving out of our apartment, as I searched for a way to remove a carpet stain, that I learned I could clean with some of the non-toxic, everyday things in my kitchen. My first encounter was with vinegar – I came across a website that listed hundreds of uses for it, and on my next trip to the grocery store I bought a huge jug, excited by the possibilities. I used it to clean the walls, the microwave, the kitchen floor, and I was amazed to see that it did just as good a job as the store-bought cleaners I usually used. Around the same time, a friend at work recommended I try adding Borax to my laundry as a booster. I bought a box, and was again amazed at the number of uses this simple, natural product had!

After moving into our house, I got some more food for thought. I’ve always lived with town or city water and sewer systems, and before we started house hunting I was clueless about wells and septic systems. And guess what? The house we bought has both of these things, so I had to learn fast! Learning to live with a septic system really got me thinking about what went down the drains, and by extension had me thinking about my cleaning products again.

Now, I’m making an effort to gradually switch over to green or homemade cleaning products when I can. I see it as an investment in my home and our health. Added bonus – all of this is WAY cheaper than store-bought cleaning products!

So it begins!

Welcome to my shiny new blog!

My name is Ashley. I’m a twenty-something living in a small town in New England, where my boyfriend of 6 years and I recently bought our first home! It was back in October, before we moved in, and before the never-ending stress that leads up to closing on a house, that I actually decided to start this blog. But of course, real life got in the way (it has a way of doing that, doesn’t it?), and a hectic six months later I’m finally getting around to doing something about it!

Some brief background: Boyfriend (who I will refer to as “T” from this point on) and I moved in together after 3 years of dating, a few months after we graduated from college. Our apartment was…tiny. Don’t get me wrong, it was perfect for our first-apartment needs, but 2 years into our stay there we realized it was time to move on to bigger things. We did the rounds on Craigslist and the local papers, checking out larger apartments nearby. But with mortgage rates ridiculously low, a definite buyer’s market, and the knowledge that we were both in this relationship for the long haul, we started exploring the possibility of buying a home instead.

And now here we are, a year and a half-ish later, bona-fide homeowners in a house that is absolutely perfect for us!

Now, first-time home ownership is nothing if not a learning experience, and that’s exactly what I intend for this blog to be about. I hope you’ll read along as we fumble our way through home improvement projects, get used to living in the country, and overall try to get this home ownership thing right. I don’t (and won’t) pretend that I’m an expert on any of the topics I write about – most of you reading will probably know just as much (if not a whole lot more!) than me, but I do know that I’m going to have fun learning and sharing!

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