Too many winter months of closed windows and doors can leave our homes suffering from stale air and negative energy. Here are 5 simple ways to help rid your home of toxicity and improve its positive energy this winter:
1) Declutter & Clean
The winter hibernation months of January and February provide an ideal time to declutter. Clutter in your home is anything that is unfinished, unused, guilt-inducing and unresolved. Rid yourself of anything you do not love, do not use or do not consider to be beautiful. Don’t just box stuff up to be dealt with later. Remember that organized clutter is still clutter.
As you declutter, give your house a more thorough cleaning. Hard work but calorie-burning and cathartic so it is all good! Using biodegradable cleansers and essential oil & vinegar cleansers decrease household toxicity. (Link to Rosemary’s Company called The Organized Life)
2) Candles and Light
Letting in as much natural light as possible during the day is an instant spirit lifter. Feng Shui practitioners suggest harnessing as much natural light as possible during the day. Open the curtains and blinds to let in as much natural light as possible…even if it is a grey day.
The latest Scandi lifestyle trends of Hygge (ultimate coziness) and Lykke (search for happiness) and Lagom (everything in moderation) espouse turning down the overhead lights in the evening to save money in favour of lighting candles and using fairy lights for ambience.
3) Essential Oil Diffusing
Diffusing essential oil provides an instant aromatic change credited with alleviating allergies, aiding sleep and reducing anxiety. Our favourite is Lavender as it supports positivity.
4) Four Ways Go Green with Plants
a) Herb Gardening Indoors
Imagine combining function with flavour for soothing teas, your favourite cuisine or to give as gifts. Home grown and home dried herbs are tastier and fresher than those bought commercially. They also provide an excellent source of improved oxygen for the home
Herbs require a minimum of 6 hours of full sun per day. Keep them near a window if they are grown indoors. If plants begin to grow tall and spindly, it is a sign of insufficient light.
b) Indoor Gardening with Tropicals
Plants beautify and improve the physical indoor environment. They also lower the overall toxicity level within your home. Plants provide oxygen that also helps to reduce blood pressure, improve focus and concentration and reduce stress. Tending plants improves both mental and emotional well-being. Plants help to filter noise levels and diffuse the brightness of lights. They are also totally trendy again! The trick to success with indoor gardening is matching the plants requirements to your living conditions. Gardening is all about putting the right plant in the right place. The following are the seven key things you need to succeed for happy houseplants:
Most tropicals need 12 hours of light a day. Generally speaking, the lighter the leaf colour, the greater the requirement for light. Variegated plants need more light than all green plants.
The only secret to successful watering lies in your ability to notice and respond to the signals of the plant. Water once a week during the winter.
Nighttime temperature is often too high. It should be 5 to 10 degrees lower at night. Avoid cold porches
Drainage & The Right Container
Plants can be grown in nearly any type of container as long as drainage holes release excess water.
Fertilize once a month during the growing season of March to October. Fertilizing is not necessary during the winter months as they need their period of hibernation…even though they are indoors. Any balanced fertilizer will do but a 20-20-20 formula is always a safe bet.
Check your plants for insects on a weekly basis. Keep them dust free. Remove dead leaves and flowers. Give a weekly quarter turn to encourage plant growth.
Minimal Care: Jade, Pothos, Philodendron, Cast Iron Plant, Cacti, Ivy, Ficus, Dieffenbachia, Kalanchoe, Spider, Succulents
Flowering: African Violet, Azalea, Begonia, Geraniums, Potted bulbs, Kalanchoe, Jasmine, Flowering Maple
Low Light & Easy Care: Ivy, Peace Lily, Fern, Chinese Evergreen
Best Oxygenators: Peace Lily, Snake Plant, English Ivy, Chinese Evergreen, Spider Plant, Fern, Rubber Plant, Money Plant
Sleep Enhancing: Snake Plant, Lavender, English Ivy, Spider, Gardenia, Aloe, Jasmine
Trendsetters: String of Pearls, Snake, Palm, Jade, Spider, Rubber, Aloe, Fiddle Leaf Fig, Succulents
Need Zero Light: Dracaena, Sansevieria, Bromeliad, Pothos, Palm, Philodendron
Positive Energy: Jasmine, Ivy, Aloe, Money Plant, Orchid
Terrariums are mini gardens encased in glass: the hottest trend to hit gardening in years!
· Sealed with a lid, the moist humidity creates a perfect environment for moisture loving plants like ferns, ivies and moss. Once planted, watered and sealed, your terrarium only requires a weekly misting. All you need to do is remove the lid every week for a few hours to provide ventilation. Do not place in direct sunlight. The chopstick is to allow you to poke holes in the soil from time to time and to manipulate the plant should the need arise.
· Open lidded terrariums are perfect for succulents and cacti.
d) Potted Bulbs and Cut Flowers
By mid January, flower shops and grocery shops are flooded with lovely pots of forced bulbs. They are way more than just eye candy in terms of improving scent and energy in your home.
Don’t wait until Valentine’s Day or Chinese New Year to treat yourself to the beauty of cut flowers and flowering branches. Improved energy is often about providing yourself with a botanical spirit-lifter!
Yet another trend converted by millenials from hippie-retro to hip! At Kate’s Garden, we use dried herbs and flowers to make smudging sticks. Burned for their aromatic smoke, they are often used as part of cleansing practices amongst numerous cultures. Our favourite recipe is lavender, rose and eucalyptus: calming, opening and inspiring.