When the KonMari craze of the 2010s blew up, it felt like everyone was swept away in a world of decluttering and asking ourselves whether or not an item “sparked joy.”
Ever since Marie Kondo’s fame hit massive heights, the United States seems to have entered a sort of Clean Revolution, with the inception of The Container Store, Netflix’s The Home Edit, and, my personal favorite, the rise of the Cleanfluencer.
A Cleanfluencer’s home is almost always bright, light, and white, with natural green elements. Their DIY sprays are kept in brown glass spray bottles and their beds are always made (at least, on Instagram). It’s the type of house that would make Marie Kondo proud, and everyone else drool with envy.
Partaking in my usual scroll of the ‘gram, I stopped one evening on a video of one of my favorite Cleanfluencers and stared with my usual KonMari-wannabe envy. After several minutes passed by, an idea dawned on me—a new challenge that I just couldn’t pass up.
For one month, I’d try to have it all. For one month, I’d make it my goal to embody the life of a Cleanfluencer.
One month out, I’ve grown and learned a lot—finding some aspects more challenging than expected and others easier than I could have imagined. While following a Cleanfluencer for a month provided me with so many valuable takeaways, I’ve saved the best for you. Read on to discover my key takeaways from a month of following the advice of Cleanfluencer, @mama_mila_au.
About Cleanfluencer Chantel Mila
I’ve been following Australian-based Cleanfluencer, Chantel Mila—@mama_mila_au on Instagram—for a while now, always saving her tips and tricks, but never putting them into action. My favorite thing about Mila is that her methods are simple, accessible, and affordable to the everyday homeowner or renter—compared to Cleanfluencers who tout special products that cost a fortune. Knowing I’d be able to actually take her advice to heart without breaking the budget, I started to follow her advice to transform the way I think about cleaning. Here are my key takeaways:
Always Make Your Bed
While Mila may never have explicitly stated this mantra, it’s infused throughout many of her posts. With so many posts teaching you how to get the perfect wrinkle free sheets to how to fluff your pillows like a pro, Mila makes it almost irresistible to give those bed-making hacks a try.
Making a bed, in Mila’s mind, is a sacred process. Sprinkling baking soda mixed with a drop of essential oils on top of the bed to deodorize, she then vacuums her mattress before putting on the softest sheets you’ll ever use by her signature fluffing dryer combination. The final element, according to Mila, is always to add neutral, decorative pillows and a throw at the bottom of the bed for the finishing touch.
You Don’t Need To Be A Cleanfluencer To Fold Like A Pro
My grandmother was the queen of folding, and I always assumed that I would never have that gift. Since then, Mila has inspired me to learn how to give it a try, only to discover how easy those complex-looking folds turned out to be. Using her space-saving spa towel roll method, I’ve now transformed myself into a folding pro and conveniently store my towels in this spa roll method.
Beyond towels, I also learned how to fold fitted sheets and keep my space tidier and more organized as a whole.
The Smell Of Your Space Matters
Growing up in a household where my mom was allergic to nearly every scent, I never learned the power of smell. Now, living on my own, it’s refreshing to make my space smell exactly how I want.
In order to keep odors out of musty spaces like closets and bathrooms, Mila suggests adding uncooked rice and a few drops of essential oil into a daisy cut mason jar or a satchel to help absorb the moisture and keep the air smelling fresher. For my air freshener, I combined uncooked rice with lavender oil, placing it in a mason jar with holes made from nails.
Another Mila-inspired suggestion is to use spent coffee grounds and a splash of vanilla extract and boil it on the stovetop to transform your house into the rich, deep scent of freshly brewed coffee.
You Already Have The Majority Of Cleaning Supplies You Need
Quite possibly my biggest takeaway was the realization that the majority of cleaning supplies were already in my pantry. Trying to be eco-friendly and also keep a clean space has always been a struggle for me, given all the harmful chemicals found in everyday cleaning supplies that drain into our water systems and soil, not even to mention the sheer amount of plastic. Mila, however, uses almost entirely naturally DIY recipes of a combination of lemon juice, white vinegar, dish soap, and baking soda, all of which I have right in my pantry.
While Mila has many DIY cleaning “recipes,” a few of my favorites that are now a part of my everyday cleaning routine include:
- Buffing baby oil into a clean sink to keep its shine longer
- Unclog drains with ¼ cup baking soda followed by white vinegar, then flush with hot water
- Cleaning grease off stovetops by soaking the grates in dish soap, putting the burners in a combination of baking soda and water for thirty minutes, and then spraying white vinegar and lemon juice on the stovetop itself for a bright, clean shine
By devoting just a few moments every day, I was able to stay on top of the majority of my clutter and keep my space feeling fresh and bright. Most importantly, the cleaning ‘products’ that I used (i.e. lots of baking soda) were far more environmentally-friendly than conventional cleaning products, and left my appliances even brighter than I expected.
If you’re feeling uninspired, consider this your wake up call to grab your baking soda, some essential oils, and white vinegar, and ‘cleanfluence’ your life.
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Photo: Dana Drosdick