As I type, my family is in the midst of a “big” move. Not because we’re moving far away – it’s only about twenty miles – but because we are dramatically downsizing our possessions and moving into an RV. A converted school bus to be exact. We’re calling it our “Homeschool Bus” because we’ll use it regularly to teach our four kids. Yes, we’re a little crazy, but mostly we’re itching for adventure and feel this is the proper next step in our journey to simplify our lives.
That said, this move involves getting rid of a lot of stuff (we’ve already downsized quite a bit, but you can imagine what’s necessary for this type of move) and it involves making sure the stuff we keep serves many purposes. Especially in the bathroom, where our space will be very limited.
Fortunately, this hasn’t been difficult because we figured out which bathroom items serve us best ages ago.
We’ve used liquid castile soap for years for a lot of everyday uses. However, a few months ago, we made our first batch of castile bar soap (why didn’t we start sooner?) and have since had an abundance of bar soap to use in our house. (I used the recipe I found here.) It’s been put to work for the following uses:
- Shampoo – Before switching to washing my hair only with water, I was just using the bar soap that we made to wash my hair. It lathered nicely, washed my hair well and left my scalp feeling very nice. We also use castile soap to wash the kids’ hair.
- Face Wash – I have sensitive, dry skin, but I can use castile soap to wash my face without the break outs I always used to have.
- Body Wash – This is a given, but I had to add it. :)
- Shaving – My husband loves using a brush and soap instead of shave cream. Castile soap bars work very nicely for this.
If you don’t like soap bars, you can also use liquid castile soap. We like unscented and add essential oils to get the scents we want. (Find liquid castile soap here.)
This wonderful oil isn’t just for cooking. We’ve found a number of uses for it around our house:
- Moisturizing – I actually like to whip 1/4 cup coconut oil with 2/3 cup shea butter for an awesome after shave moisturizer (for dry skin). But if I don’t have any whipped up, straight coconut oil works great to moisturize my skin.
- Eye Makeup Remover – Rub a little coconut oil on a cloth and rub eye makeup right off.
- Carrier Oil - Some essential oils are too strong to be used neat (applied straight to the skin) so you might want to add some to a carrier oil for a massage. Coconut oil is a great carrier oil to do this with.
We buy large tubs of coconut oil from Costco or our local natural health store buying club and take out what we need to stay in the bathroom. (Find high quality coconut oil online here.)
I use essential oils every day to simplify our healthcare. I also love that I can keep them all organized in a small box on our bathroom counter. Essential oils have a variety of uses, from healing to boosting the power of homemade household cleaners:
- Lavender – This calming essential oil is great to add to your bath or to put on your temples before bed. We have some in a roll-on bottle so our kids can apply their own after they brush their teeth at night. (Find pure lavender essential oil here.)
- Frankincense – This helps with stress (especially when mixed with lavender), helps with headaches (again, especially when mixed with lavender) and helps to reduce scarring. (Find pure frankincense essential oil here.)
- Wild Orange – This is a good degreaser and I just love the smell. I’ll dab some on my wrists for a natural perfume. (Find pure sweet orange essential oil here.)
- Melaleuca (Tea Tree) – This is a great anti-microbial essential oil and is great to add to cleaners you use in your bathroom. We also use it for treating ear infections. (Used it on myself the other day and my serious ear pain was gone after a few hours.) I’ve also used it for dabbing on acne – it goes away much faster. (Find pure tea tree essential oil here.)
Every house needs some healing ointment. (Learn how to make it here.) Especially one with lots of little kids, a husband who likes to work with his hands and a mama who’s a bit accident-prone. Here’s what we use it for:
- Diaper Rash – Someday we’ll be done with diapers. Until then, we deal with the occasional diaper rash. Healing ointment gets rid of it quickly (thank you coconut oil, herbs and essential oils!).
- First Aid – When someone gets hurt in our house, the protocol is to put mama’s healing balm on it. Have you seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding? We use healing balm like her dad uses Windex. Because it works! We use it for healing cuts and scrapes, soothing bruises and even as a moisturizer when someone forgets to refill the coconut oil.
- Shaving Nicks – Stop the bleeding and add a dab of healing ointment to make nicks heal quickly and stop hurting.
- Acne – I’ve found that through the many variations of healing ointment I made, they all do a great job at quickly getting rid of acne. Thank goodness!
These four items play a huge part in our everyday bath & beauty routine. So simple!
Do you have any multi-purpose bathroom essentials that weren’t listed?