13 Simple Tips to Declutter Your Home (And Keep it That Way)

Spring Cleaning should really be called Spring Decluttering. It’s the time of year where we are most motivated to go through everything on our homes with the sole purpose of having less stuff.

So often though, instead of getting rid of things that are no longer useful, you buy more organising boxes and just move the contents of old boxes into different boxes and make room for more things to go into boxes.

No more.

You and your family are going to declutter once and for all and more importantly maintain your uncluttered, more minimalist home.

Before we get to the DeclutterFest, we need to address the “hows and whys” that got us to this point of too much stuff in the first place.

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Emotional Baggage: Your Relationship With Stuff

We live in an era of abundance. Our standards of success are based on how much money you have and the stuff you spend it on. Many even resort to credit cards to keep up appearances.

The problem, besides spending money on things you don’t actually need, is the toll it will have on you mentally in your day to day life.

More stuff means more maintenance, which can be in the form of money to repair things like cars and appliances. It is also time maintenance- time spent cleaning stuff or moving stuff so you can clean underneath the stuff.

If you pare down your belongings to what fits your home, you can create a sense of calm. Spend less time cleaning and save money as well.

You and I know however, that getting rid of things comes with some emotional baggage that you may not address. Once things enter your home you tend to develop different associations with the things.

If you were able to buy something at a great price, you may have reservations getting rid of it after using it only twice because you got such a good deal.

The same is true if you spent a lot of money on an item. You may not want to get rid of it because of how expensive it was. So, you keep it in the back of the closet until enough time has passed that the sting of the cost doesn’t hurt anymore.

Then there’s gifts and inherited items.

Birthday’s, Mother’s Day, Christmas or Hanukkah all lead to a bunch of stuff entering your home that all needs a space. You may feel guilty for not liking an item but keep it in case the gift giver comes over.

Often we keep things we don’t like or use from family members that passed away because throwing away the item is like throwing them away. (Please realise your loved ones are not things and they would never want their things to become a burden to you).

If it’s something you do like, then that is what you should be using to decorate your home. For me it’s a lovely tea set that belonged to my grandparents. Once Penny is a little older and less destructive, I will start using it as well.

If you can come to terms with the reasons why you are keeping an item, deciding if you should keep it or let it go becomes easier.

Remind yourself that there’re only two types of things you should keep in your home. Things you love and things that are useful.

Keeping items for “just in case,” “maybe somedays,” or any of the reasons above just keeps you from really decluttering your home.

Why does a Messy House Bother Me? Consequences for Not Decluttering

Making a change and really decluttering can be so rewarding just from the calm that it brings to your home.

There are plenty of reasons that can cause you to not be as thorough as you should as mentioned above, but there are also several consequences if you don’t declutter.

Lost Time and Energy

How often do you think to yourself, if I had more time I could…? All the precious time and energy we spend in a day or week looking for items collectively could be enough time to read that story with your kids, get some exercise, take a class, phone a friend, etc.

If everything has a place, you don’t have to stress about finding the items and when a million things are already swirling in your head, not having to find things or help someone find things will be so good for your mental well-being.

Stressful Living Space

I noticed this with my kitchen.

I have a galley kitchen with one fabulous, long worktop, but I never had any space. It was always filled with food, mail, appliances, and junk that would just sit there. When it came time to clean I had to preclean by moving everything off, clean, and then move everything back.

My kitchen never felt clean. It stressed Lee out to the point where he had to say so. He would get so fed up that he would go on this crazy cleaning spree and put things away in places that made me crazy.

So I took decluttering seriously in my kitchen. I donated so many things and duplicate items, that I was able to put away everything on my worktop.

I suddenly had space and am happier making meals. Cleaning is a breeze as I just give the worktop a wipe. And most importantly, Lee and I both feel more relaxed when we are home.

Wasting Money

Not clearing out the clutter can affect your pocketbook.

In 2018 we spent £750 million pounds on self-storage and what’s worse is the amount of space we let has almost doubled in the last decade.

If we continue to keep things that don’t add value to our lives we risk spending hard earned money storing the excess.

Even it you don’t require a storage space, chances are you buy boxes and containers for organising all of your things. You put those containers in a shed or loft and go through them the next time you spring clean in which time you accumulated more things and need to buy more containers.

If you don’t declutter you also risk wasting money buying duplicate items because you can’t find what you are looking for, but still need it.

If your items aren’t stored properly then you risk damaging your items that you may or may not take the time and money to fix or again have to replace.

Hopefully you are now convinced as to why decluttering is so good for your and your family’s well-being and budget.

Now that we are mentally prepared for the task ahead, here are the tips to get you going.

7 Tips for Decluttering Your Home

Decluttering won’t happen overnight as your clutter took some time to accumulate, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do it all in one weekend.

You May Also Be Interested In: 3 Ways to Avoid Decluttering Burnout.

1. How Do I Start Decluttering? First, Decide on the Method of Decluttering and Set Goals

Are you going to declutter by category Marie Kondo-style? Starting with all the clothes, then books and papers, etc.

Are you going to go room by room? Will you start with the easiest room so you feel success quickly and use it as motivation? Or will you tackle the hardest room while you are feeling fresh and motivated to start?

Will you start with just one drawer or cupboard at a time?

Once you have a plan for decluttering it’s a lot easier to stay the course as you can see the progress by finishing a category or finishing a room.

Have some goals for what you want each room to look like. This may mean making a vision board with picture examples of rooms and organising styles. This can be a fun task to do as a family and see how everyone envisions each room-particularly their own.

Discuss how it will make each of you feel to give your home this type of makeover. Will you feel calmer? Happier? Less Stressed?

Having the visual gives you a concrete example to aim for and is a reminder for why you all are doing this in the first place.

2. Get Your Family Involved

This is not a one-person task. If you live in the house, then it’s your job to help maintain it.

Full Stop.

Everyone in your home has stuff to call their own and should take responsibility as to whether they want to keep said stuff.

Olivia is 3 and she has no problem telling me which clothes she likes and the ones she doesn’t. If I wasn’t saving things for Penny, she would have no problem deciding what to get rid of.

Toys are a different story and I do have to sort through those myself but older kids are capable of choosing what toys to keep and what to donate.

By instilling the value of less in your children, the easier it will be to maintain a decluttered home as they get older.

3. How to Declutter Your Clothes and Wardrobe: Turn it Backwards

If you have someone more reluctant to get rid of their things, (like Lee) leave them alone and lead by example. Take this as the moment you remove the pressure of remembering where his things are. Chances are when he sees the rest of the house (and has to be responsible for his own things), he will be more motivated to follow suit.

Something to help them along (eventually) is to turn their hangers backwards. When an item is worn it gets washed and rehung properly. After a few months, you can then see which items were worn by looking at the hangers.  I did this for Lee six months ago and this way he will be able to see what he really does wear when he decides to have a clear out.

If your clothing is in drawers, use some cardboard to make a dividing strip the width of the drawer. As items get worn replace them in front of the divider. After a few months, anything behind the divider will indicate what hasn’t been worn. This is easier if items are folded vertically, Marie Kondo-style.

This can be done with books on a shelf as well. Turn the spine towards the back of the shelf. After a set amount time has passed they haven’t been pulled out and put back properly, then it’s time to let them go and let someone have the chance to read the books. If there are books you just can’t part with but don’t plan on reading any time soon (the next year or more) consider making them a paper cover and use them as decorations in your home.

4. How do I Keep My Motivation When Decluttering? Make it Fun!

Make an upbeat playlist with everyone’s favourite songs and play it. Singing along helps make mundane tasks go faster even if you take a timeout to dance a bit, too.

If your kids are a bit older than mine, you can make it a game. Set a timer and see who can go through their things the fastest. The winner can choose a game for family game night or a film for family movie night later that day. The timer also pushes you to make decisions for what to keep and what to get rid of as you won’t have as much time to debate with yourself.

As the saying goes, many hands make light work and it also makes a tedious task more entertaining.

At Christmas time my mom hosts our Christmas Meal for about 30 people. No one wants to clean that mess alone, and yet cleaning up the kitchen is one of the most fun and memorable parts of the evening. Why?

We get a dance playlist and we sing, dance, and laugh the entire time. It takes maybe 30 minutes to get all that washing up, drying, and putting away done.

5. What do you do with your stuff during and after decluttering? Make 4 Piles!

This will make it easier to organise and easy to see progress.

Keep Pile

All the things you love or have a useful purpose.

Sell Pile

Give your kids the opportunity to keep the earnings from their items that sell.

Depending on the item you can sell on Ebay and Gumtree. I have the most success on Facebook Market Place by selling in local groups in my area.

If you are selling higher end clothes or shoes, you can try Vinted.co.uk. You can sell cheaper clothes, too but the chances of getting a buyer are lower and you have to store the items while you wait to make a pound.

If you have a lot of baby and toddler items and toys, consider a Mum2Mum market. Mums sell good quality toys, clothes, and baby gear to mums who are looking for those things.

Donate Pile

Choose a charity you would like to donate to and donate things that are clean and in good condition.

A charity is not a tip, so don’t donate anything in a condition you wouldn’t buy yourself.

Another way to get rid of things quickly is to give them away at an online sales site or a site like ilovefreegle.org or freecycle.org that way you can be sure your item is going to someone that wants and can use your item.

Tip Pile

Not the bin pile, the tip pile. Items that are broken beyond repair can go to the tip and be separated by category to be recycled.

If you throw things in the bin then they will go to a landfill.

Don’t create waste when you don’t have to.

Check if your tip has a drop of for books, DVDs and CDs which are items that aren’t always picked up by charities if you decide to wait for the bags in the post.

If you have worn or stained clothes and linens you can’t repurpose or shoes beyond repair you can drop them off at H&M or Schuh for them to be recycled.

Whatever can’t be recycled can then go into the general waste bin at the tip.

You May Also Be Interesed In: 4 Step Beginner’s Guide to Zero Waste

6. How Should I Organise My Stuff? Put Like Items together.

As you begin sorting try to put all the same type of items in one place. Instead of having crayons in one place, drawing paper in another and scissors over in a drawer, markers over at the desk, find a designated space for “art supplies.” Putting like items together makes them easier to find and easier to put away.

Keeping everyone’s books on one bookcase as opposed to the kids books are over there, your books are over here, etc.

If you organise like things together you may do so in a way that allows you to get rid of furniture and storage containers as well.

Once I reduced some items in my home and then began arranging them better, I was able to donate a large wooden chest and a cabinet that was in my alcove. The space they freed up made my bedroom and front room feel so spacious.

7. Store Everything in a Pretty and Accessible Way

I think Marie Kondo nailed this one with storing items vertically and making things look as attractive as possible.

There is nothing like opening a drawer and seeing it look pretty and organised. Everything becomes easier to see and easier to find and most importantly-easy to get.

Storing items vertically makes things in the kitchen and your wardrobe easier to access as you don’t have to move anything to get what you want, you just pluck it out.

Just take a look at my kitchen cabinet before I went vertical. Getting anything was such a pain before and now I don’t even think, I just grab what I need and keep going.

6 Tips for Maintaining Your Clutter-Free Home

Once you get your home to a state of happiness where everything is clean and put away you then have the task of maintaining it for the long haul.

This is so important though because maintaining is so much easier than starting over.

1. Set Expectations as a Family

Everyone should be on the same page. You all worked hard to make sure everything has a place and it should be everyone’s job to keep it that way.

Everyone lives at home and it is everyone’s job at maintaining it, not just mum’s. Whether you tie allowance to this or not is up to you, but at some point the kids grow up and move out and they won’t be paid to maintain their own home.

If you make keeping the house tidy part of their routine, like brushing their teeth before bed, it will be easier for them to maintain a tidy home of their own into adulthood.

It also doesn’t matter who works and who doesn’t, all the adults in the house need to pull their weight and put away their own things.

2. Do chores as a Family

Washing the dishes, or folding laundry isn’t as tedious when there is someone to help you.

I am lucky that Lee doesn’t mind washing dishes but hates drying and putting them away. I don’t mind the drying and putting away so getting the kitchen cleaned up for us becomes less of a chore and more like quality time (gasp!).

Olivia is 3 and Penny is 21 months and this is not too young to have them help around the house, in fact, the younger you start letting your kids help (when they think it’s fun) the more likely they will continue when they are older.

Both girls know to put their cereal bowls in the sink in the morning as well as other cups and plates throughout the day. They also help with laundry, putting the wash into the tumble dryer or helping me hang clothes to dry.

Olivia loves to help fold laundry and has developed her own technique of rolling everything. It’s a funny way to store my kitchen towels but in the end I don’t care because she enjoys it and redoing her work would mean more work for me and undermines her. And nothing will kill someone’s drive to help out than by telling them they’re doing it wrong.

3. The One Touch Rule

Make it a rule to only touch an item once. That means if you have a coat, you hang it up where it should go right away. Don’t hang it on a chair and then move it to the stairs and then take it up and hang it in the wardrobe. The constant shuffling of things wastes time and mental energy.

This goes for things like daily mail, used dinner boxes and water bottles from the day, school papers, etc. Get items to the right place and dealt with straight away so you only have to think about it once.

4. Everything Should Always Have a Home.

If you find that you are using your cleared worktops and tables for storage, chances are the items on it don’t have a space of their own; backpacks, keys, mail, etc.

Everything should always have it’s own spot and if not, you need to create one.

If a birthday rolls around and gifts are received it may mean you have to clear out old stuff to make room for new. Things like kids toys should be sorted out often so they always fit in their respective spaces.

Keeping things to a minimum is also good for your kids’ brain power because the less choices they have, the easier it is for them to choose what to play with.

You May Also Enjoy Reading: 7 Benefits of Embracing Minimalism as a Family

5. Always Leave a Room Cleaner Than You Found It.

Whether you put a couple of toys away, fluff a few pillows or carry clean laundry upstairs, by straightening up a little bit here and there, you will maintain a clean home.

If someone in the family uses a cup or dish, it should be in the sink (possibly washed) before moving on to the next activity. No one should go up or down stairs without carrying something to put away and then following through.

It will take a few weeks to ingrain all of this as habit, but it will be worth it in the end so don’t give up!

6. Practice Gratitude

Making note of all the things you have and are grateful for can also change the way you look at stuff. You are less likely to “need” new things because you realise all the things you do have. You realise all the things you really need and use regularly. And most importantly you will see that every new item that comes into your home will need a space of its own and will need care and maintenance.

Are you ready to accept more into your home after you’ve decluttered it?

According to a Harvard University study, kids are not affected by the practice of gratitude until they are emotionally mature, but this doesn’t mean it can’t become a habit that suddenly has meaning when they get to that point.

This does not have to be a long drawn out activity. Just jot down a couple things a day in a journal or share some things at mealtimes.

Once the Decluttering is Done

Once the decluttering process is done, Spring Cleaning (and even just regular cleaning) becomes a breeze because there is less stuff to wash and move around your home.

You will find your home is more relaxing and there will be a sense of calm you feel that you may not have had before. With everyone in your house doing their part, you will gain time as a family to do more fun, spontaneous things because the housework is done.

Did you have a lot of difficult decisions or was it an easy process? Do you discover any emotional baggage with any items? Let me know how your DeclutterFest goes in the comments below.

The TWO Best DIY Body Butter Recipes

Your skin is your body’s largest organ. It is also directly exposed to nasty chemicals from the air and the products you use every day.

While you can’t control everything you are exposed to in the environment, you are in control of what goes in your body-in terms of food and beverages-and in this case, on your body.

These homemade body butter recipes not only leave your skin moisturised, but absorbs in a couple minutes, lasts for ages, and smells yummy, too!

So, let’s get to it!

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Here’s some things you’ll need to know when you shop for your ingredients.

When shopping for your ingredients you want to look for certain qualities so you get the best for you (and the planet).

Unrefined

You want your ingredients to be pure. Refined ingredients can be treated with petroleum, cut with other oils, or heated which destroys many of the beneficial properties. This also includes no hexanes which is a crude oil chemical used to extract oils using heat from seeds.

Cold-Pressed

Since heat destroys some of the goodness in the oils and butters (this is true with food as well), you want to look for cold-pressed products as the method ensures no heat applied.

Organic

Organic means there will be lower levels of manufactured pesticides, herbicides and no artificial fertilisers. Look for the Soil Association certification. See below.

Soil Association

The Soil Association was formed by farmers that recognised the connection between farming practices and the health of the planet. The association is a well known certifier of organic farming practices for food, textiles, and beauty ingredients.

Cruelty-Free

There is really no need for animal testing for these products so choosing an ethical brand that doesn’t test on animals is just good practice, good for animals and good for the planet.

Sustainble Palm Oil

Palm oil is under fire for destroying the rainforests, but the truth is the ratio of land use to the amount of oil produced is better than other options out there. So instead of boycotting palm oil completely, look for the label to say sustainably sourced.

Fair Trade

Fair trade means that the company is doing its part to combat poverty by supporting workers in other countries. This can mean sustainable practices or providing a living wage. It gives the workers from developing countries a larger say in their exports to developed countries. You may see stamps like the Certified B Corporation, The British Association for Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS), World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), Fairtrade Certified, Fair Wear Foundation, or Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP).

Packaging

While in an ideal world everything would be in a recyclable container that isn’t single-use plastic, it is hard to come by. Do the best you can.

When it comes to oils however, there are some things you do need to look for and are important.

Your oils should be in glass and not just any glass- dark glass. Oils are susceptible to damage from light so having a dark glass bottle helps along with storing the bottles in a cool, dark place like a cupboard or fridge. Depending on the oils they can also break down plastic and absorb nasties, so glass is the way to go.

The only oils I struggle finding in glass are some of the carrier oils like grape seed because I use so much and buy big bottles.

I know this is a lot to think about and not every product will be able to tick every box. Do the best you can, and you will decide which features are most important to you. The cold-pressed and unrefined should be non-negotiables and the others are bonuses.

Now to round up your ingredients for your body butter.

You will need the butters and carrier oils of your choosing, coconut oil and some essential oils for fragrance. For my recipes I use Shea butter or a mix of Shea and Cocoa butter.

Here are some choices you have when it comes to butters and carrier oils. You can tweak my recipe by interchanging the ingredients you want based on your needs.

Moisturising Butters

Shea Butter*

Shea Butter comes from the Shea tree in Ghanna and is actually an edible butter. It is rich in vitamins A, E, and F and is thought to have anti-inflamatory, and anti-aging properties. Shea butter contains several fatty acids and plant sterols including oleic, stearic, palmitic and linolenic acids which is important when it comes to melting as you will see in the trouble shooting tips below.

Shea butter can be used in hair, skin, and lip balm recipes.

While shea butter isn’t usually listed as an allergen and isn’t regarded as posing a threat, it is technically a tree nut, so if you have a nut allergy it is worth doing a patch test before using shea butter.

Apply a small amount to the inside of your wrist and wrap it up so it won’t wash off. Leave for 48 hours. If there is no reaction you are good to go. If you react at any time in the 48 hours, rinse off the butter with soap and warm water and call your GP for further advice.

Cacao/Cocoa Butter

Cacao butter comes from cacao beans that grow on tropical evergreen trees in South America. Purchasing it in chips or drops helps as this is a very hard butter. Cocoa butter has a high amount of oleic acid as well as stearic and palmitic acid. It is also packed with antioxidants giving it a longer shelf life.

 

Cacao butter is good for skin products and soaps as well as for baking.

Mango Butter

Mango butter is extracted from the seeds of the mango but is harder to find unrefined. It contains higher levels of vitamins A and E than shea butter as well as some vitamin C. Mango butter also has oleic and stearic acids.

Mango Butter is good for body care recipes and for soap making. It can be used in small amounts for hair products as well but can leave your hair heavy as it is super oily.

There are many other butters out there; more exotic ones that are often sourced from the Amazon. I haven’t tried them yet as 1. they are more expensive and 2. are they a sustainable option? Seems I have some more research to do!

Carrier Oils (aka Base Oils)

Carrier oils are the oils that you use to dilute your essential oils. On their own they have some pretty amazing benefits as well. I don’t use all of these in my recipes but have listed some of the more popular ones and you can decide for yourself which ones you would like to use if you want to change up the recipes.

The top three in the list are the ones I keep stocked in my cupboard and it is worth noting that Sweet Almond Oil and Argan Oil are tree nut oils and should be avoided if you have a nut allergy.

If you are prone to skin allergies or have a nut allergy, do a skin patch test before using any new oils or butters to be sure.

Put a small amount on the inside of your wrist. Cover the oil with a cloth bandage and don’t rinse for 48 hours. If there is no reaction you are good to go. If you have a reaction or discomfort before then, rinse immediately with soap and water and seek further advice from your GP.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil comes from the seed of the jojoba shrub that is native to semi-arid regions of southern California, Arizona, and the northwest of Mexico.

Jojoba is actually a wax and its composition leads to a long shelf life. It contains a large amount of monounsaturated fatty acids (particularly gadoleic acid) which are great at helping your skin maintain moisture. (Do NOT ingest jojoba oil though as it is high in erucic acid which can lead to heart damage)

Jojoba oil also contains beneficial ingredients like vitamins E and B complex.

The oil itself is fast absorbing and works for all skin types as it won’t block your pores.

I currently use jojoba oil as makeup remover and love it.

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is typically a secondary product created by the wine industry made from the discarded seeds. Grapeseed oil also contains high amounts of fatty acids (especially linoleic acid) which help your skin maintain moisture.

Grapeseed oil also has a higher amount of vitamin E than olive oil and has been found to improve skin’s moisture and elasticity making it a good choice for mature and dry skin. It can be used as a face moisturiser for oily skin without worsening acne. It’s a light and easily absorbed oil which is one reason I like it.

I love grapeseed oil and use it as a moisturiser for my face as well as an ingredient for my homemade body butter.

Rosehip Oil

Rosehip oil comes from a rose bush grown mainly in Chile. The oil is pressed from the fruit and seeds. Rosehip oil is high in fatty acids (especially linoleic and linolenic acids) which help your skin maintain moisture.

Rosehip oil is also high in vitamin A and C which promote skin turnover and regeneration. The texture is smooth and light and a little bit goes a long way.

Rosehip oil has a shorter shelf life so don’t buy huge bottles unless you can use it quickly.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is made by pressing the whole fruit from olive trees traditionally from the Mediterranean region. Olive oil is also high in fatty acids (especially oleic acid) which help maintain skins moisture. Be sure to get unrefined, cold pressed olive oil. Refined oils in the cooking aisle are often mixed with other oils like rapeseed oil.

I’ve only recently started to use this in my skin care, however whenever my girls or I bump our face, I grab some olive oil and rub it on the spot as it will keep the bump from turning purple. My Sicilian grandmother did this for my mom and my mom did it to us, so I guess subconsciously I did know it was good for skin.

My aunt was kind enough to share that olive oil makes a lovely personal lubricant as well. Ahhh! I did check that olive oil is safe for sex but it will break your latex condoms so don’t use it with condoms.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil was originally created for cosmetic use but is also edible. It is made from the actual fruit of the avocado and when cold pressed will be the colour of the fruit.

Avocado is also high in fatty acids (especially oleic acid) and vitamin E. Avocado oil is great for skin care because of how fast and easily absorbed it is into the skin.

Studies have been done on avocado oil and show it can treat skin wounds. Had I known this I would have tried it on my c-section scar.

It is good for treating anything from dry skin to helping with acne as well.

Avocado oil is good to have on hand for after-sun care as well.

Sweet Almond Oil*

Sweet almond oil comes from a tree originating in Iran but California is now the largest producer. Almond oil like the previous oils are full of fatty acids and is also contains vitamins E and A making it a good choice for a variety of skin types and a very common oil in massage therapy.

Sweet almond oil is great for skin and nails and has antifungal properties that can help with athlete’s foot and ringworm.

If you have a nut allergy do not use sweet almond oil. If you are unsure do a small patch test on your wrist. Cover it for 48 hours and then check. If there is no reaction you are good to go.

Apricot Kernal Oil

Apricot kernel oil is pressed from the pit of the apricot. The oil is rich in oleic and linoleic acids which helps your skin maintain moisture. It also contains vitamins A, C, and E. Apricot kernel oil is a good substitute for sweet almond oil if you have a nut allergy.

Despite coming from apricots the oil is not edible so don’t eat or cook with it.

Apricot kernel oil can be used for skin and hair and is suitable for all types of skin.

Argan Oil*

Argan oil comes from the nut of the argan tree that grows in Morocco where it is often used for cooking and dipping. It is full of fatty acids (especially oleic and linoleic) which are helpful in maintaining your skin’s moisture. (Are we tired of hearing that, yet??) It also contains vitamin E as well as having anti-inflammatory properties.

You will probably notice that it is an especially popular oil for hair care products, but can possibly have beneficial effects on the skin like increasing elasticity.

While allergies to argan oil aren’t common, if you have a nut allergy you will want to do a patch test as well. Put a small amount on your wrist and cover for 48 hours. No reaction means you are good to go.

*Considered to be tree nut oils and should be avoided by those with tree nut allergies

There are plenty more carrier oils out there but these are ones that are easily available and offer a good starting point as you experiment as they aren’t too expensive.

Additional Ingredients

Coconut Oil*

Coconut oil is also considered a tree nut and the oil is taken from the meat of the coconut. It is often used in baking and cooking but is really high in saturated fat which is what makes it slow to go rancid. On the flip side this helps your homemade beauty products from going rancid as well.

When used on your skin it is can be helpful as a moisturiser as well as reducing symptoms of eczema. I personally did not find it helpful, but when you have eczema or dermatitis you are willing to give anything a shot to see if it works and just because it didn’t help me doesn’t mean someone else isn’t benefitting from it.

Look for virgin, unrefined, cold-pressed coconut oil.

*If you have a nut allergy you will want to avoid using coconut oil in your skin care routine.

Vitamin E Oil

In our body butter we are using vitamin E oil for the antioxidant effects. It is not a preservative, but in recipes with no water, a small amount of the oil lengthens the shelf life of your butter and keeps your product from going rancid from oxidation (exposure to air).

Essential Oils

Essential oils are very high concentration oils and can have negative effects on your skin from bad reactions leading to an allergy, to contact dermatitis. When adding essential oils stick to a 1g per every 100g of carrier oils and butters this is 1%.

Because of their concentrations do not apply essential oils directly to your skin. And please, do not ingest essential oils.

Some essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy in the first trimester but there is plenty of conflicting information on the internet, so do your due diligence if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

From my research, Lavender oil is fine to use in pregnancy when used as directed and since I felt relaxing would be good while I was pregnant, this was the only scent I used.

Trouble Shooting

Making your own body butter is just about following a recipe. But can I tell you how many times I followed a recipe to have it turn out awful?

Plenty!

But you know what? The recipe may have been a turd but I always had the option to try again and fix it and you always have that option as well.

Things happen and can change the consistency or smells of your body butter or any homemade product.

If it is your first time making body butter, you can cut the recipe in half and make a smaller batch so you don’t waste your ingredients (and money) while discovering what works best for you.

So, here are the most common problems you may encounter and ways to fix them.

My body butter is too hard.

Your body butter can get hard and turn almost solid if it is stored in a cold environment. One way to fix this is to remelt your butter and let it reset.

You can also change the ratio of your butter and carrier oils from an 80/20 ratio to a 70/30 if the storage environment is usually cold.

My body butter is too melty.

If your body butter is too melty consider storing it in your fridge.

You can also try to remake the butter using a 90/10 ratio of butter to carrier oil as opposed to an 80/20.

My body butter is too grainy or gritty.

I’ve only had this happen once in the almost 7 years of making it, but the culprit was my shea butter. Shea butter contains oleic, stearic, palmitic and linolenic acids which all have different melting points. Stearic acid taking the longest to melt.

This means a couple of things: first it could mean that during the double-boiler step if the shea butter wasn’t melted long enough the grains of stearic acid may not have had enough time to get warm enough to melt.

You can fix this by remelting your body butter gently (the essential oils are susceptible losing their benefits to heat) either again in a double boiler or on a reduced power in 15 second intervals in your microwave.

Alternatively, if your body butter is stored in an area where the temperature fluctuates enough to melt the butter and then it firms back up, this can also cause the grainy texture.

If your body butter doesn’t stay firm at room temperature, remelt your butter and then consider storing it in the fridge.

Tools for making body butter

Before you begin it’s important to make sure you have not only the ingredients but the right tools as well.

Kitchen Scale

Even if you choose not to use my recipe, don’t ever use a recipe that measures in anything but weight as you won’t get a consistent body butter from one occasion to the next.

Double boiler, aka a sauce pot and a mixing bowl

You can get an actual double boiler, but to save yourself money and additional storage space, you can easily use a saucepan and bowl in your cupboard.

Silicone spatula

The silicone spatula makes getting your body butter out of the bowl and into the jar easily without leaving any behind. It also won’t break down like plastic and is easier to clean than a wooden utensils.

Glass Jar for Storage

Look for one with a seal. You can always reuse containers from previously purchased body butters as well but they might not create as good a seal which may affect the shelf life of your recipe.

Hand, Stick, or Stand mixer

If you want your body butter to be whipped you will need a mixer. You could let your body butter solidify on it’s own or in the fridge and it will be more of a balm. I have done this before and it works just as well. You just need a little more pressure to scoop out what you need than you would with the whipped version.

Pregnancy Bump Butter Recipe

This is the recipe I used during both of my pregnancies and even getting huge the second time from gestational diabetes, I did not get stretch marks in either pregnancy. (My mom and sis both got stretch marks during their pregnancies, so I had mentally prepared myself for getting them figuring it was hereditary).

I applied the butter after showering and whenever my stomach got itchy or felt tight. I put some in a small jar that I could keep in my purse when I was out so I always had some to rub on. I can’t say that this is the sole reason for not getting stretch marks but I would like to believe it helped.

Shea Butter 200g

Coconut Oil 100g

Grapeseed or Jojoba Oil 50g

Rosehip Oil 35g

Vitamin E Oil 4g

Lavender Essential Oil 1-2g (approx. 20-25 drops is 1g)

Melt the Shea Butter and Coconut Oil in a double boiler. When everything is melted, turn the heat low and let it continue to melt another 5-10 minutes. Give it a stir.

Let the butters cool for 30 minutes.

Add the carrier oils and essential oils to the butters and give it a stir.

Let the mixture continue to cool and almost solidify- you can speed up the process in the fridge.

Once the mix is almost solid give it a mix with your mixer until you have a whipped consistency.

Use your silicone scraper to scoop your body butter into your glass jar.

Enjoy your body butter for the next 6-9 months.

Every Day Body Butter Recipe

Now that I am not pregnant, I try different ingredients and have found this combination has been great at keeping my skin moisturised during the colder months.

Shea Butter 200g

Cocoa Butter 100g

Coconut Oil 100g

Grapeseed Oil 40g

Olive Oil 35g

Rosehip Oil 20g

Vitamin E Oil 5g

Essential Oils 1-2g (approx. 20-25 drops in 1g) I like lavender and ylang ylang.

Melt the Butters and Coconut Oil in a double boiler. When everything is melted, turn the heat low and let it continue to melt another 5-10 minutes. Give it a stir.

Let the butters cool for 30 minutes.

Add the carrier oils and essential oils to the butters and give it a stir.

Let the mixture continue to cool and almost solidify- you can speed up the process in the fridge.

Once the mix is almost solid give it a mix with your mixer until you have a whipped consistency.

Use your silicone scraper to scoop your body butter into your glass jar.

Enjoy your body butter for the next 6-9 months.

To use: Scoop out the desired amount with clean dry hands, or a spoon. Let the butter melt with your body heat and apply to the desired areas.

 

I hope you try making your own body butter and love it as much as I do. Let me know any fun scents you come up with in the comments below.