Although I haven't written any Small Steps posts in forever, the philosophy of focusing on little things with the potential to make a big difference in how I feel and how my life/home functions worked exceptionally well for me in 2013, and I'm happily carrying it into how I approach life in 2014.
I've neglected to share a bunch of small steps I've taken lately, and wanted to share in case they inspire anyone else with a new way to improve your own life.
Today's small step: Oil Warmers
I'm blessed to have my own office at work, with my own heater (yay!). Unfortunately, the construction of the building and the heating system can lead to the circulation of a musty smell. That can be both distracting and discouraging, especially when you're already trying to contain the chaos of a deadline week and not snap at clients (who, once again, have answered an email without actually answering the critical question contained therein....).
Scented candles are great, but can quickly become an expensive habit - especially if you try to buy good ones and avoid the scary additives released by burning many of the cheaper ones.
So after much thought and some research, I opted for a porcelain oil warmer. (I bought a set of three so if I break one I've got a ready backup.) Research indicated that porcelain performs dramatically better than any of the other materials such warmers are often made of, and my own limited experience so far backs that up. A few drops of essential oil (pure, clean, healthy, and inexpensively purchased through suppliers like Vitacost) and a little bit of water and I can banish the mustiness from fill my office with a positive, soothing scent from a safe source.
That's it - simple and easy, but a huge improvement for my mental health on a daily basis!
Notes: Depending on the quality of yard sales/dollar stores/discount stores near you, warmers like these should be available for next to nothing in a variety of styles. If you're not allowed to have tea candles at work, you can also find electric versions of these.
A word of advice, however - stick to water and essential oils. While scented wax beads/bricks are perennially popular, they are much messier if spilled and much harder to clean!