9 Habits of People With Homes that Are Always Organized

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Sometimes it is too easy for the home to get cluttered, and it can be even easier for us to get seriously overwhelmed and panicked.  But thankfully, there are some easy habits that people with organized homes do that we can implement ourselves. So try them out and let us know what you think!

 

1.) Make a To-Do List

 

By having a cleaning list of regular cleaning and organizing tasks, you will be able to stay on track and reduce the chances of forgetting all of the things that need to be done. But if you’re not a fan of creating paper lists, you can find list-making apps to help keep you on track.

 

2.) Never Leave a Room Empty-Handed

 

This one is key to maintaining tidy rooms. As you go around the house, pick up anything that doesn’t belong and carry a laundry basket with you if there’s a lot to be picked up.

 

3.) Don’t Procrastinate

 

This is probably the easiest thing to do, but letting all those chores build-up creates even more resentment when doing them. Therefore find the best time weekly or daily to clean and stick to it. Creating a routine will help keep you from procrastinating and maintain a more organized home.

Quick Note!

Hey, also want to know the 8 habits of people who have clean homes? Click here to check them out!

 

4.) Keep the Floors Clean

 

A tidy and organized home doesn’t have things strewn about the floor. So to keep things tidy, find a place for your things instead of throwing them on the floor.

 

5.) Load the Dishwasher Overnight

 

One of the best parts of waking up in the morning is waking up to a sink empty of dirty dishes, am I right? So load the dishwasher before bedtime so you have clean dishes to use in the morning.

6.) Don’t Let Spills Linger

It may be easy to just let the crumbs or liquids dropped from dinner sit around, but make sure to clean them up as quickly as possible. Cleaning these spills immediately will help keep your home looking tidier.

 

7.) Keep Cleaning Supplies Handy

 

Instead of wasting time looking for your cleaning supplies, keep them all in a caddy together under the sink. This will make it easier to grab your supplies and get cleaning.

 

8.) Clean Your Fridge Weekly

 

Cleaning your fridge weekly will reduce clutter, leave room for groceries, and reduce the likelihood of having a stinky odor. So what’s the best time of the week to clean your fridge? The day before trash day.

 

9.) Don’t Hang Onto Garbage

 

If you throw out those old receipts, boxes, and junk mail immediately, you’ll be able to reduce garbage and stop the buildup of clutter.

If you struggle with feeling overwhelmed with keeping the home clean, then you definitely need to implement these habits. So feel free to try them out and let me know what you think!

Simple Tips to Declutter Your Home

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Before you dive right in, figure out what your decluttering goal is. Do you merely want to get rid of visible mess, or do you want to create entirely new household organizational systems to use going forward? Knowing what your end goal is can help you prioritize tasks and figure out your next steps are.

Another trick to kickstart your decluttering? Start with what you feel is the easiest room first. For example, if you know you need to do an overhaul of your entire wardrobe, don’t tackle your bedroom and closet first. If you begin with a simpler decluttering job — say, cleaning out and reorganizing your spice rack or that beautiful junk drawer— it can empower and motivate you to tackle bigger decluttering projects.

The Best Way to Tackle a Cluttered Room

As you get ready to start the decluttering process, it helps to have a system in place that you can use as you clean and reorganize. One super simple, straightforward option is the “Four-Box Method” — using four boxes or storage bins, you can streamline your decluttering job. Here’s a breakdown of how just four boxes can make tackling a cluttered room a breeze.

Box 1: Trash

The first box will be your designated trash dump. Any items you want to get rid of that aren’t worth donating or selling go here.

Box 2: Give Away/Sell

Next, designate a box for items that are still in OK condition, but that your household could do without — like old books or toys, for example. Whether you want to give these things away to family/friends, donate them to charity, or sell them in a yard sale to make a little extra money is totally up to you.

Box 3: Storage

This box is for things that you can’t or don’t want to get rid of, but that you aren’t in need of on a day-to-day basis (think things like seasonal decorations). It’s also a good idea to make an inventory of items that you’re putting in storage as you go — that way, you won’t be left wondering what exactly is taking up space in your garage or attic down the line.

Box 4: Put Away

Lastly, have a box ready to place any items that need to be kept in your house, but relocated to their proper place. If you want to get really organized, you can have a few smaller boxes — one each for places like your bathroom, kitchen, or bedrooms — and sort misplaced items into their “homes” to save yourself the hassle later. 

Want one last decluttering pro tip? If you have the need for it, you can add a fifth box to this method: one for items that can be repaired/replaced rather than tossed out or donated, like a watch that needs a new battery. 

How to Declutter Your Bedroom

Tackling your bedroom may seem like an overwhelming project — especially if you’re just learning how to declutter efficiently. To start your bedroom decluttering off on the right foot, spend a few minutes tidying it up first: make your bed and pick up any dirty clothes that might be strewn across the floor. Once the visible, day-to-day mess is out of the way, you’ll be more motivated to move on to these problem areas.

Nightstands

If you have a nightstand that you use as a catch-all storage space for your clutter, now’s the time to go through it with a fine-toothed comb. Unless you need access to something before bed — like a sleep mask or earplugs — the nightstand is not the place for it. Don’t forget to declutter the top of your nightstand, too: clear off anything that isn’t essential (lamps or alarm clocks, for example) and minimize the knickknacks and décor you keep displayed on top for a less cluttered look and easier cleaning.

Dressers/Drawers

Is there anything worse than messy, overstuffed drawers? If you’re tired of having to dig through a sea of disorganized clothes to find what you need every day, it’s time to sort each item of clothing in your dresser using the Four-Box Method. A good rule of thumb: if you haven’t worn it in at least six months or it no longer fits, it doesn’t belong in your dresser drawers. Once you’ve pared things down, try folding your clothes into small rectangles and placing them face-up — instead of stacked atop one another — so you can easily see each item when you pull the drawer open. 

Closets

If you want to really declutter your home, it’s necessary to spend a significant chunk of time decluttering your closets, as they can be major havens for clutter. Before you start sorting things using the Four-Box Method, it’s a good idea to remove everything from your closet and lay it all out so you can easily see exactly what you have. This is also a good opportunity to wipe down any shelves and surfaces in your closet that rarely get cleaned.

Next, ask yourself a few key questions as you decide what items you want to keep: when is the last time I wore this? Does this piece of clothing make me feel good when I wear it? Do I have something similar to this that I like more? It’s also a good rule of thumb not to keep something for “someday” — like if it no longer fits but you’re keeping it around just in case it fits again one day. That mindset is how clutter accumulates!

When you’re putting away things you want to keep after the purge, make sure to put your most-worn items in easily accessible spots, and then organize things however works best for you — whether that’s by color, season, or occasion.

 

Decluttering Ideas for Your Bathroom

Although bathrooms can be relatively small spaces compared to other rooms in your home, that doesn’t mean they can’t accumulate just as much clutter. Here are some decluttering ideas that will make your bathroom more organized than ever before.

Purge Your Beauty Products

Some of the biggest culprits of bathroom clutter are beauty products: makeup, skincare products, hair accessories, and more. It’s also good to break the habit of accumulating duplicates of things — for example, don’t open a new bottle of shampoo if you still have a couple days’ worth of product left in an old one.

Take Stock of Your Medicine Cabinet

You might open your medicine cabinet every day, but when’s the last time you actually cleaned it out? Take everything off the shelves, and toss anything that’s old or no longer usable — like stretched out hair ties or expired medications — then wipe down the inside before returning the items you’re keeping to your medicine cabinet.

Create Hidden Spots for Storage

Short on storage space? There are plenty of handy tricks that can create a more organized bathroom instantly. If you keep finding bobby pins strewn all over the place, try attaching a magnetic strip to the inside of a cabinet door and sticking your bobby pins on it for easy access. You can also use a file organizer as a handy spot for your hair tools by attaching it to a wall or the side of a sink cabinet. For smaller items like makeup brushes, cotton balls, and cotton swabs, have labeled jars dedicated for each and then set them on your counter or a shelf for easy access that won’t look messy.

Your Living Room Declutter Checklist

Your living room is where a lot of household action takes place — meaning it can be a magnet for clutter from everyone in your family. If you want to make your living room a clutter-free zone, follow this simple, three-step declutter checklist.

Step 1: Sort Through Toys, Books and Magazines

If your living room acts as de facto storage for books, magazines, and children’s toys, it’s a good idea to do a sweep of these items and sort them using the Four-Box Method. Donate old books to a local library or school, recycle old magazines, and toss any toys with too much wear and tear to donate or sell.

Step 2: Reduce the Number of Knickknacks

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying décor in your home, but too many knickknacks in your living room can make it harder to make use of the space — and harder to clean around, too. Take stock of things you have sitting out on tables and shelves, and decide what you might be willing to part with: are there old picture frames, throw blankets or potted plants you no longer care for?

Step 3: Create a Permanent Storage Spot for Everyday Items

Instead of just leaving things lying on your coffee table, designate a basket for everyday items — like remotes, chargers, and video game controllers — and then stow the basket under an end table or in a drawer for easy access.

Decluttering Tips for Your Home Office

There’s nothing less motivating than trying to get work done in a home office that’s messy and disorganized. If that sounds a little too familiar, check out these quick and easy decluttering tips for your home office that will help make it a productivity paradise.

Remove Items That Don’t Belong

The first step of decluttering a messy home office? Removing or putting away any personal/household items that don’t belong there, such as toys, dishes, or workout gear. Your workspace should be for work only — non-work-related items act as reminders of other responsibilities, which can be distracting when you need to focus on work.

Sort Through Documents and Papers

If your desk is barely visible thanks to a jumble of papers, now’s the time to sort through them. Make three piles: one for papers to shred or toss, one for documents to file away, and one for things you need to take action on. If most of your work-related documents are digital, go ahead and spend some time organizing and cleaning those up, too. Even though digital clutter isn’t visible, it can be just as detrimental to your productivity. 

Organize Your Desk Drawers

One simple hack that can work wonders? Organize your desk drawers according to what items you use most frequently. For example, you might fill your topmost drawer with everyday items — like a notepad, pens or phone charger — while the bottom drawer is home to things like your hole punch or envelopes. Pro tip: Within each drawer, have the most used items towards the front for easy access.

 

Clean Up Unruly Cords/Cables

Just the thought of a tangled knot of cords can be stressful — and your home office is the last place you want to feel stressed. One of the easiest decluttering tips for a home office is tying cords and cables together with zip ties so they stay together and look more streamlined. Once they’re together in one convenient bunch, you can tape or hook them under or behind your desk so they’re out of sight and out of mind.

7 Things to Declutter This Fall

7 Things to Declutter This Fall

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There are times of the year that people like to declutter and organize their homes, Most I think are Spring, but for some reason, I find that I like to do it in the Fall, too.  Anyone else?  I find that it makes more sense for my household to do it this time of the year, then again in Spring.

It isn’t really a plan, but I usually end up going through things in the fall (before we all hunker down for the winter) and in the spring (to freshen up the house).

I think it’s great to go through items from the spring and summer once the weather gets colder.

The reason for this is that it was just the prime time to use outside toys and wear summer clothes. If we didn’t end up using something, it’s still fresh in my mind and I might be ready to get rid of the things that we didn’t need all spring and summer long.

1.) Pool and Beach Toys

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Like I said before, it was just the prime time to use pool and beach toys. If you didn’t use certain items all summer long, do you really need them? Probably not, it’s best to donate them.

Keep at eye out for floats that are leaking air, broken items, or toys that your kids are too old for now, we seem to accumulate a container every 6 months or so.

2.) Yard Tools

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Take a look through your yard tools and look for things that are broken or worn out.

Also, take a look at your lawnmower or other things with a motor. You might not need to declutter them, but you might need to make sure they get a tune-up before you need them in the spring.

3.) Scooters, Bikes, Roller Blades…

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Declutter anything that is broken beyond repair or anything that will be too small for your kids to use next year, a great time to do this, just in time for some holiday fun! (We all know there’s a lot of toys and gifts coming for them)

4.) Swimsuits

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If you didn’t wear it in the last six months (during prime swimsuit season), do you really need it? I do this for my little ones also, Will they fit them next summer or no? Then the swimwear they’ll wear next summer, I put away for next year’s fun in the sun!

5.) Shorts, Capris, Summer Dresses…

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Again, if you didn’t wear it in the last six months, do you need it?

Check for clothes that will be too small for your kids next year too.

If you have items that need to be replaced or bought in different sizes, now is an amazing time to snag some clothes on clearance so that you’re ready for next year.

6.) Sandals

Close up on big pile of colorful woman shoes.

Did you wear all of your sandals? Do they fit? Are they comfortable?

7.) Toys

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Before you get busy with the holidays coming up, take a bit of time to declutter the toys in your house.

Your kids are probably about to get a whole bunch of new toys for Christmas (as said previously), so it’s a good idea to clear out as much as you can before that happens and you get overwhelmed.

For sure keep an eye out for anything broken.

If your kids are old enough to be involved in the decluttering, I heard a great idea the other day. You can explain that before they get any new toys for Christmas, they need to get rid of a certain amount of toys so that other kids can enjoy them. This can be a beautiful thing for them to enjoy!

 

Do you declutter and organize more in the Fall or the Spring?

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Pin this post and follow me!  Pin me!

7 Priorities for Better Budgeting and Better Saving

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Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com
Priority No. 1 is a starter emergency fund.

Many experts recommend you try to build up several months of bare-bones living expenses. We suggest you start with an emergency fund of at least $500 — enough to cover small emergencies and repairs — and build from there.You can’t get out of debt without a way to avoid more debt every time something unexpected happens. And you’ll sleep better knowing you have a financial cushion.

 

Priority No. 2 is getting the employer match on your 401(k).
Get the easy money first. For most people, that means tax-advantaged accounts such as a 401(k). If your employer offers a match, contribute at least enough to grab the maximum. It’s free money.Why do we make capturing an employer match a higher priority than debts? Because you won’t get another chance this big at free money, tax breaks, and compound interest. Ultimately, you have a better shot at building wealth by getting in the habit of regular long-term savings.

You don’t get a second chance at capturing the power of compound interest. Every $1,000 you don’t put away when you’re in your 20s could be $20,000 less you have at retirement.

Priority No. 3 is a toxic debt. Once you’ve snagged a match on a 401(k), if available, go after the toxic debt in your life: high-interest credit card debt, personal and payday loans, title loans, and rent-to-own payments. All carry interest rates so high that you end up repaying two or three times what you borrowed.If either of the following situations applies to you, investigate options for debt relief, which can include bankruptcy or debt management plans:

  • You can’t repay your unsecured debt — credit cards, medical bills, personal loans — within five years, even with drastic spending cuts.
  • Your unpaid unsecured debt, in total, equals half or more of your gross income.
Priority No. 4 is, again, saving for retirement.
Once you’ve knocked off any toxic debt, the next task is to get yourself on track for retirement. Aim to save 15% of your gross income; that includes your company match if there is one. If you’re young, consider funding a Roth individual retirement account after you capture the company match. Once you hit the contribution limit on the IRA, return to your 401(k) and maximize your contribution there.
Priority No. 5 is, again, your emergency fund.
Regular contributions can help you build up to three to six months’ worth of living expenses. You shouldn’t expect steady progress because emergencies happen, but at least you’ll be able to manage them.
Priority No. 6 is debt repayment.
These are payments beyond the minimum required to pay off your remaining debt.If you’ve already paid off your most toxic debt, what’s left is probably lower-rate, often tax-deductible debt (such as your mortgage). You should tackle these only after you’ve gotten your other financial ducks in a row.

Any wiggle room you have here comes from the money available for wants or from saving on your necessities, not your emergency fund and retirement savings.

 

Priority No. 7 is you.
Congratulations! You’re in a great position — a really great position — if you’ve built an emergency fund, paid off toxic debt and are socking away 15% toward a retirement nest egg. You’ve built a habit of saving that gives you immense financial flexibility. Don’t give up now.If you’ve reached this happy point, consider saving for irregular expenses that aren’t emergencies, such as a new roof or your next car. Those expenses will come no matter what, and it’s better to save for them than borrow.

Budgeting 101: Use the 50/30/20

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Divide your income among needs, wants, savings and debt repayment, using the 50/30/20 budget as a guide.

In its simplest form, budgeting is a third-grade math problem.

If I have a take-home pay of, say, $2,000 a month, how can I pay for housing, food, insurance, health care, debt repayment, and fun without running out of money? That’s a lot to cover with a limited amount, and this is a zero-sum game.

A budget is an answer. Here’s how to set one up.

 

NEED HELP STARTING YOUR BUDGET?

Frugal Overload breaks down your spendings and costs to show you ways to save.

Get started — it’s free

Follow 5 steps to creating a budget

  1. Figure out your after-tax income. If you get a regular paycheck, the amount you receive is probably it, but if you have automatic deductions for a 401(k), savings, and health and life insurance, add those back in to give yourself a true picture of your savings and expenditures. If you have other types of income — perhaps you make money from side gigs — subtract anything that reduces it, such as taxes and business expenses.
  2. Choose a budgeting plan. Any budget must cover all of your needs, some of your wants and — this is key — savings for emergencies and the future.
  3. Track your progress. Record your spending or use online budgeting and savings tools.
  4. Automate your savings. Automate as much as possible so the money you’ve allocated for a specific purpose gets there with minimal effort on your part. An accountability partner or online support group can help so that you’re held accountable for choices that blow the budget.
  5. Revisit your budget as needed. Your income, expenses, and priorities will change over time. Adjust your budget accordingly, but always have one.

 

Readers also ask

How do you make a budget spreadsheet?

How do you keep a budget?

How do you figure out a budget?

A budget is a plan for every dollar you have. It’s not magic, but it represents more financial freedom and a life with much less stress.

Try a simple budgeting plan

We recommend the popular 50/30/20 budget. In it, you spend roughly 50% of your after-tax dollars on necessities, no more than 30% on wants, and at least 20% on savings and debt repayment.

We like the simplicity of this plan. Over the long term, someone who follows these guidelines will have manageable debt, room to indulge occasionally, and savings to pay irregular or unexpected expenses and retire comfortably.

The 50/30/20 budget

A guide for allocating your dollars using the 50/30/20 rule

Monthly after-tax income(required)

?

 

How much you have for:

Necessities

 

Wants

 

Savings and paying off debt

See your money in one place

NerdWallet tallies up your expenses and shows you how much you’re spending on things like food, bills, travel and more. Plus, I’ll show you ways to save big.

Get started

 

Allow up to 50% of your income for needs

Your needs — about 50% of your after-tax income — should include:

  • Groceries.
  • Housing.
  • Basic utilities.
  • Transportation.
  • Insurance.
  • Minimum loan payments. Anything beyond the minimum goes into the savings and debt repayment category.
  • Childcare or other expenses you need so you can work.

If your absolute essentials overshoot the 50% mark, you may need to dip into the ‘wants’ portion of your budget for a while.

If your absolute essentials overshoot the 50% mark, you may need to dip into the “wants” portion of your budget for a while. It’s not the end of the world, but you’ll have to adjust your spending.

Even if your necessities fall under the 50% cap, revisiting these fixed expenses occasionally is smart. You may find a better cell phone plan, an opportunity to refinance your mortgage or less expensive car insurance. That leaves you more to work with elsewhere.

Leave 30% of your income for wants

Separating wants from needs can be difficult. In general, though, needs are essential for you to live and work. Typical wants include dinners out, gifts, travel, and entertainment.

It’s not always easy to decide. Is a gym membership a want or a need? How about organic groceries? Decisions vary from person to person.

If you’re eager to get out of debt as fast as you can, you may decide your wants can wait until you have some savings or your debts are under control. But your budget shouldn’t be so austere that you can never buy anything just for fun.

Every budget needs both wiggle room and some money you are entitled to spend as you wish.

Every budget needs both wiggle room — maybe you forgot about an expense or one was bigger than you anticipated — and some money you’re entitled to spend as you wish.

Your budget is a tool to help you, not a straitjacket to keep you from enjoying life, ever. If there’s no money for fun, you’ll be less likely to stick with your budget — and a good budget is one you’ll stick with.

Commit 20% of your income to savings and debt repayment

Use 20% of your after-tax income to put something away for the unexpected, save for the future and pay off debt. Make sure you think of the bigger financial picture; that may mean two-stepping between savings and debt repayment to accomplish your most pressing goals.

How to budget- Your first step to financial freedom.

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We have all been there (some of us still are). We feel good about the money in our pocket, we buy some food, we make a purchase that we want (but don’t necessarily need) and suddenly, we’re short on cash.

Does this happen to you more than you’d like? Does it stress you out? (it stresses all of us) Or even force you into debt? 

It’s probably time to make a budget.

Don’t worry, it’s easy! And you can use a calculator!

Really, a budget is just a list.

Step 1: Take a paper and draw a line down the middle.

Step 2: Make a list of all your income coming in the door every month. Every paycheck you get. Maybe a regular side hustle. Do you get alimony or child support? What about income from investments? Everything.

Step 3: Then, on the other side, start writing your expenses. Start with the big stuff: rent, car payments or transportation, utilities, groceries, any debt payments you need to make — things like that.

Step 4: What about everything you spend money on that you like, but maybe don’t need? Eating out, entertainment, that new pair of shoes. Add those as a list to your expenses. Treating yourself is great! But you want to do it within your budget.

Step 5: Don’t forget to set aside some savings for a rainy day. It’s smart to have this baked right into your budget.

Now you have the beginnings of your monthly budget! You can add up all your expenses and subtract it from your post-tax income. How did you do?

It’s most efficient to build this kind of budget on a spreadsheet somewhere — whether it’s Microsoft Excel or a Google doc. Then add new expenses as you spend.

And those new expenses will surely pop up. Try to do as much planning as you can for those once or twice a year costs — like buying presents around the holidays, or that vacation you plan every year. Or, the unexpected doctors visit.

The more you track your spending and keep an eye on it, the better you’ll get with your monthly expenses.

Keeping electronic records of your spending will help you stay organized. And there are apps out there that can help you too — some can link your credit and debit cards to your budget so you can keep track, or even set limits.

At the end of the day, it’s still a rat race out there. Money can be tight even if you’re doing everything right.

But the best way to not be scared is to be prepared. And the budget is your first step.

Here’s a budgeting spreadsheet for you.  Hope it helps!  Budget Worksheet

7 Ways to Keep Your Home Smelling Great

Looking for easy ways to keep your home smelling fresh? Take items you already have in your pantry and produce bin to naturally eliminate odor from various areas around the house. These natural ingredients are the key to a great smelling home!

Make Your Home Smell Good
  •  
  • DEODORIZE THE TRASH CAN

  • Make your own super-simple deodorizing discs with 4 parts baking soda to 1 part hot water. Combine into a thick paste, adding more water if necessary, then press into parchment-lined muffin tins or silicone molds and bake at 350° for about 20 minutes. Top with a couple drops of your favorite essential oil, if desired. Leave in the bottom of your trash cans or diaper pail for up to a month.

  • USE ESSENTIAL OILS TO REFRESH THE BATHROOM 

  • Add a few drops of pure essential oil to the inside of your toilet paper roll—the scent releases as the paper’s used. Lemon, eucalyptus and peppermint are all fresh choices.

  • REFRESH THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL WITH CITRUS PEELS

  • Pour half a cup of baking soda into the disposal, followed by about a cup of vinegar. Let sit for ten minutes, then flush with boiling water. Now, toss citrus peels and a few ice cubes into the disposal and turn it on. Consider freezing citrus slices in ice cubes to keep on hand for regular quick disposal refreshers.

  • LAVENDER & CHAMOMILE OILS: AROMATIZE THE BEDROOM

  • To freshen your mattress, sprinkle with ¼ cup baking soda that’s been mixed with a few drops of lavender pure essential oil. Let sit for about half an hour. Vacuum. Keep your personal dreamland smelling fresh with a calming homemade pillow and linen spray made from distilled water, a little vodka and 10 drops each lavender and chamomile oils.

  • DIY: AIR FRESHENER

  • Freshen the rooms in your house with this do-it-yourself natural air freshener. In a small glass spray bottle, combine distilled water, a little rubbing alcohol, and 10 to 20 drops of your favorite pure essential oil or oils. Some of our favorite combos? Orange & clove, lavender & vanilla, or peppermint & rosemary.

  • FRESHEN THE CARPET

  • Use this DIY carpet freshener to get rid of any lingering carpet odors in the main rooms of your home. Empty a box of baking soda into a large bowl. Add 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oils, mix, then, using a funnel, return to container. Sprinkle on carpet and let sit 10 minutes before vacuuming.

SAVE ON CLEANING SUPPLIES WITH THESE DIY PRODUCTS

An American family spends an average of $504 per year on cleaning supplies. That’s a lot of money, especially toward products that are made mostly of water! In the spirit of saving, Sparkle® paper towels brings you a way to seriously scrub down your cleaning budget: homemade household products. If you cut 75 percent of your cleaning-supply spending (which many of the following ideas do), you could save up to $378 a year. That could cover 2.5 weeks of groceries, 10 months of air-conditioning, or 47 movie tickets. Pick your jaw up off the floor and get ready to DIY!

  • ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER

  • This cleaner is the solution to so many messes — in the kitchen, bathroom and the dinner table where your little one (perpetually) spills some milk. Vinegar is a homemade cleaning heavyweight and the star of this potion, with disinfecting properties thanks to its acidity. A batch of this miracle worker cost its inventor 52 cents, or a sixth of what leading cleaners sell for.

  • HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

    • 1 part water
    • 1 part vinegar
    • 10-15 drops essential oils of choice
    • Spray bottle
  • Pour all three ingredients into the spray bottle, shake, and bam – you are done creating your all-purpose cleaner! Make sure to shake before each use to ensure ingredients are well mixed.

  • GLASS CLEANER

  • Save lots with this easy-to-make glass cleaner. It’s as simple as vinegar + rubbing alcohol + water — three ingredients already in your house! The gamechanging ingredient in this concoction is rubbing alcohol, which works to dissolve dirt and oil and dries quickly for a streak-free finish.

  • HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

    • ½ cup rubbing alcohol
    • ½ cup white/distilled vinegar
    • Water (Clean tap water is fine for short-term use. Use distilled or boiled and cooled water for long-term use.)
    • Essential oils of choice (optional)
    • 16 oz. glass spray bottle
  • Add the alcohol and vinegar to the spray bottle first. Then added water into the bottle until it is full. If you do not care for the vinegar scent (which goes away when the surface dries), add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. When using, spray the cleaner on windows and mirrors, then wipe with a microfiber cloth. Store spray bottle at room temperature when not in use.

  • FABRIC SOFTENER

  • It’s worth repeating, vinegar is the cleaning superhero that conquers all. This recipe for fabric softener uses it as a softening agent and static cling fighter, while a measure of conditioner incorporates your favorite scent. And at as low as $2 per batch, the price can’t be beat.

  • HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

    • 12 oz. container of hair conditioner
    • 1 ½ cups distilled white vinegar
    • 3 cups warm water
    • Whisk
    • Mixing bowl
    • Storage container
  • Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Pour ingredients into a storage container (e.g. glass jar with a lid), and that is it! You are ready to use your homemade fabric softener.

  • FABRIC REFRESHER

  • This DIY makes use of the simple ingredients to fight unwelcome odors. Baking soda acts as a deodorizer, while essential oils add your favorite scent. Essential oils are another concentrated ingredient; a little will go a long way. Mix the ingredients and place in a small jar to make this easy room freshener. Perfect for bathrooms, your pet’s favorite chair and teenager’s bedrooms everywhere.

  • HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

    • 1 TBSP of baking soda
    • 2 cups warm water
    • Essential oils of choice
    • Spray bottle
  • Start by adding the baking soda to the spray bottle, followed by adding in the 2 cups of water. Put the lid on the spray bottle and shake well. Once the baking soda has dissolved, take off the lid. Add 10 drops of essential oil. Shake all ingredients together, and you are ready to deodorize your house. Spray your chemical-free refresher on fabrics or in the air to leave your house smelling…refreshed!

  • WOOD POLISH

  • This two-ingredient furniture polish employs olive oil for shine and lemon juice to help remove any buildup or stains. Leaving your furniture shiny and lemony-fresh will only cost you $1.55 per bottle, a fraction of leading commercial wood polishes.

  • HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

    • 2 parts olive oil
    • 1 part lemon juice
    • Spray bottle or empty jar
  • In an empty spray bottle or jar, mix 2 parts olive oil with 1 part lemon juice. Shake well! Now you have yourself some natural, chemical-free wood polish. Spray or pour sparingly onto wood and in circular motions, rub the polish into the wood until it is well buffed with a soft cloth.

  • OVEN CLEANER

  • Cleaning out the oven is not for the faint of heart. Between the crouching, scrubbing and nauseating fumes, we tend to avoid it for as long as possible. This oven cleaner is nontoxic and fume-free, and budget-friendly. Just mix baking soda and salt for ultimate grease-cutting, scouring power. Let it sit and work its magic!

  • HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

    • ¼ cup castile soap or concentrated dish detergent
    • 1 cup baking soda
    • ½ cup coarse sea salt or kosher salt
    • Warm water
    • Distilled white vinegar
    • Sponge or scrubbing brush
    • Spray bottle
    • Mixing bowl
  • First, mix the soap, baking soda, and salt, adding a little water, if needed to make a paste. Then apply your paste the interior of the oven and let sit for several hours, preferably overnight. When ready, dip a sponge or scrubbing brush into the warm water and wash the interior clean. Spray interior with some distilled white vinegar to rinse away any excess paste residue.

  • BLEACH PEN

  • Bleach pens are the laundry room sidekick we can’t live without. But they’re a little pricey! This homemade bleach pen will cost you a minuscule 25 cents. That’s not a typo. Cornstarch, water, bleach and a little bit of stovetop magic make for a household product that’s cheaper than anything we can remember buying … ever.

  • HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

    • 1 cup cold water
    • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 5 tablespoons regular bleach
    • Medium sized sauce pan
    • Container of choice (e.g condiment bottles)
    • Container of choice (e.g condiment bottles)
    • Whisk
  • Mix cold water and cornstarch and whisk together in a medium sized saucepan. It’s important that the water is cold so that the cornstarch doesn’t cause any lumps in the gel. Over medium high heat, stir the mixture continuously until it is very thick and pasty. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Add the bleach to the gel and blend well. Carefully pour the gel mixture into container of choice like an empty glue bottle or condiment bottle. Bada bing! You have your own gel bleach pen. Use the same way you would a regular bleach pen on dirty areas like grout. Also, when working with bleach it might be a good idea to use gloves!

11 Living Room Organization Ideas

Happy Sunday everyone. It’s almost time for another busy week for us! Summer is approaching fast and we are doing all we can to get any organization out of the way before going to our summer house in June.

I want to start this month of April with preparing you for May. How? We are going to organize every room of your home together. Step by step.

Organization helps us by saving time and saving us money. It really does! We all need help saving time and money and this will help you SO much!

Let’s start with the Living room. We have 4 kids and they have toys. Here are 5 ways to organize your living room with kids.

1. Ottoman Turned Toy Box

As Melissa Boyer shares about her cute storage ottoman find below, “It has proved to be a fantastic purchase for us!  My kids can easily get toys in & out of it… In addition, it can easily be moved around to the main sitting area if extra seating is ever needed.”

hide kids' toys in the living room

Image Credit: Rooms

2. Hide Toys Away In A Cabinet

Closed storage options like built in cabinets or a free standing buffet or dresser, are great for storing toys in the living room.  Consider using baskets or boxes within the space to contain smaller like items or designate drawers to different groups of toys.

hide kids' toys in the living roomImage Credit: Meadow Lake Rd

3. Toy Storage Underneath Coffee Table

hide kids toys in the living roomImage Credit: Rogue Engineer

4. The Coffee Table

This can be a beautiful space for storing toys or games, while still fitting in with the look and design on the room.  Best options are a shelf underneath or several drawers.  If you have items that don’t get accessed frequently, even a chest with a top that opens up would be great for hidden storage.

7 ways to hide kids' toys in the living roomsImage Credit: Meadow Lake Rd

5. Behind The Sofa Toy Storage

Pull the couch away from the wall a bit and use that space for shelving to store toys in tubs or baskets.  Just make sure it’s not obvious when first walking into the room.

hide kids toys in the living roomImage Credit: Two Inspire Design

Smaller Living Room Ideas

If you have a smaller living room you can try these! Place seating around each side of the coffee table and using the dresser as the focal point give the room a more spacious feel.

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If a sofa may crowd your space try a loveseat instead. Couple it with an ottoman or a cozy accent chair.

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4.) Our Vintage Home Love abc98441ca97d256eef5732f5018e21c

Using a bookshelf to divide a space is a great way to make two rooms out of one.

5.) Sarah M Dorsey DesignsDSC_0219wm

6.) Crafty Teacher LadyFamilyPhoto-Blog2

Try different layouts. Working in a small living space you have to get creative! Make it fun!

I hope you enjoyed these ideas! Let me know what you think!

What’s your favorite? Which inspires you most?