7 Japanese House Cleaning Hacks, That You’ll Want to Copy NOW!

Cleaning can be stressful!

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Between work, kids and other responsibilities, tidying your home can be the very last thing on your mind.

Because of our busy lives, we often find ourselves living in cluttered and disorganized living conditions.

Luckily, Marie Kondo, Japanese professional organizer and author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” has swept the world (no pun intended!) with her simple yet very effective “KonMari” method for cleaning your home from top to bottom with minimal effort. 

If you would like to know what these secrets entail, keep scrolling below to check them out.


Japanese Cleaning Tips

Japanese cleaning secrets that will make your life easier.

 

1. Discard what doesn’t bring you joy.

Simply putting things away makes us think that our clutter problem has been solved. However sooner or later the clutter begins to pile up and we are eventually left with even less space and more frustration.

That’s why the first step to maintaining a clean and organized home starts with discarding things that we don’t really want or need.

To make the discarding process easier, Kondo suggests taking each item and asking yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If it does keep it if it doesn’t throw it away. 

 

2. Tidy by category instead of by room. 

When you begin your discarding process, Kondo recommends thinking of your clutter in terms of categories instead of by room.

For example, the category you would like to declutter first would be “clothes”. So you would gather all of the clothes in your house and place them in one spot. You will take each individual garment and ask, “Does this spark joy?” and thus begin the separation of things you will keep or toss.

By doing this, it allows you to quietly dispose of junk without disrupting your family as well as simplifies the process of tidying up.

 

3. Fold items vertically. 

Fold your clothes vertically in your dresser to save space and prevent clutter.

Via One Kings Lane

According to Kondo, you should always try your best to fold what you can hang. In other words, instead of hanging sweaters and shirts, it’s better to fold and place them in your clothing drawer.

Similar to how the spines of books are displayed, she also recommends folding items vertically and placing them side by side instead of stacking on top of each other.

This makes it easier to view and select clothes without making a mess.

4. Show deep appreciation for your belongings. 

For the Japanese, many share a cultural belief that items in the home have a soul.

With this in mind, Kondo suggests “thanking” items for their hard work and service before discarding them. This provides one with a deeper appreciation and a little closure before tossing items you no longer need.

 

5. Dedicate a whole day to cleaning. 

When deciding to declutter your home, you want to set up a single day for the entire process. Deciding to split your cleaning into separate days may cause your cleaning efforts to be ineffective and go on longer than required.

 

6. Shoeboxes are the best organizers. 

Via The Kitchen

Shoeboxes are an item that’s found readily available in anyone’s home. Kondo believes that these are the perfect organizers and should be repurposed as such.

7. Live in the present. 

When you begin to discard items, do not get attached to the memories. “Cherish who you are are now,” says Kondo. In the end, you want to want to keep things that you love and get rid of things that you have “just because”. The purpose of decluttering this way is that in the end you are only surrounded by things that “spark joy” and truly makes you happy.

Please share with your friends

 

31 Ways You Can Reorganize Your Life With Dollar Store Stuff

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Pin it on Pinterest

1. Hang baskets on the wall to hold towels in the bathroom.

makinglemonadeblog.com 

Try using two different sizes to keep it from looking too boxy. Get the tutorial here.

2. Hide hot tools in a file box on the side of your sink.

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And free up storage space under the sink. Get the tutorial here.

3. Keep your favorite nail polish colors in a spice rack.

lizmarieblog.com

Now, you probably can’t fit all of your colors in there, but use a spice rack to display your seasonal inspiration. Or leave out the colors you want to wear more of.

 

4. Add a second shower rod for extra bathroom storage.

Redditor Teruterus / Via lifehacker.com

Hook hangable baskets to the second rod and store all the body washes.

5. Or DIY bottle holders with suction cups and hair ties.

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Suspend bottles to keep them from cluttering the shower ledges. Learn how to make them here.

6. Keep makeup in a binder.

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When you travel, open the binder locks and pull out the bag you need. Organize bags by themes (like everyday makeup, evening makeup, etc.) so you have everything all in one place.

7. Organize medicine by category and store it in clear bins.

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Because you shouldn’t have to go through a sea of bandages before getting to the Pepto. Get the tutorial here.

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Which will cut down on the times you drunkenly use your roommate’s brush.

9. Make a tiered tray for jewelry and perfume.

lizmarieblog.com

You need candlestick holders, metal trays, super glue, and a sponge brush. Get the tutorial here.

10. Store your kid’s small toys in travel soap box holders.

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Keep track of playing cards, crayons, beads, stickers, and more.

11. Place plastic cups inside a muffin tin to make a mobile art caddy.

12. Put baskets on the stairs for kids to place their loose toys.

mamawithideas.com

Cute and helping you stay clutter-free.

13. Use dollar-store pizza pans for on-the-wall magnetic storage.

dollarstorecrafts.com

Magnets have found a new home (besides the fridge). Put them in your kid’s room to keep them inspired. Learn how to make them here.

14. Stash bobby pins and barrettes in a craft box.

theidearoom.net

Type A pro-tip: Organize them by color.

15. Slide books into a napkin holder.

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Organize a desk space by stacking books vertically in a napkin holder. Get the tutorial here.

16. Use buckets to organize their art supplies.

17. Use a mesh laundry bag to hold toys kids like to play with at the beach.

theidearoom.net

That way you’re not scrambling around day-of the outing gathering up toys to take with you. Just grab the bag and go.

18. Keep your car clean by using a cereal container as a trash can.

skilledwithkids.com

Line it with a bag and prevent random trash from flying around.

19. Keep car essentials in a hanging shoe organizer.

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Hang it from the back of the passenger seat and have everything all in one place.

20. Use velcro and office trays to organize your drawers.

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To keep trays from moving around when you open the drawer, stick adhesive Velcro tabs to tray and drawer bottoms so that each container has a sturdy spot. Learn how to make this here.

21. Organize jewelry on accordion hooks.

adorableantics.blogspot.com

So cheap. So easy.

22. Stash hair ties with a carabiner.

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Keep the clip in a bathroom drawer for easy access.

23. Hang the second bar in the closet for your sweaters or your kid’s clothes.

alexharalson.com

If you’re hanging folded-over pants or skirts on a high rod (with a lot of space beneath it), hang a second rod to double up on closet space. You can do this for kids’ closets, too. Get the tutorial here.

24. If you need a shelf, hang a few baskets instead.

organizingmadefun.blogspot.com

If your TV console could use a shelf to store remotes and the like, screw in a few hooks and hang a row of baskets. Get the tutorial here.

25. Use shower curtain rings to hang belts.

livesimplybyannie.com

Secure a rod to the inside of your closet wall and keep belts organized. Learn how to make it here.

26. Use shelf dividers to organize bags.

organizingmadefun.blogspot.com

Keep bags from getting wrinkled up with cheap shelf dividers. Group them by season.

27. Use self-adhesive hooks to hold measuring items in a kitchen cabinet.

ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com

Making cookies just got easier.

28. Keep tea in trays.

handymancraftywoman.com

Stash tea bags in a drawer without them clogging up the cabinet.

29. Use storage baskets in your fridge.

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And feel a wave of serenity every time you open the refrigerator door.

30. Baskets are your friend when it comes to the pantry.

howtonestforless.com

And here is where the god/goddess stores their edibles. Get the tutorial here.

31. Turn magnetic baskets into spice racks.

instructables.com

Or glue magnets to the backs of any baskets you like.

Which one do you like most?  Do you do any of this?

THE VERY BEST ORGANIZATION IDEAS ON PINTEREST TODAY

These organization ideas are going to be your BFF in the new year to come!

Who is ready to get their ducks in a row.  This is the point each year when I begin to crave organization.  There are so many things happening, that I long for the days when everything is in order and the to-do list is much more manageable.  There is something about the holidays that has me wanting peace more than anything else and that begins right in the walls of my home.  What is a girl to do?  Head to Pinterest and get some organization ideas that will have me armed and prepared to tackle the weeks ahead!

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Weekly Cleaning Schedule by 30 Handmade Days

Weekly Cleaning Schedule by 30 Handmade Days

Cleaning Closet by The 36th Avenue

An Organized Cleaning Closet by The 36th Avenue

Organizing Ideas by The Real Thing with the Coake Family

20 Organizing Ideas by The Real Thing with the Coake Family

7 Steps to an Organized Fridge by Decorating Your Small Space

7 Steps to an Organized Fridge by Decorating Your Small Space 

Bathroom Cabinet Organization by Living Locurto

Bathroom Cabinet Organization by Living Locurto

School Paperwork Organization by I Heart Organizing

School Paperwork Organization by I Heart Organizing

Kitchen Countertop Organization by The Kitchn

Pretty Kitchen Countertop Organization Ideas  by The Kitchn

Closet Organization Ideas by The Creek Line House

The Simplest Closet Organization Ideas that No One is Using by The Creek Line House

Home Office Organization Ideas by A Bowl Full of Lemons

Home Office Organization Ideas by A Bowl Full of Lemons 

Use painters tape to make a toy garage parking lot from I'm an Organizing Junkie

Make a Toy Garage Parking Lot from I’m an Organizing Junkie

Mudroom-1

Shoe Cubby from Sincerely Sara D

I think you’ll also love these organization tips, too! 

Family Organization Stations

Family Organization Stations 

Home Organization Tips

What’s your favorite?  Do you do any of these?

The MEGA List of Zero (Low) Waste Alternatives

These are the list of items we use in our home. Alternatives are what I am aspiring to work towards doing more of.  We need to be more self-conscious about what we are doing to our beautiful Earth. Also, this is a brilliant way to be creative and save more money.

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No packaging/Biodegradable/Reusable

Item
Bath: Bar for body, hair, and handwashing; the moisturizing bar for body
Bath: Cotton fabric rounds
Bath: DIY mouthwash
Bath: Recycled/biodegradable toilet paper wrapped in paper (Tushy) + bidet
Bath: Shhhowercap
Bath (ladies): Thinx period panties and menstrual cup
Cleaning: All-purpose cleaner (make at home in a reusable container)
Cleaning: Compostable bamboo brush heads for dishes
Cleaning: Bar soap for dish soap
Cleaning: Rag towels for cleaning
Clothing: Thrifting clothes
Dog: Flush dog poop down the toilet
Eating: Beeswax wraps instead of cling/aluminum/ziplock
Eating: Cloth napkins
Eating: Pyrex and stainless steel containers for food storage
Eating: Reusable Cinemark popcorn and drink container
Eating: Reusable straws
Food: Bulk hummus, pesto in a mason jar
Food: Flour/sugar/salt from bulk
Food: Compost egg containers
Food: Compost pizza box
Food: Condiments: Make pickled jalapenos
Food: Distilled water made at home
Food: Make juice at home
Food: Make kefir at home
Food: Make own bread/buy a fresh loaf in own bag
Food: Make own ice cream
Food: meat packaging (the butcher paper) in compost (bokashi)
Food: Nuts/dried fruits/spices/chocolate/candy/popcorn from bulk
Food: Oils: Vinegar, olive oil, coconut oil, honey in bulk
Food: Package free produce
Food: Scraps composting (bokashi!)
Laundry: Wool dryer balls
Paper: Books (library + kindle)
Paper: Credit card mailings opt-out
Paper: Digital newspaper
Travel: Boarding passes + tickets in-app
Travel: Hotel toiletries when traveling: bring all from home in reusable containers (shampoo bars, body soap bar, face soap bar, face lotion de-potted, body lotion de-potted)
Travel: Que bottle for water

Aluminum

Item Alternative
Bath: Hair + styling spray* Best option atm
Bath: Shaving cream can Bar shave soap
Bath: Sunscreen spray Best option atm
Dog: Canned food Best option atm
Dog: Toothpaste in a metal tube Best option atm
Food: Baking powder Best option atm
Food: Canned sparkle water Best option atm
Food: Canned veggies, sauces, pantry items Best option atm
Food: Cider* Fill reusable growler
Food: Cooking spray Make at home using a refillable can or don’t buy anymore

Paper

Item Alternative
Dog: Treats Make at home; buy bulk
Food: Baking soda The best option at the moment
Food: Butter; compost paper The best option at the moment
Food: Cereal inbox (plastic liner inside can be recycled) The best option at the moment
Food: Cookies, crackers in a box (but also with plastic at times-not recyclable) Buy in bulk with own bag; make own
Food: Cream cheese wrapper in paper box The best option at the moment
Food: Garlic bread (but also with plastic-not recyclable) Make at home
Food: Milk and cream in a box The best option at the moment
Food: Pasta in a box The best option at the moment
Food: Tea Buy tea in bulk with own bag
Food: Vegetable/chicken broth Make at home using veggie/chicken scraps
Home: Candles Make at home using old jars; buy beeswax candle kits from Etsy; buy soy wax/wicks from Refill Revolution (packaged in the paper)
Laundry: Biodegradable laundry detergent in cardboard The best option at the moment
Paper: Amazon boxes Buy self without packaging; save boxes to re-ship
Paper: Junk mail Contacted to remove self from catalogs and mailings
Paper: Magazines* Digital edition; only get ones you love
Paper: Receipts Email whenever possible

Glass

Item Alternative
Bath: Antiperspirant – European Nivea (husband) The best option at the moment
Bath: Face + body oil Buy bulk from Refill Revolution
Bath: Face wash Bar soap
Bath: Nail polish (8-free)* The best option at the moment
Bath: Natural deodorant – Meow Meow Tweet (me) The best option at the moment
Food: Condiments (siracha, pastes. ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, bread yeast, jam) Make at home (too much work); reuse glass containers for storage
Food: Pasta sauce Make at home using canned tomato
Food: Peanut butter Buy bulk
Food: Salad dressing Make at home
Food: Vanilla extract Best option atm
Food: Yogurt Reuse glass container for storage
Home: Essential oils Buy from Refill Revolution and mail back bottle
Home: A room spray Make at home

Recyclable Plastics

Item Alternative
Bath: Face sunscreen, moisturizer, masks Find in glass; no pump; Return to Origins
Bath: Haircare products Use aluminum or glass container; Return to Origins
Bath: Medications No other option
Bath: Nail polish remover Switch to a non-toxic formula in a glass bottle
Bath: Toothpaste TerraCycle; metal tube
Cleaning: Dishwasher Packets Biodegradeable dishwasher detergent in cardboard
Cleaning: Shower + toilet cleaner Make at home
Dog: Teeth spray TerraCycle
Food: Baking sprinkles* Find in a glass jar or packaged in paper
Food: Berries Buy from farmers market; bulk pick at berry farm once/year
Food: Plastic container lids Lids are generally small and fall off the recycling conveyor belts. Always make sure that a plastic lid is attached to a plastic container so that it gets through the system.
Food: Granola Buy in bulk; TerraCycle current bags
Food: Salad box Buy in bulk? (difficult to find)
Home: Ant killer/household chemicals Get from city’s chemical reuse facility for free/reusing
Laundry: Dry cleaning bags Don’t dry clean?
Paper: Amazon boxes interior packaging Buy at the store without packaging; buy bulk orders; save packaging for re-use

Landfill

Item Alternative
Bath: Beauty product pumps Stop getting things with pumps; Return to Origins, TerraCycle
Bath: Brush heads/toothbrushes TerraCycle; Switch to bamboo brushes
Bath: Floss container TerraCycle; water flosser + dental lace
Bath: Floss picks (Meera) and floss (AJ) Biodegradeable floss
Bath: Hair elastics Eco-friendly version
Bath: Makeup products* Buy products that containers can be returned to the maker or recycled; Return to Origins
Bath: Razor blades Safety razor
Bath: Tissues Hand kerchief
Cleaning: Trash bags Find biodegradable
Dog: Dog food bag (split with canned) Best option atm
Eating: Wax paper Stop using it!
Food: Cheese wrap Buy in bulk and ask to put in beeswax wrap
Food: Chips/snack bag On TerraCycle waitlist
Food: Frozen fruits/veggies Buy fresh and freeze at home
Food: Take out containers/styrofoam Bring your own takeout container;  stop using this (it can’t REALLY be recycled!)
Home: Air filter Reusable air filter
Home: Pens Refillable pens using ink in glass jars (use up existing first); donate old to Pen Guy Art
Home: Water filter Ship back to recycle (for a fee)
Laundry: Lint roller Ever lint
Paper: Gift cards Online only cards
Paper: Label stickers No avoiding this
Paper: Tape Use washi tape when possible; get a boxed tape with refillable dispenser

Feeling Overwhelmed About Your Clutter? Here’s The Ultimate Guide for Decluttering Your Home!

You’re ready, you’re going to tackle this clutter once and for all. You’ve got your boxes and bags and you’re doing it. Then, you sit on the couch and stare at the mess that is your home. And, you’re overwhelmed with how to even start decluttering.

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I get it, clutter is overwhelming in and of itself. It causes overwhelm in our lives, but the sheer existence of it and trying to tackle it? It’s a lot to handle.

Those piles just keep piling up and you sit there wondering how in the hell Marie Kondo made it look so easy! Am I right? She made it sound like this was going to be the easiest thing you’ve ever done in your life. (I love her)

Well, dear… it’s not. Not at all. In fact, for most of us, decluttering, at least in the beginning, is one of the most difficult things to start. Because we do not know where to begin. We lose all motivation just staring at the overwhelming heap of junk that we’ve accumulated.

But while we can all sit and come up with excuses. We can all be completely overwhelmed with the prospect of decluttering. I’m telling you, the difference doing this will make in your life is worth the challenges you’re going to face.

How to Declutter When You’re Overwhelmed

Just Get Started

No kidding… right? I know, you’re sitting there saying are you serious, this is your advice? I just told you I can’t start. But, listen. The best way to get over that feeling of overwhelm is to just go for it. Once you get started, it’s so much easier to continue because you’ll start feeling the benefits and it will feel good.

So let’s go, Here’s how to get started!

Pick a Space

It can be your worst space, the easiest (less cluttered), the smallest, the biggest, the one you spend the most time in (this is my personal suggestion). Whatever it is, you’re going to pick a space. Yes, an entire room. A lot of people suggest the living room, some even suggest the bathroom. I suggest the worst space. Yes, I know, you’re overwhelmed. But once you tackle that incredibly overwhelming space, the rest of your home is going to seem like a cakewalk in comparison, remember that heading in.

Now, you’ve picked a space, you need to actually start. You’re looking around and thinking nope, not today. Stop. You got this, here are the steps to get you through.

Start Small

A small spot. A very small spot. Maybe a bookshelf is overflowing with junk. Walk over to it and pick just one of the shelves on the bookshelf. Top to bottom, bottom to top, the stuff piled in front of it, whatever. You want this to be manageable so you start small.

Other super small spaces would be things like the top of a table, one drawer… you get the point. If you don’t have anything like that in this room or that isn’t where you want to start, I suggest picking a corner, furthest from the door. Make space somewhere around a 2X2 section. Do you need to go get a tape measure? Of course not.

Just know you’re only tackling that small section of the room, not the entire thing.

Set a Timer

You’ve picked a small, manageable area. Set a timer. Everyone says they never have time to do this, but this is a different post for a different day. For this post, I’m going to tell you to set a timer for 10 minutes, just 10. Everyone can spare 10 minutes in their day.

Set that timer and know you’re only tackling this small area and when the timer goes off, you’re going to be finished.

Toss the Trash

We all have trash, unwanted papers, broken items, etc that have no real purpose, they just got added to the pile. Throw them in your trash bag. You’re just going to go through that small space and find anything you can’t donate or sell and toss it.

If it’s paper or other recyclable material, great.  You can absolutely do that with it. Just know you’re not donating or selling this stuff and it’s already lightening your load.

Donate

See an old trinket on that shelf that you can’t stand? A book you read once and will never read again? An old jacket in the closet that hasn’t fit you for a decade? Let it go. Put it in the donate box or bag and get rid of it. If you’re planning to sell your items, that’s fine. But, if you can donate them to a good cause, that’s even better.

Whatever you decide to do, sell or donate, add them to that bag or box. When you’re finished, tape it up, take it out. Do not leave it in your house. Put it in the trunk, the garage, remove it from the room.

Keep or Relocate

Stuff you want to keep, you’re going to dust off and well… keep. These things will be put back in the small space (or wherever it is they belong). Things you’re keeping that do not belong here can quickly be put in their proper spot when you finish. This will only take you a few moments to add them to their own pile.

There are no Maybes

I know… even I have said in the past to keep a maybe pile. But, the truth is, maybes are donation pieces. If you don’t love it, want it, or need it enough for it to be a keeper automatically, it needs to go.

If you absolutely insist on having a maybe pile, put it in a separate box. When you’re finished, tape up the box and put it up on a shelf. Not just any old shelf, one that you don’t really notice the things sitting on. Leave it for 30 days (set a timer on your phone).

After 30 days, if that maybe box hasn’t been opened, out to the trunk of the car it goes. Do not open it. Just place it in your car. If you didn’t miss that stuff in 30 days, it was all donation stuff, to begin with.

Time’s Up

You just spent 10 minutes decluttering! That wasn’t so so bad, was it? Now, if you have anything that doesn’t belong in the place it was, go put it where it belongs.

Put the bag of trash in the trash. Put the box of donations in your car or garage and you’re finished. You can do another 10-minute session or you can wait and do it tomorrow. But, try to set aside 10 minutes every day and continue tackling the clutter in that space. Once you finish your small space, just move to the next small space until you finish the entire room.

Don’t Stop

Don’t quit until your space is uncluttered and organized. When you can walk in and you don’t feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of stuff that’s piled in that room… it’s probably done. If you’re still overwhelmed, go through it again. Small, simple steps.

Suggestions on Where to Start Decluttering

Like I said, I usually say pick the worst room in the house and go with it. While the task may seem insurmountable right now, it will make the rest of your house seem like a walk in the park.

You could also go with the room that is going to make the most difference. Somewhere where you and your family spend a lot of time.

  • Living Room
  • Kitchen
  • Kids Room
  • Master Bedroom

And lastly, you could pick the smallest, easiest room to declutter and that, my friends, would be the bathroom. I love decluttering the bathroom. There’s nothing in there that I question whether or not I should keep. It’s either out it goes or in it stays.

The bathroom is small and there’s generally tons of junk in there for you to toss out. Expired, unused meds can go in kitty litter and be tossed. The half-used bottles of hotel shampoo can be tossed. Extra, unused toiletries can be donated to a shelter. You get the drill. Easy peasy.

A word of caution picking the easiest room first, though. In my experience doing the difficult stuff first makes everything else seem achievable. If I know to go in that it’s only going to get more difficult, sometimes I lose my momentum. Don’t let yourself do that, you can get this done.

Tips to Decide What to Keep when Decluttering

I know how difficult it can be to decide what to let go of. We constantly say what if I need this someday. The truth is, you probably won’t. But, some tips for all of those emotions are:

  • Touch everything for just 3 seconds. If you don’t love it after 3 seconds, donate it goes.
  • Remember, if you haven’t used it in the past year, it isn’t likely you ever will.
  • I know we’re not made of money (or I’m not anyway) but if I can replace something in the unlikely event I actually need it for less than $20, it goes. This doesn’t mean I throw out my hand mixer every month. This is the stuff that you are trying to hold on to for someday that hasn’t been used since the day you got it.

You did it. You’ve got a whole entire space decluttered! Awesome!

What keeps you from decluttering your home?

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!

Side hustles haven’t worked for me!

I always see various posts about side hustles and how they make quite a bit of cash in doing different side jobs, etc. I’ve read articles about doing online surveys, participating in data entry for a couple hours, shopping for other people.. I have tried a few things and I haven’t had any success, so far.

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed today due to the fact that it seems nothing thus far has worked. I should probably make a list of the things I’ve tried and perhaps come up with some idea of why I failed.

First thing was Amazon Turk. I’ve done a few things on there and it is worth nothing. Literally just pennies. I feel I’d be paid more to pick up change outside of a fast food restaurant. I think what was frustrating is it seemed I took time and quite a bit of it to do these little assignments and it just was a huge loss of time and I really didn’t gain anything.

Second thing I tried is REV. I posted on this awhile back. I got in and really was excited. I did get paid a bit, this does take time, and quite a lot of it especially if you’re new like I am. You have to score a certain amount after being accepted to move on to make more money as a real “REVVER” My scores were great. Except, the last one I did I received 2 points lower than normal. So unfortunately I was let go. It caused the score to drop at 3.8? I think. It needed to be 4.0. (It was a couple months ago) I could be a bit off about the scoring but nevertheless you get the idea. It is automatic and there’s no one to talk to about it. So I suppose I’ll just try again.

The third side hustle I tried was/is Poshmark. I’m still trying to figure it out. I just joined last month. I’ve not made any money yet but I’m trying to be positive about it and give it time. The women on that site are really great. They’re so kind and they share and like and comment. Super sweet ladies and I’m glad to be there even just for that. I’d like to figure it out better to make some sales.

I also tried survey websites. I didn’t really get ahead on those at all. Not sure if I’m not on the correct site or if those are really just a joke. Let me know if you have a better site to make a little cash from!

I do want to find something on the side. I’m a stay at home Mom and I’d love to make a little extra for some weekend fun with the kids.

Do you have a side hustle? Give me some tips!

Weekly meal plan

Time for a weekly meal plan, We’re still doing good with our grocery budget. Although  I am definitely trying to get better with couponing, making the lists, checking the ads and saving as much as I can.  Still getting better with that.

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Last week I did the meal plan and it was a hit, I do not think I will be doing breakfast and lunch again as it makes it a bit too long.  I will only be doing dinners from now on and I will be adding in some of my favorite desserts I love to cook also.  Let’s get started!

  • MondayChili ( I make it in the crockpot)  the cost breaks down for a whopping $12 dollars total for my whole family.  I also do make spaghetti noodles on the side to put the chili on.
  • TuesdayBroccoli and Cheddar soup (also done in the crockpot) We put crackers or sourdough bread boules.  Cost of entire meal = $14
  • WednesdayChicken pot pie (baked and delicious) We really love this meal and the cost is hard to beat.  $10 for a whole pie.
  • ThursdayChicken noodle soup (Yes, crockpot again) It’s delicious and hot and ready by dinner time.  Cost of this beautiful soup is $12 for us.
  • FridayMeatloaf dinner (Mashed potatoes, and corn on the side) We really do love this meal.  The cost of this meal is $11
  • SaturdayMagloubeh (mediterranean dish)  It is loved by all of us, My husband is from Jordan so we incorporate mediterranean in our recipes at least once a week and sometimes 3 times a week.  Cost of meal = $16
  • Sunday – Pancakes, eggs and turkey bacon (more so a lunch/dinner for breakfast?)  I don’t have a recipe for this, I’m pretty sure we all know how to make this one.  Cost of this meal is $8.  We all love this meal on a Sunday, it’s nice to relax and have a big breakfast/dinner.

This sums up our week to come.  Weekly total of $83 for dinners.

What’s on your menu this week?  Have any recipes to share? (Please leave one!)

Did you know that 65% of Americans are saving little to no money?

I read an article on CNBC found here that says that Bankrate recently did a study and found 65% of Americans are saving little to no money.  Most Americans aged 55-65 retire with a mere $120,000 in savings.  That’s not going to last very long without a paycheck.

Why? Most of us have a few reasons for not saving money, or not being “able” to save money.

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Here are some top reasons for not saving money

  • I’m not sure how to save money
  • I can’t save money
  • I don’t make enough money to save
  • Prices have gone up and now I can’t save

In reality people are spending more than they are making.  This is happening everywhere and I hear this all the time.  So how can we save money if we have so little?  Cutting costs, anywhere we can. That’s how.

Saving money doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal.  Let’s go with 5 ways to help you save YOUR money.

  • Establish your budget – This is a perfect way to begin. On the first day of a new month, get a receipt for everything you purchase. Stack the receipts into categories like restaurants, groceries, and personal care. At the end of the month you will be able to clearly see where your money is going.
  • Budget with cash and envelopes – Have you heard of this one?  Here’s how it works, If you have trouble with overspending, Put your cash into an envelope for spending, then spend only the money you set aside in the envelope and once the cash is gone, it’s gone.
  • Go for short-term saving goals – Short-term? Yes! Make a goal such as setting aside $20 a week or month, rather than a longer term savings goal. People save more successfully when they keep short-term goals in sight.
  • Save your loose change. Really! Putting aside just $1 a day for over a year will get you over 75% closer to a $500 emergency fund.  It will bring you over $350 in a year.
  • Commit to eating out one fewer time each month. Save money without sacrificing your lifestyle by taking small steps to reduce your dining budget. Start off with reducing the amount you eat out by just once per month I wrote a post regarding this a little while back found here go check it out.

These 5 ways to save money should help, and we all need help with saving money, especially in this economy.

Do you save money?  What are some tips you have?