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Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning tips

It’s that time of the year again—time for spring cleaning. This article features 6 frequently forgotten tips for giving your home a fresh start this spring. Examples include checking the expiration date on your Tide to Go pen, changing smoke alarm batteries and cleaning dryer vents and air conditioner filters.
1. Check the expiration date on your Tide to Go pen.

If your Tide to Go Pen has passed its expiration date, it has passed its prime! Toss it and get yourself a new one with this $1.00 coupon.*
* Limit one per household. By mail, while supplies last.
2. Stock up on sunscreen.

To heed or not to heed the expiration date on your half-used bottle of sunscreen? The answer is yes, indeed! Sunscreen loses strength over time.
3. Don’t overlook your overhead fan.

Before you turn on the ceiling fan and let the dust fly, wipe it down with a soft damp cloth.
4. Change your batteries.

This year, when you change the clock for Daylight Savings Time, change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, too.
5. Prepare for cool air.

If you want your air conditioner to take care of you when the heat sets in, you may want to take care of it while it’s still cool outside. Check the manual or ask your local service provider to learn how to change or clean the filters.
6. Update the first aid kit.

Every home should have a first aid kit. Check yours to make sure it is fully stocked before springtime scrapes and splinters send you scouring the house for tweezers, antiseptic, bandages, etc.

Spring Cleaning

I know it is only mid February but we have had mild winter out here on the West Coast and with that comes spring fever. Do you get that? What do you do to solve your spring fever? I like to open all the windows and doors wide and wash all surfaces with Mr. Clean regular no fruity smells, no orange smell, no pine forest smells.. just plain original Mr. Clean... wash the bedding AND iron the sheets and then that night go to bed and just slip into never never land. I know what can I say I am weird lol.

What are your spring routines or do you just treat it like any old regular day?

Makeover on a budget


Things You'll Need:

  • paper
  • pen

    How to Makeover a Room on a Budget

  1. Step 1

    What do you want. In the room you choose, what exactly do you want to change? Maybe you want to change it all, whatever the case may be, make a list of everything you will need.

  2. Step 2

    Look around the house. You might have some items in a different room that could be used in the room you want to makeover. Perhaps that vase under the cabinet that hasn't been used in ages but you still keep. Consider placing it in the room if it matches or works for you.

  3. Step 3

    Check the paper. Checking the paper for yard or garage sales could save you more than you think. Some might think yard sales are for lower income people but that is definitely false. You can find many good deals at these sales and right in your own neighborhood as well!

  4. Step 4

    Make your own decor. If you are a crafty person, you could easily make a slipcover for that pillow or chair without having to spend much at all. If you do have to buy material, there are so many places to find good deals on materials.

  5. Step 5

    Check it off the list. When you get something on your list, mark it off as well as write the price you paid down beside it. This way when you finish, you can see just how much money you saved.

Thanks Sara :)

No Time? No Problem:
Organizing Ideas You Can Apply Lickety-Split

Let's face it. Life can get very hectic. With work, meetings, kids activities, and daily household duties, it seems like there are never enough hours in the day. Spending hours trying to organize every room in the house is something few of us ever have time for, but organizing doesn't have to take hours. Set aside just 30 minutes to put these 6 quick tips in place and start to see the timesaving results.

1) Caddy your cleaning supplies

How many times during your cleaning routine do your find yourself walking across the house to swap your glass cleaner for your all-purpose cleaner and then again for your dusting supplies? Although this may be good exercise, it isn't efficient use of your time. Simply put all of your cleaning supplies in a caddy or even just a basket with a handle. Don't forget to include a few dust rags or cut up old t-shirts. The next time you have to clean, just carry the entire thing with you to each room and rid yourself of those wasted steps.

2) Rid your laundry room of lost treasures

Laundry rooms tend to accumulate money, gum, and lone socks. In many homes these items take up precious counter space or flood the top of the dryer. To tackle this common problem, keep a mug and a small basket in the laundry room. As you are loading laundry into the washing machine, place any small objects found in pockets into the mug so all family members know just where to look to find their forgotten items. After folding the laundry, place any unmatched socks into the small basket. As their mate is found, the socks can be retrieved from the basket and paired back up.

3) Wrangle your hats, mittens, and scarves

If hats, mittens, and scarves tend to get lost or strewn around your mudroom, it's time to corral them. Keep them all in a decorative basket near the current drop-off point of the family. This way everyone can still quickly drop them off (this time in the basket rather than on the floor) and know exactly where they will be the next time they need them.

4) Tame out-of-control cords

Computer wires and entertainment system wires often become a tangled and unattractive mess. To tame this mess you can either buy some flexible plastic tubing, cut a slit up the side, and wrap it around all the cords, or you can use mailing labels. When using the mailing labels group like wires together, wrap the label around the cords, and fold the label back on itself so you have a small tab sticking out. On this tab make sure to write what the cords are so later you can quickly find any cords you need to access.

5) Number your leftovers

To keep track of how fresh (or old) your leftovers are, use a simple numbering system. Inside a cabinet door that is close to the fridge, place pieces of tape that are each labeled with a number from 1 to 31. If you often have more than one container of leftovers in a day, you will want multiple sets of numbers. As you prepare leftovers for the fridge, simply take the number that corresponds to that day's date and put it on the container. This will allow you to quickly know if the food is a few days or a full week old. When you finish eating the leftovers in the container, just take the number off and put it back in the cabinet to use again the following month.

6) Divide and conquer your drawers

Junk drawers and makeup drawers (and bags) especially tend to lack organization. We waste a lot of time shuffling through these drawers searching for things. By sorting the items and adding compartments, we can save ourselves a lot of time. There are many options when installing compartments into your drawers. Some people choose to buy kitchen utensil trays that already have compartments of various sizes for larger drawers. If you have a smaller drawer or don't want to spend much money, small baskets, plastic butter containers, baby food jars, and boxes could all work as inexpensive dividers. Sort the items so that like items are together. Each group should find a home together in a suitable compartment within the drawer.

Creating a Craft Room

I love Better Homes and Garden!! I found this link in creating a great craft room and thought some of you might get some ideas. I would love to hear back from any of you on how you have done your areas in your homes for those of you that do have a craft room

Decorating in a Dime

I am officially coming out of the thrifty decorating closet. Yes, I decorate with garage sale finds, hand-me-downs, thrift store treasures, and clearance pile remnants. Should I be ashamed that I don't want to spend all my money on an entire room of furnishings, including accessories, all in one shot? Or should I enjoy the process of letting a room grow from the starting seed of one well-crafted couch to a completed, polished room? Of course, I favor the latter method and even if I were to strike it rich, I couldn't give up my passion for frugal decorating. So, I say, in a stout, strong voice, "Yes! I got that chair and ottoman at a garage sale for $20!"

For all of my any fellow thrifty decorator types out there, here are some ways you, too, can decorate on a budget:

Step One: Wait for your belongings to come cheaply to you
Take a deep breath and trust that the universe will provide for you as you go about your daily rounds. Much of my furniture and accessories were purchased either at a yard sale; very cheaply at a junk or flea market; given to me; or I saw it on the side of the road and furtively put it in my car!

Step Two: Employ an "evolutionary" decorating style
Be strong! Resist that fast-food room. The secret is to do the best with what you have. Look through your attic, closet, basement and inventory all of your pictures, knickknacks, furniture, etc. Then paint, refinish, or buy some cheap fabric and throw it over the piece. For example, when my mom was coming up after I had my mastectomies I really wanted to redecorate the spare bedroom into something more feminine then the then current Princess and Dora themes. My daughter and I found a duvet cover that was wide stripes of country blue, beige and soft taupe with skinny white lines in between. beautiful. 5 bucks for a queen size. We found bedding, pillow cases and toss pillows in different shapes at a different second hand store all for another 10 dollars. Then came a mosaic tiled round mirrored tray, some different sized candles in the same shade of being, taupe and cream from the duvet cover and the dresser top was finished. Then by fluke I found 2 afghans in 2 different Zellers but both were discontinued items so were 75 and 90% off, one was the blue one was the taupe shade for 5 dollars each. After everything was done the room was less then 40 dollars!!

Step Three: Paint your furniture!
Craft stores sell acrylic paint cheaply and after a couple of projects you'll be able to mix up the colors you already have and invent some new ones. I painted an old chest of drawers that my mother gave me with some white semi-gloss paint stored in the basement after first priming it with my handy dandy huge can of primer. And then I mixed a small jar ($1) of blue paint with the light periwinkle blue of my bedroom wall remainders and painted pretty lines around the edges of the drawers, it looked like a Swedish piece--all for $1.

Step Four: Research, research!
I go to my local bookstore and they let me read books for free ! I've gotten ideas for rooms, painting and refinishing furniture, etc. I've found this better than the library because their stock is much more up-to-date. Your library's current magazines are great, too.

Step Five: Be creative with your window treatments
My curtains have interesting origins. For example, in my master bedroom Ive made window treatments from two Battenburg lace tablecloths, stretching them across the top and tying up the ends with white satin ribbon, leaving about five inches of each end draping down. This looks very soft, romantic and great with our periwinkle walls.

Step Six: It's never too late to rearrange
It's a fun, rainy day pursuit. How about swapping chairs from two rooms? Putting you dining or living room caddy corner instead of the old horizontal-with-the-wall way? What if you paint a room and furniture new colors? How about placing some garage sale, funky objects on a pretty shelf over a piece of furniture? Some pretty summer or fall branches stuffed into your elegant-from-an-old-boyfriend-or-hubby-sending-you-roses free vase would look great.

Above all, remember this: Most great interior decorators employ the "eclectic" style, mixing and matching furniture styles, fabrics, eras, etc. It's time for us all to come out of the thrifty decorating closet and stand proud together!

Decorating with Small Style

Here are some ideas that I have actually used as we have a small size apartment (about 1500 sq ft.)..lots of good ideas!!