decluttering http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12558/all en-US 8 Ways to Stage Your Home Without Hiring a Pro http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-505618800.jpg" alt="Woman staging her home without hiring a pro" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, you're selling your home but don't have the budget to hire a professional stager. Who does? After all, supplying and artfully arranging those vintage books, ficus trees, and nesting tables takes time and money. In fact, according to a 2016 article by Realtor.com, professionally staging a 2,000-square-foot home can cost around $2,000 a month.</p> <p>But never fear: By employing a few basic tips and tricks, your humble abode can still look like a million bucks. Here are eight ways to stage your home without hiring a pro. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-unexpected-costs-of-selling-a-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Unexpected Costs of Selling a Home</a>)</p> <h2>1. Edit and organize</h2> <p>Not only can you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-a-deep-declutter-can-improve-your-life?ref=internal" target="_blank">improve your life with a deep declutter</a>, it's an essential first step in staging a home properly. Toss out the junk, donate unused items, and consider packing for your move early and storing boxes off-site or in the garage. Once that's done, tame the wild spaces in your home. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-organize-a-messy-closet?ref=internal" target="_blank">Organize messy closets</a> and neatly arrange the pantry, basement, and other catchall areas.</p> <h2>2. Clean</h2> <p>Staging is an art, so start with a clean palette. Mop the floors, wash the windows, scrub the toilets, and dust anything that's standing still. In the minds of most buyers, a clean home is a well cared-for home.</p> <h2>3. Pack up the personality</h2> <p>As a stager, your goal is simple: Help potential buyers feel as if your home was made for <em>them</em>. Since you want to appeal to the widest audience possible, it's time to put away the personal photos and bubble-wrap that troll doll collection you've been curating since 1982. Sure, these things may mean the world to you, but they only limit the vision of would-be buyers.</p> <h2>4. Paint</h2> <p>Painting is one of simplest and most cost-effective ways to freshen up the look of a home. Stick with neutral wall colors. Shades of cream and white, soft greens, and subtle blues can add glow to a room without overpowering it. Though flat paint is ideal for nearly every area in your home, choose an easy-clean semi-gloss for kitchens, baths, and mudrooms.</p> <h2>5. Slow your roll</h2> <p>Selling a house is stressful. Besides packing and looking for a new place, you have to constantly bend your schedule around multiple showings and make sure your home always looks pristine. Don't add to the pressure by starting major projects.</p> <p>Forget retiling the bathroom floor, expanding the deck, or transforming the attic into a guest suite. Keep things simple, small, and entirely manageable. The goal is to accentuate the positive, not launch a full remodel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $50 or Less</a>)</p> <h2>6. Add detail</h2> <p>Once your house is decluttered, cleaned, and painted, it's time to take things to the next level. Spruce up the décor with plush accent pillows, new bathroom linens, tailored bed skirts, and neutral window treatments. If you're buying new, choose simple forms and solid colors that complement what you already own. Top things off by adding a few lush houseplants (skip the fresh flowers; some buyers may be allergic).</p> <h2>7. Expel bad smells</h2> <p>A well-staged home looks good and smells good (or at least doesn't smell <em>bad</em>). Remove pet and cooking odors with a deep clean that focuses on carpets and upholstered furniture. Air things out the old-fashioned way: Throw open the windows and turn on a few fans. Run a dehumidifier regularly to battle musty odors in bathrooms and basements. And remember, it's better to neutralize odors than cover them up with loads of scented candles and plug-in air fresheners. Strong artificial scents can turn off buyers.</p> <h2>8. Take it outside</h2> <p>Yes, curb appeal is a thing. Take your staging skills outside and spend an afternoon caulking windows, touching up paint, replacing broken light fixtures, and power-washing the deck. And green thumb or not, try a few inexpensive ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-make-your-yard-look-awesome-for-under-100?ref=internal" target="_blank">make your yard look awesome</a>.</p> <p>Successful staging is all about refinement &mdash; elevating a home's best features and appealing to the tastes of the general public. Though it doesn't take a professional to accomplish either of those tasks, it does require a professional-level commitment and a willingness to take your personality out of the equation. For your trouble, you just might land a top-dollar offer and get the chance to put your own stamp on a brand new place. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cheap-ways-to-stage-your-home-in-a-buyers-market?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Cheap Ways to Stage Your Home in a Buyer's Market</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sell-your-house-faster-with-these-6-house-flipping-tricks">Sell Your House Faster With These 6 House Flipping Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-unexpected-costs-of-selling-a-home">8 Unexpected Costs of Selling a Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-home-improvements-that-add-thousands-to-your-listing">9 Easy Home Improvements That Add Thousands to Your Listing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing">6 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal for Next to Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back">7 Smart Ways to Get Your Apartment Deposit Back</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing attract buyers cleaning curb appeal decluttering decorating packing painting selling a home staging Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Kentin Waits 1931273 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 48 Ways to Master the Art of Decluttering in Time for Spring http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_clutter_clothes_520127146.jpg" alt="Woman mastering the art of decluttering in time for spring" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With spring about to be sprung, it's time to tidy up your life. A major aspect of that is clearing out the clutter. Because once clutter accumulates, you lose track of things, your stress increases, and it really just gets in your way. Who needs that? Here's how to maximize your full decluttering potential when it comes time to spring clean.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/three_coffee_mugs_75581393_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-and-declutter-by-selling-these-5-unlikely-treasures?ref=seealso">Make Money and Declutter by Selling These 5 Unlikely Treasures</a> &mdash; There are certain items in your house right now that can bring in some extra cash. If you're not using it, why not make a little money instead, right? Clear the junk and fill your bank account.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter?ref=seealso">My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter</a> &mdash; A fantastic way to get ready to declutter is to hear another person's success story on the process. And nobody maximizes their space and earning potential quite like Max Wong. She can practically turn dust into diamonds and sell them to a major jeweler. She'll steer you right.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman-clothes-rack-Dollarphotoclub_75282538.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter?ref=seealso">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a> &mdash; Your clutter is there for a reason. The items occupying all your free space might have sentimental value, or you might have a bit of FOMO at the thought of throwing something away. These self-reflective questions will help you understand why you need to declutter in the first place, and how to avoid it altogether in the future.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-old-clothes-into-money-with-these-4-tools-and-apps?ref=seealso">Turn Old Clothes Into Money With These 4 Tools and Apps</a> &mdash; If I had a dollar every time I went into my closet and noticed a dress or shirt I never wear anymore, I'd be rich. Well, now I can put my money where my mouth is (and so can you!) by selling those unwanted pieces through these helpful apps and tools.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock-493440144.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free?ref=seealso">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a> &mdash; This method for decluttering is particularly brilliant, because it has you start out small. These tips also help you change the way you think about tangible things as soon as they come into your possession, and decide immediately whether or not you really need them.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-words-you-need-to-declutter-your-life?ref=seealso">The Only 5 Words You Need to Declutter Your Life</a> &mdash; Enter into Spring Cleaning season with this five-word mantra and you'll glide into summer as free as a bird. It's as easy as Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot. Yup, rot. Now get to work!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-128-creative-ways-to-upcycle-your-trash">Flashback Friday: 128 Creative Ways to Upcycle Your Trash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Lifestyle clean declutter decluttering fbf flashback friday saving money sell your stuff spring cleaning Fri, 17 Mar 2017 10:30:24 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1910936 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-493440144.jpg" alt="Learning how to keep your entire life clutter-free" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A preponderance of personal property is an almost universal problem for Americans who have easy access to both credit and cheap goods. Everywhere you turn, there are suggestions and advice on how to declutter, live simply, and embrace minimalism.</p> <p>Often the suggestions start with the idea that you need to be brutal when culling your possessions. If you're not the type to commune with your higher self in an empty room in a mountain cabin, such decluttering advice seems far too extreme. Even if you do hope to achieve Zen mastery of your minimalist home, the cull-it-all type of advice can be wildly optimistic for anyone who has things other than decluttering going on in their lives.</p> <p>That's why it's a good idea to follow the slow-and-steady path to declutter. Here are 10 ways you can declutter your home without actually having to commit acts of wanton purging. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter?ref=seealso" target="_blank">My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter</a>)</p> <h2>1. Stop Clutter at Its Source</h2> <p>Before your possessions became clutter, they were cute items on retail shelves that you couldn't resist bringing home with you. The easiest way to deal with clutter is to not create it. Commit to only buying items you truly need and learn how to say no to free stuff &mdash; whether it's swag from the company retreat or hand-me-downs that you know won't be used.</p> <h2>2. Get Rid of Things as You Notice Them</h2> <p>Many decluttering experts will give you what amounts to an assignment to declutter &mdash; either commit to getting rid of one item a day or declutter over a weekend. An easy way to divest yourself of things is to get rid of them as you notice them. It's very easy to look at the stack of cough medicine measuring cups in your bathroom drawer and think, <em>I'll get rid of those later.</em> But there is no time like the present. When you notice something that doesn't need to be in your house, get rid of it right away.</p> <h2>3. Keep a Donation Bag by the Door</h2> <p>Part of the reason why it can be so difficult to get rid of perfectly good items is the fact that you don't have enough to make the trip to Goodwill worthwhile. So get in the habit of leaving a bag for donations by the door, so that you can collect the items you plan to donate without allowing them to continue to clutter up your space.</p> <h2>4. Make a Donation Run a Regular Part of Your Errands</h2> <p>I am embarrassed to admit that I have been carrying three bags of clothes and other miscellany in the trunk of my car for over six months. I intend to donate the items to Goodwill, but I am out of the habit of making donations as part of my regular errands. When I regularly go to Goodwill or the Salvation Army on a weekly or twice-a-month basis, it is much easier to commit to decluttering.</p> <p>Find the local donation center for you, and plan on making a stop there every week or every other week on the same day you go grocery shopping. Make donating items a regular habit.</p> <h2>5. Place Items You're Not Sure About in a One-Year Box</h2> <p>This rule will allow you to determine just how often you use things you are afraid to give up. Set up this box in the basement or the garage, and as you clean, place items you don't use but don't want to get rid of into it. Once the box is full, seal it and date it for one year in the future. If you have not used the items in the box within that year, then donate or trash the box without opening it. It's likely you won't even recall its exact contents.</p> <h2>6. Ask Yourself Two Important Questions for Each Item You Find</h2> <p>Dana K. White, who blogs about her journey to cleanliness at <a href="http://www.aslobcomesclean.com/2010/02/my-two-decluttering-questions/" target="_blank">A Slob Comes Clean</a>, learned to ask herself two questions while she decluttered her home:</p> <ul> <ul> <li>If I needed this item, where would I look for it? That will prompt you to put item away in its new, sensible home.</li> </ul> </ul> <ul> <li>If I needed this item, would it <em>ever occur</em> to me that I already have one? If it wouldn't, then you can go ahead and get rid of the item because you'd just buy another one anyway when the need for it arises.</li> </ul> <p>Answering these questions will force you to make a decision about each item you find.</p> <h2>7. Redefine Waste</h2> <p>It can be difficult to part with items you don't need if you spent good money on them. You would hate to waste the hard-earned money you spent by donating or trashing a perfectly good item &mdash; so you plan to either start using it or sell it, neither of which happen.</p> <p>A simple attitude adjustment can help to make this conundrum much simpler. Remember that the money has been wasted already, and is therefore wasted whether or not you keep the item. So you might as well not also waste the space on the item in addition to the money. Why give up both your money <em>and </em>your clean home to something that was a waste?</p> <h2>8. Create a What-Would-You-Replace List</h2> <p>If you are paralyzed by the size of your decision to get rid of some things, try looking at your decluttering in reverse. Start by asking yourself, &quot;What items would I replace if I lost everything in a flood or fire?&quot; You can feel confident that anything you'd be willing to buy again is something worth keeping, whereas the things that you wouldn't replace can go.</p> <h2>9. Give Away Your Possessions as Gifts to People Who Will Appreciate Them</h2> <p>While getting rid of things can be psychologically difficult, giving gifts tends to feel great. So start thinking about decluttering as an opportunity to give your family and friends things they would love. For instance, as you look through your books or DVDs, pull out any that you think a friend or family member would enjoy. If you have a set of fancy china you don't use, give it to a friend who collects china or one who needs a set of dinnerware.</p> <p>To make sure you're not just shifting the clutter to another person, make sure you ask before you give the gifts to your friends and family &mdash; and be willing to take no for an answer.</p> <h2>10. Spend Small Amounts of Down Time Decluttering</h2> <p>You might think that you need an entire weekend, or at least an uninterrupted hour, to declutter your home. But you have more time than you think you do. Take the time while your burrito microwaves to look through the utensil drawer to see if there is anything you can throw away or put in the donation bag. The two minutes you would otherwise be watching your lunch rotate around could be time spent purging items you don't need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/declutter-your-home-in-10-minutes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Declutter Your Home in 10 Minutes a Day</a>)</p> <p>Similarly, instead of hitting the Skip Advertisement button on the YouTube video five seconds in, let the commercial play and you can take that time to find the dry pens and stubby pencils that are cluttering up your office drawer.</p> <p>Anytime you are forced to wait is time you could use to find something that no longer belongs in your home.</p> <h2>Decluttering Is a Path, Not a Destination</h2> <p>The thing to remember about finally achieving your decluttered home is you will need to commit to making decluttering a regular habit. Unfortunately, there is no point at which you are done &mdash; but that also means that small actions taken on a regular basis can make a huge difference.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Smart%2520Ways%2520to%2520Keep%2520Your%2520Entire%2520Life%2520Clutter-Free.jpg&amp;description=10%20Smart%20Ways%20to%20Keep%20Your%20Entire%20Life%20Clutter-Free"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Smart%20Ways%20to%20Keep%20Your%20Entire%20Life%20Clutter-Free.jpg" alt="10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-decide-what-to-keep-when-downsizing">How to Decide What to Keep When Downsizing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time">How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life — One Step at a Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization cleaning tips clear the clutter clutter declutter decluttering organize your life spring cleaning Fri, 10 Mar 2017 10:30:32 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1905171 at http://www.wisebread.com Ease Into Minimalism With Some Simple Steps http://www.wisebread.com/ease-into-minimalism-with-some-simple-steps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ease-into-minimalism-with-some-simple-steps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_minimalist_room_000074541869.jpg" alt="Family easing into minimalism with simple steps" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On a theoretical level, the minimalist life sounds like a fantasy. No excessive &quot;stuff&quot; that requires maintenance, cleaning, upgrades, or insurance. A beautiful home, a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-a-capsule-wardrobe-actually-save-you-money">capsule wardrobe</a>, and effortless travel thanks to your exquisitely packed (and tastefully matching) cabin-only baggage.</p> <p>Then a quick scan of home brings you abruptly back to Earth. If the &quot;crap basket&quot; was designed for anyone, it was my family. You know the one &mdash; it lives on the stairs, or a dresser, accumulating detritus until someone blinks and trashes the lot. But in my case, simply getting to the trashcan requires you to pick your way through discarded Lego bricks, turn a blind eye to the dumped homework pages curling in the sun, and ignore (or marvel at) the variety of clothing that has been shed on the porch.</p> <p>Minimalists we are not. But I can dream of better days, and start to practice a little now. And even if you're not in such a crisis &mdash; wouldn't it be great if you could slim down your stuff without missing it?</p> <h2>Change Your Mindset</h2> <p>Without stating the obvious, it's a lot easier to be minimalist if you have less stuff to start off with. If you live in a house with kids who love brightly colored plastic, and a techie-geek early adopter, then this can be a challenge.</p> <p>But changing your thinking about acquiring stuff is a start. After all, how much of the stuff that came into your home in the last six months still gives you pleasure, and how much is a burden?</p> <p>Often we buy for the buzz, but that wears off, and can even lead to negative feelings as the ongoing cost of maintaining or upgrading &quot;toys&quot; becomes apparent. Even with purchases, which do not require ongoing attention, their attraction fades as we become used to them. Whereas we tend to tell the story of a vacation or experience over and over, the story of &quot;how I bought my Jimmy Choos&quot; doesn't work so well, and soon even the slightly scuffed and last-season shoes lose their appeal. Amit Kumar, co-author of a <a href="http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2013/01/feel-happier-talk-about-experiences-not-things">study on happiness</a>, eloquently said:</p> <p>&quot;A once-cherished Walkman is now obsolete, but, as Humphrey Bogart once told Ingrid Bergman, &quot;We'll always have Paris.&quot;&quot;</p> <p>Switch your mindset about buying new things &mdash; and if you're up to it, go one step further. What if you cashed in your clutter and made the money work for you instead? Take a quick spin on eBay, and reinvest the cash you earn in a shared experience instead of an upgraded gadget.</p> <h2>Slow Down Your Purchase Process</h2> <p>If you find yourself moving at lightning speed when the urge to splurge hits, then before you know it, you're weighed down with new purchases. Help yourself by slowing down the decision-making process.</p> <p>Some things you really need. Most things you simply want &mdash; but many of us don't even register the difference. We are trained to feel like a new purchase should be ours because we deserve it. Advertising makes consumption normal, whether or not we actually need to buy more stuff, and at a subconscious level we come to expect certain things. Maybe it's buying a new winter coat every season, even though the last one barely saw the light of day. Perhaps you find yourself drawn by an inexorable force to the new iPhone, despite there being little to pick it apart from the one in your pocket. Once you're on it, it's hard to backpedal &mdash; after all, you work hard for this, should you not allow yourself a little treat?</p> <p>Force time to think about the things you buy. One useful thought exercise can be to ask whether you would like the immediate purchase as much if you compare it to the potential lifetime return the cash could bring you. So, if you assume a modest 5% interest rate if you invested the money in your pocket, you could have the $1,000 bag today, or you could have the $1,000 pay you $50 every year of your life (and still have the capital there if you ever did decide the handbag was a life or death necessity). And if all else fails, encase your cards in ice and you're forced to wait until they defrost before you go on a spree.</p> <h2>Try Before You Buy</h2> <p>When it comes to avoiding the temptation to accumulate more stuff, there is some very old school, tried and tested advice. Shop online (with a plan), and don't hang out in malls, and you are well on the way.</p> <p>But the rise of the sharing economy is good news for wannabe minimalists. There are some gadgets, or hardware items, that we need once in awhile that can seem essential to every household &mdash; but now you can also consider whether you can borrow or rent things before leaping into a purchase.</p> <p>If you're considering a purchase, renting can be a great way to &quot;try before you buy,&quot; and you can even make the most of your own seldom used stuff by renting it out for a profit rather than having it sitting about ruining your minimalist ambitions.</p> <h2>Don't Organize</h2> <p>This might seem like counterintuitive advice if you want to live a sleek and simple life, but the worst thing you can do is organize. Step away from the additional shelving, and dump stuff instead!</p> <p>The very thought of trashing those keepsakes might have put you into a tailspin. That's normal &mdash; we all have a little bit of the hoarder inside.</p> <p>To make this work, you need a friend to supervise so you don't cop out &mdash; and a steely resolve. But removing the need to build yet more flat pack storage units is its own reward. If sentimental keepsakes are your downfall, digitize what you can, and go about writing your personal story in a way that honors memories without bogging you down. Through the process, you will identify what is actually meaningful to you, and what you can let go.</p> <p>If you're nervous about throwing away vital paperwork, like tax documents, check out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-shred-or-not-to-shred-how-long-to-keep-your-tax-records">our guide on what to toss</a> &mdash; and get shredding. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-minimalist-can-you-really-be?ref=seealso">How Minimalist Can You Really Be?</a>)</p> <p>I have a long way to go before I can take any minimalist honors. For now, I will have to satisfy myself with having a clear path through the shoes, Wellington boots, skateboards, and soccer balls in the hallway. But I can dream, and with these small tweaks, I might just get there one day.</p> <p><em>What about you? Is your home organized minimalist chic, or crap magnet? Tell us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ease-into-minimalism-with-some-simple-steps">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-a-deep-declutter-can-improve-your-life">12 Ways a Deep Declutter Can Improve Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-decide-what-to-keep-when-downsizing">How to Decide What to Keep When Downsizing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-minimalist-can-you-really-be">How Minimalist Can You Really Be?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-home-cleaner-than-a-pro-can-and-save-big">Get Your Home Cleaner Than a Pro Can — And Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-some-cash-with-these-6-clever-cleaning-hacks">Save Some Cash With These 6 Clever Cleaning Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Home cleaning controlling temptation decluttering living simply minimalism organizing Fri, 27 May 2016 09:30:21 +0000 Claire Millard 1717322 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ways a Deep Declutter Can Improve Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-a-deep-declutter-can-improve-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-ways-a-deep-declutter-can-improve-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home-4794309-small.jpg" alt="declutter" title="declutter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="169" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I love to declutter. In fact, I love it so much that I seldom have a chance to accumulate enough for proper decluttering. In my mind, a really deep declutter is more than just about cleaning. It's an opportunity to change our lives and reorganize our world. If you need to change things up in your own life, consider a deep declutter. It can help you in lots of unexpected ways. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today" target="_blank">25 Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <h2>1. Move on From the Past</h2> <p>Decluttering our homes can help us move on from the past &mdash; processing previous relationships, old jobs, and ideas that didn't work. While there's certainly nothing wrong with a bit of sentimentality, holding on to everything can sometimes hold us back.</p> <h2>2. Gain Good Karma</h2> <p>Most of our homes are filled with very useful things that we have no use for ourselves. Free up space by freeing up objects. Donate clothes, cookware, tools, and toys <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-out-for-a-cause-make-a-noncash-tax-deductible-donation" target="_blank">to charities for a tax write-off</a> and good karma points.</p> <h2>3. Clear Some Mental Space</h2> <p>It's difficult to feel at peace in a disordered environment. Too much stuff clutters our homes and muddies our minds. If you're in need of a mental or emotional reset, try a bit of declutter therapy.</p> <h2>4. Reorganize</h2> <p>Decluttering is the first step to getting organized. A deep declutter can set the stage for redefining spaces, establishing new habits, getting control of bill paying or budgeting, or setting up a home office.</p> <h2>5. Find What You Already Have</h2> <p>Do you know what's hiding in the back of your closets or the darkest recesses of your basement? Maybe there's a few things back there you could actually use. Avoid buying duplicates or triplicates by rediscovering what you already own.</p> <h2>6. Make Space to Pursue Hobbies</h2> <p>Decluttering our homes can create new space to pursue those hobbies we've put off for so long. Clear out an area in the garage for a woodworking shop, turn the attic into a craft studio, or remake a bedroom into a home office.</p> <h2>7. Make Some Extra Cash</h2> <p>Decluttering can be a cash cow if you're willing to sell on eBay, to a consignment shop, or at a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-yard-sale" target="_blank">well-planned yard sale</a>. Somehow, cleaning closets doesn't seem so daunting when there's a few bucks to be made.</p> <h2>8. Save Money on Storage</h2> <p>Last August, I wrote about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-why-self-storage-is-a-really-bad-idea" target="_blank">why self-storage is a really bad idea</a>. A big part of the losing equation on storage is the cost. Emptying and eliminating the storage spaces that have become satellite homes for our stuff frees up money. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather have a stuffed wallet than a stuffed storage locker.</p> <h2>9. Reignite Old Interests</h2> <p>Sometimes life gets in the way of our passions and hobbies. The process of decluttering can unearth interests we've tabled and projects we've long forgotten. Declutter with a sense of discovery and stay open to reenergizing those old pursuits.</p> <h2>10. Share Memories</h2> <p>Decluttering can uncover treasures to be passed on and shared with family. A couple of years ago my mom stumbled upon some old photos and silverware that belonged to a late relative. We sent these heirlooms to the relative's granddaughter who loved receiving them and will cherish them more than we ever could.</p> <h2>11. Reduce Your Footprint</h2> <p>When we know exactly what we have, we can skip unnecessary purchases. Likewise, owning less means there's less to store, less to clean, and less to maintain. Decluttering can help reduce our footprints (carbon and otherwise) and help us to live greener lives.</p> <h2>12. Turn a Bad Mood Good</h2> <p>To put it in not-quite-clinical terms, <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/room/ci_8060057" target="_blank">clutter is a downer</a>. Although it may take us awhile to work up the motivation, cleaning and purging our homes of clutter can recalibrate our mood and improve our outlook. Our personal spaces are important and taking the time to spruce things up is a wonderful way to honor ourselves.</p> <p>In a world where sometimes it feels like we have to beat back clutter with a stick, ridding our lives of unnecessary objects is practically therapeutic. The results can be wonderful and the high can be habit-forming. Now grab some boxes from the grocery store and start emptying the attic!</p> <p><em>What's the most surprising or valuable thing you've discovered while decluttering? What's your decluttering schedule or strategy?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F12-ways-a-deep-declutter-can-improve-your-life&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F12%2520Ways%2520a%2520Deep%2520Declutter%2520Can%2520Improve%2520Your%2520Life.jpg&amp;description=12%20Ways%20a%20Deep%20Declutter%20Can%20Improve%20Your%20Life"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/12%20Ways%20a%20Deep%20Declutter%20Can%20Improve%20Your%20Life.jpg" alt="12 Ways a Deep Declutter Can Improve Your Life" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-a-deep-declutter-can-improve-your-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-why-self-storage-is-a-really-bad-idea">7 Reasons Why Self-Storage Is a Really Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ease-into-minimalism-with-some-simple-steps">Ease Into Minimalism With Some Simple Steps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-downsize-and-declutter">How to Downsize and Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization Productivity decluttering easy organizing living simply Tue, 02 Jul 2013 10:20:56 +0000 Kentin Waits 980185 at http://www.wisebread.com Talking Trash: Is Your Messy Mind the Cause of Your Messy House? http://www.wisebread.com/talking-trash-is-your-messy-mind-the-cause-of-your-messy-house <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/talking-trash-is-your-messy-mind-the-cause-of-your-messy-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4797769197_30956ef636_z.jpg" alt="thinking" title="thinking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;ve been messy since birth. One of the constants in my life has been arguing with my mother over how to clean the house, any house, properly. My neatnik mother is one of those naturally tidy people. You know the type. She&rsquo;s so put-together that she looks like a flight attendant.</p> <p>&ldquo;A cluttered desk equals a cluttered mind,&rdquo; she&rsquo;d say, passing me the feather duster. &ldquo;If that&rsquo;s the case, &ldquo; I&rsquo;d shoot back, quoting Einstein, &ldquo;Then what does an empty desk signify?&rdquo; (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clutter-free-the-zero-accumulation-household">Clutter-Free:&nbsp;The Zero-Accumulation Household</a>)</p> <p>I mean, really. Does it even matter that I have a messy mind?</p> <p>I asked my friend <a href="http://www.aclearpath.net/top10.html">Dr. Regina Lark</a>, who chairs the Education Committee of the National Association of Professional Organizers, if there&rsquo;s any connection between a messy desk and a messy mind.</p> <p>&ldquo;Of course,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>Fudge.</p> <p>I hate losing arguments to my mom.</p> <p>To quote Regina, &ldquo;There are people who are genetically messy because their brain is hardwired for non-linear thinking. They are very right brained and artistic. They are out there in the world. They are social. They&rsquo;d rather do anything other than file. So when these people come home, they get an idea for a project, and everything else just goes on the floor.&rdquo;</p> <p>Uh oh. As of this moment I count seven, SEVEN unfinished projects in my living room alone. On the floor. Of course.</p> <p>So, how do non-linear thinkers clear their internal and external space? For me, this means less about relieving the footprint of clutter and more about maintaining a level of organization that allows me to spend the maximum amount of time pursuing creative projects.</p> <p>I asked Regina how she would handle a client like me. &ldquo;We&rsquo;d develop a workaround for you. We&rsquo;d find a fix that would solve the mess but not make you feel like you are losing your creative edge. For example, I have clients who have piles of clothes cluttering their bedrooms because they hate hanging up their clothes. They argue that, &lsquo;the clothes are just going to come off the hangers anyway so why put them on the hangers to begin with?&rsquo; &nbsp;Since I&rsquo;m never going to convince the clients that hanging up their clothes isn&rsquo;t a total waste of their time, my attitude is, &lsquo;If you just can&rsquo;t stand putting your clothes on hangers, let&rsquo;s go get you some really awesome looking hooks.&rsquo; Take the sticking point &mdash; the hangers &mdash; out of the equation.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;Could clearing clutter really be this easy?</p> <p>The answer is yes. Unfortunately, clearing a messy desk is easier than clearing a messy mind, because of what Regina calls &ldquo;Head Trash.&rdquo;</p> <p>Head Trash is made of the negative messages that loop in our heads that make us feel bad about ourselves. &ldquo;My college degree is worthless.&rdquo; &ldquo;I have a bad marriage.&rdquo; &ldquo;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stick-to-an-exercise-plan">Why can&rsquo;t I go to the gym</a>?&rdquo; Head Trash is insidious because it gets fed all the time.</p> <p>In her new book &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0985766182/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0985766182&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=lx04-20">Psychic Debris, Crowded Closets: The Relationship between the Stuff in Your Head and What&rsquo;s Under Your Bed</a><i>,&quot; </i>Regina gives her readers some strategies on how to dump Head Trash and clean up the house at the same time.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Write Down&nbsp;Your Head Trash</h2> <p>To quote <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pogo_-_Earth_Day_1971_poster.jpg">Pogo</a>, &ldquo;We have met the enemy and he is us.&rdquo; To combat Head Trash, first you have to know what you&rsquo;re up against. Write down all the mean things you say to yourself. Every time you start trash talking yourself, start the conversation again with nicer dialogue.&nbsp;</p> <p>Even Regina falls victim to Head Trash. &ldquo;The other night I got out of the shower and caught myself worrying over some new line in my skin. Why is negativity the first thing? Why is the default position to put yourself down? Instead of continuing to stare at my new wrinkle, I told myself, &lsquo;Regina, nice shoulders!&rsquo; And then I walked away from the mirror.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Your life is a book. Repeating the narrative keeps you from getting out of that bad chapter in your life,&rdquo; counsels Regina. &ldquo;The storyline must move forward. When you find yourself listening to Head Trash say THE END out loud and start a new chapter. Turn the page.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <h2>Look at Your Clutter.&nbsp;How Does That Make You&nbsp;Feel?</h2> <p>After making a list of all your Head Trash, look at your space and look at how you talk about yourself in that regard. For example, after living with bed sheets tacked up over my windows for the last five years, I finally went out and bought drapes. These drapes have yet to be installed for a variety of reasons, all relating to my Head Trash. &ldquo;These might be too long. I don&rsquo;t want to have to hem them.&rdquo; &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t put them up until I install the window molding.&rdquo; &ldquo;I hope I like how these hang because returning them is going to be such a drag.&rdquo; After five years of searching for the perfect drapes, I still don&rsquo;t have confidence in my choice. I asked Regina how I should approach this kind of issue.</p> <p>&ldquo;You can make your space what you want to be,&rdquo; explains Regina. &ldquo;But decluttering your space can&rsquo;t be successful if you don&rsquo;t have clarity of what your space will look like when you are done. Create a vision board of your perfect space by either by cutting photos out of magazines or on Pinterist. My vision has great art. My vision does not have two crock pots.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Once you&rsquo;ve created your vision for your space, enlist some help in the decision making process and to declutter. If this were pleasurable, you would do it in one second. Ask a friend whose taste you admire, to help you pare down your closet to only the clothes that make you look and feel great about yourself.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Ironically, many people avoid decluttering because they are afraid that they are decluttering <i>incorrectly</i>. To make the experience go faster have a declutter party with wine and snacks. Explain that you can accept criticism from friends at the party if it&rsquo;s made with kindness. Take turns clearing each person&rsquo;s home.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <h2>Practice Living in the&nbsp;Present</h2> <p>Regina counsels her clients to bury their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trader-joes-vs-costco-whats-a-better-place-to-shop">Costco</a> cards. &ldquo;You don&rsquo;t live in the Adirondacks circa 1804. Yes, you may use the 12 cans of Ajax you bought in bulk to clean your house in the future, but in the present, they are just making your house messy.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;American consumer culture has done a great job brainwashing us into believing we need all this stuff. When I help people organize their stuff, I&rsquo;m really helping them ditch a lot of broken promises and shattered dreams. Exercise equipment, lotions, everything is really dusty. They buy it, they don&rsquo;t use it, and then the Head Trash kicks in. Then they go back out and buy more stuff that promises to make them feel better about themselves. It&rsquo;s a vicious cycle.&ldquo;</p> <h2>Make Connections With&nbsp;People, Not Things&nbsp;</h2> <p>I asked Regina if she thinks that clutter is a specifically American problem.</p> <p>&ldquo;Yes. America is the only nation where the pursuit of happiness is a right. The rhetoric of this country is hardwired into us, and is the foundation of the American Dream.&nbsp;While there are over one hundred international members of the National Organization of Organizers, and research shows that bad clutter is everywhere, in the United States we&rsquo;ve taken the language of democracy and we&rsquo;ve monetized it. Americans have 3.2% of the kids in the world, but buy 40% of the toys. Over the last fifty years, over the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/our-high-high-standard-of-living-1">top spending has become so culturally acceptable</a>, that the American Dream is no longer within grasp of many people. Adult children living with their parents was totally normal behavior up until this last generation. Now, people who must live with their parents for budgetary reasons feel like failures.&quot;&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Is it surprising that prisons and storage facilities are both booming industries in the United States? We Americans, we&rsquo;re the best at putting stuff away&hellip;in the wrong place.&rdquo;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ftalking-trash-is-your-messy-mind-the-cause-of-your-messy-house&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FTalking%2520Trash-%2520Is%2520Your%2520Messy%2520Mind%2520the%2520Cause%2520of%2520Your%2520Messy%2520House-.jpg&amp;description=Talking%20Trash%3A%20Is%20Your%20Messy%20Mind%20the%20Cause%20of%20Your%20Messy%20House%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Talking%20Trash-%20Is%20Your%20Messy%20Mind%20the%20Cause%20of%20Your%20Messy%20House-.jpg" alt="Talking Trash: Is Your Messy Mind the Cause of Your Messy House?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/talking-trash-is-your-messy-mind-the-cause-of-your-messy-house">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-unusual-ways-to-sell-your-stuff">11 Unusual Ways to Sell Your Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-a-deep-declutter-can-improve-your-life">12 Ways a Deep Declutter Can Improve Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-downsize-and-declutter">How to Downsize and Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-why-self-storage-is-a-really-bad-idea">7 Reasons Why Self-Storage Is a Really Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Personal Development decluttering Mental Clutter simple living Wed, 27 Feb 2013 10:48:33 +0000 Max Wong 968067 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Things to Do Before the New Year http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-before-the-new-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-things-to-do-before-the-new-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4682447648_0178d6dc77_z.jpg" alt="couple with champagne" title="couple with champagne" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before you know it another year will have passed and we&rsquo;ll be on to 2013. In anticipation of that eagerly awaited fresh start, I thought it pertinent to remind you of a few loose ends you might want to take care of so you can kick off January 1 with a clean slate. To help you stay on track, here are 25 things you should do before the New Year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-new-things-to-do-today">25 New Things to Do Today</a>)</p> <h3>1. Do a Deep Clean of Your Home</h3> <p>Many of us do a spring clean, but our homes could probably use concentrated TLC more than once a year. So you can tackle all the problems areas head on, I&rsquo;ve written this <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle">check list on how to clean your home in the fall</a>.</p> <h3>2. Concentrate on Unfinished Projects</h3> <p>You know that project you were excited about for a couple days then pushed to wayside for any number of reasons? Revisit it and finish it so you can enjoy a sense of accomplishment and have peace of mind before the year ends.</p> <h3>3. Make Last-Minute Donations to Boost Your Tax Deductions</h3> <p>Round up anything you don&rsquo;t want anymore, and send it off to an organization that can put it to better use. Look under the bed and in the attic, rummage through the garage and basement, and pull things out of your closet that you no longer want or need, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-out-for-a-cause-make-a-noncash-tax-deductible-donation">giving them to a good cause</a> so you can write the donation off later.</p> <h3>4. Plan Meals Based on What&rsquo;s Already in Your Fridge and Pantry</h3> <p>Instead of going grocery shopping for the last month of the year, make a list of ingredients using what&rsquo;s already in your fridge and pantry and plan meals based on what you have. You&rsquo;ll save money and get rid of foods that will expire if you leave them in there too long.</p> <h3>5. Reconnect With a Friend With Whom You&rsquo;ve Lost Touch</h3> <p>Most of us are well-meaning people, but sometimes life gets in the way. If you&rsquo;ve lost touch with a friend or family member this year (or for a few years even), give them a call or send an e-mail to reestablish the connection.</p> <h3>6. Clean Out Your E-mail Inbox and Folders</h3> <p>Follow-up on unanswered e-mails, delete expired messages, and otherwise organize your e-mail and its folders to make life a little easier on yourself when it&rsquo;s time to get back to work.<b>&nbsp;</b></p> <h3>7. Get Your Receipts Together to Start Preparing Your Taxes</h3> <p>As soon as the New Year starts, I&rsquo;m ready to go to the tax guy. My taxes are usually filed by the end of February because of this proactive procedure. It&rsquo;s a huge burden lifted. Get busy now to save yourself a lot of stress later.</p> <h3>8. Schedule a Physical With Your Doctor &nbsp;</h3> <p>If it&rsquo;s been a while since your last checkup, get to the doctor to make sure all is well.</p> <h3>9. Go to the Dentist for a Checkup</h3> <p>I know, I know &ndash; nobody likes the dentist. But it&rsquo;s important to take care of your chompers on a regular basis. If you&rsquo;ve skipped a couple cleanings, get to the dentist as soon as possible.</p> <h3>10. Hit the After-Holiday Sales to Stock Up for Next Year <b><br /> </b></h3> <p>This is one of my favorite activities! After Christmas has gone for another year, hit up your favorite discount department store to stock up on wrapping paper, gift bags, and all manner of holiday paraphernalia at big savings.</p> <h3>11. Make Short-Term New Year&rsquo;s Goals</h3> <p>Notice I didn&rsquo;t call these &ldquo;resolutions.&rdquo; The reason for that is because resolutions are a waste of time because we think too big when making them. Instead, think about smaller, reasonably attainable goals to concentrate on in the new year. I promise you&rsquo;ll have more success in achieving them than those lofty goals you&rsquo;ve made in the past.&nbsp;</p> <h3>12. Host a Holiday Party to Spread the Good Cheer</h3> <p>Get everybody together for one last hurrah before getting back to the grind.</p> <h3>13. Cut the Clutter in Your Home by Selling Unwanted Items Online&nbsp;</h3> <p>This is never a bad idea, but it&rsquo;s very useful this time of year to help offset the cost of the holidays. Sells old books, DVDs, clothes, electronics, appliances &ndash; really anything that you think someone else could use &ndash; to earn a bit of extra income as the year comes to a close.</p> <h3>14. Update Your Resume Just in Case</h3> <p>You never know what can happen in the blink of an eye, so it&rsquo;s best to be ready. Update your resume and bio so you can start looking for a new job if you lose the one you have or so you can start the New Year hitting the ground running in the search for a better job.&nbsp;</p> <h3>15. Change the Oil in Your Vehicle</h3> <p>Every six months or 3,000 miles. If you&rsquo;re past due, get to the mechanic now.</p> <h3>16. Go on a Mini-Vacation</h3> <p>The holidays can take a toll on your sanity &mdash; I know that better than anyone. If you&rsquo;re at your wit&rsquo;s end, take a few days off by taking a mini-vacation in a nearby, inexpensive place where nobody knows your name.</p> <h3>17. Use Up About-to-Expire Daily Deal Coupons&nbsp;</h3> <p>I have more deals than I have time, so I plan to concentrate on using them up instead of spending more money before ringing in 2013.</p> <h3>18. Start a New Exercise Routine</h3> <p>A lot of people plan to start exercising Jan. 1 or shortly thereafter, but why not get a head start? Start your new exercise routine now so you&rsquo;re already in the thick of it when the new year begins.</p> <h3>19. Create a Monthly Meal Plan for January</h3> <p>I started doing this a few months ago, and it&rsquo;s been a blessing for my health and wallet. This December, sit down and create a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-every-day-a-month-of-frugal-meals">monthly meal plan</a> &mdash; at least for dinner &mdash; so you know what you&rsquo;re eating every night of the week. It&rsquo;s really incredible how much healthier your eating habits become when your meals are on paper.</p> <h3>20. Complete Small Home-Improvement Projects</h3> <p>By small, I mean change burnt-out light bulbs, tossing out dead plants, washing the windows, etc. Ya know, those things you&rsquo;ve been meaning to do but keep putting off.</p> <h3>21. Update and Consolidate Your Contacts</h3> <p>There&rsquo;s no better time of year than holiday time to update your contacts &mdash; especially if you plan to send out cards or host a party. Your workload will be all the much easier than trying to do it in piece meal.</p> <h3>22. Revamp Your Budget to Save More Money&nbsp;</h3> <p>Sit down and evaluate your financial situation. If you spent too much this year or didn&rsquo;t save enough (not always one in the same, mind you), make a plan to cut out some expenses you can live without and implement strategies to save more money along the way.</p> <h3>23. Clean Up Your TiVo&nbsp;</h3> <p>My TiVo is clogged with all kinds of content I thought I wanted to watch, but really don&rsquo;t. If you&rsquo;re like me, get rid of the junk. Mid-season replacements are coming anyway &mdash; so you&rsquo;ll need the extra room.</p> <h3>24. Make Provisions for a Disaster or Other Emergency&nbsp;</h3> <p>Let Hurricane Sandy be a lesson to us all. Turns out we&rsquo;re not prepared for impending disaster. To make a terrible situation like that a little more bearable when it strikes, start stocking up on disaster supplies now so you&rsquo;re not left scrambling (or worse, up the proverbial creek without a paddle) when the &quot;ish&quot; hits the fan.</p> <h3>25. Count Your Loose Change, and Deposit It Into Your Savings</h3> <p>Have a jar of coins you&rsquo;ve been keeping all year long? Count it out, wrap it up, and deposit it into your savings account. You&rsquo;ll be surprised at how much is in there. Doesn&rsquo;t look like much, but it adds up quickly.</p> <p><em>Have any ideas to add to this list of things you should do before the New Year? Let me know in the comments below. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-before-the-new-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-improve-your-life-before-the-end-of-the-year">10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Life Before the End of the Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sock-it-to-me-15-uses-for-old-socks">Sock It to Me: 15 Uses for Old Socks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-have-a-frugal-friday">15 Ways to Have a Frugal Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-same-actions-will-produce-the-same-results-ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-2">The Same Actions Will Produce The Same Results (Ten Tenets for Arranging Your Rich: Part 2)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting General Tips Lifestyle acheiving goals decluttering New Year's Tue, 11 Dec 2012 11:00:33 +0000 Mikey Rox 955764 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Have a Perfect No-Spend Weekend! http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-perfect-no-spend-weekend <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-have-a-perfect-no-spend-weekend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3935702554_5bd026824e_z.jpg" alt="community garden" title="community garden" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all want to be to make getting out of debt a bigger priority in our lives, but what do you do if you&rsquo;re not quite ready to make the full commitment (especially around the holidays) or if you&rsquo;re not quite sure you&rsquo;ll be able to handle it?</p> <p>The perfect solution is a No-Spend Weekend! You&rsquo;ll reap the benefits of cutting-back without the time commitment. After you get your feet wet with a No-Spend Weekend you just might be ready to try it for a year! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-a-spending-fast-in-16-easy-steps">How to do a Spending Fast in 16 (Easy!) Steps</a>)</p> <h3>1. Remember: Potlucks Are Your Friend!</h3> <p>There are a ton of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-potluck-parties-that-help-you-share-the-wealth">different potluck options</a>. Get creative and try breakfast, dessert, or appetizer potlucks. Recently I went to a pumpkin potluck, and everyone brought something around the pumpkin theme. It was a very clever idea! When everyone brings something the burden is lifted from one person, and you just might get to try some new foods!</p> <h3>2. Clear Out the Clutter</h3> <p>Go through everything in the closets, in the basement, under the beds, in the dressers.</p> <h3>3. Volunteer</h3> <p>Put a deposit in your karma bank, and help a person or organization in need.</p> <h3>4. Tap Into Your Library or Community for Free Events</h3> <p>Every city has <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">free events</a>; pick up a local paper and look online for listings.</p> <h3>5. Nap</h3> <p>Relax! A no-spend weekend is the perfect time to take that nap you keep dreaming about.</p> <h3>6. Wash All Your Linens</h3> <p>Nothing is better than clean sheets!</p> <h3>7. Have a Sleepover</h3> <p>Channel your childhood, grab your sleeping bags, and stay up late telling ghost stories.</p> <h3>8. Sign Up for a Free Week at a Gym</h3> <p>Get out of a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fitness-for-people-who-hate-exercise">work-out rut</a> quite like switching up your gym &mdash; even if it is just for a week (or a weekend)!</p> <h3>9. Try Out New Hairstyles</h3> <p>A whole new look for you could be as simple as parting your hair on the opposite side, slicking your hair back, conquering that fishtail braid, or simply pulling your hair up just a slightly higher ponytail.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite no-spend activities, and have you tried a no-spend weekend?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anna-newell-jones">Anna Newell Jones</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-perfect-no-spend-weekend">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-143-fun-and-frugal-ways-to-spend-your-weekend">Flashback Friday: 143 Fun and Frugal Ways to Spend Your Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-unusual-ways-to-sell-your-stuff">11 Unusual Ways to Sell Your Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ease-into-minimalism-with-some-simple-steps">Ease Into Minimalism With Some Simple Steps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-free-ways-to-cheer-yourself-up">30 Free Ways to Cheer Yourself Up</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-holidays-id-like-to-see">5 Financial Holidays I&#039;d Like to See</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living decluttering free things to do weekend Fri, 07 Dec 2012 11:00:31 +0000 Anna Newell Jones 955762 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Cheap Ways to Update a Wardrobe You Hate http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-update-a-wardrobe-you-hate <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-cheap-ways-to-update-a-wardrobe-you-hate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6962659942_41b1888027_z.jpg" alt="clothing swap" title="clothing swap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you hate your wardrobe, are sick of everything you own, and want to go shopping already, hold up! Here are eight cheap ways to update a wardrobe you hate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wardrobe-makeover-for-moms">10 Steps to Update Your Look on a Budget</a>)</p> <h3>1. Get Rid of Everything You Feel &ldquo;Meh&rdquo; About</h3> <p>Those pants that were a great deal but pinch your ankles in a slightly strange way &mdash; get them out of your closet, and stop feeling bad that you&rsquo;re not wearing them! You know that shirt that you bought from your favorite store that you <em>really want</em> to work but makes you look like you&rsquo;re built like a lumberjack? Yep, take it out of your closet too!&nbsp;</p> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to keep clothes just because you bought got a great deal on them. If in your gut you feel like, &ldquo;I really <em>should</em> be wearing that more...&rdquo; stop putting yourself through that agony, and let yourself get rid of it. It takes a lot of time to organize and maintain things; the less you have, the more time you give yourself.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re not quite ready to part with those pieces that you really want to work, put them in a storage container for a season or two, and then see how you feel about them when you see them again. Still not ready to part? Let them sit a little longer. It will get easier, and before long you&rsquo;ll be waving goodbye to those ill-fitting items that were such a good deal.</p> <p>Wearing things that you don&rsquo;t feel your best in is a sure way to get depressed about your wardrobe quickly. When you get rid of those &ldquo;meh&rdquo; clothes, then you&rsquo;ll be left with only the clothes that you <em>do</em> feel great in. Suddenly, your wardrobe in looking better and <a href="http://andthenwesaved.com/1-tip-for-having-style-on-the-cheap/">you&rsquo;re feeling better about yourself too</a>, and all without a single penny being spent!</p> <h3>2. Trade Clothes With Your Friends</h3> <p>You know that pile of clothes you created from the first tip? While those pants might pinch your ankles in the weirdest way, they could fit your friend perfectly. You can host a large-scale formal <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-potluck-parties-that-help-you-share-the-wealth">clothing swap</a> or just get some of your friends together one night and see who wants to trade what. This isn&rsquo;t just a tip for the ladies; guys can swap too! Bonus idea &mdash; have everyone bring a dessert so you don&rsquo;t have to foot the bill for the food.</p> <h3>3. Go to Buy-Sell-Trade Stores</h3> <p>If your friends don&rsquo;t want to trade clothes with you, then seek out your city&rsquo;s buy-sell-trade shops. I love Buffalo Exchange and <a href="http://ilovescout.com">Scout: Dry Goods and Trade</a>. If the store chooses to buy the items you bring in, they will give you either money (yay!) or store credit, and you can pick out something new-to-you that you truly like.</p> <p>Anything that you can&rsquo;t get rid of after the second or third trips, donate to the thrift store. Be sure to get a receipt so you can get a tax benefit at the end of the year.</p> <h3>4. Use Scarves</h3> <p>Before I was a frugal lady I used to hate this idea. I always thought, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not 70, okay?! I&rsquo;m not going to wear scarves!&rdquo;&nbsp;Turns out I was completely wrong.&nbsp;</p> <p>Scarves are easy to come by. They&rsquo;re available in a wide variety of patterns, colors, and textures; and they're crazy versatile. You can wrap them around your head, tie them to your bag, use them as a belt, and tie them around your neck. (You can check out more <a href="http://andthenwesaved.com/how-to-use-scarves-to-pump-up-your-style-on-the-cheap/">scarf styling ideas</a> on my website.)</p> <p>Scarves have a way of making things look just a little bit fancier. Three cheers for scarves!</p> <h3>5. Accessorize</h3> <p>You can find really <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/affordable-accessories-to-kickstart-your-style">cheap accessories</a> all over the place, and they can be used with a ton of different outfits to give your look a different vibe.</p> <h3>6. Re-Dye Your Clothes</h3> <p>Hit up the hobby store for a couple of packets of dye and bring new life to those old clothes. When clothes get faded from too many washes, it&rsquo;s easy to feel like they look wacky, worn-out, and old (and it&rsquo;s usually because they do!). You can re-dye your clothes the same color they originally were (I do this a lot with black cotton pants), or you can completely change the look of the item by experimenting and dyeing the item a new color (although you do have to be open-minded and ready for it to not turn out well, just in case).</p> <h3>7. Upcycle Your Clothes</h3> <p>This one might take a little practice, but check out some books from the library to get ideas about how to make the clothes you hate something you would love to wear again. Then pull out the sewing machine (or try one of these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-sew-ways-to-update-your-wardrobe">no-sew ways to update your wardrobe</a>), and let your inner fashion designer loose.</p> <h3>8. Enlist a Stylish Friend</h3> <p>Some people just have a knack for putting together great outfits. We all know at least one of these people! Ask them to check out your wardrobe and help you come up with some new combinations. Having a different set of eyes look at your closet and brainstorm new looks with you might just be all it takes to start feeling a lot better about your wardrobe.</p> <p><em>How do you cheaply change up your style when you&rsquo;re feeling bored with your wardrobe?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anna-newell-jones">Anna Newell Jones</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-update-a-wardrobe-you-hate">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-update-your-winter-wardrobe-on-the-cheap">10 Ways to Update Your Winter Wardrobe on the Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/guys-upgrade-your-style-without-buying-new-clothes">Guys: Upgrade Your Style Without Buying New Clothes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-ways-to-update-your-wardrobe-for-spring">Frugal Ways to Update Your Wardrobe for Spring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-touch-screen-gloves">The 5 Best Touch Screen Gloves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-manicure-kits">The 5 Best Manicure Kits</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Style decluttering organizing your closet update wardrobe Thu, 11 Oct 2012 10:36:40 +0000 Anna Newell Jones 954987 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Boost Your Energy and Get More Done http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-boost-your-energy-and-get-more-done <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-boost-your-energy-and-get-more-done" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/leaping_couple.jpg" alt="Couple jumping" title="Couple jumping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're feeling sluggish and can't seem to get anything done, perhaps it's time to work on your internal store of energy. By reinvigorating yourself, you'll be able to get more things done and have an easier time completing tasks. Here are changes you can make in your lifestyle to increase your energy.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Alternative-Treatments-Relaxation-18941471">RELATED:&nbsp;Alternative Treatments for Relaxation</a></p> <h2>Get Better Sleep</h2> <p>Sleep is key when it comes to fatigue. It's a time when your body rests and regenerates itself for yet another day. If you're having problems with sleep, get a physical to first see if there's something off with your body healthwise. Perhaps you aren't getting enough iron, or maybe there's a deeper health issue that needs to be rectified like thyroid problems. Start practicing good sleep habits like going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, making sure you're only exposed to dim lighting when it's close to bedtime, and experimenting to find your sleep sweet spot to make sure you're not sleeping too much or too little. Here are more suggestions on <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Tips-Fall-Asleep-22072102">how to improve your sleep</a>.</p> <h2>Move Around More</h2> <p>Even though it may seem like exercising will make you more tired, the truth is, engaging in physical activity will increase your energy. Set a regular schedule and try to work out at least three times a week. And if you're feeling like you're stuck in a slump at work, even a brisk 10-minute walk will energize you. Challenge yourself by taking the stairs and investing in a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/Omron-HJ-112-Digital-Pocket-Pedometer/dp/B0000U1OCI/ref=sr_1_2?s=sporting-goods&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1346176524&amp;sr=1-2">pedometer</a> ($22, originally $32) to motivate you. A pedometer is basically a gadget that measures how much you walk a day. The recommended amount of steps for an active lifestyle is <a target="_blank" href="http://www.3fatchicks.com/pedometer-facts-how-many-steps-to-lose-weight/">10,000 a day</a>.</p> <h2>Clean Your Home</h2> <p>Your home is a place for you to unwind and relax, so having a cluttered home can make you antsy. Gazing upon a mound of clothing instead of open, clean space is enough to make anyone stressed out. Having an untidy home is like facing a visible, never-ending to-do list all the time. Give yourself a break and start tackling the clutter in your home. If it seems overwhelming, start by resolving to dispose of one type of item a day. Here's <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/List-Things-Dispose-24575006">a list</a> to get you started.</p> <h2>Eat and Drink Right</h2> <p>You are what you eat, and what you ingest can definitely have a big impact on your energy. What you drink is also important; being dehydrated can make you feel fatigued. Drinking too much coffee can lead you to crash after the effect wears off. Too much sugar can also spike your blood sugar, which, although it can give you a boost of energy, will quickly drop and leave you feeling more tired than ever. Watch what you eat and what you drink. Drinking coffee or alcohol too close to bedtime can also affect your sleep.</p> <h2>Have Some &quot;Me&quot; Time</h2> <p>Take a moment to yourself to relax after a long day. It's important to manage your stress levels because stress can definitely sap your energy. Read a favorite book or watch a funny YouTube video to kick back and relax. Be sure to pick an activity that won't stress you out even further. For example, watching reality TV can possibly put someone in a more negative frame of mind.</p> <h2>Meditate</h2> <p>Pick up the fine art of meditation; it can work wonders for your brain and even help you bounce back better from stress. In fact, <a target="_blank" href="http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/01/24/brain-structure-changes-after-meditation/22859.html">scientists have found</a> that people who have trained in meditation have different brain activity than those who haven't trained. They respond better to situations that would cause us to lose emotional control.</p> <h2>Take a Break</h2> <p>Perhaps what you really need is a break from work. Go on a vacation to relieve your stress and renew your energy.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-to-boost-your-energy-and-get-more-done&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Ways%2520to%2520Boost%2520Your%2520Energy%2520and%2520Get%2520More%2520Done.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20to%20Boost%20Your%20Energy%20and%20Get%20More%20Done"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Ways%20to%20Boost%20Your%20Energy%20and%20Get%20More%20Done.jpg" alt="7 Ways to Boost Your Energy and Get More Done" width="250" height="374" /></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> If you&#039;re sleepy, sluggish, or feeling sapped, don&#039;t just sit there — try these tricks to get your energy back up. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Taking-Breaks-Increase-Productivity-24324484">The Key to&nbsp;Doing More in&nbsp;Less Time</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Sleep-Affects-Productivity-24031442">How Sleep Affects Productivity</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Useful-Cleaning-Products-24479766">9 Cleaning&nbsp;Products That Will&nbsp;Change You&nbsp;Life</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-boost-your-energy-and-get-more-done">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/talking-trash-is-your-messy-mind-the-cause-of-your-messy-house">Talking Trash: Is Your Messy Mind the Cause of Your Messy House?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-youre-wasting-mental-energy-without-realizing-it">7 Times You&#039;re Wasting Mental Energy Without Realizing It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-combat-impostor-syndrome">10 Ways to Combat &quot;Impostor Syndrome&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development alert decluttering energy sleep well Mon, 03 Sep 2012 10:36:42 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 952467 at http://www.wisebread.com Silly Sounding, but Simple: Use Your Stuff http://www.wisebread.com/silly-sounding-but-simple-use-your-stuff <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/silly-sounding-but-simple-use-your-stuff" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5193853777_5cb1aaacf7_z.jpg" alt="woman and hairclip" title="woman and hairclip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've written before about how <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/help-from-a-former-pack-rat-getting-rid-of-stuff">I'm a reformed (or, at least, reforming) pack rat</a>. Last month, when I was going through bins of old stuff at my parents' house, I rediscovered one of what I deem to be the sadder aspects of my particular pack-ratness &mdash; not using nice things.</p> <p>In high school, I liked the cartoon &quot;Sailor Moon.&quot; Around that time, I went on vacation with my family to Florida, and I was thrilled to find these awesome, straight-from-Japan Sailor Moon stickers at a toy store. So I bought 'em. I did a lot of letter writing at the time, and I used some of them on letters I mailed to friends.</p> <p>But the majority of those stickers? When I was home earlier this year, I found them in a bin in the basement. I had thought that they were so nice, so precious, that I had to save them for the perfect time.</p> <p>The reality is that usually, there isn't a perfect time to use things like this.</p> <p>It's a lesson I'm still trying to learn. If I get nice things &mdash; things that are high-quality, delicate, or that I just really enjoy &mdash; I want to make sure that they last, and that I enjoy them as much as I can. And I don't think that's a bad urge. Taking good care of items, using those items judiciously, and appreciating the things you have are all important parts of frugality. But there are times even recently when I've taken it too far &mdash; there was the truffle oil from Italy that sat on my shelf for so long, waiting for the right meal, that the rich truffle flavor faded; there was the amazing-looking dress I splurged on that sat in the back of my closet for six months because I feared that I'd spill food all over it (I'm clumsy, so this is not unfounded).</p> <p>I've been working on enjoying the things I have <em>now</em> &mdash; not &quot;soon,&quot; not when&nbsp;&quot;the time is right.&quot; I've been wearing that dress out on dinner dates. And while the truffle oil may be long gone, the fancy cocktail bitters I received as a gift?&nbsp;I'm always thrilled to mix a drink with them for guests at my apartment.</p> <p>It's something my mom has been working on as well. I credit her for much of my wonderful frugality, but this mindset is something I might have also picked up from her. She's told me before about the drawer of nice nightgowns she used to have and never wore. I called her while working on this post to ask her about why she didn't wear them. Her answer? &quot;Because they were too nice.&quot;</p> <p>But, while we were having that conversation, she also told me about how one of her recent basement-emptying jaunts revealed the box of lead crystal glasses my parents received as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-wedding-registry-ideas">wedding gift</a>. She decided to put them into regular household rotation. &quot;I think that's something that's more of my generation,&quot; she said. &quot;You had one set of dishes for everyday, and one set of dishes for company. But it's just so silly [to keep them stored away]. What, are we not good enough for the nice glasses?&quot;</p> <p>Yup; it is silly to keep them stored away. Here's to enjoying and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gratitude-and-frugality">appreciating the things we have</a> &mdash; today.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/silly-sounding-but-simple-use-your-stuff">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-before-the-new-year">25 Things to Do Before the New Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sock-it-to-me-15-uses-for-old-socks">Sock It to Me: 15 Uses for Old Socks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-tyranny-of-stuff">The Tyranny of Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring">Flashback Friday: 48 Ways to Master the Art of Decluttering in Time for Spring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-crap-a-book-review-and-tips">How to Sell Your Crap: A Book Review and Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle appreciation decluttering pay more for quality Fri, 31 Aug 2012 10:24:42 +0000 Meg Favreau 952497 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Unusual Ways to Sell Your Stuff http://www.wisebread.com/11-unusual-ways-to-sell-your-stuff <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-unusual-ways-to-sell-your-stuff" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/468137657_e89c3f167e_z.jpg" alt="car boot sale" title="car boot sale" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you want to purge your stuff? Are you decluttering, or perhaps even selling everything to prepare for a life of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less" target="_blank">full-time travel</a>? By all means use the more conventional routes to lighten your load; they are discussed in these two posts:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-all-your-crap">How to Get Rid of All Your Crap</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-crap-a-book-review-and-tips">How to Sell Your Crap: A Book Review and Tips</a></li> </ul> <p>But for the path less traveled, here are a few creative techniques to enhance your selling spree (and maybe even have some fun in the process). (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-successful-garage-sale">How to Have a Successful Garage Sale</a>)</p> <h2>1. Sell at Local Colleges</h2> <p>Students love a bargain, and they are good candidates for just about anything you're selling &mdash; especially at the beginning of the school year when students are moving in.</p> <p>You can post flyers around the school and create listings in the classified sections of college forums.</p> <h2>2. Cross-Selling</h2> <p>If you are selling locally, encourage your buyer to pick up the item at your place; once you get them in the door, they might want to buy other things. (This worked a charm for me when I was selling everything I owned.) Of course, be prudent about the circumstances around strangers coming into your home; by taking precautions like having a friend over if you're alone.</p> <h2>3. Have a Raffle</h2> <p>You can do all kinds of things with the raffle concept. You can raffle off individual items (usually of higher value), as well as &ldquo;kits&rdquo; or &ldquo;baskets&rdquo; of related items of a theme (for example &ldquo;kitchen&rdquo; or &ldquo;toys&rdquo;). And depending on what you're raffling off, you can visit local clubs or specialty groups to raffle off some of your related &ldquo;kits&rdquo; (for example your bike and accoutrements might be of interest to members of a local cycling club).</p> <h2>4. Living Estate Sale</h2> <p>If you want a safe hands-off approach to selling the lot, a living estate sale is for you. There are organizations popping up everywhere offering this service; people come to your home and catalog everything to market and auction items off. They deal with the buyers, collect payments, and arrange pick-ups.</p> <h2>5. Raid My Closet Party</h2> <p>Invite your friends (and friends of friends) over to do as the name invites!</p> <h2>6. Car Boot Sales</h2> <p>These are big in Europe, where people gather to sell their wares out of their cars (usually on a blanket or table beside the car). You pay a small fee for your slot, which often goes to the hosting school or church.</p> <h2>7. Virtual Garage Sale</h2> <p>I know somebody who created a website with pictures and prices of everything they were selling, then promoted the website locally with flyers etc, as well as online with social media. They also used the site as a referral point for eBay and Craigslist listings, thus giving buyers more information and employing cross-selling strategies.</p> <h2>8. Post on Specialty Forums</h2> <p>For specialty items like fishing gear and mountain biking gear, use the classified section of an online forum related to the item you're selling.</p> <h2>9. Have a Yard Sale Clearance</h2> <p>Hopefully you'll get professional &ldquo;garage salers&rdquo; in; spot 'em and ask them to make an offer for everything. Expect to pretty much give it away. But if you want your stuff gone, there might be a simple pleasure in just watching somebody take it all.</p> <h2>10. Facebook</h2> <p>You can use Facebook in a few ways to sell your stuff. I've had success with simply posting a status update with various items for sale.</p> <p>You can also find dedicated Facebook groups for selling by performing searches like &ldquo;Buy or Sell in [insert the name of your town]&rdquo;.</p> <h2>11. Smartphone Applications</h2> <p>There are some creative ways to sell your stuff using smartphone-based applications and groups. Here are a couple:</p> <p><strong>Poshmark</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.poshmark.com">Poshmark</a>&nbsp;hosts real-time themed selling parties which you &ldquo;attend&rdquo; on your iPhone. Create listings with your phone to fit the event's theme (such as designer handbags, bold accessories, skirts &amp; scarfs, etc). When your item sells, Poshmark handles the payment and sends you a pre-paid pre-addressed shipping label (to anywhere in the US). They'll deduct a 20% commission fee from your earnings for this service, and it's currently only available to iPhone users in the US.</p> <p><strong>Rumgr</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.rumgr.com">Rumgr</a> is a location-based marketplace that allows you to list your items from your smartphone and shows your posts to people living in your area.</p> <p><em>Do you have any weird ways to sell your stuff? </em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F11-unusual-ways-to-sell-your-stuff&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F11%2520Unusual%2520Ways%2520to%2520Sell%2520Your%2520Stuff.jpg&amp;description=11%20Unusual%20Ways%20to%20Sell%20Your%20Stuff"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/11%20Unusual%20Ways%20to%20Sell%20Your%20Stuff.jpg" alt="11 Unusual Ways to Sell Your Stuff" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-unusual-ways-to-sell-your-stuff">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash">10 Easiest Items to &quot;Flip&quot; for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-rid-of-stuff-frugally">10 Ways to Get Rid of Stuff Frugally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-55-brilliant-ways-to-turn-your-junk-into-cash">Flashback Friday: 55 Brilliant Ways to Turn Your Junk Into Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-crap-a-book-review-and-tips">How to Sell Your Crap: A Book Review and Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clear-out-that-clutter-15-places-to-sell-your-stuff">Clear Out That Clutter: 15 Places to Sell Your Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Extra Income Organization decluttering sell your stuff yard sales Wed, 29 Aug 2012 10:36:42 +0000 Nora Dunn 952404 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Reasons Why Self-Storage Is a Really Bad Idea http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-why-self-storage-is-a-really-bad-idea <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-reasons-why-self-storage-is-a-really-bad-idea" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2270207802_1c16be06c0_z_0.jpg" alt="self storage" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to The Self Storage Association, there are roughly 49,000 storage facilities in the U.S. alone. Self storage has consistently been the fastest growing area of the commercial real estate industry, representing $22 billion in annual U.S. revenues in 2011. But why? Why are Americans so willing to saddle themselves with material albatrosses that sap their monthly income? Have we become such a nomadic and unsettled people that our consumerism can only keep up with our lifestyles through acres of augmented storage? I&rsquo;ll leave that up to the social and cultural critics to decide.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re considering entering the fray and renting a storage unit, or if you&rsquo;re rethinking the value you get out of your current storage arrangement, let me offer a few arguments against these businesses that dot our landscape. Here are seven reasons why renting a self-storage unit is a bad idea. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-tyranny-of-stuff">The Tyranny of Stuff</a>)</p> <h3>1. Most Stored Objects Depreciate in Value</h3> <p>Unless you&rsquo;re storing gold or silver (an ill-advised move at most storage facilities), the objects you&rsquo;re housing are probably depreciating in value. Though I know some storage situations are unavoidable (i.e., a last minute move for a job, family emergency, divorce), the pay-off long-term just doesn&rsquo;t seem worth it when you consider the replacement cost of the stored items.</p> <h3>2. Extra Offsite Storage Promotes Acquisition</h3> <p>Having overflow storage options at the ready encourages needless acquisition. Often, storage units enable <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/help-from-a-former-pack-rat-getting-rid-of-stuff">hoarding tendencies</a> and prevent us from moving on from objects and the places and times in our lives that they represent.</p> <h3>3. Storage Fees Can Be a Financial Drain</h3> <p>This one is obvious, but still insidious. There&rsquo;s something overwhelming about having a storage unit full of stuff. We tend to ignore it, become exhausted at the thought of moving it, and avoid figuring out how to get rid of it. Inertia sets in and we (almost gladly) fork over the $65.00 or $75.00 a month to maintain the status quo. After a few years of paying our monthly dues, we&rsquo;ve spent enough to buy to good used car and have nothing to show for it besides the same old anxiety-producing pile of stuff.</p> <h3>4. Storage Facilities Often Lack Adequate Security</h3> <p>There doesn&rsquo;t appear to be any uniform approach to security measures across the self-storage industry. Some facilities are well-lit, some aren&rsquo;t; some have attendants on-site, some don&rsquo;t; some units have solid walls and metal doors, others are made of wire and plywood. For an industry that&rsquo;s basking in the riches of a society on the move, why is there no self-governance, no rating system, and no standardized security?</p> <h3>5. If You Can Store It for Years, You Can Live Without It</h3> <p>Professional organizers and decluttering experts sing the same refrain &mdash; if you haven&rsquo;t used it in six months or a year, you can live without it. The same logic applies to the objects we&rsquo;re warehousing in our storage units. If you can box it up and lock it up for years, do you really need it? If it&rsquo;s not used regularly, what&rsquo;s its real value?</p> <h3>6. Unpaid Storage Bills Equal Secured Debt</h3> <p>Many folks don&rsquo;t think about the contents of their unit as security against delinquent storage payments. But it only takes few episodes of &quot;Storage Wars&quot; to be set straight on that point. Unpaid storage fees are made up, in part, by auctioning off the contents of each unit. In many cases, the contents can be sold and renters are still liable for the remaining balance. If you&rsquo;re storing <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maintaining-memories-how-to-save-old-photographs">family photos</a>, heirlooms, or other memorabilia, is it worth the risk to potentially have your items held captive or sold to the highest bidder?</p> <h3>7. Storage Services Are a Questionable Value</h3> <p>Considering the cost, the tendency for objects to depreciate in value while in storage, the inertia that off-site storage can lead to, and the lack of uniform security of facilities, I have a hard time seeing the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-self-storage-units-are-more-sad-museums-than-savvy-solutions">value in long-term storage services</a>. It begs the question &mdash; wouldn&rsquo;t our money be better spent processing and organizing the items we have and purging what&rsquo;s left over?</p> <p>I realize that self-storage can be like a huge convenience when life throws you a curve ball. But as an ongoing strategy for managing the &ldquo;stuff&rdquo; in our lives, it&rsquo;s a losing proposition. Maybe it&rsquo;s time to grab a few friends, throw the doors open, load up the trunk, and have a yard sale.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-reasons-why-self-storage-is-a-really-bad-idea&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Reasons%2520Why%2520Self-Storage%2520Is%2520a%2520Really%2520Bad%2520Idea.jpg&amp;description=7%20Reasons%20Why%20Self-Storage%20Is%20a%20Really%20Bad%20Idea"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Reasons%20Why%20Self-Storage%20Is%20a%20Really%20Bad%20Idea.jpg" alt="7 Reasons Why Self-Storage Is a Really Bad Idea" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-why-self-storage-is-a-really-bad-idea">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-a-deep-declutter-can-improve-your-life">12 Ways a Deep Declutter Can Improve Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-downsize-and-declutter">How to Downsize and Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter">My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization decluttering hoarding renting self storage Wed, 22 Aug 2012 10:24:40 +0000 Kentin Waits 952263 at http://www.wisebread.com Sock It to Me: 15 Uses for Old Socks http://www.wisebread.com/sock-it-to-me-15-uses-for-old-socks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sock-it-to-me-15-uses-for-old-socks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sock_puppet.jpg" alt="Woman with a sock puppet" title="Woman with a sock puppet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="146" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, so too will the dryer eat one of your socks. What can you do with the lonely leftover? Of course you can make a puppet &mdash; but if you&rsquo;re not nine years old, these ideas will suit you better. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</a>)</p> <h3>1. Make a Potpourri Bundle</h3> <p>Want your undies to have the fresh scent of apples and cinnamon? Stuff an old sock with potpourri, tie up the end with a rubber band, and pop it into the drawer. You can put the potpourri-filled socks wherever you want. For instance, I have very smelly shoes because I rarely wear socks; the potpourri helps make my stinky sneaks a bit more bearable.</p> <h3>2. Wash Your Baby</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re all out of clean wash clothes, grab a single sock, slip it on your hand and wash your bundle of joy until he or she is squeaky clean.</p> <h3>3. Dust and Polish Furniture</h3> <p>Forget those expensive Swiffers; you&rsquo;ve got a whole drawer of makeshift dust rags at your disposal. Spray a bit of furniture polish on the sock, put it on your hand, and dust away.</p> <h3>4. Level a Table</h3> <p>Have a wobbly table? I hate that. To eliminate the shakes, cut off a few small pieces of an old sock and stuff them under the leg until the table is level.</p> <h3>5. Apply Heat to Sore Muscles</h3> <p>When you&rsquo;ve got a pain in your neck &mdash; or any other part of your body &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-weird-and-wonderful-ways-to-use-rice">fill a sock with dry beans or rice</a>, and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so to create an instant, no-cost heating pad.</p> <h3>6. Keep Game Pieces Together</h3> <p>It totally annoys me when I&rsquo;m ready to play a game and set it up just to discover that some of the pieces are missing, rendering the game unplayable. To make sure that happens never again, the next time you pack up the game, put the small pieces in a sock so they all stay together. This is an especially great idea if you have kids.</p> <h3>7. Soothe Skin Irritation</h3> <p>When I was about three years old, I got chicken pox. Just a few of them. When I was 14, I got chicken pox again. A lot of them. It was one of the worst experiences of my life because my family and I were away from home, staying in a hotel, to attend a wedding. To help calm the itching, my mom put oatmeal in a sock and told me to take a bath with it. Afterward, I had to put dry socks on my hands so I didn't scratch myself to death. I also had shingles at age 25 &mdash; basically adult chicken pox. My body seems to reaaally love that virus.</p> <h3>8. Create a Pet Toy</h3> <p>For a cat, fill it with catnap and decorate it to look like a mouse. For a dog, take a long sock and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-diy-dog-toys-you-can-make-for-pennies">stuff the sewn end with a tennis ball</a>, then play tug-of-war with your buddy.</p> <h3>9. Cover an Ice Pack</h3> <p>You shouldn&rsquo;t apply an ice pack directly to your skin because you could inadvertently get frostbite. Instead, stuff a plastic baggie with ice and pop it in a sock so you can have a buffer between you and the cold.</p> <h3>10. Polish Shoes</h3> <p>You can use all manner of old fabric to polish your shoes, and a sock is no exception. Dip, shine, stroll.&nbsp;</p> <h3>11. Protect Your Valuables When Moving</h3> <p>You wrap large breakable items in bubble wrap or newspaper, but what about those small items? Rather than wasting valuable supplies that you&rsquo;ll need for other items, put the small stuff in socks to keep them safe in transit.</p> <h3>12. Donate to Pet Charity</h3> <p>What use does your local ASPCA have for old socks? For starters, they can cut them up and make nice, soft beds for lonely, homeless animals. Helping those cuties out will make you feel fuzzy inside, I promise.</p> <h3>13. Slip on Golf Clubs</h3> <p>This isn&rsquo;t the most attractive way to protect your clubs, but if you&rsquo;re in a pinch an old sock will do the trick.</p> <h3>14. Avoid Paint Stains on Shoes</h3> <p>This is another thing that really burns my muffin. I always kick myself when I&rsquo;m painting and I get the paint someplace I don&rsquo;t want it. To keep the paint off your shoes &mdash; although you should be wearing your worst shoes for this anyway &ndash; slip an old sock over the shoe so it won&rsquo;t matter <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-learn-from-your-mistakes">if you make a mistake</a>.</p> <h3>15. Clean Dry Erase and Chalk Boards</h3> <p>I wish I had thought about this in college, because the eraser for my dry erase board disappeared quite often. If that happens to you, just find an old sock to clean the board. You can be sure that nobody will steal the sock. And if they do, you might want to keep an eye on that guy.</p> <p><em>Have other cool uses for old socks? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sock-it-to-me-15-uses-for-old-socks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-before-the-new-year">25 Things to Do Before the New Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle">Fall Cleaning 101: The Spic-and-Span Basics of Making Your Home Sparkle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-cheap-and-easy-formulas-for-homemade-windshield-de-icer-plus-bonus-tips">3 Cheap and Easy Formulas for Homemade Windshield De-Icer (Plus Bonus Tips)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY General Tips Lifestyle decluttering reusing old clothes reusing socks Tue, 22 May 2012 10:24:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 929248 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Great Alternatives to Remodeling Your Home http://www.wisebread.com/6-great-alternatives-to-remodeling-your-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-great-alternatives-to-remodeling-your-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3811108860_42c4477f0d_b.jpg" alt="woman and cat in living room" title="woman and cat in living room" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If your home feels a little &ldquo;blah,&rdquo; but a new kitchen or bath is not in the budget, try some of these less-involved solutions. They are all designed to freshen up your look or make your living space more usable.&nbsp;Plus, they cost less than a major remodel and are considerably less stressful as well! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-home-decorating-ideas-for-under-5">15 Home Decorating Ideas for Under $5</a>)</p> <h2>1. Try New Trim</h2> <p>One way to add a little &ldquo;oomph&rdquo; to a room or hallway is to hire a good trim carpenter to install a high-quality trim or crown molding. Douglas Breaker, CEO of <a href="http://www.homefinder.com/">HomeFinder.com</a>, swears by this small update that can really dress up a house. Since it comes in a variety of looks, you&rsquo;ll likely find the perfect option for your age and size of home.</p> <h2>2. Dress Up Doors</h2> <p>Douglas also vouches for the value of new exterior doors (both aesthetically and in regards to property worth). &ldquo;Exterior replacement projects, such as a new garage door and a new entry door, offer some of the best returns at resale,&rdquo; he advises. Most homeowners can recoup 70% or more of the cost of the project at resale, and even if you don&rsquo;t plan on selling, it can create a stunning transformation for your home&rsquo;s exterior.</p> <h2>3. Move Your Furniture</h2> <p>Instead of buying all new furnishings, consider maximizing space with the items you already have. Lauri Ward of <a href="http://www.redecorate.com/">Redecorate.com</a> suggests creating a &ldquo;u-shape&rdquo; with your furnishings, instead of an &ldquo;L-shape,&rdquo; to create a more comfortable conversation area. Other tips include making sure your furniture isn&rsquo;t blocking traffic patterns and avoiding having all your furniture against the walls (something people commonly do when trying to &ldquo;open&rdquo; a room up). Both mistakes can make rooms appear clunky or smaller than they really are.</p> <h2>4. Declutter Walls</h2> <p>Lauri also recommends that one wall in every room be left clear of artwork so that the eyes have a place to rest. You may also want to move artwork three inches lower than where it already hangs as well. &ldquo;Everyone <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-display-your-art">hangs art</a> too high!&rdquo; she claims.</p> <h2>5. Update Cabinets</h2> <p>Cupboards and cabinetry take up a large amount of kitchen wall space, so it&rsquo;s important to do it right. Susan Serra, blogger at <a href="http://www.thekitchendesigner.org/">The Kitchen Designer</a>, reminds us that cabinet hardware is the &ldquo;jewelry&rdquo; of the kitchen, and she recommends replacing old knobs and handles with something stylish. She also advises home owners to remove one or two wall cabinets and replace them with open shelving; this can create a more spacious look for any size kitchen. Her best tip? &rdquo;For paintable/older cabinets, paint a few featured cabinets a different color (equal size wall cabinets on each side of the sink, for example).&rdquo;</p> <h2>6. Redo Lighting</h2> <p>Finally, there are several simple solutions to help correct and enhance the lighting in any room. The experts I spoke with came up with two that can be done right away, and both are more budget-friendly than a full room redo. Lauri Ward recommends pairs of lamps &mdash; never just one &mdash; for better illumination. She also explains that lighting directed downward and not at the ceiling can help your room avoid &ldquo;tiring and unattractive shadows.&rdquo; All of our experts liked the look of LED lighting under cabinets; this appearance can be achieved with DIY products that have the wiring done for you.</p> <p>While a full remodel will cost $10,00&ndash;$65,000, it isn&rsquo;t something that&rsquo;s feasible for many cash-strapped homeowners. By starting with even just one remodeling alternative from this list, you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cheap-ways-to-stage-your-home-in-a-buyers-market">give your home new life</a> &mdash; for a fraction of the cost.</p> <p><em>What have you done to perk up your home&rsquo;s look?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-great-alternatives-to-remodeling-your-home">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-remodel-your-bedroom-without-demolishing-a-thing">7 Ways to Remodel Your Bedroom (Without Demolishing a Thing)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-curtains">How to Make Your Own Curtains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-budget-design-ideas-for-a-kids-playroom">10 Budget Design Ideas for a Kids&#039; Playroom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-a-deep-declutter-can-improve-your-life">12 Ways a Deep Declutter Can Improve Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home budget decorating decluttering home remodel Mon, 14 May 2012 10:24:16 +0000 Linsey Knerl 929016 at http://www.wisebread.com