Home http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3754/all en-US The Military's Four-Step Plan to Keeping Your Place Clean http://www.wisebread.com/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-countertop-Dollarphotoclub_45032082.jpg" alt="woman cleaning countertop" title="woman cleaning countertop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Tight corners on the beds. Scrubbing floors with toothbrushes. Ruthless efficiency, glorious shine. The military knows how to clean. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners?ref=seealso">How to Clean Everything With Just 3 All Natural Cleaners</a>)</p> <p>In just four steps &mdash; each of which are ingrained in boot camp &mdash; you too can have an inspection-passing home, and spend less time keeping it that way.</p> <h2>Step One: Clean a Little Each Day</h2> <p>&quot;If you keep everything fairly clean throughout the week, you really only need to do a larger clean two or three times per month,&quot; says Paul DiCesare, a former staff sergeant in the US Air Force and now CEO of <a href="http://www.sharejockey.com">ShareJockey</a>. It may seem daunting to wipe down your shower after every use or wipe the bathroom countertop down every other day but by &quot;finding a routine that works for you and your household and sticking to it,&quot; DiCesare adds, &quot;it's a pretty easy process to master.&quot; Whether you wipe down the bathroom counters, sweep the kitchen floors, or straighten up the items laying around the family room, a little cleaning each day is going to help you out immensely.</p> <h2>Step Two: Create a Simple System for Cleaning</h2> <p>This process should involve &quot;simple, basic cleaning that gets the job done,&quot; according to Chief Warrant Officer 3, Robert Streit who is currently stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany with the U.S. Army. &quot;You can overclean,&quot; he says, and when you do, you can ruin finishes, waste cleaning material, or even &mdash; as he discovered &mdash; wear off the water sealer around a tub due to excessive scrubbing with a wire brush. Using a simple, effective system with the right cleaners will always save you time and energy over harsher chemicals used once a month.</p> <p>Create a plan that works for you. Make a list of items you will clean daily or after each use. Items on this list would include:</p> <ul> <li>wiping down the shower walls (to ward off soap scum and mildew);</li> <li>wiping out the kitchen sink after each use;</li> <li>picking up items laying around in the main rooms of the house;</li> <li>doing one load of laundry from washing machine to putting everything away into drawers.</li> </ul> <p>Also, make a list of items you will do weekly. For example, you could wipe down bathrooms on Mondays, vacuum the carpets on Tuesday, sweep the kitchen floor on Wednesday (maybe daily if you have a busy household) and dust the main rooms of the house on Thursday. Set a schedule that makes sense for you and stick with it each week. Officer Streit agrees,&quot;routines are key to cleaning. If you establish a routine, then it becomes natural.&quot; He adds that this routine can also help you notice when something is out of place or doesn't belong.</p> <h2>Step Three: Find a Home for Everything</h2> <p>Space is a premium in places like barracks and ships; everything in those places has a designated space and must be returned to that space when it is no longer needed. This same tactic should be used in your home. Every coat should have a hanger; every backpack, it's own hook. Each toy should have a place to be stored (whether it's in a basket in the living room or a shelf in your child's bedroom.)</p> <p>Items without a space of their own will cause clutter and disorganization, and the military has learned that clutter and disorganization do not allow things to run smoothly. Tracy Tluchowski, wife of a former Marine sergeant found out quickly that the military taught her husband how to organize. &quot;Every file has a name on it. Everything is where it is supposed to be.&quot;</p> <h2>Step Four: Keep Cleaning Tools Nearby</h2> <p>Having items within reach allows you to complete the job in less time. Sergeant DiCesare took this step and turned it into a business when he created ShareJockey, a cleaning company that focuses on cleaning as quickly as possible for people who are renting out their apartments, condos, and rooms in their homes on the website Airbnb. His employees wear a custom made military-style backpack with all the tools they need to clean a one bedroom, one bath apartment in under one hour.</p> <p>While we can't all have a backpack like that, we can keep a caddy or bin in each bathroom with cleaners for the sink, toilet, shower and mirrors. Under the kitchen sink there should be plenty of hand towels and washrags, as well as cleaners for the sink, stove, and stainless steel surfaces. The linen closet near your bedrooms should have dusting supplies, glass cleaner and if there's room, a vacuum cleaner. Having all these items nearby will give you less reason to skip cleaning and help you finish quicker.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your place ship-shape? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean" class="sharethis-link" title="The Military&#039;s Four-Step Plan to Keeping Your Place Clean" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean">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-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home">10 Super-Cool Ways to Add Hidden Storage to Your Home</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/101-little-things-you-can-fix-right-now">101 Little Things You Can Fix Right Now!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips Home cleaning declutter organization Tue, 09 Dec 2014 12:00:06 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1265914 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/senior-woman-kitchen-452417119-small.jpg" alt="senior woman kitchen" title="senior woman kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm no stranger to a tiny, cramped kitchen. Thing is, I have a food blog and a passion for cooking and baking &mdash; so I've had to get creative with my storage to make my operation run smoothly. Thankfully, with a little attention to detail (and some clever solutions), you can carve out counter space you didn't know you had and even organize your stuff so it's easier to find. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <p>Here's how.</p> <h2>1. Wire Baskets</h2> <p>Don't discriminate when it comes to storage. Those <a href="http://www.goldenboysandme.com/2014/09/wire-baskets.html">decorative wire baskets</a> used more traditionally for mail and magazines make a perfect place to stash stuff in your kitchen. Hang a double tiered basket on the side of your island or cabinets to wrangle tea towels, paper plates, or whatever else you need to get off your counters.</p> <h2>2. Shower Caddy</h2> <p>Speaking of repurposing, check out this <a href="http://domesticdivadomain.blogspot.com/2013/07/diy-produce-rack.html">produce rack</a> made from a shower caddy. You can easily find a caddy of this size for less than $10. The rest is finding a spot you like and hanging it with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FSORW4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000FSORW4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5TGS5DAFZXDNKJCG">Command hooks</a>.</p> <h2>3. Magazine Rack</h2> <p>I love this idea to use an <a href="http://cookiescraftsandchaos.com/2014/02/21/the-little-rack-that-could/">old magazine rack</a> to hold baking pans versus stacking them in messy cabinets. Not only does this solution look great, but it also serve a major purpose. Though the blogger who served up this idea decided to paint her magazine rack, I would have kept mine natural for easier cleaning (all those chocolate chips from the cookies I make would inevitably end up on that crisp white paint!).</p> <h2>4. Tilt Storage</h2> <p>You know those fake cabinet &quot;doors&quot; by your sink? If you own your home, consider turning them into something functional with this <a href="http://thediyclub.com/2011/09/rockler-helps-to-add-kitchen-storage/">DIY Tilt Storage</a> tutorial. The tip out trays you'll need for this project cost about $10 each. Once you're ready to start, just remove the false drawer fronts, install your tilt hinges, hang your trays, and enjoy!</p> <h2>5. Folger's Tubs</h2> <p>Here's a brilliant example of turning trash into treasure: <a href="http://kelliskitchen.org/2013/07/cheap-organization/">Repurposed Coffee Containers</a>. They can hold your bulk goods or whatever else you might want to corral &mdash; and they're virtually free. Just clean out the can, spray with your favorite color paint, and slap on some chalkboard labels. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-fantastic-chalkboard-paint-projects?ref=seealso">15 Fantastic Chalkboard Paint Projects</a>)</p> <h2>6. Hanging Pipes</h2> <p>I recently made my own <a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2014/11/industrial-diy-pipe-pot-rack.html">Industrial Pot Rack</a> using a couple plumbing pipes, connectors, and spray paint. Going with non-galvanized pipes helped save me some money on this project. Plus, you can paint them whatever color matches your kitchen. Best of all, the rack is an incredibly sturdy structure that will hold strong for years to come.</p> <h2>7. Freestanding Rack</h2> <p>If you can't drill holes in your walls, try this <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/claire-jeffreys-kitchen-our-inspiration-renovation-diary-claire-jeffreys-kitchen-183702">temporary pot rack</a> (the last photo in the series) which is nothing more than an old ladder with S-hooks. You can take it wherever you decide to move. The biggest difficulty of the project is finding the right height ladder, so check out thrift and antique shops, as well as Craigslist and any local classifieds.</p> <h2>8. Door Organizer</h2> <p>Check out this other amazing (and temporary) solution: the <a href="http://www.creatingreallyawesomefreethings.com/rental-trick-3-a-door-organizer/">Kitchen Door Organizer</a>. The author of this project found a plantation-style door at her local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store (just $5!). From there, she gave it new life with a coat of paint and accent color. The storage works using a system of hooks, freeing up cabinet space for stuff that can't so easily hang out.</p> <h2>9. Hanging Basket</h2> <p>I love a good <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008UP233O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008UP233O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=E5ALFAF6SZJPSYFS">three-tiered hanging basket</a> in almost any room in the house. It's cheap, looks good, and serves a purpose. And, yes, in the kitchen, it's particularly useful. Snag one for less than $10 and let it rock your storage world. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-home-purchases-for-under-10-that-are-well-worth-the-money?ref=seealso">16 Home Purchases Under $10 That Are Well Worth The Money</a>)</p> <h2>10. Cork Door</h2> <p>Our refrigerator ends up being a catch-all for papers, coupons, bills, and hastily scrawled recipes. Get that pile of paper out of sight by <a href="http://www.younghouselove.com/2008/11/somebody-put-a-cork-in-us/">installing cork tiles</a> inside one of your cabinet doors. You can stick anything your heart desires on this instant cork board &mdash; and you might even be able to find your supplies at the Dollar Store.</p> <h2>11. Kitchen Armoire</h2> <p>Missing some major cabinets? I've totally been there, multiple times. For our lack of storage, we'd use what we had &mdash; in one case, a dresser &mdash; to make up for the deficit. This <a href="http://www.recapturedcharm.com/2011/08/armoire-redo-in-milk-paint.html">Kitchen Pantry Armoire</a> idea is super cool. I think the poster used it more for aesthetically pleasing display, but I'm sure you can organize a bunch of plates, cups, and even food inside without it looking too crowded.</p> <h2>12. Spice Jars</h2> <p>Make some <a href="http://davisongoons.blogspot.com/2010/11/check-out-my-moves.html">DIY Spice Jars</a> and hot glue magnets to the back so you can hang them on your fridge. If you have some old baby food jars at your disposal, this project is easy. Clean off the labels, then stick on new ones using Mod Podge. You could also use tiny Ball jars at a low price and even hang some metal strips in a cabinet door if you wanted everything out of sight. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-herbs-and-spices-every-pantry-should-have?ref=seealso">12 Herbs and Spices Every Pantry Should Have</a>)</p> <h2>13. Wrap Dispensers</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.achievingcreativeorder.com/2013/11/its-wrap-dispenser.html">Wrap Dispenser</a> idea is so easy, I'm going to install a couple in my own kitchen tonight! Give tin foil, plastic wrap, parchment and wax papers a home using inexpensive adhesive hoots on the inside of a cabinet door. It's as simple as that.</p> <h2>14. Smart Hooks</h2> <p>While you're at it, use any leftover hooks wherever they might come in handy. This <a href="http://www.thehyperhouse.com/2012/08/organizing-my-baking-nook/">baking nook</a> got a dose of clean when the owner stuck mixer attachments to the cabinet with hooks. You can also use them to <a href="http://simplydarrling.com/2012/04/measuring-spoon-cup-organization/">hang measuring cups and spoons</a> in one convenient place so you're not searching when you should be baking.</p> <h2>15. Smart Board</h2> <p>Even if your stuff is neatly organized, sometimes there just isn't enough counter space to do what you need to do. Consider investing in a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FB6TSK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001FB6TSK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=TCAOFAYSLSE7CAAO">sink cutting board</a> that fits right over your sink (and sometimes stove) to give a few extra feet of workspace. I have used this idea for years without a special board &mdash; sometimes all you need is just a large cutting board to bridge the gap.</p> <p><em>How do you maximize kitchen storage space? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home">10 Super-Cool Ways to Add Hidden Storage to Your 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/14-ways-to-organize-a-messy-closet">14 Ways to Organize a Messy Closet</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-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should 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/how-to-downsize-and-declutter">How to Downsize and Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home Organization kitchen organization storage tiny spaces Wed, 03 Dec 2014 19:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1263085 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make Your Bathroom Look Awesome for Under $100 http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-bathroom-look-awesome-for-under-100 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-your-bathroom-look-awesome-for-under-100" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/plumber-bathroom-84469073-small.jpg" alt="plumber" title="plumber" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I recently came out of a gut bathroom renovation on a major budget. I'm talking replacing everything from the studs in the walls to the tile in the shower. Keeping the renovation affordable was a challenge, but I'm so happy to be showering in my dream bathroom now! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-make-your-kitchen-look-awesome-for-under-100?ref=seealso">9 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Look Awesome for Under $100</a>)</p> <p>Even if you're not renovating the entire room, there are ways to perk up the look of your bathroom on a shoestring. Check out these tips on making your bathroom look awesome for under $100.</p> <h2>Go Bold on the Walls</h2> <p>A bathroom is such a small space that you can experiment with bold color and pattern without too much risk. So choose a vibrant color, a fun stencil or wallpaper, and let your imagination run wild!</p> <p>If you're a renter, you can do a lot with removable wallpaper or peel-and-stick wall decals, which can be a great affordable and temporary solution in a small area.</p> <h2>Hang Some Art</h2> <p>The bathroom is so often neglected when it comes to wall decor. Hang a large scale photo or picture to bring in some life and color to the room, and to make the bathroom a nicer place to hang out. Just avoid hanging original art or an expensive print, as the humidity can eventually damage the piece.</p> <h2>Raise the Bar</h2> <p>The shower bar, that is. Buying an extra long shower curtain and moving the shower curtain rod up several inches can give the illusion of higher ceilings and more space. Also, if the shower tile isn't your favorite, moving the shower curtain up higher can help to hide it. If you don't want to buy a new shower curtain, sewing a coordinating band of fabric to the bottom of your standard shower curtain will make it longer (and more unique).</p> <h2>Create Storage</h2> <p>Having a place for everything makes your bathroom more functional and more attractive. If your bathroom lacks hidden storage, considering adding your own. A few suggestions include:</p> <h3>1. Add a Shallow Cabinet or Shelves Over the Toilet</h3> <p>This &quot;dead space&quot; can be put to use with a few inexpensive shelves from the hardware store or even a wall-mounted cabinet.</p> <h3>2. Bring in a Bookcase, Cabinet, or Small Dresser</h3> <p>While you might not initially think to bring a piece of furniture into the bathroom, doing so can both increase functionality and make the bathroom look less utilitarian.</p> <h3>3. Optimize Storage With Cabinet Organizers</h3> <p>Buying an under-sink storage system can make the best use of your vanity storage space, reducing clutter in other areas of the bathroom.</p> <h3>4. Corral Clutter in Trays and Baskets</h3> <p>If you must have toiletries on the countertop, keep them contained using a tray or basket, thereby keeping the rest of the counter tidy. Using a wall-mounted rail storage system, like the IKEA Fintorp line, can also keep clutter off the counter.</p> <h2>Add Textiles</h2> <p>Investing in a set of coordinated textiles can make your bathroom look much more pulled together. If your towels are mismatched and getting a little ratty, consider buying a new set that coordinates or complements the colors in a statement shower curtain. Add a fluffy coordinated bath rug.</p> <p>I also really like the <a href="http://www.westelm.com/products/hamam-stripe-hand-towel-b606/">Turkish-inspired hand towels</a> that have become very trendy. They allow you to bring in some graphic stripes and color without screaming overly &quot;bathroom.&quot;</p> <h2>Replace Fixtures</h2> <p>Replace an old dated faucet with something more modern, or a garish light with a more elegant light fixture. Small updated details can add up to a big impact.</p> <h2>Add Accessories</h2> <p>One way to diminish the utilitarian feeling of the bathroom is to bring in accessories. Just be careful to limit them to avoid clutter. A plant, a pretty vase, a stool or chair, and other decorative accessories can bring in color and make your bathroom look more luxurious.</p> <h2>Tile-It-Yourself</h2> <p>If you're willing to do a little grunt work, tiling can be remarkably inexpensive. For under $100, you can get a bag of mortar, grout, and enough porcelain tile to refinish the floor, shower, or add an attractive backsplash. Your local hardware store probably carries easy-to-lay 12&quot; x 12&quot; or 12&quot; x 24&quot; porcelain tile at less than $1 or $2 a square foot, making a small bathroom floor doable for under $100. Rip up that old vinyl floor and put in a durable and updated tile floor to upgrade the look and value of your bathroom. Tutorials on how to tile abound on the Internet and are totally free!</p> <h2>Frame Out Your Mirror</h2> <p>If you have a large sheet mirror in your bathroom, you can make it look a lot more custom by framing it out with molding. This can be a super cheap DIY (this great <a href="http://thriftydecorating-nikkiw.blogspot.com/2011/10/frame-your-bathroom-mirror.html">mirror frame</a> cost under $30, and this <a href="http://www.amomstake.com/2013/11/how-to-frame-a-mirror-bathroom/">larger mirror</a> under $40), especially if you use salvaged molding!</p> <h2>Add Architectural Wall Features</h2> <p>Adding a wall feature such as board and batten or a beadboard half-wall can take your bathroom from builder-basic to custom. Here's a tutorial to do your own <a href="http://theturquoisehome.com/2013/04/how-to-install-board-and-batten/">board and batten</a> &mdash; it can be very affordable especially if you use MDF boards. Buying wood beadboard can be a bit more expensive; luckily beadboard wallpaper is very affordable (and here's a great step-by-step <a href="http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2012/01/installing-beadboard-wallpaper/">beadboard wallpaper tutorial</a>) and looks just like the real thing. Top it off with a chair rail or molding.</p> <h2>Paint the Vanity</h2> <p>A dated builder-grade wood vanity can look much more updated and chic with <a href="http://www.twodelighted.com/2012/02/20/my-painted-bathroom-vanity-before-and-after/#.VFUV7jTF8rI">new paint and hardware</a> (I don't recommend painting the vanity if it is laminate). Consider painting it a sophisticated shade such as gray, charcoal, or black, or opt for a fun pop of color. Remember to clean the vanity thoroughly, sand lightly, and apply a good primer before painting. I'd suggest an alkyd paint (such as the <a href="http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/for-your-home/paint-products/advance-waterborne-interior-alkyd-paint#piSheen=793&amp;advs=0&amp;tab=2">Benjamin Moore Advance</a> Line) for a hard and durable finish. A quart of paint and primer won't set you back much, and the results can be amazing.</p> <p>If you want to keep the wood grain, a gel stain can be another way to update the finish on a wood vanity without having to sand down the entire thing.</p> <p>Finally, choosing some chic hardware to dress up your newly painted vanity puts the finishing touch on your project.</p> <h2>Shop for Salvage</h2> <p>If you have a <a href="http://www.habitat.org/restores">Habitat for Humanity Restore</a> in your neighborhood and haven't paid it a visit yet, make it your next priority. This is the best place to find gently used furniture, cabinets, fixtures, and hardware at bargain prices. For instance, I got the gorgeous floor model light fixture in our bathroom for $40 at the Restore, something that would have cost over $100 new.</p> <p>On recent visits to the Restore I've seen a pedestal sink, remnant slabs of granite, boxes of tile, mis-tinted paint, faucets and shower fixtures,and a variety of light fixtures, each for under $100. It can be hit-or-miss depending on what you're looking for, but every once in a while you can strike gold.</p> <p>If you don't have a Restore near you look for architectural salvage stores, junk stores, and thrift stores, as well as good old Craigslist. I bought a new granite vanity countertop off Craigslist for $90 &mdash; someone who was renovating decided not to use it and wanted to get rid of it, and it happened to fit the dimensions of my vanity perfectly.</p> <p><em>Being creative on a budget can greatly improve the look of your home. What's your favorite way to stretch your decorating dollars when it comes to the bathroom?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-bathroom-look-awesome-for-under-100" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Make Your Bathroom Look Awesome for Under $100" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-bathroom-look-awesome-for-under-100">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-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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-home-renovations-that-almost-pay-for-themselves">10 Home Renovations That Almost Pay for Themselves</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/recoup-more-of-your-investment-8-home-improvements-that-add-the-most-value">Recoup More of Your Investment: 8 Home Improvements That Add the Most Value</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/home-improvements-that-pay-off">Home Improvements That Pay Off</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> DIY Home Real Estate and Housing bathroom bathroom redo cheap design renovation Mon, 01 Dec 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1260451 at http://www.wisebread.com 18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-painting-canvas-85451640-small.jpg" alt="painter" title="painter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you find lots of DIY home projects online that look absolutely amazing, but when you get to the instructions, well, your jaw drops at the difficulty? Me too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-home-decorating-ideas-for-under-5?ref=seealso">15 Home Decorating Ideas for Under $5</a>)</p> <p>The good news is that there are plenty of straightforward projects out there that can make your home look fantastic (and give you the satisfaction of doing it yourself). Here are some of my favorites for every area of your home.</p> <h2>1. Painted Tablecloth</h2> <p>This <a href="http://ohhappyday.com/2013/05/polka-dot-tablecloth-diy/">Polka Dot Tablecloth</a> is so simple, a kid could make it. Cut out a dot shape using a potato, dip it in some textile paint, and stamp. Of course, if you have other ideas for designs, just use a brush or stamp and the same textile paint.</p> <h2>2. Painted Furniture</h2> <p>If you have an index finger, you can spray paint a variety of furniture pieces. I've given a bright coat to chairs, side tables, and even a dresser for design on a dime. There are definitely some <a href="http://www.sheknows.com/home-and-gardening/articles/952805/how-to-spray-paint-furniture-for-a-professional-look">best practices</a> here, including cleaning and lightly sanding, spraying outdoors in a well ventilated area, priming and painting with thin coats, and sealing with a clear finisher if your piece will be heavily used.</p> <h2>3. Fun Tile</h2> <p>Refresh that outdated backsplash by <a href="http://www.designsponge.com/2014/10/how-to-paint-a-tile-backsplash.html">painting over it</a>! You'll need a shellac-based primer, acrylic house paint, and a polyurethane top coat. I took this project a step farther by using metallic craft paint to create an artistic <a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2014/10/the-hand-painted-backsplash.html">mixed-tile look</a> in my kitchen.</p> <h2>4. Stone Tub</h2> <p>That old bathtub can get a <a href="http://lovelycraftyhome.com/2013/01/28/update-your-boring-builder-bathtub-with-airstone/">spa-worthy makeover</a> using AirStone &mdash; a lightweight veneer you can buy at Lowes &mdash; and adhesive. You'll want to clean your tub well before beginning for optimum sticking power. From there, just apply the adhesive to the stone and stick. You can cut different sizes using a hacksaw.</p> <h2>5. Serene Fireplace</h2> <p>I've given <a href="http://www.bhg.com/decorating/fireplace/styles/how-to-paint-a-brick-fireplace/">new life to an old fireplace</a> in three homes now. Old red brick doesn't go with all decors, so paint those suckers by using a regular paintbrush and a foam brush (will help get in all the crevices) and good quality flat, semi-gloss, or gloss latex, depending on your tastes. Note: I've skipped the priming the last two times, and my results have been just as stellar. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-homes-value-with-these-5-projects?ref=seealso">Boost Your Home's Value With These 5 Projects</a>)</p> <h2>6. Basket Pendant</h2> <p>Updating an old light fixture doesn't have to be expensive. I love this <a href="http://www.younghouselove.com/2012/08/total-basketcase/">Basket Pendant Light</a> idea &mdash; which features a cool $10 thrift store basket and cheap pendant light. Just remove the pendant's original cover, snake it through the basket, hang, and you're done (similar fixtures cost over $300!).</p> <h2>7. Haute Headboard</h2> <p>Head to your local lumber supply or box hardware store and get a large piece of plywood cut to size for this <a href="http://design-aholic.blogspot.com/2009/09/afternoon-headboard.html">DIY Headboard</a>. Once you have your board cut, cover it with batting and fabric, then embellish with nailhead trim. The cost was just $67 for a queen bed, and the time required was only an afternoon.</p> <h2>8. Towel Hooks</h2> <p>Tame all those bathroom towels with this <a href="http://myfabulesslife.com/diytowelrack/">beautiful rack</a> that assembles in only minutes. Cut (or have someone cut) your desired length from a 1x10 board, then sand it lightly and stain. Once it dries, mark where your hooks will go, hang, and then screw in your hooks. Bonus: The entire cost is less than $15 from start to finish.</p> <h2>9. Terrific Throw</h2> <p>Even if you've never once touched a sewing machine, you can still make a throw blanket for your couch to ward off chills. The classic is a warm <a href="http://lifeovereasy.com/diy-no-sew-fleece-throw-dorm/">fleece blanket</a>, where you take two pieces of fleece fabric, cut all along the edges, and then tie off to bind. If you live in a warmer climate, it's the same process for <a href="http://makelyhome.com/no-sew-color-block-summer-throw-blanket/">this throw</a>, just using jersey knit fabric.</p> <h2>10. Abstract Art</h2> <p>I recently went out looking for some art to cozy up our family room, and I was shocked at the price tags. This <a href="http://homecomingmn.blogspot.com/2014/02/diy-abstract-canvas-art.html">DIY Abstract Art</a> project looks a ton like a lot of the options I was considering, but at a fraction of the price. You'll need a large canvas, acrylic paints, a couple brushes, and about an hour of creative time.</p> <h2>11. Quote Pillow</h2> <p>Pillows with sayings scrawled on them are all the rage these days (that sounds like something my grandmother would say!). Fittingly, they can be quite expensive at the store. Make your own using this <a href="http://www.momtastic.com/diy/445213-diy-quote-pillows/">easy tutorial</a>, a linen pillowcase, stencils, and fabric marker. I'd paint words on both sides and flip to change things up every now and again.</p> <h2>12. Custom Chalkboard</h2> <p>Turn trash into treasure by taking an old picture frame and painting the glass on the inside with a couple coats of chalkboard paint. You can paint the frame with colorful spray paint, too! It's the easiest way to get a chalkboard in your house without painting the walls black. (See also: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Paper-Bag-Fall-Wreath-31822923?ref=seealso">15 Fantastic Chalkboard Paint Projects</a>)</p> <h2>13. No Sew Curtains</h2> <p>I made these <a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2012/03/nursery-curtains-tutorial.html">No Sew Curtains</a> for my daughter's nursery a couple of years ago. The hardest part was picking out the fabric design I wanted. Iron your yards until they are smooth, then cut to your desired size. Instead of sewing, use hemming tape to create clean edges. You hang using curtain clip rings. Done!</p> <h2>14. Table Runner</h2> <p>The same idea applies with this <a href="http://www.homeyohmy.com/diy-no-sew-table-runner/">No-Sew Table Runner</a>, just on a smaller scale. You could make one for every month of the year or the change of seasons. Pick out your fabric, cut it to fit your dining table, hem using the iron-on tape, and enjoy.</p> <h2>15. Copycat Shelves</h2> <p>Skip the Restoration Hardware order and make your own <a href="http://7thhouseontheleft.com/2014/01/diy-restoration-hardware-inspired-shelving">Industrial Shelves</a>. As with many other projects on this list, you can get your 2x10 board cut down to the size you want (in this case, the author chose 30 inches for three shelves total) at the store for little or no charge. After staining them, hang with spray painted pipes and floor flanges.</p> <h2>16. Kitchen Cart</h2> <p>My eyes nearly popped out of my head with this <a href="http://ana-white.com/2014/07/plans/easiest-industrial-cart">DIY Kitchen Cart</a>. And here's why: You just use three boards cut to the size you want, stain them, then fasten together using metal angles, and then screw on some caster wheels. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit?ref=seealso">10 Ways To Make Your Apartment Awesome Without Losing Your Deposit</a>)</p> <h2>17. Wrap Wreath</h2> <p>Liven up your front door by making a <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Paper-Bag-Fall-Wreath-31822923">Wrap Wreath</a> using a foam wreath form and some recycled paper bags. Cut strips of the paper, twist, and then wrap around your form and hot glue to secure. You can make a more colorful wreath by using thick yarn instead of paper. Embellish however your mood strikes you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-useful-items-you-should-never-throw-out?ref=seealso">10 Useful Items You Should Never Throw Out</a>)</p> <h2>18. Hand-Painted Rug</h2> <p>Upcycle an boring old rug into an amazing <a href="http://upcycledtreasures.com/2014/08/diy-painted-rug-inspired-west-elm/">West Elm Copycat</a>. You'll want to create a stencil of sorts using whatever design you think will match your home's decor. From there, draw the outlines using a Sharpie marker and paint over it using acrylic or latex. You can seal the rug using fabric protector to finish.</p> <p><em>Have you made any fab, easy DIY projects lately? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think" class="sharethis-link" title="18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">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-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</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/9-amazing-diy-lamps-you-want-in-your-house">9 Amazing DIY Lamps You Want in Your House</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-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</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/18-cheap-and-attractive-ideas-for-bookshelves">18 Cheap and Attractive Ideas for Bookshelves</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/10-great-uses-for-old-ties">10 Great Uses for Old Ties</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> DIY Home crafts design DIY easy decor home decor Tue, 18 Nov 2014 22:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1255031 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Lose the Clutter and Keep the Memories http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-digital-tablet-picture-509234135-small.jpg" alt="couple digital photo" title="couple digital photo" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have a hard time parting with things that hold significant sentimental value. Yeah, they're just sitting around my house, collecting dust, but these things are part of my life, memories of good times, and I don't want to get rid of them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/toss-it-or-not-5-organizational-tips-from-a-chronic-clutter-bug">Toss It or Not? 5 Organizational Tricks From a Chronic Clutter Bug</a>)</p> <p>Luckily, in the age of technology and how-to articles, there are brilliant compromises to be made that ensure that you're preserving some of the touchstones of your existence without tripping on them all over the place.</p> <p>Take a look at these nine clutter-free ways to preserve your memories, and see if you can't preserve who you are while getting rid of all that stuff.</p> <h2>1. Snap Photos With Stuff You're Tossing</h2> <p>For tangible items that you're sending into the afterlife, a great way to remember the good times you had with it is to take a photo with that item in it. Perhaps it's a favorite piece of clothing that you once cherished, board games that made many memorable nights, or musical instruments that helped cultivate your love of culture. Set up a nice photo up &mdash; perhaps a snapshot with friends with the discarded item as the centerpiece &mdash; so you can look back on it with fondness whenever you want.</p> <h2>2. Scan Pictures, Letters, and Cards Into Your Computer</h2> <p>Reduce that pile (or massive box, as they case may be) of beloved photos, letters, and cards that you've accumulated throughout your life by scanning them into your computer. You might find it hard to part with the original hardcopy documents, but try to remember that it's only paper that you're tossing out. By scanning these items, you're preserving the thought that went into them when they were originally given to you &mdash; and that's what counts. Plus, this way they can never be destroyed, whereas the original versions will eventually deteriorate over time and are at the mercy of fire, water, and other elements that can destroy them completely.</p> <h2>3. Transition to Digital Picture Frames to Eliminate Paper Photos</h2> <p>If you're anything like me, each of your single picture frames is home to about half a dozen photos. I keep the old photos in the frames when I update a picture by simply laying the replaced images behind the new one. While this method reduces the clutter I see, it only allows me to enjoy one of the photos opposed to all of them (even though rediscovering the old ones during the swapping process is a welcome surprise). Nowadays you can enjoy many photos without fussing with any paper by digitizing them and adding them to a digital frame. These frames rotate images automatically so you see multiple pics &mdash; and relive the memories &mdash; on a regular basis.</p> <h2>4. Transfers Old VHS Tapes and DVDs to Computer Files</h2> <p>My husband has a huge cabinet full of VHS tapes from his wrestling days that &mdash; mark my words &mdash; he will never do anything with until they're so old they've deteriorated beyond repair. I even bought him one of those VHS-to-DVD thingamajigs a few years ago that I recently sold on Amazon new, in-the-box. Hey, I tried. In any case, if you want to ensure that your old VHS tapes and DVDs stand the test of time, consider transferring them to computer files that you can save in your cloud. There are plenty of companies that specialize in this service, but you also can <a href="http://www.cnet.com/how-to/transfer-vhs-tapes-to-your-computer/">DIY it if you're fairly tech-savvy</a>.</p> <h2>5. Repurpose Useless Little Things Into One Useful Big Thing</h2> <p>Before you donate all that extra clothing, think of ways you might be able to use the fabric to make something new &mdash; like a blanket, tablecloth, or shower curtain. For instance, you can turn a bunch of old T-shirts into a rad quilt if you've got sewing skills (or, ya know, send away for it if you don't). You may not think about it a lot, but many items in your closet &mdash; especially the really old, ratty stuff &mdash; hold a special place in your heart; repurposing these thrift-shop-ready beauties lets you keep them a bit longer without becoming a hoarder. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-new-things-you-can-make-with-old-denim-jeans">20 New Things You Can Make With Old Denim</a>)</p> <h2>6. Turn a Special Moment Into a Beautiful Tattoo</h2> <p>One of my buddies gave me this idea, and I thought it was very interesting. Computers &mdash; and especially the cloud &mdash; help us preserve many of our tangible memories while cutting the clutter, but what about adding those memories to our own bodies? Thus, a tattoo is an awesome way to recognize an important event or time in your life. The result is a permanent reminder of that particular memory, and you're bound to be asked about it over and over again, allowing you to tell the story many times over.</p> <h2>7. Create Sentimental Artwork Out of Attic-Bound Items</h2> <p>I recently came across a Buzzfeed post that I thought was really cool. There were lots of great ideas in author Mike Spohr's <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/incredibly-meaningful-gifts-you-can-give-your-kids">26 Incredibly Meaningful Gifts You Can Give Your Kids,</a> but I thought the framed teddy bear was kind of genius. Expanding that concept a bit further then, you can basically take anything of sentimental value that's perhaps tucked away in a box and turn it into a treasured family heirloom that will serve as a reminder of a special time as well as a conversation piece. It goes without saying that it'll be super fun to go through the attic to see what resources you have to work with when creativity strikes you.</p> <h2>8. Start a Blog Dedicated to Your Memories and Treasures</h2> <p>Maybe I'm speaking for myself here, but I like to share many of my fond memories with, well, basically anyone who'll listen. I mean, who doesn't like to reminisce about the &quot;good ol' days,&quot; right? I bet we're of a similar mindset, which makes starting a blog dedicated to your memories and treasures a decent idea. You can write about fun times that you've had, post pictures of moments you never want to forget, and then share them with the world so you can bring joy to it.</p> <h2>9. Keep Your Treasures in the Family by Passing Them on to Loved Ones</h2> <p>You know that old saying &mdash; one man's trash is another man's treasure? Absolutely true, and it provides a great opportunity for you to unload some of your cherished items that are perhaps taking up too much space on family and friends who want or need it. With this tactic, the clutter is out of your way, but the things and the memories they conjure are still part of your life, which makes this easy option the perfect compromise.</p> <p><em>Have a few more clutter-free ways to preserve memories? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Ways to Lose the Clutter and Keep the Memories" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories">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-5"> <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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organize-a-room-for-10-with-no-extra-effort">Organize a Room for $10 with No Extra Effort</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/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions</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-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home">10 Super-Cool Ways to Add Hidden Storage to Your Home</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> Home Organization clutter mementos memories storage Mon, 17 Nov 2014 18:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1254628 at http://www.wisebread.com 16 Home Purchases for Under $10 That Are Well Worth the Money http://www.wisebread.com/16-home-purchases-for-under-10-that-are-well-worth-the-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/16-home-purchases-for-under-10-that-are-well-worth-the-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-hanging-laundry-clothesline-78630963-small.jpg" alt="man hanging laundry" title="man hanging laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I spend a lot of my time mulling over the large purchases in my life. And for good reason. Still, I tend to forget about the small, everyday things that matter most and have the power to make life a whole lot easier.</p> <p>The following household items are extremely useful and &mdash; better yet &mdash; each costs less than $10.</p> <h2>1. Chip Clips</h2> <p>I don't know why it took me so long to purchase a set of inexpensive <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005NKJWW4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005NKJWW4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WKDQUYTOBWG5VSU5">chip clips</a> for our kitchen. We end up using them for far more than just sealing bags for freshness. Use magnetic clips to stick to-do lists and bills up on your refrigerator &mdash; you'll save the $10 you spent to buy them in avoided late fees.</p> <h2>2. Reusable Coffee Filter</h2> <p>If you're a coffee-addict like my husband, you'll want to invest in a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=reusable%20coffee%20filter&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=MW634JLEJIBTZJBX">reusable coffee filter</a> to make your morning brew. You can find one fit most coffee makers on the market for less than $5. In other words, it'll pay for itself in a couple months of use.</p> <h2>3. Compact Fluorescents</h2> <p>Haven't yet switched your bulbs to <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CI88SPQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CI88SPQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=CPJP3J577G6NB3W2">compact fluorescents</a>? Now's the time. These bulbs use far less wattage than traditional lights, yet they give off the same amount of glow. They'll last longer, too (the ones in the link are guaranteed for nine years!).</p> <h2>4. Plastic Jar Lids</h2> <p>I'm that person who uses Ball jars for absolutely everything. I can tomatoes in them, I drink from them, I store bulk foods in them, I organize bathroom items (like cotton balls) in them, and I even started freezing foods in them. These <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000BYC4B/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0000BYC4B&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=XWWYNPANXGS2E5UT">plastic jar lids</a> are extremely useful for all these purposes and easy to clean.</p> <h2>5. Dryer Balls</h2> <p>We recently purchased a set of those blue <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008Y3UXFW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008Y3UXFW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LLNKGAP6NPLZAPJF">PVC dryer balls</a> for less than $5. They fluff clothes naturally and effectively without the chemicals you'll find in dryer sheets. You'll also cut your dry time down, saving you some money on your electric or gas bill.</p> <h2>6. Kitchen Towels</h2> <p>Save hundreds of dollars on paper towels by switching exclusively to cloth. My family switched to this system years ago, and beyond the environmental impact &mdash; cloth just scrubs better than paper. We have a set of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CUFK67A/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CUFK67A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RFS5LQKRR6IJGUO3">simple dish towels</a> that are super absorbent and economical.</p> <h2>7. Ice Cube Tray</h2> <p>I use our silicone <a href="http://www.amazon.com/green-sprouts-Silicone-Freezer-Green/dp/B002F9MUM0/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1415126018&amp;sr=8-11&amp;keywords=silicone+ice+cube+tray">ice cube tray</a> for far more than making ice. Each cube measures 1-ounce, which is the perfect size for freezing herbs, smoothie cubes, coffee cubes, and even making <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/08/diy-natural-lotion-cubes.html">homemade lotion cubes</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-wont-believe-how-much-you-can-save-with-an-ice-cube-tray?ref=seealso">You Won't Believe How Much You Can Save With an Ice Cube Tray</a>)</p> <h2>8. Hanging Basket</h2> <p>You can use a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008UP233O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008UP233O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=2GLWTTG37FILR6FL">3-tiered hanging basket</a> in your kitchen to hold produce like onions and bananas. In your bathroom, the same basket can corral hair products and brushes. It's a basic and cheap organization tool that goes where you need it, when you need it.</p> <h2>9. Clothespins</h2> <p>Use your dryer less by hanging up clothes indoors to dry this season. Nostalgic <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002BWUJ1U/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002BWUJ1U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=I7UON2CDK7LPAV3P">wooden clothespins</a> hold clothing in place whether outside or in, but you can use them for a number of other purposes. Hang some string and pin up your child's artwork, keep cords neat and tidy, or use them in your closet to organize accessories.</p> <h2>10. Grocery Tote</h2> <p>By now, most of us have a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JYE2MPY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00JYE2MPY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=KKD4GDD6OAZWNU64">reusable grocery bag</a> &mdash; but do you remember to bring yours to the store? We stash our set in the car for easy toting whenever we find ourselves out and about. You'll save some cash on garbage fees by avoiding plastic bags and save the environment at the same time.</p> <h2>11. Fleece Throw</h2> <p>Stop nudging the thermostat up a degree and then another. Toss one of these colorful <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DP4XBGI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DP4XBGI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=63CTITJAB75VZOX7">fleece throws</a> over your reading chair and snuggle up whenever you feel a chill. Layering yourself with warm fabrics is a first line of defense against high utility bills.</p> <h2>12. Water Bottle</h2> <p>Give bottled water the cold shoulder and fill a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001U8L1Y0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001U8L1Y0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=JMW7L4MVLW5OZUTA">reusable water bottle</a> at the tap. You can find bottles in all shapes, sizes, materials, and colors to suit your unique needs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-or-tap-the-right-choice-for-water-may-surprise-you?ref=seealso">Bottled or Tap: The Right Choice Might Surprise You</a>)</p> <h2>13. Lunch Box</h2> <p>Americans spend nearly $1K annually eating lunches out. Put that money back in your pocket and purchase a smart, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004UISANC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004UISANC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=U2BBDUB5YYKM6HRL">insulated lunch box</a> instead. With a little planning, you'll be eating well on a dime. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-packed-lunch-ideas-youll-want-to-steal-from-your-kids?ref=seealso">10 Packed Lunch Ideas You'll Want to Steal From Your Kids</a>)</p> <h2>14. Flashlight</h2> <p>Put a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005FEGYCO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005FEGYCO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=JF7H5E56JCC5FJ5R">basic flashlight</a> on your shopping list today. Too many of us realize we need one when the lights go out. It's a cheap addition to your home's emergency kit, and even a small one will light your way just fine. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-items-you-might-have-forgot-in-your-emergency-kit?ref=seealso">6 Items You Might Have Forgotten in Your Emergency Kit</a>)</p> <h2>15. Shoe Organizer</h2> <p>Traditionally used for shoes, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HDRVEU8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00HDRVEU8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5SUEWRK6VR7542XF">over-the-door organizers</a> can be repurposed for a variety of organization projects. We have one in our entryway coat closet to keep mittens and hats at bay. Friends of ours have one in their pantry to hold stray things like spices and snack foods. And I love the idea to toss one in the utility closet to hold cleaning supplies.</p> <h2>16. Universal Screwdriver</h2> <p>Most of us don't need an entire set of screwdrivers to get by. Instead, get an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00009V431/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00009V431&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=7XXV3MXBSY4OYBRV">all-in-one screwdriver</a> for around $5 that boasts flathead and Phillips adapters in different sizes. We keep ours in our kitchen junk drawer for those sneaky everyday tasks.</p> <p><em>What's the most useful household item you have that was under $10? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-home-purchases-for-under-10-that-are-well-worth-the-money" class="sharethis-link" title="16 Home Purchases for Under $10 That Are Well Worth the Money" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-home-purchases-for-under-10-that-are-well-worth-the-money">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/screwdrivers-to-saws-stocking-your-first-toolbox">Screwdrivers to Saws: Stocking Your First Toolbox</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/the-best-10-items-to-borrow">The Best 10 Items to Borrow</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/14-ways-to-make-your-yard-look-awesome-for-under-100">14 Ways to Make Your Yard Look Awesome for Under $100</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-cool-tool-gifts-for-fixer-uppers">10 Cool Tool Gifts for Fixer Uppers</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/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home $10 purchases household goods tools utility drawer Wed, 12 Nov 2014 22:00:05 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1253728 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Things You Need to Do Now to Prepare for Winter http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-need-to-do-now-to-prepare-for-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-things-you-need-to-do-now-to-prepare-for-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-snow-car-177114213-small.jpg" alt="woman snow car" title="woman snow car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Winter is coming, and <a href="http://www.westeros.org/">Westeros</a> isn't the only place where there's much to prepare for. Make sure you keep your home, health, and sanity intact by taking the following preventative measures now.</p> <h2>1. Slowly Condition Your Home to Cooler Temperatures</h2> <p>As soon as our homes get chilly, the kneejerk reaction is to run to the thermostat and crank up the heat. While our bodies are instantly grateful for our natural impulses, our wallets will start to feel the pain not long after.</p> <p>Kyle James, founder of <a href="http://www.rather-be-shopping.com">Rather-Be-Shopping.com</a>, suggests a different approach to help acclimate your body to living comfortably by changing your warming pattern.</p> <p>&quot;If during the winter and fall months you typically keep your thermostat at 73 during the day and 66 at night, try an experiment and lower it by one degree each week for a month,&quot; he says. &quot;Slowly try changing the temperature you are used to and let your body adjust. Wear a sweatshirt if this is a difficult adjustment. This tip has the potential to save you quite a bit of money this winter.&quot;</p> <p>Another great tip he shares to help your home capture more heat during the winter is to seal or wrap your windows to prevent cold air from seeping in, and open the blinds and curtains in the morning to take advantage of the natural heat from the sun that will pour through your windows and help raise the temperature of those rooms a bit.</p> <h2>2. Kick Rodents and Other Pests to the Curb</h2> <p>During the milder months, the weather is nice enough that we generally don't have to worry about vermin taking over our homes &mdash; they're enjoying the outdoors as much as we are. But when the temps take a dive, everybody runs for cover&hellip; even the creepy-crawlies.</p> <p>&quot;Rodents, spiders, cockroaches, and other pests also seek shelter from the winter elements &mdash; and unfortunately our warm homes make the perfect haven,&quot; says Amanda Polyak, a representative for the <a href="https://npmapestworld.org/index.cfm">National Pest Management Association</a>. &quot;It's important to take preventative measures now to keep these pests out because they are known to spread diseases, bring other dangerous pests such as ticks and fleas in to the home, and trigger asthma and allergies.&quot;</p> <p>To help keep this nightmare scenario at bay, Polyak recommends taking a few steps to ensure your home is home to only you and your family:</p> <ul> <li>Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home to help prevent rodents from getting inside. Be sure to check the areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home. Mice and ants can make their nests in woodpiles and easily gain access to your home if the pile is nearby.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep storage areas well organized, and store boxes off of the floor.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. Pay special attention to kitchens and bathrooms, as these areas are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Keep attics, basements, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens in windows.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Screen vents to chimneys.</li> </ul> <h2>3. Stock Up on Your Outdoor Hardware</h2> <p>You wouldn't face an impending winter storm without the proper essentials indoors&nbsp;<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 22.1000003814697px;">&mdash;</span>&nbsp;bread, milk, toilet paper, WINE &mdash; and you shouldn't forget about the supplies you'll need to take care of the outside of your home either. Do an early check to make sure you have rakes, shovels, snow blowers, sidewalk salt, and other winter cleanup items that you'll need to keep everybody safe who will step on to your property before, during, and after a winter-weather event. Rush the hardware store a day before and you'll likely find very little stock left or face supply-and-demand pricing, which will only make matters worse.</p> <h2>4. Clear Vents and Chimneys to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Mishaps</h2> <p>Tim Flynn, owner of <a href="http://wintershomeservices.com/">Winter Home Services</a>, has seen firsthand the dangers of obstructed chimneys and vents &mdash; a hazardous scenario due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. He offers a few tips on staying safe and warm this winter:</p> <ul> <li>Inspect vents and chimneys to make sure they are unobstructed. Clear leaves and vines; prune shrubs and plants so they do not block vents. Anything around a vent or chimney needs to be removed as it can block the exhaust, which can cause carbon monoxide to back up into the home as well as trigger heating system shut-off or malfunction.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Install, check and/or replace smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Both fire and carbon monoxide can be deadly and silent. Manufacturers recommend replacing detectors every five years.</li> </ul> <h2>5. Take Preventative Measures Against Pipe Freezing</h2> <p>The last thing you want this winter are burst pipes that have frozen because you didn't properly prepare them. WikiHow has a great <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Frozen-Water-Pipes">step-by-step DIY article on how to properly prevent pipes from freezing</a>, but you also can find a few great tips from Wise Bread.</p> <p>Bill Redfern, founder and president of A Buyer's Choice Home Inspections, goes a couple steps further when he suggests that we &quot;check to ensure sprinkler systems are blown out and winterized and exterior faucets and water lines are insulated; drain the air conditioner pipes; and if your air conditioner has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.&quot;</p> <p>If you have a swimming pool in your yard, it's important that you properly winterize that as well.</p> <h2>6. Visit Your Doctor or Local Pharmacy for a Flu Shot</h2> <p>Ebola fears have reached a fever pitch lately, but that virus doesn't hold a candle to seasonal influenza, <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/us_flu-related_deaths.htm">which claims thousands of lives each year</a> according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Give your body the best chance of avoiding the flu &mdash; and fighting it if you do catch it &mdash; by getting a flu shot. While you're at the doctor, update your prescriptions and take care of any other check-up type necessities, so you can make fewer trips when the weather is poor.</p> <h2>7. Outfit Your Car for Winter Weather</h2> <p>Paul Purcell is a terrorism and natural disaster preparedness trainer and author of <a href="http://www.disasterprep101.com/">Disaster Prep 101</a>. He suggests topping off your tank, &quot;docking&quot; your car, pre-treating your locks so they don't freeze, covering your car if it's susceptible to the elements, and keeping the engine block warm.</p> <p>Personally, I also would recommend keeping a first-aid kit in your car (at all times, not just during the winter), along with hand warmers, flares, heavy blankets, an emergency phone (<a href="http://spareone.com/">I own this model from SpareOne</a>), and a few days' non-perishable food and water in the event that you're ever stranded. These items literally could be the difference between life and death.</p> <h2>8. Replace Shingles and Clean Your Gutters</h2> <p>Hop up on the roof to inspect and replace any loose shingles to avoid a potentially devastating in-home disaster from melting precipitation that could make its way inside. At the same time, clean out your gutters to remove leaves, sticks, and other debris that can block the flow of rain and melting snow and ice and which also will put an added strain on your gutters with additional precipitation on top of it.</p> <h2>9. Consider the Well-Being of Your Mind and Body</h2> <p>Winter is notorious for bringing on bouts of depression as a result of many nefarious factors &mdash; cold temperatures, limited daylight, cabin fever, etc. That's why it's important for you to plan ahead and prepare yourself based on how you expect you'll feel when the going gets tough.</p> <p>These preventative measures will be different for every person, and I'm not a doctor so I can't tell you exactly what you should do here, but you probably have a good idea of the initial steps you can take to make the best of this situation. You'll also want to make sure you've stocked up on moisturizers and other skin-hydrating products (or make them at home) so your skin can stay smooth and comfortable throughout the winter.</p> <p><em>How do you prepare for winter? Do you have other tips you'd like to add to this list? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-need-to-do-now-to-prepare-for-winter" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Things You Need to Do Now to Prepare for Winter" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/9-things-you-need-to-do-now-to-prepare-for-winter">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-7"> <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-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs">7 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Energy Costs</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-things-you-should-not-do-to-your-yard-this-fall">10 Things You Should NOT Do to Your Yard This Fall</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-diy-tips-to-winterize-your-home-for-cheap">7 DIY Tips to Winterize Your Home for Cheap</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-remove-snow-and-save">How to Remove Snow and Save</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/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home disaster planning SAD winter winterizing Fri, 07 Nov 2014 16:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1251654 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Energy Costs http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-changing-thermostat-iStock_000032848840Small.jpg" alt="woman changing thermostat" title="woman changing thermostat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's snow in the forecast. As much as I'd like to ignore all the fallen leaves in our backyard and gloss over the shorter daylight hours, the fact remains: Winter is upon us.</p> <p>We're in a new-to-us home this year, so how much our heating might cost is a wildcard. Thankfully, we've lined up some defenses to keep our energy bills as low as they can be. And these simple tips are universally helpful whether you live in a 1960s ranch or an 1880s Victorian.</p> <h2>1. Tame Drafts</h2> <p>The best way to keep the warm air in is to make sure it isn't flowing out. Take a tour around your home and examine windows and doors for any drafts. Our front door had a sizable gap at its base, so we installed weatherstripping and it took care of the cold air problem immediately.</p> <p>There are many ways to <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5955246/drafty-how-to-seal-your-windows-and-doors-from-the-cold">fill in voids</a>, including stripping, insulator kits, foam, silicone, etc. If you're in an apartment or just want a temporary fix, you can also use one of those draft guards. Here's a <a href="http://thefeltmouse.blogspot.com/2009/02/we-got-new-dog.html">DIY tutorial</a> using an old pair of tights, polyfill, and only a few stitches.</p> <h2>2. Lower the Thermostat</h2> <p>How low can you go on your thermostat this winter? Start just one degree and you could <a href="http://news.discovery.com/earth/big-savings-by-degrees-120515.htm">save up to 5%</a> (or around $10 per day) on your overall heating bill according to an analysis released by EnergyHub in 2012. The EPA recommends settings on 70 degrees during the eight hours most people are home turning it down to 62 degrees for the 16 hours when people are away or sleeping. And if you can get away with keeping your thermostat on lower (we keep ours on 67 during the day), that's great, too. Using a <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Simple-Dollar/2012/0601/Properly-used-a-programmable-thermostat-cuts-energy-costs">programmable thermostat</a> also helps you save by taking out the manual temperature changing.</p> <h2>3. Cover Yourself</h2> <p>Feeling nervous about taking the plunge? Keeping comfortable at lower thermostat levels isn't difficult. Wear more clothing! Long sleeves, pants, thick socks, and layers are the fashion statements in our house during the winter. We also keep a fleece blanket on the couch to ward off chills in the evening. Our beds are topped with flannel sheets and wool covers for the nights when our thermostat is at its lowest setting. You don't want to be frigid all season long, but some common sense is employed here.</p> <h2>4. Zone It Out</h2> <p>My family lives in a 4-bedroom home, but we're currently only using two of those bedrooms on a daily basis. So, we've closed the hot air vents in those rooms to redirect the heating to the spaces we're living in and keep the doors shut most hours of the day. If you have baseboard heating, see if there's a localized switch in your room so you can turn it off and shut the door. The savings here are hard to quantify because so many factors are involved (room size, etc.), however &mdash; the less area to heat, the more money that stays in your pockets.</p> <h2>5. Use Curtains</h2> <p>During the day, take advantage of the sun's rays by opening your curtains to let the light in. Even on the coldest days you'll get a boost, especially with those south-facing windows in the afternoon rays. Then in the evening, close your curtains to help keep the heat indoors. If your windows are bare (or you only have sheers), consider purchasing some <a href="http://www.sparkenergy.com/blog/2012/january/save-energy-with-insulated-curtains/">insulated curtains</a>, which protect your home from heat loss through conduction, infiltration, convection, and radiation. They come in all colors and patterns, too!</p> <h2>6. Service Your Furnace</h2> <p>It's one of those annoying home maintenance tasks you don't think you should need to do, but getting your furnace cleaned and evaluated each year can help save you cash and unexpected breakdowns. (It's also a safety thing, as furnaces can leak carbon monoxide into your home without your knowledge.) You'll also need to change out the filter at least once per season &mdash; or whenever it's dirty &mdash; to keep everything flowing as it should. Check your local coupon books to see if any HVAC providers are offering promotions.</p> <h2>7. Add Insulation</h2> <p>If your house is still feeling quite cold, take a trip to your attic to assess the insulation situation. In our last home, we were surprised to find only a few inches of the stuff keeping our heat from flowing out the roof. (Insulation acts like a hat does on your body.) We added a thick fiberglass roll to the entire attic ourselves and could tell the difference in our second floor level almost immediately. How much insulation you add and where you add it is going to depend on your home. If you plan to stay there for quite a while, it certainly makes sense to <a href="http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/adding-insulation-existing-home">evaluate and correct</a> any issues that might cost you big dollars as the years go on.</p> <p><em>How do you save on your winter energy bill? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Easy Ways to Lower Winter Energy Costs" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-lower-winter-energy-costs">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/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</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/13-dumb-little-purchases-you-need-to-stop-making-today">13 Dumb Little Purchases You Need to Stop Making Today</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/6-things-in-your-kitchen-that-get-rid-of-bad-smells-naturally">6 Things in Your Kitchen That Get Rid of Bad Smells Naturally</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/breathe-easy-10-natural-air-fresheners">Breathe Easy: 10 Natural Air Fresheners</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/youre-washing-your-clothes-too-often-what-to-do-instead">You&#039;re Washing Your Clothes Too Often! (What to Do Instead)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Budgeting Green Living Home furnace heating insulation utility bill winter Fri, 07 Nov 2014 14:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1251558 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-kitchen-460315379-small.jpg" alt="woman cleaning kitchen" title="woman cleaning kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Kitchens can easily become cluttered with less-than-useful gadgets, tools, and food items, but it's important to keep your kitchen tidy and organized for the health of your family and for your sanity. Stop fighting rarely used kitchen items for counter space. Get rid of the following things and cook with newfound peace of mind. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <h2>1. Sponge</h2> <p>Your sponge is where kitchen germs live and thrive. The moist nooks and crannies are a perfect breeding ground, so switch your sponge out often. Even with a new sponge, microwave it daily in an inch of water for a minute to disinfect. You'll keep from spreading lots of germs all around your kitchen and will help keep your family healthier.</p> <h2>2. Meat Mallet</h2> <p>Tell the truth: how often do you use a meat mallet? Most people use one once in a blue moon, and a number of tools can take its place. Putting the meat between plastic wrap and using a heavy skillet is a good alternative. An unopened canned good and rolling pin are other options.</p> <h2>3. Old Plastic Storage Containers</h2> <p>Studies have shown that plastic food storage containers with recycle codes 3 or 7 and many made before 2010 may contain BPA, a harmful chemical that can leach into food. If you own some of these containers, toss them. You can often end up with bottoms and tops that don't match or missing pieces, so throw out or donate any without partners.</p> <h2>4. Panini Press</h2> <p>Make paninis on a daily basis? Then ignore this one. But for most of us, this common wedding registry pick isn't a necessity. You can easily imitate this kitchen gadget using a regular skillet and a heavy skillet or pan (a cast iron skillet works great) to press your sandwich on top.</p> <h2>5. Old Dried Spices</h2> <p>Spices can accumulate, get pushed to the back of the cabinet, and crowd your storage space. But spices don't last forever, and can lose a lot of their flavor after a year or two passes. According to McCormick, <a href="http://mccormick.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/11/related/1">ground spices last three to four years</a>, leafy herbs for one to two years, and whole spices for four years. Dried herbs and spices should smell and taste potent, and should be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and heat (including your stove).</p> <h2>6. Bread Maker</h2> <p>Unless you are living the dream and making bread on a weekly basis, you probably don't need this clunky appliance. It's awkward to store and isn't required for making homemade bread. Flex those muscles and do a little kneading, get a dough attachment for your mixer or food processor, or try no-knead breads.</p> <h2>7. Jigger</h2> <p>Unless you're an amateur bartender, you don't need this awkward tool crowding your junk drawer. You can use regular measuring spoons, with two tablespoons equaling the small end of a jigger (one ounce) and &frac14; cup equaling the large end of a jigger (two ounces). Or you can just relax. You're at home &mdash; just eyeball it and enjoy.</p> <h2>8. Expired Canned Food</h2> <p>It may seem like canned food lasts forever, but they can actually go bad. Canned fruits and tomatoes last 18 months, while other items can last up to five years. Be sure to check your emergency kit and replace those, too.</p> <h2>9. Open Canned Food</h2> <p>Leftover canned foods are easy to store by just leaving them in the can and shoving them in the fridge, but the metal can leach into the food and create a metallic taste. This is especially common with acidic foods like fruit or tomatoes. Take the time to transfer your leftovers into a storage container and you'll be rewarded with better tasting food.</p> <h2>10. Toaster Oven</h2> <p>This appliance takes up a lot of valuable counter space without making up for it. If you're a frequent toaster, get a more compact and easily storable toaster. Everything else can be done in the oven, and if you only make toast now and again, you can do that in the oven, too.</p> <h2>11. Rice Cooker</h2> <p>Most people don't cook enough rice to make this large appliance worth the storage space. Although you can make <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/5-things-you-can-make-in-a-ric-111057">a few other things</a> with it, it's largely a unitasker. Rice can easily be made on the stovetop or even in the oven, so donating your rice maker is likely the right move.</p> <h2>12. Mandoline</h2> <p>This is another unitasker, and rarely used by most households. Most recipes don't require fruit or vegetables sliced paper thin, making a regular knife more than adequate. Most food processors also offer a mandoline attachment.</p> <h2>13. Pastry Bag</h2> <p>Unless you are making cakes and fancy desserts left and right (and if you are&hellip; can I come over?), you can easily create your own pastry bag with a plastic freezer bag. Just cut a hole in one of the bottom corners, attach the tip, spoon in your filling, and close the top. You can also use a cone of parchment paper wrapped closed and folded down at the top.</p> <h2>14. Electric Kettle</h2> <p>If you're a heavy tea drinker, then ignore this tip. Otherwise, a stovetop kettle doesn't take that much longer and doesn't take up space on your counter. Donate this one.</p> <h2>15. Leftovers</h2> <p>Leftovers always start with good intentions, but can often end up pushed to the back of your refrigerator. Periodically clean out your fridge, and get rid of leftovers that are more than a few days old. They can contain bacteria and cause illness, and simply aren't worth the risk. Always throw out food that has become moldy.</p> <p><em>What's cluttering up your kitchen?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">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-9"> <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/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-2 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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions</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/12-things-you-wont-ever-use-again-and-should-throw-out-today">12 Things You Won&#039;t Ever Use Again and Should 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/the-only-5-words-you-need-to-declutter-your-life">The Only 5 Words You Need to Declutter Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home Organization clutter declutter kitchen kitchen gadgets Mon, 03 Nov 2014 15:00:12 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1248293 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How You Maximize Fridge and Freezer Space http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-maximize-fridge-and-freezer-space <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-you-maximize-fridge-and-freezer-space" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-refrigerator-485018303-small.jpg" alt="woman refrigerator" title="woman refrigerator" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Is your freezer a mess? Do you frequently find old food rotting in the back of your fridge? I used to lose so much money this way. Now I take time to regularly clean and organize my refrigerator and freezer spaces, and it has made a huge difference. Even a few simple hacks are helpful here. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/schedule-regular-fridge-cleanings-to-prevent-food-waste?ref=seealso">Schedule Regular Fridge Cleanings to Avoid Food Waste</a>)</p> <p>So, check out these handy tips to get your foods onto the table with less mess, confusion, and &mdash; most important &mdash; waste.</p> <h2>Clear Out</h2> <p>Before you begin any project, it's good to clear out the old so you can start fresh. Take a good half hour (depending on your level of crazy) and take everything out of your fridge and freezer. Trash what's rotting, examine what's expired, and keep the rest. This occasion is also a great opportunity to spray some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners">homemade cleaner</a> in there and wipe all the crud and grime away. If you don't like how your refrigerator is configured, most shelves are moveable, so try a few layouts before putting your food back in.</p> <h2>Create Zones</h2> <p>The next step: Create zones for all your stuff to live in. There's no right or wrong way to divide, however &mdash; temperature and humidity does vary in the box, making ideal environments for some foods versus others. This <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/organizing-kitchen/refrigerator-drawers">organization guide</a> helps to identify the areas that work best for all your foods. For example, eggs do well on the middle shelf where temperature tends to be most consistent. Fruit, on the other hand, thrives in a low humidity drawer, whereas you'll want to keep veggies in higher humidity. And condiments &mdash; which have more preservatives &mdash; can happily hang out in the door. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fridge-or-counter-where-to-store-fruit-for-best-flavor?ref=seealso">Fridge or Counter? Where to Store Fruit for Best Flavor</a>)</p> <h2>Contain It</h2> <p>Whole foods and leftovers can certainly get lost without visibility. So, just as you'd box your belongings in other areas of your home, consider bringing some clean bins into the mix. The <a href="http://www.fourgenerationsoneroof.com/2014/02/hello-organization-refrigerator-makeover.html">before and after shots</a> of this refrigerator are jaw-dropping. Corralling snacks into one spot keeps them from migrating to the back of the refrigerator where they'll likely expire before use. And think outside the box here. I've seen friends use lazy susans or even magazine holders as unique shelving options. These same tips work in the freezer, too.</p> <h2>Freeze Flat</h2> <p>If you do any <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-and-money-with-a-monthly-assembly-or-bulk-cooking-weekend">bulk or assembly cooking</a>, space is at a premium in your freezer. Even if you have a dedicated chiller, like I do, you can get much more out of your investment by <a href="http://www.onedishdinners.com/2011/03/flat-freezing.html">freezing foods flat</a> whenever possible. Of course, you can't do this with absolutely all foods, but soups and stews, pre-cut fruits and veggies, sauces, meats, and even some baked goods can be placed in zip freezer bags and flattened. You can even freeze smoothies, soups, and other liquid items in ice cube trays and then transfer to flat bags. Try to remove as much air as possible to create even more space (and avoid dreaded freezer burn).</p> <h2>Label It</h2> <p>From there, you might notice that many foods become almost unrecognizable once frozen. And, though you think you'll remember what's what, that's rarely the case. Keep a Sharpie marker on your fridge or in your junk drawer and immediately label anything that goes in with the name of the dish and the date it was made. Otherwise, try to stick with clear storage containers versus opaque for quick identification of, say, applesauce from chili. It's a simple trick, but it cuts down significantly on time and guesswork.</p> <h2>Section Out</h2> <p>If you have a chest freezer &mdash; great! But I know how tricky it can be to organize. This blogger built <a href="http://www.thegigsdigs.blogspot.ca/2013/05/chest-freezer-organization_6.html">DIY dividers</a> to section off space for different items using plywood. If you don't have a jigsaw at home, you could take all the measurements and ask your local hardware store to make the cuts for you (usually at a small price). If you're not into that idea, consider buying a few larger plastic bins to put your flat bags into and dividing them into broad categories like breakfast, lunch, and dinner or soups, desserts, and whole ingredients. Then stack the bins on top of one another. You get the idea.</p> <h2>Make Lists</h2> <p>Once all your food is happily organized, it helps to make a list of what's there to aid with meal planning each week. That way, if something does disappear from the inventory, you'll still know it's worth digging out. I also write the date it was purchased (with produce), the date it expires (with packaged foods), or the date it was packaged (with frozen foods) and try to list in order of what spoils first. You can keep a spreadsheet if you're more computer-oriented. A small dry erase board works well in my household. Always consult these lists before bringing more food into the house.</p> <p><em>How organized (or disorganized) is your fridge or freezer? What's your system? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-maximize-fridge-and-freezer-space" class="sharethis-link" title="Here&#039;s How You Maximize Fridge and Freezer Space" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-maximize-fridge-and-freezer-space">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-10"> <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/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home">10 Super-Cool Ways to Add Hidden Storage to Your Home</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/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories">9 Ways to Lose the Clutter and Keep the Memories</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home Organization food storage food waste freezer fridge storage Mon, 03 Nov 2014 09:00:13 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1248262 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Make Your Tiny Apartment Feel Like a Castle http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-your-tiny-apartment-feel-like-a-castle <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-make-your-tiny-apartment-feel-like-a-castle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home-renovation-couple-476101829-small.jpg" alt="home renovation" title="home renovation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you live in a small space? You're not alone. It can feel stifling at times, but I'm here to help you discover a few ways to push out those walls (even if only in your mind). The following are some tried-and-true tips I used back in my own studio and one-bedroom apartment days to make my living arrangements seem much less bleak. Actually, I remember the whole adventure being quite fabulous &mdash; it just takes a change of perspective. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-to-save-on-apartment-living?ref=seealso">7 Ways to Save on Apartment Living</a>)</p> <h2>1. Clear Out</h2> <p>Examine the furniture and other clutter (gadgets, tchotkes, etc) you are currently holding onto and figure out what you can purge. Fewer things means more space both physically and visually. You'll also spend far less time maintaining and cleaning your apartment. Added benefit: Selling extraneous items on sites like Craigslist can give you a little extra cash to spruce up your apartment or to sink into your savings account.</p> <h2>2. Freshen Paint</h2> <p>If your landlord allows it, paint your walls. Light, muted colors create the illusion of more room versus dark, bold ones that tend to box everything in. If you have more than one area, use the same color paint, which will extend the visual impact farther and give your mind the illusion of openness. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit?ref=seealso">10 Cheap Ways to Make Your Apartment Awesome Without Losing Your Deposit</a>)</p> <h2>3. Make a Focal Point</h2> <p>Another trap apartment dwellers fall into is having no clear <a href="http://roomology.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/a-comment-on-curtains/">focal point</a>. The eye wanders around with no place to go. If you cannot paint, consider creating an accent wall using temporary wallpaper in a simple print. For example, you can create a <a href="http://upcycledtreasures.com/2014/02/diy-triangle-accent-wall-for-less-3/">strong, beautiful pattern</a> using inexpensive contact paper. Just peel away when it's time to move. Note: It's best to take advantage of your apartment's natural assets (a fireplace, cool woodwork, a view) when choosing a focal point.</p> <h2>4. Create Zones</h2> <p>When I lived in a tiny studio, I was able to create <a href="http://www.homedit.com/decorate-studio-apartment/small-studio-boho-style/">mini &quot;rooms&quot;</a> that made the 350 square feet seem much bigger than it actually was. I used a <a href="http://www.bobvila.com/diy-room-divider/44560-divide-and-conquer-10-room-dividers-to-bring-order-to-your-space/slideshows?noredirect=true#!4">room divider</a> to section off my bed (futon) area from a cozy chair and small bookcase that was my makeshift library. On the wall adjacent to the kitchen, I arranged a long desk I made from a skinny door that housed my computer (that doubled as my television), office supplies, and craft items. How you section will depend on your needs and apartment, but get creative. If it's not working, you can always move stuff around.</p> <h2>5. Move Furniture</h2> <p>That's right! Play with the layout of your apartment. Many of us move in and put our furniture where it initially seems to make sense. Over time, you might discover that a new layout would maximize your square footage and better serve your everyday activities. Keep in mind that with small apartments, you want to make <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/small-space-solutions-multipurpose-rooms-that-work-167311">multipurpose solutions</a> whenever possible, like using a daybed for sleeping and guest seating.</p> <h2>6. Think Up</h2> <p>If you don't have a lot of ground to work with, consider moving your attention up the walls. Storage <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60282186/">for books and other items</a> is particularly easy to bring above eye level. And don't shy from piling up high, even to the ceiling or above the door. Making use of <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/inspiration-roundup-making-use-of-vertical-space-168731">your vertical space</a> is smart and can look quite savvy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/studio-apartment-living-a-5-point-survival-guide?ref=seealso">Studio Apartment Living: A 5-Point Survival Guide</a>)</p> <p><em>Do you live in a tiny place? How do you keep it feeling like your castle?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-your-tiny-apartment-feel-like-a-castle" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Ways to Make Your Tiny Apartment Feel Like a Castle" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-your-tiny-apartment-feel-like-a-castle">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-11"> <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/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean">The Military&#039;s Four-Step Plan to Keeping Your Place Clean</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-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit">10 Cheap Ways to Make Your Apartment Awesome (Without Losing Your Deposit)</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/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions</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/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space">20 Ways to Live Large in a Small Space</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home apartment castle interior design organization Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1246891 at http://www.wisebread.com Boost Your Home's Value With These 5 Projects http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-homes-value-with-these-5-projects <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/boost-your-homes-value-with-these-5-projects" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-home-improvement-453244095-small.jpg" alt="woman home improvement" title="woman home improvement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you've lived in your home for decades or just moved in, ROI's something to consider when thinking about home improvement projects.</p> <p>A good first step &mdash; especially if you plan to sell in the near future &mdash; is to invite a trusted agent over to evaluate your home's features in relation to other houses in the neighborhood and market. You can get a solid idea of which projects are getting the biggest payoffs and, alternatively, which are better left undone. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/recoup-more-of-your-investment-8-home-improvements-that-add-the-most-value?ref=seealso">Recoup More of Your Investment: 8 Improvements that Add the Most Value</a>)</p> <p>That said, there are some universal improvements that can help you better enjoy your space today and gain property value down the line.</p> <h2>1. Bathrooms</h2> <p>When we put our house on the market earlier this year, the biggest detriment to sale ended up being our lonely single bathroom. We lived in a 1940s kit house that was identical to our neighbors' digs, and most of them had gone ahead and squeezed in a toilet and sink into the downstairs closet for a couple grand. Recent data from the American Housing Survey indicates that adding a half bath can add <a href="http://www.nahb.org/generic.aspx?genericContentID=62422">10.5%</a> to a home's value while a full bath adds closer to 20%. Plus, living with more than one toilet or shower is a huge convenience if you plan to stick around.</p> <h2>2. Exterior</h2> <p>Any improvements to curb appeal will instantly garner your home listing more views. We tried selling our house a few years ago, but after the initial rush &mdash; we weren't getting any foot traffic. A couple years later, we switched out the old front door for an energy efficient one with decorative glass. We also got our house professionally painted and put up new shutters. Guess what happened! Yeah &mdash; we sold within a couple months and had lots of &quot;cute house&quot; comments after showings. The <a href="http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2012/10/Exterior-Replacement-Projects-Yield-Best-ROI">ROI is in your favor</a> for projects that involve siding, doors, windows, etc. They can gain back more than 70% of their cost at resale.</p> <h2>3. Kitchen</h2> <p>If you've ever watched a marathon of those house hunter shows, you know that people of all ages are obsessed with kitchens. Thankfully, the <a href="http://www.hgtvremodels.com/kitchens/tips-for-remodeling-a-kitchen-for-resale/index.html">kitchen is one of your best bets</a> when it comes to house improvements that pay off. Energy savvy appliances and upgraded finishes like solid surface countertops can &mdash; again &mdash; get back up to 70% of their original costs at resale. But don't order fancy granite just yet! Consider neighborhood comps when it comes to planning any upgrades. Sometimes simple stuff, like painting kitchen cabinets, will get more value via sweat equity.</p> <h2>4. Space</h2> <p>Need more space in your home? Rather than draft up blueprints for an addition or plan a move across town, consider transforming unfinished basement area into living space. The national average for <a href="http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/basements/return-basement-remodel/">ROI on finished basements is nearly 80 percent</a>. And if you're on the fence about selling or staying due to space, some extra square footage could save you some major moving costs. Those of you with notoriously wet or damp basements, however, need to consider any remediation costs that could total thousands and cut into your bottom line.</p> <h2>5. Bedrooms</h2> <p>Much like with a basement remodel, an attic bedroom transformation can get you some big bucks back at sale. Also: I loved my big room in the attic as a kid. The national average for a <a href="http://advice.porch.com/attic-bedroom-best-return-investment/">return on an attic bedroom conversion</a> is a little over 70%. Beware, however, since the actual return can vary significantly between cities. In San Francisco and Honolulu, for example, you can get up to 114% back for this upgrade. Where I live in upstate New York, that number is more like 47%. Think this type of project might be for you? Bounce the idea off a real estate agent to get some constructive feedback before signing on the dotted line.</p> <p><em>Have you made a big home improvement recently? Did it pay off?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-homes-value-with-these-5-projects" class="sharethis-link" title="Boost Your Home&#039;s Value With These 5 Projects" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-homes-value-with-these-5-projects">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-12"> <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-cheap-and-easy-fixes-that-make-your-house-look-amazing">25 Cheap and Easy Fixes That Make Your House Look Amazing</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-surprising-things-that-lower-the-value-of-a-home">10 Surprising Things That Lower the Value of 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/home-improvements-that-pay-off">Home Improvements That Pay Off</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-pros-and-cons-of-paying-cash-for-a-house">The Pros and Cons of Paying Cash for a House</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-make-your-bathroom-look-awesome-for-under-100">How to Make Your Bathroom Look Awesome for Under $100</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home Real Estate and Housing buying a home home improvement home sale Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:00:05 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1246351 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Fun and Cheap Storage Solutions for Tiny Apartments http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-and-cheap-storage-solutions-for-tiny-apartments <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-fun-and-cheap-storage-solutions-for-tiny-apartments" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bookshelf-home-178413931-small.jpg" alt="bookshelf home" title="bookshelf home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the most frustrating parts of living in an apartment is lack of space. And even if you have ample room, organization can present other challenges. Of course, cleaning out your belongings is always a useful activity when maximizing square footage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit?ref=seealso">10 Ways To Make Your Apartment Awesome Without Losing Your Deposit</a>)</p> <p>For those items you just can't part with, try some of these smart storage solutions.</p> <h2>1. Custom Shelving</h2> <p>You can configure pipes and plywood boards in any way that pleases your aesthetic (and function) with this <a href="http://manhattan-nest.com/2010/10/20/pipe-ply/">DIY shelving project</a>. Check out your local hardware store's plumbing section to find pipes, connections, and flanges that will make the framework for your boards to rest upon. If you can't find boards the size you need, you can get them cut for free or a nominal fee in the lumber section.</p> <h2>2. Hanging Baskets</h2> <p>Small bathrooms and kitchens can benefit greatly from the addition of <a href="http://indulgy.com/post/b1dHIoEbB1/bath-toy-storage-idea#/do/from/71354785036">hanging fruit baskets</a>. The benefit here is that there's little required for installation &mdash; so even if you have a picky landlord, you should be able to do this project and get your deposit back. The photo shows bath toys stashed in the baskets, but you can put in anything you need off your counters.</p> <h2>3. Clothing Rack</h2> <p>Closets are another issue in apartments large and small. Heck, my first house hardly had any closets &mdash; so it's an epidemic, if you ask me. The solution: Get yourself a sturdy garment rack! You can buy one for as little as <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10246860/">$10 at Ikea</a>. Making one &mdash; here's <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-coolest-diy-clothes-rack-weve-ever-seen-169109">a tutorial</a> using more pipes and boards &mdash; might cost a bit more but give you some flexibility with regard to design.</p> <h2>4. Corner Storage</h2> <p>If the industrial look isn't your cup of tea, this <a href="http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2014/01/build-organize-a-corner-shelving-system.html">corner shelving nook</a> might be more what you're after. Just head to the organization section at your home improvement store to find the basic shelving brackets. They most often come in plain white, but you can spray paint them to match any decor. The author suggests saving money by purchasing narrow boards for top shelves that might house lighter, smaller items.</p> <h2>5. Hooks</h2> <p>If you look around, you can probably find a million purposes for hooks in your space. And the good news is that hooks are <em>cheap</em>. Use adhesive hooks anywhere you need to hang something. In the kitchen, for example, that might mean <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Easiest-Cupboard-Pan-Lid-Organiser/">stowing pot covers</a> on a cabinet door.</p> <h2>6. Ottoman</h2> <p>Most of us like to prop our feet up after a long, hard day. And this <a href="http://www.oprah.com/home/How-to-Build-a-Rolling-Storage-Bench-DIY-Storage-Containers">DIY Storage Ottoman</a> is perfect for this purpose &mdash; all while providing some extra hidden space to toss belongings. The instructions include directions for adding wheels, but you can skip that if you want your cube to remain stationary. Total cost is around $40, which is much cheaper than store ottomans I've seen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home?ref=seealso">10 Super Cool Ways to Hide Storage in Your Home</a>)</p> <h2>7. Bookcases</h2> <p>When I was living in apartments, the most useful piece of furniture I owned was my large bookcase. I used it for books, of course, but it was most useful for other items I needed to organize in my everyday life, like dishes, records, craft supplies, and &mdash; eventually &mdash; my child's toys. You can find bookcases at thrift shops for a dime. Making them <a href="http://lookiewhatidid.blogspot.ca/2012/09/laundry-room-makeover-week-using.html">work for non-book items</a> is easy with some baskets, hooks, and bins tossed in the mix.</p> <h2>8. Door Racks</h2> <p>You know those over-door storage solutions for shoes, makeup, and other items? Forget the advertised purpose and use them for whatever you need up and out of the way. The shoe organizers can be great for <a href="http://fashionablehome.blogspot.com/2012/01/organize-cleaning-supplies.html">cleaning supplies</a>, cooking utensils, or bathroom items. You can even use them to organize art supplies and <a href="http://www.parents.com/parenting/moms/housekeeping/toy-storage-ideas/?socsrc=pmmpin140913orgdollcase&amp;crlt.pid=camp.Zh0MICNqpp0N#page=6">small toys</a> in your child's room.</p> <h2>9. Book Gutters</h2> <p>Though I most often see this project for children, I think a <a href="http://somedaycrafts.blogspot.com/2013/03/how-to-install-rain-gutter-bookcase.html">rain gutter bookshelf</a> would work equally well for adult books (and other smaller items, like craft supplies). Stock up on plastic rain gutters in the exterior section by all the roofing materials. Spray paint them to your desired shade. Hang them on the wall. It's that simple!</p> <h2>10. Laundry Dresser</h2> <p>When I lived in my small studio, the biggest problem I had was keeping my clothing off the floors. This <a href="http://ana-white.com/2011/07/my-laundry-basket-dresser-doors">DIY Laundry Dresser</a> is a smart, stylish solution. If you are working on a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe">minimalist wardrobe</a> or don't have many clothes, you can also use this type of dresser to organize a large number of things from kitchen gadgets to office supplies.</p> <p><em>How do you create storage in a tiny space? Please share in comments &mdash; we'll make room!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-and-cheap-storage-solutions-for-tiny-apartments" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Fun and Cheap Storage Solutions for Tiny Apartments" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-and-cheap-storage-solutions-for-tiny-apartments">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-13"> <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/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space">20 Ways to Live Large in a Small Space</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-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home">10 Super-Cool Ways to Add Hidden Storage to Your Home</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-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean">The Military&#039;s Four-Step Plan to Keeping Your Place Clean</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home organization small spaces storage Mon, 27 Oct 2014 09:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1242977 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways It Pays to Be Friendly With Your Neighbors http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-it-pays-to-be-friendly-with-your-neighbors <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-it-pays-to-be-friendly-with-your-neighbors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/neighbors-E000352-small.jpg" alt="neighbors " title="neighbors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Our communities just don't have the same bonds they used to. Think about it: Of all the people you've lived next door to, how many of their names do you know? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-deal-with-a-rude-neighbor?ref=seealso">How to Deal With a Rude Neighbor</a>)</p> <p>This is a problem, given the tangible, material benefits of having neighbors you know better than, say, the receptionist at your dentist's office. Don't believe it? Then check out these six ways it pays to be friendly with your neighbors.</p> <h2>1. Splitting Chores</h2> <p>Some chores impact more than just one house in a neighborhood. For example, if you share a common driveway, you can all pitch in when it comes to repaving it. It's not just about communal chores, though. Doing small favors can encourage a mini sharing economy. Help your neighbor plant a garden, he helps you change the transmission on your car. Start saving a mint based on the things that you couldn't do yourself, but can do with a spare set of hands.</p> <h2>2. Sharing the Cost of Big Equipment</h2> <p>Just like there are some chores that are impossible alone, so are there pieces of big equipment one person might not want to buy, but a neighborhood can go in on together. Think of things like wood chippers, cherry pickers, or power washers. Particularly if you're not going to be using them a lot, the price can be cost prohibitive. However, once you start splitting the cost three or four ways, the investment starts making a lot more sense.</p> <h2>3. Splitting Entertainment Costs</h2> <p>Especially for the sports fan, the ability to split entertainment costs can be a big deal. Maybe you don't want to shell out for the next UFC fight, WWE pay-per-view, or a season of NFL game day on your own. However, with the help of a neighbor or two you can make the cost of an expensive paid cable event no more than a couple of lattes. What's more, you might also be able to get package deals on vacations if you all coordinate your time away from home. Once you get there you don't have to be joined at the hip, though hey &mdash; if you guys are close, why not?</p> <h2>4. Learning New Skills</h2> <p>Chances are good that you have skills your neighbor wants and vice versa. So why not go about trading those talents? Not only can you learn them without paying any money, you can also save money over the long run by applying the skills you learn. Maybe it's auto repair. Maybe it's bread baking. Maybe it's interior painting. Whatever it is, when you learn how to do things for yourself, you don't have to pay someone else to do it for you.</p> <h2>5. Tolerating Your Big Bash</h2> <p>Having a party? Making any amount of racket? Get ready for a noise complaint and the charges that come along with it. Making friends with your neighbors not only makes them a little more tolerant of things like watering your garden on the day that you're not supposed to, but it also makes them more likely to talk to you directly about the problem rather than going straight through more official channels. No one wants angry neighbors, but if you're going to have them they can be angry in the neighborly way or the expensive way.</p> <h2>6. Networking</h2> <p>Networking is more important than ever. Looking for the best plumber in town? Your neighbor might be a friend. Trying to find a marriage counselor? Maybe your neighbors recently got through a rough patch with the help of a family therapist. Is your nephew looking for his first job in publishing? Talk to your neighbors and see if they know anyone who can help. Knowing more people is always helpful, starting with the people who live just down the street.</p> <p><em>Are you neighborly with your neighbors? How has it paid off for you?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-it-pays-to-be-friendly-with-your-neighbors" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Ways It Pays to Be Friendly With Your Neighbors " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nicholas-pell">Nicholas Pell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-it-pays-to-be-friendly-with-your-neighbors">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-14"> <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/why-dont-people-share-more">Why don&#039;t people share more?</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/25-reasons-why-its-good-to-know-your-neighbors">25 Reasons Why It&#039;s Good to Know Your Neighbors</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/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</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/what-does-being-rich-mean-to-you-anyway">What Does Being Rich Mean to You Anyway?</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/20-awesome-uses-for-milk-crates">20 Awesome Uses for Milk Crates</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home Lifestyle neighbors networking real estate sharing sharing economy Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Nicholas Pell 1241737 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Clean Everything in Your Home http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-clean-everything-in-your-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-clean-everything-in-your-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-iStock_000024640364Small.jpg" alt="woman cleaning" title="woman cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on how to clean everything in your home, budget friendly hobbies, and the times you should always spend to save.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Clean-Everything-Home-34923201">How to Clean Everything in Your Home and Beyond</a> &mdash; Get rid of the coffee stains in your favorite mug by rubbing it with a damp cloth sprinkled with salt and dish soap. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thousandaire.com/five-budget-friendly-hobbies-to-take-up/">Five Budget Friendly Hobbies to Take Up</a> &mdash; Surfing the waves is great exercise, and most surf shops will have used surfboards that you can buy on the cheap. [Thousandaire]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mybanktracker.com/news/spend-to-save">The 4 Times You Should Always Spend to Save</a> &mdash; If you have the cash to pay for a car, do it and save on interest. [My Bank Tracker]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.readyforzero.com/23-ways-to-save-money-today/">Rate Chasing, Babysitting Rings, and More! 23 Ways to Save Money Today</a> &mdash; If you're not ready to quit a costly habit cold turkey, try cutting it in half first. [Ready For Zero]</p> <p><a href="http://www.smartonmoney.com/3-signs-you-need-help-with-your-debt/">3 Signs You Need Help With Your Debt</a> &mdash; If you can only afford to make the minimum payments, it's time to see a professional to help you tackle your debt. [Smart on Money]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneycactus.com/5-ways-to-lower-the-cost-of-car-ownership">5 Ways to Lower the Cost of Car Ownership</a> &mdash; Invest in a vehicle repair manual and learn to fix your own car should a problem arise. [Money Cactus]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/personal/how-to-make-being-a-stay-at-home-mom-a-reality/">How to Make Being a Stay-at-Home Mom a Reality</a> &mdash; If you want to be a a stay-at-home mom, your family may need to sacrifice a second car or costly activities for the kids. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-handle-a-young-child-who-hits">How to Handle a Young Child Who Hits</a> &mdash; When your child is acting aggressively, it's more beneficial if your reaction is calm &mdash; yet firm &mdash; rather than angry. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.themoneyprinciple.co.uk/dont-make-debt-a-worry-try-these-business-tips/">Don&rsquo;t Make Debt a Worry: Try These Business Tips</a> &mdash; The electricity bill is the second highest expense of most businesses. Invest in a meter asset manager to help you track your energy use and find the savings. [The Money Principle]</p> <p><a href="http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/action-market-correction/">The One Action You Need to Take in Any Market Correction</a> &mdash; When a market correction hits, the best thing you can do is to simply continue your investment plan. [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-clean-everything-in-your-home" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: How to Clean Everything in Your Home" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-clean-everything-in-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-15"> <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-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean">The Military&#039;s Four-Step Plan to Keeping Your Place Clean</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/254-uses-for-vinegar-and-counting">254 Uses for Vinegar. And Counting.</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-mops">The 5 Best Mops</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/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home best money tips cleaning Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Amy Lu 1241117 at http://www.wisebread.com