spring cleaning http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9056/all en-US 14 Ways to Allergy-Proof Your Home http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-allergy-proof-your-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-ways-to-allergy-proof-your-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_with_allergy_symptoms_blowing_nose.jpg" alt="Woman with allergy symptoms blowing nose" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While most people are rejoicing over the arrival of spring, allergy sufferers know that with the warmer weather also comes sniffling, sneezing, and itchy eyes. Even though you won't be able to avoid all allergens, there are several ways to allergy-proof your home in order to keep the sneezing to a minimum.</p> <h2>1. Use doormats to catch outside irritants</h2> <p>Use two doormats, one outside and one right inside the front door to catch any pollen and other allergens hanging onto our shoes. Better yet, make your home a shoe-free zone and make a habit of taking off your shoes as soon as you come home.</p> <h2>2. Replace bedding with hypoallergenic options</h2> <p>Upgrade your sheets, pillows, pillowcases, duvets, and comforters to hypoallergenic versions. If you can't afford to replace all of your bedding at once, start with the pillowcases, since those are the closest to your face when you sleep. Your laundry detergent could cause allergy flare-ups, too, so wash with unscented soaps.</p> <h2>3. Clean or replace air filters</h2> <p>Clean or replace your home's air filters every 90 days if you are a pet-free home or every 60 days if you have a dog or cat. If you have more than one pet, clean or replace the air filters every 20-45 days. Pet fur and dander cling to these easily, and could be the cause of increased allergic reactions.</p> <h2>4. Add houseplants</h2> <p>Some house plants can help improve the air quality of your home, while also adding color and life to every room you put them in. The best air-purifying plants include garden mums, spider plants, and peace lilies, among others. Place one or more of these plants in the rooms you spend the most time in, and on your nightstand to help improve your sleep. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-cheap-plants-for-improving-indoor-air-quality?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Best Cheap Plants for Improving Indoor Air Quality</a>)</p> <h2>5. Invest in an air purifier</h2> <p>A good <a href="https://amzn.to/2wHDnKl" target="_blank">air purifier</a> will cost you between $50-$100, but it is a worthwhile investment. Keep one in your room, your kid's room, and in the main living area. Remember to clean the filters and wipe down the unit every month or two to ensure the unit stays effective.</p> <h2>6. Use a humidifier</h2> <p>The difference between air purifiers and humidifiers is that the former clears smoke, dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens from the indoor air without adding moisture, and the latter adds water to the air, without cleaning it.</p> <p>In order to keep allergic reactions at bay, it's helpful to have both in your home. If indoor air becomes too dry, allergies and respiratory issues can be triggered. If the air has too much moisture, you risk the spread of dust and mold. Humidifiers should be cleaned once a week in order to prevent dust and mold buildup. So while it's a delicate balance, it's worth it to keep a humidifier nearby to the prevent sneezing fits, sore throats, and runny noses that are common during allergy season.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2L4pKb6" target="_blank">Humidifiers</a> are also extremely affordable, running you anywhere from $15&ndash;$50, depending on the size and model.</p> <h2>7. Rethink your curtains</h2> <p>While curtains and drapes can make a room look stylish and cozy, they can also harbor a lot of dust mites and other common allergens. Consider ditching the curtains altogether, or wash them in hot water every few months to remove allergens.</p> <h2>8. Kick your pet out of bed</h2> <p>Even if snuggling with your dog or cat is the best part of your day, health-wise, it might be worth it to kick them out of your bedroom and have them sleep elsewhere. If you can't get your dog or cat out of the room, at least train them to sleep somewhere other than your bed, so you aren't constantly exposing your airways to their fur and dander. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets</a>)</p> <h2>9. Wash stuffed animals</h2> <p>Kids' stuffed animals can be major magnets for dust mites. Be sure to wash them regularly and don't be afraid to give a sweet teddy the boot (or replace it with a new one if your child is particularly attached) if it looks past its prime.</p> <h2>10. Get rid of carpet</h2> <p>This might not be in everyone's budget or realistic for everyone's lifestyle, but it could be highly beneficial for allergy sufferers, especially those who live in older homes. Your carpet might be the source of many of your allergy problems, especially if it has lived through another owner or two. Getting the carpets cleaned can help, but it doesn't eliminate the allergy problem like replacing carpets for hard floors does.</p> <h2>11. Keep an eye out for mold</h2> <p>Deep clean any area that is prone to mold, including the kitchen sink and underneath it, the bathroom, and the fridge. And any item that is regularly exposed to moisture can get moldy, so clean toys, garden tools, cleaning utensils, and kitchen tools to avoid allergic reactions and respiratory conditions involved in long-term exposure to mold. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-get-rid-of-mold-on-common-household-items?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Mold on Common Household Items</a>)</p> <h2>12. Groom pets regularly</h2> <p>Getting long-haired pets trimmed or shaved for the spring and summer months can cut down on shedding, and reduce unwanted allergens in your home. If your pet can't rock a shaved look, give them baths regularly in the warmer months and brush out their fur outside.</p> <h2>13. Dust smarter</h2> <p>It's important to dust regularly, but dusting the wrong way can make particles fly up into the air and aggravate your sinuses. Instead, use a damp cloth or a <a href="https://amzn.to/2IMkA5C" target="_blank">Swiffer duster</a> that captures the dust molecules instead of spreading them.</p> <h2>14. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter</h2> <p>A <a href="https://amzn.to/2Ild0PR" target="_blank">vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter</a> is extremely effective at removing small dust particles from your home. Vacuum carpets and furniture once or twice a week, and change the HEPA filter according to your vacuum manual.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-allergy-proof-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-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/the-5-best-allergen-sprays">The 5 Best Allergen Sprays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time">How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life — One Step at a Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/control-your-allergies-with-regular-cleaning">Control Your Allergies with Regular Cleaning</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/spring-into-cleaning-now">Spring into Cleaning Now</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/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Home allergens Allergies allergy-proof health tips pollen sneezing spring spring cleaning Wed, 23 May 2018 09:00:24 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 2142704 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What Is Your Best Spring Cleaning Tip? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-best-spring-cleaning-tip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-best-spring-cleaning-tip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_spring_cleaning_657488704.jpg" alt="Man doing spring cleaning around the house" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to sweepermom, Lori, and Mami2jcn for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>With the season changing, many households are rolling their sleeves up for spring cleaning. This is a big undertaking for many families, but with every cleaning, you learn better and easier ways to get your home spick-and-span.</p> <p><strong>What is your best spring cleaning tip?</strong> What does your cleaning process look like &mdash; do you clean room by room, assign different areas to different members of your family, or is each person responsible for various tasks? What is the most challenging part of spring cleaning for you?</p> <p>Tell us your best spring cleaning tip and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win:</p> <ul> <li>Follow us on Twitter</li> <li>Follow our Executive Editor Janet Alvarez on Twitter</li> <li>Tweet about our giveaway for an entry.</li> <li>Visit our Facebook page for an entry.</li> </ul> <p>Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards:</p> <p><a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa373/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="79857dfa373" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_uo5i1802">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, April 16th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after April 16th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook or Twitter.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and U.S. resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us your best spring cleaning tip and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-best-spring-cleaning-tip">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/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-whats-in-your-wallet">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s In Your Wallet?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-get-spring-cleaning-done-during-winter">7 Reasons to Get Spring Cleaning Done During Winter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-does-corporate-social-responsibility-mean-to-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean to You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Home Ask the Readers spring cleaning Tue, 10 Apr 2018 08:30:06 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 2129032 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Spring-Clean Your Debt http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-spring-clean-your-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coin_piggy_bank_and_green_plant_in_wood.jpg" alt="Coin piggy bank and green plant in wood" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spring is in the air. Most people use the first blooms of the season as a signal to begin the process of spring cleaning; out with the old to make room for the new.</p> <p>The same thought process should be applied to your finances. While you are in the mindset of minimizing, organizing, and cleaning out the old, you should capitalize on this mood as it pertains to your debt. Take the time to give yourself a money makeover and tidy up your financial life by shedding lingering debt. Here are the steps you can take to do it.</p> <h2>Take stock</h2> <p>An important part of getting and keeping your finances in shape and eliminating debt is organizing them. Start by taking a realistic look at where you are financially and exactly what you owe.</p> <p>First, evaluate your debts.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Make a list of outstanding consumer debts, not including your mortgage (credit cards, car loan, student loans, personal loans, etc).</p> </li> <li> <p>Write down the total amount due for each debt and the interest rate.</p> </li> <li> <p>Add up your total consumer debts (with the exception of the mortgage).</p> </li> <li> <p>Write down the minimum payment for each debt and calculate how long it would take you to pay off the debt making only the minimum payment.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Once you have your debts organized, it's time to evaluate your budget.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Make a list of all of your non-consumer bills for the month (utilities, cable, groceries, pet expenses, gas and transportation, internet, cellphone, gym membership, Netflix, etc.).</p> </li> <li> <p>Using the figures from three months' worth of bank or credit card statements, tally up how much you spend eating out, on snacks, clothes, entertainment, and other miscellaneous items. Don't forget happy hours, movies, trips, salon visits, and hobbies.</p> </li> <li> <p>Create categories of nonessential bills based on how you spent your money. For example, your categories could be dining out, grooming, clothes, entertainment, hobbies, etc.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Once you everything written down and sorted out, it's time to play a game of <em>what if</em>. Look at the total of what you owe and figure out how much of your budget is being consumed by consumer debt. If it's over 30 percent, you need to seriously commit to bringing that percentage down.</p> <p>Next, calculate how much you could save in six months if you had no consumer debt. What if you had half your current debt? How would it change your life if your total consumer debt was zero?</p> <p>Lastly, look at all of the nonessential things that are eating away at your money, such as dining out, grooming, or needless shopping. Pick one or two of those categories and see how much you could save if you eliminated that expense. For example, what if you stopped eating out for a month and maybe cut your own hair or gave yourself a manicure in lieu of paying for it? How much cash could you free up?</p> <p>The goal of this exercise is for you to see where your money is going and take responsibility for it. It is also to show you the opportunity costs. If you changed just a few key things, you could eliminate your debt in no time and change your financial future. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-common-debt-reduction-roadblocks-and-how-to-beat-them?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Common Debt Reduction Roadblocks &mdash; And How to Beat Them</a>)</p> <h2>Create a debt reduction plan</h2> <p>Now that you've gone through sorting through your finances and playing <em>what if</em>, it's time to start ridding yourself of the unnecessary financial weight. The easiest way to do this is by using the debt snowball method. With the debt snowball, you simply list your debts from largest to smallest. You then aggressively work to pay off the debt with the lowest balance first, while paying the minimum payments on the others. Once you've paid off the first debt, you move to the next smallest debt. Rinse and repeat. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-secrets-to-mastering-the-debt-snowball?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Secrets to Mastering the Debt Snowball</a>)</p> <p>The plan itself and the logic behind it is pretty basic. You begin with the lowest balance instead of the highest interest rate in order to help you build momentum and get a quick win. Winning is motivating. Losing sucks. Pretty simple stuff, right?</p> <p>The tricky part of expedited debt repayment is finding the extra money in your budget to apply to your debt. And that can be tough to do when you're living paycheck-to-paycheck. Go back to the list of expenses you made and figure out what you can cut and where you can scale back.</p> <p>From there you need to create a realistic <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-every-penny-count-with-a-zero-based-budget?ref=internal" target="_blank">zero-based budget</a> that reflects your true spending habits. With a zero-based budget, you give every single expenditure a name, subtract them all from your income, and if you end up with more than $0, every extra dollar goes to your debt elimination plan. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</a>)</p> <h2>Plan something fun</h2> <p>If you have committed to doing the things outlined above, it is imperative that you also plan to do something fun. You need to pause from time to time during the debt repayment process to celebrate how far you've come. It should be something you enjoy and can pay for with cash.</p> <p>Take a day trip somewhere. Treat yourself to a nice, modestly priced pair of shoes. Get your hair done or spend the day at a reasonably priced spa. Try not to look at this pause as a waste of money. The goal is to practice spending in a controlled manner on things that have meaning to you, and most importantly, that you can afford.</p> <p>These pauses will help you to establish a healthy and productive relationship with your cash. Money is a tool and it should be respected and handled wisely. You should use your purchasing power to provide for your needs and a few of your wants. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-need-fun-money-in-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Yes, You Need &quot;Fun Money&quot; in Your Budget</a>)</p> <p>Handling finances is a mental and emotional activity. By going through these steps, you are forced to face your spending choices while addressing your connection to material possessions. This process will help you hold yourself accountable and set you up for a successful jump-start to your debt reduction plan.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-spring-clean-your-debt&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Spring-Clean%2520Your%2520Debt.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Spring-Clean%20Your%20Debt"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Spring-Clean%20Your%20Debt.jpg" alt="How to Spring-Clean Your Debt" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/denise-hill">Denise Hill</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-debt">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/how-to-tell-youve-become-a-financial-grownup">How to Tell You&#039;ve Become a Financial Grownup</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/6-ways-to-avoid-vacation-debt">6 Ways to Avoid Vacation Debt</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-common-debt-reduction-roadblocks-and-how-to-beat-them">6 Common Debt Reduction Roadblocks — And How to Beat Them</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/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It 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/6-secrets-to-mastering-the-debt-snowball">6 Secrets to Mastering the Debt Snowball</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management budgeting clutter debt reduction plans money management saving money snowball method spring cleaning Mon, 02 Apr 2018 08:00:07 +0000 Denise Hill 2122918 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Avoid 7 Common Spring Spending Traps http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-7-common-spring-spending-traps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-avoid-7-common-spring-spending-traps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_women_in_the_shopping_mall.jpg" alt="Young women in the shopping mall" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spring is here, and along with a much-needed change in the weather comes something we could all do without &mdash; spring-themed retail offer overload. You're going to be bombarded with deals and steals from every industry now that the snow is starting to melt, and you need to shut out the noise. Most consumers fall for the following seven spending traps year after year, but this year, you don't have to.</p> <h2>1. Spring cleaning mania</h2> <p>There's nothing advertisers love more than a seasonal term that can be branded. At the top of the list for this time of year is &quot;spring cleaning,&quot; and retailers use every angle they can to get you to buy things you don't really need. First, they're going to tell you it's time to throw out the stuff that's cluttering up your home and garden. Get rid of it. Then, they're going to convince you to stock up on cleaning supplies and storage options (more on the latter in a second). Putting these items on sale makes the temptation even greater, and before you know it, you've filled your cart with cleaning products and shelving units. Don't fall for any of it.</p> <p>Sure, if your house is packed with clutter, see what you can sell, what you really don't need any more, and what you can donate. Don't buy new cleaning supplies until you've used up the ones you already have. And if you're getting rid of things you don't need, then you probably don't need extra storage, either. At the end of spring cleaning, you should be left with more space, less junk, and maybe even a little cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life &mdash; One Step at a Time</a>)</p> <h2>2. Spend your tax refund!</h2> <p>Why would you want to let that refund sit in a bank account or pay off debt when you can blow it all on the latest tech gadgets? That's the mentality of almost every brand out there, and they are going to dangle offers in front of you that make spending your refund very enticing. Big screen TVs, home improvements, vacations, clothing, jewelry, carpet cleaning, and anything else you can think of will be thrown into the mighty &quot;tax refund savings event.&quot;</p> <p>Again, this is just a basic marketing trick to get to your money. And it's money that you are owed, and that should be spent wisely. Steer clear of spending your refund on anything you don't truly need, and put it toward paying down debt or saving more money for retirement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/most-popular-ways-americans-spend-their-tax-refunds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Most Popular Ways Americans Spend Their Tax Refunds</a>)</p> <h2>3. New season? Time for a new wardrobe!</h2> <p>A new season means new clothing trends, and here's the pitch you'll be given by brands looking to sell you clothing, shoes, and accessories: &quot;Forget all the spring clothes you bought last year. Let's be honest &hellip; they are sooooooo last year. Instead, donate them and get a new wardrobe full of the latest, greatest spring fashions!&quot;</p> <p>Yes, clothing trends change all the time, but do you <em>really</em> need new clothes that will be on sale in a few months' time? Is it crucial you get the same shirt you already own in the &quot;hot new Pantone color?&quot; And is it important to get it now, whatever the cost? You no doubt have a lot of garments from last year that are still in good condition. Wear those until they no longer fit or fall apart, and save your money for the more important things on your &quot;to buy&quot; list. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-clothes-looking-new?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Clothes Looking New</a>)</p> <h2>4. Spring break vacations</h2> <p>Vacation sites are pushing hard this time of year for spring break getaways, and with the kids out of school and the winter blues getting a lot of people down, it seems like a good time to indulge. However, it's also a peak time to indulge, and that means the vacation you book over spring break is going to set you back a lot more money than if you wait a few weeks later to book your getaway.</p> <p>True, the kids won't be off school, and that can put a wrench in the works. But if kids aren't a consideration for you, or you ask the school to supply them with homework for the trip, you can save big bucks by avoiding the spring break craze. Also, spring break is associated with older teenagers and twenty-somethings going bonkers, and many of the popular destinations spots will be overrun by rowdy partyers looking to throw caution to the wind. If you don't want to be in the center of a booze tornado, avoid this time of year to travel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-timing-is-everything-when-saving-money-on-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Timing Is Everything When Saving Money on Travel</a>)</p> <h2>5. Trade in your old wheels for new</h2> <p>There's something to be said for getting a new car around springtime. Traditionally, it's when car dealerships start to discount some of the older models to make way for the new models coming to the lot. But like any deal, it's only a bargain if you need it. It can be hard to resist the discounts, with zero percent financing and 15 to 20 percent discounts on many models.</p> <p>However, do you need a new set of wheels? How old is your car? How reliable is it? Don't fall for those circulars and direct mail pieces that dealers send out saying &quot;we desperately need your trade.&quot; Well, of course they do. Dealerships make way more money on trade-ins than new models, and you will make their day by turning in a perfectly good car for a new model you don't need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-you-should-never-buy-a-new-car?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy a New Car</a>)</p> <h2>6. Outdoor deals aplenty</h2> <p>Camping gear. Backyard furniture. Grills. Fishing rods. Sports equipment. You're about to be presented with a buffet of outdoor deals that will get you ready for the warmer months ahead. Right now there is a desperate desire to get outside again after the cold winter season. But even though spring has sprung, the warmer weather can take a while to get here. In fact, many states will still see the occasional snowfall for the next couple months. All that new gear will be waiting to be used.</p> <p>Instead of buying new outdoor gear, take advantage of the people who fall for the offers and sell their barely-used gear for cheap on Craigslist and eBay. Or just wait until the prices really dive toward the end of summer and stock up for next year.</p> <h2>7. 'Tis the gifting season &hellip; again</h2> <p>With St. Patrick's Day behind us, you'll see cards and gifts on display for Easter, Mother's Day, graduation, and even &quot;spring greetings,&quot; whatever that is. The next few months are going to trick you into spending major moola if you're not careful. For starters, store-bought cards are incredibly overpriced and impersonal. These days, with superb home printers and free design software and templates, you can easily make a card for pennies that will be just as loved by the recipient. Homemade presents and baked goods are always loved, and spending quality time with mothers and grads is more valuable than buying fancy gifts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-mothers-day-gifts-moms-will-love?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 DIY Mother's Day Gifts Moms Will Love</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhat-happens-to-debt-after-divorce&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Avoid%25207%2520Common%2520Spring%2520Spending%2520Traps.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Avoid%207%20Common%20Spring%20Spending%20Traps"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Avoid%207%20Common%20Spring%20Spending%20Traps.jpg" alt="How to Avoid 7 Common Spring Spending Traps" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-7-common-spring-spending-traps">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/8-ways-social-media-tricks-you-into-spending-more">8 Ways Social Media Tricks You Into Spending 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/how-cutting-your-losses-can-save-you-more-than-money">How Cutting Your Losses Can Save You More Than Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</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/heres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-money">Here&#039;s How Too Many Decisions Costs You Money</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-living-on-a-tight-budget-makes-you-happier">How Living on a Tight Budget Makes You Happier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping mental bias saving money spending habits Spending Money spring break spring cleaning springtime Fri, 30 Mar 2018 09:30:15 +0000 Paul Michael 2126384 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways Retirees Can Spring Clean Their Finances http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-retirees-can-spring-clean-their-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-retirees-can-spring-clean-their-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/senior_couple_paying_bills_online_at_home.jpg" alt="Senior couple paying bills online at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So you've finally made the jump out of the working world and into blissful retirement. Congratulations! If you've been careful in your financial planning, you should have plenty of money to sustain yourself for a long time and have a happy post-work life. But even the most well-off retirees could benefit from re-examining their financial situation.</p> <p>Here are a few ways retirees can get their finances spic and span this spring.</p> <h2>1. Check your spending</h2> <p>After you've spent a large portion of your life amassing a large retirement fund, you may feel like your days of watching every dollar are over. But it's still important to make sure your expenses aren't higher than what your savings can afford. Now that you are home instead of heading to the office every day, you may be spending more on utilities. You may have unreimbursed expenses relating to caring for your grandchildren. That African safari trip may have cost you more than expected.</p> <p>If you have an annuity or are making regular withdrawals in retirement, it's important to avoid spending more than those payments. Otherwise, you may find yourself lacking in funds down the road. You may be fortunate to live for many more years, but you don't want to go broke along the way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</a>)</p> <h2>2. Meet with a financial adviser</h2> <p>Even retirees who have plenty of money and a good financial plan can benefit from a checkup with an adviser. A good financial planner can help you assess whether your retirement savings are still on track to last and if there are any necessary tweaks. An adviser can also help walk you through any changes to tax laws and explain any changes to the investment landscape. Once you retire, don't just put your head in the sand and assume your money will last as long as you do. A periodic financial check-in with an expert can be hugely valuable to anyone seeking the best retirement possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-be-picky-when-hiring-a-financial-planner?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Reasons to Be Picky When Hiring a Financial Planner</a>)</p> <h2>3. Assess your withdrawals</h2> <p>Once you reach age 70 &frac12;, you may be required to make minimum withdrawals from your retirement accounts. The ultimate size of these withdrawals &mdash; and whether you decide to start withdrawing sooner &mdash; will determine how much you have to live on, and how much you'll have left in your accounts. If you are taking withdrawals already, take some time to determine whether the amount taken out each month is sufficient or too much. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-financial-penalties-every-retiree-should-avoid?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Financial Penalties Every Retiree Should Avoid</a>)</p> <h2>4. Re-examine your will</h2> <p>You remember filling out a will many years ago, but do you remember what it says? Do you still agree with the directives regarding who gets your assets when you pass? These aren't pleasant things to think about, but your family will appreciate it if your wishes are made clear. It may even make sense to discuss this with your children and other family members so there are no surprises or acrimony later. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-need-to-update-your-will?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Times You Need to Update Your Will</a>)</p> <h2>5. Rebalance your portfolio</h2> <p>If you are retired, your investment portfolio should be geared more toward preserving income than growing it. It's OK to own some stocks, but it makes sense to also mix in some bonds, cash, and other more conservative investments. You may think your portfolio is optimized for retirement, but there's a chance it may have gotten out of balance. This is especially true over the last few years when stocks have performed very well.</p> <p>Everyone, not just retirees, is encouraged to rebalance their portfolios every year. If you haven't taken a hard look at your investments in a while, take the time to see if some smart buying and selling will get you back on the right track. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-invest-in-stocks-past-age-50?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Reasons to Invest in Stocks Past Age 50</a>)</p> <h2>6. Do a deep dive into your charitable giving</h2> <p>You may finally be in a position to be generous with your money. But are you being smart and strategic about how you are giving to charity?</p> <p>Charitable donations are not only a wonderful thing to do, they can help you financially by saving you on taxes. If you itemize tax deductions, charitable donations can reduce your tax bill. Donating shares of stock to a charity can help you avoid capital gains taxes. If you are considering donating to charity, come up with a smart plan to support the causes you love as part of a broader tax savings strategy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-giving-to-charity-is-good-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways Giving to Charity Is Good for You</a>)</p> <h2>7. Assess your health insurance situation</h2> <p>Older Americans can benefit from Medicare, but you may not be eligible if you retire early. And even if you do get Medicare, that doesn't cover every medical expense. Most retirees find that they need to purchase a Medicare supplement plan, as well as additional insurance for eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental work, and other health needs. You'll also need to consider whether long-term care insurance is right for you. Don't assume you are properly insured just because you are eligible for Medicare. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sense-of-the-different-parts-of-medicare?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make Sense of the Different Parts of Medicare</a>)</p> <h2>8. Hit the gym and eat better</h2> <p>Exercising may not seem like a financial decision, but in many ways it is. Getting and staying healthy will not only help you enjoy retirement more, but it could help reduce medical bills that may not be covered by insurance. Work to lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and make better lifestyle choices. You may find yourself not only healthier, but wealthier too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-invest-in-your-health?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Smart Ways to Invest in Your Health</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-ways-retirees-can-spring-clean-their-finances&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Ways%2520Retirees%2520Can%2520Spring%2520Clean%2520Their%2520Finances.jpg&amp;description=8%20Ways%20Retirees%20Can%20Spring%20Clean%20Their%20Finances"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Ways%20Retirees%20Can%20Spring%20Clean%20Their%20Finances.jpg" alt="8 Ways Retirees Can Spring Clean Their Finances" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-retirees-can-spring-clean-their-finances">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/8-questions-financial-advisers-hear-most-often">8 Questions Financial Advisers Hear Most Often</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-costly-mistakes-diy-investors-make">9 Costly Mistakes DIY Investors Make</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/5-myths-about-money-in-retirement">5 Myths About Money in Retirement</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/if-youre-lucky-enough-to-receive-a-pension-here-are-6-things-you-need-to-do">If You&#039;re Lucky Enough to Receive a Pension, Here Are 6 Things You Need to Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-retirement-struggles-nobody-talks-about-and-how-to-beat-them">5 Retirement Struggles Nobody Talks About — And How to Beat Them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement charity financial advisers financial planning health care money moves rebalancing spending spring cleaning taxes Wed, 28 Mar 2018 09:00:07 +0000 Tim Lemke 2119356 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Reasons to Get Spring Cleaning Done During Winter http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-get-spring-cleaning-done-during-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-reasons-to-get-spring-cleaning-done-during-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cleaning_kitchen.jpg" alt="Woman cleaning kitchen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spring cleaning &mdash; it's a timeless tradition that makes perfect sense &hellip; until you think about it for a minute or two. Why does everyone wait until spring to start that deep clean? Wouldn't winter be a more ideal time to tend to all things indoors? Let's turn this unquestioned custom upside down. Here are seven reasons to get spring cleaning done during the dark and dreary months of winter.</p> <h2>1. Baby, it's cold outside</h2> <p>With fewer reasons to be outside, winter gives us more time to focus on the inside of our homes. This is the season for nesting, and cleaning is an essential part of making our nests as comfortable as possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-prepare-for-spring-cleaning?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Prepare for Spring Cleaning</a>)</p> <h2>2. You're organizing new stuff anyway</h2> <p>If you're like most Americans, you probably have loads of new trinkets and gadgets coming into your homes during the holidays. As long as you're organizing your haul, why not clean out your closets, rearrange the attic, and clear out the garage to make room for your new toys?</p> <h2>3. It's the giving season</h2> <p>Organizing, decluttering, and donating &mdash; they all work together in perfect harmony. Wintertime is <em>the</em> time to give away cold-weather gear your kids have outgrown, clothes you don't wear, and household items that could brighten the lives of those in need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-a-deep-declutter-can-improve-your-life?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Ways a Deep Declutter Can Improve Your Life</a>)</p> <h2>4. And the season of getting sick</h2> <p>Stuffy noses, sore throats, and sneezing &mdash; they're all part of the magic of the chilly season. But a thorough winter clean can help you keep the nastiest germs and viruses at bay. If your family is already under the weather, a deep clean can prevent a second round of sickness.</p> <h2>5. Everyone's home</h2> <p>With everyone home for the holiday break and the following snow days, it's much easier to declutter. Get the whole family involved; decide together which items can go and which should stay. Then, assign each person a simple cleaning chore and make short work of long to-do lists.</p> <h2>6. It's the right way to ring in the new year</h2> <p>New Year's is all about fresh starts. Clear your mind by clearing out the accumulation of years past. A spotless, clutter-free, and organized home is the perfect place to discover what's next for you and your family. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-productive-things-to-do-in-january-to-start-the-new-year-off-right?ref=seealso" target="_blank">31 Things to Do in January to Start the New Year Off Right</a>)</p> <h2>7. It'll be on your mind until you get it done</h2> <p>Spring is still a few months away. However, you know you'll have to buckle down and get this time-consuming deep clean done eventually, so why not cross it off your list now? Completing necessary tasks early will make you feel accomplished, stress-free, and will keep you motivated to keep checking those boxes and chasing your New Year's goals.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-reasons-to-get-spring-cleaning-done-during-winter&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Reasons%2520to%2520Get%2520Spring%2520Cleaning%2520Done%2520During%2520Winter.jpg&amp;description=7%20Reasons%20to%20Get%20Spring%20Cleaning%20Done%20During%20Winter"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Reasons%20to%20Get%20Spring%20Cleaning%20Done%20During%20Winter.jpg" alt="7 Reasons to Get Spring Cleaning Done During Winter" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-get-spring-cleaning-done-during-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-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-decide-what-to-keep-when-downsizing">How to Decide What to Keep When Downsizing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization cleaning cleaning the house declutter get organized goals New Year new year's resolutions spring cleaning Thu, 04 Jan 2018 09:00:09 +0000 Kentin Waits 2082603 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-612846420.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spring cleaning is in full swing, which means it's out with the old, and in with the new. So why not earn some extra cash by throwing a garage sale and ridding your home of your unwanted items? Here are 12 perennially popular items that are sure to sell like hot cakes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Easiest Items to &quot;Flip&quot; for Cash</a>)</p> <h2>1. Gently used clothing, in good condition</h2> <p>Everyone needs clothes, and savvy shoppers know you don't have to pay retail to look good. I once met a lumber &quot;baroness&quot; who confided in me that she bought all of her clothes at yard sales. Good quality holds up, and regular yard sale shoppers know that.</p> <p>For women's and men's, hang clothes up on a rack, rather than folded on a table or in a box. It makes it much easier for people to go through it, as well as to examine it for stains or tears. For kids' clothing, folding it is fine, but it's nice if the sizes are noted and sorted. Many garage-sale shoppers are resellers, and they may take you up on a &quot;$__ per bag&quot; offer.</p> <h2>2. Tools</h2> <p>My husband is like a moth to a flame when it comes to a garage sale with tools. He not only likes power tools, but also older, vintage ones that are not only still useful, but fun to collect and display.</p> <p>When selling your old tools, have a power strip nearby so power tools can be tested, or have them charged up if used with a battery.</p> <h2>3. Furniture</h2> <p>If you live in a college town, furniture is sure to go fast. Also, with DIY projects soaring in popularity, more people are looking for furniture that can be remade. Bookshelves will always sell &mdash; even old, beat up bookcases can be used for storage!</p> <p>Make sure any furniture you sell is clean. Old leather furniture can be spiffed up using a mixture of vinegar, olive oil, and a little lemon juice. Vacuum upholstered furniture and treat any spots. Also, suggest a price, but be open to negotiation.</p> <h2>4. Vintage dishes, glassware, and casseroles</h2> <p>Any Pyrex collectors out there? How about milk glass, or Spode? You may have some items hidden away in your cupboards that are hot.</p> <p>When you go to sell these items, advertise using the brand name (i.e., Pyrex, milk glass, Corningware, etc.); add photos to your ad, too. Collectors will flock to you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-old-knick-knacks-you-can-flip-for-easy-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Old Knick-Knacks You Can Flip for Easy Cash</a>)</p> <h2>5. Garden tools</h2> <p>Spring fever also means that home gardeners are eager to start tilling, trimming, planting, and digging.</p> <p>Be prepared to start up that old lawn mower, or be honest about what isn't working. Handy folks may be willing to take a chance that they can get a broken item running again. We just bought a garden tiller for $15. It wasn't running, but my husband knew how to fix it. Sometimes, a shovel blade or rake may be fine, but the wooden handles are rotting. You can purchase new handles at Home Depot or Lowe's. But price these items accordingly, if a replacement is going to be necessary.</p> <h2>6. Shoes and handbags</h2> <p>Think nobody would want to buy your old shoes? Guess again. Shoes, especially if in good condition and carrying a popular brand name, sell like hot cakes at garage sales. Kids grow out of shoes so fast that size doesn't matter. If they're too big now, they'll probably grow into them later. Handbags are also enormously popular &mdash; especially if it's a designer label.</p> <p>When selling shoes or old purses, obviously, clean and odor-free are necessities. If you still have the original boxes, that's a plus. The key factor with shoes and bags is showcasing any designer brands. Put the designers in your garage sale ad, and place them front and center during the sale. Then watch the flock of shoppers arrive.</p> <h2>7. Costume jewelry</h2> <p>If your jewelry box is overflowing with costume jewelry and statement pieces you know you'll never wear, a garage sale is the perfect place to unload them.</p> <p>Find a rack of some sort to hang necklaces on (a coat hanger will do, in a pinch). Bracelets can go on a dowel. Just make sure to keep costume jewelry close to your cashier area because sadly, some folks will try to pocket it.</p> <h2>8. Games, toys, and bicycles</h2> <p>Have too many toys and games cluttering up the house? Give them a new home by selling them at your garage sale. Vintage games being popular at the moment, you should be able to easily sell Monopoly or Life. Before you sell these, make sure you have all the game pieces. &quot;Lil' Tykes&quot; plastic furniture is always popular, too. Pump up bike tires for bikes you're looking to unload, and give them a wash.</p> <h2>9. Books</h2> <p>It doesn't matter how fancy or state-of-the-art e-readers become &mdash; actual books will always be easy to sell. Make the ones you no longer want super cheap &mdash; $1&ndash;$3 each &mdash; and they'll fly off your shelves.</p> <h2>10. Appliances</h2> <p>I know, you just had to have a Magic Bullet, or a bread-maker, or a hand blender. And now they're sitting on your kitchen counter, collecting dust. I'm guilty of this, too. Luckily, people love appliances, and you can probably unload them.</p> <p>When you sell them, it's a good idea to have a power strip handy so folks can make sure they work. They should also be spotlessly clean. Check eBay to see what they're going for before pricing.</p> <h2>11. Camping gear</h2> <p>Purchasing new camping gear gets a little pricey. However, used gear is usually still in decent condition, since it only usually gets used a few times each year. Yard and garage sales are the best places to get it, and smart shoppers will snap it up.</p> <p>Make sure to mention the items in your ad and include pictures. Open up tents so people can see the size.</p> <h2>12. Exercise equipment</h2> <p>So, you bought that trendy elliptical machine when you were still clutching the remains of your fitness resolutions. If you didn't use it, that's OK! time to get it out of your garage and into someone else's.</p> <p>Specify what you have, and put pictures in your ad. Basic exercise equipment, like weights, will usually go quickly, but older treadmills or exercise bikes may linger, depending on how you price them and how quickly you want to get rid of them.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F12%2520Garage%2520Sale%2520Items%2520That%2520Sell%2520Like%2520Hotcakes.jpg&amp;description=12%20Garage%20Sale%20Items%20That%20Sell%20Like%20Hotcakes"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/12%20Garage%20Sale%20Items%20That%20Sell%20Like%20Hotcakes.jpg" alt="12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">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-reasons-to-get-spring-cleaning-done-during-winter">7 Reasons to Get Spring Cleaning Done During Winter</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/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash">10 Easiest Items to &quot;Flip&quot; for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-decide-what-to-keep-when-downsizing">How to Decide What to Keep When Downsizing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization cleaning declutter extra cash garage sale sell your stuff spring cleaning yard sale Wed, 19 Apr 2017 08:30:09 +0000 Marla Walters 1930302 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Make Money From Spring Cleaning http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-make-money-from-spring-cleaning <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-make-money-from-spring-cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_spring_cleaning_600396758.jpg" alt="Woman making money from spring cleaning" title="" 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 articles on simple steps to make cash from spring cleaning, essential tips for first-time travelers, and a step-by-step guide to starting an eBay business.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/5-steps-clean-spring-cleaning/">6 Simple Steps to Cashing in on Spring Cleaning</a> &mdash; Be ruthless and brutally honest while cleaning out your home. Purge as much as you can. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/5-steps-clean-spring-cleaning/">Essential Tips for First-Time Travellers</a> &mdash; Read up on the country you're visiting to avoid being the clueless traveler.&nbsp; [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="https://christianpf.com/starting-an-ebay-business-a-step-by-step-guide/">Starting an eBay Business: A Step-by-Step Guide</a> &mdash; You can earn some extra money by selling things on eBay casually, or you can follow these steps and turn it into an actual business. [SeedTime]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Bite/2017/0324/For-better-school-lunches-make-them-part-of-the-lesson-plan">For better school lunches, make them part of the lesson plan</a> &mdash; Extending the classroom lesson plan to the school cafeteria allows kids to connect with their food in an educational way and gives them the opportunity to try healthy dishes from around the world. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dealiciousmom.com/the-7-hottest-budget-friendly-wedding-trends-for-2017/">The 7 Hottest {Budget-Friendly} Wedding Trends for 2017</a> &mdash; Many couples these days don't want more stuff cluttering their newlywed, so they're encouraging guests to make charitable donations in lieu of gifts. [Dealicious Mom]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://moneyminiblog.com/productivity/decluttering/">8 Ways to Declutter Your Space and Increase Productivity</a> &mdash; File your documents right away to prevent the dreaded paper mountain. [MoneyMiniBlog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneydigest.sg/5-significant-signs-that-you-arent-right-for-the-job/">5 Significant Signs That You Aren&rsquo;t Right For The Job</a> &mdash; It's a serious problem if you lack the motivation to finish your tasks. [Money Digest]</p> <p><a href="https://www.dumblittleman.com/daily-healthy-habits/">Daily Habits That Will Improve Your Life</a> &mdash; These daily habits will boost your physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifehack.org/567408/frank-writing-skills">Take 5 Minutes To Read And Improve Your Writing Skills Forever</a> &mdash; To be a good writer, you need to pay attention to every level of your piece: the word, sentence, paragraph, and the idea. [Lifehack]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/what-our-4-favorite-games-teach-our-kids">What Our 4 Favorite Games Teach Our Kids</a> &mdash; Board game night is a great way to spend time with your family. Better yet, your kids can also learn valuable skills while they play! [Parenting Squad]</p> <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-make-money-from-spring-cleaning">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/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-get-spring-cleaning-done-during-winter">7 Reasons to Get Spring Cleaning Done During Winter</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/4-ways-to-make-money-doing-household-chores">4 Ways to Make Money Doing Household Chores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time">How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life — One Step at a Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Home best money tips spring cleaning Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:30:34 +0000 Amy Lu 1915860 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 48 Ways to Master the Art of Decluttering in Time for Spring http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_clutter_clothes_520127146.jpg" alt="Woman mastering the art of decluttering in time for spring" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With spring about to be sprung, it's time to tidy up your life. A major aspect of that is clearing out the clutter. Because once clutter accumulates, you lose track of things, your stress increases, and it really just gets in your way. Who needs that? Here's how to maximize your full decluttering potential when it comes time to spring clean.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/three_coffee_mugs_75581393_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-and-declutter-by-selling-these-5-unlikely-treasures?ref=seealso">Make Money and Declutter by Selling These 5 Unlikely Treasures</a> &mdash; There are certain items in your house right now that can bring in some extra cash. If you're not using it, why not make a little money instead, right? Clear the junk and fill your bank account.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter?ref=seealso">My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter</a> &mdash; A fantastic way to get ready to declutter is to hear another person's success story on the process. And nobody maximizes their space and earning potential quite like Max Wong. She can practically turn dust into diamonds and sell them to a major jeweler. She'll steer you right.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman-clothes-rack-Dollarphotoclub_75282538.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter?ref=seealso">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a> &mdash; Your clutter is there for a reason. The items occupying all your free space might have sentimental value, or you might have a bit of FOMO at the thought of throwing something away. These self-reflective questions will help you understand why you need to declutter in the first place, and how to avoid it altogether in the future.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-old-clothes-into-money-with-these-4-tools-and-apps?ref=seealso">Turn Old Clothes Into Money With These 4 Tools and Apps</a> &mdash; If I had a dollar every time I went into my closet and noticed a dress or shirt I never wear anymore, I'd be rich. Well, now I can put my money where my mouth is (and so can you!) by selling those unwanted pieces through these helpful apps and tools.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock-493440144.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free?ref=seealso">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a> &mdash; This method for decluttering is particularly brilliant, because it has you start out small. These tips also help you change the way you think about tangible things as soon as they come into your possession, and decide immediately whether or not you really need them.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-words-you-need-to-declutter-your-life?ref=seealso">The Only 5 Words You Need to Declutter Your Life</a> &mdash; Enter into Spring Cleaning season with this five-word mantra and you'll glide into summer as free as a bird. It's as easy as Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot. Yup, rot. Now get to work!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-48-ways-to-master-the-art-of-decluttering-in-time-for-spring">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-get-spring-cleaning-done-during-winter">7 Reasons to Get Spring Cleaning Done During Winter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Lifestyle clean declutter decluttering fbf flashback friday saving money sell your stuff spring cleaning Fri, 17 Mar 2017 10:30:24 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1910936 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-493440144.jpg" alt="Learning how to keep your entire life clutter-free" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A preponderance of personal property is an almost universal problem for Americans who have easy access to both credit and cheap goods. Everywhere you turn, there are suggestions and advice on how to declutter, live simply, and embrace minimalism.</p> <p>Often the suggestions start with the idea that you need to be brutal when culling your possessions. If you're not the type to commune with your higher self in an empty room in a mountain cabin, such decluttering advice seems far too extreme. Even if you do hope to achieve Zen mastery of your minimalist home, the cull-it-all type of advice can be wildly optimistic for anyone who has things other than decluttering going on in their lives.</p> <p>That's why it's a good idea to follow the slow-and-steady path to declutter. Here are 10 ways you can declutter your home without actually having to commit acts of wanton purging. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-16-favorite-ways-to-get-rid-of-clutter?ref=seealso" target="_blank">My 16 Favorite Ways to Get Rid of Clutter</a>)</p> <h2>1. Stop Clutter at Its Source</h2> <p>Before your possessions became clutter, they were cute items on retail shelves that you couldn't resist bringing home with you. The easiest way to deal with clutter is to not create it. Commit to only buying items you truly need and learn how to say no to free stuff &mdash; whether it's swag from the company retreat or hand-me-downs that you know won't be used.</p> <h2>2. Get Rid of Things as You Notice Them</h2> <p>Many decluttering experts will give you what amounts to an assignment to declutter &mdash; either commit to getting rid of one item a day or declutter over a weekend. An easy way to divest yourself of things is to get rid of them as you notice them. It's very easy to look at the stack of cough medicine measuring cups in your bathroom drawer and think, <em>I'll get rid of those later.</em> But there is no time like the present. When you notice something that doesn't need to be in your house, get rid of it right away.</p> <h2>3. Keep a Donation Bag by the Door</h2> <p>Part of the reason why it can be so difficult to get rid of perfectly good items is the fact that you don't have enough to make the trip to Goodwill worthwhile. So get in the habit of leaving a bag for donations by the door, so that you can collect the items you plan to donate without allowing them to continue to clutter up your space.</p> <h2>4. Make a Donation Run a Regular Part of Your Errands</h2> <p>I am embarrassed to admit that I have been carrying three bags of clothes and other miscellany in the trunk of my car for over six months. I intend to donate the items to Goodwill, but I am out of the habit of making donations as part of my regular errands. When I regularly go to Goodwill or the Salvation Army on a weekly or twice-a-month basis, it is much easier to commit to decluttering.</p> <p>Find the local donation center for you, and plan on making a stop there every week or every other week on the same day you go grocery shopping. Make donating items a regular habit.</p> <h2>5. Place Items You're Not Sure About in a One-Year Box</h2> <p>This rule will allow you to determine just how often you use things you are afraid to give up. Set up this box in the basement or the garage, and as you clean, place items you don't use but don't want to get rid of into it. Once the box is full, seal it and date it for one year in the future. If you have not used the items in the box within that year, then donate or trash the box without opening it. It's likely you won't even recall its exact contents.</p> <h2>6. Ask Yourself Two Important Questions for Each Item You Find</h2> <p>Dana K. White, who blogs about her journey to cleanliness at <a href="http://www.aslobcomesclean.com/2010/02/my-two-decluttering-questions/" target="_blank">A Slob Comes Clean</a>, learned to ask herself two questions while she decluttered her home:</p> <ul> <ul> <li>If I needed this item, where would I look for it? That will prompt you to put item away in its new, sensible home.</li> </ul> </ul> <ul> <li>If I needed this item, would it <em>ever occur</em> to me that I already have one? If it wouldn't, then you can go ahead and get rid of the item because you'd just buy another one anyway when the need for it arises.</li> </ul> <p>Answering these questions will force you to make a decision about each item you find.</p> <h2>7. Redefine Waste</h2> <p>It can be difficult to part with items you don't need if you spent good money on them. You would hate to waste the hard-earned money you spent by donating or trashing a perfectly good item &mdash; so you plan to either start using it or sell it, neither of which happen.</p> <p>A simple attitude adjustment can help to make this conundrum much simpler. Remember that the money has been wasted already, and is therefore wasted whether or not you keep the item. So you might as well not also waste the space on the item in addition to the money. Why give up both your money <em>and </em>your clean home to something that was a waste?</p> <h2>8. Create a What-Would-You-Replace List</h2> <p>If you are paralyzed by the size of your decision to get rid of some things, try looking at your decluttering in reverse. Start by asking yourself, &quot;What items would I replace if I lost everything in a flood or fire?&quot; You can feel confident that anything you'd be willing to buy again is something worth keeping, whereas the things that you wouldn't replace can go.</p> <h2>9. Give Away Your Possessions as Gifts to People Who Will Appreciate Them</h2> <p>While getting rid of things can be psychologically difficult, giving gifts tends to feel great. So start thinking about decluttering as an opportunity to give your family and friends things they would love. For instance, as you look through your books or DVDs, pull out any that you think a friend or family member would enjoy. If you have a set of fancy china you don't use, give it to a friend who collects china or one who needs a set of dinnerware.</p> <p>To make sure you're not just shifting the clutter to another person, make sure you ask before you give the gifts to your friends and family &mdash; and be willing to take no for an answer.</p> <h2>10. Spend Small Amounts of Down Time Decluttering</h2> <p>You might think that you need an entire weekend, or at least an uninterrupted hour, to declutter your home. But you have more time than you think you do. Take the time while your burrito microwaves to look through the utensil drawer to see if there is anything you can throw away or put in the donation bag. The two minutes you would otherwise be watching your lunch rotate around could be time spent purging items you don't need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/declutter-your-home-in-10-minutes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Declutter Your Home in 10 Minutes a Day</a>)</p> <p>Similarly, instead of hitting the Skip Advertisement button on the YouTube video five seconds in, let the commercial play and you can take that time to find the dry pens and stubby pencils that are cluttering up your office drawer.</p> <p>Anytime you are forced to wait is time you could use to find something that no longer belongs in your home.</p> <h2>Decluttering Is a Path, Not a Destination</h2> <p>The thing to remember about finally achieving your decluttered home is you will need to commit to making decluttering a regular habit. Unfortunately, there is no point at which you are done &mdash; but that also means that small actions taken on a regular basis can make a huge difference.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Smart%2520Ways%2520to%2520Keep%2520Your%2520Entire%2520Life%2520Clutter-Free.jpg&amp;description=10%20Smart%20Ways%20to%20Keep%20Your%20Entire%20Life%20Clutter-Free"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Smart%20Ways%20to%20Keep%20Your%20Entire%20Life%20Clutter-Free.jpg" alt="10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/how-to-decide-what-to-keep-when-downsizing">How to Decide What to Keep When Downsizing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time">How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life — One Step at a Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-can-downsize-right-now">7 Things You Can Downsize Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-get-spring-cleaning-done-during-winter">7 Reasons to Get Spring Cleaning Done During Winter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization cleaning tips clear the clutter clutter declutter decluttering organize your life spring cleaning Fri, 10 Mar 2017 10:30:32 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1905171 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life — One Step at a Time http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-524177336.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to spring clean her whole life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>'Tis the season for cleaning and organization. We've spent the winter hibernating and surrounded by all of our material things that have provided us comfort. But once spring has sprung, we'll want our spaces to be more open, a lot cleaner, and we'll want to pack away all the cold weather garb we've been clinging to the last few months.</p> <p>The concept of spring cleaning doesn't need to be limited to the literal cleaning of our homes, though. We could all use a bit more organization and decluttering in <em>every </em>aspect of our lives. The coming of spring signifies a fresh start, so why not take some time now to cut out all the things you don't need and simplify your life?</p> <p>Here are some ideas to help get you started.</p> <h2>1. Cut Down on Your Time Commitments</h2> <p>If you are finding yourself completely booked all the time, you may want to learn the art of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-say-no-to-friends-and-family?ref=internal" target="_blank">saying &quot;no.&quot;</a>&nbsp;In my own life, I have worked hard at fighting my people-pleasing ways. Saying no the first time is hard, but it gets easier the more you do it. You can always say yes to something that really motivates or inspires you. Otherwise, try to focus on the most important things in your life and let go of the stress over over-commitment.</p> <h2>2. Minimize Your Routine</h2> <p>If getting ready in the morning takes up a chunk of your time, you may want to consider ways to simplify. If deciding what to wear is using up precious time, try following a more minimalistic clothing approach. I like&nbsp;<a href="http://bemorewithless.com/project-333/" target="_blank">Project 333</a>, where you choose 33 or fewer clothing items and wear only those items for three months. If it's your hair or makeup routine that's eating into your morning, consider getting a more manageable cut that's wash-and-go versus needing a full blowout. Toss old makeup and keep only the basics (and try going sans makeup from time to time). (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-a-downsized-wardrobe-you-love?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Build a Downsized Wardrobe You Love</a>)</p> <h2>3. Drill Down Your Career Goals</h2> <p>Determining career goals can be tricky &mdash; especially if you are highly motivated. But the key is to be specific. Don't try to take on too much at one time. For example, you may want to find a new job, get a raise, and network more. Too many goals may lead you to over-scheduling and generally feeling overwhelmed, thus spinning your wheels.</p> <p>Choosing just one goal to go after &mdash; even if your goals are seemingly related &mdash; may bring you the most success. When opportunities do arise, ask yourself first if they are activities that align with your primary career goal. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-say-no-at-work-and-still-get-ahead?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Say No at Work and Still Get Ahead</a>)</p> <h2>4. Find Fun in Fitness</h2> <p>Figure out a fitness schedule and stick with it. If you've been paying for a gym membership but you never go, ask yourself why. Do you need a buddy to go with you? Does it get too crowded during the time of day you like to go? Or on the flip side, do you lack motivation to workout at home with free options? Then you might need to bite the bullet and sign up for a studio class. Find the hurdle and remove it. Exercising more helps you manage stress and feel better. It's an essential part of staying healthy. Don't neglect this. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-at-home-exercises-will-give-you-a-gym-quality-workout-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These At-Home Exercises Will Give You a Gym-Quality Workout For Free</a>)</p> <h2>5. Be Conscious About Food</h2> <p>Sometimes eating lots of processed foods and takeout can make you feel clogged up both physically and mentally. You may want to eat a healthy diet but don't know where to start. Here's a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story/take-28-day-challenge" target="_blank">28-day challenge</a> that can get you off on the right foot.</p> <p>Focus on the pillars of healthy eating:</p> <ul> <li>Eat whole foods;</li> <li>Eat the colors of the rainbow;</li> <li>Enjoy foods packed with micronutrients;</li> <li>Get your fats from plant sources.</li> </ul> <p>Also, try shopping the perimeter of grocery stores versus the middle aisles where most processed foods are shelved.</p> <h2>6. Be Selective of Your Social Circle</h2> <p>Surround yourself with only the people who bring the best out of you. If someone is constantly bringing their negative energy into your life and there's no way to change that, cut them off.</p> <h2>7. Limit Your Social Media Time</h2> <p>Facebook can be a great place to build your network or reconnect with old friends. But if you're finding yourself at midnight, deeply angered at the political rantings of a classmate you had back in third grade, it may be time to step away for a while. I share this from personal experience.</p> <h2>8. Cut Back on Screen Time</h2> <p>Most Americans watch shows and movies around&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/30/health/americans-screen-time-nielsen/" target="_blank">four and a half hours per day</a>. That's a lot of time that you could spend working toward your goals. Whenever you think about all the things you wished you had more time for, think about what shows you can cut that will still allow you some down time or entertainment but also get you off the couch doing something productive.</p> <h2>9. Demolish Your Debt</h2> <p>Bills are the area of focus in my household right now. My husband and I have grown tired of all the loan payments for cars, college debt, and home improvements. We have sent checks for years without thinking much about the interest. We've decided we're going to try the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-debt-snowball-method-0" target="_blank">snowball method</a> to pay off our debt ASAP. It's never a bad time to look at your finances and make your&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-stop-waiting-for-tomorrow?ref=internal" target="_blank">get-out-of-debt plan</a>.</p> <h2>10. Clear the Clutter</h2> <p>Speaking of freeing up the budget, you may want to have an internal conversation with yourself about your attachment to stuff. One way to spring clean your life is to actually do a little spring cleaning.</p> <p>I most enjoy the&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2lEdamU" target="_blank">KonMari method</a>, where you physically touch each item in your home and see if it brings you joy. If not, you can toss or donate or give to a friend. Skeptical? Many people who have gone through this process have found it to be transformative. Things can really weigh down your mind (and your wallet, for that matter). (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-a-day-to-defeat-clutter-forever?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Do This One Thing a Day to Defeat Clutter Forever</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Spring%2520Clean%2520Your%2520Whole%2520Life%2520%25E2%2580%2594%2520One%2520Step%2520at%2520a%2520Time.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Spring%20Clean%20Your%20Whole%20Life%20%E2%80%94%20One%20Step%20at%20a%20Time"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Spring%20Clean%20Your%20Whole%20Life%20%E2%80%94%20One%20Step%20at%20a%20Time.jpg" alt="How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life &mdash; One Step at a Time" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time">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/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-get-spring-cleaning-done-during-winter">7 Reasons to Get Spring Cleaning Done During Winter</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-decide-what-to-keep-when-downsizing">How to Decide What to Keep When Downsizing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization cleaning house declutter organize your life spring spring clean spring cleaning Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:00:13 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1900126 at http://www.wisebread.com Get Your Closet Ready for Summer With These 5 Hacks http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-closet-ready-for-summer-with-these-5-hacks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-your-closet-ready-for-summer-with-these-5-hacks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000060441368_Large.jpg" alt="getting her closet ready for summer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Summer is on the horizon. But before you escape to the lake, you'll need to swap out your wooly hats and fleece vests for light knits and breathable cotton. The wardrobe shuffle from winter to summer clothing can be a nuisance, but it also presents an opportunity to start out the new season in unwrinkled fashion &mdash; literally. Here's are the most efficient ways to get your closet fit and summer-ready.</p> <h2>1. Cleanse Your Closet of Undesirables</h2> <p>Time to get rid of what you don't wear. If you didn't wear it this season, there's no need to carry it over into next year. Sure, there's a <em>chance </em>that three years from now you'll find an occasion that's absolutely made for that ribbed turtleneck sweater. But get rid of it anyway. (It's been three years!)</p> <p>Now that you've sorted out your wardrobe rejects, consider how to make best use of them. Here are some ideas: Gift them to friends who appreciate your style, sell them through an online consignment shop, such as <a href="https://www.thredup.com/p/cleanout">thredUP</a>, or donate them to a charitable organization near you, such as Goodwill or The Salvation Army. Don't forget that you can claim any charitable giving on your taxes, so be sure to keep records of any donations.</p> <h2>2. Store Unseasonable Apparel</h2> <p>Now that you've purged the unwanteds, gather and neatly fold all your out-of-season clothing &mdash; corduroy, sweaters, boots, wool scarves, long johns, etc. &mdash; and place them in whatever storage space you have available. That space might be in the attic or a trunk at the foot of your bed. Or maybe your closet is equipped with ample shelving for storage. If you're coming up short on space, consider lofting your bed or raising it on risers and then using this created <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003UHYTZ2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003UHYTZ2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6WAEXHZVOOP4VFRW">under-the-bed space</a> to store clothing in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002BA5F52/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002BA5F52&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=OOICHMW4P337HU4Z">sealed containers</a>.</p> <h2>3. Create Extra Hanging Space</h2> <p>Affix hooks and hanging rods on the inside of your closet door as well as your closet's back and side walls. In addition to clothing, these extra hanging spaces will make nice homes for your giant straw hats and beach bags. Hang your most-used items on those hooks and rods that are most easily accessible. Save the once-in-a-blue-moon wears for the hidden hangers in hard-to-reach places.</p> <h2>4. Double Your Real Estate</h2> <p>If the few extra hooks and rods you've added just aren't cutting it, consider investing in an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ZVN75U/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B004ZVN75U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ESGMWZ7C5OIWRMRR">adjustable extender rod</a>. Not only will it double your hanging space, but it will also give you an easy way to separate tops and bottoms &mdash; helping to keep your threads organized.</p> <h2>5. Invest in Shelf Dividers</h2> <p>Tis the season of t-shirts and tank tops &mdash; items that are notorious for gobbling up hanging space. But the thing is, these easy, breezy summer wears don't need to be hung. You can keep most tanks and tees wrinkle-free by storing them in neatly folded stacks. To keep these stacks organized, you're going to need a set of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0189MNK3Y/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0189MNK3Y&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=M2UUZXDFGS7B4M3W">shelf dividers</a>. Store your least-used tops at the bottom of each pile. Place your go-to gear on top.</p> <p><em>What are some other ways to get your closet in tip-top shape? Share with us!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fget-your-closet-ready-for-summer-with-these-5-hacks&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FGet%2520Your%2520Closet%2520Ready%2520for%2520Summer%2520With%2520These%25205%2520Hacks.jpg&amp;description=Get%20Your%20Closet%20Ready%20for%20Summer%20With%20These%205%20Hacks"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Get%20Your%20Closet%20Ready%20for%20Summer%20With%20These%205%20Hacks.jpg" alt="Get Your Closet Ready for Summer With These 5 Hacks" width="250" height="374" /></em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-closet-ready-for-summer-with-these-5-hacks">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/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-prepare-for-spring-cleaning">7 Ways to Prepare for Spring Cleaning</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-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-reuse-clothes-that-no-longer-fit">7 Ways to Reuse Clothes That No Longer Fit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization clean closet cleaning hacks closet clutter organization hacks spring cleaning Fri, 20 May 2016 09:00:04 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1713535 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Spring Clean Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-spring-clean-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-spring-clean-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000081453541_Large.jpg" alt="spring cleaning her career" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It turns out, <a href="http://www.cleaninginstitute.org/spring_cleaning_survey_reveals_consumers_dirty_little_secrets/">72% of U.S. households</a> spring clean every year. The annual ritual of tidying up your home is a healthy habit that improves your way of life, increases your productivity, and provides you with a serious self-esteem boost.</p> <p>Just like you take care of your home each spring, take this time to spruce up your career to make the very best out of it. Here are the eight moves to spring clean your career.</p> <h2>1. Search Your Name on the Web</h2> <p>According to Google, its users do <a href="http://searchengineland.com/google-1-trillion-searches-per-year-212940">100 billion searches per month</a>, which adds up to about 1.2 trillion searches per year. What's even more surprising is that it has been estimated that <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/jennifermcclure/hiring-onboarding-done-right-nky-chambernkyshrm-7-24-2012/17-CAREERS_SITE_the_hub_30">30% of searches on Google</a> are job-related.</p> <p>What are those people searching for <em>your </em>name finding? Hopefully, it's important websites, publications, or projects that can help you land your next position, or land a promotion. Find out what is currently available under your name so that you can be prepared for questions about those search results, ask not to be mentioned in undesirable places, and build up your online presence. Besides Google, search your name on other search engines, including Yahoo and Bing.</p> <h2>2. Buy Your Name as a Domain</h2> <p>An effective way to establish a hub for your online presence is to purchase your own domain name. Take me as an example. If you look for &quot;Damian Davila&quot; you will find two main individuals: a talented drummer/photographer, and an experienced personal finance writer. While I enjoy the surf photographs of my doppelgänger, I want to make sure that people learn more about my writing when looking up my name. That is why I bought my own domain name, DamianDavila.com and plan to use it to showcase my writing portfolio.</p> <p>Owning your own domain name allows you stand out from the crowd, particularly when you have a very popular name. Keep in mind that it may take some time to be able to buy your domain name &mdash; in my case it took two long years until it became available!</p> <h2>3. Clean Up Your Social Media Accounts</h2> <p>Speaking of search results and websites, you'll notice that social media accounts rank heavily on all search engines. For example, when looking up my name on Google, three out of the nine results from the first page are links to social media accounts.</p> <p>While you may think that your private business is for your eyes only, be aware that <a href="http://thehiringsite.careerbuilder.com/2015/05/14/employers-checking-candidates-social-media/">35% of employers</a> who screen via social networks have requested to become a friend or follow candidates who have private accounts. Depending on the details on the position that you're applying for, your potential employer may have a valid concern for your online activity. Don't let an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-stop-doing-on-social-media-by-30">inappropriate comment or photo</a> become an obstacle in your path to career success.</p> <h2>4. Invest in a Professional Headshot</h2> <p>While most recruiters recommend that you don't include a photograph when submitting your resume, most social media sites, company directories, and PR organizations do request a headshot. Take the time &mdash; and the expense &mdash; to get a professional headshot. You can hire a professional photographer, ask a favor from your photog friend or relative (do return the favor when they ask!), or request one from the HR department of your company.</p> <p>Be prepared for those times when your boss wants to make an announcement of your promotion in the local newspaper, you want to show yourself in your own domain name, or you submit an article for a website as a guest blogger.</p> <h2>5. Edit Your LinkedIn Profile</h2> <p>Also, <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2015/02/19/what-recruiters-think-when-they-see-your-linkedin-profile">94% of recruiters use LinkedIn</a> to source and vet candidates, making this professional network a great opportunity to showcase your work skills and career history. What do recruiters find on Linkedin when looking up your name? If your name doesn't show up, you could be making the life of that recruiter a bit more difficult. Beef up your LinkedIn profile by:</p> <ul> <li>Growing your professional network with peers in your company and industry, alumni from your alma mater, or individuals sharing your interests in LinkedIn groups;</li> <li>Including links to any publications, presentations, or projects that are available online;</li> <li>Request recommendations from current or past clients, supervisors, peers, or teachers, and;</li> <li>Demonstrating your analytical and writing skills through articles that you have written.</li> </ul> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-minutes-to-a-linkedin-profile-that-gets-you-hired?ref=seealso">30 Minutes to a LinkedIn Profile That Gets You Hired</a></p> <h2>6. Touch Up Your Paper Resume</h2> <p>Despite the popularity of online resumes, some employers and recruiters still stick to paper resumes. Tailor your application to the details laid out on the job post. Insisting on emailing a URL to your domain name or LinkedIn profile instead of mailing out a printout of your resume via regular mail when the recruiter clearly indicated so, is the fastest way to get your application ignored completely. Here are some tips:</p> <ul> <li>Be prepared for requests of paper resumes by formatting yours so it prints nicely on a standard sheet of 8 x 11 paper.</li> <li>Test out the printout before sending a file via email.</li> <li>Keep both Word and PDF versions of your resume because some employers prefer one format over the other.</li> <li>Maintain a text-only version of your resume for those times that you have to copy and paste your resume into an HR online portal.</li> </ul> <h2>7. Work on Your Elevator Pitch</h2> <p>Comedian George Burns said it best, &quot;The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.&quot; Brevity in writing and speech is very powerful and makes you look centered and well-prepared. Take a cue of from startup entrepreneurs and develop your own elevator pitch, which is a succinct and persuasive sales pitch that will lead into a deeper dialogue about what you can offer. Test your elevator pitch with people that you trust so they can offer you feedback. And fine tune your elevator pitch until you can deliver it effectively over the phone, in person, or via email.</p> <h2>8. Learn a New Skill That Employers Want</h2> <p>Many organizations have well defined salary payscales with specific requirements, so take the time to investigate what those requirements are. Unless they involve longevity in the company, you can work in attaining them in a shorter amount of time.</p> <p>Some examples are completing a teaching certification, finishing modules towards a professional license, accumulating hours in a list of job-related assignments, or attending a series of industry-required seminars. By completing those skills, you're effectively not only improving your chances of a promotion or salary bump, but also making yourself more desirable to other potential employers.</p> <p><em>What are other ways to spring clean your career?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-spring-clean-your-career">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/5-times-you-should-demand-a-raise">5 Times You Should Demand a Raise</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-money-moves-to-make-after-a-promotion">10 Money Moves to Make After a Promotion</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/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">You’re Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</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-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</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-important-signs-that-your-job-sucks">10 Important Signs That Your Job Sucks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building career career aspirations career goals growth potential job growth spring clean spring cleaning Mon, 25 Apr 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Damian Davila 1695996 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways to Spring-Clean Your Investment Portfolio http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-spring-clean-your-investment-portfolio <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-spring-clean-your-investment-portfolio" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/spare_chage_plant_000083910621.jpg" alt="Learning ways to spring clean your investment portfolio" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your garage isn't the only thing that could use a once-over this time of year. Your investments may be in need of some tidying up as well. Here's how to give them a good spring cleaning.</p> <h2>1. Double-Check Your Risk Tolerance</h2> <p>Since bottoming out in March of 2009, the stock market has been on a tear. It's been one of the greatest bull markets ever. But bull markets don't last forever. Eventually, the tide will turn. Will you be ready?</p> <p>I'm not predicting an imminent bear market, nor am I suggesting you try to time the market. That's a fool's errand. But I <em>do</em> believe this is a good time to review the assumptions you've used to guide your investments to date.</p> <p>Especially important here is a review of your risk tolerance. When the market is moving in a positive direction, it's easy to think of yourself as being fairly risk-tolerant. It's only when the markets turn negative that you really discover how strong a stomach you have.</p> <p>Instead of finding out the hard way that you're not as comfortable with risk as you thought you were, and setting yourself up for panic-selling in a downturn, reassess how much risk you can really handle. Vanguard has an <a href="https://personal.vanguard.com/us/FundsInvQuestionnaire">asset allocation questionnaire</a> that can help. It'll gauge your appetite for risk, factor in your investing time frame, and recommend an optimal asset allocation for you.</p> <h2>2. Double-Check Your Allocations</h2> <p>If your risk tolerance has changed, how your investments should be allocated has changed as well, and that means you probably have some work to do. First you'll need to change how your current portfolio is allocated across specific investments &mdash; mostly, what percentage of your portfolio is invested in stocks and what percentage in bonds (or stock-based mutual funds and bond-based mutual funds). Then you'll need to change how your monthly contributions are allocated as well.</p> <p>Whether your investment account is a 401K, an IRA, or a taxable account, you should be able to make these changes online, or call the broker where you have your account for assistance.</p> <h2>3. Rebalance Your Portfolio</h2> <p>Even if you're not planning to change your asset allocation, your asset allocation may have changed on its own.</p> <p>A year ago, your portfolio might have contained an 80/20 mix of stock funds and bond funds, but what does it look like now? If your stock investments have grown since you first implemented your plan and your bonds have fallen, your actual allocation may now be 90/10. Bring your portfolio back in line with what's optimal for you, given your risk tolerance and investment time horizon, by selling some of your stock holdings and buying bonds.</p> <p>It's generally a good idea to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-most-important-thing-youre-probably-not-doing-with-your-portfolio">rebalance your portfolio</a> once a year. If it's been a year or so since you last took care of this chore, add it to your investment spring cleaning to-do list.</p> <h2>4. Consolidate Accounts</h2> <p>It's not uncommon these days for people to have their investments spread out among several brokers. If you've changed jobs two or three times and rolled your 401K accounts into IRAs at different brokerage houses, you may find yourself dealing with an unnecessary amount of paperwork and navigating a confusing array of rules and fees. Consolidating some of these accounts could make managing your portfolio more efficient and less expensive. That's because implementing your strategy of choice at one broker usually requires fewer trades, which lowers your investment costs.</p> <p>Choosing which broker to keep is a matter of seeing which one offers most of the investments you want to own for the lowest commissions.</p> <p>Few people enjoy the process of spring cleaning, but most enjoy the fruits of their labor once the work is done. It's simply more enjoyable to live in a clean, organized house. The same is true for your investments. Taking a few hours to double-check your risk tolerance and asset allocation, rebalance your portfolio, and consolidate accounts should set you up for a more efficient, successful, and enjoyable experience as an investor.</p> <p><em>What are you doing to tidy up your finances this spring?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-spring-clean-your-investment-portfolio">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/stabilize-your-portfolio-with-these-5-bond-funds">Stabilize Your Portfolio With These 5 Bond Funds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-youre-never-too-old-to-buy-stocks">7 Reasons You&#039;re Never Too Old to Buy Stocks</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-easiest-ways-to-catch-up-on-retirement-savings-later-in-life">7 Easiest Ways to Catch Up on Retirement Savings Later in Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-online-sites-for-building-wealth">Best Online Sites for Building Wealth</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/8-types-of-investors-which-one-are-you">8 Types of Investors — Which One Are You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment 401k balancing portfolio IRA money management risk spring cleaning stocks Thu, 07 Apr 2016 10:01:08 +0000 Matt Bell 1683755 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Spring Cleaning Tasks That Help You Save Money http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-spring-cleaning-tasks-that-help-you-save-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-spring-cleaning-tasks-that-help-you-save-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000047183642.jpg" alt="" title="" 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 helpful articles on spring cleaning tasks that save you money, DIYs that make your car look like new, and shopping hacks to use at Kohl&rsquo;s.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://everythingfinanceblog.com/17143/spring-cleaning-tasks-that-save-you-money.html">10 Spring Cleaning Tasks That Save You Money</a> &mdash; It's warming up! Dust your fan blades, window sills, and ledges, and use your ceiling fans and fresh air to cool down when it gets too warm. [Everything Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Best-DIYs-Your-Car-33109277#photo-33109277">13 DIYs to Make Your Car Seem Like New Again</a> &mdash; Make foggy windows sparkle with this eco-friendly solution! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savingfreak.com/kohls-shopping-hacks-coupons-and-discounts">25 Kohl&rsquo;s Shopping Hacks</a> &ndash; Using Coupon and Discounts &mdash; Shop Kohl's Clearance section for 60-90% off and use coupons to get an even better deal. [Saving Freak]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/blog/4212/what-not-to-buy-at-costco-sams-or-bjs">10 Things Not to Buy at Costco, Sam's, or BJ's</a> &mdash; Vegetable oil and olive oil are good for only three to five months after opening. If you aren't able to get through the big jugs of oil offered at a warehouse club, the oil (and money you spent on it) would go to waste. [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/5-ways-start-reaching-goal-even-one/">5 Ways to Start Reaching Your Goal &ndash; Before You Even Have One</a> &mdash; No matter what your goals are (or will be), you need to nurture the thoughts that benefit you and your aspirations. [Pick The Brain]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://makezine.com/2016/03/22/5-basic-stitches-you-need-know-plus-textile-tips/">5 Basic Stitches You Need to Know, Plus Other Textile Tips</a> &mdash; There is a lot you can do with basic sewing skills. These stitches will allow you to tackle simple projects like patching a hole and attaching buttons. [Make:]</p> <p><a href="http://couplemoney.com/budgeting/what-not-to-stock-up-on-in-your-stockpile/">Stockpile Hacks: What Not to Include</a> &mdash; Avoid dented, busted, bulging or frozen canned foods. The flawed cans may allow bacteria to grow and can cause health risks. [Couple Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/9-signs-you-aren-t-loving-yourself-as-much-as-you-should/">9 Signs You Aren&rsquo;t Loving Yourself As Much As You Should</a> &mdash; Pay attention to your self talk. Do you call yourself names or tell yourself that you're too fat or skinny or old or wrinkly? [Change Your Thoughts]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/parenting-classes-are-they-ever-worth-it">Parenting Classes: Are They Ever Worth it?</a> &mdash; Parenting styles classes may be helpful if you're really nervous about the type of parent you'll be, but they aren't necessary. Odds are, you'll be a blend of several styles. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.5dollardinners.com/picky-eater-swaps/">Picky Eater &ldquo;Swaps&rdquo;</a> &mdash; Learn how to work around your child's picky eating and ensure that they get the nutrients they need. [$5 Dinners]</p> <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-spring-cleaning-tasks-that-help-you-save-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-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/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-get-spring-cleaning-done-during-winter">7 Reasons to Get Spring Cleaning Done During Winter</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-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spring-clean-your-whole-life-one-step-at-a-time">How to Spring Clean Your Whole Life — One Step at a Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-home-maintenance-to-dos-for-spring">8 Easy Home Maintenance To-Dos for Spring</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home best money tips spring cleaning Fri, 25 Mar 2016 09:30:28 +0000 Amy Lu 1678794 at http://www.wisebread.com