Category Archives: House

Decorate With Your Favorite Books

Many people assume books are made for bookshelves.  Think outside the box and design with books throughout your home, not just in your library.  Use the below pictures as inspiration.  And, by using the books you already have, this is a way to change up your space without spending money.

On a shelf

Against the wall

book2

Waterfall Art

Book 1

On a staircase:

steps

 

Antique books or sorted by same color:

book3

On a ladder:

ladder

As an end table:

side-table

Making Life More Efficient

I always thought that decluttering would make life less stressed.  We own bigger homes than decades ago just so we can fill it up with stuff.  I think half of it is the thrill of shopping.  Buying something new makes us feel good.  These things clutter our lives and add stress.

So my husband and I had a rummage sale and tried our best to rid our lives of as much stuff that wasn’t needed.  We definitely could have got rid of more.  But, by even doing this…we continue to get frustrated by how cluttered and messy our lives are even with less stuff.

We had an ah-ha moment.  Yes, it’s nice to get rid of things and declutter, but it’s more about our home is organized.  We made a plan.  We figured out what frustrated us the most and drilled down to see why it was a problem.  Here is what we discovered and how we made it better.

1.  We always had garbage all over our counter top.  We decided that the location to our garbage can was not working for us.  We originally had it in a closet…out of sight, out of mind.  Having to open a door every time to throw away something was a hassel  By buying a new garbage with a lid, and putting it out in the kitchen has kept our counters clean.

2.  We always misplaced our keys.  I didn’t want to install a key holder because our sun room had nice wood paneling (not the 80′s style – more like cabin style) and I didn’t want to mess it up.  So I installed those adhesive hooks that you can pull a tab and it releases.  This was an efficiency that requires a new habit but so far it’s working.

3.  We put a garbage in the bathroom.  This made a huge difference.  I didn’t realize how much garbage we created in this room.

4.  We put a laundry hamper in the bathroom as well.  We would always have piles of dirty clothes on the floor and just putting it in a bin has made our house so much cleaner.

5.  We always had issues with one of us opening mail and leaving it all over the table.  We are still working this one out.  We need to find a way to remove consistently putting waste in the recycling.   This will require a new habit.

We do have a long way to go, but we are finding ways to make our household easier to live in.  So far, it’s making a huge difference.

Repurposed Organizer

My husband and I are planning on moving from Fargo ND to Southern California within the next year.  We don’t know exactly where yet, but somewhere between San Francisco and San Diego.  A lot can happen until then, but we are starting the planning process.

We went through our closets this last weekend.  Actually my husband started, then I thought it would be a good idea to go through those dark corners of my closet that never see the light of day.

In our planning of moving we intend to rid our lives of LOTS of stuff.  We will end up living in half the square footage so having just the things that are most important to us will come with.  I am eager to start going through our stuff and prepare for a massive rummage sale even though we don’t know if it is 100% sure we are going.  The thought on living with less or living a simpler life intrigues me so much.

I noticed in my closet I had a stack of scarf that looked like a cluttered mess.  I found a re-use for my husbands slack stacker (not sure what they are called).  It hangs my scarves nicely so I will be able to grab and go without the closet mess.   I am looking for more ways to organize and would love to hear of your tips on containing the clutter.

CSC_1625111

rags

DIY Paper Towels

Most of us are all reliant on modern conveniences.  Paper towels, being one of these conveniences.  Us specifically.  We have 3 cats and a dog and we have a fair share of animal messes that we clean up.  I have always hated buying paper towels, but my husband NEEDS them.  I can understand not wanting to clean up dog vomit with a dish towel.  So I came up with a solution to this problem.

We had lots of ragged clothes laying around the house.  I came upon a box full as I was cleaning out one of our closets and thought, what a great way to use this clutter instead of throwing it away, and solve the problem of purchasing paper towels.  I just cut up the clothing into paper towel sizes.  I will store them in an easy to grab location.  Once we use them we will just throw them in the washing machine, clean them and re use them.

If you have any great re use ideas, please leave a comment.  I would love to hear from you!

Craft Room Remodel

I need a space to be able to do my crafting separate from the rest of the house.  I have been looking at other peoples craft rooms via pinterest and I am inspired.

Here is what my loft/crafting space looks like now.

Pretty basic right now.  Almost everyone I know lines their stuff along the outside perimeter of the room.   I want to change that with my remodel.

It is a wide open room that currently serves many purposes.  Storage, guest room and a craft room of some sort.  If I can make it a space that I can work and is organized I will want to be in there more.  This space actually was part of the reason we bought this house.  It has a cool spiral staircase from the sun-room with lots of windows and skylights.  Pretty awesome space if I do say so.

Here is a quick rendering of what I want it to look like.

Please don’t mind my elementary drawing.  I did not have a ruler.  :)

I plan on buying some cabinets from our ReStore – Habitat for Humanity stores in our area.  You really don’t know what you will find when you shop here.  If I can find about 5-6 base cabinets that I can line up against the wall I will be happy.  I don’t care of their exterior condition because I can repaint them and put on new hardware. I may need to buy new counter top but I may find a green alternative when I shop.

I also want to add some shelving from IKEA so I can organize my crafting supplies.

If you follow my blog I will be updating my progress along the way.

Do you have any spring projects you want to accomplish on your home?  I would love to hear about it.

 

DIY Linen Spray

Every time I buy cleaners at the store I always have to buy them with the spray contraption.  I wish there were more cleaners that would allow you to buy in bulk and you can reuse the spray bottle.  Instead of throwing away my latest spray bottle, I decided to reuse it to make some linen spray.

I really love aromatherapy and it may be the one type of scent that doesn’t drive my sinuses batty.  I have several scents that I have purchased from our local vitamin store that I will use for this project.

This is what you will need:

One spray bottle

1 tsp essential oil (any scent)

1/4 cup unflavored vodka

3 1/2 cups filtered water

I was inspired by One Good Thing to make this recipe.  There are other great recipes for household needs on that website.

Instructions:  Mix vodka and oil in spray bottle.  Then add the water and shake or stir.  Before using it make sure to shake it well so the oils disperse throughout mixture.

I plan on using this specifically in my bed before I make it each morning.  I will spray some on so when I go to bed, the lavender (which I plan on using) will relax us into a sweet slumber.

*Disclaimer – After mixing this and spraying it on my couch and on my bed my house I could smell vodka immediately.  I suggest using only 1/8 cup of vodka instead or none at all.  Make sure to mix it well before you spray each time.  The vodka is added to help it dry faster.

cleaner

DIY Homemade Cleaners

I went shopping this weekend for some toilet bowl cleaner.  I wanted to find it in bulk so I didn’t have to repurchase the small cleaner with the curved neck.  I figured if I could buy it in bulk I could reduce what is thrown away.  Well, it wasn’t an option so I didn’t buy anything.  I decided that I would research homemade cleaners.  I already make my own laundry soap, why not make the rest of my cleaners.

The basic ingredients that we all probably have in our cupboards that can make a number of different cleaners are: Baking Soda, Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Borax and Rubbing Alcohol.

Soap Scum/Stove Top:  I am going to use: Baking Soda, a wet sponge and water to rinse.

Window Cleaner: Mix 2 teaspoons of white vinegar with 1 quart warm water.  Use crumpled newspaper to clean.  Mix accurately because too much vinegar can etch the glass.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner:  Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 cup vinegar, pour into basin and let it sit for a few minutes.  Scrub with brush and rinse.  A mixture of borax (2 parts) and lemon juice (one part) will also work.

I found these recipes on http://eartheasy.com/live_nontoxic_solutions.htm.  There are a list of other good recipes; check out that website.  Not only are these recipes green, but they will also save you lots of money.