How to reduce paper clutter.

Oh how I don’t want to write this post! I’m only writing it because it has been specifically requested many times.

Paper is a slobs “natural enemy” And I most definitely don’t have paper “under control” This makes me feel unqualified to speak on the subject.

But… I’ve come a long way. A very long way!

So, I’ve decided to share how I greatly reduced paper clutter in our home. Notice I said reduced instead of conquered.

Paper no longer makes me want to throw my hands up in despair.

And that’s something!

Oh, and one last thing justification for this post before I give you my tips. I’ve asked my family members if my struggle with paper clutter is better than it used to be. They said it‘s WAY better!!

So, here is how I’ve significantly reduced paper clutter in our home over the past few years.

1 I’ve become ruthless. Heartless.

Seriously. That sentimental part of my heart that once wanted to keep a spelling test… it died!

My kids know the routine. I look at their papers, give them some words of affirmation, and then pitch them.

If something is extra creative and artistic, it goes in a certain box in my office.

https://uncommomspaces.com/how-to-save-kids-art-work/

2 I follow the one touch rule with mail.

When I get the mail, I walk straight to the trash/recycle bin. I go ahead and throw away anything I don’t need.

Distinguishing what I need from what I don’t need has become easier the more I do this. I don’t want to refinance our home, I don’t want a new credit card, and don’t want to change electric providers. I know that, so I go ahead and get rid of that stuff.

Simply heading straight to the trash can from the mail box has greatly reduced our paper clutter.

https://uncommomspaces.com/the-amazing-one-touch-organizing-system-that-will-change-your-life/

3 Go digital

We were some of the last people we knew to start paying bills on line. I’m not sure why we thought it was a hassel to set up, but we did. It took a while but over time, we’ve taken advantage of the options to not receive paper copies of most of our bills.

If your not doing this yet, ask your bank to help you get set up and show you how to do it. They want people to go digital. I have noticed that on certain paper statements, you can be charged up to 3$ to get the paper statements! Ouch!

4 Opt out of stuff.

Over time, as we get various paper statements I’ll look to see if they have an option to switch to email statements. There are also various ways to get yourself off of mailing lists.

There you go! Thats how I’ve tamed the paper monster in our home. I have tried various filing systems over the years, but they’ve never lasted more than a month or so.

My new philosophy is that I’m okay with having fewer pieces of paper to search through when we have lost something.

The amazing one touch organizing system that will change your life.

One touch organizing

Did you find yourself constantly searching for things? Or spending way too much of your day being overwhelmed by your cluttered surroundings? I’ve got you. I’ve been there too, for way too long. I’ll show you how the “one touch organizing system” can bring you peace to your home and give you back precious time in your day.

This post contains affiliate links. I can make money if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links.

Clutter

What is clutter? The best description for clutter I have found is: objects you don’t love/like, and items you don’t use, that are taking up space in your life.

Think of how much calmer your morning would start, if you stepped into your kitchen and all the counters were clear, except for one decor item that made you smile at its beauty. Imagine your empty sink sparkling clean.

I used to get up, head for the kitchen to make coffee and see the sink of dishes from the previous night, and immediately want to go back to bed and forget the day. The good news, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can start every morning in a peaceful environment.

Cluttered counters are my nemesis.

I know you have some clutter attracting area in your home, that’s your main pet peeve. mine is cluttered counters! Hands down, to me cluttered counters in my house cause me the most stress.

My goal at the end of the day is to have all counters and the dining table clear.

What is one touch organizing?

So what do I mean by one touch organizing? Well the goal is to only touch each item once. For example, when I come home from work I have some practices in place, to prevent clutter and ensure I am not searching for items I need in the morning.

I have a process I use before I even get in the house, to start my nest morning right. When I turn my car off, my car keys go on a clip on my purse. Yes, before I even get out of my car. As I enter my house, I don’t set my purse and work materials down on my counter. Instead I take my purse and work bag and put them directly in my hall closet. It has been years since I’ve searched for my purse or keys. It seems strange to me now, to heat someone say they are late because they couldn’t find their keys. But there was a time I operated the same way.

One touch organizing in the kitchen.

Why use the one touch organizing system? Lets look at the kitchen.

Let’s say you finish dinner and take your dirty dishes to the sink to clean latter. Then later you come back to wash them or put them in the dish washer. Depending on how long it takes you to get back to them, you may now have to soak them prior to putting them in the dish washer or washing them. Do you see how dealing with them right away will save you time latter?

Using the one touch system, I will rinse my dishes and immediately put them in the dishwasher once a day at night, after dinner I wipe down all the kitchen counters, set my coffee pot up for the next morning, and I turn on the dish washer as I head to bed.

When I step into the kitchen in the morning, I start the coffee and while it brews I unload the dishwasher. The dishes are done, the sink is sparkling clean, and I’m ready to enjoy my coffee in a stress free kitchen. So ultimately you can see how much time, and frustration I save myself.

One touch meal prep.

I do meal prep once a week. While meal prep in its self is a time saver, the one touch method saves even more time.

When I started doing meal prep I would fill large containers with cut veggies, fruit, cheese ect. But I wanted my meal prep to be a little more efficient. Rather than using large containers, I now prep snacks straight into individual servings. I do this in two ways, using individual sandwich bags, or reusable plastic containers.

And while I’m on the subject of meal prep, let’s look at food expiration dates. Because my children are all grown up now, I find food products will expire before I use them up. It happens with salad dressings and deli meats the most. I hate constantly searching for expiration dates, and often once you’ve been using a product for a month or so, the expiration date is often unreadable. My solution is that as I unpack groceries, I take a sharpie pen and write the expiration date on the top of each product. When I go through my fridge, I can quickly see what needs to be tossed with out picking up every bottle and dragging out my magnifying glass.

One touch organizing for your mail.

If you are anything like me, I actually get three times the amount of junk mail, as I do actual bills and needed information. I find nothing clutters my table or counters quicker than a stack of unfiltered mail.

Before the mail even comes across the threshold of our house, I pull out junk mail, newspapers, flyers, weekly coupons and put them into the recycling. If I want to look through a flyer, I go get the flyer out of the recycling bin, when I have time to read it. I like to handle my mail this way because there is no stack of clutter on the counter, but if I think I need something later, it’s in the recycling bin.

One touch laundry

The key to not handling dirty laundry over and over, is to take it off immediately and put it into sorted laundry baskets. While it may seem easier at the time to put all your laundry in one big bin waiting until laundry day to separate it. I beg to differ with you. Sorting dirty laundry as you remove it, saves you from having to touch it multiple times sorting later.

By separating your laundry into separate baskets, when a basket is full you can easily pour the whole thing in to the washer with out having to go through it again. I particularly like a laundry sorter with an attached ironing board. This is how you save time. Even if you live in a small space, there are small sorting systems that will fit.

Other post you may find helpful

https://uncommomspaces.com/maintaining-the-progress-youve-made-in-your-home/

https://uncommomspaces.com/5-bad-habits-that-keep-your-home-a-cluttered-mess/

https://uncommomspaces.com/13-ways-to-organize-and-get-rid-of-paper-clutter-for-ever/

https://uncommomspaces.com/keeping-up-with-the-laundry-its-easier-then-you-think/

Summing it up, clutter is a time suck. There is no other way to look at it. By freeing your time from clutter and searching for things, you give yourself more time for family, fun, and friends. Putting some systems inplace, to reduce clutter and promote easy organization.

How to not get distracted from a decluttering project.

This post contains affiliate links. I can make money if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links.

I’ve been asked a certain question many times since I published this post explaining how I declutter with out making a bigger mess.

The game changing de cluttering strategy? Taking things where the go… now.

Right now.

Not making piles of stuff to deal with latter. In my distractable world “later” doesn’t always happen.

Even though the take it there right now concept will rock your world (I promise, it will) there’s this issue.

What to do when the place where I need to take it (the place where I would look first) is a disaster? What if it wont even fit in the place where it’s supposed to go because it’s so cluttered.

Hmmmm, good question!

But… it’s possibly, maybe, potentially a case of classic “slob over thinking”.

Not that I’m calling the asker a slob, I’m going from my own experience as someone who always has a big ole BUT

(with one T, thank you very much)!

I’m going to answer the two questions separately, because they are two different ways that one de cluttering project can get derailed by another de cluttering project.

Question #1 – What do I do when the place where I need to take it is a disaster?

A while back, I cleared our dining room table after a few weeks without hosting our church group.

The table was covered with various crafts, books, dishes, and projects.

I know where these items go!

Craft supplies would go in the office, where I would look first. I know there is a place for everything.

But, when I took them there… well, nothing was where it should have been.

That right there, is another de cluttering project! A totally different project! Than what I was tackling, which was the dining room table.

I’m pretty sure some of those craft items could have gone right in the trash! There was a real temptation to tackle that right then and there. I mean, I was already in the de cluttering zone.

But…

If I stopped clearing the dining table and started on craft supplies, I’d find myself sucked in to the black hole of ever craft basket that could use a good going through.

Suddenly, the time I had to de clutter would be gone, and the table would still be a mess.

And that was the project I needed to finish.

That was my visible space that guests would see.

Here’s what I did.

I closed the door!

Visually, a big improvement (especially if you aren’t looking close). It took 2 seconds and didn’t distract me from the project that actually mattered right then.

Now, for the other question.

Question #2 – What if it wont fit in the place where it’s supposed to go because that space is so cluttered?

What about the times when the place I’d look first doesn’t have room for that thing?

Here’s where grasping the container concept is key. Containers are natural limits. They determine how much stuff I can have.

Shelves, drawers, cabinets, ect are containers. They contain (limit) how much stuff I can have. If you definitely have to keep this object, and there’s no space, the you must practice the one it, one out rule.

For it to fit, I have to get rid of something else, something that isn’t as worthy.

For example, while clearing the table, I needed to put a puzzle in our game cabinet. I don’t need to declutter the cabinet, I just have to make room for the new object.

It’s the one in, one out rule.

In a perfect world, I’d clean the table, game cabinet, kitchen pantry, garage, and closets. I don’t live in a perfect world. I live in a house. And I want to let my friends come in side.

Make sense?

How to be happy in a small home.

I have to admit, I have not always loved living in a small house. There was a time when I had way too much stuff. When you have little ones in a small space, they can honestly trash the whole place, all of it in about 10 minutes!

How ever, though simplifying and de cluttering we have all come to love our little home and are quite content.

Of course, there are days when I wish we had an actual linen closet or pantry. I don’t think a day has gone by since my kids hit the teen years that I haven’t longed for a 2nd bathroom! But the truth is, I am so thankful for what we have, and I am so happy to have raised my family in this cozy, little house.

Here are some benefits I’ve discovered over the years that have allowed us to be happy even in this tiny small space.

This post contains affiliate links. I can make money if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links.

1 You’re selective with what you bring in.

Living in a small house necessitates being intentional with your choices. Less space means less places to store unnecessary items.

Knowing where you’re going to put something before deciding to bring it into your space ensures you’re being intentional and thinking through what you bring in.

Those things that initially seem like a good idea will make you pause when you realize you have no room left for that waffle maker, even if its 50% off. A small space makes you really evaluate every purchase! This results in truly loving what you own.

A small home allows you to be intentional in choosing to own only what is useful or lovely. And that’s a good thing. When you love what you own, you will naturally be happy in a small home.

2 forced de cluttering

When you live in a small space, it’s easy to see your biggest problems not having enough storage space. How ever, the problem isn’t a lack of sufficient storage, it’s that most of us have far more than we need or even want.

A small space means you just can’t have as much stuff, plain and simple.

When your house is small, there is limited surfaces for placing things on, so any thing not properly put away makes your space feel cluttered and messy.

But, here’s the thing, do you really need three sets of dishes and 35 coffee mugs? Or 15 towels? Or a closet full of clothes you don’t even wear? What about all of those toys your kids never really play with? Sell or donate what you don’t need and you’ll be amazed at all your new found storage.

Removing unneeded items allows you to create more space. Honestly, I can’t think of anything that I got rid of that I regretted. And with out a doubt the benefits I gained in contentment in my home far out weighed any value I was receiving from all that stuff.

Never keep something just in case. If the item is not useful or loved, donate or toss it. If your not sure what you should keep, here are some helpful hints. https://uncommomspaces.com/the-financial-cost-of-someday-stock-piling/

3 It’s easier to clean.

A smaller home does mean there is less space to clean. How ever when my house was overrun with clutter, Saturday cleaning marathons were a regular part of life. Granted, I did spend fewer hours on that marathon than if we had a large home with multiple bathrooms. But today, I can honestly sweep, vacuum and dust the entire house in under 15-20 minutes.

The truth is I no longer clean the entire house all in one day, but if I did, it wouldn’t require marathon hours. I clean one room each day and take about 15 minutes each day on the up keep of the rest of the house.

What allowed me to do this was eliminating so much clutter. You can drastically cut down the time it takes to clean your home when you eliminate all the unnecessary clutter.

If everything is picked up (which takes a lot less time with less stuff) I can do a quick clean with out it taking my entire day. This saved time allows me to focus on what matters most, like spending time with my family.

Out home is so much more relaxing to live in a clean uncluttered space.

https://uncommomspaces.com/messy-house-do-these-two-things-every-day/

4 What you own serves multiple purposes.

When space is at a premium, you learn to invest in multi functional pieces, which also in the end makes life so much simpler.

I have foot stools which house all our extra blankets. They also provide extra seating. I invested in a capsule wardrobe basics that allow me to mix and match a few pieces to create many outfits.

I eliminated many single use appliances and countless kitchen gadgets. Be truthful, how often do you really use that egg slicer or garlic peeler? Other items you have will do the same job.

By eliminating all the unnecessary kitchen clutter, you will no longer have to dig out several appliances or stacks of bowels to find what you need, since so many of my items serve multiple functions.

Being able to easily get to what you need and having things you use often will help you be happy in a small home.

https://uncommomspaces.com/9-things-to-stop-buying-if-you-want-to-be-a-minimalist/

5 It creates close family relationships.

If you have friends or family that live in a much larger house, you know that the kids are often in their own rooms down the long hall or up the stairs.

On the other hand, when you have a small space you are literally close to your family all the time. There is just less space for everyone to spread out and hide.

With this kind of physical closeness, you have to learn to get along. Because my kids have always shared a bedroom, they learned how to work together and become friends.

There is no room for anyone to isolate themselves doing their own thing. We see alot of each other and while sometime the introvert in me longs for a little more space, more often than not, I love that we’re all together.

6 You save money.

Over all, utility costs are so much less. Thanks to our small home.

A smaller home also means a smaller monthly payment.

Another added benefit is that when you have a small space you can afford to spend a little more fixing it up. Home improvements will naturally cost more to upgrade a larger space. When it comes to furnishings and decor because you will buy less you can actually have higher quality items.

Finally, because you don’t have the space to fill you home with a bunch of needless items, you save a ton of money by avoiding shopping for things that you really don’t need.

All of this extra disposable income can now be used to pay down debt, save for cash purchases or even plan your dream vacation. You can be happy in a small home knowing it allows you to focus on what matters most.

7 A small home encourages simplicity.

A smaller home encourages you to live with simplicity and purpose. There is a limited amount of space, so you naturally put alot more thought into what you keep around and why you keep it.

This allows you to be intentional as you consider what matters most to you and your family. Because you are not a slave to caring for your home and its contents, you get to choose how you take care of you and your family.

This extra time also frees you up to know who you are and what’s important to you. Now you have the freedom to make choices that line up with your values, your goals, and your dreams. Whats not to love about that?

Having a small home makes things much easier. You see I’ve realized what is truly important to me about a home. It’s the space that home has for creating memories.

Small doesn’t have to mean cramped and cluttered. Even a small home can reflect who you are and what it is that matters most to you! When you focus on these benefits you too will be happy in a small home.

https://uncommomspaces.com/why-decorating-makes-you-feel-good/

https://uncommomspaces.com/7-simple-tricks-that-will-make-you-love-your-home/

Getting the skinny on germs and the difference between cleaning and disinfecting your home.

This post contains affiliate links. I can make money if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links.

Creeping and crawling through every crevis of your home, lying in wait ti attack at any moment. No, it’s not the opening scene to a horror movie- it’s the reality of germs.

What is a germ? Not all germs are bad. Germs are microbes that come in four main types: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. Germs live both inside and outside the human body. While some thrive in places like your gut and help with healthy digestion, others exist on your skin or other surfaces and are passed around constantly. There are many good germs that help our bodies stay in balance and actually work to build our immune systems. How ever, the bad germs tend to be very bad and are the cause for illnesses like the flu.

That’s why it’s important to know how to get rid of bad germs in order to help keep your family protected. Often, people mistake cleaning their homes with disinfecting their homes. How ever, there is a VERY big difference.

Cleaning verses disinfecting

Cleaning- This removes dirt and grime from surfaces of objects. Cleaning entails using warm water and soap to remove the top layer of germs that may be living on surfaces. While cleaning makes your home look nice, it doesn’t necessarily get the job done. Cleaning lowers your risk of spreading infection, but it still leaves some germs behind.

Disinfecting- This kills germs on the surface of objects. By using certain products you can kill up to 99% of bacteria and viruses living on the surface and dramatically lower the risk for spreading infection.

But the real battle isn’t cleaning verses disinfecting. The best way to reduce your risk of spreading germs is to first clean your surface, removing any stuck on dirt and grime, and then disinfect.

Now that you can answer “what is a germ”? You’re on your way to fighting them off.

Are you making these cleaning mistakes?

If you are spending the time cleaning, make sure you’re making the best use of your time and energy by avoiding these cleaning mistakes. (No judgement here, just trying to help you figure out the best and most efficient way to clean your home).

This post contains affiliate links. I can make money if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links.

Vacuuming more than necessary.

Save you energy and vacuum weekly and do a thorough job. Spot clean during the week as needed. Then on the day that you do vacuum, vacuum horizontally in each room, and then vertically in each room. Yes, you are going over your carpet twice, but this technique ensures that the carpet is lifted and the dirt that may be embedded is removed. This is especially helpful if you have pets to remove pet hair and dander vacuum from the furthest corner away from the door and vacuum your way out of the room. This will give you those beloved vacuum lines that say “I just vacuumed”

https://uncommomspaces.com/how-to-easily-clean-and-maintain-your-vacuum-cleaner/ For suggestions on how to take care of your vacuum cleaner.

Cross contamination.

When you wipe down surfaces, are you wiping the mess back over you’re just cleaned surface? Make sure you are wiping left to right and top to bottom in a soft z pattern. This will effectively clean your surfaces and keep you from wiping dirt and bacteria back over your clean surface. Make sure that you are also changing microfiber cloths or cleaning rages frequently to keep the bacteria away.

Not leaving cleaners on long enough.

If your cleaning bathrooms or your kitchen counters and spraying and wiping right away, your wasting time and cleaners. It’s important to thoroughly saturate your surface with your favorite cleaner and let set for 10 minutes. This will let the cleaner do its job, making your cleaning a little bit easier.

Using fabric softener on towels.

Did you know that traditional fabric softeners actually coat the fibers of towels making them less absorbent? Instead add between 1/4 – 1/2 cup of traditional white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser. Vinegar serves to actually soften the fibers as well as add a little cleaning power to your laundry routine. No need to worry about any residual scent from the vinegar either as you wont be able to detect it on your clean laundry at this dilution rate.

Using dirty sponges.

There’s no need to use dirty sponges when all you need to do is toss it in your dishwasher nightly. Did you know that sponges are one of the dirtiest things in your house? Get in the habit of tossing your sponge in your dishwasher or sanitizing it in the microwave. You will eliminate the risk of spreading germs all over your kitchen.

Using vinegar on stone surfaces.

I love using vinegar to clean with but it’ important to know what it works on and what it doesn’t. If your using vinegar on your marble or granite counter tops, the acid in the vinegar will eventually etch away the surfaces.

Emptying your vacuum canister or bag and cleaning your vacuum.

Make sure you’re emptying your vacuum canister after each use. If you have a canister vacuum and if you have a vacuum cleaner bag, change it when necessary. Make sure you are cleaning your vacuum cleaner frequently as well, this will ensure that your vacuum cleaner lasts for a long time and you aren’t dragging dirt around the house as you vacuum.

Not cleaning those most touched areas.

It’s no wonder that germs can live on surfaces for up to 72 hrs. If your looking for ways t cut down that spread and transfer in your home (especially when someone is sick, or during flu season). Reach for a cotton pad and a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Saturate the cotton pad and carefully wipe over those most touched areas in your home: light switches, remotes, and electronics. The rubbing alcohol effectively kills germs, dries quickly, and is safe to use in your home.

Cleaning garbage cans.

Yes, garbage cans hold garbage, but keeping them clean will help keep odors down and keep germs from congregating. Bring the garbage cans outside, spray with your favorite all purpose cleaner, let it set 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly with your garden hose. Let them sit in the sun to dry and naturally kill germs before returning them in side. Use garbage bags in large and small garbage cans to line them and keep them cleaner for longer.

Which cleaning mistakes have you been making? Have one to add? Share it i the comments.

How to easily determine value.

Dear collector types:

Please don’t read this post. It will only cause your blood pressure to rise. And I don’t want to be responsible for that. But if you insist on reading, please read the whole thing before you express your horror in the comments. My example in this post (as in all my posts) is personal and the decision I made is also personal. It wasn’t an easy decision, and I totally understand why someone would choose differently.

Whew- glad that disclaimer is over.

I’ve been working on a long ignored area of my home lately. As I get a little time here and there (sometimes only 20 minutes or so) I de clutter it.

Last week, I came across some plates I got a while back from my aunt. I love them, but bought the wrong size plate hanger and then never got back to putting them up.

I was re-inspired to hang them after having heard someone say how she twisted plate hangers to make them the right size.

But… if the plates are on the wall what do I do with their boxes?

My Aunt, the ultimate garage sale queen, had found the plates in their original boxes. With paper work and everything.

The original boxes were neat to see, but where should I store them? And the paper work for things I display?

Or a better question:

If I love the plates and don’t see the display as temporary, do I even need the boxes?

No, the answer is no. I personally have no need for the boxes. The plates are on the wall.

But… don’t the boxes increase their value?

Yes, technically, collectible items in their boxes are more valuable than the same items with out original boxes.

If my plan was to treat these plates as a collection that will one day be sold at an auction to fund my retirement, I would totally keep the boxes.

But I have no plans to part with them. They are items I love. I’m keeping them because they put a smile on my face.

And yet the value – related “what if’s” plagued my so easily plaguable brain.

At the same time, I had to answer these questions:\

  • If I keep the boxes, where in the world will I put them?
  • If I find a place to put them, how in the world will I remember where that place is?
  • And… If I do decide to get rid of the plates, will I really want to search through the entire house looking for the boxes? Wont that just prolong the already difficult decluttering process?
  • Here’s how I solved the dilemmas: I checked the value of the plates.

There’s a simple quick way to get a realistic idea of the value of items in your home. This is current, in the moment value that could be different in a different venue or at a different time, but it helped me make this decision.

Its called EBAY

Go to ebay.com and search for your item. If its collectable, there likely an exact name on the back or bottom that will help you find that exact item listed on ebay.

After you find other items just like yours scroll down the page and click on “completed listings” on the left.

At this point, things get real.

Before I checked the box to see completed listings, I saw some people were starting some auctions at 40$ a set.

I know enough not to get excited about that. What someone wants for an item means nothing. The only thing that matters is how much people are actually willing to pay.

Even with boxes and paper work and everything.

The answer was, that boxes dont add significant value to these items.

And knowing that means I don’t have to store them.

And not having to store them means I can move forward ever so much more quickly with the over all de cluttering.

18 car cleaning hacks you’ll wish you knew sooner.

This post contains affiliate links. I can make money if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links.

Cars are expensive but necessary investments and like all things, if you take proper care of it, it will last longer. With lengthy commutes and busy life styles, your car is the one that definitely takes a beating along with you. And on a daily basis grease, dirt, gunk, and rubbish in the corners, on the seats and every other possible area can build up… taking more time and energy to keep tidy.

The case is even worse with the exterior of the car. All those scratches, swirl marks, damaged paint makes the car look like 5-7 years old even if its just a year old. Fortunately there are many easy and effective car cleaning hacks that can do wonders for your car.

Here I have listed some of the easiest car cleaning tips and tricks to get rid of the toughest stains, odors, and dirt dilemmas to keep your car sparkling. These are simple things which you need to do regularly to have your old car look good as new even after 6-8 years. And the perfect time to start caring for your car is today onwards,

21 car cleaning tips and tricks to keep your car sparkling.

1 news paper for windshields and windows.

A news paper is one of the easiest and cheapest tricks to clean the windshield and windows (simply all the glass stuff). Mix one part hot water with one part vinegar. Apply with a spray bottle on the windows and wipe off with the help of newspapers. Easy!

2 Tooth paste for head lights.

If your head lights have become dirty and foggy, just use some tooth paste to clean them off. If it can fix scratches on DVD and CDs, then it can effectively clean car head lights too. And apart from ruining the looks of your car, dirty head lights are also not safe because they reduce visibility at night.

All you need to do is apply a mixture of tooth paste and baking soda on a sponge and rub the lights in circular motions until the dirt comes off. Take a light cloth and wipe off the tooth paste. And Magic! You have crystal clear head lights in no time.

3 Brush for cleaning tiny spaces.

Clean the tiny spaces between the seams and hard to reach places easily with a soft bristled brush. These areas are difficult to access and clean, but a brush easily manages this work. You can also clean the dust on the tight spaces of your car seats using a tooth brush. Gently brush the dirt and you’ll have a mess free car seat in no time.

So simple. Isn’t it? You can even use a make up brush for this purpose.

4 Vinegar for deep cleaning the seats.

The first step is to remove all the dust and loose debris using a vacuum cleaner, for a thorough cleaning, make a simple but effective home made cleaner using vinegar. Mix equal parts of vinegar and warm water to make this cleaner.

Clean the seats upholstery with this mixture. All you need to do is spray this mixture on the seat and then follow up with a dry cloth. It will not only clean the seats but also fade away the foul smell if present.

Quick tip: If seat material is leather, don’t let the leather become soaking wet during the process.

Vinegar is an amazing cleaner.

5 Sprinkle some baking soda before vacuuming.

If your seats don’t need deep cleaning, then you can easily clean it with a vacuum cleaner. All that is good but why not step up your vacuuming game with this easy hack.

Sprinkle some baking soda on the seats then clean them with a vacuum cleaner. Whats the benefit? Baking soda eliminates bad odor from the seats and carpet.

6 Use a magic eraser.

Is your car all messed up with food and drinks your kiddos ate in the car? Don’t worry, you just need a magic eraser to easily clean the car. Magic eraser also works amazingly well to clean the stains on leather or vinyl seats as well, Just get the eraser a bit wet and gently scrub on the stain. Your seats will look like new in no time. Easy isn’t it.

7 Keep your dash board shining.

Keep your cars dash board always shining by rubbing some olive oil on it and then rub it on the dash board to give it a shiny finish.

Its time saving , effective and inexpensive.

8 Clay bar for picking up dust.

Clay bars are highly successful in removing dust, dirt and other small particles that have bonded with the paint which then allows the wax or polish to adhere to the surface and work effectively. It gives a good lustrous finish to the car. You can use clay bars anytime for kicking the dust and dirt particles from your car.

Just rub a clay bar softly over the area which needs to be cleaned. All the dust particles will stick to the clay bar because of it’s sticky nature and you have a squeaking clean car in no time.

9 Home made tire cleaner.

Want your cars tires to shine like new ones with out spending money on expensive cleaners? We’ve got you covered.

Just make a mixture of 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp dishwashing soap and some warm water. Your home made tire cleaner is ready! Smear this mixture on the tires to clean them and your work is done.

10 Club soda for tough stains.

Get rid of tough stains such as bird poop, blood stains, ect, using club soda. Soak the stain in club soda for a few minutes, then blot with a moist cotton towel. The stain will come off easily.

11 Cleaning the cup holders

Cup holders are one of the most forgotten areas to be cleaned. Is it difficult to clean? Not at all.

Just take a coffee cup, wrap an old sock around it and spray some cleaner on it. Then twist and turn the cup in the holder to clean it. So easy!

12 Get rid of the car stickers gunk.

Do the stickers on your car spoil its looks? There is a very easy solution to restore its good look. All you need is can of WD-40.

Just spray some WD-40 on the sticker and let it stay for some time and then peel off the sticker. WD-40 will make it easier to remove the left over residue behind the stickers too. WD-40 is a must have for every house.

13 Conditioning the interiors.

Use vaseline for the conditioning of interiors of the car such as seats and the dash board. It helps in keeping the seats moisturized, thus preventing cracks just like it does our skin. So time saving, effective and inexpensive.

14 Wash your car with conditioner.

You might be using conditioner to wash your hair, but do you know that you can also use the same conditioner to wash your car? And make it shine. Yeah, it’s weird but true. Why? Because conditioner contains lanolin (a type of wax) And we all know wax is used to shine your car, say good bye to expensive car wax and save money. Just wash your car with conditioner when ever you feel the need to shine it.

15 used compressed air to dust out vents.

Cleaning out vents? Using a can of compressed air to get the dust out of your vents will make the process easier and faster. This is the sort of hack which makes you say why didn’t I think of that.

16 Use coffee filters to wipe down interior.

Dusting is good but it wont make the car completely clean to the surface. The answer to this is to use coffee filters to clean and the are pretty cheap. So grab some coffee filters and make your car interior sparkling clean.

17 Cup cake holders.

Cup holders are one of the easiest and fastest places for gun to reach. And cleaning them is a pain. But, having these cup cake liners in there can make the cleaning easier and would save alot of time. A brilliant use of cup cake liners other than cup cakes.

18 Clean up animal hair with a sqeegee and spray bottle.

For those with pets in their car frequently, you would notice that its not easy to clean their hair build up on the seats. But, there’s an easy way to get rid of them faster. All you need to get rid of them is a squeegee and a spray bottle of water. Its a great way to gather it up and get rid of it easily. You can wipe the seats with a magic eraser after that for a thorough cleaning.

As you can see from the tips above that cleaning your car isn’t hard, if you know the right tips and tricks. With these right cleaning hacks, you’ll be able to finish cleaning in no time. And have your car looking and smelling like new.

If you find these tips useful PLEASE share.

A fresh start on a budget.

De Cluttering list: More than 80 things that you should throw out now.

This post contains affiliate links. I can make money if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links.

I’m guessing since you came over to read this post you have a problem with clutter. You want a de cluttering list to get you started. I understand what you are going through because for my entire life I have struggled with clutter and my want to be a neater person but my natural tendency to be messy.

More than 80 things you should throw out that are just clutter.

I wrote a post about https://uncommomspaces.com/the-financial-cost-of-someday-stock-piling/ It doesn’t make you happier when you stop the compulsion to have more. I’ve gotten better at not getting as much stuff and limiting what comes into my house. The problem though is that I still have too much stuff in my house.

Now, alot of the things on this de cluttering list can be straight away tossed into the trash or recycled. Some items how ever if still in good condition and some one else could get use out of them can instead be donated.

You decluttering list by room

The kitchen

  • 1. Broken unwated magnets.
  • 2. Old and expired food in your pantry.
  • 3. Broken untensils or cooking tools.
  • 4. Cleaning supplies that you don’t like or use.
  • 5. Recipe books that you don’t use.
  • 6. Excess baking trays, pots, pans, dishes, that you don’t need. (these can be donated if in good condition).
  • 7. Any paper clutter like receipts, manuals, bills, ect. Put away what needs to be saved and toss the rest.
  • 8. Anything in your fridge that is past its prime or you know you wont use.
  • 9. Any old or almost empty spices and oils that can be trashed or bottled together to save space. Do you really need 3 half filled garlic salts? Nope!
  • 10. Novelty cups that never get used but take up space. You know the ones from amusement parks, sporting events, restaurants, ect.
  • 11. Tupperware or pieces with out lids.
  • 12. Extra plastic bags from stores.
  • 13 Any paper or plastic plates, cups, and utensils that are not going to be used. Donate, or toss them.
  • 14. baby/kid cups, plates and utensils that are no longer needed.
  • 15. Broken appliances or parts from old appliances you no longer have.
  • 16. Ketchup, sauce packets, straws from fast food/ take out.
  • 17. Empty jars or bottles that you don’t need.
  • 18. Mostly empty bottles of cleaning sprays.

Living/dining room

  • 1. Magazines and news papers.
  • 2. Books you aren’t going to read.
  • 3. Any old or worn out blankets, pillows or rugs.
  • 4. Any dead or dying plants.
  • 5. Unused storage boxes or bins.
  • 6. Any paper stacks that can be filed and thrown away.
  • 7. Any games with broken or missing pieces.
  • 8. Old CDs or DVDs that can be thrown out or given away.
  • 9. Any broken or unused electronics like TVs or DVD players.
  • 10. Unused or unwanted candles or air fresheners.
  • 11. Broken or damaged memorabilia and decorations.
  • 12. Old pet toys and supplies that are not needed.
  • 13. Broken picture frames or wall art.
  • 14. Damaged or ruined furniture that you need to let go of.

Master bathroom

  • 1. Old or almost empty medications.
  • 2. Old or gross make up.
  • 3. towels or rugs that are worn or damaged.
  • 4. Old hair brushes or combs.
  • 5. Products that you didn’t end up liking. Or are empty or gone bad.
  • 6. Empty tissue boxes or toilet paper rolls that need to be tossed.
  • 7. Old toothbrushes and toiletries that are expired or extra.
  • 8. Broken hair ties or hair accessories.
  • 9. Expired skin care products like creams and lotions.
  • 10. Old nail polishes and perfumes that can be tossed out.
  • 11. Old baby or kid products if the are no longer in use.
  • 12. Product samples that you don’t need and just have.
  • 13. Old or worn wash clothes or rags.
  • 14. Expired medications or vitamins.

Master bedroom

  • 1. worn or damaged sheets.
  • 2. Extra blankets or bedding that can be donated.
  • 3. Clothing that is out dated or ruined.
  • 4. Clothing that is stained or no longer fits.
  • 5. Earrings that are missing a pair.
  • 6. And broken or outdated jewelry that is no longer worn.
  • 7. Broken or unused electronics that can be donated or recycled.
  • 8. Scarves and belts that you don’t wear or want any longer.
  • 9. Unused purses and unworn shoes.
  • 10. Storage boxes or container you don’t need.
  • 11. Worn out undergarments or socks
  • 12. Old candles that are burned down or you don’t enjoy.

Kids play room/bedroom

  • 1. Broken toys that can’t be played with.
  • 2. Toys that no longer get played with and can be given away.
  • 3. Games with lost pieces or parts.
  • 4. Puzzles with missing pieces.
  • 5. Toys that have been out grown and can be given to younger kids.
  • 6. Baby items that are no longer needed.
  • 7. Clothing that no longer fits.
  • 8. Shoes that no longer fit.
  • 9. Stuffed animals that are worn or frayed.
  • 10. damaged or destroyed books.
  • 11. Old markers, crayons, and art supplies.
  • 12. DVDs and books that have been out grown and no longer interested in.

https://uncommomspaces.com/how-to-encourage-kids-to-be-tidy/

https://uncommomspaces.com/10-tips-for-controlling-clutter-in-kids-bedrooms/

Office.

  • 1. Old text books or books from work courses.
  • 2. Notebooks that have been written in and you don’t need.
  • 3. Pens and markers that don’t work any longer.
  • 4. Old receipts.
  • 5. Outdated coupons or fliers.
  • 6. Old phones and chargers.
  • 7. Old and outdated papers and documents.
  • 8. Batteries, keys and other things found in junk drawers.
  • 9. Broken or unneeded electronics that can be recycled or given away.
  • 10. Wrapping paper or bags that you don’t need.
  • 11. Old manuals that you don’t need.
  • 12. Broken or unwanted holiday decor.
  • 13. excess children’s art work…You don’t need to keep it all.
  • 14. Crafting supplies.
  • 15. Old and outdated calendars and planners.
  • 16. Old greeting cards that you don’t want to keep.
  • 17. Photos that are not good enough to keep in albums.

https://uncommomspaces.com/26-home-office-must-haves-for-a-small-business/

Other clutter places and stuff.

  • 1 Clean out your glove compartment.
  • 2. Clean out your wallet and purse.
  • 3. Throw our broken outdoor toys and decor.
  • 4. Toss old paint and spray cans.
  • 5. Old gardening and yard supplies.

Well, that’s my decluttering list for now. I’m sure as I keep working I will find more things I am ready to get rid of.

A lot of these things you should throw out that are just clutter can probably be given away or donated. I tried to mention many of them. Some tings are obviously trash like broken or expired things. If something is in good condition though and you just don’t need it than find someone who can use it.

I hope this helps you to de clutter your home of some things you don’t need.

26 home office must haves for a small business.

Its been about a year since I started working from home and, let me tell you, having an efficient office space has been so important.

Not only does it enable me to get things done quickly and easily, but it also makes my work space both comfortable and productive.

Whether you’re setting up your home office for the first time or needing to get your existing office whipped into shape, give these 26 home office must haves a shot and you will be amazed at how much more productive you are.

This post contains affiliate links. I can make money if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links.

Home office must haves and tips.

How to set up a good home office.

I’ve found the key to setting up a good home office is making it functional.

Do this by thing through how you plan to use your office, what makes that process easier or faster, and how can you make sure each of those elements are productive and safe.

Which is exactly what I’ve been doing while my office is a lovely, well decorated space, I quickly discovered it wasn’t all so functional when I actually started working in it.

So over the last few months, I’ve worked hard to make that pretty space into an efficient and productive home office.

I hope this simple list of home office must haves helps you get your office set up for success.

Home office essentials list.

Ok, lets get to the good stuff! Here are the 26 items you should make sure you have in your home office.

1 Computer

In today’s day and age, it’s critical that you have a fast, reliable computer to use for your small business.

Depending on your preference, both lap top and desk tops are great options.

Obviously, as a blogger, I do most of my work on the computer, so I invested in a nice one.

2 Monitor

If you choose to use a desk top computer, be sure to get a decent sized monitor and place it on a stand if needed to make it the right height.

You can also hook up a laptop to a larger monitor if you want to.

3 Software

One of the things that can make or break your success is having the right software.

Again, think through what your business needs to work well – is that a word processor? spread sheets? photo editing?

Make a list of what you need to do your work and then research the best options for each.

4 printer/scanner

Having a quality printer/scanner has been a game changer for me!

Prior to getting my current printer, I always struggled when I needed to print something, and now I can print wirelessly from any where in my home. It’s amazing!

Be sure to do some research and find one that fits on your printer station and has the features you need for your business.

5 Tech support

I truly believe that one of the most important things to have in place for your home office is reliable tech support.

Imagine setting up your home office with all of the expensive equipment listed here only to have an issue that you can’t fix on your own and no one to call.

The thought of dealing with technical issues has always stressed me out – I mean, my entire business is done online so having someone to call with questions (no matter how big or small) is huge for me. It’s like having my own IT department.

6 wireless mouse

I seriously can’t live without my wireless mouse.

They’re easy to use and simple to pack up and take with you if you’re working remotely.

7 wireless keyboard

Another thing you’ll need is a keyboard! The wireless ones are easy to use and convenient for keeping cords to a minimum.

8 High speed internet

High speed internet is a serious home office must have.

Check with your local provider for which speed is going to be best for the type of online work your plan to do.

9 wireless router

Now that you have internet, a wireless router makes things much more efficient.

Not having to have your computer plugged into the internet cable allows you to work anywhere in your office or even the rest of your home.

10 Back up drive or cloud storage.

I was once told that it’s important to save your files in three places – on your computer, on a back up drive and to the cloud.

I’ll be honest, at this point I’m only doing two of those, but either way, make sure you have a back up of all your files somewhere.

11 Telephone

Most likely you already have a smart phone but if you don’t – be sure to get a land line so you can have a phone number and a way for people to call your company.

12 Paper shredder

If you deal with any confidential information, having a paper shredder is definitely one of the home office must haves you’re going to need. Be sure to recycle the paper after you shred it.

13 USB drive

Even with cloud storage, it’s important to have physical ways to save files and take them with you or give them to other people.

Keep a low cost USB stick on hand for the random times you need that capability.

14 Head phones with a mic

Head phones are nice when working remotely or when someone is in the office with you.

I’ve also found that using head phones with a built in mic is more effective on conference calls or video chats than the mic on my computer.

15 Surge protector

A surge protector can keep your electronics safe in case of a power surge. They’re an affordable way to protect your expensive equipment, so don’t skip this one.

16 Desk

How well your desk functions will be critical to your success – so think hard about what size and height you need.

Also consider if you want one that can rise to a standing position.

I actually started with a desk that was way too small for me, and it made working so frustration.

I finally realized I needed one that was large enough for my computer, a note pad on one side and my planner on the other – that’s 5′ wide!

So just make sure you think through your preferences and needs before buying one.

https://uncommomspaces.com/how-to-organize-a-desk/

17 Chair

It might sound cheesy, but getting a quality chair is extremely important for your body’s health and well being.

Especially if your sitting init working alot of hours in the day.

Opt for one that’s ergonomic and sits you at the right height for your desk top.

18 Adequate lighting

If your home office doesn’t have an abundance of windows be sure to have enough lighting to make it easy on your eyes to work.

This could include a floor lamp to light up the entire room or a desk lamp to focus on your desk top.

19 File cabinet

If your keeping your office well-organized you’re most likely going to need a file cabinet for filing your records.

Many desks come with one in their drawers, but if not, you can get small ones on wheels that roll under your desk top or into a corner.

https://uncommomspaces.com/13-ways-to-organize-and-get-rid-of-paper-clutter-for-ever/

20 storage

Have a few storage cabinets or cupboards for your back stock supplies.

We purchased and hung some basic white cabinets in my office specifically for that.

21 fire proof safe.

Keep your valuables safely stowed away in a fire proof safe.

This can be stored in your desk or a cabinet, just make sure it’s easily accessible.

22 personal decor

As I’m sure you know, I’m a huge fan of making things pretty.

I also like having personalized items in my space to make it feel more like me.

I’d encourage you to add photos, art, signs, pillows, blankets, even rugs to your home office and make it feel more like your space.

23 plants

Real plants have been known to add quality to the air, and I’ve found that even faux plants add a cheerful element. Try adding a small one to your desk.

24 White board or cork board

Hang a white board or board on the wall for writing notes or reminders to yourself.

I actually use my white board to schedule out my week using sticky notes- which just goes to show that you can use it in what ever way you need to keep yourself on track.

25 Planner

Having and using a planner will make you a lot more efficient because it will help you keep track of what needs to be done.

Grab one that organizes time the way you generally think about it – in days, weeks, or months.

26 Back stock of supplies

Always keep a full stock of your needed office supplies in one of your storage cabinets.

This could include paper, paper clips, pens, scissors, staples, etc.

New office step up check list.

Now, lets review these home office must haves in list form (since it’s my favorite way to see information)

  • 1. Computer
  • 2. monitor
  • 3. software
  • 4. printer/scanner
  • 5. Tech support
  • 6. wireless mouse
  • 7. wireless key board
  • 8. high speed internet
  • 9. wireless router
  • 10. back up drive or cloud storage
  • 11. telephone
  • 12. paper shredder
  • 13. USB
  • 14. head phones with mic
  • 15. surge protector
  • 16. desk
  • 17 chair
  • 18. lighting
  • 19. file cabinet
  • 20. Storage
  • 21. safe
  • 22. personalized decor
  • 23. plants
  • 24. white board or cork board
  • 25. planner
  • 26. Back stock of supplies

I hope these simple ideas for setting up your office in an efficient and productive way were helpful!