how to's

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 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.

how to's

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.

Clean home how to's organizing

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 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.


  • 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.

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.