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.

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.

Messy house? Do these two things every day

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

Welcome to my world.

The bewilderment alot of people feel because their house isn’t any cleaner even though they’re home all the time is what drove me to start this blog.

When I started, this blog was annonymous. I was embarrassed and confused because my house was always a mess no matter what I did. Now its 2020, and sharing what I’ve learned about how to bring a home out of disaster status and keep it under control is my full time gig.

I have bad news and good news.

The bad news is that there isn’t a magical solution. Being in your house doesn’t make it clean. Cleaning is what makes it clean.

The good news is that there is a real-world solution. I’ve figured it out and boiled it down and shared it over and over again,

Today I’m sharing the two small tasks that make the biggest difference. If you do these two things every day (or even almost every day) your house will improve.

I promise.

Do your dishes

I run my dishwasher at night and empty it in the morning (with morning being a fluid term these days) And may days, lately, I run my dishwasher twice.

Do your dishes (whether you have a dishwasher or not) everyday, at some point during the day, and after a week you’ll figure out the time of day that works best in your home.

Just don’t give up after the first day, if you haven’t been doing your dishes daily, that first day will involve catching up. The time you spend doing dishes on day one is no indication of how long it will take you to do your dishes on the following days.

https://uncommomspaces.com/why-i-have-to-run-my-dishwasher-every-single-night/

Do a 5 minute pick up.

I really do mean five minutes. And I do really mean a pick up.

I’m not talking about a speed clean. Don’t stick everything in an empty basket to put away later.

Set a timer for five minutes and start picking things up and putting them away.

It really is that simple.

But I completely understand if your brain wont accept that it’s actually that simple. I’ve written about every objection, every but-what-about-and every she-has-no-idea-what-my-house-is-like thought you could thing of.

Here, though, in this one blog post, I’ll share the basics.

  • Set the timer for 5 minutes and stop after 5 minutes. If you keep going fine. But don’t say your going to do 5 minutes and then feel guilty for stopping after 5 minutes.
  • 5 minutes will make an impact. 5 minutes everyday (or almost everyday) will make a big impact after multiple days.
  • Do a 5 minute pick up when ever you think about doing it.
  • Start in the most visible areas of your home.
  • Remind yourself that it’s worth teaching your family members this skill even though teaching it isn’t fun at all. Once they get it, the impact multiplies. Example: 5 minutes times 4 people equals 20 minutes of impact on your home.
  • Out law pooping during pick up time. According to your unique understanding of your unique family members, make them go before or after. I recommend after because the people who claim to need to poop can draw it out with the hope that you will forget or go ahead with out them.

Is it really this simple to have a beautifully clean home?

Ummmm….NO WAY!!

There’s so much more to do to have a beautifully clean home.

But if you want a beautifully clean home, this is where you start. No home will ever be beautifully clean, with out doing the dishes.

Every home that’s beautifully clean has people living in it who puts things away.

And even though there’s no magical solution, there’s magic that happens when you do these two things.

Your house will look so much better. Just from these two tasks. I mean it. I wouldn’t have believed it either, but I experienced it. I’d lived all these years thinking the answer to my messy house was a week with nothing else to do so I could clean it perfectly and then start maintaining.

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

That never worked.

Only when I started doing small things everyday did I start to see real change in my home. I was surprised, too, so don’t feel bad if your skeptical.

9 Things to stop buying if you want to be a minimalist.

What ever being a minimalist means to you, we all crave a life filled with less clutter.

We often surround ourselves with mounds and mounds of material possessions that slowly consume our homes and then our minds.

If you are on a journey to find a more minimal life style then you probably have done everything you think you should to get yourself there.

You probably de cluttered your homes, you bought matching containers, and you made multiple trips to good will.

If you’ve gotten this far, kudos to you!

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

Some times this step alone can be daunting, but if you made it there, or want to get there we all need to stop doing this one thing.

Buying more stuff!

I am a big fan of retail therapy, but what happens is you are setting your newly de cluttered life up for failure…which will make you need to reach back out to therapy..retail therapy…

What a vicious circle.

We purge, we feel better. We buy, we feel better.

So this is a rather difficult thing to balance, but it can be done more easily than you think.

Your desire to want to be more minimal has to outweigh the need to buy more items.

The benefits that come from living a simpler, decluttered and minimalist life are too good to ignore.

https://uncommomspaces.com/de-clutter-your-home-fast/ in this post you will leave 5 simple ideas for decluttering your home quickly.

If you want a clear mind, a clean home, and a more balanced life, then you need to stop buying the following things.

Clothes

You have got to learn how to respect the clothes that you have. I know that may sound odd, buy we end up wearing the clothes we respect again and again for a reason.

They make our bodies look more attractive, they are made out of better quality material, they make us feel good about ourselves.

This type of relationship does not develop with cheap T-shirts that stretch out in one wash, or a pair of pants that you constantly have to adjust.

There is a reason why you stick with certain pieces in your closet. Remove all the clothes you do not respect even if that brings you down to a closet fill with less then 20 pieces.

Need some tips on how to de clutter your kids bedrroms? They are all right here in this post https://uncommomspaces.com/10-tips-for-controlling-clutter-in-kids-bedrooms/

Only buy new clothes that you will love for years to come, that will last, and that will respect you back.

So put down that $5 tank top and stop buying clothes just to buy them, and start making thoughtful buying decisions in your minimalist life style.

Over all the best part of having a minimalist wardrobe is it will save you time, money, and those morning headaches of figuring out what to wear.

Gifts

Ok, not all gifts, but physical gifts. We often feel the need to buy tons of material possessions for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, etc.

Instead of buying clutter that you are now going to pass on to someone else, think about giving people experiences as gifts. Its a minimalist concept that yields huge results.

The obvious gift card is a good one, but you could give people vouchers for massages, rock climbing, golfing, kayaking, movie tickets, or concert tickets, etc.

Pass on memories and an experience that will enrich your loved ones life. Versus buying a new shirt they may or may not wear.

Duplicates of self care items.

If you want to practice minimalism you need to get in the habit of using one self care product completely before you buy duplicates.

For example, use up the entire bottle of lotion before buying a new one.

We tend to stockpile supplies, and this, of course, comes in handy, but there is a difference from having one extra tooth paste on hand versus 10.

We also hold on to a lot of items in our bathroom for that one day. One day I might crimp my hair, one day I might use this fancy hair clip. Many times that day never comes, so only keep around what you actually use.

Home decor.

No, its not like you shouldn’t buy new things for your home. What needs to change about buying home decor is that your buying something with purpose and thoughtfulness

If you know you want a new comforter set, the go buy a comforter set.

Just don’t walk by a new comforter set at Ross and on a whim decide to buy it if it was never an intentional purchase.

As you buy new things for your home, replace it with something old that you can let go of.

Items on sale.

We get suckered into good sales and unfortunately bad sales.

Good sales are the one that actually saved you money and you got what you needed.

Bad sales are when you end up spending more money than intended for an item you never were going to buy, just because it was on sale.

Sales have a way of convincing you that you are ignorant to pass up this opportunity, but be wary of the trap.

If you truly want to practice a life of minimalism, you are going to have to look past sales on items that will just become more clutter in your home.

Extra food.

I don’t even need to find a study on how much food we waste, because it’s common knowledge.

We end up wasting alot of food in our lives.

We over buy, we don’t end up eating what we bought, and then in the trash, it goes.

I know this isn’t always on purpose, maybe we were hungry when we went shopping that day. What ever the reason, if you are finding you end up throwing away alot of food every week, you may simply be buying too much.

Really examine your next week of groceries.

Do you ever finish all the herbs you purchased before they go bad? Maybe you could grow some instead?

Maybe you never can finish all the veggies you bought. Make sure you incorporate these specific veggies into your meals for the entire week, not just one meal.

Try not to create such different meals for everyday of the week. Instead of tacos and then lasagna. How about tacos, and then mexican salad? How else are you going to use up the bundle of cilantro.

Single use kitchen gadgets.

There are some cool kitchen gadgets out there, but many of them are extremely bulky.

Try to find multi function kitchen appliances that can save you tons of space in your kitchen.

Instead of a small bullet blender, a real blender, a chopper, and a salsa maker, one good blender can perform all of these functions.

A waffle maker can also make toasted panini sandwhiches! No need for a panini maker.

A toaster oven can make your toast. No need for a toaster.

Think about reducing the number of kitchen gadgets and think twice before you buy something that maybe something you already own can handle.

Containers, purses, and bags.

Unless it’s for a purpose, we often go crazy with buying things, to put things in. We buy containers on a whim, and often they do not fit the space we wanted to use it for.

With out a plan, buying containers and hoping they will work under our sinks and in our pantry end up just being extra clutter we use some where else.

We also collect purses, bags, grocery bags, canvas totes, extra coolers, travel bags, make up bags, etc.

Sometimes it just hard to purge these items, you might be on a budget, or just do not have the funds. https://uncommomspaces.com/7-tips-to-de-clutter-on-a-low-income-and-why-its-different

Try to limit yourself to only the essential bags you will actually use.

If you find a life changing beach bag or a new make up bag, remove the old one to make room for the new, instead of stock piling.

Items you could make.

Of course, this category is not for every one. But there are many things we do spend money on and bring into the home that we could easily have made with the ingredients and supplies we already have.

Cleaning supplies: You can make any house hold cleaner with vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils now a days.

Cards: If you have crafting supplies, many people could make a birthday or holiday card with the supplies they already have in their home.

Throw pillows: Instead of buying a new one, take a shirt or and old sheet you no longer need and cut, wrap, and sew a new cover bringing an old throw pillow new life.

Clothes: There are hundreds of tutorials on how to turn your existing clothes into T-shirt bags, tank tops, shorts, from jeans etc. Reinvent the clothes you have instead of buying more.

Paint your furniture: If you really are craving white for that clean minimalist feel. Then paint what you already have white. Don’t rush out to buy new furniture or worse. Just add in more to what you already have.

Becoming more of a minimalist takes practice, patients, and self-awareness. We no longer just try to ce clutter out homes, we are trying to declutter our lives and in the process becoming more full filled with what we already have.

Contentment is not easy, especially in a day and age of intense consumerism. Yet it can be done.

Remember that you are in control of what you buy, you are in control of what you spend your money on, and you are in control of what comes into your home. Its also coming into your mind.

So be thoughtful about your purchases and know that the benefits from this type of life style will out weigh that novelty coffee cup you thought you just HAD to have!

The financial cost of “someday stock piling.

These last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about a garage sale. I have already been de cluttering on a regular basis for the last year and a half. So I was afraid I would find little to sell. At the same time, I wanted this to be our best yard sale to date since I want to do all that I can to help our family prepare for the trip to California we plan to take.

In the end, we hauled four truck loads worth of stuff to the local Good Will.

As I was hauling items to sell out of various locations through out the house I noticed a trend.

Alot of items were what I like to call “someday” stock pile items.

Some day I will have the time to scrap book again so I should save these supplies. (never mind that I switched to making photo books, years ago).

Some day we might go back to tent camping and these lanterns will be needed again.

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

Perhaps it was because I recently listened to the Life
Changing Magic of Tidying Up, or that I am currently following fellow blogger A Slob Comes Clean. But suddenly my eyes were opened that holding onto someday items even if I did have space for them in my house – was costing me money.

Each year you hold on to some day items they are losing value.

New and improved models for just about everything come out every year and rarely do older items go up in value, at least not the type of items I was holding on to.

Each year you hold onto some day items there is a risk that they will become damaged and there fore lose more value.

I had stuck several some day items in the basement and when I brought them upstairs into better light, I realized some items had mildew growing on them that would not wipe off and I had to toss them. Had I simply sold them right away after realizing I wasn’t going to get the project they were intended for anytime soon, I would have been able to recoup some of my initial investment.

https://uncommomspaces.com/how-to-get-motivated-to-clean-when-your-overwhelmed-by-the-mess/ I found by doing some research some really interesting facts.

Each year you hold onto someday items you have less room and this can lead to storage expenses.

This has not happened to our family yet. I hope it never does, but I know better than to say never, that word always has me eating humble pie. It is so easy to think out homes have become much too small and either spend money getting a bigger home or money on a storage unit for our stuff.

Its much cheaper to buy back things should your someday ever arrive than to pay either storage fees, more rent, or higher mortgage costs. Plus with a larger living area come larger heating and cooling bills and often higher property tax.

Need tips on how to de clutter when your on a low income? https://uncommomspaces.com/7-tips-to-de-clutter-on-a-low-income-and-why-its-different/ This post has some great suggestions.

Each year you add to your someday pile your home becomes more cluttered, which comes with a hidden price.

I have been decluttering for the past year and a half now. And I no longer want to escape my home. Instead, I want to stay home and enjoy the haven it is becoming.

Going out is rarely free. Either we spend money on food, entertainment, or more someday stuff.

How to cure the someday stockpile problem.

Thankfully the solution to the financial cost of someday stockpiling is pretty simple.

When you are about to buy something new

If you are about to buy something new (or new to you) no matter how low in cost the item ask your self “can I fit the project this item creates into my calendar with in the next 6 months?” Be brutally honest and if the answer is no, don’t buy it.

Also ask your self “how many projects have I already added to my calendar?” And will adding this item to my list be too much.

These questions can apply to supplies for a new or existing hobby, buying supplies for a home renovation project and more.

When you are decluttering.

If you are de cluttering ask your self the same questions, realistically, will I be able to use up these items in the next 6 months? If the answer is no, sell the items and get back more now for them than when you finally give up on the idea 3 years from now.

The key is to be brutally honest about your life and what fits into it and what doesn’t. You also have to be confident in who you are and what you enjoy. Perhaps you thought you could become one of those cool moms that sew up cute outfits for their babies, but truth be told sewing just doesn’t interest you.

Asking these questions day in and day out both as you purchase items and as you de clutter your home will save you a significant amount of money over time as well as put money back into your wallet through re sale.

Stop stockpiling for someday and start living today clutter free. Your home and wallet will thank you!

Maintaining the progress you’ve made in your home.

Do you ever work really hard to clean your house and it feels absolutely amazing about how great it looks, then wake to a complete disaster zone the next morning and immediately become discouraged?

You are far from alone! I think we’ve all been there – the laundry, dishes, and clutter piles sometimes feel like they form out of no where! And while my house wont clean it’s self, I have learned a few tricks about keeping it manageable and nice looking most of the time, and I want to share those tips with you.

10 ways to keep your house clean, after you clean.

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

1 Give your home 15 minutes a day.

You may not be able to clean the entire house everyday, but you can still spend 15 minutes doing something. Whether you unload or reload the dishwasher, tidy the living room, or fold one load of laundry, you’re making forward progress.

Many days, you’ll be able to do more than one of those but even on days you can’t dedicate alot of time cleaning, accomplishing just a little bit will help keep your house in decent condition until you can get to the rest.

2 Having a cleaning day (or 3) every week.

Regularly give your home a little extra time to take care of anything the 15 minutes couldn’t do. The more cleaning sessions you have planned each week, the better, because a few days worth of stuff is easier to clean up than a full weeks. And, if you have multiple cleaning sessions scheduled each week and need to skip one, you know you’ll have another coming up soon.

3 Skip playing catch up.

Is vacuuming supposed to happen on Mondays but now it’s Tuesday? Don’t vacuum – simply move on to the next chore and wait until vacuuming day rolls back around. The same goes for scrubbing bathrooms, mowing grass, cleaning out the fridge etc. Just move on and catch up those chores the next time around. This will allow you to take needed breaks and enjoy your loved ones instead of becoming a slave to your schedule.

4 Focus on blessing – not impressing – visitors.

When we try to impress people, our entire mindset changes. Instead of putting things away and considering it good enough, we start shoving clutter into corners and closets so we can dust or mop or shine things up to a higher standard than what we’d normally do.

Focus instead on blessing your visitors with a welcoming attitude. This way, your cleaning in a way that’s beneficial to your family, not just potentially impressive to company.

5 simplify your routine.

Do you really need to dust on top of the fridge or sweep your side walk on a regular basis? Somethings can wait for longer inbetween.

6 Forget about perfection.

The Pareto principal states that it takes 20% of time to complete 80% of the job, and the other 80% of the time to finish 20% of the work. Most of the time, it’s perfectly wonderful and freeing to quickly complete your 80% of the house keeping and not worry about the final, more time consuming 20%.

7 Think positively.

If you think you can accomplish something then you can likely accomplish it. On the other hand, if you can tell yourself that homemaking isn’t important or you don’t have time, you’ll end up living in a constant mess. Believe that you can succeed, and make sure your actions validate that belief.

8 Hit your clutter spot.

Think about the one room you really love to clean – for me it’s the kitchen. If the rest of the house is a mess but my kitchen is clean, I feel like my house is under control. On the other hand, if the rest of the house is tidy but the kitchen is a mess, I feel overwhelmed and stressed out.

Maybe your hot spot is the laundry, or the living room, or the toy room. What ever that one place is (and don’t say it’s your entire house) clean that first. Every time. I promise it will make the biggest positive difference in your home, which will likely help your stress levels and mental health.

9 Speak kindly to those around you.

A clean home isn’t worth a damaged relationship. If you have a Martha Stewart type home but your family members are harshly criticized everytime they leave something out, they’ll remember the criticism, not the clean home. On the other hand, if a mess house full of love, hospitality, and encouragement, the love will be cherished and the mess will likely become a faded memory.

But there’s no need to choose – you can work on both your attitude and your house to provide a clean home as well as a loving environment.

Want to learn to love your home even more? Read this related post! https://uncommomspaces.com/7-simple-tricks-that-will-make-you-love-your-home/

10 De Clutter annually

I know the idea of de cluttering annually sounds crazy at first, but just hear me out on this. We live in our homes, and especially if there are children in the house, there’s a steady stream of Christmas presents, birthday presents, Easter baskets, school projects and every day clutter that comes with it.

So once a year, take a few days (or weeks) and really focus on thoroughly de cluttering your entire house from top to bottom. Out of all the things on this list, de cluttering annually has by far had the biggest, most positive impact for my family.

Do you ever wonder why you can’t make your organizing systems work? Read why and what to do in this post. https://uncommomspaces.com/why-do-organizing-systems-work-great-for-some-people-and-fail-miserably-for-others/

Bonus tip: Spend tons of time outside.

Completing chores first thing in the morning, then spending the rest of the day outside is a little trick I learned when I was a teenager and earning babysitting money. The kids had a blast, the adults were happy because their house was clean, and I was happy because someone was actually paying me money to play outside all day.

Doing this with my own kids keep everyone smiling, the house in great shape, and bed time a breeze because they’re so tired they fall alseep in two 2nds. WIN!!

How to get motivated to clean when your overwhelmed by the mess.

Have you ever been so over whelmed by clutter and mess, that you just didn’t know where to start? Well just following this one strategy will help you create a home you love.

This site contains affiliate links. I can make money if you click on one of my links and make a purchase.

Some people enjoy cleaning, but the vast majority of us hate to clean. Its a never ending chore. Its hard to get motivated to clean when you are over whelmed by the mess.

Many people struggle with keeping their homes tidy. Don’t let pintrest perfect homes fool you. Everyone‘s house gets messy from time to time.

How to get motivated to clean when your over whelmed by the mess.

We have a large family so laundry and dirty dishes is a constant in my home. The daily chores weren’t really the problem. The problem was the mounds of clutter in all the rooms.

Clutter had taken over my home. I was so over whelmed by the mess! My home was such a source of stress and cringed when people stopped by unexpected.

Honestly, I didn’t know where to begin, but I knew I was wasting so much time constantly cleaning my home. For it to never truely look tidy.

Then I realized that what I spent most of my time doing was constantly moving the clutter around.

Over whelmed by clutter

For years, I cleaned my home daily for it to never look truely tidy. My daily chores went a little like this: I picked up, swept the floors, picked up, did the dishes, picked up, did laundry, picked up, wiped the counters,…and no matter what I did my house always looked like a tornado had swept through it.

Then one day it hit me, I wasn’t a homemaking failure, we just had way too much clutter. Picked up and moved stuff from room to room daily. Honestly, I spent hours every single day just moving the clutter around in my home. That wasn’t cleaning it, that was just delaying what needed to be done.

How do I start clearing the clutter?

Realizing that clutter was the main culprit to why my house wasn’t tidy was such a huge turn around for me. I was over whelmed with my messy house! I knew that if I wanted a clean home, I had to get rid of all the stuff that was cluttering it up.

Are you guilty of keeping “someday” things? I am! We had a whole room of things that we thought we might need someday: old clothes, way too many blankets, parts to appliances, books, unwanted toys, cds, dvds, (even though we didn’t own players any more) And that’s just some of the someday stuff!

Motivation to clear the clutter

Then I let go of the shame, took a big breath, and decided then and there it was time. If I wanted my home not to be a source of stress, then I had to get rid of the clutter! I had to change my clutter keeper mind set.

That day was a true epiphany for me. We had held on to so many things and it was time to let them go. Yes, it cost us money, but having a tranquil home was worth so much more to me. Having a home to relax in and not feel like I needed to constantly be cleaning was such a inspiration to stay motivated to clear the clutter.

The one strategy that made the whole difference for me was changing my mind set. Being able to let things go. I didn’t realize that filling up a trash bag with all that stuff would feel so good.

That was all the motivation I needed, but I understand that sometimes you need a little more guidance. I do know many people have read Marie kondos book “The life changing magic of tidying up.” And it really inspired them to declutter their whole house. I didn’t read it before I started my extreme decluttering journey, but I have read it since then and I agree that it’s one of the top motivational books to get your house in order.

Extreme de cluttering.

My home didn’t become clutter free overnight, but, it did happen very soon. The trick was to include everyone, including the children. They were given a box and a trash bag. The box was for stuff that was good enough to donate and the bag of course was for trash. They had to fill each up. While they worked on their rooms, I tackled one room at a time. At first, it took some time, but I got good at decluttering fast.

The fastest way to clean up clutter.

  • 1. Do a house walk and access the clutter. Visualize a clutter free home and the tranquility that it will bring you.
  • 2. Get into the decluttering mind set.
  • 3. Put on some good jams.
  • 4. Have everyone in your home pitch in. Give them a box and a bag. The box is for donate, the bag is for trash.
  • 5. Minimize your belongings. You don’t need 20 plastic lids or 20 old t-shirts.
  • 6. Get RID of it. Whether you are donating it or just throwing it away, get it out of your house. You really wont need it “some day” Trust me!

Clutter free life hacks

Basket organization system. Implement baskets in every room to catch the clutter before it starts. Have a small basket on your kitchen counter and larger baskets in the family and living rooms.

Use cleaver storage hacks. To keep things tidy, everything needs to have a place. Use clever clutter free storage ideas to keep everything put away. Utilize those unused storage spaces like behind the door and under the bed.

Have a cleaning routine. Once I got rid of all the clutter in my home, I set up a cleaning schedule. By actually have a schedule to follow, I actually have more time because I’m no longer cleaning my home all day long and getting nothing done. The biggest bonus is that my home is always guest ready.

Remember not to be so hard on your self, it took years to accumulate all that stuff. So it can take time to get rid of it. It is especially hard to let go of sentimental items, but sometimes we must realize that the memory will stay with us forever in our heart.

Don’t do it all on your own. Get your family and maybe even your friends involved. De cluttering your home will lift a huge weight off of your shoulders. I promise!

30 little things that make a house look messy.

keeping a home comfortable and organized is really, really difficult. Not only do you have to figure out how you want to decorate but you also have to learn how to do so in a way that is comfortable and functional. The way you organize your things makes a big difference – this includes lighting, furniture arrangements, mirrors, carpets, and more.

Of course, part of keeping a home comfortable involves keeping it organized. That can be just as overwhelming! Its amazing how fast you can accumulate clutter. If your a Marie Kondo fan, you probably know that one of the best ways to keep things clean is, well – to have fewer things! But that’s not always possible for everyone. So how do you make the best of the situation that you have?

There are actually a lot of things you can do! Some are design tips. Some are organizational methods, and some are just good old fashioned cleaning techniques. With a little bit of creativity and some elbow grease, you’ll have your home tidy and comfortable in no time. These tips will help you do more than just make your home clean. They’ll help you keep it that way.

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

1 Piling things on surfaces.- There’s a big difference between staying organized and just keeping things off the floor. When your piling stuff onto every surface, your home will start to feel crowded – fast. So, what ever your do, don’t throw junk on top of every clean counter top and table.

2 Not having enough on counters.- Believe it or not, it’s actually possible to go the other extreme too. Having too little on your counters also feels awkward and odd. The happy medium is to find the proper place for appliances on your counter tops, such as toasters and coffee makers.

3 Having clutter on the front of your fridge.- One of the main focal points of your kitchen is your fridge, so it’s noticeable when covered with clutter! Its easy to let junk accumulate on the front of your fridge. Make sure you regularly clear away old Christmas cards, invitations, and notes.

4 Neglecting your shelving.- The way you organize your shelving can make a huge difference in how your kitchen looks and feels. If your shelves are organized and you use them to keep your appliances neat and tidy, you’ll notice a big difference in the functionality and comfort of the space.

5 Over stuffing your cabinets.- Even worse than disorganized cabinets are cluttered cabinets. Not only do they look bad but it also becomes impossible to find the things you need. Take time to organize things in their proper place.

6 Letting your entry way become cluttered.- The first thing that people see when they walk through the door is, well, the floor. It’s easy to let your entry way get cluttered with shoes, jackets, and bags. Make it a priority to keep the entry way organized. Provide a place to put things as you come inside.

7 Letting your closets get messy.- Shove everything into the closet and your done with cleaning right? Not exactly. Having a messy closet actually makes everything worse. Whats more, it makes it difficult to find things when your need them. Try Get 5% Off Your Order at EasyClosets with Code: CLOSETS165 for help.

8 Not labeling your storage.-It’s a pain to try to find things lost in storage. To keep things organized and easy to locate, get out a marker and neatly label everything. That way you can find items again. Even if its years down the line. Check Dollar Tree for sticker labels also.

9 Over decorating.- One easy way to make things in your house look cluttered is crowding ways. Its easy to over-decorate with family photos, knick knacks, and collectables, but keep it simple. Minimalism can be much more pleasing to the eye. I tend to go overboard with throw pillows and blankets. Hofdeco has some beautiful pillows to choose from!

10 Having too many toys.- Every parent knows that it’s easy for toys to get out of hand. Birthdays, Christmas, and grandparents all mean an overflowing toys box. But your home will be much more comfortable with fewer play things. By the way, studies show children play better and focus more when they have fewer toys. You may want to refer to my post https://uncommomspaces.com/10-tips-for-controlling-clutter-in-kids-bedrooms/

11 Having a tangle of cords on the floor.- Having cords around the house in a simple part of life in 2019. With phones, laptops, tvs, and other technology, its hard to avoid having them in a pile on the floor. But this isn’t just a tripping hazard, it looks terrible.

12 Letting collections get out of hand.- Its all well and good to have a collection of postcards, vases, or figurines, but too many can quickly lead to clutter. Try to curb your collections by only putting a few of your favorite on display. My weakness has always been candles. Like these from Premium soy candles with hidden jewels valued $20-$7500 at JewelScent

13 Having too many books on display.- Every person who’s an avid reader probably has too many books on their shelves. Unfortunately, it can make your living space feel extremely cluttered. Try not to over stuff your book shelves.

14 Letting laundry sit around.- They say that laundry is the one chore that never ends, and they’re right. It can be really hard to keep up with, but try to stay on top of your laundry. Having piles of clean or dirty clothes can take up alot of space. click here to go to Easy closets.com. They have tons of storage solutions.

15 Using too much furniture.- Finding furniture that you love is great. But placing too many pieces in a room quickly turns it from comfortable to claustrophobic. Make sure to leave open spaces that you can enjoy.

16 Hoarding too much stuff.- Everyone know some one who verges on the brink of being a hoarder. Marie Kondo had one thing right: If you don’t use or like something, get rid of it. Someone else will enjoy it, and you’ll be able to breathe again.

17 Putting things in the wrong place.- Having too much stuff can make a room feel crowed, but so can putting things in the wrong place. Play with open spaces around the room and make sure you have enough of them to feel comfortable.

18 Holding on to things you’ll never use.- This goes hand in hand with hoarding. That tennis racket you think you might pick up one day? Let it go! It’s better to buy another one then to have an unused racket gathering dust and taking up space in your storage room.

19 Over crowding coat racks.- Coat racks are usually right at the entryway of homes. That means they’re one of the first things that people see when entering. When they get overfilled, it’s a quick way to make a room look cluttered. Keep your coat racks as clear as possible.

20 Not having a place for shoes.- Kids and adults alike are guilty of walking into a house and kicking their shoes off at the door. This makes a mess that can cause tripping hazard’s. It also makes getting out the door difficult. Putting in a shoe rack is a great way to avoid these problems.

21 Having too much open shelving.- Open shelving is a popular style these days but it actually can look more cluttered. Even worse, it means appliances gather dust faster and more conspicuously.

22 Having a too large table.- Trying to cram an overly large table onto a corner means losing lots of valuable space. Not only that, but tables are magnets for clutter. So, keeping your table small will only help you.

23 Choosing carpet over hard flooring. While our parents and grandparents loved their carpeting, it’s actually not a great choice for homes. For one thing, it makes rooms feel more confined. It also makes rooms more difficult to clean. Having hard floors gives you the opportunity to break up space with eye catching rugs.

24 Matching your decor too closely.- You might think that matching decor is a good idea but there’s a line. Not having enough variety in your decoration means not having a focal point in a room, which can make it feel cramped and uncomfortable.

25 Keeping your room too dark.- Sometimes, all you need to make a room feel better is a little bit of light. If your home is too dark, consider installing more light fixtures. Or using brighter light bulbs. It can make a huge difference in how a room looks and feels.

26 Pushing furniture against the wall.- Do you think pushing the furniture against the wall will open up a room? Well, it will technically. But that doesn’t mean it will feel more comfortable. Spacing your furniture in a way that alternates open and closed spaces will help a room look less cluttered.

27 Nat having a focal point.- A room needs a good focal point to center it and make it feel great. That might be a table, a television, a window, or a great picture on the wall. Centering attention to one place will create a feeling or organization.

28 Not having a color scheme.- There’s a bit of technique that goes into making a room comfortable and attractive. You’ll need to decide on a color scheme before diving in for some variation, this should be several colors, not just one.

29 Not dividing spaces.- Arranging furniture is a game of dividing spaces. Don’t just push everything up against the wall. Instead, play with negative space to see what feels the best to you.

30 Not mixing colors.

So now that you know these 30 tips, you may want to read this https://uncommomspaces.com/why-decorating-makes-you-feel-good/