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how to's organizing

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!

Categories
Clean home how to's organizing

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.

Categories
Clean home how to's organizing

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!

Categories
Clean home how to's organizing

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!

Categories
how to's

How to keep your house smelling good…ALWAYS.

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

How to make your house smell really good.

The first step in any fresh smelling home is to get rid of the bad smells. We don’t want to mask existing odors. Sometimes a little “house deodorizing” is in order.

Here are a few ways to rid your house of any bad odors first. (Feel free to skip to #5 if you already know these tricks).

How do you deodorize a house?

1 Empty garbage cans regularly.

When it comes to removing house hold smells, you have to find the source. Some of your bad odors might be coming from your trash. And it can quickly go from fine to nasty Because you need to change your kitchen and bathroom can liners every couple of days, or more often if you detect an odor.

2 Clean out your refridgerator.

Your fridge is another bad scent culprit. Go through it once a week and toss items that are past their prime. A little hack is to put an open box of baking soda in your fridge to absorb the odors.

3 Sprinkle some baking soda before vacuuming.

To deodorize your carpet, mix baking soda and some essential oil drops in a bowl, then sprinkle on your carpet or rug. Let it sit as long as over night to really absorb odors.

4 Open the windows.

Weather permitting. A great way to freshen the air in your home is to open the windows. Even just for an hour or two! You can get rid of cooking smells, or any other stale lingering odor this way.

How can I make my house smell good all the time?

5 Use your crock pot.

Did you know that you can use your slow cooker to eliminate odors in your home?

Here’s how:

  • 1. Put some water in your slow cooker. (a small one works great for this) But any size will do the trick
  • 2. Add in 3 or more tbsp of baking soda.
  • 3. Keep the lid off, and just let this concoction work its magic.

6 Get an air purifier.

To keep your home smelling fresh all the time, run an air purifier regularly. In addition to eliminating house hold odors, it also reduces dust and pollen.

7. Make your own pet deodorizer.

If you have pets, you know that they just come with their own set of odors. If you’ve ever wondered how to keep your house smelling good with pets, try making this natural pet deodorizer.

  • Mix 2 tbsp baking soda with 2 c distilled water and 8-12 drops of pet safe essential oils in a spray bottle.

You can spray it right on your pet, or in their bed to help neutralize odors.

Also be sure to brush your pet regularly, in addition to vacuuming the carpet and furniture. And of course, if they have an accident, use a pet stain and odor eliminator as quickly as possible.

8. Get rid of those musty towel smells.

One of the lingering odors that could be jeoperdizing your home’s freshness, is the moldy towel smell. Here’s an easy trick to rid your towels of that gross mildewy scent.

Soak your towels overnight in hot water and cup or 2 of vinegar. You can lay them in the bath tub or put them in the washing machine (but dont run the load) Then the next day, wash them like usual, and ta-da! No more musty smell.

https://uncommomspaces.com/keeping-up-with-the-laundry-its-easier-then-you-think/ Find more tips and trick in this post! And learn how you can easily stay on top of the laundry.

9. Freshen up your shoes.

You may not even realize that your shoes are contributing to the odor in your home. Spray the insides of your shoes with “shoe-pourri” to eliminate any bad scnts. Another hack is to spray so dry shampoo inside your shoes to soak up any funkiness.

10. Use drain cleaner.

Your sink drains can be another contributing factor to the way your house smells. Plink is a product I find to be a great way to freshen things up.

11. Use a daily shower cleaner spray.

The benefit of daily shower spray is two- fold. Your shower will stay cleaner longer, and it will prevent a mildewy smell.

What can I use to make my home smell good?

12. Use a linen of room spray.

When wanting to make your room smell good, just spritz the air, or your furniture, or linens with a room spray. Grove collborative has many to chose from. https://www.grove.co/referrer/3825420/ this is my referal link if you’d like to make an order!

13. Put essential oils on your furnace filter.

Sprinkle a few drops of your favorite essential oils right on your furnace filter to keep the scent pumped through out your home.

14. Use good smelling cleaning products.

To help motivate you to clean and keep your house smelling fresh, use cleaning products with scents you love.

15. Burn candles.

Scented candles are one of my favorite ways to make our house smell good. There’s something for everyone. Try Jewelry Candle Co – JEWELSCENT | Hidden jewel valued $15-$7500 in our jewelry scents For some really amazing scented candles. They are my fav!

16. Use wax melts.

If you want to make your house smell good with out candles (because having a lit candle in your home kind of freaks you out), let me introduce you to the wax melt warmer. I use mine daily. It creates scent by melting wax cubes with a light bulb, so there’s no need for a flame.

17. stove top pot pourri.

Simmer some pot pourri right on your stove top by adding pot pourri to some water in a pan. You can also make your own mixture with things like citrus peels, cinnamon sticks, and your favorite herbs.

18. Clip fabreeze vent clips to your home vents.

Typically designed for the car, try using the fabreeze vent clips in your home. Your furnace or air conditioner will push the scent out into your home.

19. Use coffee beans.

Fill a small jar with coffee beans. Then place a tea light in the center. When lit, it will warm the beans and make your home smell delicious.

20. Try an oil diffuser.

I absolutely love my essential oil diffuser. Just add some water and drops of your favorite essential oils, and enjoy the scent all day long.

21. Hack some scent boosters

If you know the beauty of downy unstoppables I’m about to drop some knowledge! You can use them for more than just fresh smelling laundry!

Put some in a little mesh bag and place around your home or in your drawers! Your clothes will smell good, and keep your drawers from getting that stale odor.

If you have a wax melt warmer, you can also use scent booster instead of traditional wax melts.

22. Put essential oil in your toilet paper roll.

Yup, just sprinkle a few drops of essential oil right on the card board part of your toilet paper roll. It makes your bathroom smell good, and the lovely scent will waft out everytime someone grabs some toilet paper.

23. Get some fresh plants.

You could treat yourself to a bouquet from the grocery store, or buy some flowering plants to keep in your home. Growing your own herbs is another idea to make your kitchen smell good.

In conclusion

When it comes to making your house or appartment smell good, these strategies make a really big difference.

I really hope these fresh smelling home tips and tricks gave you some inspiration for new ways to keep your house smelling good.

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Clean home how to's

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!!

Categories
how to's

3 clues that an item of clothing is clutter.

De cluttering clothes? Or… trying to declutter clothes? Over whelmed because you have a hard time identifying which pieces are clutter?

I feel your pain, clothing seems to multiply when I’m not looking, and de cluttering clothes is a constant battle in our home. While a big purge is awesome, there are clues I find on an on going basis that help me stick things straight into the donate box.

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

Clue #1: It’s in the dirty clothes (again), but it’s clean (again).

This is a common frustration for moms. I roll my eyes and think unkind thoughts when it happens in our home. I lecture, remind, and re lecture.

And usually, after a particularly profound lecture, I run across one of my own still clean items of clothing while sorting for laundry day. UGH!

When that happens, I’m reminded that many clean things which end up in the dirty clothes pile actually need to be De cluttered. Usually they are there because I thought about wearing them but changed my mind. I might even have tried them on.

The beauty of de cluttering these clothes is that they can never end up clean, but in the hamper again, once they are gone.

Yay for that!

Clue #2: They are at the bottom of a drawer that wont close.

I put away clean clothes and the drawer wont shut. Instead of throwing my hands in the air at the pointlessness of even trying to do the right thing (right thing = putting clothes away), I take a look at the clothes in the bottom of the drawer.

The ones I’m putting away are ones we’ve recently worn. We like those. If the ones in the bottom of the drawer have been there a while, we haven’t worn them.

Which means we don’t like them as much as the ones we’ve worn. Clothes we wear deserve drawer space more than clothes we haven’t worn.

Clue #3: There’s a dust line on the shoulder.

This is hanging – clothes specific. And a little embarassing.

If a closet is over stuffed and I know we need to purge, I look for clothing with dust on the hangers line.

We haven’t worn those items in the amount of time that it takes for dust to become visible on them. This isn’t a perfect or thorough strategy. Its simply a clue to help me yank out some easy stuff and get on decluttering clothing.

Getting going cures de cluttering paralysis, and even if I stop after I remove the dusty shouldered items, we have less then we did before.

And less is good.

If you get through these clues and still need some help maintaining, check out this post! https://uncommomspaces.com/how-to-quickly-declutter-your-closet-5-easy-steps/

Categories
how to's organizing

How to quickly declutter your closet: 5 easy steps.

If you’ve struggled in the past to de clutter your closet, you’ll want to try these easy doable steps.

It doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. And it wont take you all day.

I’ll walk you through 5 easy steps that will help you de clutter your wardrobe in as little as 15-20 minutes. Really!

Getting your home de cluttered is about consistent progress. It isn’t about perfection. Progress is not perfection.

The same thing applies to your wardrobe.

So don’t worry about completely overhauling your closet and creating the perfect capsule wardrobe right this minute. (unless you have the time, energy, and motivation to do just that).

5 steps. 15 minutes. You can do this!

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

How to de clutter your closet.

Before you get started, grab 3 large bags: One for donations and two for items you will remove from your closet for now. I like to use white trash bags that I can label with a permanent marker.

Don’t get hung up on difficult to get rid of pieces. If there are clothes that you never wear, but that you are not ready to get rid of, put them in a “maybe” bag for now. You can reconsider them down the road and de clutter your closet today.

work quickly.

1 Quickly remove everything you ready to donate.

3-5 minutes

This can include: clothes that don’t fit, that you don’t like, and/or that you never wear anymore. Put these items in your donation bag.

Work quickly! This is your first pass through. Only pull out the things you definitely want to de clutter. We’ll get to the harder stuff in a few minutes.

2 Pull out clothes that don’t fit right now, even if you are not ready to part with them.

3-5 minutes

Try to keep only a small number of clothes that don’t fit, favorites only, especially if these clothes haven’t fit for a while.

Don’t get hung up here. If you are struggling to let something go, just keep it for now.

I know this isn’t advice you normally hear, but I want you to make progress quickly today.

Progress, not perfection, remember? When you look through this bag of clothes that don’t fit i n 3 or 6 months from now, you may be ready to get rid of more at this point.

Put these clothes that don’t fit, but you want to keep for now, in the second bag, label the bag.

Categories
how to's organizing

How to organize your closet with out spending anything!

Shortly before Christmas, I sat looking into my closet. My goal was to get it organized in one day. It wasn’t a big project (my closet isn’t that big) I hadn’t bought anything for this project, as I was just going to tackle it as quickly as I could. I could think about purchasing products afterwards if I so decided.

In the middle of organizing, I realized I was out of good hangers to use. Instead of stopping, and running out to get more hangers, I just kept on going through the clothes. I found more hangers from clothes I was no longer keeping.

I have written other posts about organizing on a low income or while being on a budget. I thought this is the perfect time to talk about how you can organize with out having to buy a thing! You do not always have to purchase supplies, you can just use what you have on hand.

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

Clear out the closet.

Clearing out the entire closet is always the very first step I do. I do this because once you can actually see the pile of clothes you own, you are more likely to truely evaluate what you have. And I found, I have a much easier time to part with things because I see how much I actually have.

Take everything off of the shelves and make sure there is nothing left hanging in the closet. If you have room, I would even recommend taking all the other clutter out of the closet! That includes shoes, purses, belts, accessories.

Starting your organizing with a clean space can help you visualize how you want the space to look, how the space can work for you, and how you can best use the space. Because you are no longer limited to a system you currently were using.

Down the road, in the future, you may want to consider heading over to EasyClosets for easy affordable ways to help maximize your closet space.

Declutter all your clothes.

Now comes the fun part…decluttering your wardrobe! I know, you think I’m crazy for thinking this is fun. But it really can be! Let me explain…

Start by sorting your clothing into categories, such as shirts, pants, dress, jackets, ect.

Once all the clothing is categorized, then you will be holding up each individual piece of clothing. Ask yourself, do I love how I feel when I wear this? If the answer is yes, out it in the keep pile. If the answer is no, put it in the donate pile. If the answer is well… or ummm…. or I guess…. then put it in the maybe pile.

After all the clothes have been put into piles, its time to go back to the maybe pile. Start by turning on some music and trying on each piece of clothing you have in the pile.

Be totally honest with yourself when you look in the mirror. Only keep clothes that you love to wear, because why would you want to keep something that doesn’t make you feel good.

Put away clothing by type.

Get piles of unwanted clothes out of your space. Put them in your garage or your car to donate and/or sell. Only keep the clothes that make you feel great in your space before you try to put those things away. It will give you a clear visual for what actually should go there.

If your closet is on the right side of the room when you are standing in the doorway, you should hang your clothes from left to right. If your closet is on the left hand side, hang your clothes right to left. I know it sounds funny, but think of it like this: you are hanging all your clothes so they face the door. The are some exceptions to that based on the type of closet you have. And set up of your closet, but for most closets, this system seems to be the most effective.

When hanging up your clothes, start by putting away all your pants. Try to use the bottom hanging space for your pants. I recommend going from dark to light. Then move to your dress pants.

Hang your tops by color, but sort by type of top with in each color. So an example would be to grab all your white tops. Then, hang your tank tops first. Then t-shirts, followed by quarter sleeves. Long sleeves are next, followed by jackets and sweaters. Continue this until you have gone through all colors of your clothing.

Dresses should be hung in the space where you have ample space for longer hanging clothes! And keep belts and scarves on hangers, preferably near where the dresses are hanging because there will be room for the length.

Use what you have.

While I love using beautiful organizing containers and bins from Dollar Tree. Sometimes, budgets, or space don’t allow for them. If that’s the case, I’m pretty sure you might have something around your house you could use.

Shoe boxes

I really love using shoe boxes to organize almost anything. All my kids drawers have their shoe boxes holding all their clothes. I will cut the shoe box lid to use as drawer dividers. If I need to make it sturdier, I will cover it with duct tape. And I love all the colored and decorative duct tape that you can find at Dollar Tree. So you can even spice up your space with some colorful tape.

Hangers

While I love using velvet hangers, sometimes the investment isn’t feasible for your entire wardrobe. That’s perfectly fine. Just use what you have. The biggest thing about organizing your closet is to make sure that you can see all your clothes, and that you feel good about every item you own. That’s how you will be able to keep and maintain an organized closet.

Organize your closet with you spending anything!

I have some super random tips. Some you might laugh at. But once you follow them, you will no longer laugh. So give some of these tips a try. And I promise, if you laugh at them, I wont be offended. I mean, I talked about how to set up your closet based on where it was in your room. If you weren’t laughing at that, well, that is pretty silly to think about at first.

  • The curve of the hanger should be facing you.
  • All your clothing should be going the same direction.
  • Make sure your clothes are not inside out before you hang them up.
  • Hang your pants with the butt facing towards the wall.
  • Set up your closet so that all your clothes are facing the doorway, unless you have a walk in closet with a U shape. Then all clothing should be in the same direction all the way around.
  • Make sure you can reach everything you hang up in your closet.
  • Try to keep seasonal clothing in your closet all year long. It gives you a better visual for what you have.
  • Store a bag for dry cleaning in your closet or near your laundry basket. This makes it easier for you to collect your dry cleaning with out it piling up on the floor.

Color coding

*Start with lighter colors then move to darker colors

*When color coding your closet follow this color system

  • white
  • pink
  • red
  • orange
  • yellow
  • green
  • blue
  • purple
  • brown
  • gray
  • black

Now it’s your turn to get your closet organized with out spending anything. Take everything out of your closet and declutter all of your clothes. Put things back in your closet by category and color code your closet.. Use what you have to help organize your space, and don’t forget to follow my random tips for keeping your closet organized.

Categories
how to's organizing

How I conquer clutter when it’s emotionally difficult.

I understand the emotional attachment to stuff.

I love the idea of minimalist living. I strive towards it, in fact. (At a snails pace, yes, but still – I’m striving).

Those who are naturally minimally inclined don’t quite understand the emotional turmoil that some of us feel when we try to take on the task of de cluttering so this post is for all you emotionally attached clutter bugs out there. The ones who want to live in a clutter free space, but struggle because you feel controlled by your stuff.

I get it. I’m high anxiety, seriously over sensitive, and easily over whelmed. Or at least I can be. I work every day to bring my sane self to the surface (that’s what I like to call that little voice of reason that allows me to function – when I choose to listen to her – and I do that more and more these days).

SuperAreaRugs.com Now that I’m able to see my floor… they have the most amazing rugs, and ALL affordable!

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

I’ve learned 4 little tricks to make de – cluttering easier.

De – cluttering is something I have worked on alot in the past couple of years. And man do I love how it feels to live in a home with less stuff. It hasn’t been easy.

If any one can benefit from these tricks I’ve learned to make it easier – well that’d be the icing on the cake. So let me walk you through a typical (for me) decluttering session.

First I tell myself that I will do it no matter how hard it is, because I can do hard things.

Dollar Tree has so many affordable, and pretty things to help with organization. Its one of my go to places if I find I need anything.

#1 Get permission

The first drawer goes ok.

I get the unused ,broken, don’t even know what this is into a box and I feel pretty proud of myself. Then I pick up something that I know needs to go… but it can’t because… (insert ridiculous reason here).

In the past I would have become discouraged, given up and probably drank some wine. But, now I do this…

Getting rid of the thing trick #1 I call someone who I know values a tidy house and understands the burden that excess stuff can be, and I explain that I need permission to get rid of the thing.

I’m no psychologist and I can’t tell you why this works, but having someone else’s permission and support to get rid of the thing helps immensely.

https://uncommomspaces.com/5-bad-habits-that-keep-your-home-a-cluttered-mess/ Here a a few more ideas to help keep your home tidy.

#2 Turn the tables

So, then I continue, encouraged.

Until I pick up something that some one gave me. (this totally derails my decluttering train).

I want to get rid of it (oh the guilt)

But I can deal with it because I’ve learned:

Getting rid of the thing trick #2 I imagine that I was the one who had given this thing to someone else and I know that if the thing I gave them was causing the this much stress, I would feel terrible! I would want them to get rid of the thing.

I never gave it to them to burden them. So chances are good that who ever gave me this thing wouldn’t want me burdened with it either. They would want me to get rid of it. Plus it helps to remember that I am emotionally attached to stuff, and other people are not. There is also a good chance that the gifter doesn’t even remember giving me this thing, and just sees it as a thing.

#3 Ask for help

Then, I get to the thing I can not get rid of.

There’s no way. I sort of want to, but my resolve is going and I need this thing for absolutely no reason. I can’t.

Getting rid of the thing trick #3 I get someone else to get rid of it for me. I have to say, I don’t do this very often, and I do it less as I get better at allowing my sane self to be heard.

#4 Get rid of the thing now.

I’m done for the day, so I set the box of stuff on the spare bed. I’ll donate it next time I go to town. I feel ok right now about the things I’m getting rid of and even if some of it was difficult to imagine parting with, at least I get it in the box so I can start coming to terms with the fact that its gone.

Oops…

I’ve noticed that 89% of the time I never even thing of the thing again after its out of the house.

I’ve also noticed, that if the box stays on the spare bed, the stuff will get out of the box.

https://uncommomspaces.com/8-things-you-can-do-right-now-to-reduce-dust-in-your-home/ After you finish your decluttering, you can do these 8 things!

Hofdeco Has beautiful pillows and other decor to help your home look pretty after you have finished your decluttering projects.

Getting rid of the thing trick #4 Get rid of the thing! Now, while you feel determined, while you have permission, while you understand why it needs to go.

Drive that box right to the thrift store, to the donation bin, to the dump if its stuff no one else will use. Do not let all your hard work go to waste.

You can do this! You can conquer the clutter your stuff does not have to control you.

Also, consider addressing the disorganization in your home – for good. Some times just deluttering isn’t enough.

Addressing the disorganization in my home took me a long way towards keeping the clutter at bay.

But I din’t know where to start, with getting organized and I actually needed someone to teach me how to do it.