We’re all looking for ways to save a buck, so I put together 5 ways to save money while still having a good time!
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I am a HUGE fan of decorating homes using feng shui. I use it in my own home and I always recommend it when helping others decorate their homes as well.
Feng shui helps energy flow freely throughout your home and when you incorporate elements of feng shui, your home will feel calm, relaxed and happy. Who doesn’t want that?
Let’s go room-by-room, shall we?
We’ll start in the Bedroom:
The bed should be placed against the farthest wall from the door. If that’s not feasible, placing it on a side wall is ok. There should be a clear view of the door. If the foot of the bed is directly in front of the door, place a chest or small sofa there to block the energy from escaping the room. Leave space on each side of the bed.
Symmetry works wonders for energy in a room, so having nightstands and lighting on each side of the bed creates a cozy, enveloping feeling.
Next, the Living/Family Room:
The sofa should be placed against a wall farthest from where you enter the room. When seated, you should have a clear view of the entry. If you’re not able to place it against a solid wall, put a console table behind it and decorate it with tall accessories. No one feels secure having their backs to the door when seated, so if you must position your sofa this way, consider putting a mirror across from it, so you are able to see behind you.
Situate your seating so it is conducive to conversation. All chairs do not need to be against a wall or facing the TV.
To add to the welcoming feeling, be sure each seat has a place to rest a glass or book on.
To help energy flow freely, place a round or oval coffee table in the room. Anything with rounded corners will work.
Consider adding sheers, curtains or blinds to the windows to prevent the energy from escaping the room.
And finally, the Dining Room:
Once you place your dining table in the room, make sure there’s enough room to pull out the chairs and still have space to walk behind them.
A rug under the table will help ground the space and encourage conversation.
Include a combination of materials like metals, mirrors, wood and linen to help calm the space.
Use your dining room whenever you can. If the room is not being used, energy is not flowing. If you don’t eat in your dining room often, consider using it for puzzles, arts and crafts or even office space. Just be sure to clean up afterwards so it doesn’t create clutter.
So hopefully these quick tips will get you inspired to decorate your home using feng shui. Do you plan to incorporate any of these tips in your home? Are there any you’d like to add to the list? Let me know in the comments!
Unfortunately, the way our master bathroom is designed, we don’t have an official medicine cabinet. Luckily, we have a few drawers and lots of storage space underneath the sinks.
It would have been nice, however, to have a medicine cabinet (or two) installed in our bathroom to free up additional space in the cabinets. I think we will definitely consider adding them when we re-do our bathroom.
If I did have a medicine cabinet, though, I envision it would look something like this:
Here are 5 tips to organize YOUR medicine cabinet to help speed up the morning routine and bring some order to your bathroom.
Take everything out of your medicine cabinet and assess what needs to stay or go. Obviously, expired items should be thrown away, but also make decisions about items you haven’t used in a while. It’s ok to purchase and try out products, but you have to know when they’re not working for you and discard them. You want to keep only your essential, daily items in your medicine cabinet in order to keep it organized.
Look around your home and see if you have similar-looking containers to use for storage. Look for small, white ceramic containers or clear, glass or acrylic ones. You can also decide on a color scheme for your medicine cabinet and look for or purchase small containers to go with those colors. You can store cotton balls, q-tips, hair pins, makeup sponges, nail files, clippers, etc. in the containers. If you are using solid color containers, make sure they are low enough to see what’s inside. Keep small items in see-through containers. Using containers makes it easy to keep everything organized. There shouldn’t be any small, loose items roaming free in the cabinet.
Line the back of the cabinet with adhesive shelf liner before placing items back in. Keep like items together: put your toothbrush, floss and toothpaste in the same container, put your comb and brush in the same container, and keep facial items together, like makeup brushes and face washes. Consider purchasing small shelves (called acrylic risers at The Container Store) This will double the storage space by allowing you to store small items underneath and on top of the shelf.
Mount a magnetic memo board to the inside of the cabinet door. Then you can hang slim, magnetic bins and hooks to hold razors, nail polishes and anything else you need to corral. You can even add magnetic containers to store hair ties and safety pins.
Keep your everyday makeup in a small cosmetic bag so you can just grab the bag, do what you need to do and go.
Hopefully these tips have given you inspiration to organize your medicine cabinet. Let me know if you have any tips to add.
The following is a post I wrote about a year ago and I thought it was fitting to re-post it now since we are all on a cleaning and organizing kick.
When we built our home almost 7 years ago, I was set on keeping it so clean that it would always look new. Well, I have now given up trying to keep my house spotless and instead work towards keeping my house ”Guest Ready”. I remember reading a website that asked if your house was full of CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome)!
My goal now is for my house to be “clean enough” so that unexpected guests can stop by and I don’t feel embarrassed by clutter or dirt.
Here are 10 simple daily cleaning tips that I follow to keep my house free from CHAOS :
Make your bed each morning. Have each family member make theirs as well. A bedroom appears to be much cleaner when the bed is made and you can feel like you have accomplished something early in the day.
After showering, spray the door or liner with a daily shower cleaner, then squeegee the door. This will help keep the bathroom looking cleaner, longer.
Keep cleaning rags and cleaner near each sink and give the sinks a quick wipe. Doing this daily will eliminate any buildup and will help the room look much cleaner. Touch up the mirrors, if needed.
If you have small children, a good practice is to wipe the toilet rim and seat daily and the floor around the toilet, if needed.
Take your shoes off when you enter your home. This will help to keep your floors and carpets clean and discourage tracking germs and pollutants into your home. Put a basket or shoe rack near the door or in the coat closet to keep shoes in order. Once the basket or shoe rack becomes full, have everyone take their shoes up to their room and start with a clean slate. Try to keep everyday shoes accessible at all times in case you need to leave the house quickly. (In my house it is a requirement that we take our shoes off, however we don’t require guests to remove their shoes.)
Fluff sofa pillows and fold throws. This small act can make your family room appear neat and tidy.
After meals, have each family member scrape their plates and put their dishes directly into the dishwasher, not in the sink. Everyone in your household that is over the age of 6 should be able to follow this rule. It shouldn’t be up to one person to clear the table and load the dishwasher. Everyone should help out to keep the household running smoothly.
After meals, wipe down the kitchen table with a moist cloth. This will allow the table to remain clean and clear for art projects, games and homework. A clean and clutter-free table translates into a clean kitchen.
After dinner, wipe down the kitchen counters and stove top and run the dishwasher.
Before the kids go to bed, set a timer for 15 minutes and have everyone put items back to their proper place. Having less to pick up when the kids go to bed will allow you more time to relax at the end of the day.
There you have it! If you follow these 10 simple tips daily, your house will look and feel much cleaner and will always be “Guest Ready”.
Take a good look at the list again and see if there are items that can be delegated to other family members. You are not the only person responsible for keeping your house neat and tidy. In our house, everyone has specific jobs to do and I believe we feel closer because we are all working towards a common goal
What are your daily tips for keeping your house free from CHAOS? Feel free to comment, I’d love to know!
Image courtesy of Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Now that we are officially into the new year, I thought I’d post a few tips to jumpstart your organizing goals.
Since 2013 is behind us, it’s a good time to start gathering the documentation you’ll need to file your taxes. (I know, big fun…) Grab a folder to put all the year-end forms you’ll soon start receiving. Take an hour or so to start organizing receipts and any other papers you’ll need to file. Getting those documents organized now will allow you to file earlier and move on to the other organizing goals you may have. Our taxes are usually filed on February 1st and every year it amazes me when I hear people still talking about taxes into the spring!
Start putting a set amount into your savings account each month. Figure out how much you want to save and have that amount automatically deposited so you never miss it. This will ensure that you will have CASH to spend on your next vacation or to purchase Christmas gifts. If you don’t plan on spending the money, just leave it in your savings account and you’ll have a nice little nest egg to start off the next year and for any emergencies that may come up.
Plan activities for your life and family now to avoid the “What do you want to do this weekend?” question. Just by taking a few minutes to jot down on your calendar activities you would like to do will allow you to have some scheduled fun this year. Just select 2 activities per month so you can be flexible if something else comes up on your selected day. My friends always laugh when I tell them that we have activities already scheduled out for the year, but for us, it’s one less thing to think about and gives us something to look forward to. I find that if we don’t plan anything, we don’t do anything.
Here’s a little tip that my family is implementing this year: We are going to list 12 monthly household projects that we would like to get done this year and add them to our calendar. The projects could be something as small as organizing under the kitchen cabinets to as large as landscaping the front yard. By putting these items on our calendar, it gives us a blueprint and schedule to get these tasks done. I’m sure you can probably find more than 12 projects to complete, but let’s start small to stay motivated…
If you’re not already, I highly recommend using some sort of calendar to organize your time. By using the calendar on your phone, a pocket calendar or a wall/desk calendar at home, you will begin to feel more on top of your schedule because you will know where you are supposed to be at any given time. Using a calendar can also remind you of things you need to do. For example, if you notice you have a birthday party this weekend, that means you need to purchase a gift. You can actually purchase and wrap the gift days ahead instead of running to the store to purchase a gift card on the way to the party. (I know, we are all guilty!) By the way, if you’re going to use the calendar on your phone, don’t forget to set reminders!
So these tips are designed to help you get it together this year so you can feel more in control of your day-to-day life. At the end of the year, you will be able to look back and see how much you’ve saved, all the activities you’ve done and all the home projects you’ve completed. You’ll also feel more on top of your schedule and ready to take on the world!
Let us know in the comments what changes you plan on making this year and what steps you’re taking to commit to your goal.