Category: cleaning

5 Tips to Keep a Clean and Tidy House On a Budget

tidy houseKeeping a clean and tidy house can seem like a daunting, and expensive, task. We’ve all seen how shiny those homes are in magazines, right? Everything’s crisp, fresh, organized, and there’s nary a crumb in sight!

You don’t have to hire a troupe of maids to keep your home spotless, however. Here are 5 tips that will help you keep your house sparkling and tidy, without breaking your budget.

Do It Every Day

While you don’t need to suit up and scrub down your entire house from top to bottom every day, doing some tidying and cleaning daily can help keep things nice. This is especially true if you have children or pets.

Wiping down hard surfaces quickly, picking up stray toys and clothes, spot dusting, and doing a light sweep of hard floors daily is a great way to keep your home tidy and neat. Depending on the size of your home, it probably will only take you 45 minutes to an hour, max, and then your home is refreshed and ready for the day.

Not only will doing the smaller things daily help you save time, but it will also make your deep cleaning tasks easier. This also saves you money; when your tasks are easier, you’re not using as many cleaning items or products! You’re also not spending more money on products designed to tackle hard or nasty messes.

Go Natural

Considering using natural products for your daily cleaning tasks can go a long way towards helping your budget. They are often multipurpose, less expensive, and take up less space in your cleaning cabinet. Not only will that help make keeping a tidy house easier, but you also have fewer chemicals to worry about.

Baking soda, for example, makes an excellent scouring paste for gritty jobs. It also has great odor-absorbing properties, making it perfect for freshening your carpet.

Vinegar also makes a fantastic multipurpose cleaner. It’s streak-free, so it’s perfect for cleaning windows and metal surfaces you’d like to shine!

Don’t Skip The Professionals

There are times when you’ll want to have professionals do some of the cleaning in your home, such as carpet and upholstery cleaning. While it’s fine to do spot cleaning yourself, every so often you’ll want to have it done by the experts.

They can get the deep-down dirt that home cleaners can miss, refreshing and extending the life of your carpets or furniture. If you’re worried about price, consider going with a locally-owned business such as Raleigh Carpet Cleaning Pros.


Disposable cleaning products may make your life easier, but they’re also more expensive in the long run. Consider getting items that you can wash and re-use easily, such as microfiber dusting cloths and mops.

You can also re-purpose items around your home. Used dryer sheets can make good dusters, and old t-shirts and clothes can make good cleaning rags. They’re washable, and you can always throw them away if it’s a nasty project.

Don’t Forget Sales And Coupons

Sales are a great time to stock up on cleaning and organizational supplies. If you need to replace your vacuum, consider doing it in April. Memorial Day sales are also a great time to pick up big-ticket items for cheap.

Back-to-school is a great time to stock up on your organizational essentials. With everything marked down for getting dorms ready, you can get some real steals.

For times when you find you’re out of something and need it now, don’t forget to check and see if you can find any coupons. There’s almost always something for cleaning supplies if you look!

How Do You Keep A Tidy House?

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ways to keep your house clean and tidy on a budget. We’d love to hear some of your top favorites! Leave them in the comments below, join in on our Facebook page, or drop me a line!

DIY Bed Bug Management: When to Call an Exterminator

diy bed bugBed bugs are notoriously hard to get rid of.

Still, if you see the pests in your own home, don’t panic and call an exterminator just yet. There are ways you can start combatting the invasion on your own — for a lot less.

Try these DIY bed bug tips, and make sure to learn about what you’re dealing with.

Armed with the right information, you can decide when to tackle it yourself and when it’s time to call in extra help.

DIY Bed Bug Management Tips

1. Kill Them With Cleanliness

Washing bedding at a temperature of at least 120 degrees with laundry soap can kill the infestation. The “hot” setting on your washing machine should do the trick.

Bed bugs also can’t live through a hot dryer session. So, dry your bedding items on high after washing and you should be able to eliminate the problem.

Use a sealed bag to take bedding to the laundry room. This way, you won’t contaminate your existing hamper.

2. Vacuum and Seal

Do a thorough vacuuming of your mattress, bed frame, under the bed, baseboards, or anything else that touches the bed. The bed bugs will probably hide in any crevices they can. So, be sure to get into hidden spots.

Throw out the used vacuum bag outside, so bugs can’t get back in. Then, buy a bed bug-proof case to seal your clean mattress.

3. Spray the Bugs Away

Get a pesticide that works on bed bugs and scrub down your bed frame, headboard, baseboards, dresser, and other hard surfaces. Bed bugs can’t live in metal furniture. However, they will nest in a porous surface like wood.

Always read the formula’s label carefully. Even pesticide from the best bed bug company  won’t work if it’s not used correctly. Make sure you use it properly so it is effective, and keep in mind that some bedbug sprays may be toxic to pets.

4. Starve Them Out

It’s possible that no matter how much you clean, the bugs will still hide in places you can’t reach, like in the walls or under the carpet.

Fortunately, you can help get rid of hidden bugs by starving them. Make DIY bed bug traps so they won’t be able to reach their source of food: you!

Be careful when building traps, as some materials that are toxic to bed bugs can also be toxic to you. This trap uses carbon dioxide, which, although natural, is harmful to humans in large quantities.

5. Treat Your Pets

Although bed bugs don’t live on the hosts they feed on the way fleas do, bed bugs can still pester your pets.

They may move into pet bedding or stuffed animals. They will need to be treated the same way you treated your own clothes and bedding.

Bed Bug Management Solutions

If you have a relatively minor infestation, these tips should help you fix the problem.

Even if you decide that you need to call an exterminator, doing some DIY bed bug management can help keep the problem from growing in the meantime.

What are your favorite DIY pest control tips? Leave a comment and let us know!

5 Surprising Benefits of Cleaning Your Home

fotolia 164247237 subscription monthly m If you can’t seem to get yourself into house cleaning mode, it’s time to look into why it’s so important.

There are many benefits of cleaning that go well beyond the satisfaction of lounging in a clean room or avoiding embarrassment when friends come over.

Let’s explore 5 surprising benefits of pulling out that duster and mop and getting to work on a clean home.

Reduces Allergens

Each human in your home sheds around 40 thousand skin cells per hour.  That’s about 725 grams (1.6 pounds) of flesh per year per person.  In addition, if you have pets, you can add their hair and dander to the mix.

Each time someone opens a door/window or someone comes in from outside, pollen, smog, and other allergens enter your home.

We call it dust, so it doesn’t sound so gross. But this is what dust is.

It covers your appliances, settles on surfaces and saturates the carpet. As you and your pets move around, this dust enters the air.

If you’re not regularly removing these allergens they will make people sick with things like:

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Inflammation
  • Other Respiratory conditions

Makes Your Home Safer

A dirty home isn’t just unsightly. It can be dangerous. If you habitually toss dirty clothes, books or other items on the floor, they become serious tripping hazards.

If those also include food containers, then you increase the population of roaches, mice, and spiders in your home. Roaches and rats carry diseases.

Spiders are usually friendly. They’re just there to enjoy the great selection of insects that you’ve welcomed into your home.

If you’re not cleaning countertops, sinks or dishes regularly, you could be breeding harmful bacteria.

If you haven’t cleaned the shower or toilet in a while, they’re likely covered in bacteria and fungus that can make you sick.

If you’re not investing in periodic carpet cleaning, all of these contaminants remain in your home.

If you’re not clearing out clutter, your home is a danger zone.

Burns Calories

You’ll burn on average about 150 extra calories per hour of cleaning. By contrast, going for a stroll only burns about 100 calories. And running burns around 400 calories.

Plus, many cleaning activities can get your heart rate up. You’re burning fat and getting a cardio workout.

If you think you don’t have time to clean because you can’t miss the gym, you may not have that excuse any longer.

No, it’s not a high-intensity workout. But if you’re not cleaning, you’re not burning as many calories as you could be.

Reduces Stress

The act of cleaning helps reduce stress because all physical activities release endorphins that make you feel good. This helps reduce anxiety and you’ll feel happier.

In addition, fewer fights over who’s supposed to take out the rubbish could reduce stress as well.

Improves Brain Power

When our outside worlds are disorganized, it makes the brain feel cluttered as well. But living and working in a cleaner environment can help you retain a clearer mind.

That’s less brain power spent trying to find your lost keys and more power toward being more productive, improving relationships or expanding your mind.

Benefits of Cleaning Go on and on

The benefits of cleaning keep going. But we’ll keep this short. What we want to be crystal clear is the fact that regular cleaning can significantly improve your life.

What would you add to our list of surprising benefits? Comment below.

5 Facts About Garbage That Will Make You Cut Waste

facts about garbageIsn’t it staggering that Americans produce over 254 million tons of trash each year yet only recycle 87 million of it? That comes out to 4.4 pounds of trash each day (per person) or 1,606 pounds each year!

That’s not all because there are five other facts about garbage that will come as a shock. These are guaranteed to have people double thinking about what they throw out and start their journey seeking tips for reducing household waste.

5 Dirty Facts About Garbage (That’ll Have You Cutting Waste)

There are a few, dirty facts about garbage everyone should know besides it being stinky and messy. What’s thrown out has a substantial impact on the health and well-being of the population in ways that don’t always come to mind.

1. Ocean blues

More than 215 million metric tons of plastics ended up in the ocean in 2010. A large part of this being plastic bottles and shopping bags. These become “misplaced” items or illegally dumped. Plastics in the ocean cause contamination in the food supply. The contamination ends up on the dinner menu.

2. It’s here for a long, long time

How long will garbage stay in the landfill and environment?

  • Glass: 1,000,000+ years
  • Plastic bottles: 1,000+ years
  • Aluminum: 80-100 years
  • Diapers: 250-500 years
  • Paper: 2-6 weeks
  • Food: 1-6 months

For other common trash? The list (and years) goes on.

3. Throwing away money

Americans spend more on waste removal than school books, libraries, fire protection, and parks & rec! The World Bank estimates that annual global costs of solid waste management will reach $375 billion by 2025, with America being a leader in this spending.

Costs for waste management goes toward:

  • Vehicle fleets
  • Employees
  • Collection
  • Landfills
  • Composting
  • Incineration
  • Local, state, and federal fees

It all adds up!

4. It’s a killer (really)

The most common way to get rid of trash at a landfill is by burning it.

The problem with burning is that garbage gives off dioxins. Dioxins are persistent environmental pollutants (POPs) that cause cancer. POPs also cause reproductive problems, immune system damage, and messes with hormones.

Dioxins find their way into the atmosphere after burning and eventually settled back into the ecosystem when it rains. The vegetation becomes contaminated with these dioxins which are then eaten by animals and end up on dinner plates.

There’s no easy way to avoid dioxins due to consumption habits and the waste people produce. Yet, a balanced diet will help a bit.

5. Not all toys for tots

Although American kids make up only 3.1% of the global child population, the States contributes 40% of the world’s consumption of toys. Children outgrow their love of toys which means more for the landfill. Fortunately, there are international charities that accept toy donations to distribute throughout the world.

It’s a hard pill to swallow knowing the waste created by American families. Especially since child labor remains commonplace in countries that produce toys bought in America.

Feeling uncomfortable about these facts about garbage that you’ve made throughout the years. Need a simple (effective) solution?

Remember the Three R’s

The three R’s are:

  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Recycle

Take part in consuming less and find ways to reuse everyday items. Send items to the recycling bin when they apply. If everyone contributes and understands the facts about garbage then this world will be a greener, brighter place for future generations.

Oh Man! I Love When These Drop In Price!

I can never seem to find enough storage containers when it come to put things away! Either I have more lids or more containers! I am glad these are at a HUGE price drop right now! Get this Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids Food Storage Container, 42-piece Set, Red for only $9.95! Regular price on these is $23.38! Hurry and get yours now!

  • Lids snap together and to container bases so you can always find the right lid
  • Graduated sized containers nest for compact storage
  • One lid fits multiple bases
  • Includes: 5 (0.5 Cup), 5 (1.25 Cup), 5 (2 Cup), 2 (3 Cup), 2 (5 Cup), 2 (7 Cup), and 21 Easy Find Lids

Frugal Tips & Tricks for Getting Your Backyard Ready for Summer Fun!


Frugal Tips & Tricks for Getting Your Backyard Ready for Summer Fun!

Summer is just about here which means is your backyard ready for summer fun? Just as we spring clean inside the house, we can often neglect the outside especially our backyard. That picture is of my brother’s yard and his wife does a wonderful job of maintaining it. It’s absolutely gorgeous with all the landscaping and her pool. She also uses many frugal tips to help get her yard and pool ready each summer for outdoor entertaining!

I was extremely fortunate to interview Sarah Saucedo from Thrifty Decor Chick Blog! She has amazing tips and I also have embedded a video of our phone interview below! She is such a sweetheart and she also has a gorgeous house with many of the projects that she did herself including her own backyard!

Sprucing up your outdoor space doesn’t have to break the bank. I have done very small things like nice outdoor planters with plants that need very little maintenance. Also, learn which plants are right for your area and if you have a certain amount of sun or shade. The front of my house gets lots of shade so I planted cast iron plants, holly ferns, and for color caladiums. Very easy to grow and they multiply. It’s pretty but I’m not out in the hot sun slaving away in my yard. I only have to do some pruning and dividing (cast iron plants will multiply) about twice a year.

Simple things can make a HUGE difference like spray paint or just cleaning! Watch this amazing video to learn more of her great tips!

Some of Sarah’s tips will include:

  • Maintain what you already have – find out how to keep your existing outdoor furniture looking fresh and new all season long, how to remove clutter effectively and maintain your area
  • Set the mood – décor doesn’t have to be expensive. Sarah will teach you how to use lighting and cheap table settings to up the festivity level
  • Let outdoor items perform double duty – use planters as food stations, buckets at fire places, and other creative fixes to maximize space and function
  • And much, much more!