Category: home and product tips

5 Clever Storage Solutions to Give You More Space

storage solutionsMaybe you’re adding to your family or maybe your significant other finally decided to move in. Either way, you’ve got more stuff than you have space.

You’re now in what’s commonly known as “a pickle”. It’s a battle and your stuff is winning.

So what do you do? You need storage solutions and you need ideas as fast as you can get them. You need a hero to help you defeat this horde of possessions.

Luckily for you, we’ve got you covered. Read on for 5 tips to help you take back your home.

Storage Solutions vs. Your Stuff

1. Functional Furniture

Your bed, in a lot of ways, is a huge waste of space. All you do is sleep on it! Why?

You can buy a storage bed or you can build your own. This will give you tons of extra space to house books or folded clothes.

This will allow your shelves to house new items that aren’t used often and make a ton of additional space in your closet.

Speaking of the bedroom, ditch the huge space-hogging hamper and get something you can hang on the back of your bedroom door.

Storage chests and ottomans aren’t just for making your home look classy. They’re great storage solutions and they can hold plenty inside and the top can be used as another means of storage.

For all of you ladies out there with extensive shoe and jewelry collections, consider constructing a cork wall. This will make your pretties easy to find and have them on a nice looking, space friendly display.

You can hang pegs on the back of your bedroom or closet door to house your impressive shoe collection.

2. Think Outside of the Box

Ever heard of a bookshelf staircase?

They’re all the rage and can transform your large library into a tidy and tucked away piece of furniture you can also use as a topic of conversation for guests and friends.

3. For the Kitchen

Hanging fruit baskets are making a comeback! And they aren’t just for fruit anymore. You can place these all around the kitchen to hold anything from produce to spices to often used utensils and small pans.

If you can knock out a portion of a wall, build a recessed pantry with adjustable shelving and sliding doors.

4. Storage Units

Sometimes the easiest storage solutions are the best storage solutions.

Services like those provided by Hollywood Self Storage are a cost effective way to stow away what you’re not currently using.

Give yourself a six month to a year time limit, and if the junk is still in there collecting dust, get rid of it.

5. Go Higher

When in doubt, just add shelves. You can add shelving to closets as well as bathroom and kitchen areas to hold more items.

Think about how many large gaps are in your cupboards and underneath your sinks and in your closets? A bit of shelving will give you instant storage space.

Utilize your garage. You can buy heavy duty shelving and use large plastic bins to hold off season-clothes or out of style clothing. This is also a great way to keep things like power tools out of reach from small children.

Do you have any clever solutions you’ve personally used to save space? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.

5 Simple Home Bathroom Repair Tips

bathroom repairIf you’re a home owner, you know that home maintenance is an expensive, never-ending job.

Most commonly, the biggest home maintenance issues are with the plumbing in the kitchen and bathrooms.

If you’re a DIY kind of person, you may be able to do any bathroom repair task easily.

For example, if you’re dealing with a clogged toilet, you can fix this without immediately spending money on a plumber.

Keep reading to discover the best tips on how to save money and easily fix common bathroom problems on your own.

1. Fixing a Leaking Toilet Base

If you notice leakage around your toilet base, it’s probably a problem with the wax ring within it.

But sometimes, leaking happens if the toilet isn’t attached to the floor properly. Try to tighten the bolts to see if it stops. If it doesn’t, the problem is in the wax ring.

If the ring hasn’t been replaced in a while, the water will overflow around the base. To install a new ring, you’ll need to remove the toilet completely.

You can do it yourself, but it’ll probably take you a couple of hours. Often, for toilet problems of this nature, it may be best to call a plumber.

2. Replacing Water Supply Lines

Older water supply lines are made of copper or plastic and don’t hold well. When they burst, you’ll need to replace them with braided stainless steel ones with brass nuts to attach them to the fixture.

To do so, shut off your main water line and drain all the water from the lines inside your home. Then, you can remove the old lines and add the new ones.

Test for leakage and drips after you turn the water on again.

3. Unclogging a Blocked Toilet or Sink

Clogged toilets are an unpleasant sight, but are a common place you might need bathroom repair.

You can use a toilet plunger, but if it doesn’t unclog the toilet, you’ll need a toilet auger to reach deeper.

Bathroom sinks can also get blocked by hair and soap scum.

To unclog them, remove the sink stopper and with a piece of hooked wire, try to fish out the clog. Then, run hot water for a couple of minutes to help dissolve any soap scum or dirt down the drain.

If water doesn’t run normally, the clog may be deeper in the plumbing.

4. Caulking Cracks

If you notice cracks, holes, or mildew in your bathroom caulks, your first thought might be to add another layer of caulk to cover up the dents.

However, you’ll need to recaulk the affected areas by removing the damaged caulk with a putty knife and razor scraper. Try to create shallow gaps that you can later line with caulk.

Rinse and let it dry completely before adding a new caulk layer.

5. Replacing a Flapper in the Flush Tank

When the water in the toilet tank keeps running, you most likely have a problem with the flapper.

First, turn off the water supply and flush the toilet.

Then, disconnect the chain attached to the flapper along with the side ears. Remove the flapper.

Place the new flapper in and connect it to the flush valve pegs. Connect the flapper chair and turn the water back on. Flush to test.

Bathroom Repair Tips and More

Now that you’ve read the best bathroom repair tips and tricks, it’s time to try them out.

Do you have any money-saving tips to add to our list? What are your go-to methods for these bathroom problems?

Let us know in the comments below and learn more about thrifty living on our site!

5 Essential Tips for Buying New Home Furniture

home furnitureFurniture really does tie a room together, doesn’t it?

You may be moving into a new home very soon. Or, you may be feeling a little blah about the current furniture you have in your home.

Whatever the case, buying new home furniture can be fun and exciting. It gives you the chance to explore a fresh decorative theme in your home and transform the experience of each room.

When buying new home furniture, it’s important to keep several things in mind. Read on to discover our pro tips for your next purchase!

1. Think the Basics

Furniture really is essential for so many aspects of living.

Think of your bed for example. You spend a third of your life sleeping!

When buying home furniture, write down a list of essential pieces you know you cannot live without for an extended period of time. This may include a bed, kitchen table, dining room chairs, and an office desk.

Prioritize these in your search. Choose pieces you know will last you a long time, and ensure you feel comfortable having them for a long time.

2. Inspect Quality

Your furniture, whether found locally or at Any Assembly, should last you as long as you want it to last.

When purchasing, make sure you fully inspect the quality of each piece. This doesn’t mean a quick glance over. Identify where the furniture piece was made, what it was made of, and the finish.

Talk to the store owners or support team selling you the furniture to get the lowdown on any satisfaction guaranteed policies they may have, or any extra knowledge they possess about the furniture’s quality.

Don’t buy unless you are convinced the furniture is of the highest quality possible.

3. Buy from a Place You Trust

This goes hand in hand with the previous tip.

Make sure the place you are purchasing from is reliable and trustworthy. Inspect customer reviews of the store or furniture piece before buying.

Also, assess the level of customer service. If it doesn’t satisfy, move on to another dealer.

4. Look for Deals

Believe it or not, buying new furniture can be part of frugal living!

Ask if there are any discounts, coupons, or other deals available for the items you’re looking to purchase. There may be a discount if you spend a certain amount or buy furniture in a set.

Also, consider purchasing less-essential furniture pieces second-hand, or building them yourself.

5. Make Sure You Know Who’s Moving It

Moving furniture can be a pain.

If you’re investing in a lot of new sets, make sure you have a moving team to assist with the transition from store to home.

Sometimes certain stores will offer delivery services. If you order furniture online, you’ll be able to receive the package at your doorstep but need to assemble the piece yourself.

Make sure you’re clear on the moving terms before purchasing your new furniture.

Buying Home Furniture: The Takeaway

When it comes to furniture, expressing your style is everything. The good news is that you can do this while also saving money and being smart about your next furniture purchase.

It’s key to think long term. Choose high-quality pieces and make sure you purchase from a place you trust. Don’t forget to check out existing deals!

Happy furniture hunting, and once you make the purchase, don’t forget to come back and share your experience with us!

Be Like Bob Vila: 5 Amazing Home Improvement Blog Ideas

home improvement blogRunning a home improvement blog is really hot right now. People are turning to DIY and home improving today. However, trends are changing really fast and decorating is turning into an expensive hobby. So, these people need resources. They need experts to guide them.

Whether it is a home improvement post or a DIY tutorial for a cool coffee table, your readers will just love it. Really, anything can work, and we are here to help you with your inspiration.

Here are five home improvement blog ideas you need to read now to express yourself or even make some extra money online:

1. Furniture Hacking – DIY Blog

When IKEA, among other inexpensive brands, became a worldwide phenomenon, people were not happy with the idea that everybody owned the stuff they had given money to get.

As a result, they started enhancing their furniture using a bunch of different materials.

Blogs about hacking your furniture turned into a huge sensation, so why not make one yourself? Just make sure that you have original ideas and get your creative juices flowing.

There is a lot of competition out there! IKEA hackers is a great example.

2. Remodeling Blog

Vintage has always been in fashion. So it comes as no surprise there is still a huge demand for blogs about taking old furniture to the next level. A blog about remodeling is always relevant!

However, just keep in mind that you need to find really great, old stuff and monitor their transformation through photos or video including a step by step guide.

You don’t just have to inspire your audience but also guide it. Do not get confused, though. There is a difference between hacking and remodeling. Hacking has to do mostly with new furniture. Remodeling is mainly about vintage items.

Also, remodeling is not just about vintage furniture. Even an article about a drywall access panel replacement could be considered as a “remodeling blog post.” Just be creative!

3. Home-Tour Blog

Who doesn’t love a peek into someone’s personal space? Let’s be completely honest. Everybody loves a secret look into an inspiring place that will help them get a couple of ideas about their new apartment.

Get yourself a good photo camera, take great shots of apartments that might offer some great inspiration and create your blog.

If you want to, you can always narrow the topic and make it more niche-y. Just tour your audience around living rooms or bedrooms instead of full homes.

4. Tiny Homes Blog

“Tiny Homes” is a huge niche these days. And we mean HUGE. People, nowadays, tend to move to smaller places either to save money or just because they realize how little they actually need to feel happy with their surroundings.

Just feature some beautiful tiny places and give advice to people who want to live in one too.

Special Tip: Japan and China are two great places to look for inspiring tiny homes.

5. Or a General Home Improvement Blog

Okay, you can always follow the experts’ path and go for a blog that includes all the different areas this topic can cover. You can write tutorials, showcase home-tours, mention all the latest trends. You can do anything that you want to do, really!

But you have to be careful. If you make your blog too general and make people believe you are the number one resource, you have to meet the standards you set for yourself. And these standards need both tons of work and quality content.

The good news is that ThriftyMomma can make life much easier for you. Sign-up for free and prepare for some serious blogging tips.

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!

The 5 Best Showerheads to Save Money and Water

showerheadsNothing is as fulfilling as a warm shower early in the morning before heading to work. For a good shower, you want to pick the right shower head that meets your needs.

Whether it’s a wall-mount or hand-held option, it helps to be careful with your selection. Consider EPA WaterSense showers that use 2 gallons per minute. Also, water pressure is more important than volume of the head.

In this post, we’re going to cover some of the best showerheads to help you save water and money.

Read on to learn more.

1. Earth Niagara Handheld Showerhead

Early morning shower can help give you the energy you need for a new day. The Earth Niagara handheld showerhead is all you need for that.

This shower helps you to save money by using 40 percent of the water of the typical showerhead. It’s a handheld head with a pressure-compensating technology that ensures a great force even with less water. Niagara handheld shower head features a features a 9-jet adjustable turbo massage that offers you a forceful jet.

Its stream is non-aerated, which means the temperature loss is low. This allows you to save energy.

2. Hydroluxe 3-way 2-in-1 Showerhead

Do you want to add a creative shower to your bathroom? You can do that better with the Hydroluxe 3-way 2-in-1 showerhead.

With 24 water flow patterns, this 2-in-1 shower lets you pick a pattern that best suits you. It has five power setting to offers you options that help to minimize energy consumption.

The Hydroluxe showerhead allows you to use the shower separately or together. The wide rain setting is water saving to reduce your water usage. It also comes with a lifetime warranty to protect it should anything go wrong.

3. Creda 10.5kW Chrome

If you love chrome finish, this is the head that you can easily install in your bathroom. Plus, it’s easier to complement the finish with black or glass bathrooms.

If so, the Creda 10.5kW Chrome is your ideal pick, and it has a push button for easy on/off function. This head remembers the previous temperature setting, so you don’t need to configure them everytime you’re in the bathroom.

Creda 10.5kW also has a phased shutdown to help reduce limescale build up and its one of the best electric shower heads to install. It comes in different power ratings, including 8.5KW, to cut your energy use.

4. SR Sun Rise Luxury High-Pressure Rainfall Showerhead

Give your bathroom a luxury feel with this high-pressure rainfall head from SR Sun Rise. It’s all you need to get the look you’ve always envisioned.

The SR Sun Rise shower has an easy installation that requires no tool. It has air energy technology to ensure consistent, powerful rain shower under low pressure. With its chrome plated finish, you don’t need to worry about corrosion and rust.

This head has a silicon gel nozzles to prevent the buildup of lime scale. Plus, the dirt is removed easily from the nozzles. With a flow rate of 2.5 GPM, you’re certain to save water.

5. Delta Shower Head With H2Okinetic Technology

Enjoy a bath like no other with a Delta shower that uses H2Okinetic technology. The head features an internal system that controls the movement, droplet size, and speed of water. This helps to create a feeling of more water when using less water.

This shower has a 2.5 GPM, meaning more water savings for you. A pause feature lets you reduce the flow rate of water when shaving or lathering. Also, you can install it in minutes and enjoy your bath right away.

Showerheads – The Bottom Line

With different showerheads in the market, it helps to know the essential features when looking for the right one. Consider the flow-rate, which should be below 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM). Also, check the power rating and 10KW and below showers are ideal.

Don’t forget to get a showerhead with easy installation. Some electric showers don’t need any tools when installing them.

What are your favorite showerheads? Let us know in the comments!

Lofts or Studios: Everything You Need to Know

loftsWhen you’re apartment searching, you probably see terms like “loft” and “studio” getting thrown around. But do you really know what those words mean?

It’s helpful to have a thorough understanding of the difference between lofts and studios so you can make the most informed choice when deciding what to rent or buy.

Here, we’ll take a detailed look at the difference between the two options, and the pros and cons of each choice.

Lofts or Studio: The Essential Guide

Lofts

Loft apartments are spacious, large apartments, with high ceilings and very open floor plans.

A loft apartment is typically in a converted factory, which is why the layout is so different. If you think “Wow, there are a lot of rental lofts near me,” it probably means you live in a city that once had lots of factories.

During conversion, the features that made the building unique are often left intact as much as possible to preserve the sense of history.

Unique Details

This means that a loft apartment might have interesting details like exposed brick walls, concrete floors, and exposed pipes.

These unique details are a benefit of loft apartments, giving them an added “cool” factor. However, the open floor plan can also have drawbacks, such as being difficult to heat or cool and time-consuming to clean. And if the space is shared with roommates, privacy can be an issue, as these apartments may not have complete walls between the rooms.

Loft apartments can also be more expensive since they tend to have more square footage.

Some loft apartments are called “true” or “hard” lofts, meaning that they are actually created from existing buildings. Other apartments may be called “soft” or even “loft-inspired,” if they are in new buildings that were built to look like a loft.

Studios

A studio can be in any kind of building, but size is the main difference between a loft and a studio.

A studio apartment typically consists of one or two rooms at most and is in a smaller space. Studios usually won’t be found in converted buildings, but in new buildings that were created to hold as many apartments as possible, hence the small size of the studio.

Studios are great choices if you’re looking to save money. With a minimal square footage, the space is often less expensive and easier to heat, air condition, and maintain.

However, studios can also be a challenge because they are so small. When the kitchen, living room, and bedroom are all in one room, you need to be strategic to make everything you need fit comfortably.

Studio apartments are great choices if you live alone, and if you don’t plan on having many people over or keeping a lot of large belongings. If you have equipment that takes up a lot of space, or lots of furniture you’re attached to, a loft will be a better choice.

Making the Decision

As you can see, there is actually a great deal of difference between a loft and a studio.

Deciding what is best is as simple as deciding what you’ll use it for. A loft is ideal for dinner parties or large-scale DIY projects. A studio is great for someone who travels a lot and keeps minimal belongings.

What does your ideal living space look like? Leave a comment and let us know!