Tag: home tips

Save Electricity

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We all know that Florida summers can be brutal. They can be especially brutal on your electric bills. Heating and cooling accounts for 50% to 70% of the energy used in your home. How do you save electricity in the summer? We have some tips and tricks that will help you save electricity during the hot summer months.

Peak Time

There are peak times of the day for energy usage. If you run your utilities during these peak times, your rates could be higher. Utility companies actually raise the gas and electricity rates between 11 am and 7 pm. You can save electricity by running your washer and dishwasher before or after these times. Try to do all of your chores that use the bulk of your electric after dinner or early in the morning. These savings can really add up.

Energy Star

A great way to save electricity is to use Energy Star appliances. If you are planning to upgrade your washer, dryer or refrigerator, look for the blue Energy Star logo. These appliances are 25% more energy efficient and use 40% less water than older appliances. You not only save electricity, but you will save a lot of money on your monthly bills with these types of appliances.

Oven

Using your oven to cook meals during the summer really heats up your house. This in turn makes your air conditioner work harder to keep your house cool. A better way to cook dinner during these months is on your backyard grill. This uses no electricity and will help you keep your utility bills lower during the summer.

Ceiling Fans

Running your AC all summer is really expensive. A great alternative to cranking up your AC is to use ceiling fans. They circulate the colder air better throughout your house. A ceiling fan doesn’t lower the actual temperature in the room, but it has a wind chill effect. This makes you feel cooler by causing the perspiration on your skin to evaporate. To save electricity, turn them off when no one is in the room.

Insulation

If the insulation in your home is old, you can lose a lot of energy through it. Older homes are generally not as well insulated as newer homes. The building codes have become stricter over time. Builders have had to add more insulation on newly constructed homes. Improving the insulation in your home is a great way to lower your summer utility bills.

Air Conditioner Efficiency

It’s recommended that you have your air conditioner checked every year by a professional. This way, you will know if your unit is running efficiently. If your air conditioner is over 15 years old, you should think about upgrading it to a newer model. One of the problems with older models is air leaks. This can be wasting a lot of electricity. They can be sealed by a professional very easily.

Shade

If the sun is hitting your house, it can really heat up your home. You will want to keep the drapes and blinds closed on the sunny side of your home. Another great solution is to plant trees in your yard. They will keep your house permanently shaded and add beauty to your yard at the same time.

Thrifty Bathroom Remodel Hacks

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A beautiful bathroom remodel can add so much value to your home. Unfortunately, it’s really expensive to do a bathroom remodel. Instead, how about upgrading certain items to make your bathroom feel new? We have some thrifty bathroom remodel hacks that will transform your bathroom. Sometimes simple updates to existing fixtures and hardware can cut down the cost for your project.

Tub

A new bathtub can be very expensive. Also, depending on how old your house is, this could be impossible to upgrade. This could involve ripping up the floor and the tile in your shower depending on how your tub was installed. Older homes usually have tubs that are installed into the walls or floor. This would involve gutting your whole bathroom. Instead, you can purchase a tub liner to save money on your bathroom install. You can find pre-made tub liners at home improvement stores like Home Depot. You also can take measurements and get a custom liner built. With either of these options, its about a quarter of the cost of ripping out your old scratched tub.

Old Tile

Having old, unique tile in your shower can give you bathroom personality. Unfortunately, when some of the tile needs repaired it is next to impossible to find pieces to purchase. This is another occasion that a liner can be your best option. You can also purchase shower liners at home improvement stores. By taking measurements of your shower, you have a wide variety of design types to choose from. This not only makes it look like you did a bathroom remodel, but it will also protect the old tile underneath from further water damage. Be sure to also shop online. Sometimes stores will have a closeout on a certain design and you can get it on clearance for next to nothing.

Space

If you have a small bathroom, you may be thinking of removing walls to add some extra space to your bathroom. We have a better idea to make your room feel larger. Instead of a traditional cloth shower curtain, instead install clear glass doors in your shower. Being able to see through the glass adds the inside of your shower to your square footage in that area. If you are not handy with home improvement projects, this is one that you would want to discuss with your local handyman. Once you buy the materials, you can pay a handyman to install your new doors. This is a pretty cost effective method to your bathroom remodel.

Sink and Vanity

The sink and vanity is the centerpiece in your bathroom. Its also the easiest piece to update. You don’t need to be a plummer to install a new one. It mainly involves turning off the water, installing the new item and turning the water back on. It can easily be done in an afternoon. You can find a lot of closeouts on designs for new ones that will save you even more money. This could add a lot of extra value to your house if you are ever thinking of selling it.

Budgeting For Spring Home Improvement Projects

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Spring is a great time for projects around your home. The tricky part can be budgeting for these improvements. Once you have the budgeting under control, you can plan the list you want to tackle this spring. Some of these projects you can tackle on your own, while others you will need to call a professional. Budgeting is always easier if you can complete the project yourself. Figuring out the cost ahead of time can help you plan. We have a list that gives you some estimates for your home improvement budgeting.

Wall Painting

Do it yourself price: $200

Professional price: $1,500

One of the easiest home improvement projects is painting your house. It’s also a project that you can do yourself. The two things not to scrimp on during your budgeting is good paint and primer. Primer is used first to cover over the old paint. By using it, you ensure your new paint lasts longer. If you are only painting a few rooms in your house, you can do it yourself. But, if you are looking at painting the entire interior of your house, it’s better to hire a professional. It will cost more, but they will be able to finish it in a good time frame.

House siding

Do it yourself price: $300

Professional price: $470

The wear and tear on your house from storms can add a lot of dirt and debris to your siding. The best way to clean this is to use a power or pressure washer. You can do pressure washing yourself by renting a pressure washer. It doesn’t take a lot of skill. But, if you have a lot of mold or mildew on your siding, you will want to hire a professional. They will use a power washer. Power washers use very hot water to remove the more difficult debris.

Lawn maintenance

Do it yourself price: $50

Professional price: $120

Your lawn needs regular maintenance during spring and summer. This is another easy project that you can do yourself. By doing it yourself, it helps your budgeting for home improvement. You will want to mow your grass, trim your hedges and plant new flowers for spring. For more intensive work such as installing sod, treating bugs or aeration, you will want to call a professional. Also, if you aren’t experienced in trimming your hedges, you will want a professional to tackle this job.

Gutter cleaning

Do it yourself price: $30

Professional price: $150

Cleaning your gutters is really important in Florida. Leaves from storms can collect in your cutters and clog them. If you don’t clean your gutters, rain can fall directly from your roof down your siding to your foundation. This can cause serious issues in your home. Its worth taking the time to get on a ladder and rake out all of the debris. This will save your foundation from any water and structural damage.

If you are worried about potential injury from being on your roof, you will want to hire a professional. Also, if your gutters are completely packed with debris it’s a good idea to call a professional. A professional will also check your gutters for any potential damage and problems.

Tricks For Home Organizing

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We absolutely hate clutter in our home! It makes your house feel smaller and cluttered. Organizing your home doesn’t have to cost and arm and leg. We have some great organizing tips that you can do cheaply. There are a ton of items around your home that can be reused for organization. For example, you can use cereal boxes to store magazines. Sometimes all it takes is a little creativity to help your home organizing project.

Cords

Unruly cords can really clutter your home quickly. Also, it can take forever to un jumble the cords when you need them. Empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls can help with organizing them. Wrap each cord and secure with a bread twist tie. The cords will fit snuggly inside these cardboard rolls. You can use a sharpie to write the length of the cord on the outside. Or, you can take your organizing a step further by writing the type of cord and what room it belongs to on the outside.

Canned Goods

Does your family like to stock up on canned food items when they are on sale? If so, your panty may look like a mess. We have a super simple solution. You can use empty soda can boxes to organize these cans. Keep the cans to only one kind in each box. An easy way to decorate the box is to wrap each in simple patterned wrapping paper. You can use a different type for each food item.

Magazine Storage

Another huge source of clutter in your home is piles of magazines. Organizing these is another easy task. Save empty cereal boxes from all of your morning breakfasts. You can cut out the top and cut the sides on a diagonal. This leaves the perfect area for magazine storage. You can again use wrapping paper to decorate the outside of the boxes to make them look great in your house.

Grocery Bags

Reusing plastic grocery bags around your house will save you a lot of money in small trash bags. Storing these though can become unruly. A great solution is to use and empty baby wipe container. This way, you can pull out one bag at a time. This is another project that patterned wrapping paper comes in handy. You can wrap the outside of container. Also, you can use double sided tape to hang this on the wall of your kitchen.

Mail

Unopened mail can pile up and make your house look really messy. Start this project by going to the dollar store. You can get a hanging shower caddy for $1. Choose white or a color that goes with your home décor. If you can’t find the perfect shade don’t stress, spray paint fixes everything. Spray paint the entire caddy evenly and let dry overnight. Hang this in your dining room or kitchen to store mail neatly.

Spices

If you love to cook, you definitely have a large collection of spices. Not only can this take up precious space in your kitchen, it can be hard to find exactly what you need. Take another trip to the dollar store and get an over the door shoe organizer. You can put all of your spice containers in the compartments. This helps out with your overall organizing mission.

Tips For Spring Cleaning

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Spring is finally here! This winter in Florida has been colder than many in recent years. This is a great time of year for spring cleaning. Spring cleaning effectively deep cleans your house once a year. This not only helps with dirt, but it also helps remove germs that may be floating around your home. We have some great tips for you when it comes time for your spring cleaning.

Lamps and Light Fixtures

Light fixtures and table lamps can accumulate a huge amount of dust during the year. Over time, this can dull the surface of your light bulbs and block light. Before cleaning these fixtures, be sure that the lights are off for awhile so the light bulbs cool down. Using a microfiber cloth to collect all of the dust, gently going over every surface of your light fixture.

Door Knobs and Handles

Clean door knobs and handles can really make your house feel really clean. Go around your house and use a microfiber cloth and cleaning product to clean each of these. The outside of your door usually gets a lot of dirt buildup during the winter months. Using soapy water in a bucket with a soft sponge, wipe your front door throughly. You can dry with a soft cloth when you are done. Also, don’t forget the inside of your front door. It can collect fingerprints during the year that need to be wiped away.

Walls

Your walls should all be wiped down when it comes time for spring cleaning. You can use a little bit of dish soap in a bucket with warm water to clean them. Be sure to work from top to bottom so there aren’t visible water drips. Walls can become scuffed during the year. You can use a magic eraser to gently remove these.

Window Frames and Baseboards

Baseboards are the more common part of your home that gets cleaned and dusted. But, you also want to get the tops of your windows and your upper molding. Using a cleaning product and a microfiber cloth, hit all of the areas that collected dust all year.

Bookshelves

You can make the spring cleaning of your bookshelves dual purpose. You not only can clean dust, but you can declutter your bookshelf of books you no longer want. Remove books and objects from each shelf. Dust each item and the bookshelf before putting them back.

Picture Frames and Mirrors

The glass on all of your wall hanging need to be cleaned once a year. Start by dusting all sides of the frames with a microfiber cloth. A tip for cleaning is to not spray directly onto the picture frames. Liquid cleaner can get underneath and ruin pictures and artwork. Spray window cleaner lightly onto a glass cleaning cloth and then wipe them down.

Furniture

You would be amazed at what is collected in your couch cushions. Start by using vacuum attachments to clean the cushions and under the cushions. Try not to vacuum up larger items such as coins. If possible, rotate your cushions to help with even wear and tear.

How To Make Homemade Non-Toxic Cleaning Supplies

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Toxic store bought cleaning supplies are not only bad for the environment and your family, they are costing a fortune. General cleaning supplies can cost you $5 and up in the store. They can be harmful to your pets, plants and your children. Our DIY tips on cleaning supplies is chalk full of great tips.

Baking Soda

Baking Soda has been around since 1843. It has virus killing abilities and is completely non toxic. For kitchen grease, sprinkle some baking soda on a damp cloth and concentrate on the heavy grease areas. Children’s toys can be easily cleaned with ¼ cup baking soda and 1 quart warm water. You can either soak the toys in this solution or you can use a damp cloth to saturate the toys and wipe off excess dirt with a dry cloth. For large carpet spills, blot as much of the standing spill off as possible. Clean the area with gentle soap and water. When this is complete, sprinkle dry baking soda on the spot and vacuum. This will ensure there is no remaining stain or odor.

Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice not only smells fresh, but it is great for mildew and mold. With this in your arsenal of cleaning supplies, you can also cut grease and shine hard surfaces. Laminate counters and cutting boards are easy to clean with lemon juice. For the tough stains, massage a cut lemon onto the stain. If the stain is stubborn you can leave the juice on to soak into the surface. Rinse with eater and dry as normal. Tupperware stains are tough to fight. If you squeeze some lemon juice and baking soda onto the stains and let it sit overnight, the stains can be scrubbed away in the morning. You can shine real brass with lemon too. Cut half a lemon, sprinkle salt on it and gently rub until its clean, rubbing with water when you are complete.

Vinegar

Vinegar is a miracle when it comes it cleaning and degreasing. You can use apple cider vinegar, but white works better. To clean with white vinegar, you can dilute it in a spray bottle with 50% water. This will clean most surfaces including windows, countertops, doorknobs and stainless steel. The smell can be a little overpowering at first. To counteract this, you can add a few drops of essential oils that can be purchased in a health food store or online. Another surprising use for vinegar is to clean your coffee pot. Mix 50% vinegar and 50% water and run it through your drip pot to clean out old coffee residue.

Castile Soap

Castile soap is an all natural chemical free soap that is made from olive oil, laurel tress and soda. It is so safe that it can be used to clean and disinfect wounds. Instead of buying your dish soap, in a pump bottle use castile liquid soap instead. It cleans your dirty dishes and also won’t dry out our hands like store purchased dish soap with harsh chemicals.

Home Improvement Convention Hacks

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Home improvement conventions are a great way to get ideas for upgrades to your home. If you have never been to a home improvement convention before, you may not know what to expect. It can be a little overwhelming the first time you attend. Luckily, we are able to offer you some great tips and advice for attending a home improvement convention.

Saving Time

Home improvement conventions can be really crowded. We suggest that you get to the location early. This can ensure good parking and also you can beat the rush of people at the door. Research to see if you can preorder your tickets. This will save a ton of time by not having to stand in ticket lines. Be sure to pick up a map of all the home improvement booths. You can plan out what vendors you want to visit first before the crowds start building. This way, you get personalized attention. It gives you extra time to ask questions and gather informational brochures. Bring an extra large bag to pack a refillable water bottle and snacks. Waiting in line at the convention center cafeteria can use up a good portion of your day. It may be tempting to dress up for a home improvement convention because you never know who you are going to run into. We strongly urge you not to. Comfortable clothes and especially shoes are important because you will be on your feet all day. Comfort over fashion for these events.

Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask vendors at this event important questions. An important one is “how long have you been in business?” Experience of a contractor is crucial when you are hiring for work on you home. This is going to help keep your project on time and also on budget. Be sure to get their business card and research them online when you are home. Pay special attention to customer reviews. Websites like Angie’s List is a great way to get unbiased customer experiences. You can find out about their licenses or any other credentials this way. Being able to obtain permits and inspections is an important part of home improvement. Ask your potential contractor if they have experience with applying for permits. A good contractor will also be able to explain the technical language in each permit to you.

Guarantees

You may want to google questions to ask contractors and print it before going to the home improvement convention so there are important things you forget to ask. Workmanship guarantees are a great thing to ask about when talking to vendors. These can vary anywhere from 6 months to a few years. This normally has to do with defective materials or poor workmanship. This guarantee should be in writing. Getting this notarized is a great idea too, so you are protected in case anything goes wrong during the construction process. Worksite scheduling is something that should be discussed early on. Ask your potential contractor when their day will start and end. Just as most jobs go, there should standard hours. Sometimes circumstances may change, such as rain or an unexpected problem with the remodel. Being on the same page with your potential contractors can clear up some conflicts before they happen. Asking for a contract before the work begins is another great idea. Include the scope of the work, timeline and all of the supplies needed. Things are always going to go wrong when you are renovating your home, but having a contract keeps you protected in the long run.

Landscape Your Backyard Like A Pro

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Investing in your backyard landscaping is a great way to add value to your home. Your backyard landscaping can be a little tricky with the hot and humid Florida weather. The key is to use plants and flowers that are Florida-friendly. We have some tips to help you maximize your backyard landscaping potential this year.

Plants

Because of all of the rain that Florida gets, you can save money and time by skipping the fertilizer. The fertilizer that you use on your backyard landscaping can actually be a huge danger to the environment. The rain can wash your fertilizer into the bays, lagoons, rivers, lakes and oceans. Florida soil is unique and contains very fine sand. Knowing this fact, plant your backyard landscaping with plants that grow well in this climate. Some good examples are Palm Trees, Milkweed, Honeysuckle and Firebush.

Grass

One problem that you may have in your backyard landscaping is brown dry patches in your grass. Visit your local garden center and purchase some iron and micronutrient supplements. They work in two important ways. They help your grass stay healthy and green and also curbs excessive growth. You won’t have to cut your grass as much in the Florida heat.

Weeds

Buying weed killer can really eat away at your budget. Instead, you can make your own weed killer that is just as effective as store bought ones. Our recipe consists of 3 cups vinegar, ½ cup salt and 1 tablespoon liquid dish detergent. First add the salt to the vinegar and let it dissolve before adding the soap. Use a spray bottle to spray the mixture on any unwanted weeds.

Drought

When purchasing plants for your backyard landscaping at your local nursery, choose plants that are full sun and drought tolerant. Your best best is to choose plants that are native to Florida. They can withstand the Florida sun in summer months. Keep in mind the size of mature plants. You want to leave plenty of space when planting to prevent crowding. This will also help you in the future so you don’t have to prune as much to give your plants room to grow. Another great tip is to purchase smaller, slow growing trees. They cost less initially and their smaller stature helps them withstand storm damage better. Some of our favorite are the Crape Myrtle, Dogwood or Hydrangea. They also yield beautiful flowers that have beautiful, blooming flowers.

Decorative Items

Because grass is difficult to maintain in the Florida heat, we suggest using other items that don’t require as much maintenance. Gravel, stones and reclaimed wood look great in pathways. You could also add a rock garden or a water feature to spruce up your lawn. Some of these more permanent solutions can be expensive when you purchase them new. Instead, you can recycle old bricks or river rocks and use them in your backyard landscaping. Planters can be created out of pallets or old crates and add a vintage feel.

Mulch

Mulch provides not only a great look but it also works well for the health of your plants. Mulch helps moderate the soil temperature. It keeps roots warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It also keeps moisture in the soil. This helps maintain your trees, especially in the warm summer months.

Tips For Painting Your Home

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Home improvement is a great way to add value to your house. While some home improvement projects are really expensive, others cost much less than you think. One example is paint. It is one of the most cost effective ways to change the appearance of your house. You can hire painting contractors to work on your house, or with our tips you can save money and do it yourself. Professional interior designers normally use a variety of colors to create a specific mood to a room. The colors are picked to enhance other. But before we even get to paint colors, let’s talk about paint preparation.

Furniture

Your first step to painting is to remove everything from the room you are painting. You want to be able to move around freely when you are painting. Also, no home improvement project goes well if you have paint drips all over your furniture, rugs and floors. Designate a space to store all of your items until your painting project is complete.

Prepping

The most important part of painting is your prep work. Begin by cleaning your walls with a mixture of three teaspoons liquid dishwashing detergent and a gallon of water. Wipe down your walls from top to bottom. Focus especially on areas where there are grease spots so the paint adheres evenly to your walls. After this step, rinse your walls with clear, clean water. Let your walls completely dry before continuing on with your project.

Taping

After everything is dry, apply painter’s tape around the trim, windows, door frames, ceiling and anywhere else that you are not painting. This can be done in advance up to about a week early. Use good quality painter’s tape on this part of your home improvement project. You will regret it later if you don’t. Be precise when applying the tape. You may have to take off a piece and reapply a few times. After you finish painting, remove the tape before the wall is completely dry so the new paint doesn’t peel off when you remove it.

Primer

No home improvement painting project can begin before you prime the walls. We prefer Kiltz primer to other brands. To save yourself some time, you can tint your primer with the paint that you choose. This will darken the primer so you won’t have to use as many coats of paint to reach the saturation that you want. Primer helps give your paint a more consistent appearance. It can also help the sheen of the paint you chose be more apparent.

Painting

For the best coverage, start by painting a large W shape pattern with your paint roller. Fill in the spaces of this pattern without letting your roller lose contact with the wall. Paint one section at a time and let the paint dry completely before moving on to the next coat.

Colors

When choosing your paint colors, you need to consider your house as a whole. Each room should transition to the next room without too large of a color change if possible. Popular home improvement contractors use a range throughout the whole house. Another tip is to stick with a neutral color palate. We love bright pops of color in a room, but not necessarily on the walls. If you use neutrals throughout your house, it connects all of the rooms as a unified whole. It also makes it easier to add color furniture or artwork without being overpowering.

Vintage Kitchen Remodeling Tips

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Vintage kitchens have become a huge trend in today’s home. 1950s kitchen remodels have become popular because of the fun and bright colors. You can take your 1950s kitchen to the extreme and buy all of your appliances and kitchen tools with this theme in mind. Or your 1950s kitchen can be more subtle and incorporate smaller items and color themes. We have some great tips for you to turn back the hands of time in your house.

Bright Colors

1950s kitchens were models of bright colors. Primary colors such as fire engine red, bright yellow, lime green, teal and bubblegum pink are all colors to focus on. Be careful with these brights not to overpower your kitchen. Use sparingly and balance out with white and black. They can be used on small appliances and curtains. Another great way is to buy bright sets of dishes and display them on shelves and open faced cabinets. You can also look to classic diners for inspiration. In 1950s kitchens, bold geometric floor tiles can give your kitchen an inviting feel.

Prints

Bold prints such as leopard and zebra print are another great idea for your 1950s kitchen. Use these in different areas around the room. One great idea is to reupholster your dining room chairs in one of these fabrics. It will add a pop of color to the room. Also, adding bright patterned tea towels and cloth napkins are a great way to liven up the whole room. If you want to use a print in a larger area, you can buy removable wallpaper in zebra print. Use this on small wall areas around your kitchen for a more dramatic effect.

Vintage Items

Another great way to decorate your 1950s kitchen is to fill it with vintage items. For example, antique tableware will bring this era to your guests. Look for brightly colored plates and glasses. Don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns and colors. Vintage 1950s advertising signs look great hung on kitchen walls. Yard sales and antique stores are a good place to look for these. Also, you can get vintage looking signs new. This is an easy way to personalize your 1950s kitchen style without making any permanent changes. Kitschy items such as vintage clocks, old Coca Cola bottles, metal flour containers, vintage tea pots and old salt and pepper shakers are great additions to your new kitchen style.

Pastels

Another really popular trend from the 1950s are pastel colors. They work in 2 ways, brining flair to your redecoration and also also making your kitchen seem larger. Lighter colors give the illusion of a larger space. Peaches, light pinks, baby blue, pastel yellow and mint green are all colors to consider. This is also a great way to revamp your kitchen cabinets without spending a fortune. You can paint the faces these pastel colors instead of installing all new cabinets. These pastels can also be used on a smaller scale like accent walls or on as squares on cabinet faces. If you are feeling really bold, with painters tape, you can section off geometric squares on your kitchen floor and paint pastel shapes.

Do It Yourself Interior Design

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Decorating your home can be very expensive. Although we love the look of a beautifully decorated home, sometimes the look is out of your budget. Whoever said that you can’t do it yourself? You can turn anything into a perfect interior design project. Here are some of our ideas for your do it yourself design.

Mason Jars

These items are so versatile when you are do it yourself decorating. Empty jars are perfect for vases, utensil holders, toiletry containers or even pencil holders. Collect and clean any mason jars that you have been using for jams or jellies. Stop at your local hardware store and buy cans of matte spray paint that matches the décor of the room that the jars will be in. Do it yourself by spray painting each jar with this matte paint. If you prefer a more distressed look, wait until the jars are fully dry. Take rubbing alcohol and a Brillo pad and gently scratch away some of the paint to give it an aged look. You can also make paper stencils to apply before you spray paint for a different effect. After you finish painting, remove the paper stencils. This will not have any paint applied to you will still be able to see the glass of the mason jar. If your do it yourself side is feeling extra crafty, you can hot glue marbles or letters onto your jars to make them extra personalized.

Light Switch Plates

Light switch plates are another do it yourself project that is super cheap, but looks high end in your home. First remove your light switch plates with a flat head screwdriver. You have multiple options as to decorating them. One method is to take wallpaper, newspaper or even magazine pages and modge podge them onto the switch plates. Once the paper dries, use sharp scissors to cut holes in the paper where the hardware goes though. This is an interesting visual style when it is applied to all of your light switches throughout your house. One last method is to use the some spray paint that you used for your mason jar projects. Apply a layers of matte spray paint, allowing each to dry before starting a new coat. You can lightly distress the finish with rubbing alcohol and Brillo pads. When all of these do it yourself projects are dry and complete, you can reapply them with your screwdriver to your light switches.

Chalkboard Paint

Its amazing how many things that you can do with chalkboard paint. Its a do it yourself project in itself. Using painter’s tape and a ruler, tape off 3 squares on your kitchen wall. Fill these squares in with chalkboard paint, removing the painters tape after its dry. These not only look great, but are good for reminders, grocery lists or recipe lists. This can also be lightly distressed with a Brillo pad to keep the look consistent though all of your house. If you are feeling more ambitious, paint an entire accent wall in your kitchen with the chalkboard paint. Some areas can be used to lists, while you can draw decorative items like flowers in colored chalk.

Budget Bathroom Storage Tips

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Always seem to run out of usable space in your bathroom? Join the club, with styling products, extra towels, toilet paper rolls, toiletries and basic needs, there never seems to be enough bathroom storage. Budget constraints can be a major issue when looking for extra bathroom storage. We have some simple and cost effective ways to give your bathroom a makeover without breaking the bank.

Shower

There never seems to be enough space in the shower for all of your daily products. Too much shampoo, conditioner and body wash? All you need are some dollar store suction cups and hair ties. Lace a hair tie through a suction cup and knot it securely through the hole in the middle. Attach the suction cups to the walls of your shower and fit all of your extra bottles into the hair tie loop. Another inexpensive tip is to install another tension rod inside of your shower. Add hooks to your secondary rod for places to hang your loofahs or even another small shower caddy for shaving cream.

Sink

Unless you are lucky enough to have a huge medicine cabinet or a massive bathroom cabinet, bathroom storage for this area is at a premium. You can double your medicine cabinet’s space by installing organizers on the back of the mirror. For only $11, you can purchase 3-packs of attachable pods that use adhesive to attach the the unusable space. You can store Qtips, toothbrushes or cosmetics with these easy to attach pods. IKEA offers another great solution. You can install a picture ledge above your sink to store hand soap, hair products and even scented candles. This solution not only gives you extra storage but it also is a great decorative feature for your bathroom.

Towel Rack

Hanging towels to dry takes up a ton of space, especially for large families. A underutilized area in your bathroom is behind your bathroom door. You can stack inexpensive towel drying bars behind your door with screws to hang multiple towels to dry. Clean towels also eat up precious bathroom storage space. Screw a wine rack above your toilet to store rolled up towels in many sizes for future use.

Cabinet

New cabinets can be very expensive and hard to swing for a family on a budget. We have an easy and cheap solution for you. Visit goodwill or even prowl the neighborhood on trash day for old drawers from a dresser. They can be easily spray painted to match your bathroom’s décor. Attach to the walls to store extra toiletries that are used everyday without the hassle of storing them in a medicine cabinet. You can customize these drawers further by attaching old wallpaper to the open area.

Who would ever figure that you could gain so much extra space in your bathroom on a tight budget? Not only are these budget friendly items, but they help organize your space for hectic mornings when the kids are running late or you have an unexpected meeting.

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