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3 ways to get your spring cleaning done

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Good morning Loves.  March is half way over and as we changed the clocks for Daylight Savings Time hopefully it’s a sign that spring is just around the corner.

I for one love this time of year. The smell of rain, the warm(er) brisk air that lets you leave the house without mittens but still with a scarf and mornings when you wake up with the sun already shining.  I like stepping outside in the morning and actually walking on the sidewalk pavement as oppose to inches of snow and salt.  Yesterday for the first time this year BF and I actually opened our windows, if only for a brief 30 seconds.

Yes I think it’s safe to say warmer weather is soon to come!  I don’t know about you but this time of year always makes me want to clean something.  I have the need for a fresh start which in my world doesn’t involve relocating, it includes organizing, cleaning and purging my belongings.  Do you get the same spring fever?

Spring cleaning can be a lot of work, but honestly it’s all worth it in the end when you have a sparkling new home and you did it all by yourself. Here are three ways I’m jumping into spring cleaning this year:

Donate your clothes

Closets and drawers are big space savers but they are also the most forgot about place in the bedroom, well maybe after under the bed.  I know if I put something in my walk in closet the odds are I’ll forget about it and won’t be able to find it when I need it, even if it’s in my secret hiding spot.

Instead of your closet being a black hole for your wardrobe why not use your items for some good.  If you have clothes that haven’t been worn in the last six months (two seasons) get rid of them.  Put them in a box and donate them to a local women’s shelter.  It’s better that someone uses them as oppose to them just sitting in my closet.

Clean out your cosmetics

Ladies, if you’re like me you have bags and boxes and containers of nail polishes, lip glosses, perfume, eye shadows and face creams.  How often do you throw out a nail polish because it’s dried up or toss your mascara because it’s clumpy?  Probably more often than we’d like to admit.

I used to be the queen of free gifts with purchase but that landed me with a bathroom full of cosmetics that I will never use.  Instead I decided to donate them to a local youth charity.  This way girls getting ready for prom have brand new makeup.  I figured they will wear them out a lot quicker than I will.

Tackle your linen closet

Ah the linen closet. It smells of downy and it’s stacked with fluffy towels, but it also has a pile of bed sheets I’ll never use and medicine that expired long ago.  This is probably my favorite part of spring cleaning because I’m actually getting rid of items I can’t use as oppose to don’t use.

Back in October when BF and I moved into our new apartment we bought a king size bed and two sets of new bed sheets.  You would think that I would immediately toss out my old bed sheets, but no.  I kept them “just in case”.  In case of what I don’t know because they don’t fit our bed and as of last week I’m happy to say I no longer have them in my linen closet.

Have you started your spring cleaning?

Photo from I’d Pin That

Storage, Storage, and More Storage: Elegant Solutions to the Problem

bedroom ideasIt is the eternal problem that all architects encounter, whether they are designing residential buildings, such as apartments and houses, or industrial ones such as office suites or factories – how to incorporate sufficient storage facilities so that contemporary needs are satisfied. In many cases the architects don’t succeed entirely, and it takes an interior design plan and some clever ideas to make sure that homes and offices are fit for purpose when it comes to storage. If you are searching for solutions to make the most of your home storage, here are a few trade secrets that may just help you succeed. 

Space limitations of modern homes

You might have noticed already that room sizes in contemporary apartments and houses seem to be shrinking year on year, while overall floor area in new residential buildings is doing the same. This is a trend that is both frustrating and difficult for many people as inevitably it means that built-in storage areas are also contracting. Families, in particular, suffer in these circumstances because with young children or teens in the household there is just so much more stuff to find a place for. 

Clever answers

In a kitchen/dining area you could build in two storage cabinets either side of a window – say about 20 to 24 inches deep – and install a cushioned window seat or banquette between them. This would provide an ideal bench seat for when you’re eating and, with a hinged lid, the seat could also operate like an ottoman and provide even more storage.

In an apartment, when a living area has to double as a bedroom, you can cleverly divide the spaces using freestanding closets with sliding doors that face the bedroom – these become your wardrobes. You can then cover the back of the closets with fabric to enhance the design features of your living space or display your favorite wall artworks. 

Bedroom secrets

Children’s bedrooms can be a nightmare and besides instilling some good habits, such as putting away one toy before taking out the next, it’s important to make it easy for kids to tidy their things away. Opt for low-level toy boxes and drawers – under-bed storage can be useful here – and child-sized wardrobes for clothes they use frequently. A high level shelf is a great place to store things that are not often used – try color-coded boxes so that you can easily find winter clothes, hats and boots when summer comes to an end. 

For adults, storage solutions for the bedroom can also be flexible, and using internal compartments in wardrobes and chests of drawers will help you stay organized so that you can find what you need quickly and easily.

Making the most of space means taking a critical look at what you’ve got and working out the best ways to make use of every corner and alcove, not forgetting the spaces above doors and below stairs and beds. Making the most of your home storage opportunities is both straightforward and extremely satisfying.

4 tips to makeover your home

home makeover

Good morning Loves.  Let me ask you a question, what’s your New Year’s resolution?  Maybe you want to be more active, maybe you want to start saving more or maybe you want to fix up your home.  Did you know that getting organized is the second most common New Year’s resolution after getting healthy?

If you want to give your home a makeover this year we can help.  Here are 5 tips to makeover your home without spending a fortune.

Add pops of color

Base colors are nice and give a room a homey look and feel but color is what makes your room stand out.  The base colors in our new apartment are dark brown and beige with white trim.  It looks cute but now we have to really make our rooms welcoming with some color.

Adding pops of color such as pillows, throws, rugs and curtains are a great way to give rooms some personality without making too much of a commitment.

Use accent pieces

I love decorating but my problem is I get bored really easily.  I like changing things every year or so.  That can be a very expensive habit so instead of redoing an entire room every time my OCD kicks in I just change around the accent pieces.  Sometimes I buy new pieces to add in and sometimes I move pieces from room to room.

Adding accents such as boxes, lights, art, statues and bookends to change the look of a room is a lot cheaper than painting.  If you’re not sure how to add accent pieces just pick something that people will talk about.

Light some candles

The smell and look of candles makes a home seem livable.  Candle light always sets a welcoming mood and there is nothing more comforting than walking into a room that smells good.  I prefer traditional pillar candles but they can be messy.  Large candles in a jar are a good way to go because it’s safer since the flame and the wax are confined.

If you’re having a party lighting candles can help set the mood.  Flameless candles are a good way to go if you’re having people over because there is no chance of an accident.  Flameless candles aren’t close to the real thing but they get the job done.

Bring some life into your home with plants

If you want to give your home a new look buy some vases.   Whether you go big with decorative floor vases or you go traditional with table top vases, bringing plants and flowers into your home can really update the look and feel of your space.

We didn’t have anything living in our old apartment but now that’s old news.  I grew up in a home with a backyard full of gardens and so did BF.  I would love to have our new apartment full of flowers all the time; I love the smell of fresh cut flowers and the colors make a home gorgeous.  However that’s expensive and they don’t last very long.  So we substitute flowers with plants, our home has a variety of plants from mini palm trees to bamboo.  Adding greenery gives any home a lovely touch.

Photo from Flickr

DIY decorating: My new living room

diy decorating

Good morning Loves.  Well I think it’s safe to say my New Year’s goals have set in.  I originally set my one and only goal to lose 30 pounds in the next eight months and I was good with putting all my focus onto one major goal.  But that’s the thing about goals – they’re addicting.

I now have a decorating goal for 2015

Since setting that one and only goal I’ve also added a pretty aggressive savings goal as well as a professional goal to master the art of SEO over the next 12 months, or at least get a really good grasp on it.  So that’s it, now I have three goals over the next year, that’s enough right?  Nope, not for me.  I also gave myself 12 months to get our new apartment looking exactly how I want it to.  However decorating is expensive and it has to be done all the while keeping my savings goal in mind.

So how am I going to do it?  Well I’m giving myself $100 of fun money each month.  That has to include my monthly manicure which is approximately $20 and the other $80 can be spent on pretty things for our apartment.  We need to decorate our bedroom and living room, we also need some cabinets for our kitchen.  Sounds easy enough right?  WRONG.  I’m the type of person who wants everything done like right now.  The concept of progression is completely lost on me.  I know it’s a bad quality and I’m working on it.  Waiting 30 days for my next fun money to come free is going to be torturous, but I guess I’m just going to have to live with it.

DIY decorating via Pinterest

What’s the other obstacle?  Pinterest.  Yes it seems that the little corner on the web called Pinterest is my DIY decorating nemesis.  Everything is so perfect and so pretty and I want it all – like yesterday.  I spent many days (and some nights) over the holidays scanning Pinterest and pinning pretty things I want in our new apartment.  It’s evil and beautiful and addicting and helpful all at the same time.

Decorating my living room

My living room will be the first DIY decorating task.  I think I want my living room to be yellow – it’s bright, friendly and welcoming.  It will also be a nice contrast to our dark wood accents and exposed brick wall.  Does having a yellow room mean that everything in the room has to be yellow from curtains to vases, does it mean that only the walls are painted yellow or does having a yellow living room mean that all accents are different shades of yellow?

I have an Uncle whose personal motto is “You can never have enough color.”  Although I definitely like the idea of having a picture perfect living room I definitely don’t want it to be overwhelming or tacky.  I want to fill my living room with art, mirrors, plants, an area rug and lots and lots of pillows on our new sectional sofa without having it look super tacky and overcrowded like I’m trying too hard.  Now how do I do that?

Please send me links to your Pinterest pictures or feel free to pin anything onto my boards that you want to.  All suggestions are welcome.  Please, please help me DIY decorate my new living room.