DIY Earphone Holder – It’s A Snap

I’m sure you know the scenario, of tangled earphone cords, right? Well, have I got the perfect solution for you. A DIY earphone cord holder made from upcycled materials, of course. It really is a SNAP! (pun intended).

Here is a SIMPLE, quick method for keeping your earphone cords organized and TANGLE FREE!. The great thing about this little project is there is no sewing involved and they take only minutes to make. The key INGREDIENT in this project is a SNAP.

The new craft gadget that I am totally in love with is this KAM Snap System. I love the simplicity of it, the bright-colored plastic snaps that are available, and the efficiency of this tool. I have had a box full of mismatched snaps and a variety of snap application tools that just sit there because there are missing parts and so many different sizes of parts. It’s overwhelming.

I got this new system, (which is VERY reasonably priced), and pitched all the other stuff. AHHHHHHH, that felt good. Now I have just one snap applicator and a bunch of cute happy colored snaps.

You can make these earphone cord holders using a few different materials, but the ones I found most durable and effective are upcycled yoga mats and upcycled wool sweater fabric. A thick, dense, good quality wool felt piece will work as well.

There are two different styles of holders: Rectangle shape and heart shape. 

Find out more about HOW TO FELT A WOOL SWEATER here.

EARPHONE CORD HOLDER MATERIALS & SUPPLIES

  • Free PDF Pattern (heart and rectangle style available)
  • Yoga Mat Scrap (Cut 3.5 inches x 1.25 inches) (8.5 x 3 cm)
  • Scissors
  • Snaps (Kam snap system) optional
  • Other snaps will work as well.
  • Snap Applicator
  • Awl

INSTRUCTIONS

CUTTING OUT: Using the pattern, cut out one piece. HEART DESIGN, fold the fabric in half and place the pattern on the fold where indicated.

If using a yoga mat, you’ll need to trim the mat using little snips to get a rounded edge.

SNAP APPLICATION: Follow the directions that come with your applicator.

Fold the fabric in half and line up edges. Using the awl, poke a hole through both layers where indicated on the pattern. (Wiggle the awl around a bit while inside to make the hole visible and easy to find).

SNAPS: You’ll need

  • 2 pieces that look like tacks (snap back piece)
  • 1 male snap
  • 1 female snap

Open the fabric up and poke the snap back piece through the hole. Apply either the male or female snap on top of that. (Look for the little ridges of the snap, that is the side that goes towards the fabric).

Grab the snap applicator and place the SNAP BACK onto the applicator tray. (This should match the size of your snaps). It should fit snuggly to the snap. You’ll know when it snaps in place.

Make sure the snap front is aligned in the applicator before SQUEEZING. Give it a tight squeeze to clamp the snaps together. Bam, that’s it!

Repeat the process for the other snap.

Wind up your earphone cord and place it inside the holder. Snap is place. You’re good to go!

VIDEO TUTORIAL

Play Video

TIP: If you use your earphones a lot during the day at work or on-the-go, you can slip the holder around a belt buckle on your pants. It will hold your earphones right there in place.

You’re going to love the simplicity of this thing. I hope it comes in handy for you as much as it has for me.

HERE are SOME OTHER POSTS YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN CHECKING OUT.

Carabiner Keychain Tutorial 

Coupon Organizer 

Have a fabulous day and remember to keep it simple!

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Magazine Management – 7 Tips to Clear the Clutter

magazine management

This past month I have been on a decluttering kick, and one of the first things I did was a little magazine management.

This is only the beginning of an urge to purge that I have had for several years now.  Two years ago we sold my mother’s house and moved her into an assisted living facility. Before we could sell the house we had to go through my Dad’s stuff that he had collected over the years. We’re talking serious STUFF!!!! Bless his heart, yes he was a hoarder. We knew this day would come after he passed away, and there was no getting out of it.

So all of the family got together and we plowed through it. It took 3 big dumpsters and MANY trips to the local junk yard to get rid of it all. He collected odd things. Multiples of garden tools, woodworking tools, wood, fishing supplies, nuts, bolts, and yes magazines. You name it, and he probably had several of them.  We did hold an estate sale which was a lot of work. It took us several weekends to finish the task. We’re talking hauling stuff out of a basement that was almost chock full to the ceiling of STUFF.

This impacted me like no other! I swore that I would never do this to my kids. Wanting to gut my own house was a dominant feeling and still is. I started getting rid of things left and right. My own tendencies to KEEP stuff were brought to my awareness. We have good intentions right. “I can use this someday”, “I may need it someday”, “I can fix it and save money”, etc. are all excuses we may use to justify the hoarder in us.

Do you have any hoarder tendencies?

I think most people do, obviously some more than others.

magazine management

Anyway, back to MAGAZINES. The first room in my clutter control project was my craft and sewing room. I had a few shelves that I stored my magazines on. Ya, it looked cute, added some color to the white shelves, but they had been there for years.

We’re talking some of these magazines dated back to 1996. The old Country Living favorites, Yoga Journal, and of course Martha Stewart’s Living to name a few.

Why did I keep them? It seemed that whenever I would go through a magazine a second time, there were things in there I had missed. Heaven forbid, I could miss something. So they sat on the shelf looking pretty and never got looked at again. Well not until I started my magazine management project, where I did a quick look through and then tossed.

I have since leaned and have come up with a few rules and guidelines to help keep the magazine situation in control. Here they are.

7 tips for magazine management

1-      Purge

Get rid of your stash! If you feel you need to go through some of your favorite magazine titles to see if there is anything worth saving, do it. Put those magazines in a box out of the way. Whenever you have a few minutes downtime to sit and relax, you can grab a stack of magazines and flip through them. (I find whenever we are traveling and I’m not driving, is a good time to flip through magazines).  If there are magazines that you just don’t even want to bother looking through, just toss them!

2-      Donate

Take some of the magazines to your doctor’s or dentist office, or local hospital waiting rooms. Perhaps you have friends who may be interested.

3-      Limit your subscriptions

Get rid of those magazines that are just full of fluff and advertisements. Stop and think if that magazine is really worth the money or your time to read. Can you get that information online?

4-      Go Digital

Most magazines nowadays have a digital version available. If you are one who likes to read your magazines on the computer or digital device, this is a great option.

5-      Recycle

If you have access to a recycling center that processes paper, take advantage of it. I am lucky because in my community we have a recycling can that gets picked up every other week. It’s wonderful.

6-      Read It & Rip It Out

Read & rip out  has been my system for many years, which limits the need to keep any magazine. Whenever I receive a magazine in the mail, I keep it in a rack for a very short time. I read through it, rip out anything that I am interested in, and immediately toss it in the recycling bin. I do like to rip out recipes, inspiring photos, and occasional articles for future reference. Those pages go in my file or on my vision boards.

The photo shown above on the left is an old bike basket that I keep some of my favorite magazines in. I placed felt pads underneath so it doesn’t scratch the bathroom floor.

7-      Keep Only Your Favorites

Occasionally there will be magazines or catalogs that are full of things that inspire me. I will keep them in a wicker basket that I display in my living room or bathroom. (The photo that is shown on the right is a nifty magazine rack I designed years ago, and my amazing, handy husband built it for me). These are magazines that I can flip through at leisure that bring me joy.

I do keep a few magazines and catalogs  that are my favorites.  Pottery Barn (great ideas for paint colors, home decor, and decorating), Whole Living (until they decided to stop publication), Simple,  and Eating Well.

So there you have it. A few magazine management tips. Don’t let clutter consume you, zap your energy and keep you stuck in the past.

WebMed has a great article on how clutter can drain your energy. Check it out here.

Let it go!

Here are a few of my other posts related to clutter that you may be interested in.

Clutter Free – Step by Step

De-clutter your wallet

26 day detox

Clutter Free Hot spots

 

You got this!

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DIY Wicker Basket Drawer Tutorial

Do you have a deep shelf or storage bin that you just can’t keep organized? In this diy wicker basket drawer tutorial I am going to show you how to make a drawer using a simple square basket.

wicker basket drawer

The nightstand shown above is the nightstand I had in my bedroom growing up. We just keep painting it and using it because I love the simple design, however I did not like the deep shelf. Books would fall back in there and it was a hard to keep it organized.

wicker basket drawer

I found a square wicker basket that fit perfectly. The problem was pulling the basket out of the shelf. So I simply added a cute crystal handle.

wicker basket drawer

I remembered these cute antique knobs that I have been saving for just a project like this.

You can find them at most hardware stores, specialty shops, and home decor shops. Amazon also have a cute set that would work perfectly. Ikea ( I love Ikea) have several storage bins that would be so cute with wicker baskets that have cute handles on them.

wicker basket drawer

Here is what you do

  • Cut a piece of thin wafer board. Approximately 4 x 5 inches. Depending on the size of your basket.
  • Drill a hole in the center so the knob can go through. (This anchors the knob so it won’t pull through the wicker).
  • Take the bolt out of the knob and stick it through the wicker and the board, then screw the knob on.

BAM! Simple as that.

This could easily be done with any basket and would work great for baskets under your bed or in any cabinet.

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How to Maintain a Clean, Orderly Home – the perfect cleaning system to keep you from going insane

cleaning system
Now the days are longer, are you ready to do a little SPRING  (summer) CLEANING? I sure am. Before you put on your rubber gloves and cleaning aprons, stop and think about how you handle all the tasks that need to be done around your house. Do you have a cleaning system? Or do you randomly dive into a job here and there only to find yourself going in circles?
 
Do you have a tendency to get all gung ho and attack too many projects at once, leaving you feeling OVERWHELMED and FRUSTRATED? I used to, until I created a cleaning system for myself and my family that allows us to get things done a little at a time.
 
I have purchased and tried other lists and cleaning systems, but none of them really fit my lifestyle and didn’t quite jive with the tasks that I needed done at MY house. The pre-formatted lists would never get completed and  I would find myself feeling like a failure, overwhelmed again by all the things that were not getting done.
 

This Keeping House Cleaning System that I have put together really works because you can adapt it and customize it to the needs of your home and those who are helping out around the house. What I love is that EVERYONE in the family knows exactly what, when and how to do their chores, because you will have created a custom chart just for them.

cleaning system
If you are the only one keeping house, you will have a plan. You won’t find yourself wandering around all morning wondering what you should do or where to begin. If you stick to it, you will get things done. And when things get done, you feel fabulous because you have completed something!
 

The challenge will be, to NOT do more than is on the list. Seem crazy? This is what usually happens. You get all excited about cleaning, then you have a little time to do a little more and then a little more.

Before you know it, you’re burned out for the day and you don’t want to do anymore the next day. Sound familiar?

The key is to do a little at a time, at a steady pace and you will find magic happen in your home.

If you stick to your list, you will find yourself having MORE TIME to do the things you really want to.

Setting up the cleaning system will take a little time at the first, but will be well worth your time in the long run!

Here is the cleaning system process

Analyze each room and determine exactly what tasks need to be done and how often.
Make a schedule. Decide which days would be the best to accomplish these tasks.
Split up the tasks with others in the family and create personal chore charts.
Create a tickler file for the bigger, not-so-frequent tasks.

6 different editable PDF files are included in the cleaning house system. The forms will help you set up your system so you can create chore charts for each member of the family. 

Family dynamics and schedules will change. No worries.  Saving your files will allow you to tweak and make adjustments. That’s the beauty of the editable PDF files!

My daughter just moved out, therefore I had to rearrange and distribute her tasks, which was easy because of the alterable forms I had saved.

cleaning system
The printable pdf forms allow you to type in whatever information you want, customized to your needs.
cleaning system
Create a cute tickler file for the bigger, not so frequent tasks
cleaning system
Adding one or two of these cards at a time to your schedule will keep you on top of the BIG jobs.
cleaning system

After you complete the task, write the date on the back.

(If your kids are doing the task, it helps to put their initial). This will show accountability!

When the task is complete, put that task card in the back of that file section. As a result, this will help rotate tasks and help you eventually work through tall the tasks.

cleaning system

Keep some empty cards handy in your cleaning apron to jot down those jobs you don’t have cards for yet. I love my keeping house aprons! If you sew, the pattern is available here.

Where do you get the Keeping House Cleaning system?

You can purchase the printable files here.

Happy Cleaning and remember………cleaning is a JOY!

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Declutter Your Wallet – Dave Ramsey Style

Is your wallet full of old receipts, unused gift cards and uncashed checks? Does it feel like you are packing around a mini suitcase in your purse? Perhaps it’s time to declutter your wallet! Whether it’s clutter on your dining room table, magazine rack or wallet, it is doing the same thing…….draining your energy. The negative effects of clutter doesn’t just affect your energy, it can also affect your health. There is an interesting article on the Huffington Post that lists 5 ways that clutter can hurt your health. It is quite interesting and something you may want to check out.

I love the saying, “the way you do something, is the way you do everything”.  If you have an issue with clutter somewhere else in your life, most likely you have an issue with your wallet. If you do have some clutter in your wallet, no worries. I am going to share with you a few tips on how to declutter your wallet and make it more efficient, Dave Ramsey style.

Who’s Dave Ramsey?

Dave Ramsey is the guy known for helping people get out of debt and how to manage money. I respect what he teaches and have taken his Financial Peace University Class. You can find more about it about it here.

I am about making things simple, doing things to improve health and about getting out of debt. Who would have thought that decluttering your wallet had anything to do with any of these, ironically, they do.

wallet

Here are a few simple tips on how to declutter your wallet:

1-    Get rid of old receipts, grocery lists, and other paper items that are not needed

2-    Go through your wallet and see if there are any gift cards that you have forgotten about. If there are, USE THEM!

wallet

3-    Keep your debit cards, reward cards and membership cards that you use frequently in a handy place. The ones you don’t use often, place a rubber band around them. If you have room in your wallet you can put them in a different place. I like to store them outside of my wallet for less bulk.

4-    Chuck old business cards that you are no longer interested in. File the ones you MAY be interested in.

5-    Get rid of all unnecessary credit cards. Dave Ramsey would have you get rid of ALL of them. I have one connected to my COSTCO membership and another one for my business. We track them with an online mvelopes system. I don’t know what I would do without mvelopes. It’s like an envelope system, but online. I pay no interest and is paid off automatically every month.

6-   Have emergency information where it can be seen, especially if you have a serious health condition.

wallet

7-    Keep a full set of MONEY FRIENDS available in your wallet. Read more about it here.

wallet

8-    Use some kind of cash tab system inside of your wallet, instead of having a separate cash envelope wallet. I love my cash tabs. You can learn more about them here.

9-    If you have had the same wallet for a long time, switch it up for something new and fun. 

I really like the Mundi wallets. They work really well with the tabs. 

There you have it: simplicity, less stress, and hopefully some motivation to get out of debt.

Life can be chaotic enough; your experience at the checkout stand does not have to be stressful. Unclutter your wallet and see how it unclutters your life. Remember, the way you do something, is the way you do everything.

So what’s next………… your sock drawer, or your closet?

AHHHHH, it feels so good to let some things go. LET IT GO!

jan3

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DIY: Carabiner Keychain Tutorial

carabiner keychain

Lost your keys AGAIN? If you are one who can not keep track of your keys, this DIY tutorial is for YOU! I am going to show you how easy it is to make a carabiner keychain. It really is a snap!

DIY carabiner keychain

Seriously, why is it so hard to find your dang keys? You know the drill. You get to the car and the fumbling begins. Reaching your hand in the endless pit of STUFF in your purse, there are no keys to be found.  You try one pocket, then another, not there. Oh the FRUSTRATION!.  Now you are all worked up and stressed. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way!

DIY carabiner keychain

I have found something that WORKS! My husband has been using a carabiner keychain for a long time and he always knows where his keys are. So I decided to make my own. I know it’s not the most feminine thing, but the purses I enjoy are a little playful and whimsy anyway, so it works for me. In fact, it has been working quite well. I LOVE IT!

Right when I get out of the car, I simply clip my keys to the side loop of my purse and let the keys fall inside. When I am ready to get in the car, I EASILY unclip the carabiner and viola, keys in hand I am ready to roll. Works like a charm.

Are you ready to simplify your life a little? I am telling you, this is a game-changer.

To make your own keychain you will need

DIY carabiner keychain

1″- 1 1/4 ” Split Key Ring

I like to buy a variety of sizes like is in this set. They do come in handy for other things. You can find them at most stores, often at the checkout aisle.

2 1/2 – 3 ” Carabiner

You can get these at Home Depot, Amazon, or other hardware stores. This one from Amazon comes with the split keyring.

DIY carabiner keychain

6 1/2 inches of 3/4 ” webbing

DIY carabiner keychain

I am a recycler! This is my box of random webbing pieces that I have salvaged from different things that I no longer want or use. (bags, backpacks, coats, etc.) I save the hardware as well. They really do come in handy for a lot of things. So if you don’t have a stash yet of random webbing, something you may want to consider. (Keep it to a minimum, remember) I don’t want to promote a hoarding scenario here.

Sewing Machine

Scissors

1- Cut 6 1/2 inches of webbing

DIY carabiner keychain

2- Thread the webbing into the ring

Fold the top piece up 2 “

DIY carabiner keychain

3- Sew the top webbing to the bottom 1/2 ” from the fold

You can use a zigzag stitch or two straight stitches.

DIY carabiner keychain

4- Fold the bottom webbing piece under 1/2″

DIY carabiner keychain

5- Fold the top piece so it overlaps the bottom piece

It should measure 2 1/2 “.

DIY carabiner keychain

6- Topstitch the upper loop

Using a zigzag or straight stitch, to secure the top folded webbing in place.

DIY carabiner keychain

7- Slip the carabiner onto the top loop

Add your keys and you are ready to ROLL!

DIY carabiner keychain

This is how my husband hooks his keys to his backpack. They can also be attached to a belt buckle.

DIY carabiner keychain

If you have any questions while sewing these up, shoot me a note.

Get ready for hassle-free key accessibility!

YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN MY TUTORIAL ON HOW TO MAKE AN EARPHONE CORD HOLDER. 

DIY carabiner keychain

jan1

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Painters Tape: 6 Handy Household Uses

Although painters tape is mainly used to mask off areas that should not be painted, I have found 6 other handy ways to use it around the house.

Painters tape is a type of pressure-sensitive tape made of a thin and easy-to-tear paper that has an easily released pressure-sensitive adhesive. It is available in a variety of widths and can be found in blue or green, depending on what brand it is.

I use it all the time and I keep a roll in my kitchen utility drawer for easy access. My husband knows not to mess with my roll of tape. I told him to get his own or to be sure to return it. Just a little frustrating when I go to use it and it’s not there.

Now I am sure there are a lot of other ways to use this beautiful blue strip of stickiness, but here are some handy ways I use it.

1- Dating and labeling food storage containers

Have you ever put leftovers in the freezer and a week later wondered what the heck it is? You seriously think you will remember, but when food freezes it takes on a whole new look. Right? I simply rip off a little piece of blue tape, grab my Sharpie marker, and write on it. I write what it is and sometimes I write the date. Not only is it good to know what it is, it comes in handy to know how long this food item has been hanging out in the freezer or fridge.

2- As a chip bag clip

If you don’t down a bag of chips in one sitting, a little strip of blue tape actually works really well to close it back up. I will admit I was a little doubtful about whether it would work or not, but it does. The same piece of tape will keep working even after opening and closing it multiple times. No more need for all those random chip clips. I used to use a close pin, but this works better.

3- Label plastic bins and tubs

If you are not real picky about how your storage tubs are labeled, painters tape is a great quick way to let you know what’s inside. I use this method when I am organizing. If it is a bin that I will be keeping long-term, I go back and make a more professional label. Using the tape makes it easy to peel off, if I choose to use the bin for something else.

4- Sewing guide

For those of you who sew, painters tape will now be your new friend.

When the seam allowance is much wider than your sewing machine guide displays is a great time to rip off a piece of painters tape. Simply measure the width and apply to the sewing machine arm. Works like a charm.

It works really well to mark where you need to top stitch. Instead of using chalk or a fabric pen, this allows you to mark the fabric nicely right where you need to sew. You can also mark on the tape where you need to apply elastic or buttons, etc.

5- Sticky note replacement

Instead of using a sticky note pad, grab a piece of blue tape. Leave a little message to someone you love, or leave a little reminder for yourself of something you need to do. What I love about this tape is that it doesn’t leave any residue and it can be moved and used again. You can even use it on paper without tearing it when you remove it.

6- Household product dating

You may be wondering why in the heck you need to put a date on your household products. Well, this is something that I have been doing for many years.

  • It helps you know how long it takes to go through something.
  • You don’t overstock your storage. Have any of you kept buying a particular item in fear of running out, only to find out you only go through it 6 months or even yearly? I have. Not only do you get stuck with a bunch of product, you have wasted money.
  • Awareness. It may be very enlightening for you to see how long items last.
  • Helps with budgeting.
  • You won’t have to go without something you need.

I am all about having a good food storage and items on hand. However, I have lightened up a bit because I found I was overbuying and in many cases waiting food and product. This method of dating products has really helped.-

You can apply a strip of painters tape to the box or container or simply write the date on the package with a marker.

I hope this has given you a few ideas on how to be a little more organized and thrifty by using painters tape.

Enjoy your day!

jan

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Creating an Efficient, Non-Toxic Laundry Room – Healthy Home Tour

Doing the laundry is inevitable, and something you get to do several times a week or even daily if you are lucky. Why not make the laundry room a space that is non-toxic and enjoyable to be in. Your non-toxic laundry room does not have to be a dungeon!

A few years ago, we added onto the back of our house. My husband and I did everything ourselves except the foundation, framing and sheet rock. It took us A LONG TIME! There are still a few things to do in Phase One, but needless to say, I am so excited to have a new laundry room!

One of the biggest reasons we added onto our home, was to bring the laundry room upstairs. Although it was great exercise going up and down the stairs, it became less efficient and time consuming, and a downright bother.  When I was designing the laundry room, I took some serious thought into what I wanted.

As you can see, I had all the details drawn out. I spent hours on Pinterest, going through my magazine clippings and researching to find out the most efficient way to use the small space that we had to work with.

I love home tours. Not only do I enjoy seeing the structural details, I like seeing how the people LIVE in the space. So I thought it would be fun to bring you into my home, room by room and let you see how we live, what products we use, and perhaps share a few helpful tips.

Let the non- toxic LAUNDRY ROOM tour begin

Raised washer & dryer stand

I am going to start with one of my favorite features in my laundry room. I love having the washer and dryer up high enough that it doesn’t’ break my back pulling the laundry in and out of the dryer. We looked at all the options for washer and dryer stands and they just didn’t appeal to me, and were a lot of money. My husband and I did a lot of sketching and designing and this is what we came up with. This stand is really sturdy and gives me room to store two laundry baskets underneath.

Laundry basket sorting

I recommend having a laundry basket for each category of laundry: WHITES, COLORS, TOWELS & SHEETS, and JEANS. This helps to keep thing organized. It is a good way to stay caught up with your laundry. If the basket gets full, it’s time to do a load of laundry.

One thing that has helped me stay on top of my laundry, is to do a little bit everyday (or almost every day). This way I it doesn’t pile up and get overwhelming. I know this may not work for everyone. Some like to just take a day and do it all. Whatever works for you.

Non-toxic laundry soap

I like to keep the laundry soap accessible and close to the washing machine. I found this unique glass container at a thrift store years ago. It is perfect for holding my non-toxic powdered detergent.

Have you ever checked into what is in your laundry soap? Your laundry soap may smell yummy and fresh and it may be getting your clothes clean, but it may be VERY TOXIC. Most commercial laundry detergents have ingredients in them that are very harmful to your health.

Because of “trade secrets,” manufacturers are not required to disclose what’s in their detergent, so the ingredient list is usually vague and not very helpful. Conventional laundry soap generally contains the following:

  • synthetic detergents, which are often made of petrochemicals
  • phenols (established endocrine disruptors, of which BPA is the most notorious)
  • fragrance (which usually contains phthalates)
  • optical brighteners, which are often made from benzene, a definite carcinogen
  • bleach, which contains chlorine (an environmental toxin–and possibly a carcinogen and endocrine disruptor)
  • phosphates, which break down minerals and render detergent more effective, but with harmful environmental ramifications

You can read more about these ingredients here.

I hope this was enough information for you to ponder, and hopefully nudge you to find a more safe way to clean your clothes. There are a lot of options out there that do a great job. I have been using non-toxic laundry soap for many years and have tried several brands. I wasn’t real impressed with any of them until I came across County Save. This is good stuff.

I recently tried a few other things that I have been really pleased with. Have you ever heard of SOAP NUTS? I hadn’t until a little while ago. I will post more details about these little gems soon, but I really like them!

Back to the tour

I also keep a container close by with baking soda in it. This and white vinegar are great to put in with a load of towels. It keeps them fresh and clean.

I also keep a few essential oils on hand as well. If you put a few drops of oil on a washcloth and then place it in with your clothes your laundry will come out smelling fabulous!

If you have room for a sink, do it.

Having a sink in your non-toxic laundry room does come in handy.  Those times when you need to soak something, or wash something really dirty, it’s nice to have it out of the way and not have to use your kitchen sink.

You can see the soap nuts in the cute little glass container on my dryer. (Can’t wait to post about them).

The container to the right of my sink, is homemade non-toxic foaming hand soap. It is VERY simple to make using castile soap and essential oils. I show you how to make it here.

Clothes Racks

Putting your clothes on hangers as soon as they come out of the dryer will save you a lot of time and grief. Having a place to hang the clothes once they are on hangers is really convenient.

My husband made and installed a handy clothes rack that attaches to the ceiling right by the dryer. This way I can take the shirts out of the dryer, put them on hangers and hang them up until I finish that load. The ceiling rack is made of galvanized steel. It is nice and sturdy and modern looking.

I recommend putting the hung up clothes away in your closets right after you have hung them up. Don’t let them accumulate until you have a huge load of clothes to put away. This will only cause overwhelm, and add clutter to the room.

Dryer Balls

Dryer balls made from wool yarn or felted wool sweaters work really well to save on drying time. They do help reduce static cling somewhat. I show how to make them here.

Basket for mismatched socks and delicate clothes

The basket on top of the washer is for socks without a match and for delicate clothing. When the “other” sock makes its way through the laundry, I know exactly where its match is. When there are enough clothes accumulated for the delicate cycle, I do a batch.

Window Treatments

If you have windows in your laundry room, freshen things up with a cheery window treatment. The fabric window valance I have shown in the picture was really easy to make and it didn’t take a lot of fabric or time. I show how to make it here.

Ironing Board and folding table

Long before we finished the laundry room I found a used ironing board cabinet for sale. I bought it and it sat in the garage for about a year before we were ready to install it. I love it. The ironing board is hidden, it’s easy to pull out and put away. It doesn’t take up a lot of room because if fits right between the studs in the wall.

Who doesn’t love IKEA? I could spend hours in there, well, I do actually. On one of my visits I was browsing and came across this awesome fold down table. I think it is made to use in small kitchens where you don’t have a lot of room.

When I saw this, a light came on in my head. I knew what I needed it for, my laundry room. I wanted to be able to fold the laundry in the same room, but there is no room for a table. This was the perfect solution. It works like a charm. When it’s not in use, I simply fold it down.

While we are talking laundry, here are a few other posts you may be interested in.

There you have it. I hope you enjoyed the little tour of my laundry room.

Even if your washer and dryer is tucked in a closest, or it is in the basement; there are simple, inexpensive things you can do to optimize the space and improve the aesthetics.  It really does make a big difference in your desire to do laundry. I can honestly say that I don’t mind doing laundry and actually find it quite therapeutic.

Transform your laundry room into a place where you like to be. Doing laundry can be enjoyable, if you choose.

Start with little things and do things that are doable. (Remember, my laundry room took 2 years to complete). Make it a journey and do it with a smile!

jan3

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How To Fold and Organize Socks Efficiently

If you find it challenging to find a pair of matching socks from your drawer, I am going to show you how simple it is to fold and organize your socks quickly and efficiently.

In what state is your sock drawer?

They say, “the way you do something, is the way you do everything”. So, what is that saying about you if your sock drawer is a heap of unmatched socks? Most likely you will find this same thing showing up in other areas of your life. Something to think about! If you want to change your life, start with your sock drawer. I know this sounds crazy, but seriously, if you do something as simple as organize your sock drawer, it will change the way you do everything!

Besides feeling a sense of ahhhhh every time you open your organized sock drawer, by organizing your socks you will:

  • save time by not having to search for a matching pair of socks
  • save money (because you will know how many socks you have instead of having a stray sock floating around somewhere in the house and have to buy new ones)
  • you will have a sense of clarity and order

This technique I am going to show you below is simple, quick and does NOT take a lot of time.

Play Video

here is how it is done

  1. Find the match to your sock and place them on top of each other, matching heels and toes.
  2. Fold toes up 1/3 of the way, then fold the cuff over that.
  3. For longer socks, fold in half, then in half again.
  4. Stack and put them in your drawer right away.

The key is to find some kind of little box to keep the socks contained. There are a lot of options. It doesn’t have to be fancy or cost a lot of money! The option above is very affordable and is available here.

There is a plastic type that folds up like the one above. You can get them here.

Or Ikea sells a set of drawer boxes like this one. (I love Ikea)!

Or you can just use a simple shoe box without the lid. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just something to keep the socks contained and in a smaller area.

Fold, stack and store!

Simple as that.

Give it a whirl and see how your life changes.

By the way, how is your utensil drawer?  That is next ha, ha.

Enjoy!

jan3

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Hanging Up Your Laundry – Streamlined

Do you ever get overwhelmed with the laundry? I am going to show you a slick trick my daughter taught me to streamline hanging up laundry. Allie is a master in efficiency and organization (She gets it from her father who does this very thing for work). Whatever she is doing, she finds a quicker, more efficient way to do it. She even made hanging up a load of laundered shirts a snap!

Here is what you do:

Gather a bunch of hangers and set them on a table or wherever you fold your laundry. (I love this foldout table that I got at Ikea).

Take the shirts out of the dryer and stack them on top of each other, front facing out.

Place a hanger in each shirt. (Make sure all the hangers are facing the same direction).

After the hanger is inserted, fold it forward and go to the next shirt until all the shirts have a hanger in them.

Ta-dah!

Below is a video demo of how slick this really is.

Play Video

Here are a few other laundry tips:

Remove empty hangers from your closet regularly

Isn’t it frustrating when you go to hang things up and there are NO HANGERS? When my kids were younger, “gather hangers” was one of the tasks on their chore list. It worked out nicely. So if you have little ones around, this is a great little job for them. It is also nice not to have all the empty hangers taking up space in your closet.

Avoid placing laundry on the bed to fold later

I know it is tempting to throw a load of laundry on your bed with the intention of folding it right away, but do you? It is very easy to put it off and forget about it until you go to crawl in bed. Then what happens? Yep, it gets thrown back into the laundry basket or maybe even on the floor. Now, you have to throw it back into the dryer to get the wrinkles out, and you are starting all over again. What a waist of time. So, just avoid it in he first place, unless you are certain that you are going to do it right then.

Use closet organizing tags to keep clothing in order

I show how to make these simple closet organizing tags here in this post.

Get rid of clothes you don’t wear!

I am always about getting rid of clutter. Not that I am queen of doing this, but I try. Keeping clothes in your closet that you don’t wear, just takes up space, drains your energy and could be used by someone else. Something to consider.

There you have it, a few tips on how to hang up and store your laundry.

Stay tuned for some other fun tips on getting organized and clutter free. It’s that time of year when I want to just gut the house and get rid of things.

Please share if you have any questions or great ideas!

Remember, doing laundry is a joy!

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HOLISTIC LIVING: Healthy Travel Tips

holistic living

I went on a little vacation this week, and as I was gathering all my goods, I thought it would be a fun idea to show you some things I do and some things I take along with me. Here are some healthy tips and tricks that I do to maintain SOME holistic living while traveling.

holistic living

Notice that I said “some”.  When you are out of your routine and in a different place it can be challenging to do all the things you normally like to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  I suggest you back off a little and do the BEST YOU CAN and enjoy yourself.  Don’t freak out because maybe you had to resort to eating a little “fast food” or that you didn’t get your daily run in.

Know and trust that your body is very resilient and it will bounce back quickly once you get back to your normal routine. I say this like I don’t worry about this stuff, well I still do somewhat but have learned to not let it ruin my vacation.

I bring with me and implement the things I can, and then enjoy myself.  Yes, you will have to adapt a little, but that is good for you!

Here are a few tips & tricks:

Medications, Supplements and Tinctures

holistic living

Make sure you have all your needed medications and supplements! I learned this the hard way. The last trip I went on I ended up getting food poisoning. Without going into too much detail, because of a particular condition I experience, I am supposed to up my dose of hydrocortisone significantly if I experience any kind of illness or food poisoning. My doctor had given me some shots with cortisone in them in case this ever happens. (I ended up in the emergency room when I had food poisoning before, pretty much because I couldn’t keep the cortisone pill down).

Anyway, I forgot to pack the shots this trip. DANG, I was sooooooo sick. I would rather go through child birth than this. Not fun being that sick in a hotel room.

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

If you have a “daily” supplement container, it is a good idea to tape it closed like I have done here in the photo. I have had it open up and spill all over my purse way too many times before I learned to just tape it closed. I use painters tape.

Don’t forget any NEEDED medications, supplements or tinctures. To save room I get the small snack zip bags, label them and put the capsules in there. If I think I may need the whole jar, I will just take the whole thing. Put them all in a BIG zip bag.

Healthy Snacks

holistic living

Throw a few snacks in a little zip lock bag for those times at the airport or in the car when you sugar level is dropping and you need something to eat. If you have something handy, you will be less tempted to buy junk food, and save some money.

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

If your hotel room has a fridge in it, go to a grocery store and buy a few healthy snacks to have on hand. I like to get some string cheese, rice crackers, apples, nut & seed mix, carrot & celery pre-cut mix, bottled water and grapefruit.  Yep, that is sauerkraut in there. I got that for a little extra probiotic action for my gut this week. It was a small bag so even though I didn’t finish it, the little I had served me well.

Even if the place you are staying has breakfast available, it is nice to have some of your own alternatives. (The snacks you bought at the store are probably better for you than the instant pancakes, powdered eggs or sweet rolls they have available). Now, it there is no other option, do the best you can. They will usually have oatmeal packets or yogurt and perhaps some fruit if you are lucky.

If you are really feeling vigilant, I know some who take their blenders with them. I really don’t want to be hauling my Blendtec on the plane. Although I did consider taking my son’s Magic Bullet. Oh how a nice a green smoothie would taste on vacation!

Grapefruit

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

What about grapefruit? When traveling, most likely you will be eating out more frequently than normal, and perhaps eating foods that are a little more heavy, rich and fatty. Grapefruit is a good source of fiber, and it contains both soluble and insoluble fiber both of which can help improve digestion and constipation. Who wants to be constipated while traveling?

After eating a heavy dinner, I like to come back to the hotel and have some grapefruit. I peel it just like an orange. You are going to love the aroma as you peel it. Now some of you may never have eaten a grapefruit like this, but trust me, it grows on you and is quite a yummy snack. There are VERY good properties in the pith (white stuff around the grapefruit) so don’t pull it all off, eat it. When I eat a grapefruit, I don’t get the bloating, indigestion and I feel much lighter.

Water

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

It is so important to stay hydrated and so easy to forget to drink water while you are traveling. I bring along my own water bottle and pack it empty, so when I get to the hotel I can fill it up and have handy. It helps me to remember to drink water if I have my water bottle there.

If you don’t want to pack your own, make sure you at least by some bottles of water to have handy. I buy a few gallons of water and bring them back to the hotel. Most likely you don’t want to be drinking the water from the bathroom tap!

Movement

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

Although you may not be able to attend your favorite yoga class or go for a bike ride, there are some ways you can still move your body while traveling or while on vacation.

  • Skip the elevator and take the stairs
  • If the hotel you are staying at has a gym, use it
  • Go for a walk and do a little exploring
  • Take an online yoga class in your hotel room

It can be so easy to go several days without exercising while on vacation. It doesn’t have to be a serious workout, just move your body in some way. You will regret it if you don’t.

Herbal Teas

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

This is another thing I bring with me. I always take some Yarrow tea with me. This is one of my “go tos” when it comes to any kind of illness. Also good to help detox.

When I travel I take a little zip package of a blend of herbal teas that I like, usually Yarrow, Peppermint and Raspberry leaf. I know it looks like I am smuggling some drugs or doing crazy stuff, nope just herbs.

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

Sometimes, the hotel will have some herbal teas, but not always. What I do is go down to the lobby and get some hot water where they have it for coffee, and fill up a cup. I take it back to my room, put in about a teaspoon of dried herbs and let it steep for a few minutes. Then I get out my trusty stainless steel straw that filters out the herbs and viola, a nice cup of tea.

Essential Oils

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

I saved the best for very last. As some of you may already know, I LOVE ESSENTIAL OILS and I don’t travel without them. I have a little mini case that I have in my purse at all times, but that is not enough. I like to take as many as I can, AND my diffuser.

There is nothing like being cramped up in a hotel room that is stuffy. Why not diffuse your favorite oils to make it feel and smell a little more like home. I have a small travel diffuser  that I pack.

When packing my oils, I have a difficult time deciding which ones to bring. I take the most essential ones and pray I won’t need any of the others. Trust me; these oils have come in handy. On this trip I was so glad I brought the big bottle of lavender because I got a little too much sun on my back and was able to have my husband apply some on my back. Works wonders.  You never know when there will be a need for them physically or emotionally. LOVE EM!

Hopefully this will be helpful for those of you who want to maintain some kind of healthy balance when on vacation.

What is a tip you have learned and do to stay healthy on vacation? I would love to hear about it!

Cheers,

jan

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How to organize and store felted wool sweaters

store felted wool sweaters

I am on a quest to organize, DE-junk, and clear the clutter from my home and my life.  The first thing I did was clean out my closet and have worked from area to area in my home letting things go and organizing.  I will post about this later as it is quite amazing some things I have learned.

As you all know, I love felted wool sweaters and I have acquired just a FEW over the years. (Ha, Ha)  I must say my SWEATER STASH was getting out of control. Every time I started a wool project, I hauled out my bins of sweaters (six and one mega size bin), lined them up in the hallway and would dig through them all, trying to find jut the right piece and color.  WHAT A MESS!

Not having my supplies in order caused PROCRASTINATION.  The thoughts of the mess, and the bother of hauling all those bins out, kept me from moving forward and getting things done.  Do any of you find yourself feeling like this?  It was time to MOVE ON.

I bit the bullet and turned on an audio book, got a chair, a pair of scissors and got to work.

store felted wool sweaters
This is what some of my bins looked liked.  Most of them were worse off.  So crammed I could hardly get the lids on them.  Who knew what was in there???
 

Here are a few tips on how to organize and store felted wool sweaters.

I am going to show you a technique that I have found that works really well in storing the sweaters so they don’t take up so much room.

1. WASH AND FELT THE SWEATER.  (Instructions here on how to felt and shrink sweaters).

2. DISASSEMBLE SWEATER.

Right after you acquire a sweater and have washed it, disassemble the sweater.  Cutting the sweater up like this will make it easier to cut out items for your project, and will save so much room when storing.  Here is a step by step guide in how I disassemble my sweaters.

store felted wool sweaters

Cut up the side seam to the arm pit.

store felted wool sweaters

Cut the sleeve off.

store felted wool sweaters

Cut through the shoulder seam.

store felted wool sweaters

This sweater has a turtle neck.  So cut off the neck piece if it has one.  This could come in handy for a lot of good things.

store felted wool sweaters

Cut the other shoulder seam and the other sleeve off.  DO NOT CUT THE
OTHER SIDE SEAM.  This will allow you to have more intact yardage if
necessary for larger pieces.

store felted wool sweaters

If the sweater has a good cuff.  Cut the lower 4-5 inches of the sleeve
off.  These cuffs work well for the cuffs of mittens and slippers!

store felted wool sweaters

Cut down the sleeve seam.

store felted wool sweaters

Open the sleeve piece up and fold.

store felted wool sweaters

If the sweater has a good cuff along the bottom of the sweater.  Cut the
lower 4-5 inches off in a long strip.  Once again, this cuff fabric is
wonderful.

If the sweaters have any cool accessories on them, BUTTONS, ZIPPERS,  POCKETS, etc. save them. 

Here are a few zippers that I have saved from sweaters.  The reason I saved these zippers is because of the cool zipper pulls they have.  This can really add charm to a project.  Yes, I know it will take some time unpicking the sweater from the zipper, but something you could do while watching t.v or riding in the car.  (As a passenger, of course).
store felted wool sweaters

3.  FOLD AND STORE

store felted wool sweaters

Doesn’t this look so much nicer than a wad of wool?

store felted wool sweaters
This is a flatter bin about 6 inches tall, that I store all my cut out
cuffs in.  Easy to find and easy to see what colors I have available.

If you are just starting to explore the world of FELTED WOOL SWEATERS  and you don’t have a big surplus YET, just find a nice bin with a lid to keep your sweaters in.

BUT, if you have been into this for a bit, you most likely have several sweaters of many colors kicking around.

PLASTIC BINS

To make your life easier when it comes to felted wool sweater projects, get yourself several bins, preferably the same size for easy stacking.  I get mine at Costco.  I used to have a big old mongo bin that I would throw some of the sweaters in, but it was way too big and hard to organize.  So, that bin is now being used for sleeping bags.

I cut my bins down from 6 regular plus the mongo bin, to only 6 regular size bins.  Yea!  It feels so nice.

SORT IN COLORS

Depending on how many sweaters you have, sit and figure out what colors need to go where.  I use a whole bin for greens, and one bin for blacks and grays.

Label the bins so you can easily see at a glance where things are.

I just got a Silhouette Cameo machine a while back and was able to make some fun vinyl labels.  You can make a paper label and tape it to the box or even just stick some masking tape on and write what colors are inside.

Establish a box for SCRAPS.  After you have cut things out you are going to have pieces that are too small to fold.  DON’T THROW THEM AWAY.  There are so many projects that require only a small piece of wool. Balls, hearts, and so many other things.

I also keep smaller box, or you can even use a bag, for the tiny scraps of felted wool scraps.  These I save for laundry dryer balls.  For more information about making these gems, check out this blog post.  

So, there you have it.  I hope this LONG post was helpful to you in some way.

If you have a great idea or have questions, please feel free to chime in and leave a comment.
Some times I feel like I am just talking to the wind.

Have fun sorting, sewing and of course, SMILING!

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Printable Cash Envelope Tabs

Do you know what the Cash Envelope System is?

The envelope system is nothing new, it’s been around for decades. It is a method of keeping track of your money (managing your budget). These cash envelope tabs are the best! Dave Ramsey teaches this method in his training. I LOVE IT!

With the envelope system you use cash for different categories of your budget, and you keep that cash tucked away in envelopes. You can see exactly how much money you have left in a budget category just by taking a quick peek in your envelope. How easy is that?

Well it just became a lot easier.

I used to use actual envelopes and had a separate wallet for my cash. It was bulky, my envelopes wore out quickly, and there was a lot of fumbling around my wallet at the cash register. I got thinking, there has got to be a better way! So I designed these tabs and my life is much better, especially when it comes to spending.

These tabs fit right inside your existing wallet (unless you have a very small wallet). There is no need to have TWO wallets! Who has room for that?

The tabs can be purchased from my Etsy shop already made, but for those of you who like to Do It Yourself, why not just make them yourself? That way you can customize and print out as often as needed.

Where can you get the printable download?

These printable and editable cash envelope tabs are available  in my Etsy shop.
 

Where do you find a good wallet?

When looking for a suitable wallet, look for one that has a roomy area for a lot of cash. Make sure it is at least 7 1/2 – 8 1/2 inches wide. I like these Mundi wallets. You can find them in most retail stores or here on Amazon.
 
Check out this post to find out a little more about saving money using the CASH ENVELOPE SYSTEM.
This is a no brainer, easy way to get control of your spending. Download and print as many time as you want.

Let me know how this system is working for you, and if you have any other comments or suggestions regarding budgeting or saving.

Happy Budgeting!

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