I’ve been so busy lately! We’ve started the new year with a bang! Every year I do an overhaul on our planning. I plan a budget, organize and file paperwork, organize closets, purge, and clean out my home management binder. I find what didn’t work and I strive to change it. I’ve found by being organized, I don’t miss a beat! Our annual budget is now done, annual decluttering and purging is done, pantry and freezer inventory is done, and we’ve created a 3rd method of income. Not only do we both work full time, but now we’ve started making handmade natural soaps and products. Soap is a blast to make and keeps me very busy. Every good homesteader has more than one resource for income. If I ever lose my job, I have others to fall back on. With our goal of “a country homestead” just four years away, every bit of planning and preparation along the way will only make our lives easier. We may live in the suburbs, but how we run our home and hobbies you might think we live on acreage!
Besides all of that, I am planning our seed order to plant in the Spring. I’m praying that I can get something to grow and stay alive this year. We do well with tomatoes but our soil and the Texas heat are terrible even with mulch and diatomaceous earth (DE) added. I’m going to try container gardening and start a little later towards March for planting. We started in February of last year and had two frosts after that, killing everything I worked so hard to plant. We hardly got anything. It pains me to waste that much money, time, and effort. I’m sticking with just three plants this year instead of planting more than that. I figure if I can perfect three, imagine what I can do with five? ten? or more?
With all of the planning I’ve done as far as our finances, our garden, our business, I’m anticipating 2017 to be an amazing year! How do you plan your year? Some people do not have to plan and some like me, DO! I’d go crazy otherwise.
I’ve done a lot of reflection and I truly believe that I have a ton to say about my former self and all of the ways I’ve made life work on my own. While it doesn’t necessarily fit in to my life now, a lot of the techniques, tips, and tricks I still use today. I’m very passionate about the power a woman holds especially if she is forced to raise a child on her own whether by choice or by circumstance.
I’ve created another blog that focuses on just that. Being a single mom and doing it all. I will be shifting some content to make each blog more content focused. Sometimes, just having someone who has walked in their shoes makes all the difference.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all my subscribers and readers who have joined my blogging family over the past 3 years. I really appreciate you.
I have been wanting to finally tackle our laundry room for quite some time. I’m teensy at just 5′ so Babydoll being 6′ has a hard time fitting through the garage door. I had the walls to the left in the picture below lined with shelving for my canning jars and household items, so the pathway could only accommodate me or a child. The door would only open enough me to squeeze through. All you’d hear everytime is “woman!” Haha!
I always go to Dollar Tree for a lot of my organization and home products. Not only are most high quality, but they sell metal items as well comparable to department stotes. The plastic storage bins, plastic baskets, and collapsible cloth bins are amazing!! They are good quality and for $1 each you can’t beat it. Similar bins at Target or Walmart are at least $3.99 each or more. Dollar Tree tends to bring in colors according to the season. Bright white, teal, and pinks typically come out in Spring while Fall brings in chocolate brown, rusty red, and burnt orange colors. Sometimes you will find black and navy blue along with the fluorescent and primary colors. If they don’t have a color to fit your color pallette just use spray paint.
When we moved into our home, I had everything organized in labeled room by room boxes for easy unpacking, but the laundry room tended to hold a lot of the odds and ends because we did recaulking, bug control on the patio, projects, replacing fixtures, etc. After a while, it got really cluttered. So I decided to redecorate it by putting up a spare sheet folded in half and hung in front of all the shelving to hide the mess.
Here is the original laundry room makeover post from last year.
I started by emptying the room entirely except the appliances. I steam mopped the floor and wiped down all the walls, doors, shelving, and baseboards. I then organized all of the items on the shelves putting like items together while purging what I could. Then, I filled the baskets as I went along.
I put non frequent items at the top and everyday items near the bottom. The art work, ironing board holder, broom/mop holder, dryer balls, night light, plastic canister is all from the Dollar Tree. The rug, ironing board cover, and waste basket are from Target.
Laundry Room Tips
A Lint Container is a must have! We have a Rocket Stove and a fire pit outside. Dryer Lint makes fantastic fire starter as it is highly flammable. Save your toilet rolls, put dryer Lint inside and lite.
Tip Jar is a great way to store loose change that makes its way into the laundry. I call this my Dunkin Donuts Fund.
Broom and mop holder for mops, brooms, dryer lint trap brush, dustpan, mixer spoon for the homemade detergent, you name it. Tailor it to your needs.
Ironing board holder simply comes two ways. Either to bolt to a wall or hang over a door. The door I wanted to use was an outdoor door to the garage so it wasn’t wide enough for the hooks to fit. I had to use the laundry room inside door instead. But it is neat because you can use it as a pop of color or focal point of your room. There are tons of beautiful and inspiring prints for Ironing board covers pretty much sold in any housewares section.
Dryer balls are a must have as well. They are just plastic balls with texture to fluff your clothes and soften them. They eliminate the need for pricey dryer sheets. The few ive seen in stores will last a long while as they are really thick flexible plastic. One time purchase versus $3-5 every month.
Label everything using labels from Dollar Tree. I didn’t find them in this trip, but all the baskets should be labeled to easily find items. This saves time especially seeming I’m short and need a stool.
Adjust the decor to your needs and use inspiration from the rest of your home. I wanted it to blend in with all of our decor seeming it’s off of our kitchen and patio. Nightlights and small lamps give a glow so it looks cozy compared to the ugly long commercial light most have.
Landry room makeover for less than $50. Happy Sunday Lovelies!
Here are a few tips n tricks to save money on automobile maintenance and repairs. The best way to save is by price matching. Make a spreadsheet, a simple one will do or a piece of paper. List all of the local shops along with columns for services and price. Then call of the shops that you listed and ask them what prices they charge for certain services. The biggest question is if they price match and to what degree. Some will match up to a certain dollar amount, fully price match, or beat the lowest price by a small monetary number.
Additional savings can also be found using the companys website coupons or coupons that come in regional mailers. Check to see if they accept online reservations or scheduling because often there is a small sweet incentive. For example my tires were an additional $5 off per tire with online appointment. Their website home page and inside lobby are areas they hide savings. Like joining their Facebook page for $5 off.
Parts are always price gouged and its seen more and more everyday. Try choosing a mechanic that will accept you providing your own parts and just charge for labor. A great source for parts is a salvage auto yard. They simply collect wrecked cars and piece the good parts out for sale. I often scored parts off newer models than mine!!
Lastly, try it the old fashioned way by buying the auto repair books you can find at Auto Zone or anywhere they sell parts. YouTube is great for smaller jobs like tail light bulbs or replacing a battery. Watch a tutorial and follow along. Pause and rewind as needed!
One of my home management binder inserts is a printable that I created. In searching for free printables online I found they are set up for one income households or households that are paid weekly. In my home, it is bi-weekly. I use a budget printable daily! I swear by it. I use this in conjunction with my Horacio Life Planner (review coming soon). For those that budget this is a great solution. I do not use bill pay through my bank and nothing comes out automatically except Netflix/Hulu. Everything is paid by me, by hand. This allows me to have full control of our money.
A monthly overview of every expense or bills coming up
A monthly tally of expenses. As bills come in I fill in the due date and amount due. At the end of the month, I add it all up and what is ever left over I pop into savings and start fresh the next month.
A look at how our bills are paid. If it is with a money order then I can write in my planner before the due date to go to the bank. It keeps me in the know as the due date approaches.
At the end of the month I’ll know if I’ve missed anything versus logging into accounts or looking at online banking. If something wasn’t budgeted and if something comes up…I know if we have enough leftover to pay for it.