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20 Easy Home Cleaning Hacks That Will Save You Money

20 Easy Home Cleaning Hacks That Will Save You Money

1. Cleaning Carpet Stains

Combine 2 parts water with 1 part white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the stain, cover the area with a damp rag, use the steam setting and iron over the damp rag.

carpet
    Source: Flickr, Dong Jun (CC)

    2. Tile Grout Cleaner

    Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner With Bleach, a scrub brush and minimal manual labor for pristine grout. Via DIYCozyHome

    grout
      Credit: Flickr, Kurt Nordstrom (CC)

      3. Ceiling Fan Duster

      Place an old pillow case on the fan blade and wipe. The dust stays trapped in the pillow case which can then be shaken outside and thrown in the laundry. Via Diply

      ceiling-fan
        Credit: Flickr, Kevin Galens (CC)

        4. Removing Marker & Ink Marks From Wood

        Just take some plain white toothpaste, put it on a rag and scrub the marks away.

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        ink-wood
          Credit: Flickr, Kin Dombrowski (CC)

          5. Save Worn Leather Furniture

          Leather furniture can look like new after a good buff with shoe polish. To clean other upholstery, check out these tips.

          couch
            Credit: Flickr, Sebastiaan ter Burg (CC)

            6. Clean Dish Sponge & Microwave In One

            Placing your damp sponge in the microwave for two minutes on high will kill any bacteria living on it.  Plus, the steam will loosen the grime in your microwave making it much easier to clean.

            microwave
              Credit: Flickr, Daniel Lobo (CC)

              7. The Three Minute Fridge Clean

              To get your filthy old fridge spic and span in under five minutes go here.

              fridge
                Credit: Flickr, Michelle Tribe (CC)

                8. Salt Scrub Cleanser

                You can clean all sorts of things with a coarse salt scrub, including your cast iron skillet, coffee pots, glass bottles and more. Via DIYready

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                salt
                  Credit: Flickr, MDV (CC)

                  9. Hydrogen Peroxide

                  Hydrogen peroxide is the cheapest cleaner out there and can be used on almost everything. It’s a disinfectant, a mold killer and stain remover. Keep some in a spray bottle as your multi-purpose cleaner.

                  peroxide
                    Credit: Flickr, Trenten Kelley (CC)

                    10. Vinegar & Baking Soda

                    Like hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar and baking soda are multi-purpose cleaners. They can be combined to gently scrub tubs and sinks and are excellent stain removers. A mix of vinegar and water in the microwave for 10 minutes will steam up and soften everything in there so it can later be wiped clean with a wet sponge and mildly abrasive baking soda. White vinegar also cuts through soap scum.

                    sink
                      Credit: Flickr, Regan76 (CC)

                      11. De-greasing With Ammonia

                      Greasy or caked on stove burners can be cleaned without any scrubbing by simply sealing them overnight in a bag with 1/4 cup ammonia. The fumes do the work so you don’t need to soak anything. Just be sure not to mix it with bleach, and thoroughly wipe down the burners before putting them back on the stove.

                      stove
                        Credit, Flickr, Allen (CC)

                        12. Citrus For Sinks

                        You can clean your sink with fresh lemons. You can also disinfect and remove smells from your garbage disposal by running it with any variation of citrus fruit inside (lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit).

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                        citrus
                          Credit: Flickr, Liz West (CC)

                          13. Washing Machine Drain Pump

                          Keep your machine running like new by cleaning your drain pump following with these simple instructions.

                          washing-machine
                            Credit: Flickr, Apionid (CC)

                            14. Mildew Stains

                            Mildew stains can be cleaned over night by simply placing a bleach-soaked cotton ball or rag over them.

                            bleach
                              Credit: Flickr, Fredsharples (CC)

                              15. Cleaning Switch Plates

                              Rather than spraying solutions on switch plates and risking electrical issues, wipe them down with a wet rag with some dishwashing liquid on it. The dish soap will clean the oil residue left by dirty fingers. This technique can be used on any surface that is frequently touched by hands.

                              switchplate
                                Credit: Flickr, Mike (CC)

                                16. Clean Windows

                                Use a mix of white vinegar and hot water instead of expensive commercial window cleaners. Don’t wash your windows in direct sunlight as this causes streaks by drying too fast.

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                                windows
                                  Credit: Flickr, Kdingo (CC)

                                  17. Clean Blinds

                                  A little dish soap and hot water will clean your blinds very nicely.

                                  blinds
                                    Credit: Flickr, Anders Adermark (CC)

                                    18. Remove Musty Closet Smells

                                    Use lidded plastic containers like deli bowls. Cut slits or punch a few holes in the lid and fill the container with white vinegar. Place the bowl inside the closet and leave overnight.

                                    closet
                                      Credit: Flickr, Lara604 (CC)

                                      19. Scrub Your Bathtub

                                      Mix a paste of one cup baking soda, one teaspoon of liquid soap (like dish soap), a few drops of an anti-bacterial essential oil like rosemary, eucalyptus or tea tree and just enough water to make the paste.

                                      bathtub
                                        Credit: Flickr, Psyduck (CC)

                                        20. Packing Tape & Lint Rollers

                                        Use packing tape or a lint roller to pick up crumbs, dust, and remove animal hair off of surfaces quickly and easily.

                                        lint-roller
                                          Credit: Flickr, Laurie Chipps (CC)

                                          Featured photo credit: July 30-10 Cleaning / Judith Doyle via flic.kr

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                                          Chris Barry

                                          freelance writer

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                                          Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                                          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                                          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                                          Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                                          your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                                            Why You Need a Vision

                                            Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                                            How to Create Your Life Vision

                                            Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                                            What Do You Want?

                                            The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                                            It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                                            Some tips to guide you:

                                            • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                                            • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                                            • Give yourself permission to dream.
                                            • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                                            • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                                            Some questions to start your exploration:

                                            • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                                            • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                                            • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                                            • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                                            • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                                            • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                                            • What qualities would you like to develop?
                                            • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                                            • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                                            • What would you most like to accomplish?
                                            • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                                            It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                                            What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                                            Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                                            A few prompts to get you started:

                                            • What will you have accomplished already?
                                            • How will you feel about yourself?
                                            • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                                            • What does your ideal day look like?
                                            • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                                            • What would you be doing?
                                            • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                                            • How are you dressed?
                                            • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                                            • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                                            • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                                            It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                                            Plan Backwards

                                            It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                                            • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                                            • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                                            • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                                            • What important actions would you have had to take?
                                            • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                                            • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                                            • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                                            • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                                            • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                                            Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                                            It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                                            Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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