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5 Money-Saving IKEA Essentials That You Shouldn’t Miss

5 Money-Saving IKEA Essentials That You Shouldn’t Miss

IKEA is everyone’s go-to for great home essentials. We love the clean lines and simplicity, and easy-to-build pieces. But we shouldn’t be buying less expensive items and then be paying an arm and a leg on utility bills. These five product types available at IKEA are not just essentials, they’re also cheaper than alternatives on the market. This means you won’t have to dish out your kids’ college savings just to afford them or put aside that money you were saving to redesign your home. PLUS, they will save you a lot more in years to come. Don’t miss out on these great items.

1. Rugs and Curtains

Living room

    A lot of homes lose heat through the floor. Because of this, investing in area rugs is an easy, low-cost way to save on those heating bills. Putting up curtains on windows and glass doors can also save you on heating and cooling. Curtains can block the heat from the sun during hot summer months and they can also keep the heat inside during the wintry months. Both rugs and curtains come in so many colorful options at IKEA, so they’re not just energy efficient, they can also give your home a bit of a facelift too. Choose from some stunning designs to pair with your sliding barndoor hardware and you won’t have to sacrifice your design personality.

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    2. Refrigerators

    Refrigerator

      Refrigerators are one of those appliances we have to keep running all day, all night, always. But they sometimes sap more energy than necessary. Most new refrigerators or freezer models are being made more energy efficient than older models. Replacing an old one can save you a little extra money, plus it uses up to 40% less energy than older, outdated models. The newest IKEA refrigerators have been rated A+ or A++, compared to the B- or A- ratings of older appliances.

      3. LED Lights

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      LED lights

        About a quarter of energy consumption is through lighting, but IKEA’s LED lights use about 85% less energy than older bulbs. IKEA has switched all their lighting options completely over to LED. But with their new designs, lighting can also become more fun and beautiful. Not only that, but LED lights come in a wide range of sizes and work with all fittings, so you don’t need to replace your favorite lamp or fixture.

        4. Faucets

        Sink

          With larger families, or even just forgetful family members, saving water can seem like a big ordeal. But IKEA has bathroom faucets that save up to 50% of water and kitchen faucets that will save up to 30% of water use. You can begin to save money on water utility bills by focusing your water-saving efforts at the source. With these new IKEA faucets that come in a great variety of wonderful styles to fit you home’s design theme, you can save without having to change your family’s habits.

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          IKEA also has some great new designs for washing machines and dishwashers that also focus on water efficiency. With these great appliances you won’t feel like you need to start hand washing all your dishes just to save a little cash. You can rest easy knowing that the machine is doing all the hard work for you.

          5. Stovetops

          Stove

            IKEA has some great options for stovetops with new induction technology. Don’t sacrifice your good cooking to save, rather, invest in a new cooktop that heats up the pan (not everything around it, which can result in greater heat loss). Not only do these stovetops save energy, they also work better than older glass-ceramic appliances. IKEA also has great pots and pans to compliment their energy-efficient stovetops.

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            These IKEA essentials are not only energy-efficient, helping to preserve some of the most precious resources the earth has to offer us, but they also save you and your family money. Investing in some of these items will help your family become more eco-friendly and your utility bills will be a little more forgiving.

            Featured photo credit: IKEA/ Gerard Stolk via flic.kr

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            Paisley Hansen

            Freelance Writer

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            Last Updated on July 10, 2020

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

            We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

            So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

            Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

            What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

            Boundaries are limits

            —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

            Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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            Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

            Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

            Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

            How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

            Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

            1. Self-Awareness Comes First

            Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

            You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

            To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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            You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

            • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
            • When do you feel disrespected?
            • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
            • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
            • When do you want to be alone?
            • How much space do you need?

            You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

            2. Clear Communication Is Essential

            Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

            Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

            3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

            Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

            That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

            Sample language:

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            • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
            • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
            • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
            • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
            • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
            • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
            • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

            Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

            4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

            Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

            Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

            Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

            We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

            It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

            It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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            Final Thoughts

            Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

            Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

            Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

            The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

            Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

            Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

            They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

            Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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