Managing and organizing your home can be a challenge - especially if you are also trying to save money, energy, and time - which we all are at times. Here are ten "life hacks" to help you save one or more of the above and make your life easier and your home neater.
1. Learn the value of baking soda. You probably already have it in the kitchen - but it's useful for other things. Mix it with vinegar to clean clogged drains without using nasty chemicals. It can also be used to clean teeth and exfoliate skin, if mixed with water. Lemon juice is also useful for cleaning.
2. Get a crockpot. Crockpots are amazing for those of us who "don't have time to cook." You can toss ingredients in the pot and leave it to simmer all day. It's also a great way to use up leftovers or save money by buying cheaper cuts of meat. And on the same note, don't throw away leftovers, but find fun ways to reuse them.
3. "Farm" your yard - with herbs, that is. Or your balcony. Even in a smallish apartment you can find space for a couple of pots. Choose herbs you use a lot of, whether that's basil, parsley, or rosemary. They only need to be watered - and even if you have to buy a new plant each day you will save money at the grocery store, and fresh herbs are better than dried. (Just remember that you need to use slightly more of a fresh herb for the same effect).
4. Close your closet doors. Walk-in closets don't need to be heated or cooled - closing the doors will save energy and money (and also allows you to hide unsightly stuff behind the closed doors).
5. Organize your pantry and fridge. A lot of food is wasted because it got forgotten. And while it might seem OCD to alphabetize your spice rack - it saves a lot of time when you start cooking.
6. Wash your clothes in cold water. Unless you have a massive stain, there's no need to use hot water with most modern detergents. Save the heat for when you really need the extra cleaning power and make significant energy savings.
7. Keep your thermostat in check. Raising the temperature a couple of degrees in summer and lowering it in winter can save you a ton of money - and in winter you can always wear a sweater. Also, huge temperature jumps weaken your immune system and make you more likely to get sick.
8. Close curtains and blinds, especially in the bedroom and other rooms you don't use as much. Letting in the sun can improve your mood, but keeping it out blocks both heat and cold and saves on energy bills.
9. Weather strip doors and windows. If you have a draft, fix it. Drafts under the door can be stopped by a door draft stopper - you can make your own, or buy a cute one for far less money than you will save.
10. Rearrange rooms to take a load off of air conditioning units. Lamps create heat - move them further away and/or switch to LED or CFL bulbs (which produce less heat). TVs also create heat. Make sure you are not putting furniture or other items over or too close to floor ducts, which can create an air blockage and cause your heater or air conditioner to work unnecessarily hard.
There are many other ways to save money around the home - most of which cost nothing or very little and can make for big savings in the long run. Keeping your energy bill down and your home neat can also go together - and can make life easier when it comes time to sell. If you are looking for more information and advice about maintaining and selling your home or more helpful "hacks", contact Corner Connect today.