Cleaning

Living With White Textiles and Linens: Q&A

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

If the last few years of interior design trends can be described in a single word, that word would probably be “white”. While “Scandi” undoubtedly gives “white” a run for its money, most Scandi-style involves large amounts of white, so it seems fair to award white the crown.

White has been the interior design staple for years now. The color (or lack of color) has conquered the interiors world, quite unlike anything has ever managed before. It’s impossible to browse through images of stylish homes these days without seeing an abundance of white; it’s on the walls, the furniture, and – most importantly for what we shall be discussing – the textiles.

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Is white hard to live with?

For those who have not yet jumped on the “all white, all the time” bandwagon, their immediate response to this trend is to question how feasible white furnishings are. White, after all, holds no prisoners; if a speck of dust lands on it, one naturally assumes that this will be apparent for all to see. Surely white is difficult to keep clean?

For some items, that’s simply not the case. White furniture, for example, is just about as simple to maintain as furniture of any color. One of the major advantages of white furniture is that it tends to have a matte finish, which helps to disguise dust and dirt. Shinier items of white furniture are difficult to maintain, but only in the same way that glass furniture pieces are.

As for white walls, yes, they require maintenance– but in truth, so does every wall color. White is not special, or different, in this regard. There’s no wall color on this earth that can disguise handprints, mess, or just signs of people walking past it on a daily basis; dark colors are just as likely to suffer from the issue. So while white walls do need to be maintained, and may perhaps need to be recoated more often, they’re no trickier than average.

There is, however, an area in which white is difficult to maintain: textiles and linens.

Why are textiles and linens so difficult to maintain?

White textiles and linens look fantastic, but there’s no doubt they require extra work when compared to other colors. There are a few reasons for this:

The white itself shows up any mark of dust, dirt, or lint. This problem is less obvious on textured textiles (such as a fluffy white rug) but is still an issue.

White has to be very white to look good. It has to be pristine, crisp, as close to its hex code as possible. Maintaining this crispness in textiles and linens can feel like an uphill battle.

The reason for this is the material. Textiles are naturally porous, and they don’t have the multiple layers of paint that walls and furniture can use to prevent the process of color degradation. With textiles, the color is relying on a few layers to produce that “true” white color– and, in time, this tends to become problematic.

Why do white textiles and linens degrade?

There are many reasons why white textiles and linens are prone to degrading. If you are experiencing this issue, then the following may be the cause of your woes:

The washing process

Washing is tough on fabrics in general, but particularly tough on white, which tends to need a closer “true” color to look good. If you lay a red tablecloth on your table, then the shade of red doesn’t truly matter; if it loses pigment during the washing process, it’s just a lighter shade of red.

However, if you lay a white tablecloth on that same table, it can only be one color to truly look good: brilliant white. If the pigment moves from this brilliant status, the tablecloth is no longer white– it’s cream or ivory. These are nice enough colors, but if you want a white tablecloth, then they’re not what you’re looking for.

Repeated washing of white textiles and linens tends to lead to the color fading, which – as explained above, in white’s case – means that the color is changing.

Sunlight

We all love sunlight; the way it makes us feel, the boost to our Vitamin D, how it illuminates our homes and somehow makes them look bigger, brighter, and all-around better.

However, sunlight does have a downside: it can cause white textiles and linens to degrade at a frightening pace. The UV rays from sunlight tend to cause white textiles and linens to turn a dirty shade of yellow; worse still, the damage is often permanent. This is particularly problematic for items like white curtains, or rugs that are displayed in the center of a room and thus receive a lot of light.

Continued use

Finally, the reason that your white textiles and linens degrade is use. Of course, all colors degrade, but as discussed above, white is far more noticeable when it begins to lose its as-new luster. The bright white cushion you bought will, in a few short weeks, begin to resemble a light cream cushion– and there’s very little you can do to bring it back.

The above conclusion may lead you to wonder…

Is there no point in having white textiles and linens, then?

It’s natural to wonder this; if white textiles are going to be so problematic, should you just abandon your plans and embrace a world of more color?

Not necessarily; but you are going to have to change your habits. When it comes to white textiles, you don’t just have to focus on cleaning them, as you do with other colors– you have to also focus on preserving them. The better you treat a white fabric or textile, the longer it will last.

How can white textiles and linens be preserved?

The first preservation method is an obvious one: avoid the sunlight. Your white textiles should be vampiric; kept far away from direct sunlight. This can be difficult with cushions, rugs, and especially curtains, but it’s an essential step if you don’t want to have to replace your furnishings on a constant basis. You can tuck curtains away from the window during the day; hide cushions until the midday sun has passed, and roll rugs to protect them from damage.

Of course, there’s no denying this does somewhat ruin the aesthetic. This won’t matter so much if you’re doing it during the day when you’re at work, but what if you want to enjoy the room and protect it from sunlight?

By far the best option is to use UV filtering film on your windows. This film is nearly invisible to the naked eye, but it provides all the protection that you need to keep your white looking bright.

Aside from sunlight, the biggest problem facing your whites is the washing process. We’re all well aware of how we should separate white laundry from colors, but this alone is not a strong enough step to help preserve the strength of the white pigment.

You need to ensure you take the relevant steps to protect the fabric. This is best done with a very gentle washing process, which should include elements of the following:

  • An all-natural cleaner such as Better Life, which contains far fewer synthetic ingredients that can cause damage to the fabric. With Better Life and similar products, your whites should last for a lot longer thanks to the absence of overly-strong chemicals that may damage the fabric.
  • Wash your whites at a low temperature to help preserve the quality of the fabric. Fabric suffers more at high washing temperatures, which is obviously an issue you are expressly trying to avoid.
  • Don’t use your dryer on white fabrics. Dryers are generally bad for fabric anyway, but they are particularly ruinous for white, so you should air dry wherever possible. However, due to the UV issues mentioned above, it’s inadvisable to dry your whites in direct sunlight– choose a shaded spot in your garden and let the wind do the bulk of the work for you.

Should you use bleach on white textiles and linens?

This is something of a controversial one. There are pros and cons to using bleach on white textiles:

PRO: It will work

Bleach, well, bleaches the color from anything it comes into contact with. That means that it will indeed give your white textiles the boost that they need.

CON: It will damage the fabric

As we have discussed a few times now, properly maintaining white textiles is all about protecting the thin layers of fabric; the layers that, if compromised, can cause the white to lose its colors. Bleaching is a harsh process, and it will inevitably damage the fabric.

So it’s fair to say that while bleach is effective, it has substantial downsides. However, it may be a good course of action; if you don’t intend to keep a piece for much longer, then bleaching is a good choice. For example, if you know you’re going to have to replace your white tablecloth soon anyway, using bleach on it for one final dinner party is a decent option for an instant improvement.

To conclude

The above should help you live with white textiles and linens, helping to capture one of the key interior design trends of the last decade and preserve it, too.

Living with White Textiles and Linens: Q&A - The Southern Smiths: Is it doable?
Cleaning, Self-Care

Reading Nook for Mom

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Mom’s are the busiest people in the world. Even busier than Kings and Queens – no, really. Mom’s are running around after their children 24/7 and when you throw in a husband and a house to run, there’s very little time to sit down and just reflect. Mommy Bear had cold porridge for a reason: she put Daddy Bear and Baby Bear first. The thing is when you put yourself last all the time that starts to show. You end up forgetting how to employ self-care in the quest for the perfect family life and the most impeccably tidy house.

(Related Post: Finding a Balance Between Careers and Motherhood)

A good book before bed is possibly one of life’s biggest pleasures for a Mom who is pulled ten ways from Sunday every day. A book gives her time to get out of the family chaos for a while and into another world. It’s a way to escape, relax and yet not even move from her own home. The problem? Nowhere comfortable to sit and read. Your children get the run of the lounge, with loud cartoons on the television and Lego on the floor to step on. Your husband gets the run of the garage, where he and his friends have an old sofa and Foosball table. What about you? Well, you need a reading nook, and I’m going to tell you exactly how you can perfect one.

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Continue reading “Reading Nook for Mom”

Home Improvement

Styling Your Home For Future Selling

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

You won’t keep your current home forever. Eventually, for whatever reason, you will choose to move on. Or, you will be forced to. Even if you live there your entire life and you could, when people retire, most move. They don’t stay in the large, and often expensive, homes where they raised their children. They look for somewhere fresh to hang their hat. Somewhere new where there’s a community similar to them. Or, you’ll move halfway through your life for a job opportunity that was far too good to resist. Yes, this is a distinct possibility, and this is why you shouldn’t necessarily think of what you want when you decorate your home but rather what a future buyer would want.

(Related Post: Checklist for Building A New House)

The good news is that these two ideas often intersect. One crosses over with the other because you are a home buyer. You’re just like them, and you might find that your ideas for what makes a home great are similar to your future buyer. We all want to live somewhere that’s beautiful, stylish, practical, safe for kids and the list goes on.

Of course, there are other ideas that may not overlap with the wants of a future buyer. For instance, you might have a teenager. At a certain point, they may express interest in painting their room black. Should you allow them to do so? While you should let your kids be free creatively, you must be aware that no one wants a black room in a home. As well as being dark and depressing, it is also a devilish pain to paint over. Consider this before granting them their wish.

It’s also not just about what a future buyer wants or doesn’t want. It’s about convincing them that they want to buy your home. How do you do this? Well, that’s what we’re going to discuss today. Throughout this article, we’ll look at options of how to make your home look more aesthetically pleasing, more expensive, the features that buyers love and options for decorating in a way that is going to give you a unique edge over the competition. When you’re selling your house one day, the competition is going to be other homeowners. So, let’s start by looking at the question of how to make your home seem more expensive than it actually is.

Affordable Yet Exquisite

There are various design options that will allow you to make your home look far more expensive and one day boost the offers of people looking to buy. Of course, long before that day comes, you’ll be able to benefit by dazzling guests and taking great pride in your beautiful home. But what type of features have this impact?

Well, the best way to do this is to make sure that you hit them immediately with something gorgeous and stunning. The first piece of your home that someone is going to see will always be the front door, so this would be the first change to make. There’s no need to settle for the dull and typical door anymore as you can see on huffingtonpost.com. Instead, you can choose something completely different and a more interesting possibility. You might even consider a glass front door. While people may shy away from this due to the potential security issue, it is worth pointing out that there are ways to ensure that glass stays strong, even during an attempted break-in. So, you can have the best of both worlds here.

You might even want to look into getting a beautiful image on your door, designed onto the glass. Options like this are available from sellers online so do explore.

Once guests enter your home, they will most likely walk through a hallway. It is suggested that you choose to use laminate flooring. Laminate flooring is very popular right now due to the minimalistic aesthetic and the easy to afford price tag. You can get exactly what you need for your home to bring the property into the modern age.

Since we’re talking about keeping the future sale in mind, it is worth pointing out that interior design styles are constantly changing and evolving. As such, it is in your best interest to explore the trends before you make any changes to your home. You don’t want to take two steps backward, styling your home in a way that you may love and modern buyers won’t.

As well as looking towards the option of laminate flooring, it’s also worth making sure that you do keep the overall design of the hallway minimalistic. Another popular concept currently trending in the interior design world is to keep things simple with your home design. Make sure that you aren’t overcrowding the space with furniture and accessories. There are two benefits to gain here. The first is that the home will actually look far more spacious. The second, arguably more important, is that it looks clean, clear and sophisticated. To accentuate this idea the hallways of your home should remain cream.

If you want to dress them up a little more, consider the option of wall decals or even some modern art. It’s a great way to give the area some life without it looking too intrusive.

A Little More Expensive

Of course, you can also explore design ideas that while expensive will lead to remarkable results one day and improve the price that people are willing to pay for your home a great deal. You’ll also love the way these options add more to your home.

You see laminate flooring is a great idea for an affordable flooring option, but one would be remiss if they didn’t consider the alternative of using the material laminate wood is used to emulate. Instead, you should opt for true hardwood or even something like marble/granite. And, if you are going to invest in flooring like this you should certainly consider the option of getting countertops to match. Only at worldstonegroup.com will you find the most magnificent examples of the type of materials we’re talking about here. Just imagine walking into a kitchen with beautiful granite countertops.

If you’re going to do this, you shouldn’t stop there. The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the home for that potential future sale. You need to make sure that every aspect of it is absolutely stunning. Getting new light fixtures will ensure that the light bounces off your fresh countertops at just the right angle, perfectly accentuating the best features of the room. If you can write a blank check for the budget of your interior makeover, we would also suggest adding a breakfast island. This can be the centerpiece of the room, and while it will cost you a few thousand, it will look magnificent.

There are other options too that aren’t based on a change in aesthetic at all. Rather, you can choose to invest in new voice activation technology. We know what you’re thinking here. Are you talking about Alexa? Cnet.com says Alexa has serious issues and actually, there are far more superior systems on the market today that can be completely and seamlessly integrated with the home. We’re talking about the ability to craft each room to match the personal preference of the individual inside it. Celebrities and the rich have had tech like this in their home for years. Recently, it has become more affordable and trickled onto the mass market.

Unique Features

If you are working with a budget that is somewhat unlimited, you can think about adding some more expensive and unique features to your home like for instance a water feature. This is going to do wonders for the curb appeal of your property, and it has the potential to make your neighbors completely green with envy to the point where they might wish they could buy your home themselves.

Water features do require maintenance so be aware of this before you invest. But, if you don’t mind the cost of cleaning them out regularly, they will be a visual work of art. If you are adding one, make sure it’s in a spot where everyone can see it in the front yard of your home.

You can also think about adding a unique feature inside your property. In this case, we’re thinking about the possibility of something that you and the future buyer will love like a sauna.

Sauna systems are more affordable than you would think and can be the perfect way to relax. This is just one of the impressive features you can add to the bathroom of your home. Another possibility would be a king size shower. Imagine how awesome it would be to wake up in the morning and be able to walk into a shower with multiple nozzles, big enough to walk around in a while being sprayed with what feels like a waterfall.

This is a modern idea that will be very popular with future buyers as baths become more unfashionable in our rapid pace world.

We hope you take our advice and use some of these ideas to make the changes to your home that a future buyer will love one day and you’ll love right now.

Home Improvement

Are You Keeping Your Home Safe?

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Home safety is a concern for us all, and you might feel this particularly if you have a family in your home with you. It can be easy to overlook some of the more important aspects of keeping a home safe, and that can often mean that you end up not quite providing your family with the safe home that you would like for them to have.

(Related post: Building a Sustainable Household: Where to Start)

Part of the problem is that it is hard to think of everything you need to do, and everyone is guilty of overlooking one or two things sometimes. However, as long as you pay attention to some essentials, you should find that you and your family are kept pretty safe on the whole. Let’s take a look at some of those things now, by way of illustration.

Electrical Dangers

Some dangers in the home are even more worrying than others, and electrical dangers are the perfect example. These kinds of issues can cause a lot of harm to your family or yourself, so they are always going to be a top priority when it comes to trying to remain safe in the home. There are a number of concerns to think about here in order to try and keep your family safe from electrical problems. For a start, always make sure that you dispose carefully and replace any appliance which is causing a burning smell, is hot to the touch or anything else untoward. You should also call out the likes of Elcon Electric to ensure that your service panel is not at risk of causing a fire. Keep on top of the electrics in your home, and your family will be much safer.

Break-ins

Most people would never think that they would be the target of a break-in, but the obvious truth is that such occurrences can happen to anybody. You need to make sure that your home is as well protected against such intruders as possible, and most of all that means having a good safety regime when it comes to the nighttime. Lock all windows and doors securely, and make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of leaving your key outside the front door, as many people do. Do this, and you should find that you are relatively safe – you could even also install an alarm system if you like, for added security.

Fire

One of the quickest ways to cause damage to your home is to allow a fire to break out. This can happen in a number of ways, and it is your duty to ensure that you are aware of all of them and to do whatever you can to make it much less likely to happen. As long as you pay attention to the basics of fire safety, there is no reason your home should suffer such a problem – so make sure that you do just that. You and your family will be glad that you did.

General, Home Improvement, Self-Care

What to Know When Moving to a New City

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Moving to a new city is both exciting and refreshing. In 2009, the UN estimated that 3 million people around the world were moving to new cities every week. A greater professional landscape and the possibility to meet people from diverse backgrounds offer many an opportunity they simply aren’t willing to miss. If you have recently thought of relocating and cannot wait to wave your family and friends goodbye for the promise of a better life, there are a few things you should know before booking that train or plane ticket.

With moving being one of life’s most stressful events, this is what you need to consider before taking the leap and embarking on what could be your life’s biggest changing journey.

The move itself

Packing all those boxes, and getting rid of unwanted items that no longer serve a purpose in your life, form a huge part of moving. Selecting what to take with you and decluttering your home will be one of the most stressful events you experience. It is good to know that there are a number of great moving companies out there whose services you can make use of to help you in this somewhat disruptive experience. Focus on downsizing while the professionals do the heavy lifting and packing!

Making friends

Landing in a new place and being surrounded by an exotic setting constitutes a great adventure for many. While it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the newness of it all, it is advisable that you start integrating into your surroundings as early as possible. This will ensure you start building a close-knit circle of friends and people you can rely on in the initial stages of your adventure. Starting a life somewhere new can feel lonely and this will only be minimized if you put some effort into building solid relationships right from the start. If approaching someone in a coffee shop or restaurant doesn’t seem too appealing, why not try online portals like Not4Dating? This is a site similar to a dating website, but solely for friendship!

Spending time alone

Having said all of this, nothing will ensure you get to know a place better like spending time alone. While being a newcomer in a city might make you a bit clingy and be over-reliant on the friends you make in the days immediately after you get there, it is important to keep to the routine you had before you made the move. If this involves going for your morning run, then make sure you don’t stop this for the sake of socializing. If you like exploring the city center and seeing what it has to offer, grab your camera and do so. Making new connections is important but so is spending time by yourself. Embark on these activities to make the start of your trip worthwhile!

While it won’t always be easy to feel comfortable in your new destination without your friends and family around, relocating to a new city will help you discover loads about yourself. Get out, explore and meet new people! If you feel lonely, the wonders of the internet will help you stay connected with your circle back at home.

What tips helped you when moving to a new town?

What to Know When Moving to a New City - The Southern Smiths: A few tips for making sure you don't fall when you get to your new home!
Home Improvement

6 Pieces of Furniture to Replace When Moving Into a New Home

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Moving to a new home is an exciting time, but it can be difficult adapting to the changes. Perhaps you’re not used to the size of the kitchen, maybe you forget where you stored things in your new cupboards or the angle of your TV feels off. Whatever the case, moving into a new home is a cause for celebration!

To make the transition easier, it’s actually a good idea to get rid of older pieces of furniture in favor of newer ones. If you feel like there are some bad memories associated with your old mattress, or if you feel like your furniture could use a complete overhaul, then here are some suggestions on what you could replace when moving into a new home.

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Your Mattress

If you’ve always wanted to replace your mattress with something sturdy, such as the offerings at Sterling Sleep, then moving homes is the perfect reason to do it. We find it hard to get rid of old mattresses because it seems like an unnecessary purchase, but they’re heavy and take up so much space in the moving van that it’s better to leave it behind and get something new as a replacement.

Your Bed Frame

Similarly, your bed frame is another large piece of furniture that doesn’t need to be moved. In fact, moving the same old bed frame into your new home could make it feel less magical, so look at replacing this if possible.

Your Dining Table

Your new kitchen or dining room is going to have different dimensions and a different shape. As a result, your old dining table probably isn’t a good size or decor fit, which is why it’s best to get a new dining table. Consider getting something that suits your new dining room as best as possible. For example, if it’s smaller than you could get a folding dining table, or if it’s larger then you could even invest in a bar to go with your dining table.

Your Sofas

Sofas can get surprisingly worn out over time, and because you’re so used to sitting on them you rarely notice that their shape eventually changes. If you’ve ever been to a furniture store and sat on a new sofa then you’ll know exactly what it’s like! Get yourself a new sofa that fits the decor and feel of your new home and you’ll be much better off.

Your Display Cabinets

Display cabinets can get dusty and hard to maintain, so unless you have a sentimental attachment to your display cabinets you may want something fresh and new to match your sparkling new home.

Your Lighting Fixtures

Your lighting fixtures are probably old, haven’t been dusted for a while and will give off the same eerie lighting glow that you currently have. For something completely fresh and new, consider getting a new set of lighting fixtures if your new home doesn’t already come with them pre-installed.

Family, General, Home Improvement, Self-Care

How To Adapt To A New Home

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.) 

Living in a new home isn’t going to be for everyone. Whether you love the idea of buying a character home, or you’d prefer to renovate something old to the standard you’d like, perhaps buying a newly built home isn’t in the cards for you? But, for a lot of people, a new home will be the perfect way to buy a property. Not only is it brand new, so everything in it should be in perfect condition, it can often be a more affordable option for a lot of people. However, when you’re not all that used to living in a new home, or you feel as if the place seems impersonal, you may need to figure out a way of adapting to your new digs.

(Related post: Where in the World Should You Live?)

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First Things First

To get yourself started, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re buying somewhere safe. Of course, you’re likely to get a survey done, but you may want to do with something a bit more specialist.

With something such as the Solex Group professional home inspection, you should find that it’s an efficient way of ensuring your new place is safe. When a house has just been built, it’s going to be essential for you to check that it’s what it says it should be and that you’re not at risk in any way by living there.

Add Some Color

Now, you’re next going to want to think about adding some color. Because if there’s one thing about new homes, it’s that they tend to be quite neutral. Of course, sometimes, you actually get to pick of the colors yourself.

But if you don’t you’re going to want to add in some color so that the home comes to life a little more. Doing so is also a great way of making the home more you’re own.

Inject Some Personality

Next, you need to think about working with some personality. Because, again, a lot of cookie cutter homes are very standard – and yours may be identical to your neighbors. But by working in a few personal choices, from the flooring to your home furnishings, you’re going to be able to feel more comfortable there.

 

Create Some Character

And from here, you’re then also going to need

a bit of character

. It’s not always easy to work in character to new places, but you can do it with some personalization. From trimming the windows to working in a fireplace, you’re going to find that these tips can completely transform the space and make it feel a bit more unique.

 

Adapt The Outside

Finally, you’re going to want to turn your attention to the outside. Because you may be able to create something custom inside, but your home may look identical to all others as soon as you walk outside. So why not spruce up the garden or even completely redo it? You may also want to change the front door or entryway, or even repaint the house exterior to ensure that it is one of a kind now.

General, Self-Care

Five Tips to Learn How to Switch Off

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Most of us living a busy life find it hard to get a good night’s sleep or turn off the distracting thoughts that prevent us from enjoying leisure activities. If you have been suffering from stress and restlessness for a while, it might be time to learn how to relax and switch off. You will not only get a better night’s sleep but also learn to appreciate your life better. Below you will find five ways to learn how to relax.

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Try Hypnosis

 

In case you have been suffering from sleep deprivation for a long time, you might need to get professional help. A

hypnosis treatment

can deal with the issues that your mind keeps on focusing on during the day, without you noticing the thoughts. It can also help you get rid of negative emotions that impact your life. Search for therapists or online tracks to get started with hypnosis for better sleep and relaxation.

Go for a Jog at Night

 

If your body is not tired, you will find it hard to fall asleep. You should tire yourself out at night by going to the gym or jogging around the block. Any exercise that exhausts your muscles will do. Night exercise has several mental and physical health benefits and can help you deal with issues that keep you up at night.

Learn Yoga

If you don’t feel like going out, you can take an online yoga course and learn some basic relaxation breathing techniques that you can use whenever you need them. If you prefer to attend a class, you will surely find an after-work club in your neighborhood. Yoga helps you take a step back from your life and focus on movement and breathing, and this way you can learn how to relax more and stop worrying about things you cannot change.

I personally enjoy looking up yoga videos on youtube and doing them at home when I have the time.

Practice Mindfulness

 

If you would like to enjoy a relaxing time at home, you might need to speak to a professional who can teach you some mindfulness meditation techniques you can use to clear your head. If your thoughts keep on buzzing long after you have gone to bed, you need to learn how to let them go and change your mindset. Instead of allowing negative thoughts, such as self-doubt and anger take control, you can learn how to change the perspective and let go of anything that is holding you back.

(Related post: 3 Simple Ways For Moms To Relax At Home)

Find Out What Relaxes You

You are an expert when it comes to choosing activities and techniques that help you chill and let go. Does a night out make you more relaxed? Do you need help chilling? So how does CBD make you feel? Make sure you check the laws in your state before trying it though!

When trying to let go of pain and hurt, we often need to find ways of relaxation that are suitable for our personality and temperament. Pay attention to your behavior to learn to relax and switch off.

Sleep deprivation and stress can lead to serious mental health problems. Find a way to learn to relax and let go of negativity in your life.

Cleaning, General, Self-Care

Space-Saving Solutions!

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

While we all may dream of the perfect house, with the perfect amount of space, for many of us that dream is some years from becoming a reality. In the meantime, we have to fit our family into a space that might not be quite adequate for our needs.

The inconvenience that this poses is fairly overwhelming. Not only do you have to deal with the simple reality of living in too-close quarters with other people, you also have to find a place for all of your stuff. All houses have stuff; not junk, not clutter, just necessities that have to be in a room, but completely dominate the space therein.

So how can you make the most of the small space you have available, without sacrificing the things that you can’t go without? What you need are a few clever solutions that can help remove the need for space-stealing items; here are some suggestions to get you started…

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You need… an electronic pressure cooker

Pressure cookers may seem a little old-fashioned, but the technique has definitely come right up to date in the past few years. Electronic pressure cookers are the perfect gadget for your kitchen, purely because they offer so many different functions in one. They can boil, steam, cook rice, and even make yogurt– so you can eliminate four space-stealing gadgets and replace them with a single device, and many electronic pressure cookers will have even more options. Especially the InstaPot that every single one of my friends seems to want/have.

If you’re tempted, start with a cheaper device and see how well it works for you. There are plenty of pressure-cooker-friendly recipes to try, and you’ll delight in the sudden space you experience in your kitchen.

You need… Baseboard heaters

Central heating is all well and good, but it’s also expensive, and many households rely more on space heaters than an overall system. Space heaters are useful in the colder months of the year, but they have a significant downside; they take up a huge amount of space. They’re large, clunky items that have to be located near a power outlet, making them both inconvenient and unattractive.

The solution to this problem is baseboard heaters, which use the baseboard space in your home to provide warmth throughout the year. This frees up much-needed floor space and will make any room look larger; if you’re intrigued, then visit Stelpro for more information on how these clever devices might work for you.

You need… a stepladder

Okay, so a bit of a cheat here: a stepladder in and of itself is not going to resolve your space issues. However, what you can do with that step ladder is.

When you’re dealing with a confined space, the goal is to use as little of the floor and/or surfaces as possible. To achieve this, you’re going to need that stepladder so you can put up shelves, display units, even brand new cupboards– all of which can be used to house items that may have once lived on the floor. Don’t overlook the vertical storage options available to you if space is at a premium.

Hopefully, the ideas above will help you save space in your home– good luck!

(Related post: 5 Great Tips For Bringing Your Home Back To Life)

Cleaning, General, Home Improvement

5 Tips for Freshening Up Your Home

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

There’s nothing more disappointing that feeling as though you’ve lost some of the passion and excitement that you once had for your home. However, it is a pretty natural thing. After all, you’re never going to be able to live in one place for years at a time without becoming so familiar with it that it loses some of its excitement. Of course, that’s not the way that things have to be!

Before you decide that your only option is to pack your bags and move somewhere else, why not try a few of these simple ideas to help bring you home back to life?

(Related post: Thinking of Moving to a New Country?)

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A new coat of paint

You would be shocked at how much of a difference a simple coat of paint can make the way that your home feels. Without even having to change a single structural element of it, you’re able to create a new and fresh atmosphere all throughout your home.

The kinds of colors that you choose are going to be down to you, but it’s worth taking some time to consider which ones you want. A lot of people tend to avoid using too much color on their walls for fear of it turning out garish and ugly. And while that’s a sensible idea, in theory, people often take it much too far. Having every single wall in your home be either white or magnolia is going to make the place feel dull and uninspired. Why not embrace color and go for some splashes of vibrancy throughout the house?

Of course, painting your entire home can be something of a chore, like there are companies like this painting company who you can hire to handle that side of things for you. You get to be in charge of the creative stuff while leaving the legwork to the professionals.

Rearrange the rooms

Sometimes the issue that a lot of people have in their homes is that the way the rooms are arranged are either inconvenient or uninspired. Moving things around can make a room feel like a new space. A lot of people make the assumption that there’s a single “right” way to arrange any given room and it’s usually the most obvious and boring way possible.

Why not break out of that mode of thinking and try something a little bit different? Be a little bit creative with how you arrange the rooms in your home; you might end up finding something that’s unusual, but incredibly effective.

Of course, if you do decide that you actually preferred things the way that they were, you can just move things back to the way they were. And that kind of change in your home isn’t going to cost you anything more than the time it takes to move some pieces of furniture around!

Refurnish

Speaking of furniture, it can often have an even bigger impact on the way a room feels than the room itself. After all, most homes are little more than blank canvases for people to use things like furniture to decorate upon.

Now, you might be thinking that the idea of refurnishing rooms in your home is going to be expensive but that’s not the case. For one thing, if you’re willing to look around places like thrift shops and second-hand stores, you can often find some incredible deals on beautiful pieces of furniture.

Not only that but you don’t have to replace every single piece of furniture in your house. Sometimes finding a couple of attractive statement pieces for your home can create a much greater degree of visual interest in the rooms that there had been before.

Create more space

One of the biggest complaints that many people have about their homes is that they don’t have as much space as they would like. The thing that a lot of people fail to realize is that creating space in their home is much easier than you might think. Many people assume that you need to fully renovate and extend your home in order to make more space but in reality, a few subtle changes can make all the difference.

For one thing, the arrangement of the rooms can help you to create a much better sense of space. If you’ve got things sitting in the middle of the room, then you’re not using the floor space as well as you could be.

Not only that but if your home is cluttered, then it’s never going to feel especially spacious. Make sure to use your storage areas effectively so that you don’t end up with things spilling out and taking up areas that you’re actually trying to use.

Don’t forget the outdoor spaces

People have a tendency to exclusively focus on the interiors of their home since that’s the part of it where they spend most of their time, but if you want your home to feel as full of life as possible, you can’t neglect the outdoor spaces.

For one thing, the front of your property is the first thing you’ll see when you come home every day, by making sure that it’s well presented you’ve always got something pleasant to look at the moment you arrive home.

Not only that but an overgrown garden is enough to make anyone feel stressed so many sure that you put garden maintenance on your list of regular chores so that it’s not something that’s  hanging over your head.

A lot of people assume that the kinds of changes that you need to make in order to improve and revitalize their home are going to be expensive and therefore not worth the effort. Hopefully looking at these simple tips has shown you that that’s not the case. The reality is that if you want to improve your home, there are plenty of options out there that are effective but that aren’t going to cost you the earth.