Spring cleaning: Getting organized

Spring Cleaning and Organizing

Spring cleaning and getting organized is all the rage as we move into a season of warmer weather and open windows!  We’ve gathered information and inspiration from around the web to help you declutter and organize your home and make it sparkly clean for spring time.

cleaning supplies       organize your supplies

organize recipes        bag storage

Gather information on supplies you need to do a proper cleaning job, and how to store them for easy access. Get ideas and inspiration to organize everything from your family recipes to your garbage bags. Clean and organize everything from your bedroom closet to your bathroom closet.

Molly Saves in the closet       organize the bathroom

Get these tips and so much more from our Home Organization Pinterest board HERE. 

In an archived article from last year,   Organization- Friend or Foe , “Stuff can weigh a person down.”  In March, we introduced you to The FlyLady  who teaches us to break down our home cleaning into zones. You can read more about that HERE.

We learned about Decluttering- Creating a Peaceful Environment HERE

Bullet Points to Jump in and Begin Your Spring Cleaning

  • Divide and Conquer – use bins to separate clutter into keep, give away, throw away
  • Set a timer – in 30 minute increments
  • Turn up the tunes
  • Check off your list until each section in the room is clutter free
  • Clean the room
  • Move to the next room in the house
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Easter and Spring Projects from the Web

Easter & Spring projects from the web

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We’ve gathered Easter and Spring projects from around the web to share fun ideas for crafts, recipes, and home decor.  There are so many wonderful and creative ways to add a touch of spring to your life. There are projects and crafts to do with the kiddos, simple ways to decorate and bring a little spring decor inside, gift ideas for Mother’s Day (just around the corner) and ideas that are great for Sunday school and homeschool.

These creative ideas for Easter and spring include a Salt Dough Tomb, fluffy sheep cupcakes, dollar store vase craft, and quilted circular placemats.

Salt Dough Tomb        spring sheep cupcakes

Spring Dollar Store Ombre vases

Circular Quilted Placemat

 

Learn to use egg shells to start seeds, and turn ordinary sticks and paper into a beautiful arrangement. We’ve gathered enough Easter and spring ideas to keep you busy until NEXT spring!!

egg shell seed pots     Cherry blossoms from sticks and paper

chocolate bird nests       beautiful & creative gift wrap

Need a fun party idea? Make the above chocolate bird nest and serve up a taste of spring flavor, and be sure to wrap up any gifts using the silk flower and unique container ideas shared on our Easter and Spring Pinterest board HERE. 

 

 

 

Homestead How-To: Simple Composting

Homestead How-To -composting

 The basics of homesteading are not difficult to master and can play an important role on the homestead.

Whether you live on a big farm in the country, or manage a roof-top garden in the city – simple composting can be the most important supplement you can give your soil.

Composting enhances the soil as it provides a nutrient-rich humus and helps the soil to hold vital moisture.

What can you add to a composting bin? Table scraps, fruit and vegetables, and grass clippings add nitrogen.  Weeds that have not yet seeded can provide additional nitrogen. Mix the nitrogen rich items with carbon healthy items such as dried leaves, hay, and pine needles.

Recycling coffee grounds and tea leaves are excellent sources of additional nutrients for your homestead compost, but you may be surprised to hear that even your dryer lint and old newspaper can be added to the pile.

Begin your composting bin in the ground where earth worms and other natural organisms can do their job.  A layer of straw or twigs will help to aerate the contents.

When adding to your compost bin, alternate layers of wet and dry ingredients.  Grass clippings and other greens should be added, but avoid clumping. Aim for a mixture of 1/3 green and 2/3 brown materials to strike the correct balance in your composting materials.

composting

 

Cover your compost bin with wood, plastic or other materials to maintain heat, and to keep compost moist. A cover will keep your bin from being over-watered by rain, yet maintain moisture.

Turn your compost with a pitch-fork or a shovel to add oxygen and to mix in new ingredients.

Composting is a wonderful way to maintain your garden. It is good for the earth, green, and an affordable way to fertilize your soil.

Learn more about natural composting HERE!

Do you have a garden and/or a composting bin at home?

Link up your own frugal tips for home and homestead and share ideas to help others:

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Valentine Ideas For Your Spouse that won’t break the bank

Valentine Spouse ideas

Go Digital

Remember mixed tapes? This Valentines Day, make your husband or wife a cd with all their favorite music.

Send them a You-Tube video with a song or a poem singing their virtues!

Send a special Skype video message instead of a traditional love note, listing all the reasons you love them still.

No sitter?

Take a family walk – be sure to hold hands and talk about the good old days.

Put the kids to bed early and share a candle light dinner with your favorite foods.

Love Notes

Bring them breakfast in bed with a handmade card.

Place sticky notes around the house – like on the bathroom mirror, by the coffee maker, on a breakfast tray, in a briefcase – all with different messages telling them why you love them.

Coupon Book 

Create a coupon book full of favorite date night ideas and romantic notions that can be redeemed monthly, weekly, and daily.  These don’t need to be expensive to be appreciated. Think: evening picnic, a foot rub and a favorite movie,  a drive in the country, or a stroll through downtown and out for coffee.

Create a practical book with redeemable coupons for the chores they hate to do. How about: wash the car, cut the grass, or weed the garden? Use whatever may be a small sacrifice on your part, but will mean the most to them!

homemade chocolate peanut butter cups

Homemade Goods

Bust out the apron and get to baking! No need to spend lots of money on chocolate candy when the homemade kind is even better.

Get a recipe HERE for Giant Peanut Butter Cups

Homemade Lotion

Women aren’t the only ones who need good moisturizer! Using natural ingredients and essential oils, you can create lotion and bath/shower products your man will love.

See recipe HERE for a manly lotion

Go HERE for homemade scrubs

homemade lip balm

Subscription 

For an affordable gift that will encourage and inspire all year long – give a subscription membership to Molly Green Magazine

Member benefits include cottage industry web site hosting where you can network and sell your products for home industry and small business! You can’t beat the cost – (Launching in March).

Members also enjoy exclusive access to Dine on a Dime menu planner and shopping list by Build a Menu (downloaded right from the member page)!

Learn about beginner homesteading, gardening, bee keeping, and valuable information to run your home and family life in a more simple, back to basics style. Wonderful for city dwellers who want to make steps in that direction or down home on the farm!

linking with Works for Me Wednesday & Fabulously Frugal Thurs

 

Do you have more ideas to share? I’d love to hear about them – in the comments!

DIY Cornhole: frugal family football fun

DIY Cornhole

There’s a whole lotta’ buzz about football right now as families across America prepare for the Big Game!

Football and food aren’t all the fun to be had during the Super Bowl – cornhole goes hand in hand with tail gate and back yard parties surrounding the game. As a matter of fact, cornhole is so popular, it is officially a sport in it’s own right. Cornhole even has it’s very own National Association.

Watch the Video by the American Cornhole Association HERE

To purchase these game sets – you will spend, on average of about $124 – $250 . . . . . . or you can go the frugal route.

Get step by step instructions on how to build your own cornhole board paint it and make bean bags HERE. 

Be sure to check out these fun ideas from Pinterest for Super Bowl Food!

super bowl party food

Big Game Food

 

Super Bowl XLVIII Viewing Information

DateSunday, Feb. 2

Where: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Start Time: 6:25 p.m. ET

TV Info: Fox

Live Stream: FoxSports.com

Mobile: Fox Sports Go Mobile App

Spread: Denver -2 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)

 

Are you making frugal family football plans for the Super Bowl?

Molly Green Members – be sure to check out the yummy SUPER BOWL 2014 Dine on a Dime menu and shopping list – You can download right from your member page now!!

If you haven’t signed up yet for our newsletter – be sure to do so on the side bar. You will receive updates on Friday including freebies and more!

Come and link up your own frugal tricks and tips to share ideas and encourage each other. Please grab the Frugal Friday button from the side bar or use a text link back to this post.  

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Homemade Furniture Oil: Works for Me Wednesday

homemade furniture oil

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Homemade Furniture Oil

This very simple mixture of olive oil and essential oil is a great furniture polish, and is so easy to make! Take
one of your old canning jars (with lid) or sour cream containers, and add 1 cup of olive oil and 5-10 drops of
sweet orange oil (or lemon, lime—I like the citrus oils here). Put your lid on, shake well, grab an old rag, and
polish away! Don’t have any citrus essential oils? Grab a whole lemon or lime, cut in half, and just squeeze half
of the lemon/lime juice into your olive oil!

Cut up the other half and use in another of your homemade cleaners. A half cup of baking soda and the juice
of half a lemon or lime mixed together makes a great paste to clean sinks, tubs, counters, etc.! Or just toss
your leftover citrus fruit in your potpourri pot on the stove, or cut into slices and run through your garbage
disposal to clean and freshen it.

Using homemade cleaners like this in your household is a healthy, green, and frugal way to take care of your furniture and your family homestead.

Learn more with Molly Green eBook: Molly Gets Organized – All in One Place -   only $7.95

FREE for Molly Green Members

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Frugal Friday: Green is Frugal

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Green is Frugal - Frugal Friday

Being a good steward of the resources that God has provided, means taking care of  finances and taking care of the earth.  You will see that being green really is the frugal choice.

We’ve put together 5 Frugal Green resources that are making the top of our list!

  • Go Paperless – do your billing and invitations online with shops like evite.com or pingg.com.
  • Up-cycle – use the internet to learn faux painting techniques to revitalize older or used furniture instead of buying new.spend big money                                                                                               or you can learn a new trick!

upcycle DIY and Save

*Bonus idea - Join Molly Green Magazine subscribers and get the 1st month for $1 and $7.95 every month thereafter. Learn how to live a more frugal sustainable green life – sell your handmade items – submit videos for sharing and gain access to Build a Menu’s Dine on a Dime frugal menu planner!

Come and link up your own frugal tricks and tips to share ideas and encourage each other. Please grab the Frugal Friday button from the side bar or use a text link back to this post.  

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Homemade foaming hand soap: DIY project you will love-Frugal Fri

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homemade hand soap

This homemade foaming hand soap is a DIY project you will love!

Our special recipe today comes from one of the new authors of the all new Molly Green Magazine. Lisa blogs at Homestead Originals.com on topics we know and love. Frugal homesteading, DIY projects, and much more can be found there.

homestead originals blog

Use an empty foaming soap bottle, a bottle of Dr. Bronners Castile Soap, and your favorite essential oil to make this lovely homemade foaming hand soap. Lisa used an up-cycled bottle to make her hand soap and saved even more money.

foaming hand soap

One suggested essential oils combination is a Lemon/Lavender mixture (naturally antibacterial, smells out of this world!)  OnGuard Essential Oil blend (smells ‘fall-ish’ – spicey) and is unparalleled at fighting germs and bacteria, perfect for cold and flu season!

Lavender doTerra Oil

Making your own Foaming Hand Soap is just smart. It takes only a matter of minutes, it’s frugal, healthy, and super fun!

 

There is something really cool about the way it foams up and something even more special about knowing that it is wonderfully healthy for your family. The fact that you are saving money is almost an after thought. This recipe costs less than 50 cents to refill the Foaming Hand Soap Dispensers.

The hand soap is completely non-toxic. It smells DIVINE, you can obviously customize it, and Castille Soap is wonderful on the hands.

It’s a winner all the way around– Lisa loves to use this all over the homestead– bath, kitchen, wiping down counters…..it’s wonderful!  Give it a try!

Visit Lisa’s blog – Homestead Originals  to gain insight and information on cooking from scratch, homestead gardening, and much more.

You can enjoy another great recipe from Lisa, exclusive to Molly Green Magazine in the January-February “Hearth and Home” issue. Get it here. 

If you get my Friday newsletter, you most likely read Midge’s question about cooking with “exotic spices” (if you don’t get my FREE newsletter be sure and subscribe via the sticky note in the upper right corner). Read below to see my response.  Molly

Dear Midge,

There are quite a few recipes that use paprika, don’t be intimidated of this yummy spice! I think most people are familiar with using paprika on deviled eggs, here’s a great recipe. Some other recipes you might enjoy are: New Orleans Jambalaya, Paella and/or Baked Paprika- Parmesan Chicken. There are many more recipes out there, give one or two a try and see what you think.

Happy cooking! Love ya, Molly

 

Linking with: Simple lives Thurs Fabulously Frugal  BlackFoxHomeStead

Link up your own Frugal Friday tips and tricks! Grab the button for Frugal Friday on the side bar – or use a text link back to this post. Encourage others by visiting their links – I’ll be Pinning away. 

 

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Frugal living: ways to save money this year

frugal living

You may have heard the news – the all new Molly Green magazine has turned over a new leaf. We are spreading our wings to include homesteading, self-sufficient living, back yard farming, and all things home industry.

But, we are nothing if not a frugal bunch! And, in that spirit, I wanted to start our New Year off with a super frugal post to help you find ways to save money in 2014.

10 Ways to Save Money in the New Year:

  1. Fix it yourself – use the internet to watch video’s and read tutorials on how to fix various household items. Learn to stitch up clothing and make repairs to the things you use regularly.

2. Cut the Entertainment budget by finding frugal ways to play together.

3. Cook at Home & Take Advantage of Specials.

4.  Ask for a Discount! 

bowling for free

5.  Get a Discount on Children’s Activities

  • Volunteer your services to the organization for a discount on children’s sports when possible – certainly, you want to give of your time for free to help out, but you may be able to offer other services such as – photography, computer work, accounting, or other skilled work to save on sports and more for your family. Look for services they might normally have to pay for & fill in the gap where you are qualified. 
  • Set up a co-op or trade with other parents for sports and extracurricular clothing items. 
  • Take advantage of free programs like Kids Bowl Free

6.  Barter for Services. 

  • As with the above info on getting a discount on children’s extra-curricular activities – consider trading for other services as well. Think outside the box and look for needs that you can meet and then offer up your solutions to the problem in exchange for a repair or other service you cannot do yourself. Small businesses are great for this, but don’t count out the larger companies either. Big companies need endorsements, or reviews from consumers and are sometimes willing to trade for free products. Bloggers do this regularly. 

7. Grow Your Own. 

8.  Up-cycle 

9. Make Your Own Homemade Cleaners.

  • Simple ingredients can go a long way and can be used safely and inexpensively –  Baking Soda, Borax, Vinegar, Alcohol, Mild Dish Detergent, & Washing Soda are a few simple ingredients that can be used to clean almost anything. 
  • Get recipes from The Family Homestead here

10. Educate Yourself. 

Link up your own Frugal  ideas  and we will share them!

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5 a day: household chore planner

free printable chore chart The beginning of a new year is often the perfect time to reflect, plan, and set goals, to organize the household.  While that may sound like a terrific plan, the truth is, it can be a bit overwhelming.

One of the best tips I’ve ever received on the subject is to break things down into smaller pieces – to schedule the  daily routine into chunks of time.  When you look at the big picture, it can feel as though it is too difficult to conquer. But, when you break it down, suddenly, the unattainable becomes much more feasible.

In order to conquer my own clutter and get my household in good order for 2014 – I designed a little printable sheet to help me keep my chores and household schedule organized. I am determined to make the most of my time each day and to make the changes in my home that are needed. Download your own Free Printable here. 

daily planner chore chart

To use your free printable, download and print. Follow the sample, and choose a suggested daily chore (or add your own), then run through your daily list of smaller chores.

There is a space to do some meal planning and food prep – which will not only help you be more organized at meal time, but will also save money.

Choose from the list of suggested 15 minute jobs each day, and also schedule a quick run-through the house to freshen and pick up. Some like to schedule several 15 minute fresheners – you can just write in various times in that 15 minute slot if you need more.

Most of all, use it as a guide, and make it work for your family.

I’m learning a lot by visiting the Fly Lady. She has organizing and cleaning down to a science. I love the way she breaks down the home into weekly zones. You can follow her on her website, and learn a great deal from the brand new Fly Lady column in the all new Molly Green Magazine

Do you have any big cleaning and organizing goals this year? 

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