Home Sweet Home Magazine - January 2022

J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2

Sweet Home

7 Steps To Minimize Clutter in Your Home and Life Page 17

Feeling the Post- Holiday Slump? Celebrate These Little-Known January Holidays Indoor Activities to Entertain the Kids Page 4

Budgeting Tips to Save for Your Next Home Project Page 13

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When all of the excitement of the holiday season comes to an end, it’s easy to feel less than enthusiastic about the long winter ahead. Dear Homeowners,

But just because you’re stuck inside doesn’t mean you have to put the fun on hold.

In this issue of Home Sweet Home Magazine, you’ll find articles aimed at helping you make the most of the time spent in your home this winter. Learn about some lesser-known (and somewhat silly) January holidays, plus discover fun and educational projects to keep bored children entertained. Winter is also the best time to evaluate your space and make plans to tackle future home improvement projects. Learn how to budget and save money to keep up with your goals. If one of your New Year’s goals is to get in shape, learn how to create the perfect gym in the comfort of your own home. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed by an influx of holiday gifts, consider the benefits of adopting a more minimalist lifestyle. This design movement isn’t about doing without but rather making room for what’s most important. I wanted to take this time to remind you that I’m never too busy to help you with your real estate needs or to work with any of your friends and family members who are thinking about buying or selling this year. As always, I hope you enjoy this month’s issue and look forward to catching up soon!

Best wishes,

Agent Name ABC Brokerage 123 456 7890 AgentName@Domain.com AgentName.HomeMag.me 51 Pine Street Atlantic Beach, FL 32233

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Budget-Friendly Tips toSave forHome Improvement Projects Table of Contents 4 9 Family Fun for Little-Known JanuaryHolidays When the post-holiday slump and winter blues threaten to creep in, give yourself something to look forward to by celebrating these little-known — and slightly wacky — January observances. IndoorActivities toEntertain the Kids We put together a list of some boredom-busting ideas to keep your family busy and spark creativity. Don’t let the kids in on the secret, but they might even have fun and learn at the same time!

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Every homeowner knows it’s a lot easier to add repairs and improvements to a to-do list than to actually check them off the list. Part of the challenge is saving enough money to complete projects while simultaneously staying on top of life’s everyday expenses. We put together some pointers to help you save for your future home improvement projects.

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7 Steps toAchieve aMinimalist Lifestyle We manage to accumulate a lot of stuff over time. In the end, we find ourselves surrounded with items we need to clean, maintain, store and put money into. Adopting a minimalist lifestyle is a solution to those obligations, but it requires a unique mindset that’s all about clearing the clutter to make room for what’s most important.

Create the Perfect Home Gym As our society has adapted to working and spending more time at home, people are increasingly finding ways to do things remotely. The convenience of a home workout coupled with the increased availability of virtual platforms and fitness apps has led more people to invest in home gyms.

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When the post-holiday slump and winter blues threaten to creep in, give yourself something to look forward to inhonor of little- known, if not wacky, January observances. While everyone is familiar with New Year’s Day, did you know there is a Dress Up Your Pet Day, Bubble Bath Day, National Puzzle Day and Draw a Dinosaur Day? While some of these holidays are celebrated regionally and others reach national or international status, most of them remain under the radar (but no onehas a validexcuse for ignoring Chocolate Day or Fruitcake Toss Day). Even if you’ve never heard of them, add a few to the calendar and spread the word so others can celebrate with you. Family Fun for January Holidays You’ve Never Heard Of

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January 2 Run up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes Day While we don’t recommend you take this one literally, the idea is to float new ideas into the world and see if anyone picks up on them. However, if your actions don’t garner a response, it’s still a fun opportunity to mix things up. Encourage the family to wear funky outfits, try a new recipe or cuisine, explore travel ideas for places you’ve never considered and rearrange the furniture. World Introvert Day An introvert’s idea of the perfect day is often as simple as burying themselves in a book or marathon- watching a Netflix series. If you have an introvert in your house, give them the day to do whatever they want, whichmight just be nothing at all.

new series you’ve been wanting to start.

to get the family involved in the process.

Another fun way to get the kids involved in this holiday is to build a bed sheet tent in your house using chairs and lots of pillows. Fill the tent with books or games, and spend some much-needed “me” time. If you make it big enough, you can also snuggle up as a family and read together or watch a favorite movie. Fruitcake Toss Day Unless you’re one of the rare people who look forward to annual fruitcake consumption, you’ve probably held onto the unwanted loaf fromAunt Edna for long enough. Start by gathering the family in a circle, and toss the cake from one person to the next. Wrapped, you can compete to see who can toss it the furthest, off the deck or in a field. Alternatively, give each family member an equal-sized chunk to see who can launch it the furthest. For additional fun, build a basic catapult or use a slingshot to hurl the confection toward a target. January 4 National Spaghetti Day The obvious activity here is planning spaghetti for dinner, but add a bit of holiday variety by trying something new. Make your own pasta noodles or serve up sauce from scratch. Try a different combination of meats in your meatballs. Just make sure

January 5 National Whipped Cream Day

Who can’t get on board with a holiday that involves whipped cream? Whip it, eat it, share it or pull a classic pie-in-the-face prank on your partner.

January 6 Bean Day

Make a whole smorgasbord of bean-based dishes for dinner. Try chili, baked beans, soups, refried beans, southwest bean dip and more. Mix up your bean varieties and get your family involved in the preparations. If your kids are old enough, you can even have everyone in the family make a dish and vote on the best recipe. Cuddle Up Day Since it’s also Cuddle Up Day, a warm bowl of bean-based goodness fits in well with fuzzy socks and pajamas at dinner time. Start a fire, and invite the stuffed animals to the party, too.

January 3 Festival of Sleep Day

This day is all about recharging your body to prepare for the year ahead. If you’re a parent with young children, however, that might be easier said than done. Still, try to do something relaxing for yourself today, even if you don’t actually get to take a nap. Find an activity or show to distract the kids for a little while and pick up a book or binge a

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January 7 Old Rock Day

January 10 Peculiar People Day

herbs. If you don’t have fillable tea bags on hand, you can tie up a coffee filter with some string or a rubber band.

Rocks represent the history of the planet. Use the day to explain how rocks are formed. Put together a scavenger hunt in your neighborhood or travel to the beach or mountains. At home, make jewelry with stones, paint rocks and leave them around town or visit a gem shop.

It’s time to honor unusual people in history and highlight your own quirks, too. In fact, it’s a day to put peculiar traits in the spotlight. Dress oddly to fit the theme, and put together an unusual meal from a variety of uncommon food choices. Have everyone share something that makes them unique. It’s also a good opportunity to address any lingering insecurities and look at them in a new light.

January 13 National Sticker Day

Order some new varieties or dig them out of the bottomdrawer. Give the kids construction paper or a brown bag to decorate, or bring out a scrapbook they can decorate however they want.

January 8 Bubble Bath Day

National Rubber Duckie Day

January 11 Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day

It’s only Bubble Bath Day once a year, and you’ve earned it. Light some candles and relax with some music or a podcast. You can also find bubble bath mixes with fun colors for the kids. Enjoy! January 9 National Word Nerd Day This holiday is the perfect excuse to have fun and take advantage of an educational opportunity. Play a game of Apples to Apples or Heads Up! (there are kid-friendly versions if you want to play with the whole family), or have everyone in the family look up a few new vocabulary words to incorporate into your dinner conversation.

Put on Sesame Street, play Ernie’s iconic song and draw a bath. It’s National Rubber Ducky Day! If you really want to celebrate the occasion, organize a rubber ducky race in a tub of water.

Morse Code is made up of a series of dashes and dots. A quick search for “Morse Code Chart” will bring up the code for each letter in the alphabet. Every kid enjoys the secret world of coding, so celebrate the holiday by learning how to spell your name dot and dash style.

January 14 Dress Up Your Pet Day

Kids around the world have unknowingly celebrated this holiday many times over, but today it’s officially an approved activity! January 15 National Hat Day/ Strawberry Ice Cream Day

January 12 National Hot Tea Day

This is an easy holiday to celebrate on a cold winter’s day. Enjoy a hot cup of tea and snuggle up with a good book. You can also dabble in making your own tea with fresh

It just seems like the perfect opportunity to celebrate two

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Pooh books and movies. Serve some treats baked with honey to complete your day.

holidays at once. Play with funny hats and lick away at a cone, cup or sundae. You can evenmake your own strawberry ice cream to honor the day. January 16 Appreciate a Dragon Day There are lots of books andmovies about dragons, and you can also look up fun facts about the origins of dragon folklore. Help kids craft their own dragon wings from cardboard pieces and fly around the house pretending to breathe fire. (Maybe even prepare something a little spicy for dinner). January 17 Kid Inventors Day There are a million fun ways to inspire inventions in your home. Put together a science experiment, dig out the Legos or put out random food ingredients and see what your little one creates.

Kettle Corn Recipe

January 19 National Popcorn Day It’s an easy treat to make, so use the holiday to try something new. Revive the practice of making popcorn in a pot, or try your hand at kettle corn, caramel corn or cheese corn. January 20 National Cheese Lover Day If you’re like most people, you love cheese and don’t need a holiday to celebrate it. But this is the perfect excuse to eat some cheesy dishes like grilled cheese sandwiches, nachos, cheese sauce, macaroni and cheese, cheese pizza, cheese and crackers… shall we go on? Make it memorable by trying a new type of cheese like gouda or soft brie. January 21 National Hugging Day/ International Playdate Day Both of these holidays are pretty easy to celebrate. Enjoy hugs between family members and friends. After the playdate for the

▶ ▶ ¼ cup vegetable oil ▶ ▶ ¼ cup white sugar ▶ ▶ ½ cup popcorn kernels Place the oil and sugar in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Allow the oil and sugar to warm, stirring frequently, until the sugar is mostly melted. Then add the popcorn kernels. Add the lid and shake the pot consistently until the popping slows to a few seconds between pops. The sugar is easy to burn, so remove from the heat promptly and keep shaking until the popping stops completely. Then quickly dump the popcorn onto a large flat tray or sheet of foil. Gently break the kettle corn apart and salt lightly.

January 18 Winnie the Pooh Day

Celebrate the Birthday of Winnie the Pooh’s author A.A. Milne by tossing some throw pillows on the floor and diving into Winnie the

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January 29 National Puzzle Day Small or large, difficult or easy, puzzles can bring the family together and enhance fine motor and critical thinking skills — but the kids don’t need to know that.

kids, set up a get together with friends, or use it as an excuse for a date night.

breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast, write with your non- dominant hand and call directions by their opposites.

January 22 National Blonde Brownie Day

January 26 Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

Need we say more?

January 30 Yodel for Your Neighbors Day

This holiday is actually the last Monday in January, whenever that might fall. Celebrate with a stomping party or make a bubble- wrap themed craft.

January 23 Measure Your Feet Day Yes, really. Get out a tape measure and calculate the length and width of your feet. It’s a good lesson for kids, but it can also be a record of their growth from one year to the next. Add in some crafts with footprints in a cement stepping stone or a painted footprint on paper or fabric. January 24 Global Belly Laugh Day What a fun holiday! Be silly. Be funny. Hunt down jokes, watch funny movies or go see a local stand-up act.

It might not be the best way to make friends, but it sure is a lot of fun. Brush up on yodeling basics beforehand by watching some instructional youtube videos. We won’t tell if you cheat and play a recording instead of yodeling yourself, but at least give it a try!

January 27 Chocolate Cake Day

Again, this one is pretty self explanatory. Let the kids help in the fun of baking and decorating (and clean-up, too)!

January 31 Backward Day

January 28 National Kazoo Day

Walk in reverse, say goodbye when you arrive and hello when you leave, wear clothing backward and write from right to left. Mix it up and have a very backward day.

It’s easy to play, so grab a few and make your ownmarching band.

January 25 Opposite Day

Let the kids be the adults for the day, wear clothing inside out, have

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Indoor Activities to Entertain the Kids

Lava Lamp Let’s start with a little science that’s sure to encourage a few oohs and aahs from every member of the family. Find a clear plastic bottle. Flat sides make for better viewing, but any bottle will work. Inside, fill the bottle a quarter of the way with water. Then, fill the rest of the space (nearly to the top) with vegetable, mineral or baby oil. Wait for the oil to settle above the water. Then, add a few drops of food coloring. Feel free to explain how primary, secondary and tertiary colors work by allowing your child to mix blue and red to create purple or yellow and red to create orange.

The holiday season is over, and winter is well under way. Although they can still take advantage of breaks in the weather for a bike ride or trip to the local playground, most kids are likely spending more time indoors this time of year. We put together a list of some boredom-busting ideas to keep them busy and spark creativity. Don’t let them in on the secret, but they might even have fun and learn at the same time!

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Build Card Houses

Dig out blankets, sheets and other coverings. Let your child set the boundaries here. Your fort can be a small structure, like a tent, or a more comprehensive, multi-room construction. For safety, watch what they use to anchor the corners. You don’t want a crashing lamp or other heavy object to be knocked over during setup. Once built, bring in soft pillows and sleeping bags. Watch a movie on a small screen or have a sleepover complete with flashlight and spooky stories.

The food coloring carries the same density or weight as water, so it will pass through the oil and color the water below. Now comes the squeals of delight. Add a fizzy tablet such as an Alka-Seltzer to the container. It will plop to the bottom and begin to release colorful bubbles as the carbon dioxide it produces works its way to the top of the container. Although it’s entertaining, the experiment also serves as a visual of how lighter objects, such as some gases, will always float to the top, while heavier substances will always sink to the bottom.

Introduce your child to the lost art of card houses. All it takes is a deck of cards and some space to work. Reduce frustration by working on a carpet or other surface that isn’t too slick. Have a contest to see who can use the most cards before the house collapses! Volcano While there’s an opportunity to learn about the power of nature here, it’s likely the wonder in your child’s eyes will be enough to make this activity worthwhile. To start, you’ll need to make the basic structure for your volcano. This can be a simple dirt mound or a multi-layered cone made of paper mache. You can get creative with a paper cone or simply use a bottle or upturned box. This is a messy project, so it’s best to create your eruption in the garage, on a covered porch or in a sink or tub. Inside your volcano structure, place a container near the top to hold your ingredients. Support it with a box or other container from below if necessary to get the right height. Add two spoonfuls of baking soda to the container. Follow that with a spoonful of dish soap (bubbles!)

Make Snowflakes

Ocean in a Bottle

Making snowflakes with a basic 8.5 x 11 piece of paper is an easy way to pass time while fueling your child’s creative spirit. Simply fold the paper several times. Remember, the thicker the paper, the more challenging it will be for little hands to cut, so start with just a few folds. Make sure you select scissors appropriate for your child’s hands and skill level. Then, show themhow to carve out small sections of paper and wow themwith the pattern revealed when it’s unfolded. You can hang the snowflakes from a string as a decoration or use them as a template to spray sliding glass doors or windows with snow spray.

For this activity, you’ll want to use blue food coloring, or a combination of blue and green, to resemble waves. Start by filling the bottle one- third to halfway with water. Then, add the food coloring. Next, add vegetable or baby oil, leaving a few inches of air at the top. Lightly replace the cap and lay the bottle on its side, rocking gently to create waves. Build a Fort It’s a classically free and fun activity that’s perfect for a cold winter day.

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and about 10 drops of food coloring. Red and yellow make a nice orange color, but feel free to experiment. Now, get ready for your eruption with the addition of one to two ounces of white vinegar. Build a Birdhouse The garage or craft room are great places to get creative when the temps are low outdoors. If your garage isn’t heated, use space heaters, but make sure to keep paints, glues and cloths away from the heat. Alternatively, prep some of the supplies using tools in the garage before asking your child to help put them together at a craft table indoors. For the most basic birdhouse, simply cut four equal sides and a bottom. Then, add two roof pieces that form a peak in the middle. Alternatively, you can angle the top of the sides from back to front. Then attach a single flat roof piece that slopes. Make sure to create a hole in the front panel as an access point for the birds. Use a circle hole drill bit on your power drill to make the job quick and easy. Depending on their age, kids can help cut the pieces or glue, clamp and nail them together. They can also take the lead in painting and

decorating the new home for their feathered friends.

the list themselves by gluing pictures to a page instead of using words. For example, print or cut out images of a blue sock, tennis ball or stuffed bear. For older kids, increase the difficulty and test their vocabulary skills. Prepare some prizes at the end to give them something to work toward.

Visit the Library

The library is a place that opens the doors of imagination. Check out the schedule at your local library for story times and special events. In addition to books, many libraries have play rooms, dress up areas or tables to play board games. Check out media options you may not have at home, such as book readers, video games, movies and books on tape.

Water Cycle in a Jar

The water cycle on our planet is a complex phenomenon to explain. After all, we don’t see water rise from water. To create a visual expression, place about two inches of boiling water into a canning jar. Parents should handle this part. Then, place a ceramic plate right side up over the opening of the jar, sealing it. Wait about three minutes for steam to accumulate. Then, place several ice cubes on the top of the plate outside the jar.

Scavenger Hunt Everybody loves a friendly

challenge, and a scavenger hunt is a great way to engage the body and the mind. For small kids, make the objects easy, such as “something red” or “something soft.” Help pre-readers navigate

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Host a Clothing Swap Children seem to outgrow clothing before the next laundry cycle. Plus, everyone likes to have some new options in their closet. So after the closet is cleaned out, host a clothing swap with your child’s friends. Remember shoes and accessories too! Set a date beforehand, and make it a playdate with a bonus. Each child can bring a bag of clothes they were planning to discard ( just make sure the clothes are still in good shape). Encourage the kids to play dress up and give each other positive feedback. With luck, everyone will find a few new items to take home.

Grow Veggies Kids love to get their hands dirty and will beam with pride when they see what they’ve created. Start with small cups, trays or old muffin tins. Allow your child to add dirt and seeds. Then monitor them while they take responsibility for a regular watering schedule. Choose a fast-growing option like radishes, lettuce and peas to keep your child interested without long wait times.

The warm air in the jar will condense and create water droplets, like rain falling from the sky when moist air from the Earth’s surface meets cold air from the atmosphere. Indoor Picnic Who says picnics are for summer or have to take place in the park? It’s just as fun to lay a blanket in the living room with a spread of yummy treats! Go authentic with a lunch (or dinner) packed into a picnic basket. Set the scene with some fun music, and bring a jar filled with conversation starters on pieces of paper to engage their youthful minds while feeding their growing bodies.

Visit a Museum

While science and history are fun at home, museums really bring learning to life. Take a rainy- day opportunity to visit a local museum you’ve always wanted to visit. Even if you’ve been there before, museums often cater to the thirst for knowledge with changing displays, updated vignettes and special visitors, so check the events schedule for new opportunities.

Bake

There are few things more homey than the smell of baked goods fresh from the oven. Get mixing with a new recipe or a family classic. Give the kids age- appropriate tasks like measuring ingredients and of course, helping with clean-up, with a sweet treat as a reward.

Budget- Friendly Tips to Save for Home Improvement Projects

Every homeowner knows it’s a lot easier to add repairs and improvements to a to-do list than to actually check them off the list. Part of the challenge is saving enough money to complete projects while simultaneously staying on top of life’s everyday expenses. We put together some pointers to help you save for your future home improvement projects. Whether you’re planning to take on a huge project like building an addition to your home or a small update like repainting the bathroom, it’s important to save a little bit here and there to reach your goals and save money for unexpected expenses.

Groceries Next to your house payment, your grocery bill is typically the next biggest line item in your budget. You’d be surprised how much you can shave off food costs with a bit of preplanning. 1. Create a Meal Plan Never hit the grocery store while you’re hungry, and avoid making a stop each day on your way home from work or in between after-school activities.

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6. Order Groceries Online Yes, there are canned and packaged goods you can order from Vitacost, Amazon and others, but we’re talking about placing an online order for pickup at your local store. Taking the time to complete your order online (remember to enter coupon codes!) keeps you from making impulse purchases at the store. Plus, being able to review everything before you pay makes you more aware of what you’ve actually bought and spent. 7. Make a List and Stick to it Before heading to the store, whether it’s a major trip or a small fill-in trip, make a list of everything you need and stick to it when you’re in the store. Put yourself on a timer to get in and out as fast as possible. The more time you spend in the store, the more you’ll spend.

Hint: For all types of online shopping, companies will often send you an additional discount to complete your order if you leave items in your shopping cart for a period of time. You may even change your mind about making the purchase after a few days. Either way, you’ll likely save some money if you don’t check out immediately. 4. Sign up for the Rewards If your favorite market has a rewards program, using your membership card will save you money on items you buy often and provide special perks like gas discounts, as well. 5. Cook at Home Eating out or stopping for a morning coffee are two budget killers. Use your meal plan to prep dinners ahead of time. Even a daily $4 brew adds up to about $80 a month, which will pay for a can of paint and supplies for a painting project on your list.

Instead, have a plan in advance and go shopping no more than once per week. Create a meal plan for one week, two weeks or the entire month. Then, make an ingredients list and decide what you can buy during a major shopping trip, like canned goods, and what needs to be picked up weekly, like fresh produce. Minimize waste by using fresh ingredients first. Also plan to use leftovers for lunch the next day, or work in a leftover night to use up what you’ve already cooked. 2. Shop the Sales Pick one or two stores you prefer to shop at and take advantage of their weekly discounts. Stock up when you see a great price, but only buy in bulk if you plan to use all of the product before the expiration date. 3. Use Coupons You can see significant savings by using coupons. Look online and in stores. Also watch for mailings sent to your house. Similarly, look for coupon codes when ordering online.

Household Supplies

In addition to the food you eat, include household supplies in your budget. Start by reviewing receipts, bank statements and Amazon orders for the past three months. Write down the amount you paid for toilet paper, laundry detergent and coffee filters. If you know how much you’ve paid in

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water in the shower or use water left in the bathtub or pasta pot to water indoor and outdoor plants. For long-term savings, look into solar, wind, and geothermal heating for the home or even for one appliance, such as a water heater or hot tub. Automotive Savings Start by taking a hard look at your auto expenses. For most people, this includes a car payment, which might be much higher than necessary. Skip the new car and go for a reliable used option, and pay as much in cash as possible. Work toward the goal of paying off your car and funneling that payment amount into savings toward the next one. Set up carpools for yourself and the kids to save on gas. Call your insurance agent for an annual review of car and insurance premiums, and price shop with other companies. Also, perform regular maintenance to avoid costly repairs.

relying on cloth napkins instead of paper towels and napkins. Invest in a water filter, either inline beneath the faucet or as a water pitcher for drinking water. Drinking more water also saves you money both at home and when eating out. Also, reduce your coffee spending by rehoming your Keurig machine in favor of a ceramic drip, French press or basic drip coffee pot. Save on Utilities Heating and cooling your home is a significant expense. Lower the bill by closing blinds at night during the winter and during the day in the summer. Run the clothes dryer and turn on the oven on cool days, but use the grill and clothesline on hot days. Swap out old light bulbs for new and more efficient models, and rely on motion-sensored security lights that only turn on as needed. For water savings, put the irrigation systems on a timer and shorten showers indoors. For optimal water recycling, collect

the past, you’ll be able to identify a good deal in the future. That’s when it’s time to stock up. For optimal savings and a healthier home, consider making your own cleaning products. White vinegar, lemon and baking soda can tackle just about any everyday task, from whitening laundry to cleaning the countertops. You can also make laundry detergent in liquid or powder form, create your own fabric softener, press dishwasher detergent into pod form, and even whip up some shaving cream. Get into the DIY craze for your household products and see the savings divert directly back into the home via home improvement projects. Ditch Single-Use Products Once-and-done items like bottled water, paper towels, and disposable cups are not only hard on the planet, they take aim at your budget, too. Plus, the waste they produce raises your garbage bill. Trim back on expenses by

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Pay off Debt It’s challenging to set aside money for home repairs and even more so when you’re also making debt payments. Whether you’re still paying off education loans or credit card bills, make debt reduction a priority so you have more financial freedom. Not only will you be out from under the debt, but you’ll be able to invest the money you were paying in interest toward home improvements that increase the value of your home. Seeing your progress is inspiring! Don’t wait for once-a-month payments. Instead, make small payments as you have a bit of extra cash. When you return a $30 item, get online and make a $30 payment. Put your debt on paper and adjust the amount with every payment. Cancel cable, Netflix, Amazon Prime and lawn and cleaning services until your debt is paid off. These are short-term sacrifices with long-term benefits. Make your Savings Visible You’re working hard to shave dollars here and cents there, so put the money where you can see it. This is motivation toward your bigger goal. Use a glass jar, a separate savings account or an

envelope. Each time you add to it, give yourself a pat on the back. For a tangible measurement, go old

school with a vertical bar on poster board you can color in until you reach your goal.

Save During Home Improvement Too

in a bathroom remodel, avoid moving existing plumbing and electrical as much as possible. This is the main expense for many renovations. Also, dive in on the portions you have the ability and tools to complete, such as flooring, painting, cabinet installation or toilet placement. Consider refinishing the sink and bathtub if they don’t need replacing. You can also save money on a prefabricated vanity or refinished cabinets instead of custom or semi-custom cabinets. However you go about trimming your budget and starting the savings process, remember you’re working toward a meaningful goal that will improve your surroundings and your home investment.

Once you’ve saved funds for your renovation or other home improvement project, watch for savings during the process. Keep an eye out for sales on holidays like Labor Day and Memorial Day when appliances, paints and stains are commonly on sale. Hit up discount warehouses for lumber, floorcoverings, landscaping rocks and more. Also watch for coupons for major home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot. Check out eBay, where you can pick up a coupon for a few dollars that can then be used for 10% off any purchase, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars. Depending on the scope of your project, you can save additional funds by tackling some of the work yourself. You may be able to salvage items, too. For example,

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