Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


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Household goals – keeping my home neat & organised

Starting the new year with the intention of keeping my home clean and organised has been very motivating goal for 2017 so far. A jolly good tidy-up at the start of January really helped, as did finding a home for all the lovely gifts I received over Christmas. However, I’ve found that after just a few weeks of trying to keep up with all the mess, it has become difficult to do and I often ‘forget’ about it. Then I find that even more stuff has piled up on top of the original pile. Uhoh! The trouble is that I haven’t really got round to sorting out any specific strategies or routines for organising my stuff. I can’t fight it any more. I need new storage, and that’s all there is to it. There are a whole range of different products that I could buy, systems that I can put in place and even new routines that will help me to have an organised and tidy home, yet I’ve resisted so far. But not any longer – so today I’m sharing a few ideas on how to can introduce certain things to your home to help clear the clutter!

The Kitchen

I’ve found it’s best to focus on one room at a time, as different rooms will require different processes and organising strategies. That sounds so official, doesn’t it?! The kitchen is a great room to start with, as it can often be the one room that needs the most work when it comes to getting organised. My kitchen is one of the most used rooms within the home; not just for preparing and cooking meals, but dining, socialising and even working too. One of the best ways to start a kitchen de-clutter is to give your fridge and cupboards a deep clean. Throw away any items that are past their use-by date, wipe the surfaces clean and add some kind of sorting system. Having certain cupboards for specific foods or products will make your life much easier (eg, pans in the cupboard nearest the oven), as well as making the kitchen look much neater.Recycling is another task you can incorporate into your kitchen to keep your home organised. We go through so many plastic, glass and cardboard items every week, and having a recycling system in place will help you filter through these items neatly, whilst keeping the kitchen organised too. There’s nothing worse than a build-up of glass bottle on the side, waiting for that fortnightly trip to the tip!

DIY Peg bag sewing project + carrier bag dispenser

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5 Low cost design tips for a smart & stylish home

Do you look with envy at the interior of other people’s homes and think why isn’t mine like that? Style is a question of confidence – the confidence to choose the right things for the right places, without compromising on practicality. With these five interior design tips, you can have a stylish home that oozes with confidence.

Image source: ViSSEVASSE

1. Every picture tells a thousand stories

They do, don’t they? You look at your family photos and behind each one is a story, either a humorous one or one tinged with sadness. Those family portraits and stories are important and they should be shared. But there is one problem with the look of all these photos: the different frames. A boho style – the mish-mash of frame styles, sizes and colours – is difficult to pull off. It can either look perfect, or a complete mess! Like the mish-mash style? Great, but keep elements of the display the same such as not mixing too many different styles of frames and colours. Stick with similar colours and have one photo that is the star of the show and around which the rest revolve.

Want a new look but with the same photos? There are two great options;

  • New frames – get your display sorted with new frames, all the same colour but in different sizes. However, when hanging keep a sense of uniformity by choosing one large photos and then groups of similar sized photos to complement that one.
  • Photos in frames on shelving – we love photo collections clustered on shelving units, create your own glass shelving using minimalist glass clamps so as not to distract from the items in the shelf.

    Image Source: Miami Design District

2. De-clutter and organise

Our homes are stuffed with all kinds of objects but ask yourself this: how much of this stuff do you really need and want? How often is it used? Why are you still hanging on to it? Even if you don’t have a hoarding problem, you will be amazed at the stuff you end up keeping for no apparent reason other than you don’t have time to sort through it all. The time has come to de-clutter, room by room. But, as part of the cathartic process of de-cluttering, you need to create storage solutions. We are not talking plastic boxes, however, stuffed in wardrobes and under beds. We are talking bespoke, built storage solutions that work, are accessible and are stylish. You will be amazed at how affordable bespoke storage solutions are and you will be impressed at just how useful they turn out to be (and stylish too!).

Image source: SofaStoreBlog

3. Order on the eye 

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Guest post – Cluttered home? How to put it right…

Pieces of Lego are strewn; shoes are littered; food spilled; furniture stained. Clothing is scattered. Pens, pen lids, crayons and felt-tip pens sprinkle surfaces. Toys are disassembled; old batteries discarded; former favourite toys abandoned. Combs and hair clips accumulate in corners and on staircases; footprints mark shiny floors; scribbles, notes and doodles gather on tables, desks and chairs. Packets of biscuits are in with the fresh foods; milk is without purpose and outside the fridge; finger prints smudge cupboards, walls, doors and windows. It wasn’t always like this. Something changed. It’s the school holidays! The truth is that you may never achieve again the calm and harmony that prevailed throughout the pre-kids era, but that isn’t to say that at least a semblance of planning and regulation cannot be brought back into the home. So put a lid on the chaos, put that disaster away, and take heed of these top tips for tidying up and keeping it that way:personalised labels storage

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Budget friendly ideas to create a more spacious home

I often wish that my house was bigger. It doesn’t take much clutter to fill up the small rooms in my home and storage always seems to be in short supply even though practically every wall is covered with shelving and cupboards. In truth, I think I’m just trying to fit in too much stuff into a tiny space when I’d really love to achieve a feeling of spaciousness in spite the dimensions of the rooms. So I’ve been doing some research to find out ways that interior designers ‘trick’ you into thinking that a space is bigger than it actually is. But, of course, I’m on a thrifty budget so I wanted to investigate how to make a difference without spending a fortune so here are some tips to make your space work harder for you without needing to knock down walls or build an extension!small space saving tidy office

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My new years plan ~ Tidy house, tidy mind

Today, I’m having a clean up and a clear out. Or rather, I am procrastinating by writing a blog post about clearing up and clearing out! But I will get round to it today – honestly! Because I’ve heard it said a million times that a tidy desk/kitchen/home leads to a tidy mind and I could really do with going into the new year (and lets face it, just next week…) with a more restful mind and a better ability to cope with all the things that life and work throws at me! It’s a well-documented truism that clutter in your environment can contribute to an equally disorganised and disturbed mental attitude. Let’s face it, if my workspace is messy surely I’ll be less productive and if my home is untidy I’ll find it harder to relax during my time off while thinking of all the chores I need to do! Whether it’s the product of a lazy few days or the result of months of ‘to-do’s piling up, I think we’ll all feel better for tackling the clutter face-on and tidying up our spaces.

It’s basically a smoothing over of your life and therefore it will cleanse your mind too and make you feel considerably more relaxed and free – or at least that’s what I’m hoping will happen when I set to work on my massive tidy-up this week! I’ve previously written about decluttering your wardrobe to save you time and money and similarly a clear-up of your home will be equally beneficial to you. I’m not talking about cleaning here – even the most untidy homes can be clean and likewise the cleanest homes can be untidy, so what I’m really focussing on are tips for improving your living and working spaces so that you can start the new year afresh and be better able to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself in 2014.

declutter your home and workspace messy desk

Pretty much what my desk looks like at the moment! via Pinterest

Workspace – When was the last time you saw your desk under all those piles of paperwork or craft materials? Workspaces always start out clean and efficient, but gradually gather stacks of books, unfinished projects and other odds and ends that don’t have anywhere else to live. I’m not asking you to put away all your work, as that will stop you completing tasks altogether but I’m suggesting that you clear everything off the desk and keep the things that you need in an organised way. Storing papers and magazines in files is an easy way to keep similar documents together and store them upright so that they are easy to access rather than being at the bottom of a pile. You don’t need to spend out on costly office storage solutions – simply cut the tops off cereal boxes, cover them in wrapping paper or newspaper and stick a label on the side so that you can easily see what the contents are at a glance. Standing these files on a shelf above your workspace will save you space on the desk and means that you can assess related should be moved on elsewhere. Next time that you go to sit at your workspace to organise your finances or make a piece of artwork, you’ll have a clear desk to work on and everything you need will be to hand, which will inevitably speed up the process and help you to be more productive.

clearing out your closet Friends episode

Monica’s messy closet in Friends via Pinterest

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I’m having a new year wardrobe clear out

January is the perfect time to think about having a home overhaul and clearing the clutter from your house. Like me, you’ve probably made promises to yourself to improve your emotional wellbeing, career and health but did you focus any of your resolutions on your house? I’m thinking that maybe now is the time to start improving your living environment, because the space we live in certainly has an impact on our mental attitude, ability to work efficiently and relationships with the people in our lives. Although it’s not technically a “Spring Clean”, because I won’t be doing much scrubbing, this weekend I am planning to have a thorough clear out of all the clutter in my home and honestly I think will feel much better after a good tidy-up and can look forward to 2014 with an open mind.

kate bosworth closet

Kate Bosworth’s closet via Pinterest

One of the first areas that I want to address is my wardrobe. Everyone’s wardrobe inevitably grows in content over the course of a year as we buy new workwear, holiday outfits and those discounted shoes that we just couldn’t leave behind at that price. So no doubt, there will be more items squeezed into my wardrobe than there was at the start of last year, and that means more clutter and less space to add new things! Therefore, one of the best things you can do to declutter your clothing is to get everything out and start sorting – I know that the mess will be all over your bedroom instead of tucked away in the wardrobe but stay with me here! Take each item in turn and ask yourself whether you have worn it over the past year. If the answer is yes, hang it back in the closet. If the answer is no, ask yourself why?

  1. Is it the wrong size? Is it uncomfortable? Is it tired and faded? Any of these items can be safely taken out of the wardrobe and recycled. Good items can be passed on to family and friends, or even sold at a carboot sale or online so you can get a bit of extra cash for the new year!
  2. Does it need fixing? If you’ve not worn an item because it is broken, has a loose thread or the button has fallen off, now is the time to do all those repairs you’ve been meaning to get around to, so put them to one side and tackle them after you’ve finished the decluttering process. While you’re sitting in front of the TV in the evenings, how about getting out your sewing kit and fixing that broken seam or loose popper so that you’ve got an item that’s good as new, and you’ll be able to wear it this year – maybe it’s been needing to be repair for so long that you’ve forgotten all about it and can wear it with fresh eyes, as if you’ve been shopping and bought a whole new outfit!
  3. Professional help? If the problem is something beyond your fixing ability and you really want to keep the item, think about getting the hem professionally fixed, taking stained items to the dry cleaners, getting too-long trousers taken up or have those shoes re-heeled. Again this will give you more clothing options in your new, decluttered wardrobe – it’s like shopping but at a much lower price!
  4. Is it unseasonal? If you’re holding a sarong and hot pants in your hands at this time of year, chances are you won’t be need it until your summer holidays in 6 months time. Maybe you could pack your holiday essentials away in your suitcase now (including things like adapter plugs and travel hairdryer), so they will all be in one place when you next travel and will be out of the way until you need them. The same goes for winter clothing when you’re in the height of summer – pop those fluffy festive jumpers into storage bags and tuck them away under the bed or on top of the wardrobe (my dumping ground of choice!) and get them out again when the weather changes.
  5. Is it for a special occasion? We’ve all got dresses, suits, shoes and accessories in our wardrobe that are only really worn on special occasions – black-tie, wedding outfits, even Halloween fancy dress. You know you don’t need immediate access to these items but they have to be stored neatly (maybe not so much with the fancy dress items!), so make sure they are clean and repaired if needed, then keep them on hangers in suit or dress bags and put them at the back of the wardrobe. Or if you really don’t need them, you could get one of those canvas wardrobes for your loft and store this clothing hanging up in the attic, out of the way until you need them again. Continue reading “I’m having a new year wardrobe clear out” »


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Getting creative with storage space

I don’t know about you, but when my house is untidy, I just can’t relax. I don’t mean that my home has to be in über-clean condition, but if there’s mess covering my surfaces, my mind feels just as messy and I really want to tidy up before I can get started on my work. Maybe I’m just procrastinating, (probably!) but life definitely feels easier and I’m considerably happier when everything has its place. Thankfully my lovely friend Anna Jones has shared an article with me about finding storage space out of thin-air; who knew I had so much spare space to stash my mess! Here’s her top tips for getting creative with storage space:

There’s nothing worse than living in a cramped, cluttered and overcrowded environment. Life’s hard enough without being able to come home and relax in your own space. However, by following just a few quick and easy space saving tips and a bit of elbow grease, you can transform your home into a spacious, palatial environment to rush back to.

Photo courtesy of: savvysugar.com

Photo courtesy of: savvysugar.com

To turn your home around, start looking at the space around you from a different point of view – get to know all the nooks and crannies above every door and at the back of every alcove. These are your nuggets of gold; your bonus storage spaces!

Now put them to good use… any space no matter how small can be used to tuck away those pesky items that clutter up your workspace.  Understair and wall shelving can be used to tidy up all the bits and bobs you’ve collected over the years and help to create a colourful display out of all your treasured possessions.

Photos courtesy of ej-fransem.com & mykansascitymommy.com

Photos courtesy of ej-fransem.com & mykansascitymommy.com

If you have high ceilings try using just a few pins and string to secure those forever unfurling pieces of wrapping paper overhead, neatly packed away with easy access. A simple solution, but so effective!

If all else fails it’s time to make a cull! Don’t be afraid to get rid of those larger space hording items such as that dresser you inherited from your aunt that you never use (or ever really liked). There are numerous sites out there that can help you find a pretty penny for these items (try Ebay for a start!) and furniture transport companies can deliver them in one piece. Before you know it you’ll be rid of old Aunt Margaret’s dresser and have gained an extra square foot of space or two. Use the proceeds of your sales to opt for simple, functional yet stylish furniture. An excellent example is this floating shelf that provides an elegant solution to storage with a built-in bike rack – without pinching any precious floor space! How cool is this?!

Photo courtesy of: ivillage.com

Photo courtesy of: ivillage.com

Now sit back, put your feet up, pour a glass of wine and enjoy your craftily created haven of space… Thanks to Anna for sharing all these funky space-saving ideas. It’s inspired me to get on with my spring cleaning (a bit late, I know!) and I’ve ordered a click ‘n’ clean kit from Dunelm Mill, so I’ll wait for that to arrive before I start 😉

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