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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Putting the MINI into minimalism…

Minimalist designs are taking over. From interior décor to your favourite watch, everything is minimal and highly functional. Simple and effective use of space is what makes minimalism a hit and I love the airiness that these rooms possess. When minimalism is used in home décor, it becomes chic, sophisticated and smart – yet somehow it still feels inviting and unclinical to me. After a life of living in small spaces full of clutter, it’s difficult to resist such an appealing trend! So what is the secret of bringing minimalism into your life? It’s MINI.

minimalism at work in a monochrome wardrobe

M for Minimal Distraction

What makes a minimalist design, at home or elsewhere, work so well is that it doesn’t create any distractions. It comes as no surprise that all minimalist designs are primarily monochrome, whether they are focused on one object or an entire interior décor. While the minimalist’s favourite colour used to be white, you can now find grey, pale purple and beige interior décors that radiate the same sense of simple elegance. When it comes to high-tech design, take a look at the latest smartphones on the market, they tend to be black, white and metallic, so these are the hues you should look for when shopping for a minimalist home and wardrobe.

A monochrome kitchen with invisible lighting

I for Invisible Light

Whether it’s the latest technological gadget or a redecorated living room, the minimalist effect is achieved with a sharp and clear light. At home, this is often produced with a mix of natural light – windows are key in a minimalist décor – and soft artificial light. In opposition to maximalist décor that requires a dramatic lighting solution – such as a huge chandelier in the style of the 1930s – a minimalist décor needs invisible light solutions, such as ceiling LED spotlights, or lighting strips beneath kitchen cabinets, for example. Placed to strategically illuminate the room, a subtle lighting system places the focus on the rest of the room rather than drawing attention to itself.

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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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Chemical-free ideas for spring cleaning

It’s a mucky job – full of unexpected cobwebs and a surprising amount of dust – but it needs doing and it naffs me off every time. I’m talking about the big Spring Clean. How did a house that I clean every week get so disgusting? Have I really been that lazy all Winter? Is it because I only vacuum the bits of carpet that I can see? 😉 Whatever the reason, we are well and truly into the Spring season and if you’ve not already started looking at your home with fresh eyes and planning the traditional big spring clean, now is the time to get stuck in. I always have a blitz over the Easter weekend so you can imagine all the fun I had last week! Apparently it’s a “great idea” to give your home a deep cleanse each year because it keeps your living environment healthy – no more sneezing from dust, or allergies inflamed by mould spores – and it makes your home a more enjoyable place to live. Just think about how happy you were when you first moved into your house and it was empty and a clean-slate! I’m not suggesting that you clear everything out and start again, but I do think that a good scrub will work wonders for your family’s health and happiness.

One thing that bothers me about spring cleaning is the use of chemicals – I’m really fussy when it comes to using sprays and I really can’t stand the smells – even using nail polish remover is traumatic for me, so you can imagine how pouty I get when I have to clean with pungent sprays and liquids. It’s very tempting to use all the whizzy time-saving products out there to make the spring cleaning process as easy as possible, but I don’t like to splash out on expensive cleaners and it IS possible to get a shiny, fresh home using store-cupboard ingredients to make natural cleaning solutions and here’s how:

natural chemical free spring cleaning ideas bhg

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  1. Baking soda mixed with lemon juice is an excellent combination for souring sinks and bathtubs. You can even use the lemon rind to scoop up the paste and rub onto the porcelain! Smear the mixture onto the surface, leave for 5 minutes, give it a little scrub then rinse off with water. The result is a shiny bathroom with a lovely lemon-fresh scent!
  2. You can unblock drains without sending chemicals out into the environment; simply put ½ cup of baking soda down the shower drain or sink plug-hole then pour in ½ cup white vinegar. The baking soda will start fizzing so cover with a saucer to keep the bubbles inside the drain. After a couple of minutes pour another ½ cup of white vinegar into the drain and leave for quarter of an hour before boiling a kettle and pouring the hot water down the drain to clear it completely!

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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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