Nifty Thrifty Week: Day #2 with Ruth Soukup

Welcome to day two of our Nifty Thrifty week featuring ideas, stories, recipes and GIVEAWAYS from five frugal guests.

(And it all started with my devotion entitled The Boomerang of Blessing. You can click here to read it but be sure to come back!)

Up today is my new friend Ruth from the chock-full-of-ideas website  Living Well, Spending Less .

I met Ruth at our recent Proverbs 31 She Speaks Intensive conference and we became fast friends.   A shopaholic turned money-saving expert, she has learned over the years that a life well lived is not so much about what we have, but who we are. On her website Ruth shares her adventure of finding the Good Life {on a budget}.  Living Well Spending Less includes recipes, couponing & budget advice, DIY projects, and household tips as well as reflections on faith, parenting, and homeschooling.  She lives in Florida with her husband Chuck and their two daughters, “Princess” (age 6) and “Trouble” (age 3).

Ruth’s post today is on making homemade cleaners and her generous giveaway is a $50 Amazon card to use to stock up on cleaning supplies.

Now, roll up your sleeves, get ready to clean and meet Ruth:

I can think of many compelling arguments to keep my house tidy.  It looks better.  I can find things.  It helps me be more productive and more hospitable.   It lets me be more creative.  It makes for a smoother-running household, kids who play better, and a husband who isn’t afraid to come home at night.  It even helps me sleep better.

A clean house also saves money.   That alone might be reason enough.

Taking care of my home and my things means I am less likely to need to replace something that gets lost or broken.  Furthermore, when my house is messy, I want only to escape the clutter.  This often means shopping, mindlessly filling a cart with even more stuff I don’t need or finding some other costly way to pass the time.

Re-gaining control of a mess house can be a little overwhelming at first, especially when life never stops moving.  It can be hard to know even where to begin.  Luckily spring is a great time for new beginnings, and if you are ready for a cleaner house, here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Clear the Clutter.  For most of us, the problem of a messy house doesn’t come down to too much dirt but too much stuff.  We’re drowning in it.  To steal a line from Karen, it is time to Let. It. Go.  But I’m going to let you in on a little secret:  De-cluttering begets more de-cluttering.  Once you start, it is SO much easier to keep going!  {Get more de-cluttering tips here}
  2. Go Green & Thrifty.  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that buying more cleaning supplies will somehow magically make your house cleaner.  It won’t.  (Believe me, I’ve tried that!)  Over the years I’ve discovered that just ten simple household ingredients—vinegar, baking soda, salt, olive oil, liquid dish soap, lemon juice, borax, washing soda, Ivory bar soap, and essential oils—can be combined in ten different ways to clean every single surface in my house.  This not only saves time, space, and money, but is better on the environment too.  {Get all ten homemade cleaning recipes here}
  3. Clean From Top to Bottom.  For a really deep clean, start high—with the ledges, ceiling fans, and light fixtures—then slowly work your way down, ending with the floor and baseboards, cleaning everything in between except the kitchen.  Save that for last. {Get a printable top-to-bottom cleaning checklist here}
  4. Conquer Your Kitchen.  Once the rest of your house is clean and (relatively) clutter free, you will be free to focus on the space that haunts us from behind closed cabinet doors.  Luckily those closed doors mean we don’t have to do it all at once.  Split this task into manageable chunks, one section at a time, over the course of a few days or weeks, and before you know it the kitchen you once feared will be a joy to work in. {Get a printable kitchen cleaning checklist here}
    Homemade laundry soap.

There are plenty of times when my own home falls into disarray.  Life gets hectic and I can’t keep up.  I almost always notice it in my wallet first, and that’s when I know it is time to take a step back and put things back in order.  When all is said and done, a clean house just lets me breathe a little easier.

Okay–to be entered in my giveaway here on Karen’s blog, tell me what products do you use to clean your house? Have you ever tried making homemade cleaners? I’d love to hear!

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