You’ve been there before. Craving a snack or looking for dinner ingredients, you open the fridge, and whew! What is that smell?
Sometimes, even after a thorough cleaning, fridge smells can linger. Read on for 5 all-natural fridge cleaning hacks for freshening up your refrigerator. (These quick eco-friendly tips go far beyond the tried-and-true box of baking soda).
Fill a hollowed out citrus peel with salt for an all-natural air freshener perfect for the fridge. (Photo courtesy eHow.com)
Eco-friendly Fridge Cleaning Hacks
- Coffee Grounds
Spread freshly ground coffee evenly on a plate or shallow dish, and place it in the fridge for 24 hours. The coffee will absorb any rogue odors and also give off an energizing scent. Not a coffee drinker? You can also place several tea bags (or loose leaf tea) on a plate for the same effect.
Choose your favorite citrus (we recommend navel oranges or grapefruit for their size, but lemons and limes will work, too) and cut it in half. Scoop out one half completely so you’re left with a bowl-shaped hollow. Fill with sea salt and place in the fridge for a citrusy, neutralizing scent!
- Vanilla Extract
This baking staple has a hidden purpose: creating a soft, lovely scent for your fridge. Pour a bit of vanilla extract into a small dish, then place a few cotton balls inside. The cotton will soak up the vanilla extract and slowly release its aroma into the fridge.
- Tomato Juice
Perhaps you’ve heard of tomato juice’s deodorizing powers for anyone who encounters a skunk. The same holds true for your fridge. Simply soak a cloth or sponge in undiluted tomato juice and wipe down your fridge’s surfaces. Rinse with soapy water, then wipe dry. You can repeat the process (or try substituting vinegar) for any lingering smells.
Similar to baking soda, Alka-Seltzer is an oxidizing agent that can neutralize unpleasant scents. Drop a couple of tablets into a glass of water and place in the fridge to help mitigate odor.
Remember, setting your fridge at a proper temperature is an easy, preventive step to avoid odors in the first place. Learn how to ensure your fridge and freezer are at the right temperature here.
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De-cluttering is often at the top of our to-do list at the start of a New Year – it’s the second-most popular New Year’s Resolution. We know the tried-and-true tactics (tackling one room at a time, donating items, etc.), but The New York Times alerted us to a new method we hadn’t considered. Their article “Kissing Your Socks Goodbye” from October of last year focused on a Japanese organization expert and her two simple tips for creating a clutter-free home.
Joy may be the key to a clutter-free closet. (Photo courtesy Rubbermaid Products on Flickr)
Rather than getting mired in questions like “Have I worn this item in two years?” or “Do I have a specific upcoming event where I will need this item?” expert Marie Kondo advises her clients to ask themselves a simple question: “Does this item bring me joy?” The other tenant of her de-cluttering technique is that we do not need additional storage – our homes already have adequate storage for everything we need.
Try using the joy method next time you de-clutter. Plan to take a close look at your things and see how they make you feel. Sure, that old sweatshirt might be threadbare, but if it takes you back to a time and place that’s memorable for you, we say keep it! Do you furrow your brow when your eyes land on that dress with the tags still on? If you feel guilty for not wearing it yet, it’s certainly not bringing you joy: donate it instead.
Consider smaller items, too – you may have a picture you love but it’s in a frame that doesn’t spark joy within you. Toss the frame. You can reframe the picture in a frame you love, which will only amplify the feelings of happiness and joy you associate with the photo itself.
If this method feels too unconventional for you, then it’s not bringing you joy! Skip it in favor of more traditional de-cluttering tips: our blog features plenty of posts designed to keep you organized.
The bathroom is a great place to relax with a soothing bath or steaming hot shower, but it’s also one of the biggest hubs for clutter. Bathrooms often lack ample storage, and with so many bottles (medicine, shampoo, body wash) requiring designated space, it’s easy for clutter to take hold. Read on for pretty, easy bathroom de-cluttering tips you can take to make your bathroom a place of respite, not mess.
Folding towels properly is an easy way to maximize space. (Photo courtesy missmac on Flickr)
- Divide and conquer. Bathroom drawers are often as jam-packed as junk drawers, and as messy, too. Insert drawer dividers, available in a variety of sizes, to create instant order. Use them for makeup and accessories, or create an organized drawer for your most-used toiletries like toothpaste, floss, and face wash.
- Think vertically. Wall space is a viable yet underused storage option. Placing towel racks and hooks (3M Command hooks are especially good for renters) on the wall creates instant storage for towels and robes. You can even create a DIY caddy to hang for extra storage.
- Fold on. Big, fluffy bath towels can take up precious real estate in the bathroom closet. Use this technique to fold them neatly, which will maximize your space. If the bathroom also doubles as a linen closet, try bundling your blankets and sheets together.
- Brush up your brush display. With a bit of decorating finesse, you can transform your makeup brushes into a centerpiece for the bathroom counter: like a floral display, but functional! Use a pretty glass container and fill it with clear or colored glass beads to hold your brushes in place. You can even transform a gelato container – the perfect excuse to buy ice cream.
Bathroom Design Ideas
Just like the kitchen, there are many great bathroom décor options to implement in your apartment. There’s always a need for more hooks in the bathroom for towels, robes, etc. and damage-free hooks, like those sold by Command, are perfect for adding more hanging options. Wire mesh organizers are excellent bathroom design solutions for the vanity, as are caddies for the shower to neatly consolidate all of your toiletries.
Bathroom Furniture Essentials
Towels – This is probably the first thing that comes to mind when furnishing the bathroom. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of hand towels and larger shower towels. Before you make your purchase, think about what color or design would complement the look of your bathroom and the other elements, including the shower curtain and bath mat. Find something that matches your personality, whether it’s a funky pattern, solid subdued color or bright multi-toned color scheme.
Bath mats – When shopping for your bathroom suite, make sure to get a bath mat to lay down in front of the shower to absorb excess moisture. Think about the rest of your bathroom design and pick a color or pattern that meshes well for a cohesive bathroom design.
Storage caddies – These toiletry containers come in handy for organizing shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razors, sponges, etc. all in one place so it’s easily found and accessible.
Toothbrush holder – This is an essential vanity item to store your toothbrush in a place where you won’t lose it.
Soap – This is a no-brainer, but hand soap has really reached a new level over the past few years. Brands like Mrs Meyer’s offer incredibly fresh fragrances like basil.
Shower Curtain – Here’s another chance to showcase your own design aesthetic and personality. No matter if you prefer a basic shower curtain or a creative, whimsical design, there are plenty of patterns out there to choose from.
Flair – Don’t be shy with your bathroom design! Add flowers, pictures, art, and anything else to put the finishing touches on this room in your apartment!
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Related posts: Must Know Refrigerator Organization Tips, Apartment Spring Cleaning Checklist, How to Clean a Refrigerator: 5 All-Natural Fridge Cleaning Hacks
In our modern world, there are toxins everywhere, and cutting them out of your life is just about impossible, but cutting down on the toxins you consume and encounter is possible. Making your own cleaning products using things you already have in the house not only saves you money, but it is a great way to clean your home the green way. You’d be surprised the cleaning power of some of these items!
Vegetable Oil — Oil and water don’t mix, but oil and oil work wonders. For cleaning oil-based ink and paint off of surfaces throughout your home, as well as brushes and hands, allow vegetable oil to soak on the ink or paint, then wipe it away with a dry towel or rag.
Soy Sauce – Getting rid of grease can be tough, but a little bit of soy sauce cuts right through it. Try using it on your stove and range hood, as well as baking sheets and more.
Baking Soda, Salt & Lemon – If the smell of garlic, or other foods, linger in the wood of your cutting boards, clean and deodorize them with these three simple ingredients. Sprinkle a little baking soda and salt on your cutting board and scrub it around with lemon juice and a lemon half; let it is for five minutes and rinse it well. Voila!
Baking Soda & Vinegar – Try pouring half a cup of baking soda followed by one or two cups of white vinegar down your drain to clear up clogged/gunky drains. The chemistry of the two helps to clear it up quick. A pot of boiling water helps, too.
Newspaper – When cleaning glass surfaces, a rag will always leave pesky remnants, while wiping with newspaper will get your windows and mirrors streak free and perfect.
Ketchup & Soy Sauce – For polishing copper, you won’t find anything better or easier than ketchup mixed with soy sauce; it works like a charm. For silver, use just the ketchup for great results.
After a certain amount of time, even the most wonderfully-decorated bedrooms can feel boring and in need of a change, but spending a ton of money on re-decorating isn’t always in the cards. Luckily, there are many ways that you can infuse new life into your bedroom that don’t cost any money at all. Try these simple tactics to help you see your personal space with fresh eyes and excitement.
Clean Your Bedding
When life is busy, cleaning the bedding may be the last thing on your list, but if you take everything off the bed and give it a good wash, putting the bed together again with crisp, delicious smelling fabric can make the whole room feel fresh and renewed.
Use Pieces from Other Rooms
If your bedroom is feeling drab, try taking artwork and lighting from other rooms in your home. Maybe the wall piece above your couch would really change the space above your dresser; or maybe the floor lamp by your book case could really bring a fresh lighting scheme into your bedroom. Small changes like this make the world of a difference, and get you excited about the things you already own.
Organize Your Nightstand
It’s easy to let your nightstand gather clutter and that can make your bedroom feel messy and frustrating, especially since it is the last thing you see at night and the first thing you see in the morning. Take time to organize and de-clutter your nightstand; keep only what you need and want displayed next to your bed and you can change your whole attitude about your room.
Make Your Bed
Cleaning your bedding is one way to help refresh your bedroom, but on a daily basis, making your bed is key. When you are busy, it may be an easy thing to think you can “do later”, but then you end up with an un-made bed all day, every day, and the bed is one of the biggest pieces in any bedroom. Simply making your bed every morning can make you feel organized and make your space look clean. And you can always remind yourself: in a world of chaos, at least the bed is made.
Get Rid of Things You Don’t Love
In your closet, in your dressers, and on your tables, take a month and each day get rid of one thing that you don’t use, need, or love. Built up clutter and things that we see and don’t want anymore can make us feel frustrated and chaotic. Getting rid of excess makes room for the new, and seeing only the things we love in our closets and dresser can help us to appreciate and utilize the things we own more, and more clearly see what it is we actually need in our lives.