Couple is standing together in their kitchen with cups of coffee.

Downsizing in a Mobile Home: Upsize Your Life

Does the idea of downsizing come across your mind often? There are many great reasons to downsize in a mobile home. You could be in season where your expenses may be difficult to manage, and you’re seeking a financial breakthrough with this affordable housing option. Or you may want a smaller, better organized layout in your home to inspire less clutter. Perhaps you are wanting a one level home for safety or mobility reasons- a manufactured home could be a perfect fit. So for whatever your reasoning may be downsizing doesn’t just mean less space – it often means less stuff/clutter and more living.  

Why Downsize in a Mobile Home?

  • Affordable housing can benefit new homeowners. For those ready to retire to anyone prepared to have extra funds in the bank – everyone wins!  
  • Lower your daily expenses to save money for more options to be applied elsewhere.
  • You can have the freedom to move your home where it best suits you, whether in a community or on private land.
  • Customization! Mobile homes come in a variety of sizes and many have more square footage for less than their site-built counterpart. But part of their versatility means you have a 5 bedroom or a small 2 bedroom, sometimes even 1 bedroom home.
  • Open layouts – most mobile homes are super open which inspires a tidier space, and less clutter.

Transitioning into a mobile home will can mean square footage (if you’re downsizing) but will help you keep the house clean and will be easier to maintain. If this is your first time moving into a mobile home, check out more helpful tips here!

Gray mobile home in a park.

Interested in a Mobile Home Park?

If you decide to move to a mobile home park community, the atmosphere and amenities can fit your needs. It could help lower your bills and help you to become a stress-free homeowner. 

Benefits

  • Safe communities include background checks and safety protocols in their community.
  • Community Perks and Amenities include a pool, fitness center, and community events.
  • Minimal Maintenance, whereas parks tend to hire professionals to keep the property maintainable. 

Lot rent may vary depending on what community you select and with other common homeowner fees.

Let this help outline your journey in downsizing. There is plenty of consideration to do and discover if downsizing in a mobile home applies to you. If you are tired of living in the city, this is your sign! If you are still trying to decide, see more information about owning a mobile home here!

blue backsplash in a manufactured home kitchen

Using Your Tax Refund as a Home Investment

If it’s a tax season where you are getting a refund instead of having to pay or breaking even: congrats! If not, be patient, your season could be soon. Don’t get discouraged. The best option is usually to save instead of spend. However, tax refunds can be an exception because most people don’t budget them in. If you can, consider setting aside part of your refund to a savings account, outstanding bill, or high interest payment. Those are typically the best places to start.

Another great option if you’re in the market for a home is to consider using your tax refund towards your down payment. Down payments can deter some buyers from purchasing a home. However, using your tax refund could get you into your home quicker and may alleviate the need to pull from your savings. That’s a win-win!

After that, if you’ve got a little left over, you might consider showing your home some love with some of these upgrades listed below! Making an investment in where you live can pay off in the future. Skip the instant gratification and invest where it counts. Based on what amount you have left over we’ve outlined a few home improvement ideas by cost. Ideas are just estimates and will vary due to several factors, such as home size and the supplies used.

Most of the estimated project costs below are considering the cost of labor (for the ones that need that). If you plan to do the work or install – you could spend less!

Less than $300

Update light fixtures

Painting kitchen cabinets with a kit

Replace door knobs

Pressure wash

Programmable thermostat

$300 – 600

New dishwasher

Add kitchen backsplash

Add a new screen door

$600- 1,000

Entire home storage/organization

Adding updating landscaping/curb appeal

Replace garden tub or standing tub/shower

$1,000 – 1,500

Replace carpet in entire home

Build a shed

We hope this inspires you to try some updates in your home that add to your investment. We’ve tried to highlight upgrades that we think will make your home valuable and/or look better in the future.

Try a Project For Your Home!

Organization bins on shelves in a mobile home

How to Organize Your Home

The year-end is an excellent opportunity for a fresh start for you and your home. If you’re unsure where to start, it’s best to begin with one room at a time to initiate the declutter process. Once your items are sorted, it is easier to organize them with containers and labels to help support your new lifestyle.

Organization can be applied to about any room in the home. Adding containers and organization  bins does not have to be expensive and they can be found in-store and online at a low price. Let’s discover what items we can use to help organize.

Kitchen

I believe many would agree the kitchen is the best room in home for the late night snacker! Why not make it easier to locate and grab your favorite food when entering the kitchen?

Countertop: Store the toaster, dish rack, and air fryer away and remove what is not in use. Start with clearing off the counter. This will help maximize counterspace.

  • Try canisters with labels to store sugar and flour. This helps create easier access to staple food items.
  • Spice up your spice rack with a plastic shelf that helps you visibly see your kitchen ingredients.

The Pantry:  This plays an important role in being organized, it can provide an easier way to view the food items in your household.

  • Crates can be used to group same food items in one area to add more space in your pantry.
  • Plastic clear containers work for multiple food items such as, cereal, snacks, and pasta.

Refrigerator: Get quicker access to food and spend less time holding the fridge door open.

  • Clear containers can hold you your fruits, vegetables, or larger items like juices or canned foods. This will help you avoid throwing away food that’s gone bad. Help your fruits and veggies stay fresh longer!
  • Egg holders provide more room to store items and less damage to your eggs.
Woman in kitchen with dog standing next to organization shelving

Bedroom

Let’s face it, does your room bring you peace after a long day? Or stress you out from the clutter flooding your room? Going through your room you might find the need for more space and realize you don’t have it. Here’s how to find that space that you have been missing…

woman organizing her closet with bins and shelving.

Closet: While going through your wardrobe, you may find clothing that you no longer need. That’s normal! Feel free to have an organization bin for donations as you sort through your closet. In the meantime, this is how we can clean up what you still have.

  • Storage bins can be utilized to store shoes or large clothing items to avoid and prevent a bulky closet.
  • Baskets help store jeans and seasonal clothing items. Baskets can vary from fabric, wicker, or plastic. Find the style that best suits you!

Drawers: It’s okay, we are all guilty of the junk drawer in our room. You know the one where we throw random things in because we don’t know where else it would fit. Well, here’s your sign to straighten it up!

  • Small bins to store t-shirts or undergarments will help open more space and avoid overflowing.
  • Dividers to help group smaller items like jewelry or makeup to keep the area clean.
  • Tray placements on top of the dresser for easy access instead of opening your drawers. These  are ideal when you are on the go.

Did a lightbulb go off while reading this? Are you inspired about how you can get your home into a system of organization and enjoy a cleaner, more efficient space? Happy sorting! 

Now that you have seen new ways on how to organize your space check out more tips here!


Christmas decoration. Candles safely placed on votives on a log with slots for votives.

Quick Holiday Safety Tips

It’s time to decorate for those that celebrate! Holiday decorating adds a lot to our homes and brightens the dark nights. Between travel and all these new elements in our home we want to be sure we are taking precautions to keep everyone safe. This will help to avoid fires, injury, or further damage. Below we’ve included tips to help keep you safe!

Décor Tips:

The National Safety Council has a lot of great ideas on how to stay safe this season. Check out some of their tips!

Electrical Tips:

  • Check lights before using. This will ensure there’s no broken bulbs or frayed wires, while also letting you know if they still work before you wrap them around your tree.
  • Use smart plugs or timers to make for easy automated shut off or have the ability to turn off lights you left on accidentally.
  • Keep outlets and plugs far and away from your tree base if you have a real tree to keep away from water.

Natural Décor Tips:

  • Be wary of poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly as they are poisonous to dogs, cats, and/or harmful to babies. Avoid them in your home or keep them secured out of reach or in an unvisited part of your homes’ exterior.
  • Keep your tree watered and away from fireplaces and radiators.
Candlesticks being blown out.

Candle Tips:

  • Make sure candles are secure and fit will in their containers.
  • Don’t mix loose candles with flammable décor. Use tea lights or votives in holders that are larger than the candle to protect your home from fire.
  • Try flameless candles!
Man taking pie out of the oven with two rags.

Kitchen Safety:

  • Keep timers running. maybe even two! Entertaining can distract from the oven and things you have cooking. Be sure not to get distracted.
  • Be mindful of pressure cookers and air fryers in holiday prep. Be careful not to multi-task cooking with these items unless you have an additional adult to help.
  • Keep an eye on mulling spices / potpourri that you boil for the scent. Lower the heat to low after you get a simmer going and keep ample water in the pot to avoid burning.

We hope this can serve as a quick checklist for your home and helps you make adjustments as needed for your and your families’ safety. Protecting your home and the people in it is the most important. Check out our post for holiday décor ideas that are simple and safe!


Cozy living room with dog sleeping by family on couch

Make Your Home the Coziest with These 5 Tips

One of the most important elements of home is that it makes you feel you like you can relax. Everywhere else in the world may be a place of work, progress, etc., but home should be your sacred space, your place to be without formality, your place where time pauses almost. All of this is what it means to be cozy in your home. For many, it’s a welcoming atmosphere for others an interesting space that makes them want to linger.

Adding comfort to your home doesn’t require a large space or anything fancy. It’s about choosing items that inspire warmth and choosing what’s practical for your home. Cater what cozy means to you, to your space. If something doesn’t work in your house don’t feel you have to include it, you decide ultimately what’s good for your home. So how can you make your home cozy, or maybe just a little bit cozier?

Lean into seasonal queues. The feeling of cozy comes from fitting the season. It’s not just a cold weather mood. Your home can be cozy in the warm seasons, too. All you have to do is bring in flower/plants of the season, cook with what is being harvested, or take from colors/celebrations that are coming up. Likely, fall and winter are well understood in how they inspire coziness. Remember to incorporate organics and natural elements.

  • For example, in the spring bring in pastels, create a bouquet with daffodils and tulips, and use light colored wood to decorate. You might even bring in some fake grass to make a centerpiece or a terrarium.
  • In summer, cozy might be sunflowers, light breezy curtains/blankets, touches of linen and bright colors.
bathroom with plants around the tub, a rug, and towels on a chair.

Less, Not More. Clutter isn’t necessarily cozy. Now that’s not to say your trinket corner has to go, or that maximalists are unable to have a welcoming space. It just means that the space is inviting and gives you an obvious place to fill. So, if you’ve got a small space, try keeping décor and furniture minimal. You don’t have to fill everything up. Same goes for a bigger home. Cozy is an open chair. It’s simple really.

Dim it down. Natural lighting, lamps, dimmers etc. all add soft lighting that makes your home all the more inviting. Avoid overhead lighting or any lighting that is harsh and makes you feel like it’s time to focus and not relax. Try adding some lamps, string lights, (or my favorite) candles to your home for an undeniable ambiance.

Candles in brass holders with pine branches around them

Layers. This one is pretty obvious. More blankets, pillows, and textures make a place super comfy. You can make this fit seasonally as well by choosing to put out fabrics that work with the weather. It’s great to have plenty of options when it comes to creating a snuggly spot.

 Brass/Copper/Gold-Colored. There’s something about these warm elements that bring any room together in the name of comfort. Different from stainless steel, these elements add a natural shine while also still feeling natural. Dark wood is also a good accent to make your home more cozy. Using each of these materials interchangeably makes for a beautiful, interesting space.

Are you imagining your living room or bedroom redesigned with some of these elements? Incorporating cozy doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Start small with a corner of a room and notice the change it creates. Also, make sure it’s still you and the designs you like. We hope you find a blend that fit you. Cheers to making your home cozy!


Thrift for your cozy!

Three paint lids in a row with paint brushed placed on them. The colors are sage green, pastel pink, and a soft gray.

Preparing to Paint Your Home

Whether it is a new-to-you space or a familiar one, painting can always be a fun project. While fun, it can also feel overwhelming. To help prevent it from feeling that way, let’s go over some tips and tricks to making this process as easy as you can.

Before you first shake up and open that paint can, it is important to plan out what you want your room to look like. Picking your color is a fun part of the process but you’ll want to keep some things in mind:

Lighting:

Consider the lighting in your room. If you do not have a lot of natural light or if there is dim lighting, you will want to consider a lighter color than a darker one.

Need some inspiration? See what’s trending this year.

Other colors in the room:

Coordinate your paint colors with your furniture and curtains. While those items are replaceable, it is a good idea to see if your paint swatch will go with that color beforehand, so you don’t have to purchase new if you weren’t wanting to.

TIP: If you do have a room that you want to keep light but add a bit of drama, consider doing an accent wall!

Couple painting a wall in their home together. A woman is standing on a ladder while a man paints with a roller.

Materials:

Once you have picked out your paint colors, it’s time to gather your supplies.

  • Besides the paint, you’ll need an angled brush to cut in and rollers for the walls.
  • To protect your floors, add an old sheet or cotton drop cloth to your list. (You can always shop a thrift store for old sheets too).
  • Using quality painter’s tape will help prevent paint bleeding through and last, but not least, primer. Primer is cheaper and will help you use less coats of paint. It may feel like more work at the beginning but skipping this step will have you wishing you didn’t in the end.

Before you start your project, consider your local weather. The less humidity, the faster your paint will dry and will prevent drip marks on the wall. Prepping your walls before painting is also important as it adheres the best to a clean surface. If you have wallpaper, consider whether you want to remove it or paint over it.

Tip: If you start painting but need to stop. You can wrap your roller or brush in plastic wrap then place in the fridge. This will help keep your paint fresh, so you don’t have to wash it out in between coats.

Now that you know all that you need to get started, let’s get that project going!

Want to switch up your furniture to match your own room but don’t want to buy new? Check out how here.


Mobile Home Upgrades That May Improve Value

There are some relatively easy upgrades you can add to your home for little cost. One of the great things about mobile homes is that there is so much you can do with them, and often a little research and how-to knowledge is all you need to achieve the look or project you desire. Let’s check out some ideas!

Insulation is a great upgrade for your mobile home. It not only will regulate your temperatures, but it may also possibly help lower your energy bills. Plus, there are plenty of options that won’t even inconvenience you while it’s being added!

Painting the walls in your mobile home can add the personal touch you’ve been wanting. Most mobile homes have vinyl-on-gypsum wall panels, which means the walls are coated and will probably need some sanding or a paint with primer to stick properly. Get all the details about painting your mobile home walls.

Spruce up your home by updating your kitchen cabinets. From knobs to paint color, all it takes is a little embellishment. Get started on painting your cabinets with a kit today!

You can also work on making your home more energy efficient. This may mean a smart thermostat that fluctuates throughout the day, new windows, sealing your roof, etc. These upgrades usually help regulate the temperature within your home as well. Don’t stop there, there are tons of easy ways to save energy in your home without spending money. Get energy saving tips!

Lastly, Landscaping can add tons of charm to your home. You can choose a color scheme or just unique plants, the choice is yours! Not only will landscaping look great, but it can absorb water and keep your home dry, too! Try some of our landscaping ideas to improve drainage!

There are many more updates out there, including upgrades you can look into that won’t cost much for your home. It’s really about knowing your home and yourself enough to know what you’d benefit from as well as what you’re willing to keep up with!

Simple Ways to Prep Your Yard/Exterior for Fall

When I became a homeowner I learned that fall really is the most important time for your lawn. It’s when you put in the most work (or should) and it’s finally not a million degrees, so you can linger in your yard to get some things done. Dig out the gloves, borrow a ladder, free up some storage space, and let’s get busy making your yard ready for autumn!

  • Start your landscaping/gardening. Fall is usually the best time to plant flowers, trees, and some veggies. Check the Farmer’s Almanac for your area. Seasons of planting vary by weather, last frost, and soil type.
  • Another thing to do late summer, early fall is aerate your land. You can usually pay someone to do this, or rent a machine yourself.
  • This is also a great time to start a compost bin. Want less waste, and richer soil? You may just like composting. Follow this easy home magazine to learn more and get some information to help you create your compost station!
  • Clean those gutters. You want them to drain right for the coming season.
  • Also, try putting your tools away. From buckets to water hoses, you’ll want to store anything that can freeze away for now.
  • Sweep off your deck/driveway. Rain and leaves will stain these areas and leave them in a mess. Keep the mess at bay by sweeping off leaves and debris. Same goes for your lawn. Keep them off the grass or mow over them.

    Duran Family_The Ranch Model 43ERZ30764GH17_Texas_2019-57
    Keep your deck space looking great!
  • Fix that slippery spot. Lay down some seed for muddy places, stepping stones for uneven areas, etc. It will get worse when it freezes in winter, so best to address it now.

Seasonal maintenance can add longevity to your home, and beauty and safety to your lawn. Take some time this weekend to take care a couple of these items. The long term is worth it!

Now Add Some Flair!

sink in white kitchen with greenery and oranges in the background.

The Ultimate Guide to a Resourceful Kitchen

We’ve made a guide to help your kitchen become more cost efficient! Feel free to print it out and never be hindered again when inspiration strikes. From everyday substitutes to reusing – we’ve got you covered!

Ever looked in your cabinets and made a meal from whatever you could find, only to discover you’re missing a key ingredient? You were trying to be frugal and resourceful, and now you’re hungry. Don’t worry, we’ve been there.

Below are some easy ways to reduce trips to the store and shop better!

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Here are some easy ways to make your kitchen more efficient!
  • Ingredient Substitutes  –

Vinegar = lemon or lime juice

Corn syrup = honey or maple syrup

Red wine = beef, chicken, or vegetable stock

Mayo/ Sour Cream = Greek yogurt

Egg = ½ mashed banana or ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce per egg

Buttermilk = milk and vinegar

Heavy cream = milk and butter

Self-Rising Flour = all purpose flour, baking powder, salt

Kitchen Necessities and Storage

  • Need glassware or leftover containers? Start checking your fridge or your pantry! Those glass jars are one wash away from making a unique glassware set! Wash out pickle jars, jelly jars, or any other glass jars for free cups! Also, keep the lids and you’ve got a travel cup or a container! Jars can be reused for food containers, too. If you get a sturdy plastic container from a takeout meal, you can clean it out and use it again and again! Personally, I find that soup or sauce containers from takeout meals work great to store leftovers or snacks in. If they are sturdy, they are typically dishwasher safe on the top rack too.
  • Need more space? Better organization is just a door away…literally! If you’ve got a door in your kitchen, you can use a shoe organizer or any over-the-door organizer to keep spices, sauce mixes, or big utensils organized. You can also hang your pots and pans up on any wall to free up some cabinet space, with hooks or simply with nails!
pots hung up on barn door slider for storage.
  • Need ideas for meal planning? One of my favorite ways to meal prep is cooking enough for leftovers for at least one extra meal, it just makes life that much simpler. I love making extra dinner and bringing it for lunch the next day! If you’re looking for a simple, on-the-go, nutritious breakfast, I highly recommend overnight oats.
Farmers Market Workshop 6
Planting herbs is easy and you can have them in your kitchen!
  • Need some fresh herbs for a recipe? Grow your own! Basil and Rosemary are relatively easy to grow, and they are in lots of dishes. Research best practices on how to plant and care for them. Most can be put in boxes or pots, or any unique containers for fun. What’s better than fresh ingredients!?
  • Need utensil holders? When you’re finished with the containers for items like breadcrumbs and oatmeal – reuse them! You can either keep them as they are or cover them with colorful paper and glue it to the container for cute additions to your kitchen for little to no cost.
  • Need to keep your produce fresh longer? It’s hard to use all your fruits and veggies before they go bad. There are many tips and tricks to keep produce fresh longer, many items can be frozen and used later, and some items can even be regrown, like green onions!

Interested in more resourceful kitchen ideas?

Give Me More Ideas!