How to Thrift for Decor

Decorating your manufactured home is one of the best things about homeownership. It’s so fun to make a space your own and reflect the things you love. However, furniture and décor can get expensive, but you shouldn’t have to limit your creativity. That’s where thrifting comes in. You can spend less and set your home up for comfortable living for you and your family. You have the freedom to leave the item as is or make a project out of it to fit your style. It can be as simple as a coat of paint, or you can reinvent the wheel.

Let’s dig into the process and some tips for how to thrift for décor. First, we’ll start with what to think through before you even hit the stores.

Before you go

  • Consider the style of your mobile home.
    • Walk around your house and try to see what unique characteristics stand out. Maybe your home has modern, industrial, or farmhouse details. Look to your kitchen, living space, or exterior for inspiration.
    • Next, consider what goes along with the style that you like and that reflects your interests.
  • Think goals and problem solving.
    • What do you want to achieve in your home? Whether you have a blank canvas with an empty home, or are looking to add more, or alter your space – think of how you want to feel in your home. Do you want to be relaxed, energized, or encouraged? There are so many things you can achieve through furniture and décor.
    • Next, think about any opportunity areas you want to solve with some creativity in your home. Maybe your space feels cluttered, and you need organization desperately. Perhaps your space is small, and you think outside the box to find ways to make storage in your home. You may have wall batten strips and want to find lightweight material décor to hang instead of heavy items that are hard on the walls.
  • Keep a list.
    • Now that you’ve thought through your home, style, and needs you can make a list of items you want and need. That way when you go shopping you have an idea of what you’re looking for and are ready to shop. Some popular recommended items to look out for are: complete lamps, mirrors, bookshelves, baskets, trays, etc.
Books, a planter with plant, and an hour glass in view.

At the store(s)

  • Go often and check in at obscure times.
    • Thrift stores have different inventory all the time. So, it’s important to keep a steady eye on them, especially seasonally as people clean out their homes. As much as you can with your schedule, it’s recommended to visit during the day on Mondays and Tuesdays, this is after the weekends when most people purge.
  • Keep a creative mind.
    • Don’t be limited by what you see. If you like some aspect of an item, keep in mind all the ways you could alter it. Stick to your list, but also leave a space for spontaneity – you might just find and create your perfect piece.
Cleaning supplies, spray bottle, limes, oranges, scrubber, and handheld broom.

When you get home

  • Prepping your items to enter your mobile home.
    • There are many methods for cleaning your newly thrifted items. There are three main things to consider: airing the items out, reducing/ ridding odor from the item, and cleaning the item. 
    • The easiest way to start is to put your items outside in the sun for a bit or in a garage/ covered area to let the item breathe. This will help to air the item out and get rid of any potential bugs. Try to keep your items dry and free from tight, humid places. Once you’ve done this you can separate items by what material they are made of, as certain materials will need different cleaning methods.
    • Next, if you have stronger, deep set-in smells that didn’t dissipate from the suggestion above, many thrifters put a bowl of baking soda in an item or if it’s the right material – mix it into the surface and scrub it in.
    • Lastly, it’s time to clean the items. The best bet for many materials is to wash it with an old rag, hot water, and a natural soap or vinegar. You might even soak some items in a bucket of hot water and let them sit. For items that are fabric in some capacity – you can spot clean the item. Some people suggest enzyme cleaners. A few other options are a steam cleaner and/ or a vacuum for things like drawers or cabinets. Once you’ve done this, if the item can go in the washer or the dishwasher, go ahead and give it a heavy-duty wash.
  • Making items your own. Now it’s time to make these items all your own if you so choose. Check out our Pinterest account for inspiration. We hope you love the final product from your thrifting finds!

Has this got you thinking that your mobile home can be the place you see in magazines? It can! It just takes some planning, creativity, and follow through. We hope that this has you interested in starting your home projects or finishing your last one!


Furniture Painting Inspiration!

Things to Consider When Buying a Used Mobile Home

Many people shy away from buying used homes in general. They are intimidated by the work that could potentially go into fixing up a home or living in a place that may have exceeded its warranty. These are valid hesitancies, however buying used also opens the door to many positive possibilities. We’re going to explore a little bit about what it means to buy a used mobile home. It may be more of an exciting journey than you were expecting!

You can make it all your own – Personalization is such an important factor in homeownership. It really is true in the world of manufactured homes today that you can create the home you want. Mobile homes are versatile in more ways than one. If you purchase a fixer upper, you can start from scratch essentially and make the home into a place of your dreams.

Check the data plate – All mobile homes have a data plate located within their interiors. It’s usually under the kitchen sink, in the master bedroom closet, or utility room electrical panel.
You want to check this out in any home you consider. It tells you information about how the home was manufactured, including important information like the wind zone, roof load, and other items you need to know as a buyer.

Enjoy your dream location – Mobile homes are after all – mobile. If you don’t want to be confined by what’s already been built or a specific location, then this may be a good option. As long as the home’s condition does not prevent relocation and relocating the home will satisfy local requirements, you could place your home by a lake, in a holler on the mountains, and anywhere in-between. Many people also like the ability to place a home on family land. You should be aware that moving a mobile home could be costly – local movers in your area should be able to provide estimates.

Beautiful kitchen in a manufactured home

Set up and delivery – You want to be sure to find out what the seller offers, if anything, in the way of set up and delivery. Sometimes it’s included in the cost and sometimes it’s separate. It’s also important to use a reputable professional mover. Do your research, especially if you choose your own.

Price difference/ fit your budget – There’s no doubt one of the perks of mobile homes is the price. They typically cost less than site-built homes per square foot, especially when used. They won’t hit your wallet quite as hard, and instead of always resorting to renting – they offer the ability to own a home and stay in budget.

Less money to fix up/ maintain – Since mobile homes are manufactured that means usually that they are built with more economical materials, meaning that they may be less expensive to repair or maintain. This will all depend on your specific model, but will usually ring true.

Rental power – You might be considering a mobile home as secondary housing or as an investment opportunity. In this case you could purchase a mobile home to rent out to friends or tenants.

Check Out First-time Home Buyer Tips!

A used mobile home may be the choice for you or it may not be, but it’s always smart to evaluate all your options when purchasing.

 

Oakbur Quill Co..png
woman cleaning in her spring kitchen

Say Hello to Spring with these Seasonal Maintenance Ideas

Winter is hard on your mobile home, but spring is here! With that in mind let’s explore how you can prepare your home for the season change. This is a time for cleaning. So find your overalls, pull your hair back, and gather your tools – it’s time to freshen up your home from the inside out!

If you’ve got a nicely landscaped yard, you’ll definitely need to get busy. Plants and grasses need prep work in March. Even though weather is pretty unruly during this time – one thing is for sure: warmer air is coming. Check out some of the options below to get you started.

“Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Front_Porch_Lifestyle_2017-14
Make your home shine by trying some spring maintenance!

See Maintenance Tips Now!

Tips for Hanging Curtains in Your Manufactured Home

Manufactured homes often have smaller or nonconventional sized windows, thin window frames, or vinyl on gypsum walls that will require unique options for curtains. With a variety of different home types, this often requires you to be creative about how to hang curtains. We’ll look at some ways that will make it easy to enjoy curtains in your home.

  1. Easy ways to hang curtains –
  • Tension rods – These are probably the easiest, most affordable option. Tension rods fit to the frame using an internal suspension system. You will have to measure the maximum stretch of the rod to your window frame to ensure that it will reach. It’s best to pick one that is somewhat larger than it needs to be so that the fit is snug.
  • Magnetic rods / magnetic curtains – If your window frames are metal you may want to think of a magnetic option. You can find rods that connect magnetically, or you can even look for magnetic curtains that need no rod and connect at the top and bottom or all the way around your window frame.
  • Adhesive strips – These can be a quick option for lightweight curtains. These can add up in cost, so you’ll want to pick a curtain type that only has a few loops, or you also can lace a string or ribbon through the loops and just hook the ends.
  • Wall anchors – Thin wall anchors are helpful when you’re trying to hang something heavy in a mobile home. If you’re wanting to use a traditional rod – this is a good option to ensure it doesn’t damage your wall and stays put. Learn more about how to use thin wall anchors here.

2. Tips for how to hang curtains –

  • To make your windows seem larger and the room feel bigger, try purchasing curtains longer than your window. This is common advice found in home magazines. Often using curtains that hang to the ground looks best regardless of window size, but it’s up to you.
Curtains hung in a mobile home.
See how much light and space this trick adds!
  • If you’re using a regular rod, try hanging your curtains higher than the window. This will also make the windows feel bigger and will balance out the space around your window by framing it higher.
  • For magnetic or tension rods, try tying the curtain up in the middle or to the side for an added touch of style.

3. Tips for types of curtains to use-

  • Try using curtains that are light weight and opaque to keep your home well lit. With lightweight curtains, you will not have to worry if the fabric is too heavy for the rod or the hanging option you choose.  These add a classy touch to your home by allowing the light to stream in.
  • If you need curtains to block the light, try to find lightweight ones and ensure their weight will not bring down the hanging device you have chosen.

We hope that this has you inspired to hang or try something new with your curtains in your home.


More Homeowner Tips!

Maintaining Your Water Heater

Your water heater is a modern-day convenience. We don’t always think about it like that or having to live without them until something goes wrong. Many of us have experienced when a water heater has died – and it’s not fun. Cold showers or water leaks are not welcomed surprises.

Water heaters last an average of 10 years and like any appliance, they require a little maintenance to keep working efficiently. To get the most out of your water heater it’s a good idea to do some check-ins.  Once a year, schedule time to either hire someone to complete maintenance or make plans to do it yourself. Also, be sure to consult the owner’s manual that came with the water heater so that you can follow the manufacturer’s recommended steps and to safely perform the maintenance.  In addition, hire a licensed plumber or pipe fitter to aide in any maintenance if you are unsure how to safely accomplish these tasks.

A visual inspection is something you can do yourself. This helps to identify any issues on the exterior such as loose screws, nuts, bolts, and gaskets. The goal with the visual inspection is to see what is worn and may need replacing and check for signs of rust or corrosion.

General Maintenance Tips to Consider:

  • Have the tank drained once or twice a year. During this process, flush the tank a couple of times to make sure all the sediment and debris is cleared out of the tank.
  • Besides just cleaning the water, the anode rod should be checked once a year. The purpose of this rod is to attract all the debris and sediment. This rod typically needs replacing every three to five years.

Photo of Water heater in utility closet

  • If your water heater has a temperature and pressure relief valve (T&P valve), add checking the T&P valve to your list to make sure it is in proper working order. This is important to check as pressure can build up in the tank.  As mentioned above, be sure to consult the owner’s manual in order to safely perform this task. Not all water heaters have a T&P valve.

If your water heater is gas, it will have this valve. Some electric water heaters also have this.

  • If you have a tankless water heater, make sure to descale your water heater to rid the sediment and debris. Make sure the tankless heater is set appropriately and not too high. Doing this will decrease the buildup.

Signs your water heater may need maintenance:

  • leaks
  • low water pressure
  • hear clicking or if your water is rusty

Keeping a mindful eye on your water heater at least once a year will clue you into when it is nearing the end of its life span and help to keep it working efficiently. Doing this should help prevent any of those unwanted surprises.


Keep Maintaining Your Home!


Man closing window.

7 Affordable Remedies for Drafts in Your Mobile Home

Making your home well insulated is an important way to keep your home energy efficient. We pay for heat and air, but how much do we pay for air that escapes or seeps in? If your home is drafty, older, or just needs some reinforcement this is the article for you. Check out these simple ways to reduce drafts!

  • Draft snake – These are great for sealing doorways where the door is too short or doesn’t quite line up correctly. There are various types of draft snakes that slide on the bottom of the door to buffer both sides or ones that you can place directly in front of the door. 
  • Window plastic film – If you have old windows or just windows that let air in you may find placing a plastic film is a good, cost efficient solution – especially in winter. Most of them apply easily with a tape or have you use a hair dryer to bond the edges to your window frame.
  • Weather stripping – Updating your weather stripping is a great way to seal out cold/ hot air. Check around those doors and windows for easy places to put new weather stripping or to place some where there needs to be.
  • Chimney balloon – Fireplaces are great for logs but are notorious for letting in air. Sealing it with an inflatable chimney balloon will keep critters out and keep that air from filling your home.
  • Landscaping around your home – Oddly enough having a flower bed or landscaping around your home isn’t just pretty – it helps keep your home warm. Try placing some large bushes around your home to keep your home snuggled up for the cold season and keep cool air in during the warm months. 
Caulk gaps around your window.
  • Caulking – This one is a timeless classic. Caulk is usually best used around windows and will keep drafts out as well as being super easy and inexpensive to apply. It’s also perfect for small cracks.
  • Spray foam – A lot of times the issue with drafts in a home can be linked to poor insulation. However, that can add up or be a bigger project than you might be willing to take on. If so, spray foam insulation can be a good option. It’s easy to do and you only need one person to get the job done.

We hope that this can be a quick reference to hopefully help you find ways to improve energy efficiency in your home as well as stay warm or cool give the respective season.

Winter Maintenance Checklist

It’s time to prep your mobile home for winter. There are plenty of easy and efficient ways to protect your home from the elements and clean out seasonal build-up. So print out this checklist and get started! If your home could talk – it would thank you for following this guide!

  • Change air filters: Easy to do and it maintains indoor air quality and ensures your AC/Heat flows efficiently
  • Remove window units or winterize them
  • Check for leaks: Do your windows need to be caulked? Have a dripping sink? Remedy these areas to save on your utility bills.
  • Clean + prepare chimney/ fireplace: Consider hiring a chimney sweep. Clean up your fireplace if it can be used or stuff the chimney appropriately. Be sure to ask for professional help if you’re unsure how to clean or use your fireplace.
  • Clean out gutters
  • Put garden hoses up: drain the hose and disconnect it so the water doesn’t freeze and ruin your hose.
  • Seal interior/ exterior gaps: Be sure your home is well insulated.
  • Collect firewood: If you have a wood stove or want to have bonfires now is the time to start collecting.
  • Check your roof: Weathering over time has probably left your roof with some wear and tear. Be sure it’s fixed before winter when snow and freezing temperatures can damage your roof.

Get Maintenance Tips Now!

Here’s to being prepared and a great winter! This may also be a great time to consider checking into insulation options for your home if you notice a need for it in your mobile home!

Homemade Air Freshener Methods

You’re spending more time indoors. You might be turning the heat on and enjoying cozy evenings. Chances are you’re probably also enduring some unwanted smells. From the trash, to getting behind on cleaning, to the effect of closed doors – this season is strong on the senses. Why not make it smell great? Make your home rich with inviting, company worthy scents!

Below are some homemade remedies to get you started! Your nose is going to thank you! Make your house smell amazing with some of these methods!

Stove top – Quick and easy! All you have to do is grab a pot, fill it with water and add something fragrant. Fruits and spices make a great combination! Cinnamon, cranberry, and lemon make for a great holiday blend! Create your own combination – perfect for your home!

Spray – Homemade air fresheners are a great gift for Christmas or to take to your family at Thanksgiving. Most sites suggest a bottle with a spray nozzle, water, some type of rubbing alcohol agent, and drops of your favorite scented oil.

Spray bottle with essential oils and fruit slices in view.

Deodorizer – If you’re more interested in getting rid of a smell instead of adding a scent – try a deodorizing technique. Setting out baking soda or a dish of vinegar will do the trick.

Gel – This is the same method as making the spray air freshener, but you use gel. Gel candles are also great fresheners as they last a while.

Natural remedies – Coffee beans, fresh rosemary, and plants in general seem to clean the air around you and purify the senses. Try them out! Rosemary works great if you put it in the shower and let it release its perfume!

BAKE COOKIES!

Freshen Up Your Walls With New Paint!

We hope these ideas have been easy and cost efficient! Take these ideas to your family for Thanksgiving and give the kids or adults something fun to do while some people are cooking!

Giving Back this Thanksgiving without Spending a Dime

It’s easy to get lost in the bustle of life. Holidays are great, but for many they are a time of financial stress, reflecting on loss, or feeling alone. Maybe you fall into one of these categories yourself. If so, it’s all the more reason to give back. In a time of year where we look to our families, travel, and gifts, let us not forget our neighbors.

Giving to those around us doesn’t mean giving a lot of money, or any money really. It’s more about resources, time, and thoughtfulness. We encourage you to give this Thanksgiving. Below we’ve got some ideas to help you get started.

  • Check your pantry Do you have some canned goods, dry foods, or supplies you don’t need or use that are in date? Consider donating some to a local food bank. You could also organize a neighborhood or street-wide food drive and ask people to donate along with you!
  • Make baked goods for community workers Are you thankful for firefighters, police, librarians, teachers, etc.? Make them some cookies with a card and thank them for what they do to better your community.
  • Volunteer Help with a marathon, visit a nursing home, or a hospital. Your time and effort are the best gift you can give.
  • Become a tutor or mentor Do you know a child who needs some help with reading? Ask area non-profits in your city if they have a program you can help in tutoring kids or volunteer your time at a local school. Do you know someone who needs support or guidance or do you just feel you have skills you could offer? Consider becoming a mentor.
Man cleaning sink in a mobile home.
  • Clean someone’s house/car Do you know someone who just had a baby? Do you have a friend that needs a break? Offer to clean their house or help them do so.
  • Invite someone over for dinner You’re already making dinner. Why not everyone eat a little less or skip the leftovers so a friend in need can feel loved and supported?
  • Offer to babysit or dog sit for someone Everyone needs a break or a night out! Have a friend going a way for a while? Offer to watch their dog so they don’t have to pay money to board them.

Does all this giving back have you feeling thankful?

Try a Gratitude Journal!