Simple Steps for Landscaping and Flower Bed Clean Up Around Your Mobile Home

Now that’s it warming up, it’s time to plant those flower beds! We’ll look at how to upkeep previously planted areas and restore them for the season, as well as creating a flower bed area around your mobile home. Grab the kiddos, family, or a friend and get to work! I got some of these great ideas from a home improvement site, check out more from them.

If you already have landscaping follow these upkeep tips:

Pick up. Before you dig in pick up the area and your yard. Clear any trash, sticks, and leaves that are sitting around. Basically, move anything that will keep grass from growing.

Clear the way for perennials. If you planted perennials, aka flowers that come back year after year, then you’ll want to make sure they have room to thrive. Depending on your yard, this could mean a lot of things. It may be clearing out weeds, pushing back ivy, or spraying something safe for the environment to ward off pests. Your flower beds may also need to be re-covered with fabric or more mulch.

Consider composting. Composts are a great option to reduce waste, save money, and have rich soil every year for your yard.

Now, for those of you who want to get started with flower beds, I’ll help you get started with some basics.

Landscaping for your mobile home:

Plan your flower beds. Observe the area you want your beds to be.

  • Will it be partial or full sunlight?
  • Will it receive little or a lot of rain?

This will help you choose plants that will best fit your area. You can research before you go to the store, or just take some time at the store looking through options – you also may be well versed in this already. It’s also important to outline the area before you begin work – either with string, or cutting it out with a shovel, or you could even use spray paint.

Break ground/ Kill grass. Depending on the area, you’ll need to try one of these various techniques:

  • Removing it by hand, using tools like a tiller
  • Solarization – covering the area you’ll plant your beds with plastic and tucking it in at the edges for the sun to scorch the grass away
  • Raised beds – make a wood or like material box to place on the area and steak the corners in the ground
  • Spray with something safe
  • Smothering – cover with anything, newspaper, materials, ect.

Lay landscaping fabric. Once you’ve cleared the area, you can lay soil, but the best practice is to lay landscaping fabric first. There are options. Some people use mulch or plastic – it’s up to you and what’s best for the layout of your land.

Plant! Now that the ground is flat and covered, you’re ready to plant! This is where you’ll need to measure how much soil you’ll need and how deep the plants need to be beneath the soil. After planting you can cover in wood chips, or something of the like to protect the beds from weeds. Remember to water your new items, especially if they are seedlings.

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Make sure you don’t just rely on rain, regular watering us a must!

Lay edging. Lastly, it’s a good idea to lay edging if there’s not a pathway or something that outlines your flower bed. You could use rocks, brick, wood, stone you name it! Get creative and finish your flower bed off in style.

I hope this helps you get started in making your exterior even more beautiful! Feel free to break up this project into days so it’s not overwhelming! Looking to do more projects outside? I’ve got something you’ll want to read.

Check Out Yard Tools You Need!

How to Maximize Your Free Time

Cleaning is a tasking chore. There is no doubt about that. For me, it felt like I was stuck in the same routine every Saturday. I worked hard all week and yet when the weekend came, I was still working. It was exhausting and I just wanted to take a break! So what is the solution? Hire a maid? Nice idea, but it wasn’t for me.

Here are some tips to make life a little easier when it comes to cleaning.

Make a schedule:

Who knew mom would have had genius ideas? As a child it seemed like the chore list was put in place to create torture. A rotating schedule that meant you had to do one of each thing as a child, yuck! And now as adults, it is all left up to us to complete.

Implementing a family chore list, or one even if you live alone can be a huge help. It’ll help you complete all the tasks throughout the week so when Saturday morning comes, you are free to relax without housework looming over your head.  Plus, if you have a family, you’ll have help around the house and won’t have to remind anyone what chore they have and on what day.

Feel free to take this with you to make your own chore list that works for you!

Chore List Template Sheet1

One Extra Thing…

If you have too many horror flashbacks from implementing a chore schedule or it just doesn’t work for your lifestyle, try to do just one extra thing a day. This could be doing a load of laundry after you get off work, or going grocery shopping during the week. Doing just one thing extra a day will help for your house to be fresh all through out the week and maximize your weekend time.

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Keeping up with clutter keeps it from happening!

Put it away, right away:

Yet again, mom was right. How many times did you hear, “pick up your toys if you’re done with them?” A thousand times at least, right? This holds true with clutter. For me, the clutter is always the worst, especially junk mail. It just seems to creep up on me. But, if I take care of it right away it won’t be there later; simple enough concept.  The same holds true with putting away laundry, folding blankets, etc. If you do it right when you are done with whatever it is, it won’t be waiting for you to do later. The extra 3 seconds it takes to toss the junk mail out or fold the blanket you are done with will save you more in the future. It’ll be a moment here or there rather than all the moment compiled at once. Plus, you’ll continue to have your house tidy even if you haven’t had the time to sweep or vacuum.

Check out the Interactive Chore List!

Remember, any change of routine can take a little bit to truly set in and the more people in the household, the longer it probably is going to take. Try to be patient with yourself (and your family) with getting there. But once you are, you won’t regret the extra time you have!

Staying Connected: Making Mother’s Day Special During a Pandemic

Your mom has been there for you in certain and uncertain times of your life. She fed you, changed your diapers, taught you how to walk, talk, the list goes on and on for how far a mother’s love extends. So how can you show your appreciation for your mom during a global pandemic? Maybe she lives in a different state than you or in the same town, but it is still discouraged to visit anyone where it isn’t essential. Here are some suggestions for making your mom feel special even if you can’t spend some quality time with her the old-fashioned way:

Call Her:

Zoom, Facebook, Google, Facetime, Skype, the possibilities for a video call are ENDLESS. Take the extra time to see your mom while keeping her safe.

Drive By to See Her:

A lot of people are planning parades. Get your siblings together and find a good time where you can all drive by your mom’s house and honk the horn. You can make signs and decorate your cars for when you make your appearance.

Send a Meal:

Maybe you want to treat your mom to a meal or a dessert of some sort. You can either make it yourself and drop it off at her doorstep or you can call a local restaurant and see if they offer delivery. If they don’t offer delivery, but offer curbside pickup, let your mom know about the surprise and plan a good time for her to go get her special dinner.

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Make mom something sweet!

Give a Gift:

A lot of pampering places are currently not opening and may not be opening for a little while yet until we know how this virus will shake out. Give her a gift card or gift certificate to her favorite nail salon, hair salon, or a massage. If she’d rather go to the movies, give her a gift card to the movie theater in her town that way when they open back up, she can enjoy it then.

Send Flowers:

If there are any local florists open near you, send her flowers if that is her thing to let her know you are thinking of her.

Make this Mother’s Day extra memorable by thinking outside of the box to show her how much you care. After all, she deserves a little extra sunshine and love.

Get More Ideas!

5 Ways to Get Moving Without the Gym

Now is a great time to focus on fitness. Not only does it relieve stress, but it also helps shift focus and get the body moving. With a lot of us being home and not having our routine to depend on – it’s the best time to start or nurture a healthy habit in a unique way. Whether you’re missing the gym, or wanting a break from the couch – let’s get started with some creative ways to work out.

Dance. There are so many forms of dance exercises. From high-intensity, to just getting you moving – the variety within this type of workout is so fun. I’m partial to this type because I’m not athletic, so you will not find me running. However, dance doesn’t even feel like working out – it’s easy to get lost in the music. Plus, it’s such a great way to get cardio in. This is a perfect workout if you have kids too, they can join in on the fun and expend some energy. Get started with something like ZUMBA!

Yoga. This is a good option for those looking to build up strength and muscles. Yoga is well suited for everyone. You can find tons of video instruction for free. There are all kinds of intensities and focuses you can choose from. You can do something simple to help you think clearly and relax, or you can find something that creates heat in your muscles. I enjoy this option for how it helps me gain flexibility. Check out a personal yoga favorite of mine!

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Find some low-cost equipment online to help your workout. 

Shaping focused workouts. Maybe you like to pinpoint your workouts, or you’re used to lifting or toning individual parts of your body. Find a workout set that breaks things down. Want to work on shoulders – you got it! These quick and easy tailored workouts are a great way to give attention to a place you want to show some love. I haven’t tried these myself, so let me know what you think!

Step aerobics. I know what you’re thinking, it’s not the 80s, but they did get so much right then! You don’t even really need a step to do these workouts. You can do most of it by kicking up into the air to mimic the step. If you feel comfortable you could use the last step outside your home in the front or the back or you could find a safe, stable item to step up on. The main idea is to keep those steps going, and those knees high.

Walking. If you’re wanting to be outside and you’ve got some space to roam, walking could be a great choice. You can manage your intensity by how fast and focused you’re walk is. If you’re wanting to let your mind wonder, let the dog stretch it’s legs or simply get some sun – then this option is just right for you!

Keep Moving Outside With the Kids!

I hope that this encourages you to move – regardless of your ability level or if working out is your thing. This is a great way to create some space to have fun and let loose. Enjoy!

7 Affordable Ways to Update Your Older Mobile Home

Mobile homes are a product of variety. There are tons of styles and types to fit different people. With all these changes and options the possibilities are endless! The same is true for older models. You don’t have to have a new model to have a modern look. Want to update your home?

We’ve hit on some practical ways that you can update your home. Not only do these ideas improve the overall appearance, but they could also add value! Need some ideas on how to maintain your home and keep it looking on trend? Check out the list below!

  1. Change door knobs – Not a fan of those gold knobs? Changing old knobs can give the whole home a modern feel. Most knobs are about $10-20 per door. You can even buy one every month if you don’t have enough to get them all at once.
  2. Paint kitchen cabinets — Darker cabinets are in! Update lighter cabinets with a painting kit that is cost-efficient. Kits usually don’t require priming, and they give you step by step instructions. Most kits run about $70. If you don’t want to go dark – simply pick any color to freshen up old or worn cabinets.
  3. Alter decorative spaces— Older models often have decorative pieces or windows that aren’t always practical. You can easily paint frosted glass with chalk board paint ($20-30) or cover the area with cork to make them functional.
  4. Update vinyl flooring – Floors often show age. However, they definitely cost more than the other ideas. If you’re looking for an investment – this is the one. Costs vary depending on square feet and style. This is another place where you can do one room at a time to regulate costs.
  5. Change light fixtures – Lighting sets the vibe of a home. Modern lighting is EVERYWHERE! A simple hanging light in the kitchen or a spotlight on an accent wall can give your mobile home a fresh look! You can even add wall lights for an even more updated look.
  6. Refinish tubs— If your tub looks discolored by age or mineral water it may be time for a facelift. Bathroom remodels are an option, but they are pricey. If you’re wanting to save some of the cost you may want to consider refinishing your tub. Be sure to research this one and ask people who have had it done.
  7. Landscaping— Adding some potted flowers or lining the home with different plants is a great way to add color and youth to the exterior of a mobile home. You can even put a patio set in the yard! Try these ideas!

Keep Momentum With Our Home Update Series!

Ready to get started? Pick a project from the list and you’ll be on your way. This may even get you thinking of something you want to update that we didn’t list. We know it’s going to look GREAT!

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Debt Avalanche Versus Debt Snowball

Our society talks about the weight of debt, but there’s not a lot of talk about overcoming it. I’m here to add to the conversation. There are two great methods for paying off debt. Both options give you a bit of control, organization, and most importantly they help you see results. One is not   better than the other – what matters is how they may fit your specific situation and your perspective on financial wins.

So, when reading this think about your situation, and maybe it will prompt you to do some reevaluating. Both the avalanche and snowball method can help you start a journey toward financial wellness, without being overwhelmed.

*Keep in mind when looking at these methods that mortgages loans are not included. Not because they are not a debt, but because mortgage loans are long terms and can take decades to pay off and not everyone plans to stays in their home until the mortgage is paid in full.*

Debt Avalanche: repayment option that focuses extra financial resources to the highest interest rate debt payments first. Then it works down the line in descending order of debt interest rate. If you’re willing to be disciplined – this may be the perfect fit.

  • Pay the minimum required for all loans, use available funds to make extra payments to highest interest item first
  • Main asset: Helps you reduce some long-term high interest (lower overall
  • Main flaw: Doesn’t yield quick reward
  • Good for people with high interest loans

Learn More

Debt Snowball: repayment option based on paying minimums and paying extra on the smallest debt, then when the smallest debt is paid off, start paying off the next debt with the smallest balance.  If you need some motivation this can be a good option for you.

  • The idea is that while paying the minimum owed on all debts you also pay off the lowest balance debt quickly and then move on to paying more than the minimum on the  next smallest debt and so on.
  • Main asset: You can start knocking out small pieces of debt + see the results of your effort quicker
  • Main flaw: You end up paying more in interest (higher overall payments)
  • Good for people who need a bit of encouragement or a push to start

Learn More

My own method is to use both. When I began tackling my finances,  I only had student debt in the form of multiple loans. I used a mix of snowball and avalanche. I paid more than the minimums, and once I had the loans more manageable I started allocating additional amounts to higher interest loans within my collection of student loans. So, don’t feel limited you can use both as well!

Both options can be a good plan for anyone who needs to pay off debt but always consider your complete financial situation, including making sure you have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses and speaking with a tax or financial advisor about your individual financial situation. Taking the first steps can feel hard, but the reward is worth it. Which method better fits your situation? What first steps will you take?

Gearing Up for a Financial Spring Cleaning?

If you’re like me, you are gearing up for spring cleaning. Dust has piled up and the system you had going for organization may need a little extra attention. Have you thought of tidying up your personal finances? They deserve a good scrub, too! I get it – cleaning your home is a lot less intimidating and has immediate results. Yet, the rewards of creating a habit in which you check in financially can lend itself to long term progress.

Let’s look at ways you can spruce up your finances this spring.

  1. Pay towards your debt with your tax refund.
    It’s tempting to use your tax refund money on fun things or vacations. I’m not saying don’t do anything nice for yourself, but keep any debts you may have in mind. Could you pay something off with your tax refund? Want to cut back on some loan interest? It may be worth putting that money towards reducing or paying off a debt.
  2. Consider cutting back.
    With so many subscription services these days it’s easy to let them add up without realizing how much they are really costing you. Take inventory. Are there some you could get rid of? Could you share or split with a friend? Find a cheaper service or option? Making these changes makes you aware of expenses you may not have realized and helps you prioritize.
  3. Meal plan/ buy in bulk.
    There’s a lot of waste that happens in my house when I don’t plan meals ahead. Not just because I’m not buying in bulk, but because when I’m less precise I spend more. The old ‘take a list’ thing is real. Give your finances some love by getting the best deal you can when grocery shopping and stretching those meals/ingredients.
  4. Leave the credit card at home.
    I know, you’ve got that project, that thing you want, but making financial stability your priority is worth so much more than a moments satisfaction. Save up for those items so you can pay for them without adding to your debt.
  5. Have a spend free day/ weekend every now and then.
    Take a day to let the money sit still without being touched. You can still have a fun day! This helps us evaluate what we are spending money on and can be a wake-up call to bored or emotional spending. Get some spend free ideas here!
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    Spend some time outside!
  6. Outline a debt repayment plan.
    Just hoping that bills will go away isn’t reality. Like everything else, it takes work. So, take this time to get serious and make a plan to start chipping away at your debt. If you have a plan already – great job – tighten it up and adjust it, if needed.
  7. Check on your emergency fund.
    Is it depleted, nonexistent? Work on making it priority again and give it a little TLC.

Have any other ideas? How do you spring clean your finances? I hope this has encouraged you to spend a little time digging in, and I hope that you see a return on your efforts.

Get Tips on Reducing Debt

Energy Saving Tips for Your Mobile Home

Do you wince every time the utility bill comes in the mail? Do you feel like you could be saving energy and cash? Saving energy can get expensive with new appliances and products. Often those are great investments but for those on a tight budget they aren’t realistic solutions.

Below are ways you can have a more energy efficient home without spending a lot. Feel free to research more – there are tons of resources on this topic! Make it a goal to try 5 of these tips consistently and compare your bills for the next few months.

Air Conditioner: Turn your COOL/HEAT up or down when you are at work or gone from the house for a while, depending on the season. Then put it on a comfortable setting when you are at home. Consider improving or adding insulation.

Check Out Insulation Options!

  • Air Conditioner Filters: Replace them when suggested.
  • Doors: Purchase door draft stoppers “snakes” that will ensure a snug seal and keep air from escaping or entering.
  • Leave bedroom doors open for maximum circulation.
  • Windows: Caulk windows to seal them. Use a caulk gun to apply, a scraper to remove old caulk, and a flat tool to spread it out on the window seam.
  • Open windows to utilize outside air – great in spring or fall!
  • Fireplaces: Board up the flue or install doors to the front of the fireplace to keep air from getting in from the outside.
  • Outlets: Use a power strip and switch it off when you’re gone out of the house for a while. Plus, it’ll give you more outlet space!
  • Dishes: Hand wash and air dry dishes in between meals, then when you have a lot to wash use the dishwasher. Open your dishwasher and let dishes air dry instead of using the drying function.
  • Washer: Machine wash clothes on cold – it costs less and colors are less likely to bleed.
  • Lighting: Invest in energy efficient bulbs like CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamp).
  • Fans: Use box or rotating fans to circulate air and keep the temperature regulated.
  • Roof: Install a roof cap or apply a roof coating to reflect sunlight and reduce heat

Want to invest into making a more energy efficient home? Compare bills after trying these ideas and use the money you saved to start a home savings account. Then try to save that amount every other month. Next time you want to make a bigger purchase you’ll have some cash set aside!

The Ultimate Guide to Being at Home

Given the fact that you may be spending more time at home – I’ve compiled a list of things that will help you stay productive and healthy. From my family to yours, all the best!

Deep Cleaning/ Green Cleaning Guide for Your Kitchen

Let’s start with those gritty places we forget!

  • Sink and shower drains
  • Washer/dryer interiors
  • Shower curtains/ liners
  • Baseboards
  • Coffee pot
  • Microwave interior/plate
  • Oven/ detachable heating elements
  • Fridge
  • Rugs
  • Comforters
  • Tablecloths
  • Window Panes
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Get started where it counts – in the kitchen!

Now, let’s talk cleaners. I understand wanting that fresh-knock-you-over scent, but it may be harming you and your family. Simply consider making your own cleaners or purchasing a safer alternative. It’s always better to know the ingredients behind what you use and how they affect you and your skin. Making your own cleaners may not smell the same, but it certainly costs a lot less and won’t leave you feeling lightheaded after a deep clean.

There are three things in every green-product maker’s toolbelt:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon juice

With these things you can rule the deep cleaning world and not get a headache!

There are tons of ideas that can help you get started! As you transition to green cleaner – invest in some strong sponges and steel wool. You’ll have to add a little more elbow grease since you’re not using harmful chemicals, but with a little effort you’ll get a better, safer clean.

Now, let’s freshen our home!!

  • Open windows each evening to air out stale smells
  • Wash the window treatments and hang them up to dry, then press them if needed
  • Rinse out trash can
  • Make homemade fresheners
  • Change the air filters

See Our Pinterest For More Tips!

 

Small Closet Organization Checklist

Is your closet out of control? Come on, I’m talking you can barely shut it, you wear the same jeans every day because you can’t find anything else, and you’ve got shoes from middle school. It’s okay – I’m talking from experience – my closet has been messy, too. But a small closet doesn’t have to equal small organization. Need a plan? Let’s get started!

The checklist below is in order – tackle one, then on to the next! Go over this list every season to ensure you’re keeping up with your organization.

  • Try it on! Have a little fashion show and figure out what still fits. You can also plan some outfits during this time and get ideas of what you want to keep.
  • Donate it! If it doesn’t fit or you’re not into it anymore – donate it or give it to a friend or family member.
  • Door Start with the back of your door – add a hanging rack or an over the door organizer. You can use both sides of the door if needed. This is a great bit of space that most people forget.
  • Floor Stack shoes and place out of season shoes in the back. You can also put them in a bin somewhere else if you have the extra storage. Add a shoe rack if you’ve got a lot of shoes!
  • Hanging space Do you need to add an extra rod or dowel for storage? Doubling your hanging space is a great way to organize clothes better. Don’t forget accessories – special hangers or closet squares add space!
  • Height Check the height of your closet – are you using it? If not, you may want to consider putting in a shelf. This is a great place for out of season clothes or accessories.

I hope this has helped you transform your closet and discover space you didn’t know you had! Go ahead – wear those shoes you forgot you had through the house and reward yourself! I would!

 

Six Ways to Enjoy the Best of Spring

Spring is here and I am actually super excited about it this season! There has been so much illness across the country and bitter cold that makes us me thankful for the turning of the seasons. Spring feels like the most obvious and shifting season because the earth splits from frozen to growth. It’s also rather quick and not gradual like the other seasons can feel. So, with my very best: I welcome spring!

Below I’ve compiled a list of ways to celebrate the sunshine and growth all around!

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Try making your own floral arrangements!

Spring clean!: Cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore – pull up the blinds, open the windows, and listen to your favorite album! Pay careful attention to areas that don’t get much attention, like the inside of appliances: ovens, refrigerators, microwaves, etc. Wipe off interior and exterior of windows. Dust fan blades, wash curtains or blankets that you’ve used all winter, and sweep in hard to reach places. Check out our Pinterest board for cleaning tips and tricks!

Seasonal Separation: It’s time to go through your home – particularly your closet and get rid of some things. I try to make it a practice at the turn of each season to evaluate what I have and if I use it or if it just sits there. So for clothes that you don’t wear or that don’t fit – donate them. If you haven’t worn it in a year you won’t miss it.

Plant something!: There’s something rewarding about taking care of a plant and watching it grow or even sometimes yielding from it. You can easily make an indoor herb garden by getting a large pot and placing three or four different herbs in it. They often do well indoor or outdoor with partial shade. Plus, they really add to your cooking.

Start walking: I can’t tell you how much better my day is when I just take a fifteen-minute walk. Just walk a little bit on your breaks from work, walk with your family when you get home from work and put little ones in the stroller, or do it as fitness and speed walk. It’s easy and every little bit can help you feel good.

Go fishing: As a kid my favorite thing I got to do with my dad was go fishing. Most of those times were only in a local pond or standing on the edge of a small river. You don’t have to go to a lake or have boat to enjoy fishing. It’s a great hobby that teaches kids and adults alike to be patient and wait for a good thing. Licenses required in each state will vary. Get started!

 

Enjoying the Weekend at Home Ideas

  • Go hiking: If you need an all-day event, or your looking to spend some energy with your older kids or your pets this option is made for you! You can stay active and enjoy the scenery – talk about the best of both worlds!
  • Exercise: Clear some space and build those muscles at home.
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Yoga is a great option that helps you clear your mind and strengthen your body.
  • Take lunch to the park: Instead of staying inside, take lunch outside! Heck, it can be your own backyard!
  • Have a candlelit story time: Put the phones and electronics away. Light some candles and turn the lights off. Read the kids a book by candle light. You’ll feel like your back in the day and get to focus on one thing at a time for change!
  • Volunteer: Easy, free, and it helps someone else! This is the best one on the list. It’s never too early to teach your kids to put others’ and their needs first.
  • Break out the board games: Work together or enjoy a little friendly competition playing some games. This is great for those kiddos that need a little break from technology.
  • Go outside and draw what you see: Take another look at your backyard or your front yard. Draw your best rendition! Be sure to include all the color you see!
  • Look for your next home: Check out vmfhomes.com! Find your dream home!

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