Monday, May 19, 2014

Hanging Out

Now that the weather is steadily above freezing I have been able to hang my laundry outside in the fresh air once again. I know it may sound silly, but I LOVE the smell of laundry that has been dried on the clothesline, especially sheets. Hanging our clothes also saves a bunch of money off our electric bill. Our clothesline is located in a small area between the rear of our house and our shed.

A few weeks ago I finally got around to changing out our old clothesline because it was very worn out. I added more lines too so I can easily hang 2 full loads of laundry at the same time. I do a LOT of laundry so this has been quite a timesaver.

When I took down the old clothesline, I decided to reuse it rather than throwing it away. I had a beautiful bright blue yarn just waiting in my stash for a cool project, so I crocheted a couple small baskets using the yarn and old clothesline. I'm quite happy with how these turned out! They'll probably come in handy for storing small toys.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

I've been working on a few projects around the house lately. I'll be sharing more of them later as I finish them, but I wanted to show you a quick and cheap update we did in our upstairs bathroom.

We recently got a new TV and stand, so our old entertainment stand was dismantled and stuffed in the basement. When we were taking the old one apart, I noticed that a couple pieces had a nice beveled edge on them that I really liked. I decided to repurpose those pieces and turn them in to shelves for the bathroom.

Here they are:

The only thing we had to buy for them was the brackets to mount them on the wall, which were $1 a piece. Everything else (shelves, paint, screws, etc.) we had on hand. Yay for cheap home improvements!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Homemade laundry detergent

We just recently ran out of my homemade laundry detergent, so I figured I'd share how I make it while cooking up a new batch. I have tried a few different recipes for detergent, and this one is definitely my favorite. It works just as well as commercial laundry soap, but costs WAY less. i can make enough detergent to last us a year for about $15. Our family of 7 does a lot of laundry so this is a huge money saver for us!

I found the original recipe HERE, but use a little less Borax and Washing Soda than called for.

1 bar Zote laundry soap
2 1/2 cups Borax
2 1/2 cups Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
5 gallon bucket

1) Grate the bar of Zote with a cheese grater

2) Put the grated soap in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover it. Heat the saucepan on medium until all the soap has melted, stirring occasionally

3) While the soap is melting, fill the 5 gallon bucket about halfway with hot water. Add the Borax and Washing Soda to the bucket and stir until it dissolves completely.

4) Once the soap has melted, add it to the bucket. Fill the bucket the rest of the way with hot water and stir.

5) Cover the bucket and let it sit overnight to cool. It will thicken as it cools and look like a giant blob of pink Jello. Stir it around until it looks like the pink slime from Ghostbusters 2. Shake or stir before using (it is normal for it to separate a little).

That's it! I use 1/4 cup per load in my HE washing machine. For regular washers, use 1/2 cup per load. It usually takes me about 20 minutes to cook up a batch of this detergent- that's less time than it takes for me to go to the store and buy laundry detergent!