Pinterest and Instagram might lead you to believe that everyone else has a magazine-worthy home. For most of us that simply isn’t true. And what’s more, I’d venture to guess that most of us wouldn’t be comfortable in some of those too-perfect spaces. But that doesn’t mean we can’t add simple touches to our homes that make the ordinary special.
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5 Simple Touches
Often it is the little things that make a home special. Here are 5 simple touches you can add to your home that are easy to implement and very inexpensive.
1. Put paper doilies in the bottom of wastebaskets.
I don’t know if I read this tip somewhere or if I came up with it myself. For the past 20+ years or so I’ve put an inexpensive paper doily in the bottom of my wastebaskets. I have a wastebasket in every room of my house (no excuse to leave trash sitting around!) and each one has a pretty paper doily in the bottom. For just a few dollars you can have a supply that will likely last a year or more. Other than our kitchen trash can (which is lined with newspaper, not a doily!) our wastebaskets rarely contain anything messy. That means that most of the time I can empty the trash and reuse the doily. It’s a tiny thing and maybe I’m the only one who notices. But it looks pretty and makes me happy.
3. Decant dish soap into glass bottle.
I got this idea from one of At Home With Nikki‘s videos. Some people may keep their dish soap under the sink and in fact, I often did before I saw this idea. But more commonly it sits by the sink and those plastic bottles are not usually very attractive. Instead, simply decant your liquid dish soap into a glass oil bottle. It looks so much nicer sitting by the sink and it’s easy to pour.
Another option, and what I’m currently using, is a glass bottle with a pump dispenser. Grove Collaborative carries very nice ones with a high quality metal pump instead of the usual cheap plastic. (There’s a link at the end of this post if you are interested in one.)
3. Sip tea (or coffee) from a pretty cup and saucer.
Turn teatime into a ritual by using a pretty china cup and saucer. I use my wedding china or one of several others I’ve collected over the years. I brew my tea in a Klean Kanteen so it stays hot and then pour a little at a time into a cup. It is a lovely little interlude in my day.
4. Fold the edge of the toilet paper roll.
Okay, I know some of you will think this is silly and I don’t do it every time. But after I clean the bathroom, and especially if we are having guests, I fold the toilet paper like they do in hotels. It takes about 5 seconds and just gives a finished appearance to the room. Here’s a video showing how to do it:
Or if you want to get REALLY fancy:
Funny story about this: The first time I recall seeing this done in a hotel was back in the 70s when my family took a weekend trip to San Diego. We stayed in a gorgeous hotel. I still remember the high ceilings, chandeliers, pale blue silk drapes, marble floors and a fancy telephone in the bathrooms. What my parents hadn’t realized was that there would be valet parking. If they had known this, we would have stopped somewhere to throw away the bags from our on-the-road lunch of Naugles. Instead we found ourselves piling out of our wood-sided Mercury station wagon which reeked of burritos and fries, and turning over the keys to a valet in a fancy uniform. My parents are two of the least pretentious people I know and my dad probably didn’t care. But my mom was embarrassed. It was like the Clampetts’ arrival in Beverly Hills.
Sometime later, we took another trip to the same hotel. My parents had been looking at a Lincoln Continental at the Ford dealership across the street from my dad’s business. That’s where my dad bought most of our vehicles so they didn’t bat an eye about us “test driving” it for the weekend. That time we knew what to expect and there were no bags of leftover fast food in the car. We did buy the car after that weekend but continued to drive the station wagon most of the time. And from that point on my mom and I have folded the edge of the toilet paper rolls. We’ve even been known to do it public restrooms.
5. Iron the pillowcases.
If you’ve been around here awhile or know me personally, chances are you already know about this one. Yes, I iron my pillowcases. It only takes about a minute for each one and oh, the luxurious feeling of a crisp, smooth pillow beneath my head!
What about you? Do you do any of these things? Do you have other similar ideas? Or do you think I’m off my rocker? It’s okay; you probably aren’t the only one who thinks that. 🙂
If you’d like a free glass soap dispenser like the one I use, plus several other items to help you create a more sustainable kitchen, click here.