How to Get Rid of Ants with Three Ingredients

The following is a post from Angie.

Before calling the exterminator, save yourself money and avoid chemicals with this simple, three ingredient solution that will get rid of ants in your home.

When ants show up in your home, often your first reaction may be to grab the phone and call the exterminator.  (Or, perhaps that is your second reaction, as your first reaction may be to want to squish them all.)  Before calling the exterminator, save yourself money and chemicals in your home by trying a simple, three ingredient solution that will get rid of ants in your home.

After adding a screened-in porch, we started getting ants in our home from time to time.  We tried ant solutions that we could buy at the store, as well as numerous exterminator visits (spending almost $300 one winter because of multiple visits).  This three ingredient solution was the cheapest method, using only items that I happened to have at home.

Supplies Needed

Instructions

1. Mix the Borax and sugar together until well combined.

2. Add the mixture to your warm water and mix constantly until the powder has been completely dissolved.

3. Seal the mixture in a jar or container for future use, and use only what you need in the next steps (and save the rest).  It is important that you clearly label the jar, as it will just look like water.  Do not leave this where children can get to it.  (Because this is such an easy solution to make, however, I only kept what I made until after the ants had been gone for a week or more.)

4. Fill some jar lids, milk caps, or other shallow containers with cotton balls or a wad of paper towel.

5. Add the sugar-Borax solution to the prepared lids making sure to soak the cotton balls (or paper towel).

6. Wait.  It may take the ants a while to find the solution.  But, once they do, let them feast (and take the solution back to their home).  At our house, to speed up the finding process, I placed a couple of the soaked cotton balls directly on the ledge in my kitchen where most of the ants were.

Before calling the exterminator, save yourself money and avoid chemicals with this simple, three ingredient solution that will get rid of ants in your home.

Be prepared – more ants will probably show up once they find the solution.  However, within a day, you’ll probably see much fewer ants.  Over the course of just a few days, all of the ants should likely be gone.  Because we had watched the ants quite a bit, we noticed where they were coming from and made sure to use a sealant to seal the area to stop them from coming back in the future.

What other solutions have you taken to solve an insect problem in your home?

You could also try this method for how to get rid of black ants.

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And, be sure to check out all of our Home Management Cleaning & Maintenance Tips!

More posts from Angie

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Find a Cleaning Schedule That Works for You

Having shared some of the messy spots in my house last month, it probably won’t come as a shock when I admit that I have struggled with cleaning my home for my entire adult life.  One of my biggest stumbling blocks, which may also plague you, was that I just couldn’t find the right system for keeping my house clean.

If you struggle with keeping your house clean it could be that you need to try a different cleaning schedule. There isn't a one size fits all approach to cleaning, so here are some ideas so you can figure out what works best for you.

I think, however, I have finally figured out this house cleaning stuff, and I’ll share some tips with those of you that also struggle with keeping your home clean.

My Most Important Discovery

I have tried many systems (too many!) for housekeeping.  From ones that made me put on shoes in the morning to ones with lots of check boxes, from special apps for my iPhone to free downloads from sites — you name it, I may have tried it.  Each would go fine for a while, and then I’d fall off the wagon.  I couldn’t understand why I was always failing.

Then, I finally figured out that I couldn’t use a schedule that somebody else has written. I needed to take the time to write out my schedule, with a mind toward tasks that were applicable to our household, as well as to the general schedule of our days.

This is not to say that you can’t get inspiration from the schedules of others, but you will probably be best off to create your own after you’ve gathered the inspiration.  I have set up a Cleaning Schedules board on Pinterest, which I will keep adding to, that you can browse for inspiration.

Establish a Schedule (or Routine)

House cleaning is best kept up with when you are following some type of routine or schedule.  It’s not be chance that homemakers used to have tasks assigned to certain days, such as washing day.  In general, we tend to work best with routines.  If you can get into the habit of each Monday being the day you clean the bathrooms, then you will have more of a tendency to keep those bathrooms clean.

When I was recently trying to come up with a cleaning routine, this is what worked for me:

1. Write out a complete list of household tasks that must be done each week. Don’t get caught up in things that need to be done less often at this point.

2. Write down obligations that you typically have throughout the week that are reoccurring.

3. Assign your household tasks to specific days, taking care to put more time consuming items on days when you have less reoccurring obligations.  For instance, in our household, we have our homeschool co-op and ballet lessons on the same day.  This is a day, then, when I purposefully have assigned myself fewer household tasks.

Keep in mind: Some tasks may have to happen every single day or multiple times in a week.  On my schedule, I have loading/unloading the dishwasher listed each day.

Find a Way to Display Your Schedule

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that if you struggle with housekeeping, you’re also the kind of person who benefits from visual aids.  So, your next step is going to be to find a way to display your weekly schedule.

Examples of Ways to Display Your Schedule:

1. Laminate papers with your schedule on them so you will be able to cross items off with a dry erase marker.  (I used my personal laminator for this, that way if I make changes later, it will be easy to just laminate a new page.)  I have a separate sheet for each day of the week, because I also have school and work tasks on each page.

2. Frame your schedule and use a dry erase marker right on the glass.

3. Create your own printable daily or weekly schedule, and just print a new one up each day/week.

4. Write out tasks on index cards and set out the appropriate index card(s) prior to going to bed the night before.

Follow Your Schedule

Now that you have a schedule, it’s time to start following it!  Be gentle with yourself, and allow yourself some time to ease into it, especially if you haven’t been regularly following a cleaning schedule.

Remember, also, that this is your schedule.  Do you know what that means?  Amongst other things, it means that you don’t have to be beholden to it.  You are its creator.  If something isn’t working, just know that you can change the schedule instead of abandoning it.

What are things that you do to help you with your cleaning routine?  Which tasks are typically included in your routine?

Angie, a contributing writer at The Happy Housewife, is a homeschooling mom to three children and writes about everything that happens in their lives between all the loads of laundry at Many Little Blessings. She is also the founder of The Homeschool Classroom, Catholic Mothers Online, Tiny Owl Designs, and Just a Tiny Owl {Etsy shop}.

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8 Tasks that Take 5 Minutes or Less

By contributing writer Angie

I don’t know if you’re guilty of this like I am, but I put off even small tasks.  When it’s finally time that I absolutely must do them, I’m shocked to find that they really didn’t take as long as I thought.  Just today, I quickly did three tasks I had been putting off only to find that just ten minutes had passed.  It left me wondering, “Why had I put them off so long?”

8 Tasks that Take 5 Minutes or Less | The Happy Housewife

I have previously shared here at The Happy Housewife about 15 ways to get more organized in 10 minutes or less.  This time, I’m tackling some five minute or less tasks.

8 Tasks that Take 5 Minutes or Less

1. Sort mail.  You may not be able to do this in five minutes or less if you’ve been piling it up for weeks.  However, even if you have a few days worth of mail, you should be able to figure out pretty quickly what to file away, what will need your attention later, and what needs to go in the trash.

2. Clean kitchen or bathroom surfaces.  While five minutes isn’t long enough for a good, deep cleaning, it really is enough time to get out your favorite cleaner and wipe down surfaces.

3. Dust one room.  Again, this isn’t a deep cleaning project.  Grab a dusting cloth and go to town wiping every surface.  If you have a ton of knick knacks, this might not be possible as a five minute task.  However, you might consider streamlining things a little to enjoy more clear surface area.

4. Pay a bill.  Because I pay bills online, I could actually pay several bills and record them in less than five minutes.  Even if you hand write checks, however, you should be able to do at least one in fives minutes.

5. Unload your dishwasher.  This is one of those tasks that I always try to put off and am surprised at how quickly it actually goes if I look at the clock before I start and when I finish.  As a matter of fact, doing that makes me go even a little faster than usual.

6. Water house plants.  If you have house plants, this can be a quick task that’s easy to put off.  Avoid those moments of dread when you see your plants looking sad and droopy.  Take a few minutes to do some watering.

7. Take out the trash.  Have your family members been pushing the trash down in the can as hard as they can because it’s too full?  Take a few minutes and take it out.

8. Plan a meal. Plan at least one meal from the contents of your refrigerator, freezer, and/or pantry.  If you think quickly on your feet, you might be able to plan several meals.  Even if it’s only just one, however, it’s a great idea to try to use up things you already have on hand.

What are some quick tasks that you can get done around your house in five minutes or less?

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How to Help Families With a New Baby

By contributing writer Angie

When friends or family have a new baby enter their lives, it can be a great gift to offer help to them.  In my experience, however, it’s not just enough to say, “Let me know if you need anything.”  Most families won’t take you up on such a vague offer.  Instead, pick something that you feel comfortable doing, and suggest something specific when you offer to help.

In case you’re stuck for ideas on how you could help a family with a new baby, here are some suggestions that are usually sure to be received with a grateful smile from the new parents.

How to Help Families with a New Baby | The Happy Housewife

Take a Meal

One of my personal favorites is to ask if I can take a meal to the family.  If you are delivering a meal, you should make sure that you know of any allergies or preferences of the family.  It also might be nice, if others are also taking meals, to coordinate so the family with the new baby isn’t eating lasagna every night for a week.

It’s a great idea to pack the meal in disposable containers. That way you aren’t adding an errand to their schedule by requiring them to figure out how to get dishes back to you.

An alternate idea is one that I experienced after I had surgery. A meal was dropped of for us in dishes that the cook was about to get rid of at a garage sale.  She advised me to either keep them or donate them after I used them.  Instead, I saved them until I had to take food to another family, and  then I passed them along in the same way.

Spend Special Time with Older Children

New babies can take up a lot of time and attention.  If the family has other children, offer to take their other children out for a play date, a trip to the movies, or some other fun activity.  This will not only give the new parents a chance to rest or just spend alone time with the new baby, but it also gives the new baby’s siblings a little of their own special time.

Help with Household Chores

This is one of those items that you probably need to be family or very good friends to offer.  However, if that is the case, you could offer to do tasks like cleaning the house or picking up their laundry and then dropping it back off clean and folded.  This could also include offers of tasks such as mowing the lawn or shoveling snow, depending on the time of year.

Run Errands

If all of these options sound too involved, another idea that is a wonderful help but can often be fit into your own schedule is to offer to run some errands for the family.  Its can be as simple as calling to tell them that you’re going to be going to the grocery store and drug store, and could you pick up any items for them while you’re out.

New babies aren’t the only time that families could benefit from these types of help.  These are also great things to offer after family members have had surgery, a job loss, or other major changes.

What are some of your favorite things to do to help family and friends in need or with new babies?

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