Itch to Pitch ~ Clutter is Costly

Thank you to everyone who is faithfully plugging along each week with this challenge. I don’t have any pictures to share with you this week since I have been out of town. I decided that since I don’t have pictures I would just talk a little bit about why I think it is important to keep a clean and clutter free home.

Before I start I want to say that I do not think that having a clean home makes you a better person. I do think having a clean home makes you a more organized person and can save you money and time. I know that for me, when the clutter gets out of control it takes me longer to do everything because I am constantly searching for the tools needed to complete the project. And if I can’t find what I am looking for, I end up buying what I need.

If my pantry is a wreck, I tend to buy things at the store that I already have (and maybe not on sale) because I couldn’t find the missing ingredient. Then, when I clean out my pantry and find 5 bags of powdered sugar I realize that if my pantry had been organized I wouldn’t have purchase powdered sugar when I didn’t need it.

The same concept works for every area of your home. If things in your home are not organized and you are probably buying things you already have and don’t need.

Living a clutter free life will also save you time. If you have to search for your keys every time you leave the house, you are wasting time. For me it is my purse. My bag is always filled with stuff I really should just toss or file. When I want to find something in my purse I end up searching for several minutes before I can find it! Pitching the excess stuff in my purse would only take me a few minutes every week, but yet I continue to let it build up and complicate my life.

I once read that when a piece of paper comes into your home, if you don’t take care of it immediately (file, trash, take action etc…) you will touch that piece of paper 40 more times before you actually take care of it! Ugh! Let’s stop that habit and get organized! Let’s get our homes organized so we can save time and money the second half of this year.

I know with my upcoming move and all the packing I have come across numerous items that I should have pitched long ago, but have been hanging on to, for no reason. I have a busy week ahead, (we officially move on Saturday) and I am sure a lot of pitching. Look for lots of pictures next Monday!

Now it is time to link up your Itch to Pitch post.

Remember link to your Itch to Pitch post and not your blog’s homepage. Also please link back to The Happy Housewife, so others who read your blog will be able to participate, the more the merrier, right? Finally, please visit the other Clutter Queens who link up and give them some encouragement. We all love comments!

I also started an Itch to Pitch thread in my discussion forum. Feel free to ask questions, share your favorite organizing sites, or tell me why you love clutter, lol!


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Party Tip

The next time you have a party try this tip I discovered last night at a friend’s house. Instead of using a sharpie to label everyone’s paper cups, try a dry erase marker on your own plastic cups. The marker wipes off at the end of the night and you can wash and reuse the cups over and over.

If you don’t have many plastic cups, check Target and Walmart for end of the season clearance. I have been able to purchase plastic cups for under $0.25 a piece and they last for years. I never thought about using them for a large party until we were eating with friends last night. She just got out a stack of her plastic cups and labeled them with a dry erase. It works as well as the plastic cups and a sharpie, but it saves money over time since you aren’t replacing cups. Even those nice Solo cups crack after repeated use, plastic last forever.

I meant to take a picture, but in my vacation laziness I totally forgot.


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Get Human

One thing I was not looking forward to regarding our upcoming move was calling all the different companies to set up utilities, internet, phone, newspaper, etc. I can’t stand wasting my time on hold, waiting for the next available representative. To solve this problem I asked my husband to call and waste his day off on hold.

But, he had a trick up his sleeve that I didn’t know about. It is called Get Human, and it is a website that has information for over a thousand businesses. Information on how to beat the annoying circle of elevator music and automated voices. Just go to their site and type in the business you are trying to contact. It will give you the information that allows you to get a human quicker than going through the normal channels.

For example, trying to get a hold of AT&T call 800-288-2747 then press 0 at each prompt, ignoring messages. How about Dial 800-201-7575 then don’t press or say anything.

My husband used this today and saved a good amount of time, bypassing much of the hold system. Next time you need to call customer service give Get Human a try.


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Cloth Diapers ~ So Easy Your Husband will be Changing the Diapers

I have been changing diapers for fifteen years! I have tried every brand of disposables, including brands they don’t make anymore. I remember Pampers before they had swaddlers and Huggies before they were supreme. And yet, after six babies I felt it was time to make the switch to cloth. Actually I started with cloth 15 years ago, but that was back when your options were rubber pants or rubber pants.

When I was pregnant with Cora I volunteered in the church nursery. I noticed during the service that there were several babies wearing cloth diapers. Being the inquiring person that I am, I asked a million questions and watched a few diaper changes. It didn’t take long before I was sold on the idea of cloth for Cora.

After spending way too much time online researching different types of cloth diapers I decided to go with Fuzzi Bunz and Bum Genius. I honestly couldn’t decide between the two. Fuzzi Bunz received a huge recommendation from Amy over at Mom Advice, and Bum Genius were the ones my friends were using.

The type I bought were pocket diapers, which basically means you slide an insert into a pocket inside the diaper. When the baby dirties the diaper you pull (or shake) out the liner and put both diaper and liner into the pail.

Here a few features I like about the two different brands I purchased.

Fuzzi Bunz

  • Softer on the inside. (The part that touches the hiney)
  • Multiple snaps make for a better fit around the leg. (A benefit for skinnier babies)

Bum Genius

  • Velcro closure makes diaper changing very easy. For the first few weeks, my dh and daughter would only use the BumG’s because they couldn’t quite figure out the snaps on the Fuzzi Bunz.

I purchased a few extra inserts, a wet bag for traveling, pail liner, and a kitchen trash can with a flip up lid. I purchased my diapers and accessories from Nurtured Family. I recommend them because they have competitive prices and fast shipping.

My neighbor gave me some cloth wipes she made from old blankets and her husband’s t-shirts. I just wet them and use like a regular wipe.

I purchased 18 diapers, which last about 48 hours. To wash them I dump everything, including the pail liner into the washer. I put them through one cold rinse cycle and then run a hot wash cycle/ cool rinse, with an extra rinse. I dry the inserts in the dryer and hang the diapers on a drying rack. The diapers are dry by morning in a few hours.

It takes an extra 30 seconds to change a diaper using cloth, if they are poopy. If they are just wet there is no time difference between changing a cloth and a disposable. It takes me about 5 minutes to start the laundry load and then hang the diapers on the rack once they are washed.

They work very well and Cora has only leaked through a few times and that was more due to user error than diaper error. The only problem I had with the diapers is that they were too big for Cora until she was about 7 weeks old. It wasn’t until she weighed about 9 pounds that the diapers fit well around her skinny legs.

If you are hesitant about making the jump to cloth, take it from someone who switched after 6 babies in disposables. It is easy, better for the environment and will save you money long term. Diapers that are well taken care of can be resold on sites like ebay or diaperswappers, or used for your next baby. I even considered using cloth on our vacation, but didn’t want to use someone else’s washing machine while traveling. I do use them when we are gone for the day and she wears them at night too.

There are many choices for cloth diapers, so check out which brand will work best for you.

I know cloth diapers are a great discussion topic so I started a new thread in my forum. Feel free to ask questions, share your favorite cloth diapers, or share why you would never use them!

Also if you are interested I can post a video of an actual cloth diaper change. I didn’t want to video it, unless there was some interest. I know for some people seeing is believing!

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