Final 2018 Side Hustle Income Report & Month 12

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Happy new year!

It’s the final side hustle income report of 2018 AND my 2018 wrap up post!

Rest of the year’s reports:

Amazon Finally got back to me with a cryptic message (albeit from a seemingly real person) basically saying “suck it.” You can read more in my Merch category but if you don’t make it that far just know I am totally done with them.

As always, I only include income that’s deposited into my account so sometimes it’s from stuff I did a while ago but none of it is speculative. If you want more ideas on making money at home you can grab the list of work-from-home jobs I started with by entering your deets below.

Airbnb: $924.41

We’re back baby! It was very nice to see our Airbnb income pay for our mortgage again after several months of being dismal.

In December we were booked 24 nights over 11 stays.  We charged $35-$46 per night and a $12 cleaning fee. The room is in the front of the house and we let the people use the spare bathroom privately.

I highly recommend Airbnb to monetize unused space. It’s fun to meet new people and easy because you’re never too far if something goes wrong. If you want to get started, sign up through this link and you’ll help us earn a little extra too!

T-Shirts: $90.70

This is all from Etsy. This is what I anticipate my monthly T-Shirt income to be moving forward. My view is everything that comes is a blessing because I’m not putting any effort in.

Books: $1418.11

Amazon Kindle has been increasingly great to work with and I can’t say enough good things about it. These are my book earnings from October. I sold 444 copies of The No-Spend Challenge Guide and 24 copies of Meal Planning on a Budget.

NSCG and MPOAB are both on sale and NSCG is free to Prime members through Prime Reading now through March! So if you have Prime you should check it out!

I’ve paused the ad for NSCG because of the Prime Reading promo but my ads since July have netted an extra $432.66 which is $8.37 over last month.

Mystery Shopping: $10

We did one restaurant shop in November that was paid out in December.

If you want to learn more about mystery shopping you can read my post about it.

Blog: $179.53

  • $19.54 from Amazon Associates
  • $99.06 from Other Affiliates
  • $60.93 from the Financial Freedom Planner

To put this in perspective, I had 24,088 page views per month from 17,217 sessions (or 1.4 pages per session) and I have 2,131 active email subscribers. I did nothing to get traffic to the blog but I was featured in several articles on Time Magazine so that helped. I have a lot of pins on Pinterest and one of them is the third to pop up when you search “pay off debt.”

Travis’ Side Job: $74.34

Next year I won’t add this to the income report because taxes are already taken out of it and it’s not really my income to report. But this was a nice treat this month!

Total: $2,697.09

Total Passive Income: $1,688.23 (56% to $3K per month goal)


  • Book Ads: $12.99
  • Etsy Seller Fees: $1.65
  • New Theme: $31
  • New domain Transfer: $157

Total: $202.64

Set aside for taxes: $548

December Grand Total: $1946.45

AND NOW…. Full totals for 2018

After every record I’ll do a quick recap of the year (so you don’t have to look back through every month) and tell you our plans for the future with it.

Airbnb: $10,522.41

In 2018 we were booked 253 of 365 nights. That’s a 78% occupancy rate. We charged between $30-$46 per night and made $900 in just cleaning fees.

We’ll continue to do Airbnb through April and take a break for at least 4-6 months.

I thought we’d be totally done but we recently had guests who stayed with a couple and a baby and they LOVED it. So we’re considering continuing it depending on the temperament of our baby but we wouldn’t open up again before October.

If you want to get started, sign up through this link and you’ll help us earn a little extra too!

T-Shirts: $11,888.03

Despite everything that happened this year, it was a good year. So whether Amazon keeps me frozen or opens me back up, I’m thankful for what I’ve got.

We used most of this to buy an RV to fix and flip and we’ll be listing it for sale at the end of January so even though this income didn’t turn out to be sustainable, because I diversified, I don’t lose anything.

Books: $11,306.99

In 2018 we gave away over 5,000 and sold over 5,100 copies of The No-Spend Challenge Guide and Meal Planning on a Budget. That means over 10K have chosen my books! I am floored and honored.

Amazon Kindle has been so good to me. I’ve been in Great on Kindle and they’ve run 2 specials on my book. I’ve also been selected for a Prime Reading special.

Moving forward I’ll be riding this wave and writing my next book over the summer for an early fall release. I’ll also be releasing a combo of all my books with audiobook!

Mystery Shopping: $127

Mystery shopping is obviously something we do for fun that just happens to produce a little profit. Going forward we’ll continue to do them when we feel like it but it won’t stay on the next iteration of income reports.

If you want to learn more about mystery shopping you can read my post about it.

Blog: $2,220.18

This is on an average of 15,265 page views per month from 11,833 sessions (or 1.29 pages per session) and less than 2,000 email subscribers.

I think there’s a direct correlation to how much I make with how many newsletter subscribers I have. I also saw an increase in base monthly income after I launched my first digital product, The Financial Freedom Planner.

In 2019 I’ll be doubling down my efforts in this category. my goal is to make this number in one month. I think it’ll be possible if I can increase my email subscribers. I’d love to add 1,000 readers every month putting me at 14,000 by the end of the year.

Travis’ Side Job: $1263.34

It goes to show that little things add up. Even if you’re just casually doing extra things you can afford a really nice vacation or a home repair by doing that!null

2018 After Tax Running Total: $29,231.56

What’s next for the Side Hustle Income Report?

They’re not going anywhere! But instead of doing them monthly I’ll be doing them every other month and only reporting income made online. So that includes the blog, printables, and books.

You’ll be seeing the next income report in March and subsequent reports in May, July, Sept, Nov, and next January. This’ll give me more space to keep these consistent once baby comes and to focus on posts that are more focused to minimalism and frugality.

The reports will look very similar to these but I’ll be able to expand on particular topics and deep dive into them.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these and I’ll see you in March with the first 2019 Online Side Hustle Income Report!

Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.


Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment (& Your Life)

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Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | Tips and Tools For Organizing

Space is limited when it comes to apartment living, and making the most of what you have is crucial. Decluttering your living space is extremely important to maintaining an organized and comfortable life. We know this isn’t an easy task, but luckily there are countless apps to help de-clutter out there that can give you a headstart. Organizing your belongings, selling unwanted goods and clothing, and keeping your apartment clean are a few key components to a decluttered home, and these apps will help get you there.  


Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | PaperKarma for Junk Mail

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | PaperKarma for Junk Mail

There is nothing worse than an apartment cluttered with unwanted junk mail lying around. Paperkarma can easily handle this problem for you. By simply taking a photo of the logo and return label of the mail, and hitting send through Paperkarma, you will automatically be unsubscribed. With a few easy clicks on your phone, you no longer have to worry about getting unwanted mail or catalogs. Users receive four free requests and then will have to select a membership for further use. For $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year, you will no longer have to worry about junk mail returning again and again to clutter your apartment.  


Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | OfferUp

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | OfferUp

When it is time to rid your apartment of unwanted goods, OfferUp is the best app to help you do so. Furniture, electronics, household appliances, clothing, and more – you can find or sell just about everything on OfferUp. The app is based on your location so everything you are buying or selling will be on a local level, which makes things very convenient. Photos can be taken directly through the app for easy posting, and you will receive notifications when anyone has contacted you on your post. Each user has the ability to rate every other user, which helps to create a trusted and reliable community. Have your phone handy the next time you are cleaning out your apartment, and post instantly with OfferUp.  


Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | PoshMark

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | PoshMark

Without realizing it, closets can become the most cluttered space – buying new while keeping the old adds up. PoshMark makes cleaning out your closet effortless, and you can make money while you’re at it. Whether it’s clothing still tagged that has gone unworn, or gently used clothing, PoshMark allows you to upload your pieces, connect, and sell to shoppers all over. Snap a pic within the app, post a description and a price, and share – it is that easy. The more you share, the more exposure your items will get. Insider tip: sharing other shoppers’ posts will likely get them to share yours too. Clean out your closet and get cash for it? You can’t beat that.  


Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | Snupps

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | Snupps

Whether you plan on purging your entire apartment or simply need a way to organize your belongings, Snupps is an app that will allow you to track your things while connecting with other users. Snupps, short for Serial Number Universal Protection Protocol System, was created when the creators’ luggage was lost on a flight, and they found themselves wishing they had a way to easily track all of their belongings. Snupps allows users to organize items onto “virtual shelves” – shelves and items can be shared on various social media platforms, sold to other users, or simply act as a way to keep track of what you own. With over one million users, Snupps is a great way to organize your apartment, sell unwanted items, and connect with the community.   


Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | Evernote

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | Evernote

In an apartment, there is little room for paper clutter – important documents, receipts, warranties, etc. – they all pile up, and it is hard to find the right place for them. Evernote allows you to virtually organize these documents. Through the app, you simply scan the papers in and organize to your liking. You no longer have to worry about finding a place to store documents, or remembering where you stored them later on. With Evernote, they are all in one place for whenever you need them. The app also allows you to take notes in a variety of ways – text, sketch, audio, and more. Declutter and organize your documents, and stay on top of your day all with one app – Evernote.   


Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | Tody

Apps To Help De-Clutter Your Apartment | Tody

Maintaining the cleanliness of your apartment is just as important as the de-cluttering phase. Tody is an app that helps you keep your cleaning on track. The app can be organized by areas and tasks and keeps track of when specific tasks need to be completed. By selecting the type of cleaner you are, the app will suggest a time frame for each task. Based off of the given time frame, your progress is tracked, and reminders are given for any overdue items. The app is customizable, thorough, and extremely user-friendly. For just $7, Tody will organize and change the way you clean. 

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7 Tips to Enjoy Debt Free Holidays This Year

How much money are you planning on spending this year during the holidays?

For the average American family, it’s a good chunk of change. During the 2017 holiday season, Bank of America found that of those surveyed, they spent on average $1,143 for purchases.

Another survey found that respondents spent over $600 on gifts for friends, family, and coworkers.

While being generous is a fantastic quality, some families are struggling to stay debt-free during the holidays.

Stay Debt Free This Holiday Season

The good news is that you can spend time with your loved ones and create cherished memories without having to rely on credit cards to cover the bills.

You’d not only be saving money, but you’d also be reducing stress as you don’t have that debt hanging over you after the celebrations.

Want to know how? Here are seven ways you can skip the debt this year!

Create a Budget for the Holidays

Did I really start this list with making a budget?

When people hear budgets, their first thought is typically restrictions, but that’s not true.

A budget is simply a way to prioritize your time and money so you’re getting the most out of both.

As parents, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with a ton of different invitations to different parties.

When you have a firm number, you’re better able to keep your spending in check and avoid unnecessary debt.

Better yet, you can make things even easier on yourself by creating a goal on Mint to automatically track your spending so you can see if you’re getting close to your limit.

That frees you up to focus on the big picture.

Don’t Procrastinate on Shopping

Don’t let advertisers dictate when you buy your gifts. If you’re planning on purchasing gifts, start shopping now if you haven’t already.

Black Friday can snag you some deals, but it’s also a trap for you to get stuck in long lines and extra spending. That’s a recipe for more stress, which you don’t need.

Take off some stress and pressure by pacing your purchases. If you created your budget, go ahead and break it down by paycheck.

That allows you to pick up gifts at more quieter times and give you time to really think about what you’d like to give.

Become a Deal Hunter

Black Friday is the best-advertised sale by far during the holidays, but you can still snatch up some fantastic deals.

If you’re shopping online, use apps and sites like Honey and RetailMeNot to find promo codes and coupons to save even more.

If you’re a fan of a particular brand, joining their newsletter may give you some additional access to sales and a heads up on steep discounts.

And once the shopping season is done, you can use a service like to unsubscribe to all those newsletters!

Think Personal Gifts

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but it’s important – There’s no rule that you have to buy your gifts.

Have you thought about instead getting supplies and setting aside a weekend or two to craft something special? You don’t have to be the king or queen of crafts to make something special.

A personal note with some sweets for your co-worker can be a more meaningful gift than the regular random $20 gift.

One of our hobbies was homebrewing. Not only did we get to enjoy our work, but we shared. We used to make batches of our friends’ favorite brews as gifts and came up with fun names using inside jokes for the brews.

Suggest a Gift Exchange

A trend that’s really helpful with keeping your budget in check are gift exchanges.

Every person gets assign one gift to buy instead of several small ones for every person in the office or family.

It’s much less stressful as you’re able to focus on finding a gift for a specific person rather than running around several stores to hit everyone on your list.

And on the environmental and minimalism side, you’re also reducing the amount of clutter and stuff around the house.

Keep Travel Cheap

Many people visit their loved ones during the holiday season and if you have kids, it can get pricey quick.

Add in that you’re traveling during the popular season and it can be a recipe for a budget disaster. You have to wise with your reservations.

Use sites like Priceline, Kayak, and Trivago to scour deals and save even more money on your hotel and flights.

Google Flights can make finding flights much easier as they can track trends with prices and offer suggestions about when to buy.

When I shared how we snatched up a hotel for $50/night in Los Angeles on Twitter, someone asked how we were able to get it.

The short answer is we shop around and make sure we take advantage of every deal feature we can find.

Many travel sites will price match and more are offering express deals with hotels. With this one-two combo, we’ve been able to minimize expenses while still finding wonderful hotels to stay in.

Take a Frugal and Fun Road Trip

Out of the estimated 54 million Americans traveled during the holidays, the vast majority did theirs by car. This year will most likely be the same.

Apps like GasBuddy can help you while you’re on the road to find the best deals on gas. If you’re doing a long trip, that can be a big cost saver.

When you have kids snacks can slow you down and be a big budget buster if you’re making several stops. The best way to keep costs in check is by packing smart.

Grab those bigger bags of chips, granola bars, and whatever you enjoy before you leave. You’ll get a much better price than what’s offered at those gas stations on the road.

Taking along reusable cups can also keep costs down and your car cleaner with less junk in the back seat!

Your Take

However you wrap up this year, please enjoy it! I hope these tips help you have a fantastic time with your loved ones this year while skipping the debt and reducing the stress. If you have any tips, you’d like to add, please let me know!

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Is Marie Kondo Killing Collecting?

How many of you are watching the new Marie Kondo show on Netflix? All of you? I suspected. Me too. And while I’m frantically trying to teach myself the Konmari folding method and I’m definitely motivated to purge every room in the house – I’m also curious, is all this minimizing going to kill the art of collecting?

Is Marie Kondo Killing Collecting? on apartment 34Is Marie Kondo Killing Collecting? on apartment 34

While I’m all for minimalism, there is something so compelling about a well curated collection. Now as a kid, I collected cows and anything in a sunflower motif. I’m thrilled I was able to let those collections go by the wayside a long time ago. But ceramics. Glassware. Vases. When artfully collected and displayed a mass of like objects can add such personality to a home.

While I fully agree we should consume less, buy less, what about pursuing personal passions? Sometimes blue glass just speaks to you and you need every piece you see.There’s also something to be said for simply indulging an irrational love. Be it vintage French porcelain. Or all things black. Charcoal drawings. Antique books. Whatever your vice might be, I would argue that there isn’t harm and actually amazing design value in hoarding with abandon. Ok, maybe not hoarding but you know what I mean.

So if you have a a type of objet that sparks joy no matter if you have one, or 1,000 I say keep going. Collect those things that make you smile every time you look at them – and be sure to share that love with everyone who walks in your house.

Is Marie Kondo Killing Collecting? on apartment 34Is Marie Kondo Killing Collecting? on apartment 34Is Marie Kondo Killing Collecting? on apartment 34Is Marie Kondo Killing Collecting? on apartment 34Is Marie Kondo Killing Collecting? on apartment 34Is Marie Kondo Killing Collecting? on apartment 34

For more examples of amazing collections, check out my Display & Storage Pinterest board HERE.

For more design ideas, CLICK HERE.

And I’m curious – do you collect and display things? If so, what??

images 1, 2, 4, 10 nicole franzen / 3 tess neustadt / 5 apt34 / 6 pinterest / 7 tumblr / 8 sfgirlbybay / 9 architectural digest / 11 pinterest



Dita Von Teese’s Quirky Los Angeles Home is Every Aspiring Diva’s Dream

Even if you’re not a fan of burlesque, or perhaps don’t even know for sure what that is, you’ll still know about Dita Von Teese. The 47-year-old star is credited with bringing burlesque back into the limelight, which also landed her the moniker of Queen of Burlesque. 

But that’s not all she does. Von Teese (Heather Renée Sweet, by her real name) is also a former model, a costume designer, singer, actress, entrepreneur, bestselling book author, and last but not least, an avid vintage and antiques collector. 

Architectural Digest was lucky enough to take a sneak peek into Dita Von Teese’s ultra-glamorous Los Angeles home recently. The diva keeps her personal life off limits, so the video tour offers a rare glimpse of her private sanctuary. 

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It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Von Teese’s home is dramatically different from other Hollywood celebrity homes. The burlesque star moved into her 1927-built Tudor Revival home five years ago, and has spent most of this time finessing it to match her unique taste. 

Firstly, she made sure she had complete privacy and security, and built a fortress-style wall adorned with spiky vegetation to keep unwanted visitors at bay. Then, she decided to turn a boring pool house into a veritable, English-style pub that she’s filled with quirky memorabilia and souvenirs. 

Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese’s Tudor Revival Home in L.A. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD
Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese’s poolside English pub. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD

When Dita Von Teese first moved into her 3,200-square-foot four-bedroom home, all interior walls were white, which was naturally way too boring for her unique personality. She tells Architectural Digest that she’s ‘a maximalist, not a minimalist,’ having filled every room and nook in the house with one-of-a-kind antique pieces. 

The living room is like a small-scale taxidermy museum, painted in vivid colors and filled to the brink with unique pieces. Some she’s found at flea markets, some were gifted from friends, and some she’s carried with her for years, taking them with her whenever she’s moved house. 

Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese’s living room. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD

The blue couch in the living room, which Von Teese admits is very uncomfortable, is a reproduction of a French couch bought at her favorite Dallas store, called Deco-Dence. The Chinese rug is an Etsy find, while the working phonograph was bought at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. 

There’s a lot of taxidermy in Dita Von Teese’s house, but it’s all antique. She tells the folks at ArchDigest that she doesn’t condone hunting or hanging hunting trophies, but that she does enjoy collecting antique taxidermy – some of her most prized possessions are a couple of heart-shaped glass bowls containing rare taxidermy birds, that she keeps above her fireplace. 

The kitchen is equally stunning, painted in dark green and copper throughout. Von Teese says she wanted a ‘sexy, womanly, grown-up kitchen.’ She made the switch to green after having a much-photographed, all-pink kitchen in her previous home. 

Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese’s kitchen. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD

The dining room is, again, a stunner, colored in red and blue, in a nod to the bottle design of one of her favorite perfumes, Lou Lou by Cacharel. The dining room table and chairs were another flea market find, to which she added her own touches like custom fabrics inspired by those seen in a French hotel. 

Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese’s dining room. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD

Dita Von Teese also has her own version of a man cave, a red library room that also serves as a TV room – though the TV is hidden behind a piece of pin-up art, as to not disturb the vintage vibe of the room. This is where she chills out, perhaps flipping through some vintage men’s magazines and sipping cocktails from martini glasses in her unique Art Deco bar. 

Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese in her ‘woman cave’. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD

The bedroom was designed in what Von Teese calls her own version of minimalism, painted all gray and silver. The bed was designed after a Mae West bed with mirrors, while the room was inspired by Jean Harlow’s bedroom in Dinner at Eight. This is where we also catch up with her cat Alistair, who was sleeping peacefully on the bed before ArchDigest reporters woke him up. 

Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese’s master bedroom. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD

Von Teese is the proud owner of an authentic 1930s vanity that she keeps in her bedroom, but she also turned a former closet into a hairdressing room. She likes to do her own hair, and this is probably our favorite room in the house, adorned with small antiques and a beautiful, light pink vanity bench with tassels. 

Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese’s hairdressing room. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD

Last but certainly not least, Von Teese turned a former children’s room into a giant walk-in closet, where she keeps her shoe, hat, and brooch collections. She’s good friends with iconic shoe designer Christian Louboutin, so she’s got a lot – and we mean a lot – of red-soled shoes. 

Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese’s shoe closet. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD

Outside, Von Teese also enjoys a quiet backyard surrounded by lush vegetation, as well as a large swimming pool and plenty of reupholstered, vintage patio furniture. She also designed her own ‘Snow White garden’ featuring tall pine trees and rolling baby tears moss. 

Dita Von Teese house los angeles
Dita Von Teese’s garden. Photo by Trevor Tondro for AD

Dita Von Teese is definitely not done decorating her home. She’s always adding things, for instance, she’s still got a remaining white wall that she’s planning to have covered in feathers. Whether you’re an antique or taxidermy fan or not, you can’t deny that Von Teese’s lovely English Tudor home is a cozy, stylish retreat fit for an elegant and classy diva. 

All images courtesy of Architectural Digest

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The Mysterious Allure of Stephen King’s House, the Beating Heart of Bangor, Maine
Shaquille O’Neal’s Longtime Home — and Shaq-apulco Paradise
“Neverland” No More! The Sycamore Valley Ranch is Much More than Michael Jackson’s Former Home


Tips for De-Cluttering Your House and Getting Paid for it

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

When you’re trying not to spend money, there’s no better way to spend your time than making money. And you know what my favorite way to make money is?


I couldn’t make a living off of it but it’s a great way to build an emergency fund or earn a little vacation money. The feeling of a good purge is half the reward anyway.

And with the rise of blogs, books, and movies about minimalism, I think you guys agree. Whether you’re venturing into minimalism, doing a No-Spend Challenge or just trying to spend less, getting rid of stuff is a wild way to spend a Friday night and a cathartic activity.

So if you want to go further than just “not spending” and make your home and life more minimalist and cozy, here are 7 tips for de-cluttering your house and where to sell your stuff for quick cash.

Also, if you like this topic I cover this and much more in my book The No-Spend Challenge Guide. Check it out to help you save more, spend less, and make the most of your time paying off debt.

1. Mentally Prepare

When purging unused items it’s important to go in knowing what you’re up against. The goal isn’t to go from hoarder to Ikea in one day. Purging is a process. The reason I love de-cluttering while on a No Spend Challenge is that it’s unlikely I’ll replace the stuff I get rid of during that process.

Also, you have to give up the “I paid $$$ for this” mentality. What you paid for it mattered to your budget (or lack of) when you bought it. It’s non-use matters today. If you haven’t used it this year then you can live without it.

2. Physically Prepare

You can start your purge up to a year before you actually get rid of anything. Try this hanger trick, made famous by Oprah. Go into your closet and turn all the hangers the wrong way (whatever that means to you).

Whenever you put a garment back into the closet after wearing it put it in with the hanger facing the right way. At the end of six months or a year whatever hangers are still facing the wrong way can easily be gotten rid of.

3. Keep – Sell/Give – Store

For going through drawers and closets that have become a black hole of clutter, find three boxes and label them: keep, sell/give, and store. There could also be a fourth box for trash but I like to keep it simple and just bring the trash can over.

The “Keep” box is for things you use and still need to easy access to. The Sell/Give box gets an attempt at selling then if that fails goes to charity, and the Store box is for things you need or want but can go into deep storage.

I also like the Store box as a tester for getting rid of more on my next purge. If you’re holding that snow globe from middle school and you’re having a hard time parting with it, you don’t have to make a decision yet. Put it in the Store box and come back to it in a month.

4. Don’t Call It Junk

When we were hosting a garage sale for my mom we had a lot of clothes leftover. I went through and tried to separate out what we could sell to Clothes Mentor which buys and sells gently used clothes for women.

There were these two pairs of corduroy overalls, one with Eeyore on the front, the other with Pooh and Piglet. Assuming that I knew what was in style I put those in the Give box but Travis saw me and was convinced they would sell. I don’t remember everything I said but it was something to the extent of “you’re crazy, these are ugly.” But because I wanted to prove him wrong I let him take them.

We ended up taking the clothes to Plato’s Closet, which sells teen clothing because Clothes Mentor wasn’t buying at the time. I was prepared to make very little because the clothes were definitely for an older crowd. When we picked up our two bins of clothing they’d agreed to buy three items from us. Two of them were the overalls.

That story to say, I don’t call anything junk anymore (well, I’m at least trying now). You’d be shocked at what people will buy online or at gently-used stores. It’s usually the things we think will sell that don’t and the things we think will never sell do the quickest.

5. Free Your Flat Surfaces

I read this online and it’s become my mantra when I only have five minutes to clean. Clearing off countertops, the coffee table, dining table, desk, anything flat can transform your house.

This is especially true in a small house. We didn’t have many flat surfaces in our apartment; it was pretty much just the kitchen table. So it ended up being a catchall for mail, papers, etc. The first thing to get cleared was always that table and it made a huge difference right off the bat.

6. Find Storage

Don’t buy storage. You’re trying not to spend money remember? You don’t even know how much storage you’re going to need until after you finish. Trust me, I too have dreams about the Container Store but use it as a reward instead of a necessity.

Use what you have for free first. Wrap boxes with ribbon or washi tape for custom storage or look for free storage on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. I try to make it my goal to get rid of enough stuff to eliminate the need of containers.

Wait a few months after finishing the de-clutter, if it still bothers you then you can go buy exactly what you need, but chances are you won’t even think about it once it’s done.

7. One Room at a Time

Don’t try to tackle the whole house in one day, not even a month. 2-4 hours is about how much most people can handle. So start small and tackle one room, closet or drawer at a time and just keep going.

I suggest starting with the most used room down to the least. For me that’s the bedroom or kitchen.

Suggestions for quick purges:

  • Old Magazines
  • Stretched out Hair Ties
  • Unused CDs & DVDs
  • Unused Makeup & Skincare
  • Free T-Shirts
  • Unwanted Gifts
  • Unused Purses

Now here’s the fun part. Where you can make some money off your efforts. There are a few ways to go at this. You can sell items yourself on eBay, Poshmark, or Amazon. Or you can sell to reselling services like DeCluttr, ThredUp, and Gone.

You’ll get more money doing it yourself but it also takes more time. Either one is a good option because you’re making some dough and you have a clean house! Here are some more ideas on where to sell your stuff and what these services buy:

  • DeCluttr- Games, CDs, DVDs, Books, Tech
  • Gone- Electronics
  • ThredUp- Clothes
  • Poshmark- Clothes
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Letgo
  • OfferUp
  • Mercari
  • Amazon

If you have a lot of stuff to sell (or you have friends with stuff to sell too) you can go with a good ol’ fashioned garage sale. I highly recommend having a multi-person yard sale. We did one this way and in addition to having more variety, we had a lot of fun together.

So what are your tips for de-cluttering your house? What’s the first drawer, room, or closet you’re going to tackle this weekend?

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How to Declutter Effectively

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How to Declutter Effectively

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How to declutter your home and make tons of money!! #declutteryourhouse #howtodeclutteryourhouse #makemoneysellingyourstuff #sellingyourthings #flippingforprofit #makemoremoney #sidehustles #sidehustleideas #makemoneyfast

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Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.


A Major Kitchen Moment

I know, I know. I was espousing the need to minimize kitchen design just a couple of weeks back. And while I’m still feeling the paired down look, I’m also human. I will always be easily seduced by a stunning kitchen moment. 

The following example certainly qualifies.

A Major Kitchen Moment on apartment 34
A Major Kitchen Moment on apartment 34

You wouldn’t know it first glance, but this kitchen resides in a nearly 200 year old townhouse in Brooklyn. Part of a double height addition, this kitchen is oversized without being overly opulent.

A Major Kitchen Moment on apartment 34

I love how this kitchen has the Euro-influenced backsplash that features single open shelf (still realllyyy wish I’d done that in my kitchen but it wasn’t a thing in 2015!), but doing it with the Vermont soapstone is perfectly understated, rather than in your face. And its texture is so yummy, I just want to stand there and pet it. The bead-board cabinetry in a yummy subtle cream and oversized reclaimed oak island could read rather rustic, but the 20-foot steel clad windows and the huge modern pendant balance the look.

A Major Kitchen Moment on apartment 34
A Major Kitchen Moment on apartment 34
A Major Kitchen Moment on apartment 34

I love the wall to wall cabinets that hide appliances and storage creating a serene, clean look. This feels like elevated farmhouse at it’s very best – particularly since its in New York! The wall of cabinetry leads you into a sunken hangout area, creating a large contiguous communal space.

A Major Kitchen Moment on apartment 34

While everything in this kitchen is on a grand scale, there’s still an air of minimalism and restraint I really appreciate. So maybe I’ll hedge my bets on the minimal kitchen and say maybe we could all benefit from a little more restraint.

For more kitchen inspiration, CLICK HERE.

design by elizabeth roberts architecture & design



Six Independent Home D̩cor Labels For Your Next Shopping Haul РELLE India

Whether you have a penchant for minimalism or like to go all out with baubles and accents, the sky is the limit when it comes to redecorating your space. From edgy, geometrical centre table pieces to decorative trays that don’t spell cliché, trust this edit of homegrown home décor labels to help you bring your aesthetic to life.

1. TerraVida Goa

Love ceramic? Look no further than the Goa-based home décor studio, Terra Vida. A contemporary interpretation of rustic Portuguese elements comes to life in each piece as local artisans set stories in stone. Take your pick from understated teapots, stunning flower vases, decorative trays, crockery and more.

What We Love: TerraVida’s studio is home to 12 skilled, local artisans from around Goa. They together create pieces for your abode, which are hand-made and limited-edition.

2. Cyahi

Finding the right piece to add some character to a plain, solid-coloured wall can seem daunting. You can turn to Cyahi for help. The label has a lot to offer, from floral prints that exude major spring vibes to an abstract take on wall hangings.

What We Love: This home décor brand is entirely sustainable. Also, it tries to work with partners who ensure ethical workplaces.

3. Mason Home

If minimal, gold-gilded furniture is your vibe, then here’s your cue. Mason Home was established back in 1974 and delivers pan India. The best part about the brand? Each creation delivers sophistication at its best which can amp up every nook of your home instantly.

What We Love: The wide variety of product offerings! From bedspreads, planters, candle and cutlery holders, trays and baskets, tableware to bathroom décor, consider this brand as your ultimate destination to spruce up your space.

4. Opaque Studio

As the long-forgotten cane gradually makes a comeback, here’s a label to pick the right fit from. Trust Opaque Studio for colourful, cane cabinets and storage areas to fill up the negative space. Also, expect the right mix of colour play, functionality and practicality.

What We Love: The quintessential amalgamation of traditional, Indian handicrafts with contemporary, modish features.

5. Suite Number Eight

If you harbour an inclination towards crockery that’s equal part useful and makes for a beautiful showpiece, then count on Suite Number Eight. The tableware is unconventional and filled with whimsical patterns which will charm, soothe and delight your soul.

What We Love: Each piece is individually kneaded, shaped, moulded, engraved, gilded and painted by the finest artisans in India, with the highest quality materials.

6. Objectory

Drifting away from conventional décor pieces, Objectory helms pieces that are off-beat and profoundly geometric. The product and furniture design studio based in New Delhi is a paradise in disguise for every abstract art lover.

What We Love: Just four words. The brand’s creative vision!

Photographs: Instagram, Unsplash


Why maximalism is the perfect decor trend for people living in small spaces – Insider

Why maximalism is the perfect home decor trend for small spaces

Megan Zeitz/Sarah Unsworth
  • Maximalism has become more popular over the last year, particularly in small spaces.
  • It brings personality and depth to a home, according to experts.
  • The key to making maximalism work in your small space is to be intentional about your design.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Before the pandemic, there was a period of time where nothing was everything when it came to decor.

Whether it was Kim Kardashian West’s all-beige home or your friend’s new affinity for throwing away things that didn’t spark joy, minimalism was definitely “in” throughout 2019.

But over the last year, people have grown less interested in the less-is-more lifestyle, especially those who live in tiny homes or apartments.

According to Pinterest data, people are searching for “maximalist decor” five times more and “maximalist decor small spaces” three times more often on Pinterest now than they were a year ago.

Likewise, a quick scroll through Instagram or TikTok will show you a plethora of small spaces filled with color that are much more in line with maximalist decor.

Experts told Insider that the rise of maximalism is likely a result of people spending more time at home — and it’s a change they’re excited about.

Maximalism is a ‘more is more’ design style

As the name suggests, maximalism is a design aesthetic that leans into “more” to make a house feel like home. You can expect to see brightly colored walls covered in artwork, an abundance of plants, and statement furniture in a maximalist space.

It’s the polar opposite of minimalism, which was popular in 2019 thanks in part to shows like “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.”

And while there’s certainly something to be said for decluttering, Michelle Fahmy, an interior designer and one of Apartment Therapy’s Changemakers for 2021, told Insider she thinks maximalism is often more practical for people in their day-to-day lives than minimalism.

megan zietz 2.JPG

Maximalism encourages personality in home spaces.
Megan Zietz

“Minimalism is quite beautiful when done right, but there is also a starkness to it, an unlived-in and museum-like quality which makes it much less practical when you are living your everyday life, making your home your place of refuge, trying to raise a family, or setting up an impromptu home office,” Fahmy said.

“There is something about maximalism that allows people to be free and experiment, to have fun with the items and design choices in their space,” she added. “Maximalism gives people the freedom to express themselves through their surroundings.”

Megan Zietz, who decorated her space with maximalism in mind, echoed Fahmy. 

“For me, maximalism encourages utilizing our small space in the boldest way possible,” she said. “It gives me the opportunity to play with colors, prints, and textures you wouldn’t necessarily think to use together.”

Maximalism has become more popular in the last year

Experts think it’s no coincidence that maximalism started trending during the pandemic.

“While stuck at home, people want to decorate their homes in a way that makes them feel good and reminds them of special moments, hence the rise in maximalism,” Swasti Sarna, Pinterest’s senior insights manager, told Insider. 

Danielle Blundell, Apartment Therapy’s home director, agreed, telling Insider maximalism has a “cozy factor” that makes sense for people spending more time at home.

“It’s the idea of layering and filling a space with the things that you love in a way that can make you happy,” she said. “When your home is full of all the things that you like, it can actually boost your mood and make you happier and provide lots of different stimuli to let your eye wander around the space.”

sarah unsworth 2

Maximalism can make homes feel bigger.
Sarah Unsworth

Fahmy also said maximalist decor can actually make a home feel larger when done right, which makes it a great design style for small spaces.

“Your eye only has so much ground to cover in a smaller space, so packing it in with thoughtful elements helps to actually make the space feel larger,” she said.

Experts told Insider that people who live in small spaces often pair maximalism with mid-century modern decor, as the latter can be a grounding style.

“The mid-century serves as a strong grounding presence in a small space because of its streamlined aesthetic,” Karina Lameraner, a creative stylist for the online interior design service Modsy, told Insider. “Maximalism beautifully contrasts this by inviting playful and adventurous elements into the space.”

The key to making maximalism work in your small space is intentional design

Maximalism is effective in a small space when the things in a room don’t look haphazard or thrown together, so it’s important to focus on the overall effect of a room when picking out pieces for it. 

“The trick to achieving maximalism in your small space is ensuring that colors, textures, and patterns all work together — and not against one another,” Lameraner told Insider. “Small spaces require layering as opposed to spreading, which means that the pieces you choose need to play off one another.”

She suggests picking items that have similar patterns or shapes to create a sense of cohesion. For instance, your couch and your bookshelf might both have rounded edges, or you can pick pillows that match the pattern on your rug.

Blundell said it’s important to keep in mind that even maximalist spaces need to have some negative space, which can help ensure the room doesn’t feel too busy. 

You can create negative space by leaving some parts of the walls blank, by having open space on shelves, or by making sure flooring is visible under a rug, according to Blundell.

Blundell also suggests buying simple furniture to ground a room, leaving the maximalist touches to more decorative pieces.

megan zietz 1.JPG

The key to maximalism in a small space is intentional design.
Megan Zietz

Fahmy encouraged people who want to embrace maximalism to decorate slowly rather than all at once. You can add one statement piece to the room, and then see what you might need from there.

“As you add more, take a moment to stand back and look at the space,” she said. “There is an element of just the right amount of restraint that is needed when being a maximalist.”

Likewise, Fahmy thinks it’s important to remember that maximalism gives people the opportunity to put things that are important to them on display.

“Bring out those tchotchkes from your travels that have been tucked away and group them as a fun display on your mantle or shelf,” Fahmy gave as an example.

Maximalism can help you turn your home into one giant keepsake, quite literally turning a house into a home.

Next Seven Home Decor Brands To Revamp Your Home – Man’s World India

Changing the mood of your home with some artistic vases, vintage cabinets, or that one statement piece on the wall, is always a good idea. These home décor brands will ensure you find new-age, chic stuff to spruce up your swanky apartment.

Indus People

Aroma of Indus

Aroma of Indus

Breakfast Set

Breakfast Set

All minimalism lovers, this is where you should be. Aesthetically inspired by the Indian subcontinent, Indus People take inspiration from various colours and textures of the country. You can find tableware in colours such as indigo, beige and old rose, whereas other décor includes candles and stationery.

The Purple Turtles

The Purple Turtles

The Purple Turtles

Started as a lighting boutique store in Bengaluru, The Purple Turtles has turned into a home decor haven. From pendant lamps and wall lamps to collectibles and furniture, you have everything in one place. The brand also
caters to custom projects, in case you have a vision board.

Home Artisan



Home Artisan

Home Artisan

Home Artisan is a mix of all aesthetics. A combination of form along with functionality is the main motive of the brand. Known to be design centric, you will find numerous options for tapestry, wall decor, home linens, storage options, and lighting, all in one place. If you are looking for versatile pieces to design your humble abode, add this one to your list.

Freedom Home



Known for its bold and vibrant graphical designs and colours, Freedom Home is a homegrown decor brand that combines Indian elements with a modern twist. It is a place for the maximalists. You will find out-of-the-world patterns, wall arts, mirrors bed linens, hand-painted ceramics, lamps, tables, shelves, and other storage
options here.

Room Therapy

If you are an obsessive plant dad who wants to give your plants the prettiest holders, this is your go-to. If you are looking for statement drawers to brighten up the corner of the house, they have some interesting options. Drawers inspired from ancient apothecary cabinets and traditional designs are the highlight of the brand.