Living Natural with Norfolk Natural Living

With the ever growing media attention (for good reason) on the Environment, we have been trying to be more mindful about our choices at home and living more sustainably. One of the swaps I have been consciously trying to make is the cleaning products that we use around the home.

Gone are the days where I watch cleaning Instagram stories or videos about the many products people are using to clean their homes. I can count on one hand the amount of products we have in the house for cleaning now as I made a point of using up what we had, and not rushing out to buy products for the sake of products.

Norfolk Natural Living recently reached out to me to review a couple of their wonderful products and without a moment of hesitation, I hopped onboard and offered to write a blog post in exchange for the products.

*Post contains Gifted Items*

Norfolk Natural Living are nestled in a small historic town in Norfolk where the bottle every formulation by hand in their workshop. All of their natural cleaning and garment care products are biodegradable, non-toxic, free from chlorine and bleach, use plant based ingredients and yet, are gentle enough for even a baby’s delicate skin. Even better is that they use PET packaging as it’s 100% recyclable and you can refill your bottles at their store in Holt if you are local.

The two products that I was sent to try out were the Garment Refresher and the Scented Vinegar. The first thing I noticed about the Garment refresher was the lavender scent that came from it. I have been trying to cut down on the number of washing loads we do in a week so this product has allowed me to wear a jumper multiple items without fear of it starting to smell a little worn.

I have successfully managed to reduce our washing machine usage in the last couple of weeks as a result of using this product and have genuinely only been washing clothes that need it. Win, Win!

Next up I tried the Scented Vinegar. I am no stranger to the cleaning powers of white vinegar and usually have a bottle at home to spray down toilet, plugholes to reduce limescale build up. This lovely product has a rose scent meaning it’s far less overpowering that your usual white vinegar smell. Picture me spraying loads into the toilet bowl and having to open windows as wide as possible. Well no longer!

A quick spray of this and it does the job and also leaves the bathrooms smelling great. I also found the best use in our house for this is for cleaning the induction hob and splashback which are both shiny surfaces. I found in the past that wiping them with a cloth still left a residue or marks on the surface which were very apparent in the light. Since using the scented vinegar, I have noticed no streaks or residue as a result and it only requires a small amount which is even better. A little certain goes a long way with this product.

Whilst I know these small changes aren’t the biggest impact right now, I know that we as a household are on the right track and with companies like Norfolk Natural Living putting in such hard work behind the scenes to create these wonderful products, it is even easier. I’ve already spied a few more products on their site that I want to get my hands on and transform the way I wash our clothes as well.

Laura x

*Post contains gifted items in exchange for a blog post*

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8 Key Moving Tips For First Time Home Buyers

You finally did it – you finally have your first house! This is quite a feat in terms of financial independence, as this proves you can really achieve your financial goals given the right habits and strategies. So, what’s next? What exactly do you do now, and how exactly do you conduct a successful house move? Here are some tips you can follow:

It’s all about location. Take note of your new home’s location very early on into the house move, so you can identify the locations of interest that might benefit you during your move. These include relevant government offices, recreational establishments, and places to go to in times of emergency.

  1. Identify where relevant places and infrastructure are early on in the moving process. Where’s the nearest hospital and police station? Where can you stay while waiting for movers to go to your location? Knowing these early on can help you save time during move day.
  2. Check permits you might need for a move in your new home. This is especially if you’re hiring professionals like long distance movers, as they might not be allowed to move and transport things in your new area.
AD – Collaborative Post // Image Credit

Remember your home design. While you plan, take into consideration the kind of home design you want your new house to have. This pretty much helps dictate the kind of stuff you need to move, and stuff you have to potentially buy.

  1. Remember to clarify the design motif the new house will be having, so everyone in the household is aware of the kind of things to watch out for. For instance, if you’re going for a nature-inspired design, a decorative plant that can be thrown out may be salvaged. 
  2. Try to check your belongings if you have items of the sort that fit your design tastes. If not, try to list and specify what sorts of items you still need to buy.

Make an inventory of everything you own. Regardless if you’re moving alone, with a partner, or with family, make sure you have an inventory of everything you own. This can be a physical or digital inventory that has everything you own. Having an inventory can help you keep track of what you want to move, if they’ve moved, and if they’ve been unpacked properly in your new home.

  1. In this inventory, take note of the belongings you want to be transferred, the quantities of these belongings, the make and materials, as well as relevant notes. Take note of things such as a category, the destination room, and other things you want to find out during the move. Make sure this is updated all the time.
  2. If you’re hiring long distance movers, this inventory can be very helpful especially during the initial quotation. Moving companies tend to estimate moving costs depending on what you want to bring, so this inventory can be very handy in the process.

Check your belongings. Assess your belongings in the inventory, and take note of things you want to throw away and sell. Not only can this help you save money, but it also lets you sort out things you want and not want prior to the move. This can save a lot of space on your end as well.

  1. If you’ve sorted out the items you want to throw out, consider donating them to relatives or institutions instead. This not only helps you save perfectly good pieces of furniture or accessories, but this also helps you help out others.
  2. If you plan on selling items, consider selling them in buy-and-sell groups, or even a garage sale. Try seeking out home buyers as well, as they’re very likely to be looking for good furniture at the same time they’re looking for a new home.

Buy your equipment and materials early on. Once you’ve checked the sorts of packing things you need, consider buying them immediately. This saves you time and money when going to the store, as hopefully, this step helps you avoid going there for a second time.

  1. List the kind of materials you need. Try to base this on the materials you have. If you have fragile materials, check what sort of packaging would best suit these.
  2. Buy these materials in one go as much as possible. If you have an extra budget, try buying twice as many materials, so you don’t have to go back to the store for another trip.

Involve the family. If you’re moving with a family, it can save you time and resources if you involve them in the process as well. This not only gives them a sense of responsibility and ownership over their things, but this can be a good bonding time as well.

  1. Try to have a family meeting to discuss the sort of things you have to do during the move. Clear out your schedules as much as possible, and instead of going to the mall during family time, try allocating this to packing.
  2. Teach everyone the preferred way of packing objects and belongings. This ensures everyone knows how to pack without supervision.
  3. Assign and delegate tasks across the household. Try to assign rooms to their respective owners, so they can have a sense of ownership to the room they’re staying in.

Make a schedule consistent with your routine. Just because you’re moving doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your work-life balance. While, yes, you need to allot time to pack and move stuff around, try to make sure your schedule still works with the way your life goes so far. Don’t sacrifice your job for a move, and don’t sacrifice your rest days for the move as well.

  1. Take note of “free time” during your current schedule, which includes off days, the time you spend commuting, or time you spend hanging out with friends. If possible, try to replace these with “packing hours,” so you can focus on packing stuff for your move.
  2. If you still have leaves, use them wisely. Another option to do when preparing for a move is to use your leave days – but make sure you use them properly. Try to allot a day or two (2) for packing, and make sure you focus on packing your things. Maybe you can ask your boss or supervisor for extra tasks in exchange for a paid leave, so you can have a leave that won’t compromise your salary.

Hire professionals to help. Just because you’re young doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t need help. If you’re having a bit of trouble in any step of the moving, perhaps moving companies can aid you in the moving process. They’re professionally trained and skilled in packing, transporting, and unpacking equipment, so they can guarantee the safety of your belongings.

  1. A mover in your area, or a moving company (if you’re in the US) can also help you find materials you can use to pack your belongings, especially if you want fragile things like glass furniture and accessories transported.
  2. When communicating with these companies, make sure you’re clear with the costs of their service, as well as what their service packages contain. During your negotiating process, try to ask if there are “surprise” costs like food and gasoline allowance, or if you already have these paid in your payment. 

Moving Requires A Good Plan

Just like how you’ve followed a game plan when saving up for your first house, you also have to formulate a plan in order to conduct a successful move. The tips above would hopefully be able to help you fix a schedule, arrange your inventory, and manage all the elements you need for a successful house move.

Laura 🙂

*Collaborative Post*

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New Build Homes and weighing up the cost

Now onto the next part of our home buying journey and I’m going to take it slightly further back before we talk about choices.

Before we bought our new build we had weighed up our options a lot. We knew we could afford the house but it then came down to whether we would be able to afford carpets/flooring as not all new build companies throw this in as part of the deal.

In our last house it had laminate flooring in the lounge and dining area. This was perfect for life with a baby, especially the weaning stage when all you had to do was wipe it up quickly. We knew this was something we might want in the kitchen area of the home and started to research our options to see how much it was going to set us back.

We came across Flooring365 who offer a range of flooring including laminate, vinyl, parquet and wood. My eyes were first drawn to the parquet which looked incredible and I knew it would be the one for me if we went down this route.

*collaborative post*

Flooring365 offer the option to order a sample of their products so it’s a great way to try before you buy in a way and see what it would look like in that room. This is the perfect service as with most newbuild, you will have a choices appointment where you go and select the tiles you would like, the kitchen colours etc. It’s not an easy decision to make and the sales office advised us that usually people come back 3-4 times before making a decision as they really don’t want to get it wrong.

I knew that hard flooring in the kitchen was the obvious choice and spent many an hour pouring over websites to find good deals and ones that I really loved.

When browsing their site, I also noticed they had a live chat feature which was great for asking questions about the flooring types and really finding out how much it was going to set us back. As someone who prefers to use a live chat function over phoning a company, this was a real positive.

When it came to the choices appointment later on in our purchase, we went twice to the sales office to look at all the flooring options they had, kitchen choices and tiles. We also took photos of some of the choice we liked so we could really compare at home and held flooring samples against kitchen colours so we knew we were choosing the right ones.

Now that we are in the home and have been for 3 weeks now, I absolutely adore all our choices and would not change a thing. In my next post I will be sharing some images from our choices and what it actually looks like in real life.

Laura x

*This is a collaborative post*

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