Puppy Proofing Your Home

Having a puppy is one of the greatest joys we know, especially because of their insatiable curiosity and unparalleled cuddliness. However, training puppies is a bit of a different story. So if you want to puppy proof your home, take to these tips to get started.

Spring-loaded gates.

These types of gates (typically called puppy gates for good reason) are wonderful for your home when you don’t have a specific designated area that can be closed off otherwise. These typically can fit in your kitchen, which is almost always linoleum, hardwood, or tile, so if your puppy does make a mess, it’s easy to clean up and won’t soak into carpet or other hard-to-clean flooring.

Additionally, these gates can extend or shorten depending on the gap the gate needs to fit to. It’s perfect for any type of room that needs it, and puppies typically don’t think about charging at the gate to knock it over (or aren’t big enough to push it over anyway).

Put up your valuables and shoes.

We all know puppies are teething fiends. And they really can’t help it considering their teeth are growing in, which may cause them discomfort. So, to avoid your new friend chewing up your shoes (a favorite because of the softer, yet firmer material, put up your shoes or block off your pup’s access to these sorts of things. And don’t leave other things lying around the house, even if they’re on a coffee table or end table. Don’t underestimate a puppy’s ability to snag something off a table, because they’ll be sure to surprise you.

Close the doors to your bedroom (and other rooms).

This one is a no-brainer. If you don’t want your puppy wandering in your bedroom or other rooms that may have carpet or nice hardwood floors, just close the doors to these rooms to keep the curious youngster out of the rooms. You’ll at least be able to “dictate” where your puppy will have a mess, if that happens in the house.

Use cardboard in a pinch.

If you have some cheap moving boxes lying around from your last move, laying these on your hardwood can help protect it when you’re away from the home and your puppy is learning to A) potty train and B) have a little bit of freedom in portioned off sections of your home. If you’re choosing to use a puppy gate in your kitchen but still don’t want a mess on your nicer flooring, your puppy may choose to use the bathroom on the cardboard. A few cheap moving boxes may seem like it won’t cover your flooring, but your puppy may catch on that this is “different” from the rest of the flooring and use the bathroom there.

Upsides to Being Cheap: from Cheap Moving Boxes to Cheap Meals

If somebody would ask my husband if he thought I was cheap, he would probably say, “Yes.”  It’s not like he would say it in an attempt to hurt my feelings or be disrespectful, but because it’s basically the truth.

There are times when me being cheap has really gotten us some amazing deals: cheap moving boxes, cheap meals, cheap home improvement supplies.  There a couple things about being cheap that are of the utmost importance.

A substitute is okay.  There is very little in my life where I have to have exactly what I am envisioning.  This is literally what lends itself to my cheapness (or, as I like to put it, my frugality).  For instance, if I am making a recipe and it calls for some sort of uber expensive parmesan cheese combination, and a teeny tiny block of it costs like seventeen bucks, than heck no am I going to buy it!  Instead, I will use the cheap shaker of Parmesan cheese, or not even use the parmesan cheese at all if there are other cheeses being used as well.  I mean, a different kind of parmesan cheese is not going to ruin the meal.  It’s just not.  And that extra fifteen bucks I just saved we can set aside to go towards a meal out- that wont need to be charged to the credit card.  Or, quite simply, I’m going to Google “cheap moving boxes” instead of going out and dropping massive amounts of money on something that is easily accessible and overpriced because of it.

The best doesn’t have to be the best.  I know many people that think their children deserve brand new everything, and that there should be extras so everyone can have their own.  Well, that’s all well and good.  At the same time, these kids are growing up listening to their parents gripe about how poor they are and having their heads bit off when they ask to go out for icecream.  I have saved literally thousands of dollars by shopping clearance or second hand for my kids.  Where did all of those other thousands go?  Not onto a credit card, for one!  Not needing to spend top dollar really opens up a pathway for peace in the family.

So here’s a suggestion, the next time you are moving, think “cheap movinG boxeS”.  The next time you go grocery shopping think “cheap alternatives”, and the next time its time to restock your kids’ seasonal wardrobes, think “cheap for now, more for later.”  Works every time.

Clever Ways to Upcycle Cheap Moving Boxes

The thing about cheap moving boxes is that they are good for moving.  And that’s about it.  Because once they have gone through the move they are too, well, cheap, to do much else with.  Unless, of course, you want to flatten them and use them the next time you move to wrap around your furniture to make sure that it doesn’t get scratched up and destroyed.

Like most people that have just moved, though, you aren’t planning on the next time you are going to move.  You are probably hoping that there won’t even be a next time.  So that still leaves the current stack of boxes that you just used and don’t want to throw in the trash because it’s a terrible waste.  They may have been cheap moving boxes, but they don’t really deserve to be thrown in the trash.  After all, you did spend some money on them, even if it wasn’t too terribly much, all things considered.

There are still plenty of options.  Boxes wrapped with rope and lined with a nice, thick fabric become really nice-looking storage baskets.  Storage baskets just aren’t cheap!  So if you find yourself with one of those sectioned shelves that look best with matching boxes in the cubbies, this a really good (and cheap) solution.  One of the things I couldn’t wait to turn my old, cheap moving boxes into were drawer dividers.  I got so excited about them that I put them in just about every drawer in the house.  Instead of leaving the cardboard the plain, originally brown I covered it in duct tape that had different colors or designs.  From the desk to the kids’ room, everyone got at least one drawer newly furnished with an upcycled, cardboard drawer divider.

What about the coolest cat tower that you have ever seen in your lives?  Cheap moving boxes might be worn out and cheap and flimsy and folded and creased to high-heaven, but cats are not that heavy, and nimble to boot.  I made a cat tower/maze that would put any of those store bought ones to shame.  I taped multiple boxes for the bottom layer, cutting holes in each one so our cat could get through into the next one.  I made different stacks, with boxes in between as a bridge.  Then I covered it all in a nice wrapping paper, so that I didn’t have a jankety-looking contraption hanging out in my living room.