14 Cheap Road Trip Hacks You Need to Try

cheap road trip hacks

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Cheap Road Trip Hacks You Need to Try

Will you be heading on the road with your family this summer? Road trips can be a great way to spend time with your loved ones or to get a brief respite from this crazy world. Whatever your reason for the trip, planning is key.

One of the most challenging things for a family road trip is just getting to your destination. Anyone who has taken a trip with kids knows there are constant stops for snacks, bathroom breaks and meltdowns over a toy or blanket that may have fallen beyond their reach. If you prepare for the situations you can control, your trip to your destination will go smoothly (and hopefully with as few stops as possible).

Before you hit the road, be sure to take a look at these cheap road trip hacks. The dollar store or even Amazon are great places to look for inexpensive items that can be used to make your trip run as smooth as possible. Here are some cheap road trip hacks using simple items that will ensure your next road trip adventure is a success.

Shower Caddies

These mesh plastic caddies are great for snacking in the vehicle. Use the compartments to put a juice box or water bottle, bags of snacks, napkins and utensils. Each person in the car should have their own. No more making stops to get everyone their snacks. They can help themselves as you drive. Or even a plastic Shower caddy would be great and more sturdy for meals from the drive thru.

Mesh Pop Up Hamper

These small hampers fold up into a disc so they don’t take up much room in the car. Pop one up to be a catch all for larger toys or put a plastic bag in a small one and place in the back seat with the kids so they can throw their trash in it (and not on the floor).

Elastic Sheet Straps

cheap road trip hacks

Elastic sheet straps have little tabs that affix to fabric on each end. Tired of your kid losing their blanket and you have to pull the car over to find it? Do you want them to have a sweatshirt or jacket readily available? Attach one end to their clothes or fabric of their car seat and attach the other end to the blanket or jacket.

Plastic Mattress Protector

Plastic mattress protectors are a must have in your road trip arsenal. You can use them as a picnic table cover in a pinch if you stop to eat at a rest area or park. You can also use them to catch sand and dirt in the trunk or cargo area on gear, clothes or shoes. If your lodging on the way to your trip isn’t up to your usual standards, you can use these mattress protectors to keep you and the sheets separated.

Mesh Bags

Mesh bags are great for road trips. Most dollar stores sell them in a pack of two or three and they have so many uses. You can tie one to the back of a headrest and put your child’s blanket and stuffed animals for easy reach. You can also use mesh bags to air dry wet items or collect dirty laundry.  

Accordion Files

Sometimes your car can become a dumping ground on a road trip and before you know it you find yourself looking for everything from sunscreen to bug spray. Accordion files can keep everything in one place. Place the item in a gallon size plastic bag and label the top. This also works for games, coloring sheets, puzzles and other activities for the kids. Empty the pieces into a gallon zipped bag, label and place in each compartment.

Shower Trays with Suction Cups

Are you tired of picking up Legos or small toys and want to keep them together and in arm’s reach of your kids? Suction holders can be the perfect solution. Just suction the trays to your kids’ window and they have a place to store their favorite things.

stacking pill organizer

Stacking Pill Organizer

When you take a road trip, space can be limited. One way you can save space is by using the stackable pill bottles. Put your eye cream, toothpaste and lotions in them to avoid having to bring larger containers. You can put over the counter medications in them. Or if you like to bring your favorite spices along, you can put them in there too. The possibilities are endless.

Shower Caps

Shower caps are also a great staple to have on hand. If you make stops and your kids get their shoes dirty, you can place them in the shower caps. Or if you don’t want to take their shoes off, place the caps around their shoes. If you stop to have a picnic, you can also use these to snap around a plate to keep the bugs away from your food.

Cupcake Liners

Grab a pack of cupcake liners to help keep cup holders clean! Place cupcake liners in each cup holder, and when they start getting filled with crumbs and dirt, you can replace them in just a few seconds. It will save you so much time not having to wipe your car down. Let alone avoiding possible sticky messes.

Cereal Container

Plastic cereal containers make for surprisingly good garbage cans. They’re narrow enough to squeeze into a smaller space, and the lids snap tightly into place. Plus, there will be minimal spillage if it gets knocked over.

Fishing Lure Box/ Small Hardware Storage Box

These small boxes can be used to keep things together in the car during travel, whether it is small parts for crafts, spare change or earbuds to your devices.

Cookie Sheets

No need for any of those fancy car desks for activities! Just grab some cookie sheets! The raised edges keep crayons from rolling off and the metallic surface is great for playing magnetic games and puzzles of all kinds.

Clip-on LED Light

For night driving, you may get distracted by turning the overhead lamps on for the kids to read. The clip-on LED reading light can come in handy. Clip onto seat belts so kids can have a reading light at their disposal. Clip onto your kids if you have to get out of your car at night to stretch your legs or go into a dark rest stop. These are portable and give just enough light for them to read, but not enough that it will distract you from driving.

Do you have any cheap road trip hacks to share? Leave them in the comments below!

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These 12 Cheap Organizers Are Very Useful

Organizing your home on a limited budget? These inexpensive organizers and storage solutions are sure to help.

cheap organizers

These 12 Cheap Organizers Are Very Useful

In a world where clutter feels like it’s taking over and chaos is always knocking at the door, staying organized is key. But let’s be real, a lot of the fancy organizing stuff out there can cost a pretty penny. That’s where cheap organizers swoop in and save the day!

They might not break the bank, but they sure know how to tackle clutter in clever ways. Whether you’re living in a small apartment, a bustling family home, going for budget-friendly organization can be a game-changer for everyday life.

So, let’s dive into the world of cheap organizers, where practical meets affordable. Below, you’ll find a list of 12 cheap organizers on Amazon you can get for $25 or less.

(Note: The links in this post may be affiliate links. Read the disclosure policy here.)

I think one of these over the door organizers would be perfect for those kids who love knick knacks! Or for holding baby supplies. The option are endless, really. See it on Amazon.

We have something like this in our garage to wrangle the mop and brooms and I love it! This one from Amazon looks even better than what we have. I like that it has small hooks for hanging other small things! See it on Amazon.

If you have tea drinkers in your home, this tea bag organizer is going to be so nice to have! Say goodbye to stacking boxes that you have to individually move to get to the flavour you really want! See it on Amazon.

If you are short on space in your closets, these skirt/pants hangers could free up a lot of space for you! I currently use one of these to hang my skirts and I just love it. See it on Amazon.

This is advertised as a shoe organizer, but I think this you could store so many different things in one of these! May hair care, toys, gift wrapping supplies, office supplies and so much more! See it on Amazon.

Constantly finding it a struggle to find stuff in your purse? One of these handy purse organizers could be just the thing you need! See it on Amazon.

This organizer would make a great addition to any entryway or kitchen. Use the hooks to keep track of car keys, spare keys, and other small items, and use the main compartment to keep track of your mail. See it on Amazon.

I have these all over our house! I’ve got them in our bathroom drawers, kitchen, the girls’ craft desk… they are so good! These are interlocking and I find they slide around less than ones that aren’t interlocking. See it on Amazon.

This is the first time I have seen one of these, but instantly I knew it could be very useful! My youngest has a bunk bed in her room and I like that she could have a place to put her water bottle, books and knick knacks. See it on Amazon.

I have a couple of these in our fridge. One holds yogurt cups and the other holds apples/oranges. I love that these ones have removable dividers, making them great for organizing snacks in the pantry. See it on Amazon.

These 2 tier under sink organizers are brilliant! I have one under our kitchen sink and one in each of the bathrooms! Highly recommend! This is a two pack on sale! See it on Amazon.

How amazing would these be for easy access of all the water bottles and travel mugs? No need to take everything out just to get the bottle you’re wanting. See it on Amazon.

Want to see more of my organization picks from Amazon? Visit my Amazon storefront to see more than 50 recommendations! (Not every item is under $25 though.)

How to Organize Closets on a Budget

organize closets on a budget

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How to Organize Closets on a budget:

Organizing all the closets in your home can seem daunting, but I’m here to tell you that it is possible to whip them into shape in one weekend. Dedicate one weekend to closet organization and you will be so pleased with yourself come Monday morning! There’s also no need to order fancy and expensive closet organization systems. It’s totally doable to organize closets on a budget, in a weekend! While you may need to enlist a friend to be the objective voice of reason (as to whether to keep or toss something), it can be done!

Start with the clothes closets.

In each clothes closet (bedrooms, entry coat closet etc.), you’ll need to go through the contents and sort each into like piles (clothes, shoes, accessories, etc.). You’ll also want to make a few other piles for items to donate, return to original owner, or toss. Deciding what gets the axe can be hard, and is the most time-consuming part of the whole process. If you just can’t do it, this post I wrote might really help you out!

Next, you’ll want to hang everything by category (tops, bottoms, dresses, etc.). Keep in mind that if you hang everything on the same style of hanger, the clothes will line up evenly, which matters aesthetically, but also keeps clothes wrinkle-free.

Keep all of your shoes in one place, whether that’s a hanging organizer or a shoe rack. Some people use a cubby system, while others use clear plastic boxes. Whatever floats your boat!

Be sure to save room for accessories, hats, gloves, scarves and even jewelry. Use containers to keep them wrangled in one place, or hang hooks on the wall, if room allows. Your perfect solution to organize closets on a budget might be found at the dollar store!

Move onto the bathroom linen closet.

organize closets on a budget

This is a closet that I highly recommend you take the time to sort, toss and donate from. It’s typically a tight space, so why waste precious real estate on expired medicines and cosmetics, or threadbare linens?

Once you have the items you are going to keep, designate a first aid container and label it so that anyone visiting your home can access these items if needed.

Keep cosmetics together and group them into containers based on what they are (This includes bath, body, and hair products.) Purchase an over cabinet door hair dryer & styling tools organizer to keep your tools off the counter.

Fold all of your linens as similarly as possible and as compactly as possible. I like to roll our towels.

Next, tackle the kids’ closets.

You’ll handle these the way you handled the other clothes closets with a few additions.

Stack any games or puzzles that live in the closet by size and put any other toys that would normally end up in there inside of containers on the top shelf.

Depending on the size of the closet, you can put a large, plastic tote on the bottom for outgrown items that you plan to hand down to another child, or you could set up a cubby shelf for toy, book, shoe or accessory storage.

Finally, organize that pantry!

Sort the items into categories and set aside foods you intend to donate. Check the dates on everything. You have to make sure all food, including spices, are still good. To really get on top of your pantry organization game, use matching containers (either labeled or clear) to house cereal, pasta, rice, flour, sugar, coffee and other items of this nature. If you have workout supplements, baby items or pet supplies, be sure to separate them into different spaces.

Now exhale! While your house may still have clutter to handle, you can focus on those areas another weekend. It’s totally possible to organize closets on a budget in a weekend! The main take aways are: declutter first, then group like items together. There may not even be a need to purchase any supplies to organize! You’ve got this!

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40+ of the Best Planners for 2024 in Canada

Best planners

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40+ of the Best Planners to get you organized

I’m must confess. If I could, I would buy all the pretty planners out there. Just the idea of having all my to-do’s and ideas in one place gets practical old me really excited. Now don’t get me wrong, I do actually own a planner of my own and I love it. In fact I buy the same one year after year. It’s a Brownline Daily planner like this one, but it doesn’t have time slots and I purchase it in-store at Staples. I love that I have an entire page devoted to one day. I can jot down my to-dos, appointments, reminders, menu plan, shopping list and even my ideas!

If you’re a planner geek but haven’t quite found “the one” yet, this round up is sure to help you find one of the best planners that will work for you!

First of all, let’s take a look at some things to think about before purchasing a planner:

How to Pick the Best Planner

Purpose: Knowing what you wish to keep track of in your planner is key to finding the right one for your needs. Do you simply want to keep track of appointments? A monthly calendar might be great for you. If you want to keep a to-do list and appointments easily accessible, then a weekly planner could be the right fit. If you intend on keeping a to-do list, appointments, a meal plan, a shopping list and some thoughts or ideas, then a daily planner would be perfect!

Portability: Will you be carrying your planner around with you or will it just be sitting on your desk or counter? If you will be carrying it around, then the size of the planner matters. Make sure the size you choose fits into the bag or purse you will be using. I personally like the 8″ by 5″ size best.

The Best Monthly Planners:

WSBL Bohemian 2024 Monthly Planner – This one is pretty, a great price and includes some extra features like a back pocket, to-do lists, address and phone number pages, and travel planning pages.

Brownline 2024 DuraFlex Monthly Planner – This is a great basic 11″ by 8.5″ planner that would be great for leaving on a desk.

At-A-Glance 2024 Monthly Planner – Another great basic, monthly planner that includes thick pages so you don’t get ink bleed.

5 Year Monthly Planner – Because this is a 5 year planner, I think this would be great to use as a personal notebook, journal, or diary! Or, you can use it to set goals, important dates, or deadlines, as well as jotting down notes and ideas.

Orange Circle Studio Just Right 2024 Monthly Planner – This is a smaller monthly calendar that is perfect for carrying around. This one has tear out shopping or to-do lists and a storage pocket.

Staples 2024 Monthly Planner – This is a smaller 6-7/8″ x 8-3/4″ basic monthly planner that includes telephone and address pages, dates to remember page and more.

2024-2025 Monthly Planner – This is a large, two year monthly planner with lots of space to write!

18 Month 2024 Monthly Planner – This monthly planner includes a storage pocket and pen loop.

The Best Weekly Planners

High Note Weekly Planner – This one is so pretty! It is slightly larger than a typical weekly planner at 9″ x 10″. It includes some goal setting and project planning pages for every month. Also includes monthly tab dividers, a handy pocket and some stickers.

Leital 2024 Weekly Planner – This planner includes monthly tabs, lots of writing space and goal planning pages.

Maalbok 2024 Weekly Planner – With lots of room for planning, this portable sized planner might be perfect for you!

Blueline 2024 Weekly Planner – Perhaps the perfect simple weekly planner that will suit your needs.

Blueline 2024 DoodlePlan Weekly Planner – This planner is like the above planner, but it includes colouring areas! It’s also a larger size at 11″ H x 8-1/2″ W.

Planberry Weekly Planner – This is a great undated weekly planner if you really want to hit some goals this year. Also unique to this planner, you will find built in budget planner sheets!

Clever Fox Weekly Planner – Another undated planner great for hitting goals and reflecting on life.

Leuchtturm1917 2024 Weekly Planner – This one is unique in the way that it features an entire week on the left and an entire page for notes on the right. Perfect if you love a lot of room for thoughts and ideas or note taking.

Action Day Weekly Planner – Each day offers hourly scheduling from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Also includes a 12-page teaching tool to see yourself as the person you want to be, what values you want to live by, your goals and actions. 

Blue Sky Sophie Weekly Planner – This beautiful simple weekly planner is perfect for a clean look at your week or adding fun doodles or stickers!

At-A-Glance 2024 Floral Weekly Planner – This pretty weekly planner is simple in its design and includes handy tabs to easily flip between months.

Amy Knapp’s Family Organizer – A planner especially for moms! Includes a big space for a weekly to-do list, tear off grocery and menu plans, motivational quotes and stickers!

Polestar Family Weekly Planner – This one is unique and especially great for the person who wants to track appointments, meal plans and home tasks all in one spot!

The Old Farmer’s Almanac 2024 Planner – A simple weekly planner that includes interesting facts, quotes and helpful tips!

Passion Planner – This one looks great for goal setting as well as keeping track of your weekly to-dos. Their Instagram page looks like it’s full of inspiration on how to use it.

Emily Ley Simplified Weekly Planner – This is the one I’m currently using! I love the colours and simplicity of it. I also like how each day is separated into two parts: My Day and To-Do.

Legend Undated Weekly Planner – This one is on the pricier side, but looks amazing. This one is great for the working person that wants to track work to-dos and personal to-dos. Looks fantastic for goal setting and creating a better you.

Wordsworth Undated Weekly Planner This one reminds me of the Simplified planner, but with a heavy dose of goal setting pages that look helpful!

Poprun 2024 Agenda – Includes Hourly Schedule & Vertical Weekly Layout!

The Best Daily Planners

Blueline 2024 Daily planner – This is the one I used for years, but then they added the times in 30 minute increments. I am personally not a fan of the times added, but that doesn’t mean it’s not perfect for you!

2024 Daily Simplified Planner – This is like the Weekly Planner that I have, but a daily version that includes time slots for each day.

Day Designer Daily Planner – The daily calendar view page contains hourly schedule in 30-minute increments, top 3 priority items, to-do list, notes section and an inspirational quote, as well as a dedicated gratitude section.

To Do List Undated Daily Planner – If you are looking for a way to track your daily to-dos, fitness, meal plan, and top priorities for each day, then this planner is worth looking at!

Clever Fox Daily Planner PRO – This undated planner is unique in the sense that it lasts just 3 months if used consistently. Perhaps a great way to test drive a planner! This planner has everything though: create a vision for your life, define and break down your goals, and incorporate these goals into your schedule. It has a separate page for each day of the week, with an hourly schedule, daily goal, priorities, to-do list, daily reflection, and plenty of space for extra notes.

Blueline NotePro Undated Daily Planner – This planner has an undated daily planner on left side and is ruled with margin on the right side for note taking.

KESOTE 2024 Agenda Daily Planner – This soft leather-like cover daily planner is a great price!

Poprun 2024 Daily Planner – This daily planner presents spacious everyday planning with hourly schedules for your appointments, which makes your busy daily routines organized.

The Best Specialty Planners

Horizon STMT Planner – I think that this planner would be fun for a teen! It’s a DIY planner that includes colourful gel pens, fun-shaped paper clips, stickers, punch-outs, frames, and more.

The Meal Planner – This planner made by me, will help you plan every aspect of your meal planning!

52 Week Meal Planner – This planner contains space to plan a year’s worth of meal’s and grocery lists. 

Meal Planner – This is like the meal planner above but has dedicated spaces for breakfast and lunch ideas too.

The Cleaning Planner – This step by step plan will help take the overwhelm out of cleaning.

Weekly Budget Planner – Keep track of your spending, plan monthly budgets and set savings goals with this planner!

The Budget Planner – This easy to follow planner takes the overwhelm out of budgeting.

Teacher’s Planner – This planner will help you keep track of weekly lessons, seating plans, attendance, and grades!

CREATE Blog and Editorial Calendar – A planning and editorial system designed for ambitious bloggers and biz owners to create intentional content, grow and nurture an audience, and build a business around their blog

Mega Homeschool Planner – Whether you homeschool 1 child or many, this planner will keep you organized, hold your important records, make planning a breeze, track anything, is portable and conveniently stores away.

Coupon Planner – 52 Weekly (undated) shopping pages to plan which stores to hit, keep track of sales, and organize your coupons to make the trip as smooth as possible.

There you have it, the best planners you can get in Canada. If you use a planner, do you purchase the same one year after year or do you like to switch it up?

best planners in Canada

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Overwhelmed by Your Messy House? 4 Things To Do

overwhelmed by your messy house

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What to do when you’re overwhelmed by your messy house

At this moment, my house is not in tip top shape. In fact it feels quite chaotic to me. In some sense, I’ve come to terms with the state of my home because of the season I’m in with young kids at home. However, there are days when I find my home quite overwhelming and something needs to be done before my sanity is jeopardized. 🙂 A clean and tidy space makes for a happier mom.

So today I give you four QUICK things that you can do when you’re overwhelmed by your messy house:

overwhelmed by your messy house

Make the beds

Fluff the pillows, throw the covers back on. Doesn’t have to be perfect, but having the beds made makes me breathe easier. Even when there are piles of laundry on the floor! The bed is the biggest visual surface in a bedroom, so having the bed made creates calm for your eyes.

Clear off the outside of the fridge

Art work, shopping lists and magnets galore. I love displaying my daughters’ art work from school and the fridge is just so convenient for having my grocery list. But once in a while, a good wipe down is necessary and I don’t bother to put anything back up for a while afterwards.

Sweep the floors

One word. Crumbs. Everywhere! Nothing irritates me quite as much as stepping on some crumbs and having them stick to my bare feet. Ewww! Because of this, I try to sweep the floor every day and vacuum at least once a week. I’m amazed at how much better I feel after the floors have been swept.

Clear the kitchen counters

This is a constant battle of mine. Our kitchen doesn’t have a lot of counter space so anything extra on it makes it more difficult to do every day tasks. Needless to say, our kitchen counters are a drop zone for school papers, mail and dirty dishes. While it’s a never ending battle, I try to clear off as much “extras” as I can on a daily basis. Getting the dishes done (with my favourite dish soap) is also key!

printable cleaning planner

Another thing that really helps me when I’m overwhelmed or paralyzed by my messy house? I create a plan to stay focused! Check out this fun HOME CLEANING PLANNER – with room by room checklists, daily + weekly task lists, and seasonal cleaning checklists to make sure it all gets DONE in a systematic way!

What sort of things do you like to do when you’re overwhelmed by your messy house?

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How to Easily Get Started Container Gardening

How to get started container gardening

How to Get Started Container Gardening

Not everyone has access to plantable land, so container gardening is a great way to enjoy fresh, healthy produce all summer long!  Growing produce in pots is perfect for where I’m currently at in life.  It’s more manageable since there’s hardly any need to pull weeds and there’s no need to till the land.  The only maintenance is regular watering!

Not only does a container garden save space, it saves money as well. Something that is important with the cost of food forever increasing!

While I’m not an expert, there are some tips I’ve learned that I’d love to share, to help you get started container gardening.

Start small

The first year I decided to try my hand at container gardening, I went a bit crazy.  Rather than trying out a couple of different plants, I decided to try almost every plant that claimed to be for small spaces.  As the summer went on, I lost my enthusiasm and most of the plants ended up being neglected. I’ve since learned to assess where I’m at in life to determine just how much time I’ll have to maintain my garden, which helps me decide how many plants/seeds to buy.

Buy your seeds and plants

Container or urban gardening is becoming quite popular these days.  It’s quite easy to find plant and seed varieties that are produced especially for growing in compact situations. In fact, I picked up a couple of different seeds that were from an “Urban Garden Collection” line of seeds by Thompson & Morgan. Did you know, Amazon also sells seeds?

For the types of plants that do best in containers, see my post The Best Vegetables for Container Gardening.

how to get started container gardening

Get the right pots

Don’t think you have to spend a lot of money to build up a container collection. In fact, I got all my pots (black 5 gallon buckets that trees or big shrubs come in) from the golf course that I used to work at. I didn’t pay a cent! While this is not an option for most of you, many greenhouses sell 5 gallon tree buckets at an affordable price. You could also keep your eyes open on sites like Kijiji, Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for any suitable container. There’s no need to break the bank, especially when you’re just getting started container gardening.

These Grow Bags are also great!

In choosing the size of your pots, take a look at the packages or labels on the plants that you have purchased.  If they’re especially meant for containers, the packages or labels will usually tell you if you need a big pot or if a small one will suffice. Tomatoes, beans, peas, carrots, potatoes, and peppers generally need large containers, while lettuce, radishes, herbs, and onions are suitable for shallower containers.

Find the light

When determining where to put your containers, sunlight is a very important thing to factor in.  Most vegetables need a lot of sunlight so I placed most of my containers on our back patio where they get all the afternoon sun. I put my lettuce containers in the front where the morning sun only hits for a couple of hours; lettuce doesn’t like to get too hot. Your seed packs and plant labels will tell you how much sun each plant prefers.

Buy good potting soil

Once your containers are in place, you’ll want to fill them with a good quality potting soil. Not top soil and not regular garden soil.  Potting soil is always modified to ensure proper drainage and aeration which is important to the health of your plants.

Filling large containers can be costly. To reduce the cost and also the weight of the container consider adding a filler to the bottom of the container to take up space. Crushed pop cans, plastic milk jugs, packing peanuts and even those empty black/green plastic flower pots you just used are all great options.

Plant, Water, Wait

Finally, it’s time to plant your seeds or starter plants!  Plant each fruit and vegetable according to the directions found on the label or packaging.  Water everything well.  (You may want to use a spray bottle for little seeds, like lettuce, so they don’t get washed away.)  Now, sit back and watch for everything to start growing!

Book Recommendation

I always like to have a good garden book at home to reference. Google is great, but there can be a lot of differing information out there! Small-Space Vegetable Gardens: Growing Great Edibles in Containers, Raised Beds, and Small Plots is a great reference book that I look to time and time again!

I hope these easy tips will help you gain confidence to get started container gardening! Have you ever done any container gardening? What will you be planting this year?

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