Ain’t free stuff awesome? If it weren’t, why would Oprah’s audiences blow a gasket on national TV every year when she says “Faaaay-vo-rit thiiiiiings!”
But enough about Ms. Winfrey (Sherry’s perma-smiling over here, because Oprah’s her jam). We’re bringing up freebies because we’re making a swag related declaration. Moving forward, we’re just saying no. We’ll still offer up free house stuff to you guys in the form of our weekly giveaways, but we’re not going to accept products or services for our casa at any special “blogger discount” or for free – even if we genuinely love them.
We have absolutely nothing against other bloggers who do (it’s definitely an obvious perk of the job) but especially since we’re both able to do this full time, we’re appreciative of a few other perks (like working from home with our pooch & our girl by our side). This way it makes it easy to recommend an amazing piece of furniture or a great floor refinisher based on the job that person has done or the item they’ve sold – not based on any special arrangement behind the scenes. We don’t want you guys to ever question our motives for blogging about something. And although we’ve always tried to be totally transparent when we’re writing about an item that was gifted (like this faucet & this lawnmower) and only agreed if it was something we really liked (and always tried to snag a second freebie for a reader, like we did with the faucet & the lawnmower), now no one even has to wonder if we’re endorsing something because we truly love it or because it was free.
Why now? Well, over the next few years, our new house will need lots of stuff. But we want to stalk every single thing down ourselves and buy it (or make it) without any other reason than it’s what we love and it’s actually within our price range. And we don’t want a post about how we need a new dining table to be misconstrued by you guys as “fishing for a freebie” (and we don’t want companies to consider it to be an invitation for them to offer something up in exchange for a post about it). Besides, being constrained by a real budget is when we come up with our most creative ideas.
And although we’re happy to pass on the free stuff from now on, we’ll do our best to pass it onto you guys whenever we can. A lot of our weekly giveaways already come from that technique, so we’ll continue to give away stuff that we think you’ll love. Our little declaration definitely means we’ll be hunting down discounts, sales, and even free stuff on craigslist like it’s our job (oddly enough, it kind of is). As long as it’s a deal that each of you could score too, we’re game (special blogger discounts & freebies are out, but deal hunting in the clearance section & haggling at garage sales are definitely still in).
Oh and this is probably a good time to remind you guys that things in the new home will be happening on a real timeline. No same day 10K makeovers a la HGTV. So we hope you’ll bear with us as we save our pennies and take on Operation New House one project at a time (remember our current house took 4.5 years to get to where it is today!).
Update – Some of the most frequent requests that we get are for info about professionally blogging (how we made our site, how we grew our following, how we make money, etc) so we shared all of the details about how we started a blog, grew our traffic, and turned it into a full time job.
Lindsey d. says
That’s a great stance and one I’m glad y’all are taking. Since my home renovations are taking place at the speed of molasses (still in the saving and dreaming stage), I like seeing others in the same situation!
I have always thought you guys are on the “up and up” and this post just confirms it! You guys rock!
Snickrsnack Katie says
I really respect you guys for this decision. Way too many bloggers endorse crap on their sites just for the sake of endorsing crap and getting money for it. It does make you question their integrity and whether they really like the product. I have never felt that way with you guys, but it is a slippery slope. The more famous you become in the bloggy world, the more these companies will appeal to you to show their products on your site. I have seen really good blogs go down the pooper because of this very reason. You guys are really smart and savvy! I love your site – and I think I love you guys even more now! :)
annette moore says
Thank you! That is what I love about you two!
“…and share dairy style updates as they occur.”
This made me giggle. Reminds me of the Chinese restaurant scene in A Christmas Story…”Deck the harrs with boughs of horry, fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra.”
OMG! FIVE days! SO exciting!
As one who has dutifully combed through many an old post on your beloved blog, I can honestly say that the way you two work–in stages and over time–is never boring, but more so eye opening and refreshing. Looking back on what your home was and comparing it to today is what a lot of people appreciate (in my opinion) about you guys. You’re human just like the rest of us–maybe you have a few better ideas–but hey, once you put them on the blog they’re free game, ya know? I’m really excited to see how things progress in your new home!!
Question: what the heck are you going to call it?! “Casa Petersik” is already taken… :)
Lastly, props to you on taking your no freebies stance. I figured you guys were pretty close to feeling that way anyhow since you very rarely do such things. I think it helps keep your site more organic and honest which is what the two of you certainly are.
Haha, it’ll probably get dubbed Casa Petersik once we really settle in and feel at home there. Wherever we live seems to get that moniker!
Good for you guys. My respect for your blog just grew. :)
You mean you don’t have bucket loads of money just waiting to be poured into your huge new abode??!?!?! :-p Who does, right?? LOL Well, I for one, (like most of your readers) am here for the journey (and maybe a liiiitttle bit for the destination) but mostly for the journey and I’m excited to get to share that with you, every step of the way! It’s so cool to be able to have this peek into the lives of very normal, down to earth people, who share the same passion…minus the creepiness!! So, as long as you’re not planning to go anywhere, neither am I! :)
-Loyal Reader, Noelle
Sandra Blackburn says
100% appreciated, both your position on freebies, and your project timeline strategy. Not only are ya’ll my favorite blog, but your link-love is my favorite jumping off point for other blog browsing. Thanks, and thanks for the great ideas.
As my husband and I transition from supervising contractors to moved-in DIY mode, I expect I will be needing more and more YHL support!
What will be the first decor/reno related thing you’ll do in the new house?
Hmm, well we have some paneling to paint, some cabinets to stain or paint (haven’t decided), a ton of rooms to paint, a few bathroom vanities to overhaul, and lots of other projects swirling around our heads. Who knows what we’ll actually end up tackling first though. The first thing on the agenda after moving boxes in is to take before pics (and even a video) to share with you guys!
While I like and respect this whole post ha,the thing I like the most about it is that I just realized that it took you 4.5 years to make your house look that great! We bought ours 2 years ago, and while I’ve improved it greatly, I was a little discouraged that I haven’t finished all my projects yet. Thanks for the reminder that diy greatness takes time!
I’ve only been following this site for about a year so I’m super excited to see this house makeover from the beginning!
Jessica @ How Sweet says
You guys are the best! And 5 days… !? It came so fast!
Really respect your decision and am glad you are doing this, retains the integrity of your blog.
Sugar Cookie says
We’re closing on our house in less than six hours… so I know exactly how you feel!!
I’m so glad to hear you guys say this because I sometimes wonder about that with full time bloggers. Kudos to you guys! I am really excited to see the direction you will take in your new house. Everything you do is inspiring!
I especially find this full of awesomeness because there are so many people in true dire need, so accepting freebies just for staying at home, blogging in your pjs, just doesn’t seem right. This just shows your integrity.
Kudos to you guys. <3
Good luck with the new house (uber-exciting!)… I'll be watching!
(Wait. That sounded creepy.)
Neat! Now I can continue my home-o-vations with you and not feel rediculously slooow. Like you, I can only do one project at a time. Keep up the awesomeness because I (and many others) enjoy it.
Stacy @ Every Little Thing says
Good for you guys! And I would hope you wouldn’t makeover your house in a certain timeline; I think homes evolve depending on who we are, so I would rather see that then a fast, clean makeover! <3
I was just telling my Husband last night that I will be so relieved when my favorite bloggers move into their fixer-upper, because it will make me feel better that our home is in the “make do until I can afford what I really want” stage.
I’m also hoping it will light a fire under my butt to get more stuff done around here (not to put any pressure on you or anything.)
Also, Kudos on the integrity.
You two are so wonderful I can’t stand it.
Actually I can stand it. I love it. Which is why I come here twice a day every day and recommend your blog to anyone with ears.
So excited for you and your new digs!
Class act. Y’all rock my face off.
Thanks for being honest in your dealings and with your readers. I’m sure as you continue in these principles, you’ll be entrusted with even more.
Love reading your blog. I check it everyday with my coffee, and have been inspired to clean more, organize more, purge/declutter more, and decorate in new “out of my box” ways since I stumbled upon it. We are moving into a new home at the beginning of the year, so we will definitely be adopting some of your fabulous ideas.
And that is why I will continue to follow your blog.
I’m surprised the FCC’s disclosure rules on compensation and freebies didn’t scare you into this official stance a while ago; but regardless, it’s probably not a bad position to take.
Good luck with the closing – my wife and I discovered your blog when we started our own search just a few months ago, and we just closed on Monday, so I know exactly how you feel!
I think you should add more pictures of Clara on flickr…maybe one of her sitting in a moving box haha
That’s so funny because we sat her in a box yesterday! Wish we took a picture!
Love you guys even more after this post!
Good decision, I think.
You guys seem to have the proper amount of common sense, business acumen plus creativity and goofiness to strike a good balance on serious and not so serious issues alike.
I am so happy to be here to follow you through your next huuuge project!
I think that not accepting freebies and writing posts “diary style” are both great ways to appeal to your readers-it will make all your home improvements seem more realistic and do-able! Rome wasn’t built in a day…
You folks are great. It’s all about the process, and projects that are inspirational and accessible. Love ya.
Ashley @ sunnysideshlee.com says
YAY! 5 days! So excited to watch your new Casa Petersik grow over the years!! wooo! :)
Good for you! I am SO EXCITED for y’all! And I am happy to see the renovations happen in real-time. :)
brandt @ New House on the Blog says
Wow. I am very impressed. Props to you guys for staying true to your roots and transparent in your “business.”
You’re right, the freebies are a great perk of the job. But I’ve always liked how you guys were realistic. Realistic in your budgeting, realistic in your renos, realistic in your planning. It takes a lot to do what you do, and I think I speak for all when I say we appreciate it.
And 5 days! IEEEEEEE!
Mike @HA says
Thanks for keeping it real! I really respect your integrity. I know what you mean about saving up and going slow. This year was crazy for us with the new home buyer’s tax credit and wedding gifts. We almost won a free bathroom renovation from a contest but when we lost we realized this is finally normal – saving up and doing projects one at a time. We’re with you in the journey!
5 more days! I’ll be singing Matchbox 20’s “Closing Time” for you :)
Thank you for not going down that giveaway route! It makes your blog really stand out from the rest. I actually just won a giveaway from a pretty big blog and I still get annoyed when I see the latest post is a giveaway! I’m here to get ideas and inspiration, not free necklaces. Hopefully other bloggers will jump on your bandwagon!
Can’t wait til we (I mean, you) move into the new house!
Love from Seattle!
another lunch says
Wow! That is very admirable. Truly inspiring. Good for you guys!!
Beth J says
Also, to Mike @HA: “Closing Time” is by Semisonic. ;)
Rebecca @ the lil house that could says
So will you guys stick to your new method of not waiting for a project to be done before revealing? It would make me feel better to see it in real-time, since I’ve been in my house for almost 9 months now and haven’t completely ‘finished’ a single room. I have decorating A.D.D.!
For sure! If we spend the whole day painting paneling and we’re only half done, we’ll snap a “progress” shot and share what we have so far.
Major respect for you guys on being able to just say no! My husband and I are working on our 2nd home renovation as well and going into it we knew we would be sleeping in our formal living room for up to a year as we take our time renovating each room (house is over 100 years old). I’ve been a big fan the past two years – keep up the great work and good luck on the move!!!
Jill Stigs says
While I appreciate your stance, I feel a bit different on this matter.
Your career is the blog and getting some freebies along the way, I feel, is in no way indicative of anything other than benefitting from doing your job well. Of course this just shows your integrity for the world to see.
Of course we are coming along for your ride. Love your blog, it’s addictive!!
More Clara and Burger pics please.
I’m confused. I thought you already said this a while back? I knew you had gotten a couple of free things (which I think is great and you totally deserve), but I guess I thought you had already said no to more free stuff. Regardless, I think you’re great! You know your readers love you!
We mentioned it in the comment section of a post a few weeks back in passing. So maybe that’s what you’re thinking of?
I really appreciate the ethical way you both approach and handle your business. I second the opinion that this stance really adds to your overall credibility and retains the integrity of your blog. BIG UPS to you both!!
And I love the way yall detail the stages of your projects too! I find it so frustrating when other blogs gloss over projects , even if they are DIY. It really helps to hear the nitty gritty details & advice for those of us who look to the internet for some gentle hand holding.
All the best with your closing! So excited for yall!! (& us readers, hehe!) YAY for Young House Love!!!
Kudos! It’s not news that you guys have a great influence on your readers and this announcement, while not shocking [coming from you] just shreds any ounce of doubt when it comes to product placement. No more wondering if something is propaganda or not :)
Also, re: real-time blogging on your renovations— while I am guilty of loving an HGTV same day makeover or catching instant before/after pics on plenty-a-blog, they certainly scratch the “i just wanna see it now” itch, but for me, they are SO intimidating. It’s like looking at a fashion magazine and loving the pics, but then setting it down and realizing you’re a loooong ways from a body like that. Ha! We crave instant results and quick home makeovers, but in when it comes down to it, real life gets in the way.
SO— that said, I’m really looking forward to more ‘diary-style’ day by day progress. That is what is truly motivating because it’s essentially how my own house is progressing. It’s definitely an ongoing project!
Good luck with the packing/move/settling in!!!!
While I have never questioned your credibility or what you endorse and why – I truly admire your ethics and efforts to be as real and transparent as possible. Way to go guys. Congrats again on the new house and looking forward to all the posts to come. Good luck with the big move!
Nice post guys and totally understand your new stance. It’s going to be so much fun following your new journey “from scratch” in the new house. Five days! Holy moly. Will you be changing your banner to the new house eventually? Good luck in the days ahead!!!
Oh yes- we’ll definitely have to update our header once we’re in the new house and have a moment to breathe!
Jen @ The Decor Scene says
That is all very awesome. Good for you guys. I never thought you were shady about anything you got and you always seemed to be real and down to earth about what product you had gotten and tried out. But good for you two for keeping it even more real now.
I really look forward to your “diary style updates”, I think it’s an awesome way to to blog about your new casa and all it’s projects. I’m super excited to read/see all of your projects from the start this time. I’ve been a fan for about 2 years now, so this is going to be super exciting to watch from the start and watch it evolve over time. You two are always inspiring and we all love to be inspired by others and make our own twist on it. Can’t wait to see your new casa evolve!!! I’m really looking forward to the “before” pics and video, so that I can imagine what you might do and see what you really do. :D
One off subject questions: I’m helping a friend with their Triplets nursery and I bought them decals for the room. Three different ones, but they compliment each other. Do you know of any good sites that have ideas of how to hang the decals…..meaning I need some inspiration for this sort of thing because I have never done it before. Thanks! :D
Maybe check out spearmintbaby.com and ohdeedoh.com? They’re two of my favorite kids blogs and they both have decals pop up every now and then! Good luck!
Lindsay Loucks says
LOVE that about you guys! Such integrity. Thank you! Can’t wait for the big move and all the new “projects” (Clueless from 1 million years ago :))
Yay for YHL! Way to bring some integrity to the blogosphere w/ your swag-free policy. I just discovered your blog via the Nate show when you were guests. I’m really looking forward to see how the updates/renos for your new house unfold. :)
I’m looking forward to your journey. My DH and I have a blog about our kitchen reno and it is a bit slow b/c we’re like you, taking our time and fitting it in when we can.
It’s a bit stalled waiting to be done with our final inspections for plumbing and electrical – we passed our 3rd party and waiting on the township (it would be foolish and expensive to put up the back splash and then possibly need to change something, KWIM?)
Thanks for keeping it real and I look forward to being jealous of your finds but mostly the stuff you create on your own. So many more people are on a budget and we need more blogs like this about things real people can afford.
Shannon K says
Love this post. You guys are real. And that’s why I keep coming back!
So happy for you both and delighted to read real-time house projects. You guys make it look so easy & fast – it makes me even more frustrated when it takes a full month to redo the bathroom! ha!
and hooray for less giveaways, not that free stuff ain’t fab, but your posts are a welcome break in my day-to-day and the giveaways are sort of “un-posts”
love the blog as usual