March is always a slow month for us, the house starts to close in on me and I suddenly find myself creating excuses to go to the store or other places to get out of the house. The bad thing is, leaving the house often costs me money: gas, coffee, lunch, etc. When you live on a tight budget you have to find ways of curbing those spending urges.
Change the wall hangings
This is a great project when I am feeling ho-hum about my house decor. I just remove two pictures from my bedroom and switch them out for two that I have in the living room. I re-hung the cork-boards in my office area into a cute design and it feels like I redecorated the whole room without spending a dime on new pictures.
Re-cover the throw pillows
(without sewing anything). I like to use old sheets or leftover fabric to update my throw pillows. It’s a quick 5 minute fix that brings a bright splash of color to my old couch without buying a $20 pillow. I found a tutorial that I want to try to make an accent pillow out of an old sweater, I just have to wear out one of my sweaters before I can try it.
I admit, there are some things I hoard. One of them is old paint. I get discounted paint at the store for projects but then don’t know what to do with the rest. There is some beautiful blue paint in my cupboard that is leftover from an end table I painted. I am going to paint the center panel of the door to the water heater closet with it to add a bright pop of color to my dark hallway.
Change the layout
I know people who haven’t changed the layout of their house in 20+ years. Personally, I can’t go over a year without completely changing the layout of a room. It not only makes me deep clean while I do it, but I always find better ways to utilize the space by just changing the position of one chair.
Give an unexpected item a face-lift
I make my own baby wipes (they’re fabulous), and to store them I just use an empty Folgers plastic container. This past weekend I took the container outside and gave it two coats of bright blue spray paint. I love the way it brightens up the whole room and it actually looks like something I would spend money on.
Re-cover the bed
I have a white down comforter, a black cat, and two small children. I have to have a duvet cover on my comforter at all times. I keep several different covers that I have found while thrift shopping. If I need a quick facelift in my bedroom, I just change out the cover. I have read several tutorials about people who make their own for the price of two flat king sheets.
Wash the windows
I HATE washing windows. Especially with little children, it seems so futile. Except… after I wash the windows I feel refreshed, I throw the curtains back and enjoy the look of my fresh, clean glass. It never lasts, but it sure feels good for those few minutes until sticky fingers find the clean glass.
Organize the clutter
This is the last thing I feel like doing when I am feeling blah about my house, but once I go through that stack of mail or sort the pile of books I keep meaning to read, it feels like a new room. I see all that free space that was filled before and it makes the room feel much bigger I can actually see open space.
Make the bed
This is such a simple thing, but I am so guilty of not doing it. I just run out the door in the morning, my mind on other things rather than throwing the sheets and blanket back in place. Studies have shown though, that the simple 30 second task of making your bed will make your house feel more like home and you will find it more attractive.
Change out the light bulbs
I hate walking into a room and one light bulb is out, it throws everything in shadow and makes bright colors look dull. It’s usually so much work to replace just one, that I let it go until the other goes out as well. This weekend I went through and replaced all of my burned out light bulbs, I couldn’t believe the difference. Every room was bright and cheerful, it was an instant face-lift. I have been replacing all my bulbs with the energy saver bulbs and I am loving how white the light is compared to old fashioned bulbs.
What are some quick ways that you update/improve your house with what you have?