There's something about the New Year that makes us all want to clean house and start fresh. Maybe it's one of our New Year's resolutions to keep a tidy house, or maybe we just tire of the same old, same old, and want to ring in a new year with a new look.
If you're feeling like your home could use an update but your budget won't allow it, try these six simple and totally free (or almost free) tricks for sprucing it up.
1. Clean your house.
Oh, how boring and predictable. But a good, deep clean works wonders for a space that's feeling stale. And we're not just talking about vacuuming the floors like you usually do — we're talking about vacuuming under the couch, dusting under the books, wiping down the blinds, all the things you've probably been putting off for a while. Throw open the windows and let all that fresh, cold air into your home. At the end of the day, you'll really feel like you're in a brand new space.
2. Get rid of stuff.
Easier said than done, but it needs to be done — so why not get a jump on spring cleaning and start with getting rid of 100 things in your home this weekend. It might seem impossible, but you'll be surprised at just how much clutter you have lurking in the back of those drawers or deep in the closet. Once you've taken care of the small stuff, move on to the bigger items by asking yourself... Would you wear that outfit now? Or, would you keep that item if you were moving cross-country? For things that are really hard to let go of, try this technique: just put it in a box with an expiration date, and see if you end up looking for it again.
3. Rearrange your room.
This is the best and easiest way to breathe new life into a room without spending a cent. Furniture, art, and accessories get bored (and boring) when they're stuck in the same place for too long. Shake things up by updating the photos in your frames, swapping your chairs and sofa, moving a rug from one space to another, and rearranging the collection of books and tchotchkes on your shelves and side tables. If you're feeling really ambitious, you could even swap two rooms entirely — for example, turning your guest bedroom into the home office and vice versa.
4. Tackle that project you've been putting off.
Most of us have that one DIY we've been meaning to do but never find time for. We might even have all the materials ready to be assembled but simply lingering in the garage. Make it a priority to finish that project for the New Year, whether it's hanging up art, building a bookshelf, sewing a curtain, or painting a wall. You'll come away proud with what you've accomplished and delighted that you added something fresh and new to your home.
5. Embrace the outdoors.
This is not to say you should spend all your time outside, but if you rarely use your hammock and the balcony is just an empty, lonely space outside your bedroom, resolve to give those areas a little love this year. Make them more inviting by adding a string of bistro lights, an outdoor rug, or a fire pit, or develop a new routine that involves you spending a little time out there each morning or each night — perhaps with a cup of coffee while you read the paper, or a glass of wine once you kick off your shoes after a day of work. Simply by utilizing an underutilized space, you'll feel like you're in a whole new environment — even if that environment is just a few steps out the door.
6. Change your perspective.
We tend to settle into routines in our daily lives, and this goes for how and where we spend our time inside our homes. Do you always sit in the same chair at the dining table? Or the same side of the couch on movie nights? Change it up — you may find yourself experiencing a whole side of the room you've never seen before. (This is especially useful for people who work at home, as it's easy to fall into a rut when you're always sitting at the same table and looking at the same view each day.) It's like rearranging your room in Step #3, only you're moving yourself and saving your back.