When it comes to taking on home improvement projects, words like daunting and impossible come to mind. There are little changes you can make, though, that will improve the appearance of your home without too much effort. Here are five easy ways to give your house a facelift:
1. Declutter — Go into every room and closet of your house and remove five items. No cheating — removing trash does not count (although, go ahead and remove garbage while you’re at it). Take out five items that are taking up space that you don’t really need. If you can’t remember the last time you used something, get rid of it. Having a clean and clutter-free space will instantly improve the appearance of your home — it will also help you feel calm and relaxed in your space. Donate these items to charity or Goodwill.
2. Shelving & Storage — Shelving and storage are great ways to add some organized flair to your house. If you have a lot of knick knacks sitting around your home, display these on shelves to keep your living space clean and decluttered. Shelving can also can make a room appear larger by drawing the eyes upwards. Plus, it serves as wall art!
3. Window Treatment — Window treatment can do absolute wonders for making a room look complete. Your window treatments don’t have to be expensive. Simple, inexpensive, or even DIY drapes liven and brighten any space. Choose bright and cheery colors to liven up a window. Check out this tutorial on how to make a DIY cornice — this window treatment is perfect for above a kitchen sink.
4. Paint — I know what you’re thinking: “You said this would be easy!” Painting does take more effort than these other tips, but it can be cheap and easy if you’re strategic with your paint. Instead of painting your whole house, choose a couple rooms to add accent walls to. An accent wall is simply a wall in a room that has a different paint color than the rest. Start with a small wall that you’re confident you can handle. Find a paint hue you love that’s in your budget. When you’re done painting, arrange a collage of photos for a trendy touch.
5. Go Outside — Sometimes, we spend so much time worrying about the interior of our house that we forget about giving the exterior a facelift every once in a while. And while the inside is for you to enjoy, remember that the outside of your house is what other see on a daily basis. There are some simple ways to give the outside of your house a lift. Picking up debris and sticks in your yard is easy, and your kids can help with this, too. Sweep your entryway, get a new “Welcome” mat, and make yourself a DIY springtime door wreath. Add some bright springtime flowers, like petunias, around your house. Or, if you live in an apartment or don’t have a yard, add some potted springtime plants to the exterior of your home.
Do you have any easy tips to improve the home?
Today’s guest post was written by Naomi Seldin, someone who has struggled with letting go of things. Today, she shares how she got on the path to clearing the clutter.
A year ago, I was overwhelmed by clutter. I lived in a two-bedroom apartment with adequate storage space, but I simply had too much stuff: things I didn’t use or need.
So I went to work. For months, I spent a night here, an afternoon there with a trash can, recycling bin, shredder and donation box at my feet. It took time, but I whittled down what I owned. Today, I have much less stuff. My wardrobe is a fourth of its original size, but I like and wear what’s in it regularly. I don’t feel guilty when I look at my bookshelves because I’ve given away all the books I just know I won’t read again — or at all. I’ve redefined my concept of “enough,” and I’m happier and healthier for it.
Here are three things I found helpful as I tackled my clutter:
1. Practice, practice, practice: I’ve heard that it takes a month to form a new habit. When I started, it was harder to decide what to keep and what to throw away, and I was much more resistant to parting with things. Now, it’s easy to get rid of what I don’t need, and I’m still finding things to give away.
When I felt overwhelmed, I reminded myself that it took years to accumulate so much stuff. And indeed, it took me months to get rid of my clutter. I committed to spending a few hours a week working on my stuff. Then I picked a drawer, a box or a shelf. I pulled everything out of hiding, and I sat down with my tools (donation box, recycling bin, etc.) and went to work. As soon as I’d decided what I was giving or throwing away, I got it out of my house as quickly as possible. That kept me from changing my mind, and it cleared up cluttered space.
2. I am who I am: A lot of my clutter came from things I felt like I should use, but never did. I bought craft supplies because I thought I should be more creative. But I express my creativity through writing, so those scrapbooking materials gathered dust on my shelf. I felt like I should be a better cook, so I had cookbooks and cooking supplies I never used.All of this stuff has gone to better homes, and I’m more at peace with who I am. One of the first things I gave away on my blog was a pasta maker I never used. The woman who took it off my hands had taken an Italian cooking class and was thrilled to put it to work and feed her friends.
Getting rid of this kind of clutter helped me to come to terms with who I am, not who I thought I “should” be. I still have four of my favorite cookbooks, but I gave away the rest to readers of my blog and my sister. Less clutter, more peace of mind.
3. I went public: My blog, Simpler Living, made me stick to my plan. I had to make regular progress reports, which kept me on track. With the exception of clothing, food and gas, I also stopped shopping for most things. My readers, family, friends and co-workers have given me a lot of support and suggestions along the way. You may not want to blog about your own experience, but it can help to let other people know what you’re doing — and to ask for help when you need it.
Here’s a personal challenge for you:
Make a date with yourself to spend half an hour tackling some of your clutter. Put it on your schedule or calendar. When the time comes, set an egg timer for half an hour and pick a drawer, box or closet to go through. Find 10 things to throw, sell or give away. The Good Human has been doing this on his blog to great success. Getting started can be the hardest part sometimes, so if you really get cooking, don’t stop at 10 things. Bit by bit, your life and personal space will get cleaner. You’ll be the happier for it, I can promise you that.
About the Author
Naomi Seldin describes herself as ” just a regular person who spent a year figuring out how to get rid of excess stuff through the trial and error of personal experience, plus the experience of countless others.” She blogs about living well with less at Simpler Living.
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