Yes, it is very possible to revamp your home without spending any money at all. Here is how to make the most of what you already have
On the eve of a new season in our lives, it is normal for some of us to want to make some positive changes to mark new beginnings.
Our homes, the spaces many of us now work from permanently or come back to after a long day, are definitely on our top priority list for the new year overhaul.
Regardless of your budget, refreshing your home for the new year or a spring clean to create a welcoming atmosphere is something you should be able to do without spending a dime.
Sometimes, splurging is not necessarily the best course of action to press the reset button at home and create the positive energy that will help you breeze through the year.
Below are a few easy, practical ways to revamp your home without buying anything that will help you kick start the new year in style. Why not give it a try?
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1. Declutter and Donate
Get rid of the clutter that is taking up space and making your home look crowded and untidy. The time has come for you to release items that no longer serve you and donate some decent pieces to a charity of your choice.
The best approach to declutter your home without feeling overwhelmed is by dividing your workload into separate rooms and zones within each room.
Then create a thirty-day plan to proceed methodically to avoid stressing out. Give the task one hour of your time each day.
Start with the least cluttered space to build momentum.
Materials you will need:
- A Timer (use the one on your mobile phone!)
- A trash bag
- A recycling bag
- A donation box
- Lovely music to keep you going!
Here are various items you can easily consider letting go off as part of your home refresh.
In your bedrooms
Kiss goodbye to:
- Old lingerie
- Mismatched socks
- Used up paper, pens, and pencils in your drawers
- Torn/washed out bed sheets, duvets, and pillow cases
- Old pairs of jeans, pyjamas, and outfits
- Battered pairs of shoes
- Broken jewellery
- Occasional jewellery you hardly wear
- Occasional outfits and accessories
- Tired rugs
- Old mattress and pillowcase protectors
- Old books and journals
In your bathrooms
- Tired/broken beauty tools and accessories
- Outdated nail polishes and beauty products
- Expired medicines
- Worn out toothbrushes
- Damaged bath rugs and shower curtains
- Empty soap bottles and broken storage containers
- Old towels and bathrobes
In your kitchen/pantry/laundry room
Send to the bin:
- Broken kitchen utensils and gadgets
- Expired condiments and herbs
- Tired/ugly dish sets you hardly use
- Pots and pans that are no longer working
- Rusty cutlery
- Worn out napkins, aprons, and oven gloves
- Battered/old storage containers
- Old bin/cleaning accessories and products
In the living/ dining/study rooms
Bid adieu to:
- Tired sofa throws and cushions
- Used up decorative candles
- Mismatched coffee and dining table decor accessories
- Old books you no longer need or want
- Tired rugs and accent furniture
- Old magazines
- Unused office supplies
- Old DVDs/CDs that you never watch or listen to
In the attic room/the garage
- Broken DIY and gardening tools
- Leftovers of expired paint containers
- Old clothes, toys, and knick knacks accumulated over the years
- Electronic cables, computer mouse, headsets which no longer worked
2. Deep Clean your Spaces
There is something endearing about a clean home that no money can buy. So, a smart way to refresh your home whilst keeping your coins firmly in your pockets is to give it a thorough clean inside and out.
Unless you are elderly, ill, or really short of time, in which case you can rely on relatives and professional cleaners, keeping your home clean is one of the best ways to maintain your health and wellbeing.
The way to go about deep cleaning is to break it down into different rooms and bite sized activities spread over a number of days, depending on the size of your home interiors and exteriors.
Start by picking the right cleaning products and tools you will need for the different surfaces that you intend to clean. Try using natural cleaning products instead of harsh chemicals.
Below are a few points to bear in mind when deep cleaning the main rooms in your home.
In the bathroom(s)
Pay particular attention to:
- The bathtub/shower:use household chlorine bleach or CLR Fresh Scent Bath and Kitchen Cleaner to unclog the drain and clean grout tile from hair, grease and debris.
- The sink(s): pour a disinfectant bathroom cleaner all over the sink, the drain, and faucet handles and wipe with a soft sponge or cloth thereafter.
- The toilet: apply a toilet bowl cleaner and household chlorine bleach, if necessary, inside the toilet bowl to restore pristine cleanliness. Make use of a toilet brush and sponge accordingly.
- Inside cabinetry: a soft cloth or sponge with Cif multipurpose household cleaner will be enough to remove any debris found inside your bathroom storage cabinets.
- The floor: if you have tiles, use a brush first to deep clean your bathroom floors before using a floor mop to finish off your work.
In the kitchen/pantry/laundry room
Spend more time deep cleaning:
- The kitchen cabinets where food, kitchen utensils, and tools are all stored up
- Small kitchen appliances that you use frequently such as the toaster and kettle, the microwave, or your tea and coffee making machines
- Kitchen faucets, sinks, and the washing machine that will all need descalers and limescale removers to restore them to their pristine condition
- The kitchen bin you need to disinfect to remove any accumulated/hidden bacteria
- The floor that needs to be deeply brushed and moped to get rid of greasy residues
In the bedrooms
Give a thorough clean to:
- Your bedding sets and sheets that need be put in the washing machine or dried cleaned, wherever feasible to remove accumulated odours, sweat, and any stains
- The rug(s) under the bed that needs to be steamed to get rid of accumulated debris
- The windows that tend to collect dust over time
- The bedside tables where you keep your mobile phones, a table lamp, the books you are reading, and a few knick knacks to remove dust and debris buildup
In the living/dining/study rooms
- Deeply steam your rug to remove dust, odour, an any stains
- Steam the sofas and accent chairs and use a stain remover wherever necessary
- Dust off soft furnishings from throws to cushions
- Wipe all tables, wall art, and any other decor accessories to sweep away dust and stains
- Deep clean your flooring, plug any cracks, and polish it wherever appropriate
In the garden/outdoor areas
To refresh your home throughout the year, it’s important for you to tidy up your home exteriors. Try a few tips below:
- Start with your seating areas to clean the sofas/chairs, tables, and any decor accessories
- Brush and mop the concrete or tiled floor of your outdoor space
- Trim and clean your outdoor plants and pots if you are lucky enough to have them!
- Mow the lawn to remove outgrown grass – borrow a mower from your neighbour if need be!
- Trim back your tree branches that may lead to water accumulation on your roof or that of your neighbours
- Use a leaf blower and/or a broom on an extension pole to remove dead leaves on your roof and outdoor floor
3. Get Organised
Another affordable way to refresh your home without spending anything is by getting each room in order after decluttering. Create a system for storing and organising your belongings.
Some people like to use the Marie Kondo method of storing and folding items by category in a dresser or storage units to use space more efficiently. If it works for you, go for it.
Repurpose empty containers that you can get hold of in different rooms to store relevant items away and keep them in order.
Storage baskets in different rooms are especially helpful to maximise storage space.
In the kitchen, turn old sauce and marmalade jars into small item containers for stock cubes, exotic spices, and children’s sweets to free up much needed kitchen countertop space.
For people lucky enough to have a kitchen pantry, use it to put aside additional cutlery, dishes, pots and pans, and food items that may take up space in the main cooking area.
In the hallway, the living and dining rooms, and bedrooms, make clever use of console tables, dressers, bookshelves, sideboards, storage pouffes, and bedside tables.
Only keep items that you actually need and that spark joy.
As for the laundry room (if you have any), keep all cleaning items and related products in that part of your home to make them easily accessible when you need to use the washing machine and the dryer.
DIY tools, gardening tools, and any sentinel items you want to keep can remain in your attic room or the garage.
4. Rearrange your Furniture Layout
Sometimes, all you have to do to get a sense of new beginnings at home is to revisit the way you have positioned your furniture in each room.
In the living room, for example, you might discover that your sofa will benefit from being closer to natural light, or that an accent chair is of better use in a room corner to ease the movement flow.
In bedrooms, changing the position of the bed or any bulky item, based on the available square metres that you have, can free up space for a storage basket or a small desk.
How about taking the time this year to inspect each internal and external room at home, and reconsider individual rooms to find out whether their furniture arrangements flow well?
Go room by room and see what pieces of furniture need to be moved around to achieve your desired outcomes.
When decorating a room, there are five general design principles to consider to turn any room into an appealing and functional space for your home.
Here are the five things every room needs:
A focal point to catch and hold your attention. It helps to draw your eyes into the space and gives them a place to rest.
Some places will have a natural focal point like a mantel, a beautiful view or an architectural feature.
But, you can also create a focal point with a feature wall or decor in the form of artwork, a beautiful mirror or an eye-catchy vignette.
An object with visual weight to ground the space and act as an anchor for your design. You can do this with a floor that is much darker than the surrounding walls.
Take cues from the outdoors where the dark ground collides with a bright sky during daytime.
Use a textured rug to create that visual weight and tie the objects in the room together.
A heavy piece of furniture like a sofa or a coffee table can also serve the same purpose.
An element to draw your eyes around the room. There are several different strategies that you can use to lead the gaze in your space.
Height changes with taller and shorter furniture pieces, trees and plants, and decor items like mirrors and artwork are helpful to help your eyes travel with ease through your space.
Another way to do this is to repeat a material pattern or colour in a subtle way, just enough to lead the eye to take in the whole space. Black accents are great at doing this as are metallic decor elements.
A warm, cosy, or inviting decor item, or all three. These items will make you want to sit down and settle in for a snuggle.
Start with comfortable furniture. Fully upholstered pieces are great for snuggling up with a good book and a favourite beverage, for a movie time or a great conversation.
Add a few pillows and sofa throws for added comfort. And, if you brought in a rug for visual weight, it will also add to the cosy factor and help with acoustic comfort as will soft drapery.
In a room with mostly hard surfaces like bathrooms and kitchens, bring in cosiness through the use of natural materials like wood, earthy colours, and soft layered lighting.
Something alive that revives your space like green plants, fresh or dried flowers such as pampas grass, earthy materials in cotton, jute, sea shells, and warm wood furniture pieces.
5. Move Decor Accessories Around
Play with your decorative objects across different rooms to see if this can help you create new vibes around your space.
For example, you can frame and hang selected children’s artwork or funny photo frames hidden in the attic room or drawers to bring a corner of your kitchen to life.
Explore new entryway decor ideas by simply changing the position of the existing items on display. You can also choose to add a new decorative object such as a vase, a ceramic bowl or a chain decor that was languishing in the living room in a more prominent position.
If you have a huge collection of books, jazz up your coffee table by making use of some large coffee table books that are taking up real estate in your study or a home library.
Another way to refresh your home without spending a dime is by changing the position of existing wall art in your living and dining rooms to see if these can help elevate your spaces.
Always, keep in mind the colour scheme of your rooms when you are moving decorative items around to maintain cohesiveness in your home, even if you are a fan of maximalism.
6. Let Fresh Air and Natural Light In
Every morning, including on winter days, pull the curtains and open your windows at least for a few minutes to clear the trapped air in the rooms and allow some fresh air and natural light in.
Whenever you can, sit down at home for a few minutes close to an open window or door. Allow yourself to enjoy the new energy from mother nature to gently embrace your body, enter your lungs, and deliver much needed rays light and sunshine during the warmer months.
This free, simple tip to refresh your home is a sure way to revitalise your space, your body and mind.
7. Get Some Free Outdoor Plants
Before you start rambling about how expensive beautiful green plants and flowers are, let me stop you right there. Use whatever mother nature has endowed you with wherever you reside to add greenery into your space (yes, there are true gems even in the desert!).
Neighbourhood parks, your next door neighbours who have gardens, a friend, and even your not so great cousin who is into gardening can be great people to source plants from.
Some people may be willing to donate to you green plants or a bunch of fresh or dried flowers that no longer work for their home decor style. Ask, and see where it leads you!
Celebrate small victories! Every little bit helps when it comes to refreshing your home without breaking the bank. So don’t be discouraged if progress is slow at first – keep at it!