It’s January 3rd and most of us are slowly getting back into our daily routine, though I don’t know about you but I’ve been having a hard time waking up early with all of these late nights… Oh but yes, routines, a new year, resolutions. Sigh. I’m sure you’ve made a few that are health-related (don’t we all?) but what about the home? Do you have some new year’s resolutions for your nest?
I do. Tons. But 2011 is the year to think a bit smaller and to get back in touch with what we can do with our own hands versus hiring out. Sure, some things you need to hire help for, but there are so many inexpensive changes that you can make to your home that doesn’t require throwing down a chunk of change but will demand time and energy (and some skill) so for 2011 why not make it our resolve to try to DIY before we hire out? What do you think? Is that one good resolution that you can put into action? 2011 is the year to do it ourselves, to decorate, to have fun!
Here are 12 tips that will improve your home in 2011 without spending a lot of money:
1. Deep clean your carpet by renting a carpet cleaner.
2. Thorough clean your house once a month (make a date on your calendar and stick to it). Get the family involved, too.
3. Rent a sander and refinish your hardwood floors yourself. If you can, use deck paint and paint them white or black. Go for it (unless you rent, then you have to ask your landlord and get their approval in writing).
4. Wallpaper a small room (like a guest bath or walk-in closet) to add pattern and color without spending a lot of money.
5. Paint a room that needs a freshen up or wallpaper an accent wall. You can even paint your walls white (Decorator’s White 04 by Benjamin Moore is my personal favorite) and then trim out your doors in a bright color like red, or go neutral with cream, tan, gray or black.
6. Move your art around and don’t forget to patch and repaint as you go!
7. When you need something new, check eBay, the local thrift shop, Craigslist, flea market or yard sale FIRST. Remember, if something is made well you can use your imagination and give it new life yourself.
8. Decorate! If you can’t afford to renovate, decorate it! Move things in and out of rooms, like lamps and small tables, bring pillows out of the bedroom and into the living room, swap candle holders from the dining room to the kitchen table… Think about what you have in storage and pull it out. See if your relatives or friends are looking to get rid of furniture, drapes, rugs.
9. Paint your kitchen cabinets and add some new hardware. While you’re at it, line your shelves and drawers with wallpaper or contact paper.
10. Clean your fireplace and if you have a mantle, move things around on it each month — add some fresh flowers, bring in some framed photos, etc.
11. This one may be controversial and purely opinion-based, but leave your shoes at the door. The less you track in, the less work you have and you are helping to better maintain your flooring. Scuffs, scratches, heel marks (especially on wood floors and linoleum) and stains can make flooring look a lot older than it actually is.
12. Clean out your closets and any other space that is packed with things that you haven’t seen in 100 years. Take a full inventory on what you have and decide if you need it all or not. Most likely, you don’t. Why not turn your stash into cash? Sell things (eBay, Craigslist, throw a yard sale) and turn those things into money that you can use towards a home improvement project that you’ve been putting off.
Tell me, what are some things that need attention in your home? What are your new year’s resolutions for your home in 2011?
(images: thorsten becker)