You’re stuck at home and have already eaten through you snack stash. It’s time to get your home in order. Spring is coming.
When your house is in order, you feel less stressed and enjoy the work you have put in to make your abode a place you love to be.
Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling on making the best of your time at home that cost little to no money!
You know that coat closet that seems to just collect stuff or that junk drawer where your motto is, “Out of sight. Out of mind?” Sure, it's not sexy, but it's a good way to feel fresh. Get in there and start making the most of the space. Pull everything out and organize into 4 piles—Keep, Donate, Sell, Trash.
In your "Keep" pile add items that make you happy and you know you will use again. Marie Kondo author of "The life-changing magic of tidying up" says, "If you use the right method and concentrate your efforts on eliminating clutter thoroughly and completely within a short span of time, you’ll see instant results that will empower you to keep your space in order ever after"
In your "Donate" pile put items that you haven't used in one year and you know someone could use. Items such as clothes, kitchen ware, vases, art work, can all be donated to bring someone else joy. "One mans trash is another one's treasure.
In your "Sell" pile, items that are of good value would be prefect to list on online garage sale sites and/or Facebook Market Place. Believe it or not, people are still searching these sites to buy items for a deal. Clean up your items, disinfect them, and list them for sale with porch pick up. No need to have a face to face transaction. Just set the item on your porch and tell your buyer to pick it up and put the money in an envelope in an undisclosed location.
The "Trash" pile is a key component to this process. If your not willing to sell or donate or the item is just broken then get rid of it. There's no point in hanging on to those items that you might "someday" get around to fixing.
What better time to organize then after you declutter. Decluttering and organizing go hand in hand. Once you have all the items out of the area where you are working, start putting things back in a cohesive manner. Use bins, baskets, and special organizing tools to help you, but don't buy them until you have purged. In her blog "Where to Start When Organizing Your Home" Elizabeth Warkin, suggests you start organizing storage spaces first. "The idea is to create storage space before you tackle the rooms you use most often. This way when you move on to the rooms and spaces you use most, there will be storage space available."
Sometimes your space can feel stale, especially after you have had your furniture in the same arrangement since you moved in. You can breathe new life into your home just by rearranging your furniture. Think outside the box. Even though that bedside table has been in the spare bedroom for decades maybe it would look nice in your family room as an en table. Do you have furniture in your attic or storage shed? It might be a good time to bring those items back out in a new space fore a fresh look.
Some tips before you start moving your furniture around:
1. Measure your space and furniture - You don't want to do all that lifting and moving just to find out that sectional doesn't fit like you imagined in your mind.
2. Find a focal point - These spaces maybe a fireplace, or awesome window. Sometimes focal points need to be created like a media area for a T.V.
3. Make room for conversation - Family and guest should be able to sit and have conversation easily. Position furniture facing each other. Keep in find it doesn't have to be straight on.
4. Create balance - To create balance in a room don't have all large pieces on one side of the room. Look for creative ways to balance large and small furniture around the entire space.
4. Deep Clean
With cancellations of sports, kid's activities, school and appointments, life has gotten slower for many during these uncertain times. This is the perfect time to get down and dirty in the spots that may have seemed neglected in the past. Areas such as behind and on top the refrigerator, and on and under your couch cushions are a great place to start. Get out those rubber gloves, scrub brushes, and carpet cleaners. Ideas for deep cleaning:
1. Baseboards and walls
2. Edges of carpet around baseboards
3. Carpet cleaning
4. On top and behind refrigerator
5. Pull out dressers
6. Move the bed (if you can)
7. Remove lime scale around faucets and shower heads
8. Windows and curtains
9. Doors and handles
10. Tall shelves (it's hard to see the dust, especially when they are up high)
11. Change the air filter in your HVAC
12. Tops and under furniture cushions - if you have a carpet cleaner with a handle attachment clean your furniture cushions. Make sure to lift them up and vacuum underneath. You may find some spare change.
5. Paint and/or touch up
A fresh coat of paint will definitely change your space. Many home improvement stores are still open for business. Go pick out a refreshing color and some paint tools. It's not necessary to totally redecorate to paint a new color. Observe the current color palette in your room from your current decor. Choose a new neutral color for the walls. You can even choose an accent color for one wall to make a splash!
Take a close look at your baseboards, trim, woodwork, and doors. Do they look a little worn for wear? Do you have nicks in some areas or walls of your home? Maybe you still have that paint color in the garage. Break it out, and give your homes details a little love.
6. The Great Outdoors
The weather should start getting warmer and everyone will be itching to get outside for a change of scenery. While soaking up the sun, get some exercise in, and spruce up your curb appeal. Some ideas for outdoor projects are:
1. Cleaning out gutters
2. Power wash siding, patio furniture, decks, walk ways, and driveway
3. Cut flower beds
4. Mulch planting beds
5. Build a raised garden bed "How to build a raised garden bed for under $15"
6. Put out planters
7. Paint your front door (Be sure to check with your HOA before painting)
8. Upgrade porch and garage lighting
9. Clean windows
10. Fix, paint, or stain fence
11. Add a new porch doormat
7. Start a Garden
No need to wait for the weather to get warmer! Get a jump start on having an immaculate garden this summer. Start by making a list of what you want to grow and obtaining seed catalogs to compare pricing. Most veggies need 6-8 hours of sunlight to germinate, consider buying a grow light for you new little friends or set up a table in front of a window for maximum light exposure. Make sure when you plant you group like veggies and label them. Check out The Farmer's Almanac Planting Calendar for the best dates to start your seedlings.
8. Refurnish/Repurpose Furniture
Like we mentioned above when rearranging furniture, think outside the box when looking at your furniture. You may have a piece that is a little worse for wear or an old ottoman in the attic that would look amazing with a little creative ingenuity and TLC. Peruse Pinterest to see what strikes your fancy. Check out Lauren Smith McDonough with House Beautiful's picture gallery of 15 Totally Transformative Furniture Makeovers or Gail Wilson with My Repurposed Life's Repurposed Furniture Projects and More for some great inspiration.