- Do some winter cleaning. Everything looks better when it’s shiny and clean, and deep cleaning takes time, not money. Don’t feel like you have to do everything at once! Choose one room to work on, and split the job into several sections. If it takes you one week per room, then it won’t be overwhelming. Get your children to help, too! Even the little ones can use the hose attachment on the vacuum to suck lost Cheerios out of the couch cushions or can use a sponge to clean the front of the dishwasher. Older kids can help you turn mattresses or dust shelves. Launder the curtains and wash the windows to let the sun shine in.
- Put away all of the holiday decorations, if you haven’t already. If you have everything taken down but sitting in boxes in the living room, bring them out to the garage, to the attic or wherever you keep your seasonal decorations. Only put away the things that are specific to Christmas or Hanukkah; general winter decorations should stay for now!
- Slap on a coat of paint. Paint is cheap, and it can completely change the look of a room. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a mural, sponge painting, faux marbling, stripes or bold colors; you can always re-do it later if you don’t like it.
- Rearrange your furniture. Switching around your couches or helping the kids move their beds and bureaus can have a big impact on how you feel about your house. If you have an open floor plan, you could even switch your dining room and living room. You might try moving your kitchen table closer to the window or making room for a rocking chair in your master bedroom. Use your imagination and your muscles!
- Think about ways that you could add something to your home for $5 or $10. A plastic winter-print tablecloth might only cost you under $5 at a discount store, for example, and you might be able to find a fabric one for about $10. Try visiting thrift shops for some new (to you) picture frames, big bowls that you could put fruit in, or a teapot. Be creative and stretch the dollars that you do have!
- Try your hand at any of the thousands of home decoration and craft ideas that you can find on Pinterest and other sites like it. You don’t have to be a great artist for many of these; even just a few new groupings of candles or some picture frames painted black can liven up a room with minimal craftiness on your end.
Have you done some decorating on the cheap? Share your best tips with our readers!