The homes we live in are one of the most precious parts of our lives, and your surroundings play a major role in how happy and contented you feel in your life. If your home is looking dowdy and plain or starting to show signs of wear and tear, it can make living there a depressing experience. You feel like you have a constant reminder of chores that need doing and tasks that require investment you can’t afford.
Instead of feeling happy in your surroundings, a home that doesn’t meet up to what you would wish for can bring you down, but it doesn’t need to be that way. There are many ways in which you can brighten up your home without spending a fortune, and making changes to your environment will give you an emotional lift that’s good for your personal wellbeing.
How much can you spend?
Your answer might be “nothing,” or you might have a few spare dollars you could invest in sprucing up your home. Even with a with a budget of zero dollars, there are effective ways of breathing life into your surroundings. Look to save money at any possible time and remember to look for online furniture deals. However, it’s also worth considering a small loan, because the difference having a happier home can make to your life is immense. If you are feeling more relaxed and rested because you’re happy with your environment, that gives you the benefits of better physical and mental health, and a better-organized home will also save you time. Although it’s important to avoid getting into financial difficulties, it’s worth exploring the possibility of taking out a manageable sized loan through a broker that specializes in finding people loans for bad credit.
If your budget is limited or non-existent, then finding free stuff is your best option. What’s amazing is the number of perfectly good items that people want to give away, and one of the best resources for free household items is Freecycle. It’s a free service, you just register and look for what you want on the website for your local area, or get the new listings emailed to you. You could refurnish your entire home if you so wished using Freecycle or any similar services that operate in your area.
You can also try the local dump, reclamation yard and recycling facilities. Folks who can’t be bothered to use Freecycle, or don’t know of it, still send perfectly good items to the tip, and these are often set aside for customers to look through. They may be free, or you may need to make a nominal payment, but there are plenty of treasures to be found amongst other people’s cast-offs. As well as furniture, you may find people have thrown out perfectly good full or half-full paint cans that you can use to give your home a fresh look or decorate out of date furniture.
Repurposing and reusing what you already have, or spotting the potential in an object someone else has discarded is a skill that’s worth obtaining if you’re looking to improve your home’s appearance without spending a small fortune. Say for example you have a grotty, unfashionable old dresser that’s marked, scuffed and tired looking. You could strip back any varnish or paint, use wood filler to cover any blemishes, then re-cover with some of the free paint you’ve picked up.
You can perform this trick with any of your furniture, including your kitchen and bathroom units. If you have a look online or at crafting books in your local library, you’ll find all sorts of clever ideas for transforming furniture and fittings using paint, decoupage, and other crafting techniques.
Repurposing isn’t limited to old furniture – you can turn all sorts of items such as packaging materials into useful household items. For instance, you can decorate old cans, jars, or boxes to turn them into attractive storage pots. If you’re feeling enthusiastic, you can even turn rubbish into expensive assets, for example by making solid fuel logs from old newspapers, or building a greenhouse from plastic drinks bottles. You’ll find instructions for these projects and many more ideas online and in books and magazines.
Buying pre-owned items
If you’re feeling hesitant about having anything that isn’t new in your home, consider the market for antiques. Many antique pieces of furniture and ornaments are worth far more than a new equivalent, because of their quality, rarity, and history. The fact is, they are pre-owned, and often not just second-hand but twentieth or thirtieth hand! They’re called antiques, but they’re no different in many ways to anything else that isn’t new. If some of the most desirable objects in the world are pre-owned, there’s no need to feel that not being able to afford new items is any kind of problem – and you never know, some of your finds could well appreciate in value over the years!
Trading and bartering
Some enterprising organizations are now providing a platform for people to trade their skills for other people’s skills in a mutually beneficial arrangement that doesn’t involve any money changing hands. For instance, if you are a French teacher, you could give lessons to a tradesperson who wanted to learn French in exchange for them fixing your plumbing, or doing some repair work on your house. You advertise what you are offering, and make contact with people who are providing the service you need, with both parties gaining from the trade. You can apply the same principle to a bartering arrangement whereby you offer your skills in exchange for goods rather than services – or vice versa.
If your dull, tired-looking home is getting you down, or you just want to change your environment, you don’t need to fork out vast amounts of cash to make a difference. Spend some time looking at all the ideas that are available before settling on what you wish to achieve.
If you have a modest budget, or you’ve taken out a loan to help cover costs, spend it wisely on items that you can’t source elsewhere, and use as many free and low-cost products as you can find. A bright new décor will do you and your family a world of good, so start making your home a better place to live.
This is a collaborative post. All opinions and text are mine.