Rearranging Doesn’t Cost a Thing
The easiest way to start rearranging is to clean out the old junk. All that stuff we haven’t used in years—the twisty potato cutter, the old printer and harddrive—is unnecessary clutter. Who knows? The cleaning alone might give you the fresh, streamlined look you want.
However, if you’re looking for a more dramatic change, consider rearranging the furniture. Yes, it involves a little sweat and muscle, but reconfiguring furniture changes a room. Most importantly, it doesn’t cost a penny. Be fearless! Try arrangements you have never tried before. Steal the nightstand from the guest bedroom for an end table, or use the giant ottoman in a reading nook upstairs. Go crazy, and try everything. Just remember to keep the walkways clear; the best layout may not have everything against the wall.
Similarly, mix and match accessories from different rooms to create a new look. Rugs, mirrors, and lamps make big statements, but little knick-knacks like books and photo frames can bring a new atmosphere to the space as well.
The final free tip: Functionalize what you already have. Take something lying around the house and give it a purpose. Stack books as bases for nightstands and tables. Turn that old sheet into a trendy window treatment. Use a bookshelf as closet storage or a room divider. Think outside the box, and put your stuff to work where you need it most.
A Little Money for a Big Impact
You hear it everywhere, but it’s true: A little paint goes a long way. Painting is an inexpensive way to change the look of a whole room. Whether you’re bringing color in or toning it down, a little paint will touch every corner of the room and make it feel like a brand new space. As an added bonus, the new paint smell will cover any other undesirable odors. If you don’t feel that adventurous, grab a can of spray paint and tackle the lamp bases and furniture.
If you’re willing to hunt around, switching out your furniture is also an option. Traditional furniture retailers are out if you want to keep the price down. Instead, try yard sales, thrift stores, and online vendors like Craigslist. This kind of shopping requires patience and determination, but, if you’re willing to wait and keep a sharp eye out, the rewards are great. No, you probably won’t find your dream sofa, but decent, gently used items are worth the price difference. Wooden furniture is another good opportunity. Even if it needs a little sanding and staining, the price is still a fraction of what you would spend elsewhere; and you don’t have to be a professional carpenter to fix it up.
Thrift stores are a good idea for lighting fixtures and accessories, too. You may not find exactly what you want, but a little imagination and spray paint work wonders.
Anyone Can Do It
Whatever you do, do not be intimidated. Redecorating isn’t rocket science, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Make smart buys, be creative, and enjoy the results.