I’ve got a simple resolution for you. No willpower required, other than the will to get off the couch for a few hours and improve the space you live in.
I know we’re all busy. But the next two months may be the slowest of the year for you. Regardless, why not fend off the post-holiday winter blues by sprucing up the place a bit? Here are some ideas for DIY, affordable home improvements that are perfect for January.
Clear out the junk. One person’s junk may be another’s treasure, but right now it’s still your junk. You probably have less storage or living space than you did a week ago. Load up the toys, furniture, clothes or whatever is cluttering your space and donate them to a charity that can use them ( http://www.kcdonationpickup.org
). It’s an immediate improvement, and maybe a tax break.
Sell it or shelve it. Maybe those old vinyl records or CDs aren’t suitable for donation. You’d be surprised what people will buy on Craigslist ( http://kansascity.craigslist.org
). For things you can’t or won’t sell, invest in a shelf system and storage bins. For around $50, you can bring order to the chaos, and protection for your “treasures.”
Paint a masterpiece
. Kids growing out of baby blue or pink? Chipping and grease on the kitchen walls? Sick of the same bathroom color? Maybe it’s a tired wooden table or chair. When looking for paint, ask about rejected gallons or quarts, mixes that didn’t quite work for someone. These can be half the normal price or less.
A crowning achievement. Crown molding can do wonders for an otherwise featureless wall, especially in a living or family room, for only about $3 per foot. With a good level and some patience, it’s easy to install ( http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20675332,00.html
OK, installing tile may be a little ambitious for some, but don’t be intimidated. It’s easier than you think, and can be as cheap as $2 a square foot. Start with something small, like a kitchen backsplash, a shower/tub, or entryway.
Go with the flow
. If the faucets and fixtures are starting to look aged, it’s probably time for an update. Take note of the holes cut in your countertop for the existing faucet (and knobs/handles if present). To save money and hassle, shop for a replacement that fits. Most faucet models are easy to install on your own. If you decide that you would like to keep your existing faucets and fixtures, touching them up with a can of Rustoleum might be your move, you can purchase one for under $10!
I could go on forever with all the possibilities. Hopefully these will spur a few ideas. A new year is the perfect time to put them in motion.
When these cold, dark days give way to spring, you’ll have one less thing on your to-do list. You can enjoy your space more in the process.
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little one, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens