Clever Ways to Freshen Up a Home For $10 or Less

Shannon Quinn - October 15, 2020

Nowadays, everyone is spending more time at home than ever before. And for most of us, we’re on a tight budget. Even if you managed to keep your job in 2020, this is not the right time for a lot of people to do an expensive renovation.  However, giving your home a fresh upgrade can be incredibly affordable. Making small changes around the house will eventually add up over time, and this can certainly uplift your mood. If you live with family or friends, this will also benefit everyone around you. Starting the process of clearing your space is likely to inspire others. (Especially if you post about it on Instagram!) And once you start making improvements around your house, the people you live with are likely to do the same. Here are some of our best tips for freshening your home for under $10.

Cleaning an air conditioner is possible with some soap and a hose. Credit: Shutterstock

50. Clean Your Air Conditioner So You Can Breathe Easier

If you use a window box air conditioner, or have a unit in your ceiling, you need to clean those out every year. There is a filter at the front of the air conditioner that fills up with dust every few weeks. But when you get ready to put your box in for the summer, it’s necessary to take the machine apart and completely clean it out. Once you open it, you’ll be shocked to see how much dust, dirt, and potentially mold has accumulated inside. If you don’t clean this out, you’re going to be spreading this into your home every time you turn on the machine. Some businesses offer a professional cleaning service, but you can do this at home with some liquid dish soap, a garden hose, and paper towels. Find a YouTube tutorial on how to clean your exact machine before you get started. 

Cabinet pulls and knobs come in all shapes and sizes. Credit: Shutterstock

49. Change Your Cabinet Knobs For an Updated Look

Paying to have brand new cabinets installed or replacing furniture can cost a small fortune. But sometimes, all it takes is swapping out the knobs or pulls on your existing furniture in order to completely modernize the look. For example, I have an old dresser of drawers I inherited from my mom. It was solid wood that had been painted white, and it had brass knobs. Those were pretty, but they were very old fashioned. As soon as I swapped out for colorful painted ceramic knobs, it made the piece look like something out of an Anthropologie catalogue. Prices will vary from $10 per knob if you’re buying a style that is more high-end. But if you need to complete the entire project on a $10 budget, you can usually find them at places like Home Depot and Lowes for much cheaper.

By cleaning your shoes, your home will be less smelly. Credit: Shutterstock

48. Clean Your Shoes to Eliminate Odors

Everyone wears shoes. Some people own a lot more pairs than others, so they rotate them more often, and therefore, they last longer. But for whatever reason, a lot of people wear a relatively cheap pair of shoes until they’re too dirty, and then throw them away or donate them. This doesn’t make sense. Shoes are an item of clothing, and need to get cleaned just like shirts and pants. In the past, I’ve gotten pairs of shoes from the thrift store that were actually in like-new condition, and they simply needed to be cleaned. Get in the habit of cleaning your shoes with wipes, magic erasers, and dryer sheet inserts to eliminate odors. You can even simply put them in the washing machine, or wash them by hand. When you get in the habit of cleaning your shoes, you aren’t going to smell stinky feet in your house anymore. 

Having too much furniture is an issue. Credit: Shutterstock

47. Eliminate Unnecessary Pieces of Furniture

One of the biggest interior design mistakes I see people make is having too much furniture. This commonly happens when you inherit furniture from your family and friends. Or, maybe you buy a new piece from the store, but you don’t have the heart to get rid of the old things. Remember that just because you live in a bigger house or apartment, you don’t have to take up every single square inch of space with stuff. A lot of the time, you could be making your house feel smaller, closed, and claustrophobic. If you want your home to feel more clean, open, and fresh, it’s better to have less stuff. This process is completely free, and it can usually be done in one weekend.

You can customize Ikea items after putting them together. Credit: Shutterstock

46. Try an Ikea Hack to Update Some of Your Existing Furniture

Most people who are shopping for home decor on a tight budget like to go to Ikea. Their furniture is affordable and stylish, and works especially well for college students and people moving into their first apartment. But after a while, you might be feeling a bit tired of seeing your furniture in everyone else’s house. A great solution to this is to try an “Ikea Hack”. This is when people take pre-existing Ikea furniture and transform it into something new and different. Sometimes, Ikea Hacks are totally free, or just cost a few dollars to adjust your pre-existing pieces of furniture. You might also find something for free on Craigslist, or cheap on Facebook Marketplace. Check out our post on Ikea Hacks For a Home Makeover on a Budget.

Fresh flowers are gorgeous, and can bring a lot of life to your home. Credit: Shutterstock

45. Buy a Bouquet of Fresh Flowers for an Instant Pop of Color

One of the easiest ways to  freshen up your home is to buy a bouquet of cut flowers. These can cost as little as $5 from a local farmer, or $10 from a grocery store. Some people brush this off as a totally unnecessary expense, since flowers wilt and die after about a week. However, when you think about how many snacks or coffee you buy unnecessarily, the cost of fresh flowers could easily fit into the average family budget. I just started getting into the habit of buying fresh flowers once a week, and it has made a huge difference in how we feel when we walk through the front door. I love the fact that as time goes on, new flowers come into season. It almost feels like a decoration celebrating that moment in time, even if it’s not a holiday. It doesn’t hurt to try at least once.

It’s time to clean out the junk drawer. Credit: Shutterstock

44. Organize Your Junk Drawer To Make it Easier to Find Things

No matter who you are, you probably have at least one junk drawer in your house. This ends up collecting all of the odds and ends where they don’t have anywhere else to go. The trouble with junk drawers is that when you need something, it’s often buried underneath a lot of other objects. It’s incredibly common for people to purchase something two or three times, because they couldn’t find it in the drawer. For less than $10, you can find a drawer divider to help you organize all of your business in pieces in the junk drawer. There are a ton of options online to choose from in many different materials, but that would be your full $10 budget. You should be able to find something at your local Dollar Tree for just $1. Once the organization project is done, you’re guaranteed to feel totally accomplished.

Creating your own artwork is cheap and easy. Credit: Shutterstock

43. Instead of Spending a Fortune at the Store, Make Your Own Art Instead

Buying pieces of art can be expensive, because they are often investment pieces. Even at discount stores like Home Goods, you still have to pay at least $40 to $50 per piece.  Consider creating artwork of your own instead. Personally, I already had paint that I have collected over the years.  So, when the lockdown of 2020 began, I was able to create multiple pieces of original artwork on both canvas and watercolor paper for free. I genuinely love the custom artwork I made myself more than things I’ve bought from stores in the past, because I made them to fit the style of my room. If you don’t already have supplies on hand, craft stores like Hobby Lobby have value packs of canvases that cost roughly $10 for 5. Dollar Tree is also a great place to go, because they are now selling canvases, paint, brushes, and more for just $1 each.

Some homes look beautiful with a mural painted on the wall. Credit: Shutterstock

42. If You’re Artistic, Consider Painting a Mural on a Wall

Some people might think that this next suggestion is too over-the-top. However, if you already have some artistic talent, you just might want to consider painting a mural. This could be either inside or outside your home, depending on your layout. There are a lot of people who have managed to create murals that look almost like wallpaper. Or, the scene they chose to paint really ties together the space that they’ve created. If you’ve never seen these before, check out Pinterest for indoor murals. Painting a mural on an interior wall is far less common. A mural artist who calls himself TenHundred has a YouTube channel where he documents the process of painting murals. In one episode, he goes to Japan to visit a friend, and paints a mural along his exterior staircase and on the brick wall of their alleyway. The space immediately became bright, fun, and inviting.

A magic eraser can be used for more than just removing stains. Credit: Shutterstock

41. Use a Magic Eraser to Get Rid of Scuff Marks, Stains, and Sticker Goo

Over the course of the year, things in your home can get scuffed or nicked. (This is especially true if you have children.) Sometimes, things can get so bad that it looks as if things need to get repainted or completely replaced. In reality, you might just need to clean it with something like a magic eraser. For example, the stairs in my home are painted white and have a cedar wood top. Over time, as people kick the stairs with their feet, it leaves a dark residue on the white part of the stairs. My dad used to paint the stairs at least once a year, but in reality, you could actually just take a magic eraser to them, and they’re good as new. Magic Erasers are only a few dollars at stores like Target and Walmart. They also sell a knock-off brand at Dollar Tree.

Re-arranging your books by color can make your collection look very cool. Credit: Shutterstock

40. Organize Your Bookshelves by Color, and Use the $10 to Buy One New Book

Something that you may have seen on Pinterest or The Home Edit is the trend to organize your books by color. While you might not think that this trend is a good fit for you, most people end up feeling convinced that it’s actually the best way to go. Those who actually take the time to organize their books by color tend to be able to find them a lot easier. There is something about connecting color to memories that help people remember where their books actually are on the shelf. This is especially true for children’s books, since young kids will be learning about color for the first time. On top of that, it makes your bookshelf look pretty dang cool, and it should impress your friends.  Doing this is completely free, so I’m suggesting to use the leftover $10 to get yourself a book that you really love.

Donating old clothes can make you feel good. Credit: Shutterstock

39. Donate Your Unwanted Items, and Use the $10 to Treat Yourself to One New Item of Clothing

One of the easiest ways to make your house cleaner is to get rid of the clutter. Donating your unwanted clothing is completely free. All it takes is a little bit of time and patience for you to sort through your closet and divide up clothes that you want to keep or give away. Once this project is done, you will feel so much better about opening your closet door. It also helps you to figure out what to wear in the morning, instead of being bogged down by too many options. After going through your closet, you should be able to identify what you actually need to buy in the future. Personally, I started getting back into Old Navy’s “Super Cash” coupons, and waiting for sales days before I buy anything new. Since this one was free, treat yourself to a $10 clothing item or accessory.

It’s easy to organize your closet once you have baskets. Credit: Shutterstock

38. Buy Baskets for Closet Organization

When you don’t have a lot of money, organizing your closet is one of the most satisfying ways to freshen up your space. Custom closet inserts from places like Ikea might seem tempting, and you might be scrolling through Pinterest wishing you had a dream closet. But these closet systems are not absolutely necessary for organizing your space. If you already have shelving in your closet, you may just need a good system of baskets to divide up your items. Believe it or not, Dollar Tree has an entire aisle dedicated to different sized baskets. I recently reorganized the products in my bathroom cabinet with 6 baskets that only cost $1 each. Target also has larger, more sturdy boxes and baskets for under $10 each. I personally have several $6 Target baskets on a bookshelf in my closet, and it helps organize all of my miscellaneous items.

Placing liners on older cabinets can instantly make your storage space better. Credit: Shutterstock

37. Lay a Liner in Old Drawers and Cabinets

Whether you’re renting or you have an older home that you can’t afford to renovate, old drawers and cabinets can get you down. Buying new cabinets can cost at least a thousand dollars. Instead of feeling like your space is old and drab, cover the bottom of the cabinets with some wallpaper or adhesive stickers. These are available on Amazon in nearly every pattern imaginable, including faux marble and concrete. Dollar Tree also has drawer liners, so you can buy several rolls to match. Once you have all of the liners down, also consider cleaning your cabinets with a magic eraser. These are also on sale at Dollar Tree in a pack of 2 for $1. Painting your cabinets or replacing the knobs is also a great idea to make your kitchen feel more bright and cheerful, but it would cost more than $10 if you don’t already have materials on-hand.

If your fridge smells bad, baking soda can help solve the problem. Credit: Shutterstock

36. Open a Box of Baking Soda in the Fridge to Eliminate Bad Smells

If you have an issue with a stinky refrigerator, the solution is actually very simple. Take a box of baking soda, and pull the tab back. By leaving the baking soda open at all times, it will help to absorb the bad smells in your fridge. Just keep in mind that this box might end up smelling bad, and shouldn’t be used for baking. So if you plan to use that same box of baking soda for baking as well, you can also take a few spoonfuls into a glass tray and leave a small bowl of powder on the shelf. Boxes of baking soda are only 65 cents to $1 at most stores. If the stink in your fridge still persists even after using this trick, it’s probably a sign that you need to clean out some food that has gone bad. Clean the shelves, and check the expiration dates.

Dry goods look great on display in glass jars. Credit: Shutterstock

35. Buy a Box of Glass Jars With Airtight Seals and Transfer Your Dry Goods

One of the most common areas of the house that gets messy very quickly are kitchen and pantry cabinets. If you want to make your kitchen cabinets look more organized in just a few minutes, try putting your dry goods in glass jars. Mason jars are available in most grocery stores and Walmart for an average of $10 per case. Dollar Tree also has their own version of Mason Jars, as well as a bunch of other glass options with air-tight seals. One of the great benefits to keeping your dry goods in a container is that you can mix brands together, and it doesn’t matter. For example, I get all different brands of white rice depending on where I shop that week, but it all looks the same. Cleaning out your pantry becomes easy, and you can see with just a quick glance which food is running low.

Plants in your house will help liven up a space. Credit: Shutterstock

34. Buy Indoor House Plants to Help Bring Nature Into Your Home

Pretty much every home decor list will tell you to buy plants for your house. There are so many benefits to owning indoor plants, especially since they clean the air and keep a room smelling fresh. Thankfully, it’s very cheap to buy plants from your local grocery store, as well as places like Home Depot and Lowe’s. And if you have a local garden center, I really recommend you support a small business. These garden centers are also a great place to find plants that thrive in your local environment. Certain plants will only cost around $2 each, depending on the season when you’re looking to buy. Obviously, buying in the spring and summer is the best time to find an abundance of plants for your home. But even if you’re searching in the fall or winter time, there should still be options for you under $10.

Getting a brighter room could be as simple as switching out the bulbs. Credit: Shutterstock

33. Add More Lighting, or Switch Out Your Light Bulbs

Sometimes, the mood of a room can be brought down from the fact that is too dark and drab.  Having enough light in a room is crucial. If you find that your room is too dark, it might be time to switch out a light fixture, or replacing a lamp shade. To be fair, most light fixtures and shades cost more than $10. But you can go to places like Ikea, the thrift store, and even dollar stores that will have lamps under $10. If you like your fixtures, but it’s simply too dark, switch out your light bulbs to something brighter. Dollar Tree sells light bulbs in various sizes, so you might be able to fix your problem for just $1. Target also has an amazing section of vintage style bulbs for around $8 per pack, which could completely elevate the style and brightness an existing light fixture.

Leather conditioner helps to remove stains and keep it supple. Credit: Shutterstock

32. Clean and Condition Your Leather Goods

Leather is one of the most popular natural materials for people to own in their home. It’s a classic material that has been used for hundreds of years, so it should continue to look amazing no matter what the newest trend may be. However, since it is very literally made of skin, leather will eventually crack with age. And if you have painted leather, it can be worn off over time. In order to keep your leather looking the best it possibly can be, you need to clean and moisten it with conditioner. Just visit your local Walmart or Target, and you should be able to find bottles of leather cleaner for less than $10. If you have colored leather, you may need to buy leather paint and sealant from Amazon. This is also typically under $10, and works like a charm to improve the look of your leather goods. It’s possible to transform something that’s decades old and make it look brand new again.

Make your space smell fresh with dryer sheets. Credit: Shutterstock

31. Use Dryer Sheets to Freshen Up Other Areas of Your Home Besides the Dryer 

Typically, dryer sheets are used to make your clothing smell good. But they can actually be used to absorb odors in a number of different things. For example, sticking a dryer sheet in each of your shoes will make it smell better after just a few hours. Placing dryer sheets in your underwear and sock drawers can also freshen things up, too. In some cases, it can remove bad smells from objects. For example, I inherited some vintage paper sewing patterns from someone who smoked. I wanted to use them, but they smelled horrible. By placing them in a ziplock bag with a few dryer sheets for a week, the scent was totally absorbed and neutralized. Keep in mind that once you use a dryer sheet for removing smells in an object, you can’t re-use them in the laundry. They will need to be thrown away when you’re done.

Instantly make a room smell better with a scented candle. Credit: Shutterstock

30. Candles and Oil Diffusers Can Make Your Home Smell Amazing

The word “fresh” probably conjures the image of walking into a home, taking a deep breath, and feeling like everything smells great. While it may seem obvious to many of you, this can sometimes be achieved with a really great candle. Yankee Candle and Bath and Body Works are both notoriously expensive to buy their large candles, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Brands like Glade make strong candles for around $3 each, which is great for being on a budget. Target also has some great scents for $5 to $10 each. Just keep in mind that lighting a candle is not a cure-all for smell problems. In fact, if you’re trying to light a candle to cover up a bad smell, the two are just going to blend together in a very bad way. Always clean your room before lighting a candle if you want the best results.

Remove cat and dog hair with a lint roller. Credit: Shutterstock

29. Use a Lint Roller to Remove Pet Hair From All The Things

When you have a pet, you already know that their fur gets literally everything. And on certain types of furniture and clothing, the hairs are incredibly noticeable. Whether you realize it or not, these hairs can start to make a room smell like your pet. It’s also going to attract more dust into the room, and generally feel gross. A lot of the expensive heavy-duty vacuum cleaners advertise the ability to pick up pet hair, but not all of us can afford those. So when you’re done vacuuming, go the extra step by using a lint roller. They’re available pretty much everywhere, including Dollar Tree and Walmart. Also take the time to use a shedding comb, or give your pet a bath. With enough upkeep with your pet’s grooming, you can help to prevent pet hair from shedding too much in the first place.

A cute welcome mat helps to brighten up a front door. Credit: Shutterstock

28. A New Welcome Mat Helps Brighten Up Your Front Door, and Keeps You From Tracking Dirt Inside 

Buying a welcome mat might not be on your list of priorities when you’re on a budget. This is especially true if you’re renting an apartment. And with the current state of affairs, you might not be having any guests over right now. However, you would be surprised just how much joy a welcome mat can bring to a space. For example, my brother moved to an apartment complex where everyone had a welcome mat outside of their front door. They all shared the same carpeted hallway, so it wasn’t actually necessary for anyone to have these mats. But these mats actually made it easier for friends and family to find their apartment. The characters and sayings on each mat also said a lot about the personality of the owner, and served as a conversation starter when people were trying to make new friends.

If you need to arrange your closet, choose matching hangers. Credit: Shutterstock

27. Matching Hangers For Your Closet Make a Huge Difference in the Aesthetics

If you’re planning on cleaning out your closet during lockdown, seriously consider buying matching hangers. A lot of you out there have probably gathered hangers over the years, or even kept free plastic ones that you got at the store. However, doing something as simple as having hangers that are all the same color makes a huge difference. In most magazines and makeover TV shows, you’ll probably see people with more expensive hangers made of wood or velvet. This instantly makes a closet look more luxurious. But if you’re on a really tight budget, you can actually buy large multi packs for just $1 at Dollar Tree. Other stores like Wal-Mart and Target also have big bundles for under $10 as well. At the end of the day, all that matters is that they are a matching color, and it will make a big difference to your closet.

Get some help from your friends to rearrange furniture in your house. Credit: Shutterstock

26. Rearrange Your Furniture, and Think About What’s Needed to Make Them Better

Rearranging your furniture is completely free. All it takes is a bit of sweat and manpower to get it done. During this process, it’s a good idea to clean, vacuum, and condition and leather. However, in the process of moving the furniture around, you might start to realize that you need to go out and buy something to make it better. Maybe you need padding for the legs to prevent scuffing the floor, a new sofa cover, a blanket, lint roller, etc. Don’t be afraid to spend at least $10 to spruce up the furniture you already have, especially if it helps prevent you from spending hundreds on a new piece. If you realize that your new setup could benefit from a side table or accessory, that money could also go towards buying at least one more furniture piece from the thrift store or Ikea.

High quality laundry detergent can make a huge difference in the smell of your clothes. Credit: Shutterstock

25. Invest in a Higher Quality Laundry Detergent or Fabric Softener 

If you are trying to cut back on your budget this year, one of the places where you might be trying to save money is with laundry detergent and fabric softener. However, the truth is that you can actually use coupons to buy name brand products for the same price as what you get in the dollar store. By buying the more expensive detergent, you can use less of the product and get better results, too. Once you switch over to a better-smelling detergent and softener, it makes a huge difference. It should be easy to always get name brand detergent for under $10. For example, I always check the CVS ads, and I have downloaded their savings app. Every few weeks, Tide Pods will go on sale. There are in-app coupons to bring the price down to just $2, and there is no need to cut any paper coupons out of the newspaper. 

It’s important to change your air filter at least once a year. Credit: Shutterstock

24. Change Your Air Filter, and Vacuum Dusty Vents

If your house smells dusty and musty, the solution to the problem could be as simple as changing out the air vent. This should be changed at least once a year, but people commonly forget to do this as often as they should. If you have pets, or severe allergies that you need to worry about, experts actually suggest swapping your air filter every 2 months. Not sure how to do it? Check out this step-by-step tutorial on Home Depot’s website. Also remember to vacuum dust off of your air vents, because this could also be contributing to an issue in airflow. Most multi-packs of air filters will cost more than $10. However, if you were to divide how much each individual filter costs, it’s going to be less than $10. You may even already have these hiding in a closet somewhere, and you can get it done for free.

Baking soda on the carpet can help absorb bad smells. Credit: Shutterstock

23. Sprinkle Baking Soda on Your Carpets

Have pets? They might be stinking up the carpets in your home without you realizing it. Between playing, napping, scooting, and shedding, your carpet is most likely full of yucky pet smells. Depending on the color of your carpet, you might not notice how dirty it actually is. And unless you own a powerful and expensive vacuum that’s designed to pick up everything, there’s a chance that you need to be vacuuming more often than you think. Freshening up smelly carpets is as easy as sprinkling baking soda on the carpet. After letting the baking soda sit on the carpet for about an hour, vacuum up the powder. This should dramatically lessen the amount of smell in the room. A lot of stores will try to market a special powder to remove pet smells, but it’s really the same as the $1 baking soda. Even if you don’t have pets, this trick still works really well if you don’t already shampoo your carpets.

Let the sunshine in by holding curtains back. Credit: Shutterstock

22. Bring in the Sun With a Set of Curtain Holdbacks

Sunlight makes a huge difference in how fresh, light, and clean your home feels. The sun’s rays help to disinfect an area, give you a crucially important dose of vitamin D, and it can also make you generally feel happier. If you’re not getting enough sunlight in your home, it might be because your curtains are blocking it. Sometimes it’s not possible to completely push the curtains back without holdbacks. In case you didn’t know, holdbacks are metal hooks that are screwed into the wall, and they very literally hold back your curtains. People also use fabric hold-backs if they came with the set. The cost of tiebacks will change depending on what style you choose, but they’re always in the $10 range.

Clean your windows if you feel like it’s not bright enough in the space. Credit: Shutterstock

21. Wash Your Windows to Bring in Natural Light to Your Space

Sometimes people leave their windows unclean for so long, they don’t realize what they truly look like. Windows can be smudged on both the inside and outside. This generally makes the look of your room seem dirty, even if everything inside is tidy and clean. Recently, my brother tried to move into an apartment where the previous tenants smoked. At first glance, the windows seem clear. But when we wiped the windows, it was completely black on the paper towel. Sometimes, we can hide these dirty windows with curtains or shades. But if you want to have your windows open to see the view, it’s totally necessary to clean them. If you have a second story, you’ll have to use a hose attachment to clean your windows. Check out your local Walmart or Lowes to find a bottle of hose spray, which should typically be around $10 per bottle.

Keurig K-cup collections need to be organized. Credit: Shutterstock

20. Organize Your Tea and Coffee Collection

If you drink a lot of different varieties of tea and coffee, you already know that these start to add up in your cabinet. The solution to this is simple. Just buy a plastic container with dividers and organize your tea bags. You can use a divider that’s typically used as a drawer insert. Or, you can find specially made tea bag organizers online. For coffee, there are a lot of different solutions to this as well. If you drink loose coffee grounds or grind fresh beans, these can be transferred to a chic clear container you find from the Dollar Tree. Or, if you use something like Keurig K Cups, there are specially designed drawers and organizational kits to help keep everything organized.

Remember to vacuum underneath your furniture. Credit: Shutterstock

19. Vacuum Under All of the Furniture

Most people don’t move their furniture when they vacuum once a week. For a lot of households, they might go years without ever touching what is lurking underneath. Whether you realize it or not, this is seriously impacting your allergies and ability to breathe clearly. (Especially if you have pets.) Take some time to pull your furniture back and vacuum and all of those nooks and crannies that you normally don’t get to. I can personally attest to this, since I recently bought a more powerful vacuum and went through my entire home. After vacuuming the whole house, all of us instantly were able to breathe better. The whole house smelled more fresh and clean. I have far fewer allergies, too. Obviously, not everyone can afford to get a new vacuum. But make the most with whatever you have, or ask to borrow a more powerful machine from a friend.

Opening a window can help bring in fresh air. Credit: Shutterstock

18. Increase the Airflow in the Room

One of the biggest culprits of having a home but feels stuffy is not having the right amount of airflow. The solution to this is free and incredibly simple. Just open a window. Keep in mind that in order to have flowing air in a room you’re probably going to have to open the doors and multiple windows if at all possible. The direction of the breeze will dictate where the air is going to flow through your home. If it’s the winter time, or you have a room that doesn’t have any windows, you should consider purchasing a fan or air purifier. Here at Home Addict, we already made a list about the best Air Purifiers you can buy. 

Pets have a lot of toys and accessories. Credit: Shutterstock

17. Keep All of Your Pet Items in One Place

When you have dogs and cats, they become part of your family. And if you’re like most people, your pets toys, snacks, and belongings are all over the place. This makes it difficult to find your pet medicines or paperwork if it’s mixed up with human things. A very simple solution to the problem is to take a tote bag or container that you buy from the dollar store and dedicate it to all of your pet items. This doesn’t have to be something that you buy either. It could be something that you already own. For example, I use a grocery tote bag for all of my cat’s medicines, brushes, and toys. When it’s time to clean up, I know where to place everything that belongs to her. 

Baking soda can remove smell from furniture. Credit: Shutterstock

16. Use Baking Soda to Eliminate Bad Odors on Furniture

Earlier on this list, we already talked about putting baking soda in your refrigerator and on your carpet to eliminate bad odors. This also works really well with furniture. If you don’t have seat covers, it’s impossible for you to clean couches thoroughly beyond vacuuming or wiping them down. Baking soda will absorb any odor that’s on your couches, and it can be vacuumed off later. Typically, you need to let the baking soda sit on your fabrics for at least one hour. If the smell is very bad, consider leaving the baking soda on overnight. 

An LED humidity and temperature thermometer. Credit: Shutterstock

15. Keep Track of Moisture Levels

If your house has an issue with mold, this means that there is too much humidity, and most likely a lack of airflow. For less than $10, you can buy a humidity meter online. This will tell you how much humidity is in your room. If it’s too high, you’ll want to consider buying a dehumidifier in the future. This is a machine that sucks the excess moisture out of the air and turns it into water. However, you can make some changes for free and then track the levels of moisture in the air to figure out what helps prevent mold. For example, if you take a shower in a small bathroom, the humidity level will be all the way up to 90%. But as soon as you open the windows and the door to allow some air flow to go through, it will gradually drop back down. 

A smudging stick made from dried lavender. Credit: Shutterstock

14. Do a Spiritual Cleansing

If you’re not a spiritual person, the idea of doing a spiritual cleansing might sound like nonsense. However, there is a lot of practicality behind some of the steps to a spiritual cleansing. Atheists could argue that this is a psychological phenomenon called “the placebo effect”, which is when we can trick ourselves into thinking that something works to make us feel better. But who cares if it’s placebo or not? The point is that it works. Personally, as soon as I clean the energy of my pace, it immediately begins to feel lighter, happier, and overall much better. This helps me to let go of negative emotions, and have a good day. There are several steps in the process, which would be too long to go over in this article. So if you’re curious to find out more, check out this article called How to Spiritually Cleanse Your Home.

If you work from home, you may want to reconsider your room arrangements. Credit: Shutterstock

13. Re-Imagine Your Room Arrangements

Something you can do for free is to completely rearrange the rooms of your house if something isn’t working out very well.  In 2020, a lot of people had to rearrange their space to make a home office. Some people just quickly slapped together a desk in the middle of their living room or dining room table. However, now that we are all adjusting to the “new normal”, it might be time to rethink if this temporary setup is working for you long-term. If you want to make the best out of your arrangement, check into the laws of Feng Shui. Here at Home Addict, we already have an article on the Biggest Mistakes Made With Feng Shui. So be sure to check that out before rearranging your room, if you want to make sure your home is optimized for the flow of energy, or Qi. 

Small baskets and containers are affordable. Credit: Shutterstock

12. Try a Dollar Tree Version of “The Home Edit”

Anyone who has ever seen Tidying Up With Marie Kondo or The Home Edit already knows the idea of taking containers and organizing the objects in your home. If you go somewhere like Target or The Container Store, you can expect to spend a few hundred dollars. Even if you felt motivated to organize, the price of containers is what holds a lot of people back. Believe it or not, The Dollar Tree has an entire aisle filled with plastic baskets and containers, all for $1 each. So with $10, you can buy 10 containers and get started right away. Personally, I only needed $6 to re-organize my bathroom closet with Dollar Tree baskets. If you’re excited, check out our article on How To Make a House Look Like ‘The Home Edit’.

You can choose to print your photos in color, or black and white. Credit: Shutterstock

11. Print New Family Photos

In the modern world, everyone takes pictures on their cell phone, but they rarely print them anymore. More often than not, you might have a gallery on Instagram or Facebook, but everything exists in the digital world. Sometimes, having family photos in your living room or office is enough to give you a sense of warmth and love. If you already own a printer, it could be as simple as buying a pack of photo paper and printing those pictures at home. You can also take the digital files to printing stations CVS or Walmart. Either way, this can be accomplished for less than $10. Dollar Tree also has a large picture frame section, so you have a lot of options for just $1 each. 

Using your fireplace can be incredibly cozy. Credit: Shutterstock

10. Start Using Your Fireplace

A fireplace is a selling point for a lot of people when they tour a new house or apartment. They imagine having a cozy fire, cup of hot cocoa, and a good movie on TV. However, a lot of people don’t have experience with lighting fires in the modern world. This is why a lot of people have a fireplace for decorative purposes, but they’re too scared of doing something wrong.  If you moved into an old house, you might need to hire a professional chimney sweep or repair person to check out your fireplace before you use it. But if you’re in a new apartment or condo, there’s really no reason to be afraid. If you’re one of those people who is too scared to light your fireplace, go ahead and find a YouTube tutorial. Having a working fireplace can totally transform the ambiance of your home, and it can make you love and appreciate your space even more.

Sometimes, fridge magnets and artwork can clutter up your kitchen. Credit: Shutterstock

9. Declutter Your Fridge Magnets

Almost everyone keeps notes, photos, and menus on the refrigerator. This can be a convenient place to store things to help remind us of what needs to be done on a daily basis. Some people also like to collect magnets when they travel. However, the problem with putting things on your fridge is that it instantly makes the room look more cluttered. Pay attention the next time you see a luxury kitchen tour. More often than not, their fridges are completely clear of anything. Even if you want to keep your children’s artwork hanging, start by clearing everything off. Wipe down the fridge, and rethink if you’re going to display the magnet and paper in a cleaner way. This process should be completely free for you to do, but can make a big difference. 

You can give your appliances a makeover with stainless steel contact paper. Credit: Shutterstock

8. Update Your Appliances With Stainless Steel Contact Paper 

There is something about stainless steel appliances that make them look far more luxurious than white ones. If you can’t afford new appliances right now, or if you’re renting from someone, it’s not realistic to buy a new refrigerator or dishwasher. But did you know that you can buy stainless steel contact paper? This can be laid directly on top of your existing appliances, and it makes them look like they are made of stainless steel. Best of all, it’s only $10 per roll on Amazon. You can also probably sign us at your local hardware store for cheaper than what you pay online. If you’re making over an entire kitchen, you might need more than one role to get the job done. 

For bigger art pieces, get help from someone to bring it to a different room. Credit: Shutterstock

7. Rotate Your Artwork

New artwork can really freshen up a space. However, making or buying art is either time-consuming or expensive. One simple solution is to swap your artwork around the house. Many of us also have artwork in our attics or storage space that we inherited from grandparents or that we simply haven’t seen in years. Look over some of the pieces that you already own, and try to see if there is the new place you can put it. And if you’re truly looking for something new, look at your local thrift store to see if there’s any pieces that you could buy for $10 or less. 

Grout pens help to clean hard-to-reach places. Credit: Shutterstock

6. Clean Your Tiles With a Grout Pen

If you have tiles in your kitchen or bathroom, the grout can get dirty over time. Unfortunately, even if you wipe everything down or even scrub the tiles, the grout can still look very dirty. There is a product called a grout pen that you can find for under $10 at most stores like Walmart, Target, and Home Depot. With a grout pen, you can get in between the tiles and really get those lines back to their pure white state. You’ll be shocked to see what a difference it makes. 

Remember to clean your bedding regularly. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Clean the Sheets and Bedding

There are some people out there who will think that this advice is obvious. However, I know plenty of people who rarely clean their sheets and bedding. Whether you realize it or not, dirty sheets and bedding smell very bad. It smells like your natural body odor and musk over time. This might not be as obvious to you, but other people will immediately smell it when they walk into the room. Clean your sheets and bedding at least once a week, and you’ll notice a big difference in the smell and air quality in the room.

House numbers come in a lot of shape, styles, and materials. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Update Your House Numbers

If you own a home, you should have house numbers somewhere outside your door. Sometimes, those house numbers are very small, or they aren’t very clear at night. And if you live in a duplex, it can be especially confusing. Remember that we’re in an era where we rely on deliveries from Amazon, as well as food and grocery services. Buy or paint new house numbers so that they are big, bold, and obvious. These should be just a few dollars at Dollar Tree or your local Home Depot or Lowes. 

Small house plants are very affordable. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Find a New House Plant 

Having plants in your home helps to clear the air in your space naturally. It will help you feel more fresh, but it’s also an amazing way to bring your space to life. Plants are living things, so it sort of feels like taking care of a pet. Obviously, they don’t move or interact with you, but there is still something about plants that makes you feel as though you aren’t totally alone in the room. You know that they rely on you to water them and give them enough sunlight. And they give you their beauty in return. For $10, you can find a small house plant at your local garden center like a succulent, herbs, or seasonal flowers. 

Motion sensor lights are cheap and easy to install. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Install an Outdoor Motion Sensor Light

If you don’t already have an exterior light in your home, it’s probably time to install one. These are actually very affordable, and can be found both online and in any hardware store. An automatic motion sensing light is great for a lot of reasons. If you get home at night, you don’t have to worry about turning on anything with a switch, because it will light up your driveway automatically and help you get to your front door. This is also helpful if you are getting a lot of deliveries from UPS and FedEx after dark. Your delivery person will have a much better view of where they can place their packages. 

Check out the items on Facebook groups. Credit: Shutterstock

1. Browse Buy, Sell, Free, or “Buy Nothing” Groups of Facebook

Browse your online listings on Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Groups to see what you can get for free or cheap. There are usually yard sale groups, or “buy nothing” groups that aim to swap objects with one another for free. Unfortunately, not every town has a “free” group on Facebook. My local area doesn’t have one. But in the beach town where my family has their second house, the community is very tight-knit, and residents are very willing to swap decor for their summer homes. They have a “free curbside” Facebook group, and the objects they put online for free are amazing. Because of this group, I’ve driven over an hour away just to get things for free, but it’s totally worth my $10 in gas money.