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

Shannon Quinn - October 15, 2020
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.