7 Big-Impact Things You Can Do for Your Home Today That Won’t Cost a Darn Thing

published Sep 5, 2015
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(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

While huge chunks of cash and time spent on your home can certainly alter the look and feel of it for the better, such an investment doesn’t have to be made every time your home needs an aesthetic boost. These seven great things you can do for your house today will make it look and feel better — and it won’t cost you a penny.

1. Let light and air in

Homes can get stuffy. From air standing still to big curtains and shades blocking out light and the outside environment, before you know it your whole world is feeling claustrophobic. You might start feeling antsy about your job, your relationships. You might feel like you need to take a big trip. And hey, maybe you do need a dramatic change in your life. But start by opening up your home a little first; you might find the literal breath of fresh air breathes fresh air into your life, too.

2. Clear off any piles that are adding to clutter

Hopefully you’ve mastered a cleaning and organizing schedule that prevents piles from accumulating, but if you haven’t quite perfected the knack just yet, do a little pile decluttering. But we don’t just mean literal piles of paper — we’re talking about those “piles” around the house of everyday things that, well, pile up. From the shoes to the remote controls to the throw pillows. Attack and disperse to take away mental declutter in your home, too.

3. Sweep a main floor area

A dirty floor always makes a home feel dirty, even if the rest of the space isn’t all that bad. From dust, to dust bunnies to food pieces and dog fur, just a quick sweep (you could vacuum, too, but we were trying to make this list truly free which means no electricity, either) and you could increase your home feeling cleaner than it is.

(Image credit: Kathryn Bacalis)

4. Remove an obstacle

You could interpret this idea in a lot of a ways, and that’s intentional. Removing an obstacle could mean a physical thing like taking out the trash that’s been sitting by the back door or finally rearranging your living room to make the traffic flow a little better. Or it could be a sort of metaphysical, mental obstacle, like thinking that you can’t add color to a room because you can’t paint walls or feeling like your bedroom will never look the way you want it to thanks to that giant radiator. It doesn’t even have to be about home…maybe you’ve got a life obstacle that you put in your own way that you could put a little work into moving (mentally or physically) today. You do whatever moving or meditating you need to get an obstacle out of your way.

5. Bring a little nature inside

While many of us would love a fresh bouquet of flowers delivered to our home every week, we don’t all have the means or the money to make that floral dream happen. But flowers aren’t the only parts of nature that can make a home feel connected to the seasons. Take a walk outside around your home or in your yard to scavenge for branches, pine cones — whatever might be around for the taking. Adding this to a spot that you see every day will help you feel more connected to nature even if you’re stuck indoors.

6. Straighten, adjust, nudge and tweak

You would think that “big-impact” means “big movement” but that’s not always the case. Sometimes doing a lap or two around your house to straighten stuff on bookshelves, nudge a chair a few inches out of the traffic flow, adjust a crooked art piece or tweak something can, cumulatively, act as a big reset for your decor, having a sizable aesthetic impact on your whole home.

7. Pull out something you’re passionate about

Are you hiding away your paint supplies and easel? Are your knitting needles tucked safely in a box under your bed? Whatever your hobby — your passion outside of work — don’t secret it away to be forgotten about. Keep it on display to alight your passions when you move through your space.