If you're sitting in a space surrounded by 1970's shag carpet, 1980's country blue geese wallpaper border or the now-infamous avocado-green bathtub (maybe you have the matching toilet and sink too?), boy do I know the feeling – we only very recently said good-bye to our green bathtub!
If you're sitting in said space you may be laughing (or crying?) when I tell you that you can start creating your beautiful home right now – even if you have no money.
But I want to share something that Marian Parsons – a.k.a. Miss Mustard Seed – wrote. I wholeheartedly agree with her on this. She said:
It's pretty rare to have all the time, money and skills required to turn every square foot [of our homes] into all our heart desires.
Seriously think about it.
Quite literally, almost no one can afford to make every inch of their home exactly as they dream it to be.
You are NOT the only one who can't afford to decorate at this time in your life. Dean and I have been there. We were there for a LOT of years.
But we got started anyway.
There is no better time to start improving your space than right now. It can be done – a little at a time – with a little creativity and ingenuity.
6 Zero-Cost Ways to Start Creating Your Beautiful Home Right Now
1. Clean and Tidy It
Okay so this may seem obvious. Or maybe you were hoping I'd ignore this one aspect of a beautiful home? But a clean and tidy house is a much more beautiful house. Dust the baseboards, clean the blinds, wipe down the kitchen cupboard doors, sweep and mop the floors, use a bleach cleaner in the bathroom (wear gloves!). Also be sure to make the beds, tidy the paper (at least into neat piles), put the shoes in the closet. You may be shocked to see how much difference a cleaning and tidying spurt will make.
2. Get Rid of the Little Things That You Truly Don't Like
I'm not kidding. Remove the tchotchkes and accessories that just don't do it for you. Give them away. Or if you really can't part with them (maybe they were a gift?) put them in the basement on a shelf where you don't have to stare miserably at them every day. Same goes for things that you don't use. It's far better to have an “empty” house than to have one filled to the brim with things that don't make your home feel beautiful to you.
3. Rearrange Your Furniture
Both Dean and I used to come home from school to rooms that had been rearranged by our moms while the rest of the family was gone all day. So this comes naturally to both of us. But rearranging the furniture (in any room) can really help you to see your home in a new light, so to speak. It can freshen a space up for a new season (like making room for the Christmas tree) or just because. We've done this several times in each of our houses until we find an arrangement that works best for us. We've even swapped entire rooms of furniture, making the living room the dining room and vice versa!
4. Shop the House
I'll touch on this more in another post when I talk about being deliberate with your shopping (and having a decor staples checklist), but shopping your house for items that can be used in another room goes hand in hand with rearranging the furniture. Use a plain white bowl from the kitchen to hold random items at the front door. Steal a mirror from the living room to hang in the bedroom. Look at your accessories (and future accessories) as being useful in more than just one space and even for more than its intended use.
5. Ask For and Accept Stylish Hand-Me-Downs
There is absolutely no shame in asking (0r even posting on Facebook) if your friends with stylish homes have any decor items they're not using anymore. I've been both the giver and receiver of beautiful decor items. Some friends just tend to change out their decor more often than others and would be more than happy to have what they bought put to good use in someone else's home.
6. Go For a Little Drive on Garbage Day or At The End of a Busy Garage Sale Day
For real. Some people put out some great stuff – especially furniture pieces like random side chairs and tables – on garbage day. We once found a great little wooden chest that became a filing cabinet with the addition of some rails inside. And after garage sales people will often just put what didn't sell at the curb because they really just want it gone. You never know what you might find!
What other zero cost ways to start creating your beautiful home can you think of?