If you’re at all like me, you are looking around your home as the stronger light of spring hits it and desperately craving a change to the fresher, airier, clean looks of summer. Here are some free or extremely inexpensive ways to refresh your look.

spring cleaning and decorating on a budget

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  1. Clean. A clean room looks airier and brighter right away. I’m talking about moving furniture, polishing windows inside and out, wiping fan blades, picture frames….the works. If you need some help or a checklist, Simply Kierste and Studio 5 have free printable spring cleaning checklists that make you smile.

    And the site DIY Natural has some great all-natural cleaning supply recipes that will leave it smelling great without chemicals.

  2. Declutter. If you are so overwhelmed that you don’t know where to begin, or you need some inspiration to get going, take a look at Flylady or watch some old episodes of Clean Sweep. After that, what’s left over can be stored discreetly in attractive containers and baskets.


      3. Paint. One $40 can can make a huge difference! Pick a fresh colour and see what a huge difference it makes. Or maybe you could paint the dark wood trim and doors a crisp glossy white. Or both – maybe you hate painting less than I do. ๐Ÿ™‚
     4. Curtains. Sometimes the window coverings we have are what is dating the room. If you’ve had the same pair for 10 years or longer, you probably need a change. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either; how about classic back-tab semi-sheers that float in the breeze? Perfect for spring and summer! And best of all, they work with any decorating style. Ikea even sells a 96″ long pair (with iron-on hemming tape included) for 19.99. Look for Vivvan.

       5. Re-cover. Look at your furniture. Would it benefit from an update? You can get a sofa slipcover for well under $100 in a lot of places and it makes a huge difference, especially in a classic neutral or a single shot of colour.

     6. Move things around. Why not bring that gorgeous copper pot into the living room? What about the pictures on your walls; what if you brought out some from the guest bedroom, or swapped them for free graphics (like this gorgeous vintage peacock print below, from The Graphics Fairy) in inexpensive new frames? A favourite vase could display spring flowers on the mantel instead of sitting unused in the cupboard.

     7. Check the lighting. You can add a new lamp for very little cash. Whether it’s from a vintage shopping expedition or Target is up to you.
What’s your favourite trick for refreshing your home? Share in the comments!
 -Erin, The Usual Mayhem
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    10 comments on “Refresh your home for spring & summer (without emptying your bank account!)”

    1. You just got me in the mood to start thinking about an in depth spring cleaning. I like the idea of slip covers, right now I’m really thinking about white for the sofa and chair.

      • The great thing about white is that you can bleach it and hang it out on a line to dry and it looks like new afterwards. Given that I live with three kids and two large dogs, the bleachability makes it a big favourite here ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Love the idea of using new graphics. And I can’t say enough about FlyLady. I’ve been reading her page for years, since she was a Google List group. I still refer to her website when I need to retake control of the house ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I still use a timer all the time after following Flylady! And the free stuff you can find to print on The Graphics Fairy is just gorgeous…..I need to hit Ikea for new frames so I can add some of her free art in our newly renovated home office.

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