Inexpensive ways to spruce up your home

There is so much negativity out in the atmosphere about our economy, people are scared and worried about the future and it has a trickle down effect on many businesses but especially on my field of design and real estate.

The future seems dim and people are downsizing and liquidating their assets like crazy which in my opinion is not necessarily a bad thing. For too long we have been gluttons consuming and buying everything in our path and the move to simplicity is something that can be healthy.

Streamlining our lives and working towards simplicity is a positive step for any person to take; it is like lifting a weight off of our subconscious shoulders and can bring us no end of calm. What I am encouraged by is people opening up and subdividing their homes for extra rental income. Rentals have become more fairly priced and are offering more value for people who need a place to inhabit.

In times of economic uncertainty, it is important to realize that this is temporary at best and that brighter days will dawn again.

Until that happens take good care of yourselves and try to avoid the worry that can come along with this time in our economy. Many people are holding off on planned renovations, building projects and moves which is understandable in this uncertain time. It is a good time to look realistically at your space and work on items which will help maintain its value and appeal yet will not cost you a lot of out of pocket expense.

If you aren’t ready for a large renovation you can still improve your space for a small amount of money.

Painting a room or rooms is always an inexpensive and instant pick up for any interior. Give your home a complete and thorough cleaning including re-treating wood finishes and cleaning and sanitizing fabrics. Giving your home a freshening up will help extend the life of the products in your home and will give the interior a fresh, new feeling.

Maintain and clean appliances by clearing out traps where dust can build up including the backs of fridges and stoves and the lint traps and hoses of dryers.

It will help extend the life and look of the items in your home.

Keeping taps and sinks cleaned regularly will keep hard water from damaging the items in your bathrooms and kitchens. I have seen sinks ruined by dripping taps and exposure to chemicals and uncleanliness. Spend time to look at these often overlooked items and you will save yourself many dollars in future expensive replacements.

The same is true for textiles such as carpets and upholstery.

Regular maintenance and cleaning/conditioning will extend the life and give you more wear out of your household items. Carpet requires cleaning every 18-24 months and weekly vacuuming while upholstered furniture should be cleaned yearly to remove dirt and debris which abrade fibres and causes premature wear.

Leather furniture needs regular conditioning cream and hardwood should be cleaned and conditioned on a regular schedule.

Your home is worth preserving and caring for which is an inexpensive alternative to a big renovation project. You will be amazed at the life expectancy of a well maintained home.

Kim Wyse is a local freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Designer/Ask a Realtor’.

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