We all want to be as comfortable and happy in our homes as possible, over the course of time, this goal can become a challenge. After you’ve lived in your house for a few years, you can look around and realize that your home is not quite the place it used to be; it’s lost its luster. This can be pretty depressing but take heart! You can do a few things that will help restore the love you once had for your home. There are lots of places to look for advice on how to do this. I’ve taken some time to draw together much of that advice and wanted to share it with you to help you make your home more livable.
This seems to be all the rage today, and for good reason. It’s almost impossible to make your home feel clean and relaxing if you have clutter everywhere. Now, I’m not suggesting that you go full-on minimalist! For me, I think that having several decor items give my home a sense of warmth that I long for. My oldest daughter is quite the opposite. She likes a minimalist approach, but even she has her share of tchotchkes here and there. They are the items that make our home reflect who we are. A two foot stack of old magazines stacked on the floor, however, has little to do with reflecting such. It’s usually a case where you think, “I’ll get to those later.”
Kitchen counter-tops filled with groceries, appliances, and dishes can also be considered clutter. Even if you’re going to use the items, if you’re not using them at the time, find a place to store them out of the way. Get in the habit of putting the items you need back in the cabinets when you’re done with them. Stay ahead of the game. But more to the point; look around the room in which you’re sitting. If you find that there is plenty of clutter around the place, know that getting rid of it can easily make for a much happier feeling on the whole. And it’s something you should be able to do in a weekend if you really try.
Determine to get rid of the clutter. Look at the items that are just filling up space. Those old magazines can be recycled. If you have furniture that’s gone beyond its wear, donate it. Lots of people, like myself, love shopping thrift stores and donation stores to find furniture that needs to be brought back to life. You can even sell items on social media markets. Even if it’s just a few bucks, it’s a win-win! Look at the other items adding clutter. If you haven’t used it in a year, you’re not going to miss it. Just let it go! Your stress level will go down and your contentment will rise in a fresh, de-cluttered space.
Get Rid Of Pests
No matter how clean your home, it’s possible to encounter pests on the premises. It can be quite a challenge to get rid of them in a safe and timely manner. We’ve all been there. It can be embarrassing when you see that mouse scurry across the room or see a bug go up the wall and you have company sitting right there. If you are struggling to rid your home of these rascals, it’s time to seek professional help with the task. Go somewhere like www.citypests.com and see if they can help you out with your pest problem. Professionals have access to pesticides and traps that the public doesn’t. If it’s time, bring out the big guns. In the meantime, it’s essential to keep food items secured in your home. I have plastic container that I fill with our cereal. Keeping my sugar and other baking items in air tight containers is also something I do. This keeps the pests away as well as keeping my food items as fresh as possible.
Calm the Color
As I’ve mentioned many times, the best way to freshen up a space is paint. If your walls are looking dingy and listless, it’s time to paint! If you’re painting areas of your home where you actually “live” like dens, kitchens, and bedrooms; calming colors are the best choice. Save the bold colors for playrooms and other fun spaces. Being able to create a calm space means that you need to think about this kind of detail, so it helps if you understand a little basic color psychology as well. Seriously, the color of a room can affect your mood. Blues and greens are considered more cool colors and tend to be calming. Yellows, reds, and oranges are more warm colors, but be careful- they can also be aggressive as well. Whether you go cool or warm, be sure to go to the outer edges of these colors; the paler of these shades. Your room will feel fresher with new paint and you’ll feel better about things in general.
Improve the Scent
Finally, it’s important to remember to take care of all of the senses, even including scent. As you know, we purchased a 1901 Victorian farmhouse a year ago. Our home is almost 120 years old and all of the original building materials are still present. The house sat vacant for a few years before we purchased it as well (this included very pet stained carpet on the 3rd floor). This led to and odor that can be best described as offensive. Ridding the house of the carpet was the first things we did. We also disinfected the floors and painted them with an anti odor/mold paint. It helped tremendously, but we had to go further. Cleaning the floors and walls thoroughly helped even more.
I actually wanted more than just the clean smell that came from the household cleaners I used. Using beautifully fragranced essential oils was an easy way to infuse a nice aroma into the house. I’m not necessarily an essential oils person, in other words, I don’t use them for their intrinsic effect. Honestly, I have no idea the difference between one oil to the next. I just open the jars, smell them, and decide if I want that fragrance in my house! If you’re not into using essential oils, wax melts also are also a great way to get that beautiful fragrance wafting throughout your house.
Simply baking cookies or bread fill a home with the best scents. You can actually put a couple of tablespoons full of vanilla extract (or any other type like lemon or lavender) in an small oven proof dish in a 300 degree oven and in about 20 minutes, the house will be filled with fragrance. Plus people will think you’ve been baking!
At the end of the day, it’s possible that your home may need more than just little touches here and there. Your family may have literally outgrown the house and an additional bedroom needs to be added. You may be wanting to create a backyard paradise to expand your living area to the outside. Or it may be as simple as wanting a real update to your kitchen; the works: cabinets, appliances, countertops, floors, etc.
The only problem is, renovations generally take more money than we have to spare. If you’ve lived in your home for a number of years, or depending on the housing market in your area, even a couple of years, you might be able to get the money you need through a refinance of your home. To consider a refinance, you need to find out what the payoff on your home is. Then you’ll need to know the actual value of your home. You can get a rough idea by looking at the sale price of houses in your area for similar homes. I think most states will lend up to 80% of your homes vales on a refinance. If you owe $80,000 on your home and your home is worth $150,000 then you may be able to refinance you house for $120,000 (80% of $150,000). After you subtract what you owe, then you’d have $40,000 for renovations. This is true no matter how much you paid for your home. It’s what you actually owe against the actual current value (or 80% of it anyway) that matters.
Go to MortgageCalculator.Org to see what your new payment might be, it could very well be lower than what you pay now! Calculate interest rates, length of loan, and see an amortization table. You can possible get a cash out refinance and then keep the same payment but lower the number of years you finance. There are so many ways this can be a win for you!
These simple tricks can make you fall in love with your home all over again.