Moving into a new home or a new apartment is never a cheap experience! By the time we get moved in, there often isn’t much left in the budget to decorate or add some new touches that just perfectly match that new place.
So, let’s talk about how we can make this new living spot our home quickly without spending a lot of money!
Okay, unpacking isn’t so much “decorating” as it is a function of the process.
Military families are so transit that any time you can create a feeling of home for your family, you should.
Unpacking boxes can create a feeling of establishing roots and accomplishment. Yes, you will move again but don’t let your boxes sit in the garage or a spare room or corner and forget about them… UNPACK!
If its something you didn’t use or enjoy at your last location, consider donating or selling the items.
I’m quite sure, you are familiar with the popular KonMari Method and only keeping those items that bring you “Joy”.
Unpacking is so hard and exhausting, but I’m sure you’ll appreciate not having so much to unpack next time you move and creating that feeling of “We’re Home” is worth the effort.
2. Declutter, Resell, Recycle, Repurpose, Donate
We touched on this in #1, but let’s dive into purpose and benefit of a really good PURGE.
No, I don’t mean that movie!
I’ve always found clutter to be a distracting noise. Even in college, I had to tidy my dorm room before I could focus on studying or homework.
Turns out there is a lot of research to support this. Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. states in her article for Psychology Today, “Living in clutter impedes your identification with your home, which should be a retreat from the outside world and a place to feel pride.”
Around the internet it is easy to find study after study linking cortisol (a stress producing hormone) with clutter in our homes.
Just type in “cortisol and clutter” in your search engine and see for yourself.
So, we know clutter and too much stuff cause us chaos and stress, but what do we do about it?
There are lots of experts on this subject and they do have some amazing techniques and advice.
Personally, I set my mind to the task, set aside a day or afternoon to tackle the purge, and make a limit on the items I can keep.
As I said, there are many experts on this process, so I leave it to you.
Check out the Psychology Today article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201705/5-reasons-clear-the-clutter-out-your-life
3. Let the sun shine.
Open those blinds, shades or curtains and let the sun light up your home.
This is a win-win and is absolutely FREE!
Once again, countless studies show that dark homes are linked to depression.
Open your window coverings as they aren’t needed for privacy during the day.
You can also position a mirror to reflect the sunlight and maximize the light from your windows.
It really is amazing how cheery a space can feel when light is allowed to permeate the darkness.
Speaking of window coverings – If you do need some privacy in the day, look for the paper Redi-Shades that are sold at Lowes or Home Depot. They have light filtering options that still let in light while giving you privacy.
Or go with light sheer curtain that you can pick up at your local dollar store.
4. Bring nature inside
I love anything you can get from nature in your yard if you have one… beautiful and FREE!
This is a quick win and so easy to accomplish.
Take some garden shears or a pair of good scissors into your yard and clip some branches, shrub stems or flowers.
If you don’t have your own yard, ask a neighbor, friend or co-worker if you can trim a few stems or flowers from their yard. Or, if you are in a city, find your local grocer or florist and ask to take any leftovers off their hands before they throw them out.
This can be done any time of year and brings a little nature into your space.
Even a leafless branch can add visual interest and texture. Use a vase or quart jar to put them into water so you can enjoy them longer.
Another great option is to get plant clippings from friends or family or your local gardening club. You can get and share all different types of plants this way and get them all for free!
5. Personalize your space
Break out those photos from those amazing family trips and use them in a gallery collection.
Kids artwork was always my favorite and for no-cost framing use four fairly straight sticks tied together with twine in a box shape.
Display your favorite collections, like the magnets on your fridge from all the places you visit or use those postcards to make a collage.
If you love books, use them on shelves or tables to change the height of other items and create interest.
Regardless of what you have lying around, if it speaks to you and is a reflection of you, use it around your home.
Finding a new way to use an old item is the best part of personalizing your home.
In short – make it yours!
Regardless of how long you will be in a house or apartment, it really does make a huge different in your quality of life if you take the time to make it yours in small, but meaningful ways.
So, no need to spend a lot of money to accomplish that cozy feeling of walking into a space that you feel at home in.