5 Free Home Improvement Projects

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Mention the word “project” around our house and you’ll likely get raised eyebrows and the old “honey, we can’t afford

it” talk. If you are anxious to spruce up your home and yard, but simply don’t have the extra cash to update and redecorate, here are a few no cost strategies to try.

Rearrange

For a completely free way to change the look of your home, try rearranging the furniture. To begin, remove all of the furniture from the room that you are working on, so you’ll have a clear, uncluttered view of the entire space. And yes, that means taking away pictures, books, lamps, rugs, and decorative objects. Remember, the times when we can’t see the forest for the trees?

Here are some ideas on how to rearrange furniture to make a room feel bigger from ExpertVillage:

Reassign

Next, take a stroll through all the other areas of your home and take a good look around. Is there anything that could be put to better use in the room that you are working on? As you rearrange the room and reassign furniture or objects from other areas, survey each step with a critical eye. If necessary, familiarize yourself with a few basic design principles so you’ll have some guidelines for your new layout. “Less is more” is one to keep in mind as you begin placing items back into your revamped space.

Some Feng Shui Design ideas:

Reuse

Want to decorate with new things or fresh fabric? Visit your attic, garage, and linen closet. You may find odds & ends such as coins, china, old books, vintage photos, toys, buttons, marbles, rocks, fishing lures, wooden oars, and shells. Small things can be placed in glass jars on a sunny window or bookshelf, glued on a vase, lamp base, or candleholder, or used on a shelf for an artful display. Assembling found objects in a shadowbox frame or making a collage is another idea.

Your garage may hold the components for an interesting desk or table in the form of an old door or window. Remember that quilt or set of lace pillowcases that were wedding gifts? Consider cutting and stitching them for a variety of sewing projects – from curtains to table runners to throw pillows. How about that unused aquarium for a terrarium or nature collection? As you go through this process, you may come in contact with your inner artist. From a dramatic vase filled with sticks and moss to a whimsical display of old cameras, toys or books, you’ll have fun finding your own unique style.

Here are some cool ideas from Anoka County Minnesota’s YouTube Channel:

Freebies

The inspiration for your next home project may be in the “Freebie” section of the classifieds. It is amazing what is out there and yours for the taking so have a look through local newspapers, craigslist, and freecycle.com to get started. Also, consider that your friends and neighbors may want to trade odd pieces of furniture and decorative items as well. Have bricks, stones, shingles or lumber left over from another project? How about plants, shrubs, or trees that you’d like to get rid of? Trade them for something you can use!

Labor Co-Op

Start a labor co-op with one or more trusted friends and watch the home transformations begin. The great thing about a situation like this is that everyone wins and benefits from each other’s time and talent. Perhaps you are an excellent carpenter, but really not too skilled when it comes to painting? Maybe you are a master gardener and your husband is talented when it comes to cutting and laying tile? A co-op situation allows its members to put their talents to use and make labor trade-offs. Painting, carpentry, gardening, and sewing projects can all come together and are virtually free. A cooperative effort lends a fun atmosphere to the task at hand and even tough jobs like washing windows and spreading mulch can be fun. It is up to each homeowner to clearly make the others aware of their standards and expectations in respect to the skill levels required and time commitment trade-off.

So, you see, sometimes a little creativity and resourcefulness goes farther than a whole lot of cash!

Anna Platz is an Editor at ForTheBestRate.com, a leading mortgage rate research website, as well as the Lead Contributor to GoodCentsSavings.com, a blog about budgeting and personal finance. Anna is immersed in the world of real estate, mortgage, and home financing and is here to provide valuable resources for homeowners and soon-to-be-homeowners on buying and selling real estate, researching a mortgage broker or lender, and securing a home loan. Check back often for news, updates, and remember that you can find today's current mortgage rates at ForTheBestRate.com. My Google Profile+

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