Whether you’re putting your pad on the market or just want to impress dinner guests, here are seven cheap, fast, and easy home improvements you can do on your next day off.
- Add shoe molding. You know that little rounded border that goes around the base of the trim? It costs about $3 for eight feet, and installation is idiot-proof. Head over to your local home-improvement store and pick some up.
- Paint your trim. It’s amazing how much a quart of paint and a little patience can brighten up a room. Grab a 1-inch angled brush and a quart of glossy paint, and touch up your baseboards, windowsills, and door trim to make the whole room look brand new.
- Shampoo the carpets. For about $30 and four hours, you can rent a rug shampooer from most local grocery stores and clean all of your wall-to-wall carpeting and large area rugs. Don’t forget to vacuum first!
- Remove overgrown bushes outside. If you don’t feel like digging (and, later, filling) an enormous hole to yank out your slowly browning shrubs, just grab a Sawzall and cut them off at ground level. Once you get the leftover branches out of the way, a bag of mulch is all you need to cover the evidence.
- Wash the windows. Clean windows make your home look newer while letting in more light. Don’t really do windows? Suck it up on the inside, but grab one of those hose attachments with window cleaner included for the outside.
- Cut the clutter. Want to make your house look twice as big? Get rid of half your stuff. No, seriously. Go through your closets, cabinets, and bookcases and gather up the things you never use and/or don’t particularly like. Donate or Free-cycle what you can, and throw out the rest. Found some things you don’t use often but can’t bear to part with? Pack them up neatly and stash the boxes in your attic, basement, or closet.
- Clean, clean, clean. Don’t just stop with the windows and the carpets. Break out the Soft Scrub and make your kitchen sparkle. Call on Mr. Clean to make your floors shine. Bust the dust on all your surfaces to make everything look new. It makes a huge difference.
All it takes is a few dollars and a couple of hours, and your house will be looking like a million bucks in no time.