I have a pretty much permanent decorating itch. But how do you scratch it when the piggy bank is looking a little lean?

Here is my strategy for sprucing up the nest without spending any money:


When you’re feeling blah about your space, it’s easy to blame the decor when often it’s simply that clutter has crept in. Start by clearing visual clutter (anything on floors, shelves, tables or benchtops that shouldn’t be there) for an instant makeover. Then move onto cupboards, drawers and closets – the contents may be hidden but if the’re overflowing the mess will spread into view.


A house that functions well is a much calmer place to live than one where you can never find the keys. Organise and develop systems and routines your newly-decluttered abode, starting with the problem areas. Oh and you don’t need to buy expensive storage containers to get organised! Look around your home: you probably have plenty of boxes, trays, baskets and jars that would make for excellent storage. (I’ll do a full post about affordable organising later on during Budget Month.)


Any time of year is good for a spring clean! Next time you’re doing the cleaning, take a few extra minutes and wipe down those forgotten spots like window sills, skirting boards and tops of cupboards. Not only will you be rid of all those cobwebs, everything will smell fresh and clean.


Little things like scuff marks, broken handles and chips in paint don’t seem like such a big deal but if you leave them to build up I find they can really bring a room down (not to mention cause unnecessary frustration every time you see them!). Most minor repairs such as touching up paint, polishing furniture and fixing leaking taps can be done with items already on hand, but if not you’re short on supplies you should be able to sort it out with a $10 note at the hardware store.


Our compact floorplan does limit our ability to move furniture around on a whim, but I can still rearrange decor and art between different rooms to freshen up the space. I also don’t have everything on display at once. Rather, I have a small stash of spare decor items that I will rotate into use periodically or whenever I feel like shopping but don’t want to shell out any cash.


I have a whole stash of postcards and old greeting cards with beautiful designs that would make awesome free art. Perhaps you also have some fabric scraps that could be made into a cushion (if you’re handier with a sewing machine than I am!) or a piece of furniture that could be given a new lease on life with a coat of paint?

This approach may not sound like it yields big results, but I find it never fails to make me more content with our home. Even if you do end up spending some money on decorating, you’ll at least have laid the foundations and made sure your hard-earned cash has been spent wisely.

What are your favourite no-cost decorating tips? Leave them in the comments!


4 Responses

  • That’s so true. Every time I clean, I feel so much better about my house. Though this summer coach has been very busy. Painting the exterior of the house and landscaping. Yard sales do wonders for getting something new for the house to and getting rid of what is cluttering up the house. So with the extra cash from our yard sale. We went to our local antique mall(which happens to be down the street)and picked up our second mid century table and chairs for the backyard. It’ll need some TLC, but the price was to GOOD to pass up.

    • Nice work, Coach! I bet the exterior looks lovely and fresh. Oo that table and chairs sounds fab!

  • Great tips as always, Alicia!
    I agree with just de-cluttering, or in my case, just picking all my clothes up off the floor!
    Something else that is always a nice touch are fresh flowers – either from your own backyard, or from an afternoon stroll around the fields.

    • Yes clothes, oh my goodness I am the worst with putting them away so that always makes a big difference. Love the flower idea! It slipped my mind since I don’t have a proper garden.

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