5 Ways to Upgrade Your Home on a Budget

Here are several foolproof ways to elevate your home, even if you're working with a limited amount of money.

To most people, home improvement feels either like an incredibly expensive or time-consuming task. After all, living in a space day-in and day-out makes it look and feel, well, lived-in. And the only way to reverse that effect is to put in some serious elbow grease and money, right?

Well, it depends.

Yes, remodels and upgrades can cost a pretty penny. And if you choose to go the DIY route, the results may not turn out to be what you expected in the first place. (Plus, you risk the possibility of doing some very expensive-to-fix damage if you’re not 100% sure what you’re doing).

But there are several foolproof ways to elevate your home, even if you’re working with a limited amount of money.
So, whether you feel like your spaces need a visual refresh, an update to make them more functional, or want to put your time and effort into something you and your family can enjoy, here are the best ways to upgrade your home on a budget.

Adjust the Lights

One of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to make your home feel more elevated is to adjust or replace your lighting.

No, this doesn’t necessarily mean swapping out your fixtures (though you should do that if your place still features the dreaded boob-light). We’re talking about paying attention to ambient lighting and bulb temperature.

Lighting plays a tremendous role in how we feel in a space. A bright overhead panel can make us super-productive in the morning, helping us complete our tasks. But, if it stays on during relaxation time, it can also prevent us from getting the high-quality rest we need each day.

For this reason, you must learn about the proper way to light your space. And don’t just choose the right temperature for your bulbs (warm for relaxation, cool for productivity). Do your best to also vary the type of lighting throughout your home. Turning on a table or floor lamp instead of the overhead lights can make a huge difference. So play around with this aspect of home decor, and you’ll be guaranteed to reap the benefits (and get some Pinterest-worthy vibes from your good old living room).

Add Plants to Your Space

Greenery can do a tremendous job of elevating a space. It can add a splash of color to your home without you having to paint, swap out cushion covers, or invest in artwork. More importantly, greenery helps bring an organic feel to any room— a trend that’s becoming more prominent than ever.

It’s also worth noting that houseplants can instantly improve the air quality in indoor spaces. Plus, if you’ve set your sights on a particular look, the right plants can help you achieve the effect you’re looking for.

For instance, if you want a rich, maximalist look in your home, bring in a few plants with lush leaves — like a Monstera or a Bird of Paradise. However, if you prefer the minimalist feel, opt for a couple of simple natural pieces of greenery, like a beautifully styled branch that fits in with the rest of your decor or a bouquet of white supermarket-bought flowers.

Declutter and Organize

Don’t want to spend any money but still feel like you can do something to upgrade your home? Why not declutter and organize an area of your choosing?

A mess can make any space look cheap and dingy. Fortunately, however, the solution is simple.

Decluttering your spaces — throwing away or donating unused items, finding a place for each of your possessions, and doing a bit of styling to make your decor look more like a curated collection than clutter — can go a long way in elevating your home.

Naturally, taking on this task can feel overwhelming. So, to make it less of a chore and more of an activity you can enjoy, try to divide the activity into smaller tasks. Tackle only one section of your home at a time. Don’t put pressure on yourself to get rid of everything you own. And if there’s anything you’re unsure about, give yourself enough time to make an objective decision by putting it into a “Maybe” box and returning to it at a later time.

Go Thrifting, Look for Deals, and Shop Your Own Home

Don’t want to spend a large amount of money but still feel like your space needs a few new items? Well, to stay on budget, do your best to explore alternative ways of acquiring furniture and decor for your home.
Nowadays, there are so many budget-friendly options for finding high-quality pieces — even if you don’t live near a well-stocked antique market.

For example, thrift stores can be an excellent place to go hunting for treasures. So can Facebook Marketplace. And if you still wish to purchase new pieces, you can always find coupons or codes for discounts to make the purchases more attainable.

But if you don’t want to spend any money, why not shop for your own home? Swapping out decor between rooms, rearranging furniture, and repurposing what you already have can be excellent ways to refresh your space.

Deep Clean High-Traffic Areas

Lastly, as you explore ways to upgrade your home on a budget, don’t underestimate the impact of a thorough cleaning in making your house look and feel fresh.

Deep cleaning high-traffic areas (like the entryway, bathrooms, and kitchen) can bring back a new shine to much-used surfaces. Using a steam cleaner to clean grout can make your bathrooms look and feel newly renovated (especially if you also redo the caulking). Giving some love to your couch cushions — whether by hiring a steam vacuum or using a dry-cleaning solution — can make them look and smell brand new.

While you’re getting your hands dirty, see whether there are any small upkeep tasks you can take care of, like cleaning up your walls, fixing furniture damage, or conditioning wood, stone, and leather surfaces. These activities won’t take up too much of your time, but they’ll contribute to your home feeling more put-together, so don’t hesitate to take the time and tackle these items on your to-do list.

Final Thoughts

You can absolutely upgrade your home even when you’re on a budget. So, whether you feel your spaces need a visual refresh or want to make some general improvements, don’t hesitate to invest the time and effort necessary to reach your goals.
After all, you spend a great deal of your time at home. So, if you need to make some upgrades to your house to feel comfy and inspired, then that’s an investment well worth making. Especially knowing how big of an impact our physical surroundings have on our mental health.

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