We all want to have a nice home, but budgets just don’t stretch far enough for us to buy everything we’d like. There are ways to keep your home feeling fresh and homely without spending a lot.
- Buy some tester pots of paint. They can cost as little as £1. You can use them to paint mirror frames, picture frames and ornaments that you can pick up cheaply in charity shops. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do.
- Look for cheap or free household goods. You can find cheap or even free furniture and household items online on sites such as Gumtree or local Facebook groups. Have a look for local recycling projects, charity shops and so on. There are more ideas in our page on ‘furnishings and household items’.
- Local Facebook pages can be a great source of information as well as places where neighbours are giving things away for free or a low price. If you don’t want to join these sites in case you have to give a whole load of personal information, you don’t have to include anything much in your profile and don’t put any photos of you or your children up on them. Keep yourself as safe as possible. If you ever agree to pick up a free item, always take someone with you, and don’t feel you have to go into someone’s house.
- Charities, such as Shelter, British Heart Foundation and the Cyrenians, have furniture shops where you can buy good quality second-hand furniture and other household items. Upcycling, vintage and retro looks are all very fashionable. You’ll be surprised at what you can pick up. If you are looking for something, these types of shops often take phone numbers so they can call you when something suitable comes in. Some will let you put a deposit down and you can pay it up. Don’t be afraid to ask.
- Rather than replacing old items of furniture and so on, why not try upcycling them? There are lots of ideas online with step-by-step instructions. Look out for reduced items in craft and DIY stores.
- Put your children’s pictures on the walls. They’ll love it and it will make the space more like a home.
- If you’re not allowed to stick things on your walls, can you rig up a ‘washing line’ with some string or fairy lights, and use paper clips or pegs to hang up their pictures?
- You can pick up photo frames in charity shops. They’re cheap to buy in shops like B&M, Poundland and Home Bargains.
- If you get fed up with the colour of your bedding, cushions, curtains or even clothes, think about dyeing them. It’s easy to do and dyes cost only a few pounds which is cheaper than buying new stuff. Some dyes you use in your washing machine, others you can use in a sink/bath. There are lots of videos on YouTube. Follow the instructions, and you could have a whole new colour scheme.