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How to Declutter Your Home!

Monday, 30 January 2017

It can be hard deciding what needs to go in your house when trying to declutter. Thankfully has come up with a list of things to consider when trying to clean out.

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1. Get rid of duplicates.

If you have duplicates lying around, get rid of them if they’re not necessary. Keep the better duplicate and trash or donate the other.

2. Get rid of things you haven’t used in a year.

So you keep telling yourself that you’ll use it eventually, but if you haven’t touched it in a year, chances are that you’re not going to in the near future. Do your home a favor and get rid of the items that aren’t getting any use.

3. Digitize nostalgic items.

Do you have too many nostalgic items that you can’t seem to get yourself to give away? Take photos of them and then get rid of them—you’ll be able to keep them around forever without cluttering up your space.

4. Don’t keep items out of guilt.

I’m sure you have a thing or two around the house that you keep out of guilt. Perhaps it’s a sweater sweet aunt Betty knitted for you for Christmas that you never wear or that fancy dress you splurged way too much on. Time to be brutal and get rid of them all.

5. Put things back where they belong.

It’s easy to just leave things lying around, but that’s how clutter builds up. After you’re done using something, immediately put it back where it belongs so you won’t procrastinate.

6. And find a home for them.

Make sure every item in your home has a place, whether it be a plastic container or an under-the-bed organizer. And remember: A pile of items is not a true place for your things.

7. Sell, give away, donate, upcycle, or throw away.

When assessing things you want to get rid of, start by seeing if you can make some of your money back by selling it. Here are some avenues for selling different types of clutter.

If you don’t think it’s worth the effort to sell, give it away to people you know who will use it. Perhaps to your family and friends, or even your Facebook network. You can also choose to donate it to get a tax write-off.

8. Don’t keep items you wouldn’t buy now.

Are there some items you have that you would never buy now? Perhaps you should take a good hard look at them and figure out why you need them now and if you can do without them.

9. Opt for covered furniture.

If you have a clutter problem, choose furniture that is covered, such as a closet with a sliding door instead of open shelves. This will help your place look cleaner and more organized.

10. Don’t forget storage under your bed.

There’s a lot of real estate in your home that’s not being put to good use; one that people often forget about is under-the-bed storage.

11. Think tall.

Use up all the space in your home to make the most of it, including the vertical space. The more space you have for your stuff, the less likely it’s going to get cluttered up.

12. Evaluate your spending.

If you’re buying things you don’t need, take a hard look at your spending. Perhaps you need to take part in our 30-day spending hiatus to motivate yourself.


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11 Decorating Tips to Make Your Rental Feel Like Home

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Improvenet offers great tips on how to make your rental feel more homey.


1. Invest in Furniture that You’ll Love Forever

When it comes to buying furniture for a rental property, people tend to avoid investing in luxurious furniture. Regardless of the budget, people always assume existing furniture won’t fit in the next home. Well, it’s time to debunk this common misconception. Calling a rental property home doesn’t have to mean living with cheap and disposable furniture. In fact, cheap furniture will only make your rented home look like a college dorm. Unless you go with custom-made pieces, quality furniture should be a long-term investment you can take with you no matter where you live.

Ready to change your dorm-like home? Consider investing in a nice piece of furniture that you’ll love forever. Sofas are a good starting point. 

2. Consider Second-Hand Furniture When Budgets are Tight

Rental Decorating Tips - Furniture

That said, if you really can’t afford top-of-the-line furniture, here is my suggestion. Instead of filling your home completely with Ikea, get some used, yet high quality pieces from thrift stores or Craigslist. It's true that second-hand furniture may cost the same amount as the whole new Ikea items. Nonetheless, its better quality will ensure longevity and save you money in the long run.

Additionally, painting the old furniture lets you create a personal touch to the home.

3. Swap Out Ugly Lighting Fixtures

We all know that beautiful lighting fixtures can make a big design statement. However, chances are that your rental only comes with the most outdated ceiling lights. Feeling gloomy? Don’t be. Replacing a lighting fixture is indeed one of the easiest DIY projects anyone can undertake. You just need to contact your landlord, get his/her approval and shop for some lighting fixtures that can represent your taste.

If you want to keep your security deposit, remember to store the original lights carefully and swap them back when you move out.

4. Install Temporary Wallpaper to Liven up Your Walls

Rental Decorating Tips Removable - Wallpaper



Bored of your plain white walls? If you’re looking to liven up your walls and willing to take a bold move, use removable wallpaper to create an accent wall. Unlike paint, removable wallpaper is easy to install (just peel and stick) and available in a variety of patterns. You can add instant visual interest to your rental and there’s no need to worry about the repair fee. Removable wallpaper won't damage your walls when you peel it off. Moreover, you can reuse it multiple times without losing cohesion.

5. Try Stenciling A Wall if Your Landlord Allows

While most landlords don’t like tenants painting the entire rental, they're usually cool with some small painting projects, such as a wall stencil. Since your landlord may ask you to paint it back, I’d recommend only stenciling a small part of your wall. Also, to make your repainting job easier, don’t forget to ask your landlord for the brand and name of the original paint color.

6. Transform Ordinary Walls into Your Art Gallery

Rental Decorating Tips - Artwork

Another easier and more inexpensive way to personalize your rental is to use your blank walls as your art gallery. Hang some framed artwork to show your aesthetics. Or, simply create a memory wall with a photo or postcard collage that will make your rental feel more like you. I bet both you and your guests will enjoy those good old memories.

7. Hang Some Colorful Curtains to Add Interest

Let’s say you have a difficult landlord and want to avoid any holes in the walls or bright colors on the walls. Don’t worry, as there are some great alternatives for you and your landlord. Invigorate your space by hanging some colorful curtains. A floor-to-ceiling drape will work just like an accent wall.

8. Lay an Area Rug to Cover Your Ugly Floors

Rental Decorating Tips - Area Rug

Not every renter is lucky enough to find a place with beautiful hardwood floors. If you fall into the category of “having wall-to-wall carpet flooring,” don’t get frustrated. You just need a stylish area rug to layer over the ugly floors. You may be concerned that a rug on wall-to-wall carpet will make a room look busy and bulky. Believe it or not, a bold area rug will not only cover your imperfect floors, but also bring a pop of color into your rental, sprucing it up.

9. Customize Your Cabinetry with Cute Knobs

As a renter, although we have no right to choose the look of cabinetry, there’s still a way to personalize it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you should paint the cabinets. It’s not worth losing your security deposit to do such a big change. Instead, a small change, like changing out the boring handles with cute knobs, will make a big difference, not to mention it’s totally DIY-friendly.  

10. Use Your Bed as a Focal Point

Decorating Tips Bedding

Your bed is for more than just sleeping. It should also function as a focal point of your room, especially when you’re renting a studio or a room in a shared house. One of the easiest and quickest ways to decorate a bed is to add a headboard or a bed frame. Additionally, you can use bright-colored bedding to let your bed stand out. However, that doesn’t mean your bedding has to look dramatic all the time. Sometimes, a simple white sheet and comforter with some vibrant accent pillows will make a bedroom look homier.  

No matter what bedding style you finally go with, don’t forget to use a bed skirt or fitted sheet to cover your unappealing box springs.

11. Bring Life into Your Rental

Bring your rental to life with some real living things. Fresh plants will not only add natural textures and colors to your space, but also help improve your air quality. Don’t have a green thumb? No worries. You can start with some low-maintenance plants, such as terrarium, succulents and cacti, or simply buy fresh cut flowers and replenish the water frequently. 


These simple decorating tricks will make your rental feel homier without annoying your landlord. That means you don't have to worry about losing your security deposit!


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