It’s the end of another busy year, and you've earned a good rest and change of scenery. How better to reward yourself than with some well-deserved R&R in a gorgeous setting?
Good holidays do wonders, but if you can’t afford that kind of break – or if your annual getaway is breaking the bank – you can still treat yourself to some refreshing yet economical changes closer to home. In fact, when making every cent count is a priority, people tend to ‘nest’ – a perfect opportunity to tackle some DIY projects.
If you were fortunate enough to get a bonus this year, then you’ll want to use it wisely. But even if you have to stretch your usual finances, there’s no need to keep putting off those fixes and finishes on your wish list. Simply rethink your revamp strategy and apply Theodore Roosevelt’s great advice: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
Set yourself a budget
Give yourself a spending goal and work within the limits of your current resources: whether it’s a few tins of paint; a couple of items of furniture; or some new plants for your garden.
Clear out the clutter
Festive season is an ideal time to ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’. Your trash may be someone else’s treasure, and selling what you don’t need could give your refurbishing fund a nice boost.
Do some frugal fixes
‘Repurposing’ and ‘upcycling’ are contemporary buzzwords for making the most of what you have. Breathe some new life into your furniture and décor by fixing and redecorating items and spaces that have been waiting an eternity for some TLC – a fresh coat of paint may be all that’s needed.
Gifts that keep on giving
Ask loved ones for really useful gifts that contribute towards your revamp. Or ask them to volunteer their time to help you with your projects – in exchange for a hearty holiday lunch.
Start freecycling and swapping
Find out if people in your social circles are getting rid of stuff, and offer to collect. Or do swaps with those still wanting to get some value out of their things. Check out what groups are in your area: www.freecycle.org
Plug into your community
Neighbourhood and residents’ association social media pages are great for sourcing cost-effective local products, services, handymen and tradesmen; or for finding items people may be getting rid of cheaply (or for free).
Last but not least…
Inspiration costs nothing. Home and décor magazines and books can be pricey and go out of date, so why not visit your local library? If you absolutely must spend money, wait until after Christmas to take advantage of the sales sure to be happening.
If a change is as good as a holiday, but your wallet is feeling somewhat lean, it’s time to think outside your home and décor box, starting with these ideas for some makeover mileage.
Written by Erica Kleine (December 2015)