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8 Budget-Friendly Ways to Love Your Home, Even if It’s Not Your Ideal Home

No home is perfect. But there are many ways to make any home feel more lovable.

Adoring your home doesn’t necessarily require spending much money on it. Instead, many of the most effective strategies rely on shifting how you think about your personal spaces and how you spend time in them.

By accentuating the positive and discovering easy ways to make meaningful improvements, you may find fresh gratitude for whatever place you call home. For starters, try these techniques:

1. Make it yours. 

Look for fun and creative ways to infuse your home with furnishings, finishes, and accessories that say, “I live here!” without breaking the bank. Paint is one of the easiest ways to put your thumbprint on a room, often for under $100.

If you’re renting or planning to move soon, focus on buying things you can take with you, like treasured artwork, unique throw pillows, or a statement area rug.

Instagram, HGTV, and other media can be excellent sources of ideas and inspiration but use them carefully. If scrolling these channels leaves you feeling jealous and discontent instead of inspired, avoid them and trust your decorating instincts. 

2. Spend wisely.

While saving up for a down payment or a major renovation, check out thrift stores, which often offer inexpensive ways to experiment with up-cycling diamonds in the rough. For example, turn a $2 glass bowl into a trendy terrarium with collected pebbles, a piece of weathered wood, and a couple of small air plants. 

But if your decorating experiments don’t turn out as delightful as you’d hoped, you can always re-donate them. And the more frequently you visit a thrift shop, the better you’ll get at spotting the best finds.

3. Make more memories. 

Remember, a house, a condo, or an apartment is simply a physical structure. It's the experiences you share while living in a building that can turn a “house” into a cherished “home.” 

So, one of the best ways to love your home is to make memories in it. For instance, schedule movie nights with your kids. Invite friends and relatives over to watch a game—or to play one. New to the neighborhood? It’s a perfect reason to extend an invitation to the folks next door or to host a neighborhood gathering.

4. Clean and clear.

Deep cleaning and decluttering don’t cost a dime, and they’re some of the best ways to appreciate your home more. 

It’s not even necessary to tackle everything at once! For example, simply emptying and organizing one drawer can feel satisfying and rewarding. Or, establish a routine that lets you focus on daily cleaning tasks.

5. Rearrange. 

If it’s been a while since you’ve made any updates, maybe you’ve fallen into a visual rut and need to stir the pot, so to speak.

For example, walk into your living room and look around like a newcomer. How could you rearrange things? Try flipping the orientation of your furniture. Grab that extra chair in your bedroom and see if it works better in your main living space. Reposition or swap out the items displayed on your shelves. 

Rearranging can help you discover better ways to use what you already have and can give your home a fresh, new appearance.

6. Let there be (more and better) light. 

Light can make confining spaces feel more spacious. For example, if you feel trapped in your home office, can you brighten it up with artificial lighting or by letting in more natural light? Creating views of the outdoors also expands a room’s sense of space.

But lighting can also make a home feel cozy and vibrant, especially at night. So look for ways to add accent lighting to freshen a space, like a dramatic uplight on a plant in the corner or a small, rechargeable, low-wattage lamp to brighten a bookshelf.

7. Tackle minor repairs. 

Make a list of all the small chores you’ve been ignoring, like the porch lightbulb you can’t change until you haul out a ladder, the chair with a loose rung that needs to be glued, or the replacement smoke detectors that are still waiting to be installed. 

Devote a Saturday to fixing everything you’ve been putting off. At the end of the day, you’ll have the satisfaction of eliminating several minor annoyances!

8. Change your routine.

Sometimes, a home can feel humdrum if you spend too much time in the same rooms, doing the same things. So look for ways to break up your habits. 

For example, carve out a cozy space to curl up with a book in the evening instead of settling in front of a screen. If you work remotely, can you take your laptop to a coffee shop one morning for a revitalizing change of scenery? 

Simply taking a quick walk or running an errand can break up your days and make your home feel more delightful when you return.

Ready to move?

While these techniques and others can make any home feel more satisfying, sometimes your needs and circumstances change, and moving becomes practical or necessary. In that case, be sure to work with an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®). 

An agent who has earned the ABR® designation has gone the extra mile by completing specialized training in delivering the best buyer-representation services. As a result, when you work with an ABR®, you’ll be served, not sold.