Sometimes, when I am feeling not so content with my surroundings, I find that simple little projects or tweaks to make my environment more functional keeps me happy and less likely to spend on high end changes.
Take the kitchen. We replaced our flooring last year and redid the ceiling (thanks to a water leak). Ever notice how one change leads to more? Yeah, so now we are planning to replace our island and eventually get new countertops and a backsplash. At least for me, once I identify those wants, I have a hard time feeling content until those changes take place. What can I say? I am strongly goal driven. Sometimes that serves me well, sometimes I have to fight it.
During some recent time off from work, I revamped the functionality of the kitchen with smaller, less expensive projects that make my life easier and keep me feeling content while I am waiting on the bigger projects. While it is OK to spend some money to spruce things up, if you are working on a tight budget, you can do similar things with what you have on hand.
I took a big wooden vessel I already had and filled it with some seasonal gourds. A burlap table runner and some candles feels like fall and makes me smile every time I walk by the table. The table runner and votive holders were picked up at a local flea market, but you may already own similar items, or may be able to make your own runner or use colored leaves or cuttings from outside.
Straighten/Clean Up Storage
When we built our house 15 years ago, I lined all the cupboards with a thick rubber liner. It was yellowing and tearing in spots. I relined the shelves I could see (hey – liner can be expensive) or that need protection with a lovely natural fiber liner that unfortunately is not sold anymore. There are some similar varieties here and here. Love this change. A lot.
I also dealt with some of those trouble spots – you know the ones that bug you. For me, it was my baking drawer and cupboard. Stuff was forever getting all jumbled up and it was a pain to dig for what I needed – or even be sure I had what I needed on hand! Enter some inexpensive containers from IKEA and the container store. For less than $15, I not only vastly improved the functionality of these two areas, I also love how they look! Say what you want, but those little things can make you happy each day as you go about life. It is the little things that really can make a difference.
Of course, even just wiping down the shelves and straightening the dishes, getting rid of what you don’t use and neatly arranging what you do use will make a world of difference for you. Other inexpensive liner options could be fabric that you have on hand or butcher paper. Use double sided tape to adhere to the shelf.
Contain the Cords
Ugh – cords! They are everywhere and hard to control. One of the best purchases I’ve made was this pack of Velcro straps for cords. This pack has a LOT, so you may want to share with someone else, but they are great. They feel soft, but adhere to themselves well. I have put them on the juicer, smoothie maker, rice cooker, hand mixer, teapot and slow cooker – and that is just in the kitchen! These have also found tons of use in the cord/battery drawer and near the computer. I love how easy they are to use. Seriously – at $6.98 – a worthy investment in my sanity.
Do Something Fun
This next project was really just for fun. If you are a nerdy organizer like me, you maybe can relate. I purchased cute glass containers at IKEA and made some labels with my Silhouette Cameo and added some Martha Stewart labels to dress up our pantry items. Like I said earlier, it is OK to spend money just to beautify you space from time to time. Just be sure it is something you will enjoy! I have seen other bloggers who did something similar with cute dollar store containers. I did not find any at my local dollar store, but maybe you will have better luck.
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