Many of us have spent more time than ever before inside our homes this year, and though we can’t hit refresh on 2020, we can certainly revamp things around the house to brighten our moods.
Shed some layers
We all have stuff in our homes that we don’t need – from jars stuffed with pens that don’t work, to wardrobes bursting with clothes that don’t fit.
Starting with the smallest thing and working your way up helps you chip away at it – and we all have a junk drawer that can get us in the mood. Pull it out and sort it in front of the TV - before you know it, you’ll be emptying wardrobes and stuffing the recycling with all those old takeaway containers driving you mad in the bottom cupboard.
You may have a few days of chaos as various piles appear for goodwill, garage sales and hard rubbish collection but stay focused and keep your eyes on the spacious, clutter free prize.
Do a deep clean
If you’ve lived in your rental for a while, you probably have some things you overlook, that you think will be dealt with on your exit clean. A particularly stubborn mouldy corner in the bathroom perhaps? Rust marks on tiles? Stains from old spills on the carpet?
If you’ve become a long-term tenant in the property, it might be worth considering a deep clean, using products you don’t normally buy – like a grout pen, a high strength household disinfectant, or carpet shampoo.
Many of these products are inexpensive and freely available at your local supermarket or hardware store. Not only will the extra time and attention keep the property in good shape, it will make your life easier in the months ahead where housework is concerned too!
Plant some seeds
Regardless of how much space you have, there is always room somewhere for a plant. Pick one up spontaneously while you’re shopping, or better still grow your own. Most supermarkets sell small bags of potting mix now, and you can order seeds for a few dollars a packet online.
Rocket seeds will sprout in just a few days, and snow peas will shoot and burst to life in less than a week. Spring is the time for bulbs so add some colour to the house with daffodils, jonquils, tulips or hyacinths. Or cut the ends off your spring onions, put the roots in a jar of water and watch them magically regrow, for a bit of greenery in the kitchen.
Clean, paint and repair
Now that the chaotic top layer of miscellaneous life junk has been removed, the smell of disinfectant lingers in the air and you’re buzzing with the promise of new life as your seeds start to sprout, what comes next? Being an excellent tenant is the answer – nobody likes a whinger, but every landlord loves a good tenant. Take a look around your home and try to see things with fresh eyes. There may be a collection of small things that need attention, that will not only contribute to your overall revamping efforts, but also let the landlord know you’re really taking care of their property.
Maybe you’ll spot some minor maintenance or repairs that might be needed - like markings on walls, chipped or peeling paint, or loose or broken things like handles and doorknobs. Start a list of small things around the house that need to be repaired, or are starting to look shabby and could do with some attention. There may be things you can deal with yourself - such as scrubbing wall marks with some sugar soap, or spot cleaning carpet stains - but if there are enough odd jobs, it might be worth a visit from a handyman.
One handyman might be able to manage all the small repairs needed, or you may require a tradesman for more complex issues. This will of course be at the landlord’s discretion. Whatever the result, spotting issues and getting them on the table now, means yoe’re keeping on top of the ongoing care of the property; life is too short for cleaning and waiting around for emergency repairs right?
The landlord doesn’t see the property in the way you do and may appreciate the feedback and be happy to oblige. They may also reject the request but it’s spring and inspiration is in the air so it’s worth a shot right!
Make things new again
Aside from the cosmetic things to do with the property, you can also make small changes yourself that will brighten things up. Putting pictures on the walls (or changing around the ones you have), or filling a dull corner with a lush leafy indoor plant can transform a space in minutes. There are plenty of tenant friendly wall hanging options on the market now that won’t damage surfaces, and indoor plants are yours to keep forever (providing you don’t kill them).
Brighten up your space with colour by adding a couple of good quality throw cushions to your living spaces. You can often pick up pillows and cushions from garage sales and if they are a standard size, you can mix and match with fun cushion covers and throw rugs as the seasons change. Changing colours, designs and styles of bed linen, bathroom towels and accessories can also help and often will change the entire mood of your house. You can’t go wrong with a vase of fresh flowers on a sunny windowsill either.