I’ve been experimenting with different configurations for my classroom. I moved things around a bit, but now that school’s out I’m kicked out of my room until later in July so they can wax the floors and clean. I’ll keep percolating on that, but in the meantime, it got me thinking of ways I can rejuvenate things around the house this summer.
For me, and probably lots of other teachers, summer break always finds me anxious to take on new projects, tackle major cleaning or organizational tasks, and change things up around the house.
I’m going to paint a few rooms this summer and reorganize a few closets and storage areas. Those are big tasks, so I like to come up with a few smaller tasks I can do in between to produce a big bang for a small (time) buck. Here are a few things I came up with that are FREE (or free-ish depending on how you go about them):
Got a few hours or an afternoon?
- Move furniture (or rooms) around. Rearranging seems obvious, but it doesn’t always occur to us to do it because we get comfortable with the way things are. This can be as simple as rearranging your living room or as elaborate as swapping your dining room with your home office. And if you don’t like the change? No biggie, just move things back. Either way, you’re bound to have fun, gain perspective on what works and what doesn’t, and maybe even find lost items under rarely-moved furniture. Always a bonus!
- Declutter something. Choose an area of the house that you look at a lot (entryways, anyone?) and spend a few hours taking things out of that area and putting them back where they really belong (or even better, starting a donation box for things that have no use). Seeing more open floor area in the mudroom, inviting shelf space in bookcases, or even wide open expanses on your kitchen counters brings a feeling of renewal and just seems refreshing.
- Clean the windows. Let’s get something straight: I HATE cleaning windows. Not sure I’ve ever met anyone who likes cleaning windows. But every time I take the time to do it (well, you know, that one time a few years ago….), I’m amazed at how much brighter things are–literally and figuratively!
But what if you only have one hour–or worse, just a few minutes? Here are some last-minute refreshers that can be handled in no time flat.
- Add fresh flowers. If you’re lucky, you may have a yard full of blooms to snip for a quick arrangement. If not, you may have to run to the store for this one; however, it’s one of the quickest ways to brighten up a space. My peonies, irises, and daffodils are all done and I’m still waiting on my lilies and hydrangeas to bloom, so right now it’s the store for me. Experiment with fun vases and containers you have around the house. I found that a few monochromatic blooms cut short and arranged in a pretty coffee mug perks up the whole kitchen.
- Change up your photos and accessories. If you’re like me, your fireplace mantle has sported the same set of artfully arranged objects since….uh….yeah, that long. It’s the same with my walls: same photos, same places. I have a gallery wall that I really love, but it’s been the same for about 3 years now so I don’t even notice it anymore.
- Switch out your toss pillows, rugs, and/or towels. Do you use decorative pillows in several different rooms? If so, you can switch them around for a new look. Put the toss pillows from your couch on your bed, or vice versa. Likewise, rugs and towels are an easy room-to-room swap when you want new look.
- Freshen the air. It’s not even necessary to move a thing to perk up a room. One super-quick way to bring a sense of renewal is to improve the scent. Open up the windows if it’s warm enough, or if it’s not, go artificial. Use your favorite scents, whether diffusing essential oils (or adding a drop of EO to a light bulb–thanks to Jan R. for that idea; can’t wait to try it!), heating scented wax, , baking chocolate chip cookies , or spraying some good ‘ole Febreeze around.
My first two small acts of rejuvenation were decluttering my kitchen counters and adding some fresh flowers as you can see above . Pretty sure I won’t get around to cleaning the windows anytime soon, but my fireplace mantle is definitely on the agenda, along with the painting and organizing I’ll hopefully do before August rolls around.
What are your favorite quick (or not-so-quick) ways to rejuvenate your home?