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If the warmer air and budding trees of spring make you want to freshen your house, you’re hardly alone.
The spring-cleaning urge goes way back — at least as far back as when homes were illuminated by oil or kerosene lamps and heated by wood or coal, as the Washington Post reports. This left the interior of homes covered in soot and grime by the end of winter.
The newspaper quotes a woman’s 1864 diary that detailed the kind of effort that went into housecleaning in those times:
“Swept and dusted sitting-room & kitchen 350 times. Filled lamps 362 times. Swept and dusted chamber & stairs 40 times.”
Today, many of us still do annual spring cleaning but also want to redecorate or otherwise freshen up our homes. Following are a variety of low-cost, easy ways to do just that.
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One of the best ways to make your home feel like spring is to purge it of belongings you no longer use, need or want.
Bonus: You can pocket extra cash while you’re at it.
2. Transition your wardrobe
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When you open your closet and see wools and flannels, you immediately think of winter. Move those heavy clothes out of your main closet and hang your lighter, brighter spring clothes.
3. Air it out
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Turn off the heat and open the windows. Airing out your house is one of the easiest, fastest and most effective ways to make it smell fresh without spending a dime.
4. Fill the air with lemon and rosemary
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Why buy artificial scents or expensive essential oils when you can easily and inexpensively bring the real thing into your home? Chasing Foxes recommends several DIY scent combinations, including lemon and rosemary. Just heat them in a frying pan.
5. Burn scented candles
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An array of candles is also available that can unleash floral, citrus and other fresh scents to instantly make your house smell like spring.
6. Do a 3-second scan
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Itching to redecorate but unsure how to start? Grab a pen and paper and walk into a room with your eyes closed.
Then, open your eyes and scan the room for three seconds, noting three things that visually bother you, recommends an interior designer quoted at Oprah.com. Those are your redecorating starting points.
7. Rearrange or repaint furniture
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Sometimes just moving the sofa and chairs gives your room a fresh look for spring. Take a look at each room and see what furniture shifts make sense.
If you’re feeling crafty, repaint some of your furniture to brighten it for spring. Consider making over outdoor furniture this way, too, not just indoor furniture.
8. Brighten trim and baseboards
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A fresh coat of paint can work wonders, and that’s especially true on trim, baseboards and crown moldings.
Refreshing these surfaces won’t cost you nearly as much as painting a whole room.
9. Add yellow accents
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Gather some yellow flowers — any kind will do — and place them in a yellow container. Instant springtime.
10. Fill rain boots with flowers
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Take some colorful rain boots and fill them with flowers for a fun, spring look, recommends Midwest Living.
Use boots the kids or grandkids have outgrown, or pick up a cheap pair at a thrift store or discount store. Florist water tubes tucked inside keep the flowers fresh.
11. Add a floral tablecloth
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A floral tablecloth can keep your blooms eternal without breaking the bank.
12. Add a new bed skirt or pillow shams
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Brighten up your bedroom with a colorful bed skirt or a spring-themed set of pillow shams. With the right color or pattern, you can make the room feel refreshed without investing time or money into redecorating.
13. Hang a spring flower wreath or display
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Greet visitors with a wreath created with spring flowers that hangs on your front door.
If your creativity is flowing, consider taking a container — such as a narrow watering can — filling it with flowers, and hanging that on the door, says Midwest Living.
14. Add some green
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Fresh, new grass is a sign of spring. Make a display of living grass on your dining room table, windowsills or elsewhere, recommends Home BNC.
15. Decorate with vines
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Even if you have a brown thumb, you can probably do well enough for a vining houseplant such as pothos. It tolerates neglect while bringing a touch of spring to your home.
The plant also excels at cleaning your indoor air, as we explain in “10 Plants for a Happier, Healthier Home.”
You can find pothos for as little as $5 to $10 if not less in the nursery section of big-box stores like Walmart as well as at Lowe’s and The Home Depot.
16. Add a plant to an empty corner
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The pop of color from green plants or bright flowers will make you feel as if spring has sprung in the room.
17. Add deck lighting
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Now’s your chance to enjoy the great outdoors. Add some new lighting to your deck to prepare it for al fresco dining and more, recommends home improvement guru Bob Vila.
If hardwired lighting and an electrician aren’t in your budget, try some accent lighting via flameless candles.
No matter the size of your home, a little creativity is about all you need to freshen its look for spring.
What do you do to bring out the spring in your home? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.