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, according to The Washington Post. By the end of winter, the interior of homes would be covered in soot and grime.
The newspaper quotes a woman’s 1864 diary that detailed the kind of effort that went into house cleaning 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 we also want to redecorate or otherwise freshen up our homes. Following are a variety of low-cost, easy ways to do just that.
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, as we detail in “6 Simple Steps to Cashing In on Spring Cleaning.”
2. Hang a spring wreath
Greet visitors with a bright floral wreath on your front door.
3. Decorate with living plants
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 “9 Houseplants Proven to Remove Toxins From Indoor Air.”
You can find pothos for as little as $5 to $10 in the nursery section of big-box stores like Walmart as well as at Lowe’s and Home Depot.
4. Air it out
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.
5. Burn scented candles
An array of candles is available that can unleash floral, citrus and other fresh scents to instantly make your house smell like spring.
6. Light up outdoor spaces
Now’s your chance to enjoy the great outdoors. Add some new lighting to your deck, patio or porch area to prepare it for al fresco dining and more.
If hardwired lighting and an electrician aren’t in your budget, try some accent lighting via flameless candles, which are safer to leave untended.
7. Add a floral tablecloth
A floral tablecloth will give your home constant blooms without breaking the bank.
8. Add a new bed skirt or pillow shams
With the right color or pattern, you can make the room feel refreshed without investing the time or money on redecorating.
9. Rearrange or repaint furniture
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.
10. Brighten trim and baseboards
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, either.
11. Add yellow accents
Gather some yellow flowers — any kind will do — and place them in a yellow container. Instant springtime.
12. Add a plant to an empty corner
The pop of green from a live plant will make you feel as if spring has sprung in the room.
13. Transition your wardrobe
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 front and center.
What do you do to bring out the spring in your home? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.