Vacation is over, winter has dug in its heels, and the only places you will get to see on a regular basis for the next few months are home and work — not very inspiring. Now is the perfect time to find apartment makeover ideas that will maximize the homeyness of your home so that you can get creative and cozy whenever you're not on the grind, whatever your hours may be. I have come up with 10 relatively inexpensive ways to make over your space in 2016 so that home can actually be where the heart is.
First things first though, you have to put away those Christmas decorations, and if you find some you're not crazy about anymore in the process, throw them away. It will wash all the residual holiday stress out of your life. Next, dedicate a few hours to getting serious with your "spring" cleaning. The worst thing you can do with holiday gifts is add them to a pile of disorganized detritus that you will inevitably resent.
Once all of that is in reasonable condition, it is time to make some improvements to your living space, and give yourself some new things to look at.
1. Bring The Outside In
It might be snowing outside, but inside your temperate, climate-controlled home, plants can thrive and remind you that there is a spring on the other side of the cold, soggy winter months. Houseplants also do quite a bit for air filtration, so if you cook a lot or have pets, your place won't necessarily always smell like grilled onions, dog food, fill in the blank.
2. Get Rid Of Things You Aren't Using
Remember that valuable exercise we just did with the Christmas decorations? Repeat that same process with the rest of your stuff. Clothing you don't wear, knick knacks you don't want to look at anymore, and books you'll never read or display should be donated to the nearest Goodwill post haste.
3. Take Advantage Of All Of Your Storage Space
Half the battle with having an organized kitchen is actually being able to take advantage of what storage space you already have. If you're a short person, like me, you may be missing out on higher shelves and even the deeper reaches of your lower shelves. My boyfriend laughs at me whenever our kitchen wares end up filling the bottom shelves (and nowhere else). Invest in a step ladder and "stadium seating" for your cabinets to make things super easy to find.
4. Get The Clutter Off The Tables And Floors
Hooks are awesome. Hooks are invaluable. Hooks are adorable. I find that dog leashes, grocery bags, purses, and jackets make much less of a mess when there's a hook just waiting to be used right inside of the front door. Additionally, hooks keep things out of the reach of curious puppy teeth, if you've recently welcomed a tiny Wookiee into your home.
5. Put Something Fresh On The Wall
Hit up a flea market, a yard sale, or a consignment shop for something new and interesting to hang on your wall. It doesn't have to be pricey to bring a new pop of culture into your living space. Pro tip: make sure you love it before you buy it, otherwise you will get very tired of seeing it within weeks of hanging it up.
6. Ditto For The Floor
Swapping out a tired or faded rug for a "new" one can change the whole complexion of your living space. I recommend going to a secondhand shop for a fresh floor treatment, because somewhere along the way, the world has decided that new rugs should cost around one paycheck per square foot, and that's no good for larger spaces.
7. Make Something Yourself
A well executed DIY project will keep your interest for longer than most random objects you can purchase at a store. So, get out your fabric scissors and hot glue gun, and make something with your own two hands.
8. Decorate With Displays Of Things You Own
If you use something consistently and are always getting it out and putting it away, or worse, just leaving it out on the counter, find a creative way to integrate whatever it is into your decor. Get a bar cart and display a few bottles of wine. Use a utility cart as a coffee workstation. Dump your favorite snacks into jars so they're easily accessible, and not stuffed in the corner with a chip clip.
9. Swap Out Your Shower Curtain
I say this a lot, I know, but honestly, getting a new shower curtain can turn a grumpy morning into a zen start to a productive day, even if you're not a morning person. Is anyone a morning person? I feel like they might be a cult. Lemme know.
10. Show Some Love To Your Windows
Creating a little window vignette is a perfect welcome home that will remind you of how personalized and inviting your living space is before you even get inside. Plus, it's way more fun to curl up with a book by the window when the window decor is more dialed in than plastic blinds and dust bunnies.
For more inspiration, check out Bustle on YouTube.