40 Surprising Ways You're Unintentionally Making Your Home Look Crappy

Cheap and easy fixes that will make that old sofa look brand new.

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Social media has given a lot of people unrealistic ideas of what their houses should look like — if your pantry doesn’t look like a color-coded library of aesthetically packaged food, that’s OK. You absolutely don’t need a picturesque coffee table tray or a perfectly styled bed (you don’t even need to make your bed if you don’t want to). That being said, if you do want to spruce up your place and you’re just not sure where to start, there are a lot of little things you make not even realize are preventing your place from looking its best. (Think: the build-up of mail sitting on your dining room table, accepting the small holes in your walls, etc.)

From styling hacks and cleaning tips to space-saving secrets, there are many minor changes you can make that can result in a major upgrade. We’ve even discovered affordable tricks that will bring your granite countertops and tile grout back to life. If you’re ready to improve your home, we’ve got 40 cheap and easy fixes that will make that old sofa look brand new by tomorrow.


Letting Odors Linger In The Home

Lingering odors are a sure way to turn guests off from coming over, but these Odor Busters Balls by Arm & Hammer can help. They’re a natural and effective way to eliminate odor for up to 60 days. The balls are formulated with baking soda and a clean burst fresh scent. They’re also handy for storing in a hamper or travel bag.


Not Tackling The Mess of Cords On Your Work Desk

Keeping your cords organized is a small but important way to keep your desk looking neat. This adjustable cord organizer works by fastening cable ties to help keep your cables from tangling. It includes three different sizes and five colors to suit your exact needs.


Forgetting To Clean The Microwave

The Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner is practically magic, as remembering to clean the inside of your microwave is a crucial (but, often forgotten) step in kitchen cleanliness. Just add vinegar and water, then microwave for 5-7 minutes to completely transform the inside of your microwave or oven. “She steams the inside of the microwave so those pieces of scorched taco meat fall right off. Just wipe them out and move on with your day,” one five-star reviewer wrote.


Forgetting To Use a Grout Pen to Refresh Grout

A grout pen is the easiest solution to keep your bathroom or kitchen tiles looking pristine and brand new. Dubbed a best seller on Amazon, this under-$10 hack has racked up over 13,000 five-star reviews. “This worked really well, I was very impressed by the difference it made. Such a cheap and easy fix,” one reviewer said.


Not Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal

Prevent build-up and odors with these fast-dissolving foaming pods made for your garbage disposal. It’s formulated with citric acid, which is a natural ingredient that works as a water softener and cleaning agent, and baking soda. It’s recommended that you use these weekly to keep smells at bay.


Letting Rugs Curl Up And Become Hazardous

Making sure your rugs are held in place is a minor detail that makes all the difference in the appearance of your home. This anti-curling carpet tape holds your carpet, rug, or hallway runner rugs tight to prevent rug curling and sliding. Unlike most adhesive versions on the market, this product uses a small hook that stays on the floor, so you can clean right over it and then fasten your rug again.


Accepting The Holes In Your Wall

This hole repair kit includes everything you need to efficiently repair small holes up to 3" in diameter. The kit comes with a tub of primer-enhanced spackling, a self-adhesive patch, a putty knife, and a sanding pad. The process is so easy, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.


Forgetting To Get Rid Of Wall Scuffs and Marks

Thousands of shoppers can’t get enough of this multi-functional sponge eraser. The sponge works to easily clean your walls and rid of dust, grease, and dirt. It can be used on everything from your tiles to your air fryer — and even your sneakers. “These are the best sponges I have ever used!” a five-star review read. Fifty sponges come per pack.


Forgetting To Dust Your Ceiling Fans

Stop collecting dust in hard-to-reach areas and opt for this duster pole instead. The kit comes with an extension pole, five interchangeable heads, and gloves to make cleaning ceilings, nooks, and crannies much easier. One shopper said “The best part is the cobweb brush. It totally changed my patio.”


Leaving Plastic Bags Everywhere

This plastic bag saver that mounts to the wall is the most efficient way to store grocery bags so you can easily reuse them. Not only is this great for implementing eco-friendly habits, but it is a sure way to keep your kitchen cabinet very organized and prevent plastic bags from piling up. It’s also fingerprint-resistant, so it’ll always look good.


Not Hanging Pants Up Correctly

Displaying bottoms in your closet can get messy by just using an average hanger — which is why these pants hangers from Amazon are a worthy buy. They’re made to neatly store skirts, pants, jeans, trousers, leggings, and more thanks to their reliable non-slip grip. These hangers are made from durable wood and have a slim design to save maximum space.


Piling Up Your Shoes In The Closet

Easily organize all of your footwear with this over-the-door shoe organizer. It has 23 vinyl pockets that can store up to 12 pairs of shoes. If shoe clutter in your closet isn’t a problem, it’s good to know that this organizer is also great for organizing socks, ties, scarves, toys, toiletry items, and more.


Not Using Blankets To Mask Wear and Tear On Your Couch

A chic throw blanket is an easy way to mask minor stains or wear and tear on your favorite sofa. This one is available in 22 colors and comes in two different sizes (50”x60” and 60”x80”), making it large enough to cover imperfections of any size. It’s crafted from high-quality super-soft fleece and will not shed.


Using The Wrong Tools to Hang Pictures

Deemed an ‘Amazon’s Choice’ top product with a 4.7 star rating, this picture hanging kit is a must in any household. It includes 225 pieces suitable for a all types of different frame weights ensuring that your art and photos will be hung nice and even. One shopper even said this kit “makes them look like they were done by a professional!”


Keeping Your Purses In a Disorganized Pile

This hanging purse organizer is here to make sure that your purses and bags always look organized, regardless of their shape and size. It features eight large slots (four in the front and four in the back) allowing for plenty of storage. It also has a 360-degree-swivel and hook that can hang on a closet rod for easy access to each side.


Not Vacuuming The Small Crevices In Both Your Home and Car

From sandy beach days to pet hair, a portable vacuum cleaner is a no-brainer for any home or to keep in the car. This powerful gadget is compact, easy to use, and has an integrated LED light for hard-to-see spots. That tough-to-reach spot on the floor under the dishwasher will thank you.


Not Having Enough Shelves

If you’re looking for a quick way to add more space into any room in the house, we’ve got you covered with these floating cube shelves. Available in six neutral colors and three different sizes, these shelves will avoid taking up counter space and can easily store spice bottles, dishes, or hand towels. They’re easy to hang and include all the necessary mounting hardware.


Leaving Coats Strewn All Over The Living Room

With over 10,000 reviews and a 4.6-star rating on Amazon, this adjustable wooden coat rack stand is perfect for storing multiple heavy garments, hats, and scarves. It takes up minimal space in entryways or offices and will prevent your hall closets from being cramped with outerwear. One five-star reviewer wrote it “made a huge difference to get jackets, sweaters, hoodies out of the couch.”


Having Pet Hair All Over The Couch

Instead of spending money on lint-rolling papers — or time wrangling their stickiness — opt for this pet hair remover that you can reuse. No papers are needed; just slide the roller back and forth on surfaces to trap hair in the waste receptacle. Essentially, it functions like a handheld vacuum for pet hair, whether you’re using it on furniture or clothing. “I tell all my friends with pets to ‘GET ONE NOW!’” one reviewer wrote. “I give little demos anytime a friend with pets comes over. [...] These should be in every pet home and pet friendly rental!


Having Crumpled Up Cereal Boxes Shoved In Your Pantry

This set of clear containers is a great way to keep your pantry looking organized. Avoid the crumpled-up cardboard cereal boxes and neatly store your favorite breakfast with these airtight food bins. It also includes a dispenser to pour your snacks with ease.


Piling Egg Cartons In Your Fridge

Maximize your refrigerator space with this space-saving egg storage drawer. Big enough to store 18 eggs, this container makes it convenient to easily get out your eggs and neatly organize them to prevent them from breaking — and lets you know how many eggs you have left, at a quick glance. The drawer has an adjustable depth to fit any fridge.


Forgetting To Protect Your Counter From Burns and Scratches

Investing in a quality heat-resistant mat is the best way to protect your counter from burns and scratches made by hot pots and pans. This mat also doubles as a dish drying mat and is designed with raised ridges to maximize airflow. “I use it for protecting our quartz countertop from heat generated by [the] air fryer. I have also put a hot cast iron skillet on it and other hot pots and pans. Works very well,” one shopper explained.


Letting The Front of Your Fridge Look Too Disorganized

From school art to invitations, photos, and grocery lists, the front of the fridge has become the go-to place for showcasing reminders. Thankfully, these magnet clips can hold up to 60 sheets of paper without slipping or falling. It can be purchased in a pack of 12, 24, or 36. The best part? It comes with a free magnetic notepad.


Letting Barely-Used Dishes and Plates Clutter Your Kitchen

This quilted dinnerware and stemware storage pack is great for protecting and storing barely-used dishes. One case fits 12 dinner plates, 12 salad plates, 12 dessert plates, 12 saucers, 12 coffee mugs, and 12 wine glasses, keeping them safe and sound for the big family events that they’re made for.


Letting the Smell of Poorly-Closed Pet Food Containers Take Over Your Fridge

Never suffer the smell of pet food again thanks to these universal can lids for dog or cat food. The lids work to contain the smell and keep the food fresh. The silicone lids are easily washable and can cover nearly all can sizes. One five-star review said, “These fit with a nice seal so that my refrigerator in the garage does not smell like dog food.”


Not Having Enough Light In The Kitchen

This LED puck light can easily brighten any room thanks to its super bright, long-lasting LEDs with a 3000K warm white glow. The light can be bought as a single or in a pack of two, three, or six. It operates on 3 AA batteries but is also compatible with a remote.


Letting Your Cat Track Litter Around The House

We love our pets, but cat litter is never a good look and can be easily avoidable with this litter trapper mat. Available in five different sizes, this mat works to catch litter from both your cats’ paws and the box itself. It features large holes that the litter falls into, making it easy to dump into the trash after use.


Keeping Books Around The House, and Not In a Dedicated Space

This simple and stylish bookcase is great for storing all your books and magazines, and will look good just about anywhere you place it. It features 3-tiers and comes in 14 different colors like black, dark espresso, maple, and french oak. The best part? It’s incredibly inexpensive. Over 22,000 people didn’t hesitate to give it a five-star rating.


Leaving Dirty Clothes In a Pile on The Floor

We’re all guilty of letting endless piles of dirty clothes build up on our bedroom floors. This best-selling laundry hamper will change that. It features two sections, which is great for separating your colors and whites. The lightweight design also makes it easy to move the whole hamper to your laundry room. The 13” inch width can easily fit in most closets or bathrooms and it collapses for easy storage.


Cluttering Your Bathroom Sink With Products

If you live in a small apartment, this slim storage utility cart is a no-brainer for maximizing space and decluttering your bathroom. The rolling cart features 360-degree rotating wheels and can be easily moved to any corner of your home. One shopper left a five-star review saying, “This is perfect for any tiny spaces...This fit perfectly between my tub and sink. The top of the shelf has these dividers that definitely come in handy! I've freed up some room in my shower...Absolutely love it!”


Not Swapping Out Pillow Cases To Easily Keep Your Decor Fresh

This set of throw pillow cases is an easy way to keep your home feeling new. They come in a variety of different patterns and colors, from teal and pink to a selection of neutral tones, and are easy to switch out season after season. The next time you’re in the mood to restyle your bed or sofa, this will do the trick!


Being Too Nervous To Give Live Plants a Try In Your Home

Plants are always an amazing addition for brightening up any space. This prayer plant from Amazon makes a great houseplant since it prefers indirect sunlight. With the plant, you’ll also get a 4" pot that it’ll arrive in. The unique combination of red and green hues will look great in any room to add a natural element.


Forgetting How to Properly Store and Display Produce

These stackable kitchen counter baskets are perfect for openly storing snacks or produce and keeping them fresh, thanks to their bamboo lid. This product scored a 4.8-star rating on Amazon, with one customer saying “The baskets went together easily and look super cute in my kitchen. Almost everyone who’s walked into my kitchen comments on how nice they look!” When was the last time you let fruit and bright-colored veggies double as decor?


Letting Your Under-Sink Area Get Too Messy

This two-tier under-sink organizer is seriously a game-changer when it comes to saving space. It can be used for makeup, skincare, laundry items, a spice rack, and anything else you need to keep intact. You can even store it on your bathroom countertop for easy access. It also comes with five removable hooks and four hanging cups, providing ample space and more storage.


Having No Home For Your Mismatched Socks

This adorable lost socks bin is great for hanging in your laundry room to not only help find your lost socks faster but declutter any miscellaneous items. Made from wood and alloy steel, the bin measures 11 x 12 x 6inches and includes a hardware kit for easy assembly.


Not Having a Dedicated Home For Small Everyday Items

This smart storage system is excellent at keeping everyday household items organized. Perfect for laundry essentials like detergent pods and clothespins, or great for storing cotton swabs and hair ties in your bathroom, the clear vanity jars are versatile for any room in your home. It comes in a set of three and can easily fit in a cabinet or on a shelf.


Letting Important Papers Pile Up

This 2-foot by 3-foot corkboard bulletin board is the easiest solution for decluttering important papers. It features a black finish frame and can be mounted vertically or horizontally. It’s worth mentioning that you’ll have to order the push pins separately.


Keeping Tables Bare

Elevate your dining table with this affordable white lace tablecloth. The delicate floral patterns will add a touch of elegance to any room. It’s available in white and ivory and is measured at 60 x 120 inches. “This is even better in person,” said one reviewer. “The lace is soft and delicate, it feels expensive. It drapes beautifully on my dining room table. It arrived in great shape, no folds or wrinkles.”


Forgetting To Polish Up Your Granite Counters

Enhance the shine on any stone surface with this granite cleaner that works to polish and clean effectively without damage. The ingredients in this cleanser are pH neutral, so it won't wear out the sealant. One five-star review mentioned that “you can see the difference on the first try.”


Letting Your Wall Outlet Plates Get Cracked and Grody

Dubbed an Amazon best-seller, these electrical outlet covers are a great way to replace wall plates that are in need of a refresh. The material is durable and heat resistant to prevent discoloration over time. The kit also includes painted screws to match the wall plate for a seamless appearance. It’s amazing what a big difference such a small change can make.

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