7 things you can do today to love your home

If you’re anything like me you’ve got a long list of things you’d like to do to your house one day. These could be anything from replacing the carpet (I didn’t get the right underlay and it irritates me every day) to renovating the kitchen to adding a second storey. These are all great changes, but they can get pretty exxy and sometimes those big changes just have to stay in the “one day” pile for now. However, there are definitely some simple things you can do this weekend to help you love your home in the present, which after all, is where you’re living.

Have a big clear out.
Excess stuff and random piles of shit really get me down. I went all Marie Kondo on my wardrobe a couple of months ago and just changing the way I fold my tops and jeans has been amazing (think bookshelves not piles of plates). Set aside a day (for starters) to get rid of things you don’t need, don’t want, don’t use. I’m not an declutter expert but there are plenty of books and services that are out there to get you going. Check out the cult of Kondo for starters.

Hang some pictures.
Back in June I had some large format prints made from childhood photos of JD and me (separate pictures obviously – we didn’t know each other back then!). They were super-cute and then leaned up against the wall behind the TV for 6 freaking months, irritating me every time I watched House of Cards. This weekend I grabbed some of those sticky strips (that I already had for Pete’s sake) and got those bad boys on the wall. Instant happiness.

Replace a light fitting.
When my sister was putting her house on the market we hit Bunnings, bought a $13 light fitting for her back room and installed it in about 5 minutes. She had hated the ugly light fitting that we replaced for the entire 10 years she’d been living in that house. Seriously. That new fitting really brightened her day and was a ridiculously easy win.

Paint something.
I will never paint an entire room or, god forbid, an entire house – that’s what painters are for. I will, however, happily paint one wall. I know the jury’s out on feature walls but I love them and it’s a cheap fix for the TV room until I can afford the built-in joinery I really want. If you don’t want to do a wall, grab a can of spray paint and update a piece of furniture. I did our bedside cabinets (their third iteration) and love them all over again.

Work some candle magic.
Everything looks better by candlelight so dig out your IKEA tealights (c’mon I know you’ve got at least one pack in the laundry cupboard, we all do) or buy as many chunky pillars candles as you can afford to create the magic of candlelight. En masse looks great, but really, play around to find what works for you. Light candles, pour a glass of wine, ignore your daggy kitchen and flip through your “one day” pile of pretty pictures.

Wallpaper it.
The wallpaper that’s around these days is amazing and comes in price ranges to suit everyone. You can buy removable sheets (perfect for renters) or the regular kind and you can even have your own design custom made. One of my friends recently built a new house and wallpapered just her powder room. The wallpaper is a riot of large scale flowers and turns this little room into a gorgeous jewel box. If you’re a bit leery of doing it yourself, get a professional involved. Big impact for a relatively low cost.

Wash the windows.
You’ll be surprised how much better things look when the windows are clean. We live near the beach so this could be almost a weekly job for me (um, it isn’t) and I always feel so much better about things when I’ve got sparkling clear windows. Bonus points – it’s a great arm and shoulder workout!

None of this is rocket surgery but it’s proof that sometimes the little things can really make a difference at home. Right, I’m off to light some candles and work out how to save up for some new underlay!


What quick wins have you done at home? What suggestions do you have for changes you can make before you do the big changes?

One last thing: fresh flowers.


  • Bec Senyard

    Fab tips yet again. I light candles for dim light to hide my messy floors at night. Sadly when I clean my windows the dog or 19month old will smear it again.

    • alix@thebuilderette.com

      Thanks Bec – yes, cleaning windows is a thankless and never-ending task! Momentary joy at best!

  • Claire @ Life on Wallace

    I could not agree more about a big clean out! I really must have another. Often I feel our house is a total mess because there is stuff everywhere (3 sons). If we had less stuff surely there would be less mess!

    • alix@thebuilderette.com

      Hi Claire – thanks for visting. I LOVE a big cleanout – and Easter is the perfect time for it! I think in general a lot of us have way more stuff than we really need. It can be hard to get rid of some things but I know I always feel so much better once I’ve done it!

  • Hugzilla

    There are great tips – we are slowly working around the house to paint the walls and the trims white, and the difference it makes in each room is remarkable. I love that it is something you can do in a day or two to make a massive change.

  • Nicole @ The Builder's Wife

    Isn’t funny what we live with because of the idea something is too hard, for example you’re sister light fitting, so cheap and easy to replace! I agree, a few little things can make such a difference. x

  • Karin @ Calm to Conniption

    Great list. Yes, it’s not rocket science but a good reminder. With little ones running around my windows are terrible but had a bit of a clean up today which was very nice. I just bought the organising book and can’t wait to get stuck into it.

    • alix@thebuilderette.com

      HI Karin! Thanks for visiting. I loved the Kondo book – didn’t do all of it by any stretch (yet) but was admiring my husband’s t-shirt drawer yesterday – just the way of folding things is so much better. Was reading a blog yesterday where the author went through her clothes KonMari style and threw out 60 button up shirts! I can’t get my head around having that many to begin with, let alone throwing that many out. And that was only half of them. Have fun!

  • Cathy@lifethroughthehaze


    These are great tips. I am trying to work out how to spruce up my house on a zero budget well not quite zero but near enough! I am thinking of moving some furniture around some I can’t move because well the TV is attached to the wall lol. Others I can and I am considering modifying a buffet and hutch which is a two piece anyway and attaching the hutch part to the wall and separating the buffet to a different location. I am also considering painting our dining table/chairs and buffet/hutch white or that distressed white look they are currently timber. We have some extra space now (just a tiny bit) and the way we are currently using it is really not making the best use of it. I love your tips!

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