I read one decorating blog religiously and that is Kate’s Mad about the House blog. A number of weeks (months?) back she has a post on “shopping one’s house” for design inspiration. Here is a similar post from Apartment Therapy. It’s the household equivalent of “shopping one’s closet,” or to put together new outfits that you may not be wearing (and thus could end up feeling like you indeed have a new outfit without actually purchasing anything). At the minimum, you can think about switching pillows and rugs around.
We switched actual rooms around a few weeks ago, moving out of the smaller bedroom into the larger bedroom and turning our old bedroom into my office. I also reorganized the pantry and I am thinking of turning the under the stairs pantry into an office space for my husband. I also painted my dining-room ceiling the bold neo-mint colour Tabernacle. I am not in love with the colour in this room, but I used up all of the remaining paint and “paint is expensive” as Kate would say, so why not use it? Ironically, my best laid plans for the bedroom redesign need re-doing because now it’s no longer a bedroom. I’ll include a few photos so you can see the colour blocking I went with. Apologies that they are not the best photos.
So far, the redesign has cost approximately 100 pounds for (IKEA) bookshelves and 80 pounds for paint and its accessories. It feels like a whole new house. The rooms need some decorating changes probably, but nothing immediate. It’s also been a good experiment in trying to work with what you have, especially meaningful things, and turning them into decor features. For example, I just put up an old electoral map of the UK over the office fireplace. It still needs some tidying up, but overall I think it works.
There are so many ways to save money by shopping your own house. This applies not only to big stuff, like reorganizing your room, but really small stuff like cooking with what you have for those last days before payday. I realize a lot of people may do this, but a lot of people (perhaps surprisingly) do not. My husband is particularly challenged with making do with whatever food we have in the house. I say this but he is also remarkably savvy with wearing the same clothes until they wear out. I am the opposite, knowing how to make a quick meal from nothing but certain I have “nothing to wear” and then perusing websites and adding many things to my virtual basket, hoping that I know better (and can resist) the order now button. What things can you shop for in your own home? Any tips that you may have as we move into a very financially tight month? I thought of the following:
- Shop your garden for home decor, vases, branches, berries or other nice decor items that can bring nature into your home. I usually use a canning jar for vases.
- Shop your pantry for forgotten flours, spices, grains, or legumes. Can you add these into quiches, roasts, or a stew?
- Shop your fridge for almost expired vegetables. Put them in a roasting pan and half-cook and then put them in the freezer. Cook from frozen and add to meats or protein.
- Shop your outdoor shed for old paint, wood, or other renovation materials. See if you can try something you wouldn’t normally do with your leftover paint. You can always repaint it if you don’t like it (if you’re renting maybe ask first).
- Shop your bookshelf for books you have been meaning to read and that you haven’t gotten to. If you have children’s books, sneak some quality time reading those by yourself and enjoy the illustrations or photos. Write out one or two lines that you really like and put them somewhere for inspiration, like taped to your phone screen so you read that before checking your email in the morning.
- Shop the junk drawer for mail you can toss and or shred but keep the envelopes for your own letters. The number of strange looks I have gotten from using used envelopes is a lot smaller than you may think.
And if you at any point don’t think all of this is worth it, I was just going over my old blog posts for when I started this blog and I notice that from April 2018 to Feb 2020, we have gone from ~50% to ~60% progress. We are also about 5K pounds short of having positive net worth for the first time and we just turned 40. That is really something to celebrate. I hope I already have some sparkling wine at home.