Realize your household potential on a restricted budget

BathroomMaintaining a clean and fashionable household is an ongoing drain on resources that can fill even the most recumbent spender with ire.

A range of specialist cans and sprays jostle brightly on the supermarket shelves, each claiming exclusive knowledge of the best way to unblock the sink, rid your life of pests and add gleam to the bleary surfaces causing you disrepute with the neighbors. 

Glossy household magazines promise this season’s latest furnishings, deployed tastefully, will enact such dramatic effects as lifting your mood, making you more intelligent, or some other, equally extravagant improvement.  Such claims, though valiant, may not quite justify re-mortgaging your property to explore further. Consider, instead, committing to the  hope that the wise deployment of one or two new items, and the removal of one or two more, can free up some vacant space, save money which could be spent elsewhere, and brighten up your living space to the satisfaction of those that must actually live there.

In the bathroom

Life is too short to spend fruitless hours soaking the shower curtain in bleach in the vain hope of annihilating mildew, and bathroom accessories tend to be cheap, so this is one item it is permissible to be wasteful with. Towels and bathroom rugs should also be replaced, often. Beyond the trimmings, maintain a fresh, clean space by attending to small details; refresh tile grouting and slick sealant onto the edges of the bathtub to give the appearance of a newly refurbished room. This trick can also be used to great effect with the replacement of grubby shower and light cords, and the plastic casings in which these are housed. 

In the bedroom

The absence of clutter is always this first rule of a beautiful house, and, unfortunately, where most bedrooms tend to dishearten. To save the daily time and energy that is expended stuffing unruly items into overpacked drawers or wrestling books into piles, invest in enough storage that all of your possessions have their own home. In the long term, having ample storage space will prevent you from storing all your items on the floor, and thus having to erroneously wash the same shirt three times in one week.

In the living room

Carpets are expensive, irritating to clean, and efficiently absorb food, dust, and the creatures that feed on them. Invest in a good quality rug; it will protect that neutral-colored twill that seemed such an elegant decision at the time, keep the room warmer and add a colorful centre-piece in an otherwise uncharming stretch of wall to wall beige, floorboard or laminate. Consider any object that doesn’t have a practical function to be twee and frivolous, and discard. This will most likely eliminate the dried flowers, the arrangement of colored stones in a fish-less bowl and the aimless pot pourri that have been holding back your living space from realizing its potential for some time. 

[Featured image courtesy of Emily May]

About Catherine MacLean

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