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5 Easy Home Improvement Projects & Upgrades For the Winter

By Heather Levin

paintIf you’re like most people, you’ve been spending a lot of time indoors lately. Unfortunately, there are several more months of winter to get through before we start seeing signs of spring.

Before you throw your hands up in despair, why not break the monotony by working on your house? After all, you’re stuck inside anyway, and you’re probably searching for something to do that doesn’t involve watching endless reruns of Glee while eating any carb that will stand still. Plus, some home improvement projects will increase your property value, save money on your utility bills, and potentially prevent larger, more expensive issues from developing.

Here are some easy winter projects you might want to tackle before spring hits.

1. Repaint
You’ve been staring at your neutral colored walls every day for months. Want to brighten your mood? Try repainting! Go with a bright, cheery color to liven things up.

I always repaint in the winter because that’s when I need the most visual stimulation. A new coat of paint can dramatically lift your mood and the mood of the entire room.

Make sure you crack open the windows to let in fresh air while you’re painting. Or, consider going with an eco-friendly, low-VOC paint so you don’t have to worry about breathing in toxic fumes.

2. Work on Your Floors
Is your carpet threadbare? Are your hardwood floors freezing your feet?

Putting in carpet is a great winter project because it can increase the comfort of your home dramatically.

Whether you do it yourself or have it installed, remember: the off-gassing from new carpet is tremendous. Make sure you open windows to allow those toxic fumes to escape. You can also ask your carpet retailer to air out the carpet several days before they install it in your home.

If you don’t like carpeting, there are plenty of other home flooring ideas such as tile and laminate that you could also consider.

3. Declutter
When Spring gets here, you’re not going to want to spend your time sifting through those piles of junk in your basement. You’ll want to be outside, enjoying the fresh air.

Winter is a great time to work on getting organized (which is why January is “Get Organized Month”). So, devote time every week to decluttering in general and organizing what you decide to keep.

Tip: Don’t try to tackle the entire house at once. Do this and you’ll find yourself with a broken spirit, huddled on the couch looking for the remote. Start small, and go slow. Focus on one shelf, or one corner, and work until you’ve got that space looking exactly how you want. This way you’ll be able to see the progress you’re making.

4. Look at Your Bathroom
Is your grout gunky with unsightly mildew? Is your sink hopelessly outdated? Are you over the pale green paint you put on the walls three years ago?

Bathrooms make great winter projects because once they’re done, you can appreciate your handiwork every single day. And, there are plenty of ways to frugally remodel your bathroom.

Updates like replacing a faucet, re-grouting tile, or repainting are relatively easy for the do-it-yourselfer. But if you get more ambitious (like, you want to replace the tile floor or buy a new toilet) you might want to call in professional help. Your sanity will thank you.

5. Add Insulation
Okay, so adding insulation doesn’t exactly make your heart pound with excitement. But it will lower your utility bills, and help make your home more comfortable and eco-friendly.

Crawl up into your attic. If you can see the floor joists, then you need more insulation. Since heat rises, you could save quite a bit by adding another layer of insulation up there.

You can also add insulation in your basement and in crawlspaces to prevent heat loss there as well.

Final Word

It’s easy to get cabin fever this time of year. We’re all going through it. But working on home projects is a great way to keep yourself active, add value to your home, and beautify or improve your living space. It’s a win-win!

(photo credit: cuttlefish)

Heather Levin
Heather Levin is a freelance writer based in Detroit, MI. She's passionately committed to living green, saving money, and helping others do the same in their life.

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