Choose Location

You love your home, but it could do with a little updating. This plan will help you tackle every problem area this year without stressing yourself out or spending a fortune. You can start with the first tip this weekend.

January: Get organized.

Everyone in the family can help with this task. Go through closets and donate the clothes, shoes and accessories you don’t wear. You’ll be surprised how much space you uncover when you declutter.

Straighten up the pantry. Organize canned and boxed goods by type to make assessing your grocery needs faster and easier. Check your spices and throw away those that have gotten hard, clumpy or have lost their aroma. Toss anything that’s been open too long or has passed its expiration date. And give the shelves and doors a good cleaning while you’re in there.

Clean out the fridge, too. Remove everything from the shelves and drawers and give the inside a thorough cleaning. Check the expiration dates of items before you put them back in the fridge. Toss anything that’s old. If you keep a running list of what you’re throwing away, it’ll be easy to replace everything the next time you’re at the store.

February: Update your bathroom.

Unless you need a major floorplan revision, this should be a fun and easy project. Change out dated fixtures for oil-rubbed bronze or brushed nickle. Don’t forget about the light fixtures! New lighting can really make a difference.

Wipe down all the walls and update the paint color. Choose a mold and mildew-proof paint and primer for a look that will last.

Swap out cabinet hardware for an instant update. If your cabinets are builder-grade or haven’t ever been updated, consider painting or staining them for a budget-friendly fix. Even if you just replace the doors, you’ll get a fresh look without spending a lot.

Install a glass tub or shower enclosure. This is a higher-ticket update, but it will pay off in convenience, appearance and resale value.

March: Change out your kitchen or bathroom flooring.

Vinyl may be easy to clean, but it wears pretty quickly. There are tons of budget-friendly options to choose from that you can install right over the existing floor, including groutable peel-and-stick tiles that look like stone and snap-together laminate flooring. These projects can be completed alone or with a helper in a single day.

April: Clean your windows.

This won’t cost you a dime outside of time and cleaning supplies, but you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes. Be sure to take care of the inside and the outside to maximize the natural light in your space. Try to do this twice a year- once in the spring and again in the fall.

Take this opportunity to replace any panes that are cracked or are starting to cloud. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always have to replace the whole window. You can also seal any drafty spots with clear silicone caulk or wood putty that can be stained to match the trim.

Check back in May for more tips that will take you through the summer and fall.