Just the thought of 'easy home improvements' can make you groan at the prospect of yet another DIY job to be tackled.
It's so much better to try to think positive.
View the thought of being safer, more snug in the winter in a more cheeful environment, plus the fact that you will be adding value to your property.
All of this is an additional incentive and a bonus for the effort - hopefully - you are about to make.
These tips really do work, so why not take a deep breath and give them a try?
You and your home will benefit and safety must be your first consideration.
1. Do you have a smoke alarm fitted in the kitchen, plus one in the downstairs hall and on the upstairs landing?
More to the point, if you already have these fitted and they are battery operated, do you test them regularly?
Please do this – your life and those of your loved ones may be at stake.
This is one easy home improvement that is priceless.
Whilst on the subject of smoke alarms, in case of an emergency is there a quick way out of your home for all members of the family? Definitely worth checking. Clutter could be hazardous which has unfortunately recently been proved.
Just don't go there!
On to the more pleasant subject of easy home improvements. Starting with the ‘wet’ areas first (kitchen and bathroom).
2. How is your kitchen looking? Tired and dejected? New cupboards normally cost a fortune, so why not invest in some new doors for the cabinets? Or even just a change of door handles will give the cupboards a minor face-lift.
3. Will the walls look brighter if you wash them down or would a new coat of emulsion or paint do the trick? Virtually a new kitchen for just a few pounds (or dollars) and a bit of work/effort. Most definitely worth it. This following page gives fantastic cleaning tips.
White walls are nearly always in fashion, plus they give the effect of making any room seem larger, brighter and cleaner. A fantastic easy home improvement.
4. Would your bathroom benefit from a new set of taps at the basin and bath? Not expensive and a definite bonus.
5. While you are in the bathroom, take a look at the toilet seat. Does it look old? How about fitting a new seat?
Such a simple job with an instant effect. Choose an alternative colour that still matches in with the rest of the bathroom. Also toilet seats are now quite inexpensive at the major DIY warehouses.
Don’t forget about the walls here. Again, would they benefit from a fresh coat of emulsion?
Now on to the ‘softer’ areas that would benefit from home improvement.
6. Walk around the house taking a look at your light fittings. Could they benefit from a change? New light fittings are even available at some of the larger supermarkets now. Maybe you can spot a bargain for your easy home improvements.
7. Fitting a new carpet really is an expensive job. So give this one a miss and just hire a professional carpet cleaning machine. These can usually be hired locally. Remember, if a floor looks clean the rest of the room gets an instant lift. This is a real easy home improvement.
If required, floor sanders can be hired at quite reasonable rates from DIY stores.
8. Made-to-measure curtains can be really expensive. If you feel confident either the original curtains could either be washed or alternatively sent to be dry-cleaned.
The best way to wash curtains is loosen up all the gathering cords at the top of the curtain, fold them neatly so that they are manageable, place them in a bath of slightly warm water containing a dose of washing-up liquid to make a lather. Let the curtains soak for a while, pat and agitate the water to remove any dirt.
Even in the cleanest of households, the dirt that comes out can be quite a shock. Drain the bath with the curtains still in place and refill with clear water to rinse. Sometimes it is possible to spin them in the washing machine. Otherwise, if it is a fine day just load them into a washing-up bowl, take them out to the line, hang and allow them to dry naturally. This way they will need a lot less ironing.
Don’t risk putting them in the tumble dryer – this may be a step too far and damage the curtains.
The other alternative is to take a look at your local store where they sell ready-made curtain sets.
9. If you de-clutter your house (see our page Decluttering Tips), this will give the effect of more living space.
10. Even if you are not a gardening enthusiast, it is surprising how some fresh garden plants planted in large containers stood outside the front door will bring a smile on the face of your home and all who enter. A definite home improvement - don't forget to regularly water the pots.