We have fully settled into spring, and you know what that means—spring cleaning. Brooms comes out, the dust is unsettled, and Americans across the nation get their organization on. We’re not the only country that loves to “start fresh” as the sun starts shining and the birds start singing. Other cultures celebrate their own cleaning season, as it were. China experiences a countrywide spread of cleaning after the Chinese New Year (a holiday that occurs in February and March), while Thailand has a water festival of cleansing. As you set out to begin your spring cleaning, consider your ultimate aims and browse upcycling projects that could turn your cleaning efforts into permanent value enhancers for your home.
Make sure you have a plan and know exactly what you want to accomplish. Is your aim to clean the house top to bottom, or is it to make an overall improvement to your home? You’ll need to be specific; cleaning ad hoc will waste your time and energy and serve to make more work than you originally anticipated. Before you begin, identify the areas in your home that you believe could be improved.
1. Pick The Right Stuff
After you pick an area to improve, plan out any additional materials that are needed for a job. Be creative here, and yes, it is okay to buy things during spring cleaning. If you are feeling very thrifty, go to Goodwill or a local thrift shop for more inspiration—as you’ll see in our upcycling tips, ONE man’s trash can definitely become another man’s treasure.
2. Permanence Matters
Focus on the projects which are permanent; permanent or semi-permanent changes will improve the home. Crafts such as repurposed tin cans into craft caddies are fun for the kids, and may save a few dollars for the time being, but ultimately small projects like this will not positively affect the value of the home. Focusing on the larger projects that can be proofed for future years with inexpensive items like paint and lacquer are the way to go.
3. Two-Step Shelving
Photo Credit: Baxter and Snow
Shelving and storage space are ONE of the top amenities sought by those looking for a new home. If you’re looking for ways to add these facets into your home, consider repurposing old wooden crates into shelving units for placement in mudrooms, closets, or even basements. You can easily find crates at inexpensive prices, and with a seal of lacquer or paint on the wood you can create a long-lasting improvement. This added organization capability will cut down on clutter, providing extra space for a home gym or a play den for the kids. Don’t want to spend the time? Baxter and Snow sells vintage upcycled ONEs here!
4. A Kitchen Island
The kitchen is the heart of the home. If you want to upcycle your kitchen, ONE of the easiest ways to do so is through an upgraded kitchen island. You don’t need to run out and drop thousands of dollars on new construction and a slab of granite. All you need is an old dresser with a bit of a facelift. Not only does this provide plenty of counter space for food preparation, but the drawers will serve as easy forms of storage with no extra work.
5. An Indoor Garden
Want your meals to be fresher than ever? Turn old mason jars and other old pots into an indoor herb garden. Never worry about running to the store to grab a forgotten ingredient, and impress any potential buyers when it comes time to sell your home in the future. Essentially anything that has a place for dirt can turn into an indoor garden; use an old fish tank to make an indoor green house for plants. Take this aspect a step further when it comes to wall décor. Don’t feel like painting? Turn your wall into a living art project!
6. A Play Area
Are you in a geographical area that sees its fair share of rain? (Here’s looking at you, Seattle.) With all that indoor time, you’re probably wanting to keep your kids busy. Turn old beds and bed posts into forts for children. No kids? You have yourself a perfect raised workout platform (just add a wooden plank over springs).
The right landscaping improvements can increase your home value by up to 10 percent, so don’t let your spring cleaning upcycling stay within the confines of your home.
7. Sections with a Purpose
Use wooden or plastic items to section off current gardens or landscaping amenities. An easy project to try might include using old windows to make your own greenhouse right in your backyard.
8. Bed Turned Bench
Do you have an old bed taking up room in storage just collecting dust? Turn it into a bench perfect for afternoon reading or create a raised wildlife refuge for your garden. Take off any fabric and keep the springs—they are great if you want to cultivate any on-the-vine plants.
9. Earth Berms
When it comes to landscaping techniques, consider incorporating earth berms into your front yard. Make your efforts really count with strategic layering; use old crates, jars, etc. to create an earth berm that has various ‘levels’ to it. Earth berms prevent runoff, are a home to wildlife, and add privacy, making them an all-around great choice for any landscaping endeavor. You could even stick a few local fruit trees on the earth berm for a fresh look.
Want to save money while simultaneously improving your home? Then include these upcycling techniques into your spring cleaning regimen this April and reap the benefits!