Home and life improvement projects don’t have to cost a ton of money. There are lots of little things you can do that will actually make a big impact. Here are 11 easy projects that you can do for $250 or less.
Get Your Carpets Cleaned
Be honest: When’s the last time you had your carpets professionally cleaned? You may not know this, but in order to extend the life of your carpets, it’s important to have them professionally cleaned at least once a year (and even more frequently if you have pets). Getting carpets steam cleaned will penetrate deep into the fibers and get out all of the dirt and pollutants that are deep down in your carpet that the vacuum misses.
Average price for carpet cleaning: $120
Get Your Windows Washed
There’s nothing sadder than a dirty window, but a lot of times we don’t even realize how covered with dirt and grime our windows really are. That is, until we get them washed and suddenly the light and sunshine comes flooding in, giving us a whole new perspective on the world outside (and inside). How often you should wash your windows (or get them washed) really depends on the weather where you live, but experts say you should have them washed at least twice a year, as it will keep them sparkly, make your home look better, and help prolong their lifespan.
Average price for window cleaning: $125
Get Old Stuff Hauled Away
Cleaning out the garage or a spare room full of clutter is not a project anyone enjoys doing, but this is one chore that makes an immediate and impactful difference on your home. The first task is deciding what you’re going to keep, what you’re going to donate, and what you’re going to give away with a goal of making those latter two categories as big as possible. But instead of wasting time taking everything to the junkyard, hire a Thumbtack pro to haul all of your junk for you. Not the organizational type? A Thumbtack pro can also help you figure out what to keep, what to toss, and how to get your space in tip-top shape.
Average price for junk removal: $135
Get the Driveway and Sidewalks Pressure Washed
Stains on your driveway and the sidewalk in front of and leading up to your home can be really unsightly, but there’s not much you can do to prevent them; concrete, brick, and asphalt driveways have porous surfaces that get dirty from the oil and grime of your car and sidewalks are often covered with tree pollen, mildew, and leaf and pine cone stains. The best thing to do is bring in a professional who will be able to recognize what caused the stains, know the best way to treat them, and leave your driveway and sidewalks looking brand spanking new.
Average price for driveway pressure washing: $175
Get New Furniture Set-up and Installed
Buying ready-to-assemble furniture is great because it’s often a stylish and well-made product, but at a substantially lower price. The part that’s not so great? Putting it all together. Save yourself the headache, the fighting, and the chance that you’ll screw something up, and hire a pro to do it all for you.
Average price for furniture set-up/installation: $100/hour or less
Hire a Design Consultant
Looking to make a change in your living room or bedroom, but not sure about the design or décor? A design consultant can help you with everything from layout to lighting, furniture to flooring and can even assist in figuring out which pieces you can keep and what you’ll need to replace, paint, etc.
Average price for a design consultant: $50-$100/hour
Paint an Accent Wall
An accent wall is a great way to add a design element or color to a room if you’re on a budget, love stripes or graphic design (but don’t want to commit to an entire room of it), want to give a stairwell life, or need to define rooms in an open space. Choosing the color/design is hard enough though; let a professional take it from there.
Average price for a painter: Starts at $225
Learn to Play Guitar
Playing an instrument is a great way to entertain friends and party guests, but learning to play is great for your mental health, brain development, and can give you a great sense of accomplishment. Not to mention that playing the guitar is just really cool and fun.
Average price for lessons: Starts at $50/hour
Hire a Personal Trainer
Anyone who has spent any time at the gym knows how hard it can be to stick to a schedule, find ways to keep exercising interesting, and hold yourself accountable. But with a personal trainer, you don’t have to do any of that. All you have to do is show up, follow instructions, and get more out of your workout than you ever have before. And you don’t even need to do it in a gym. A lot of personal trainers will come up with fun exercises you can do at a local park or even in your own home.
Average price for personal trainer: $50-$85/hour
Get Your Next Party Catered
Throwing a party is always fun, but it can also be stressful because of all the prep work: shopping, cleaning, cooking, serving… Hiring a caterer will make your life a lot easier and actually enable you to enjoy your time with your friends and family. You can choose from having food pre-prepared and dropped off at your home or hiring a full service staff that will cook, serve, and even clean up after you and your guests.
Average price: $250 or less for an event
Relax, Get a Massage
You work hard, which means you probably don’t take a lot of time for yourself. A massage is the easiest way to make yourself take time to just chill out while also relieving stress and anxiety, reducing muscle tension, helping any chronic pain, and ensuring a better night’s sleep. Basically you can’t afford not to get one!
Average price: Starts at $50-$65/hour