Brrrr! It’s cold outside. Which means you’re probably spending a lot of time indoors. Stave off cabin fever with these nine projects that will help you get ready for dropping temps, while also having your most productive winter yet.
Paint Your Walls or Add a Color Accent
Giving your walls a new look can really pack a lot of punch and it’s not as much work as you’d think. Painting a room can be done in a day and an accent wall may take even less time than that. Plus, because the colder months are so much dryer, the paint will actually dry much faster. Create visual interest by wallpapering just one wall or using painter’s tape to create patterns or stripes. Crown molding is also an easy way to update a room without spending a lot of money.
Average cost for painting starts at: $225
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Install New Lights
Getting the lighting right in your home is so important, especially during the winter months when the sun goes down much earlier. Ideally, every room should have ambient lighting (general lighting for walking around and identifying objects), accent lighting (to highlight artwork or design features), and task lighting (for specific activities like cooking, reading, or applying makeup). Combining these three types of lighting can make your home look so much more inviting and ensure you aren’t wasting electricity. Need help installing new lights? A Thumbtack pro can help.
Average cost to install lights: $110
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Thanks to freezing cold temps, you’re going be stuck inside a lot this winter. Why not take that time to declutter and get organized? If you aren’t sure where to start, a professional can come in and help get you started and identify problem areas, while also giving you tips and tricks about how to move forward and prevent clutter from building up in the future. A pro will know how to help you decide what to keep, throw away, or donate, and will also be able to help you understand how to best use the spaces in your home, so that it will finally look and act the way you always dreamed it would.
Average cost for a home organizer: $35/hour
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You may not think adding insulation is the sexiest project on this list, but once you’re saving money on your energy bills, you may rethink that assessment. A professional can check your attic, walls, garage, and basement to see what kind of insulation you have now, how thick it is, and how much insulation you should add for maximum energy efficiency. This can drastically lower bills in older homes, but even in a newer home, it usually pays for itself in a couple of years.
Average cost: $450 to $3,000
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Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is another investment that will pay for itself quite quickly thanks to the amount you’ll instantly start saving on your energy bills. Once installed, you can program it so that it heats (or cools) the house more when you’re home (at morning and in the evenings) and less when you’re at work or running errands. There are also high-tech models now that create heating and cooling schedules based on motion detection technology and that can send you notifications if the temperature’s not right or if there’s a power outage. Not sure where to start? A heating pro can help install and set it up in no time.
Average cost for installation: $130
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Give Your Closet (and Wardrobe) a Makeover
Hiring a wardrobe stylist to help you go through your closet is a great way to create a whole new wardrobe with the clothes you already own. Since you’re already stuck inside, winter is a great time to try on everything you own, see what is working well, and what needs to be altered or donated. A wardrobe stylist will also help you put together outfits out of pieces you didn’t realize worked together so that you have a brand new look for the New Year. At the end of the experience, your closet will feel more like a boutique you’re excited to “shop” from every day, which means you’ll be much more likely to wear all of your clothes and not just that trusty sweater you turn to when you don’t know what else to put on.
Average cost of a closet organizer: $225
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Clean Your Carpets
You should call in the professionals to steam clean your carpets every six months (and much more often than that if you have pets). Getting it done in the winter makes sense for a few reasons. You don’t want to wait for soil and stains to set in, which means any of those spills that happened during the holiday party needed to be cleaned ASAP. You also want to eliminate allergens now since carpets tend to stay cleaner during winter months (because the windows are usually shut). Finally, carpets dry faster in the winter thanks to lower humidity.
Average cost of a carpet cleaner: $130
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Winterize Your Yard
If you haven’t prepared your yard ready for winter yet, you shouldn’t put it off any longer. Now is the time to rake leaves and remove any debris, aerate your lawn, apply a good winterizer, drain and shut off all outdoor water systems, cover flower beds, and bring in any small plants or herbs that might not survive the winter if they remain outside.
Average cost of a gardener: $165
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Since you’re spending a lot of time inside during the winter, you may start to notice things about your home that you no longer love. Now is the perfect time to update spaces and change anything that feels worn or tired. This may just mean getting new bedding, rearranging furniture to change the way a space works, or bringing in a professional to help you do a major overhaul. Even if you don’t want to change everything, an interior designer can be an extra set of eyes that sees things you may not notice and help you make aesthetic decisions that will really increase your home’s wow factor.
Average cost of an interior home decorator starts at: $50
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