What do you do if you have HGTV-home dreams but don’t have extra money to spend? You may not have Joanne Gaines’ budget, but there are plenty of ways to make your house look expensive on the cheap.
The key is knowing how to make it magazine worthy without spending a fortune. You can make your home look expensive with little or even no money at all.
1. Don’t Clean. Declutter
Cleaning has become synonymous with hiding items in drawers, closets, and under the bed. Hiding is not cleaning. Essentially, a clean house comes from having a functional home – one where everything inside has a place and a purpose. A functional home possesses only items that make your life better and easier.
Pick up an item in your home and ask yourself, “Is this item making my life better or easier?” If it’s not, then sell it, donate it, or throw it away. Spend an afternoon decluttering a closet, your garage, or basement and get rid of items that no longer serve a purpose in your life. Your home will naturally become cleaner and satisfyingly more functional. And, it will feel expensive because everything you own now has a purpose.
Too many people waste money filling their homes with more stuff. They mistakenly believe having more equates to having money. Instead, their homes look cluttered, cheap, and messy. Look at any home magazine, and you’ll notice an absence of clutter.
Less is more when it comes to home decor.
If It Doesn’t Bring You Joy, Say Good-bye
Have you ever gone on a cleaning binge and been frustrated at how much you have amassed … and how long it takes you to clean? If so, then you need to read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing to learn how to declutter and organize your space. (or read our 5 Marie Kondo hacks roundup here)
This book has been life-changing for so many that Netflix even gave Kondo her own series. Kondo’s guiding principle is that if an item does not spark joy, then you shouldn’t have it in your home. Plus, in her book she gives tips on how to organize the things that do spark joy in a way that will make your house look expensive.
2. Get Organized (and Organizers)
When you think of an expensive-looking home, you think organized. The closets are not bursting with stuff. The pantry is organized. Closets and drawers have purpose. Expensive-looking houses are well-organized. Everything has a purpose, and everything has a place. And there is no junk lying around or hidden.
If you want your house to look expensive without spending money on pricey home decor, get organizers for everything:
- Baskets are powerful organization tools. When in doubt, buy a basket.
An office-desk organizer to keep your desk clutter-free
- Kitchen organizers to more efficiently store cans of food, pantry items, and pots & pans
- A bathroom organizer to utilize unused space
- A drawer organizer to maximize storage space for your clothes
- A closet organizer to bring purpose to empty spaces
Using organization systems, such as closet systems with shelving for clothing, bags, and shoes, immediately makes a home look nicer.
Use Capital One Shopping to Find Things Cheaper
Capital One Shopping is a fantastic online money-saving service that works to get you a great deal on products and makes saving money effortless. Once you get the free Capital One Shopping browser extension, Capital One Shopping will search Amazon and many other online retailers to find the current price of the product, including tax and shipping costs. If there is a better offer on the Capital One Shopping list, you simply click the link to follow it to the better deal.
And that’s not all. Capital One Shopping also allows users to add products to a watchlist and then will alert you when the price drops. So, when it comes to making your house look expensive, get the Capital One Shopping browser extension and add the items to make your life easier to your Capital One Shopping watchlist.
Free Workshop – Join our free Simplify Money Workshop
The *only* way to save money is to spend less than you earn. That means you need to decrease your expenses or increase your income.
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- Hacks to lower your monthly bills
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This workshop has everything you need to accomplish the cardinal rule of personal finance: keep your income over your expenses.
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3. Keep Dishes out of the Sink
A quick and easy way to make your house look cleaner and classier is to keep the dishes out of the sink. Make it a habit to always put dishes straight into the dishwasher after meals rather than letting them pile up in the sink.
Invest in an Under Sink Organizer to store and organize your dish cleaning products rather than having them sit on the counter.
4. No Shoes Inside
If you want to make your house look expensive and stay that way for years, then you need a “no shoes inside” rule. Yes, some people may find this burdensome, but when you really think about it, it’s not. No shoes inside means no tracking dirt around your home. That means less mopping. So it’s less work for you and your home stays cleaner.
Picture that magazine spread again. Do you envision shoes all over the floors? No! Shoes are hidden or placed on a shoe rack. It’s worth investing in a quality shoe rack, especially one that looks sophisticated and matches your decor.
5. Get a Fun Handheld Vacuum
Let’s be honest, when cleaning takes too much effort, it gets put on the back burner. For example, if you have a full-sized vacuum that you have to take apart to get into small spaces, then you probably have dust bunnies in your corners and under your furniture. (No judgment here, we’ve been there!) This is because it takes too much effort to do a quick cleanup, so you neglect the task.
Instead, get a convenient hand-held vacuum to do quick pickups of dust bunnies. This BLACK + DECKER Cordless Handheld Vacuum makes freshening up a home a breeze.
Before you run out and buy one, don’t forget to get the Capital One Shopping browser extension and set up price alerts to be notified about great deals!
- Related: 9 Lazy Cleaning Hacks for Your Car
6. Invest in a Personal Coffee Maker
Having a Keurig coffee maker makes your house look expensive, and it also saves you money in the long run. First, making coffee at home will save you a ton of money versus hitting the Starbucks drive-thru day-in and day-out.
You can save even more money when you invest in reusable K-cups. Instead of using one K-cup for each cup of coffee and sending it to the landfill, simply fill the reusable cup with your favorite ground coffee. Using your own coffee typically costs three times less. Plus, reusable K-cups are better for the environment.
7. Always Buy Products That Make Your Life More Functional
Before you purchase anything, ask yourself, “Will this make my life better?” If it won’t, don’t spend money on it. For example, would your life be easier if you had a coat rack? If so, then get a coat rack. But, if you don’t have many coats or you already have a designated coat closet, then pass on it for now.
As you shop, remember, inside expensive-looking homes everything has a purpose and a place. If what you want to buy doesn’t serve a purpose or make your life more functional, pass on the purchase.
Earn Cash Back When You Spend Money with Dosh
One more way to make your house look expensive on the cheap is to earn free money with the Dosh cash back app. If you want to earn extra money without even thinking about it, then you need to download Dosh. Yes, it sounds too good to be true, but Dosh is legit. It’s free, safe, and easy.
All you have to do is download the Dosh app and connect your credit card. Then, whenever you shop or eat out at one of the Dosh-participating businesses, you’ll get free money in your Dosh Wallet, which you can transfer to your bank, PayPal, or Venmo.
Bonus Hack: DIY Home Decor
Looking to spruce up your home? Instead of spending a fortune at Pottery Barn, make your own home decor DIY dupe!
Give your place a distinguished or rustic feel with these 11 Dollar Tree DIY Home Decor Crafts!
- Mason Jar Succulent DIY (budget-friendly)
- Tiered Tray Centerpiece DIY (Dollar Tree edition)
- Pottery Barn Tiered Tray: DIY Dupe
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Want More Life Hacks? Read these next…
- 21 Habits of Women Who Always Have Clean Homes
- 9 Lazy Cleaning Hacks for Your Car
- 8 Hacks For A Tidy Home
- How to Get Your Life Organized
Need help saving money? Check these out!
- 7 Habits of Women Who Always Have Money
- 42 Hacks to Live on One Income and Never Be Poor
- Essential Dave Ramsey Tips for Tough Times
*Capital One Shopping compensates us when you get the Capital One Shopping extension using the links we provided*
Michelle Salater is a freelance finance writer with a passion for personal finance education. When she’s not in front of her computer, she’s reading biographies and exploring remote areas of the world. She also freelances for Wooster Media Group LLC.