Freshening up the Home on a Budget: Fall is here!

by Terry Fletcher

After this hotter than hot summer, and I have the air conditioning bills to prove it, I am so ready for some cooler weather, kids to head back to school, spouses back to work, and just time to be in my house alone to freshen it up a bit.

Now I am sure there are some of you reading this blog thinking, “I am never in my house alone”, and I get that, especially if you have younger kids and it’s everyone, all the time and you all leave and come home together. But what can be nice is when you have a few minutes to just look around and think, “What can I do to make a change to just make the change of the season or time of year noticeable for my family without it being holiday decorating?”

Here are a few tips I have gathered over the years, that are low budget, but huge impact. Trust me, the fam will notice. First, let’s set a wallet-friendly budget. I like to say $60. Not $50 not $100, but $60. It is 1-2 dinners out and where I will make sure I cook low-cost meals the cover taking this out of the household budget for the month.

Next, not only does freshening up the house mean the look, but it means remembering to freshen up some personal family items that tend to be forgotten that can also help to lessen illness this fall and school year.

Change out your kitchen sponges and pots and pans scrub brush

That is a simple thing to do, and you can pick up these items either at the grocery store for less than $7 total, or head to the Dollar Store and keep it under $5. But honestly, old sponges (used for more than a month) and pot and dish scrubbers tend to smell after a while (and you can get used to it and not notice) and carry germs if not changed out on a regular basis. We all forget.

Change out everyone’s toothbrush

Now, this may seem like a basic task, but you can stop by your dentist and ask for a couple of free toothbrushes, they always give out free ones, or again, $2.50 tops at the grocery store, and remember soft bristles for the kids. But think about this. When was the last time you changed out your toothbrushes? Was anyone sick in the meantime? Then putting that back in their mouths to brush? Yeah ewww. The kids will love the fresh new toothbrush and your husband should say, “Thanks honey”.


Yes, I do love a couple of new decorative pillows to change up the look of the living room. You can get some pretty good deals at stores like Target, T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s where the cost per pillow ranges from $5.99-$15.99 if you look hard enough. But don’t forget to look at your bed pillows. Body oils can seep through pillowcases and if your pillows have yellowed time to change them out! Bed pillows are about $6-20 depending on your preference of firmness and quality.

Lastly, have you checked your towel closet lately?

I am sure you love the mismatched few that are in the linen closet, even the Star Trek, or Power Ranger or Little Mermaid beach towels that are now used as a bath towel. But have you checked the fraying or strings that start unraveling at the bottom? Time to take those few out of the closet, put in the rag pile and buy 4 new ones. You can keep this reasonably low cost and 4 towels always make a difference. I like black ones. But 4 soft new bath towels ($25 for 4 is reasonable) hanging on the towel rack when the kids or the spouse walk into the bath or shower can bring a smile to even the most distracted family member. Bed, Bath and Beyond or Target or Macy’s are all good options. I am a big believer in Amazon, but for towels, I want to feel them first.

Who will smile the most and these little tips for a home refresh? Yep…mom 😊. Well, I have spent about $55 of my $60 budget. Time to take my extra cash and go get a Pumpkin Spice latte.

Welcome to the fall.