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Decorating on a Budget – How to Make it Count

With so many tips and tricks out there for decorating on a budget, which ones really make a difference? The answer lies in you, your goals and commitment to stick to it. You’ll be prepared if you plan ahead and can anticipate where the most time and money will be spent in your decorating project. This will help avoid costly mistakes while you continue to build your value-added home. Let’s jump right in!

Everyone has the ability to create the home of their dreams. Even on a shoestring budget, decorating your home can be a wild dive into creative projects you’ve never imagined! Curious now, aren’t we?

Before we get too riled up, let’s make one thing clear: the first step before setting off on new decorating projects is decluttering your home. There is a method to our madness, so keep reading to find out.

That’s right, before we let our imaginations and creativity sore, tidy up and get organized. It’s the only way to begin decorating on a budget. Let us explain why this first step is so critical.

I Hate Decluttering, Do I Have to?!

As simple as it sounds, decluttering isn’t easy. We are all used to the ‘stuff’ around our homes, and it’s easy to stay in a tunnel vision that keeps us from wanting to move or part with anything. A side-effect of decluttering is finding new space to utilize or simply bask in. More space welcomes more light and an ease of movement. Think of it as a clean slate.

No one wants to start a home decor project with a bunch of junk laying around. This will not only improve the quality of your space, but the quality of your life as well. See how liberating the feeling of new-found space can be, and how this inspires your new project


I’m Ready! How Do I Create a Budget?

Now that you’ve decluttered at least a few items (good job!) it’s time to plan and prioritize the items you desire most. Decorating on a budget requires just that – a budget! Start off smart – plan for your wants and needs. This will (hopefully) eliminate some tough decisions. If your needs are accounted for, only then can you dip into those other items if your budget permits. If you truly are on a tight budget, really think critically about wants versus needs.

I’m Overwhelmed – How Do I Start?

Stepping into a home décor store with your plans to decorate on a budget can be shut down pretty quickly. Even with a well thought-out plan, it’s easy to get swayed by all the fancy items you see.

When you’re just starting out, try to keep it simple. Don’t simply fill all that space you created while decluttering with more stuff! A well-organized and welcoming home is not one that is over-flowing with trinkets and flashy artwork in every available space.

Keep it simple and only choose pieces that really stand out to you, rather than just focusing on filling your space with whatever trendy object you lay eyes on. A name has been put to this sentiment, and it’s called mindful decorating.

Give yourself time to slow down and think about what your space needs. This sounds like a call to slow down. Feels nice, doesn’t it? Perhaps before rushing to make a purchase, look at your new-found space – because you didn’t skip the decluttering step, right!? – and take a moment to pause.

Now we’re armed with two amazing tips: keeping it simple, and mindful decorating. What comes next?

Get In Tune with Your Unique Style

Rest assured, when you take time to pause, decorating on a budget may come easier than you think. How? You’ll have time to discover your own decorating style. This will prevent you from buying the first pretty-patterned dinnerware set you see and instead, really think about whether it matches the vibe you’re going for.

Go further: think about what paint colours speak to you, what patterns you enjoy, the type of furniture you’ve always envisioned in your home, the type of lighting, art etc. When you get in tune with your decorating style, decorating on a budget will come with ease. It’ll be much easier to make decisions once you know what pulls at your heart strings. Don’t settle for anything less.

How to Create a Decorating Budget

Now, we’re ready to create the budget. We have some suggestions to get you started.

Make a Curated Wishlist

Remember the wants versus needs mentioned earlier? Create two lists – wants and needs. List absolutely everything. Let your mind run wild, write down anything that comes to mind. In each list, re-write it in order of descending importance. The most important ‘must’ items will be at the top of the list. You know that if you at least hit the top items on the needs list, you’ll be off to a good start.

Do Your Research

Of course, research and browse for prices of your must-have items. Check in-store, online even in buy-and-sell groups. Note the prices you’ve seen. When you are familiar with all the options is when you’ll make the most informed decision of how much each item will cost on average.

Begin Saving Before You Spend

Notice how we haven’t even bought anything yet? Start setting money aside little by little before diving in. You can create a separate account with your bank and funnel money there. In case something comes up unexpectedly – especially if renovations can become involved – you will have a buffer to help you through. Prices of items fluctuate too, so this can help you keep on track with your wish list items for decorating on a budget.

Remember our decluttering tip? You can sell those unwanted items to generate a bit of cash that can go right back to your decorating projects. We knew we had a point to make there. Giving back to the community through re-selling and recycling unwanted stuff feels good and helps alleviate a bit of financial anxiety.

I Have My Wish-List – But Where Do I Focus?

Maybe you have a really long ‘needs’ list. These things are subjective, and we don’t blame you. If you need 20 candles – no judgement! Although the goal is to continue decorating on a budget, there are key items in your home that you shouldn’t cheap out on such as floors, windows, lightings, doors, and kitchen counters.

There are always lower-price options available in any item you are looking for, but remember that the best you can afford now will save you a headache of replacing these costly, built-in segments of your home.

Stay Flexible

Decorating on a budget can get stressful if you’re a ‘stick to the plan’ type of person. Remember to keep some flexibility in terms of your mindset when shopping. You will need to change it up and adjust as needed at certain times. If you’re faced with a tough choice, see where else you can compromise. Another word of advice is simply to go into it with the mindset that you won’t get all of the items on your lists right this second - and that’s ok!

Enjoy the Process!

Stay patient and persistent. Give the mindful decorating a try, you might even find you like taking your time. What’s the rush anyways? Make the pieces in your home stand out to you. A memento from a trip, or a thrift-store steal. If you rush and stay rigid, it’s more likely that you’ll fill your space with the first thing that catches your eye.

Decorating on a budget sounds fun! I’m in! We promise, you will come out with the perfectly curated home if you take your time and really think about what additions will add the most value to your home.