Between Cleaning & Remodeling

Did you ever walk through your home and think if the money was there to tear the place apart you’d do a complete remodeling job room by room? While money helps it shouldn’t be the only catalyst.

What do I mean? There are a number of things that can be done to spruce up a living space and give it a touch of new on your own time without hiring outside help. This can be especially useful when renting as you wouldn’t be spending cash to enhance the setting when you’re eventually planning to leave. Nevertheless, you still want the home to be a nurturing healthy environment, despite the fact it doesn’t belong to you. 

That’s why one way to revive an interior space without worrying about going into the red is focusing on areas that catch the eye, accents rooms, and are in plain view. Using the kitchen as a guide and a few eco-friendly products consider how the following points can make a difference.


The kitchen is one of the most overused rooms in the home which means it takes a beating and there’s often never enough time to keep it in tip top shape. Starting from the ceiling take down light covers cleaning them out from dust or any other dirt found in them.

It’s not something you need an electrician for and will at least make the space brighter. At the same time assess how the room looks without the coverings or if replacing them with newer ones will spread light more efficiently and improve the atmosphere.

Ceiling and walls
Because of our regular routines we usually follow the same path around a room rarely drawing attention to spots more out of the way like walls, ceilings, and trim. That’s why when standing at the center of the kitchen look around at some of these areas to see if they’ve seen better days.

If so without using damp cloths, which may leave streaks, wipe away dust, spider webs, and other residue that collected up there. If this doesn’t seem to be doing the trick a new coat of paint can do wonders for a room that needs a quick miracle.

As you continue to move downward check the exterior of kitchen cabinets and their handles as they are sure to have attracted various kinds of gunk, especially if you are an active chef or baker. After all, how many times have you had oil or dough on your hands, forgot an ingredient, and had to reach for it without time or ability to clean off those sticky fingers.

Bring back the natural state of the wood cupboards and buff those handles so they shine like when you first moved in. In fact, that original feel is something to strive for as it represents the freshness of moving in and starting over. 

Check out the baseboard and inner part of door frames. Are there any nicks, scuffs, or scratches that need attention? Sometimes these occur from furniture being moved or constant contact from shoes, skin, and clothing. If washing them down with a household cleanser doesn’t improve their look painting is the best alternative.

This is the perfect example of a small ‘fix-it’ project that will get noticed by anyone walking by.

Finally, try and rid yourself of clutter because if there’s anything that can ruin a space that’s it. It may not even seem like disorder but could simply be a case of too much stuff. Taking a few hours and downsizing will create a noticeable improvement in the immediate atmosphere.

In the end, using the kitchen as a guide to the rest of the house will cover all the bases and show how easy it is to bring life back into the home. Yes, each room has its own challenges but they can be met in true DIY fashion yet without having to break the bank.

Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for He writes about remodeling topics for pros across the U.S. like Stockton, CA, tile contractors.