Low-Cost Home Upgrades

Quick and easy ways to update your home. Savvy saving tips and time-tested shortcuts to decorate, organize, and clean your home.
  • Stock the nightstand drawer.Stow away more workaday accoutrements, such as an eye mask, earplugs, lip balm, and hand and foot creams.
  • Use under-the-bed space.Store out-of-season clothes and other items in containers made of plastic, canvas, or wood. Keep cold-weather blankets in large plastic containers for extra protection. If you choose wood boxes, opt for cedar, which helps deter moths, and line the containers with plain unbleached muslin to counter the wood’s acidity. Use canvas for delicate items such as cashmere sweaters, which need circulating air. Make sure all clothing and blankets are cleaned before storing.
  • Arrange the night table.Display items that look good and make sense: an alarm clock, reading glasses, a water carafe and/or glass, a vase, a book (or a small stack of books), and small framed photographs. Gauge the space, though: You don’t want it to feel crowded.
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