Did we mention that here at ATJ’s Home Improvement we’re a little bit of fortune tellers? For instance, we know that you’re about to spend a lot more time indoors… for the next 4 months or so. Aren’t we right? All jokes aside, if you live in Chicago, January through March are generally the months when most people tend to stay inside for significantly longer periods of time.
If you’re a homeowner and you actually love working around the house, winter months can be tough not online…well… it’s winter in Chicago, but also because there’s not much to do around the house; whereas during the spring, summer, and fall, there is so much to do outside. Planting, watering your plants, mowing the lawn, making small repairs to your roof and siding, if necessary, to name just a few common activities of a responsible homeowner.
In case you’re itching for some activity that doesn’t involve shoveling snow, here’s a list of suggestions that will get you enjoy your time indoors and make Chicago winter just a little bit more bearable.
1. Get organized.
Winter is a perfect time to get organized, since you’re already staying in. Start by clearing everything out of the space you want to organize. Wipe everything down so that you’re starting with a clean slate. You may need to make a trip to the store for new hangers, bins or other organizing supplies.
Try to avoid putting anything back into the space you have organized that doesn’t belong there. Your home will look much bigger when it is organized, even if you haven’t actually increased the square footage at all. Don’t forget your closets and drawers, especially those that you normally skip during your regular cleaning and organizing routine.
2. Work on your floors.
Does your carpet feel like cement? Are your hardwood floors freezing your feet? Putting in carpet is a great winter project because it can increase the comfort of your home dramatically.
Whether you do it yourself or have it installed, remember: the off-gassing from new carpet is tremendous.
Make sure you open windows to allow those toxic fumes to escape. You can also ask your carpet retailer to air out the carpet several days before they install it in your home or look for more environmentally friendly carpeting.
If you don’t like carpeting, there are plenty of other home flooring ideas such as tile and laminate that you could also consider.
3. Show your bathroom some love.
Is your grout gunky with unsightly mildew? Is your sink hopelessly outdated? Are you over the pale green paint you put on the walls ten years ago? Bathrooms make great winter projects because once they’re done, you can appreciate your handiwork every single day. And, there are plenty of ways to frugally remodel your bathroom.
Updates like replacing a faucet, re-grouting tile, or repainting are relatively easy for the do-it-yourselfer. But if you get more ambitious (like, you want to replace the tile floor or buy a new toilet) you might want to call in professional help. Your sanity will thank you.
4. Make your walls exciting.
Since you’re stuck inside staring at the walls, why not give them a new look. Adding modern trim work, crown molding and a bold coat of paint can completely change the look of a room without the expense of doing a complete renovation.
Contrary to what many homeowners might believe, you can use paint in your home without opening up every window as long it’s an environmentally friendly and waterborne paint, which has virtually no fumes. In addition, the dryness of the colder months can actually produce faster results.
To really add visual interest to your walls, homeowners could go with a new or dramatic paint color or use painter’s tape to create stripes or patterns. Wallpaper, which is making somewhat of a comeback, is another option. Decorating your walls using wallpaper can definitely be a do-it-yourself project.
5. Spice up your kitchen
Kitchen is where you make your delicious dishes. Why not to spice it up a little? For homeowners looking to make their kitchen more exciting without spending a pretty penny, adding a backsplash is a great solution, not to mention the perfect project for a cold winter weekend.
For several hundred dollars you can completely change the look of your kitchen, as well as customize it to fit your personality.
Just a few years ago The Home Depot had only about 40 tiles to choose from. Today, the store has more than 400 different styles and sizes, ranging from classic subway tile to natural stone to metal. While adding more functionality to a kitchen, a backsplash can also help accessorize and emphasize countertops, cabinets and appliances.