Last night at 8:30 the doorbell rang.
I wish I could tell you I was doing something so exciting that I barely had time to answer the door.
But I wasn’t.
I was sitting in my living room with a messy bun without any make-up, wearing yoga pants, eating Triscuits and watching Family Feud.
You know you lead an exciting life when you get the top answer to the question a hundred people were surveyed about…
…and you high-five the dog.
I was so excited when the doorbell rang that I ran from the back of the house and almost tripped over the rug trying to get to the door with my bare feet pitter-pattering and my messy bun flying. As I flew through the front room and held on to the striped chair on the left to get to the doorbell—two things went through my mind.
1. I was so thankful I had gotten a pedicure.
2. I was so thankful I just shopped my house.
That’s the thing about houses.
They can get a little stale.
My father once told me that if you always do what you always did—you’ll always get what you always got.
I think he said it with better verb tenses, but you get the general idea. I don’t have big budget to decorate my house. I have children in college on meal plans who live in dorms and occasionally ask me for gas money. So I get creative and move everything around to make it look like I’m always bringing new things in.
Which I am.
Except they came from the attic or the closet or other rooms in the house.
Here are some of my best shopping tips for when your budget is tight and your house is full.
1. Pull all the dishes out of the cupboard and decorate with them. Don’t be dish shy. Put them in your hutch or stack them on your counter or fill a bowl with fruit and put it on the kitchen island.
2. Hang plates from your cabinet on your wall.
3. Add a new basket from another room and fill it with craft paper.
4. Pull out small vases or cups and fill them with fresh greenery from the yard (or Trader Joe’s for $2.99).
1. Switch out the pillows. Find pillows from another room and introduce them to some new friends.
2. Switch out lamps—or even just the shades.
3. Layer a rug on top of the rug you have. Here’s an example of a room where I did this.
4. Rework the vignette on your coffee table.
5. Create a side table with books.
6. Take everything off your bookcase and re-stack it.
1. Find a flat basket and stack it with books and office supplies.
2. Move a side table from another room.
3. Display your office supplies in an organizer. They are so much easier to find.
4. Bring in a dresser from another room in the house.
5. Switch out baskets from other rooms, too and put pillows and blankets in them for fall.
1. Change out the art work on the wall.
2. Bring in a watering can from outside and fill with fresh flowers.
3. Add a basket at the top of the stairs for last minute items that need to travel from one floor to another.
4. Add a bench.
Never underestimate the power of a good shopping trip.
Look at things with a new eye.
And then when that doorbell rings? Your house will be ready.
Just watch out for Triscuit breath.