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Seven Ways to Upgrade Your Living Room for Less

Seven Ways to Upgrade Your Living Room for Less

You may have been planning on upgrading your living room for months. Unfortunately, bills often keep adding up, so it’s difficult to do what you want on a tight budget. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to improve your living room without spending a lot of money.

Here are some frugal ways to improve your living room.

1. Add a few floating shelves.

When you are designing your new living room, try to find ways to make it more convenient for you and your family. Adding some floating shelves is a great way to save time bending over and minimize stress on your back and joints.

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You can find floating shelves at Home Depot, Pottery Barn, WayFair, Target, and many other online stores. You can buy them for as little as $29.99.

2. Put up a couple of chalkboards.

It doesn’t take much time or money to put up a few chalkboards in your living room. They can also add a little décor and entertainment. Many people enjoy doodling with their friends and children. You can also use them to play a couple games of Pictionary or share quick messages (like reminding your kids to take out the trash when they get home from school).

Price range varies considerably, so it’s important to shop around. If you buy an Uttermost Cafe de la Tour chalkboard with a matching clock from ClockWay, then you will need to pay $151. You can also find a similar-sized chalkboard from Walmart for only $23.

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3. Buy pictures from a thrift store.

Old pictures can add a unique charm to your home. The nice thing about them is that you can usually get great deals at a thrift store. You can probably find some great pictures for $10 or less. They may not be contemporary, but there is nothing wrong with that!

4. Buy discount furniture.

Buying furniture will cost a bit more than most of the other options listed here, but it can go a long way. The trick is to buy sofas at a great discount. If you shop carefully, you can save 20% or more from the original price. Make sure to keep your eyes open for great deals.

5. Buy some colored pillows.

You probably bought matching pillows with your sofa. Do you really want them, though? Most people insist on making everything match without considering other options. The truth is that finding a different colored pillow may be a better way to go. If you have a dark blue chaise lounge sofa, you may want to buy a bright orange pillow. It will really add some character because it will stand out a lot more.

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The cost of sofa pillows also ranges quite a bit, even if you are comparing options from the same retailer. You can usually find some great deals from Kohl’s and other department stores for as little as $8.99.

6. Get some large mirrors.

Mirrors are probably the simplest addition to any living room, but they can really do wonders. They add dimension, character, and energy to the room.

You may need to shop for them used to find a decent deal. New mirrors from Pottery Barn, Kohl’s, and even Walmart tend to cost at least $100. However, you can usually buy used mirrors for $10 or less. Used mirrors will usually look older and more tinted, but they work great if you want to give your living room a more rustic touch.

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7. Make homemade lamps.

Are you having trouble finding a nice, cheap lamp? You may want to consider making your own! A couple of years ago, Camille Smith shared a couple of renovation ideas with Home and Garden Television. One of her ideas was to make a homemade lamp with materials that you can find around your home. She showed a picture of a lamp that was made out of a small globe and a couple of children’s toys.

You will need a little artistic inspiration to make a decent lamp for your living room. However, if you rack your brain you can make a unique lamp without spending a dime.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Ryan Kh

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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