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If You Haven't Renovated Your Home, Check Out These 40 Cheap & Clever Upgrades That Make A Huge Impact

May 02, 2024May 02, 2024


Small improvements that make your day-to-day better.

“Home renovation” can be two scary words that imply time delays, unalterable decision making, and the emptying of one’s savings account. But making changes doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. If you haven’t renovated your home, check out these 40 cheap and clever upgrades that make a huge impact.

Whether you’re looking to elevate your living room or bathroom, there are affordable, effective — and genius— solutions to be found. Browse the list below for tons more small improvements that can make a big difference in your day-to-day life, and all at a cost that keeps the hopeful spirit of home improvement alive.

Add a little extra luxury and a lot of comfort to your bed with these super affordable pillowcases. They’re made of 100% microfiber for an extra-soft texture, but they still remain breathable and cool. Choose from two sizes and 12 colors such as lavender, sage, or burgundy.

Skip the cost of installing expensive accent lighting and instead opt for this LED light strip that acts as an affordable and cordless under-cabinet lighting solution. Bright LEDs line a three-foot strip that’s connected to a battery-powered on and off button. You can quickly install the strip using the included strong adhesive on the back. It lights up any surface while remaining discreet.

Watch or work from your iPad comfortably from any room in the house using this cleverly designed adjustable iPad stand that easily clamps onto any surface without scratching it. The tablet sits securely within brackets that are attached to a bendable gooseneck arm. The arm can be positioned any which way for you to work or view content and three different-sized brackets are included to support multiple devices, from phones to tablets.

These clip-on book lights are the perfect way to take your bedtime routine to the next relaxing level and they will only set you back $11. Two book lights come in every pack and each relies on long-lasting USB-rechargeable batteries. The neck is adjustable so you can focus your light exactly where you need it and you have the choice between three light settings to suit your needs — a bright white daytime light, a gentle white, and an amber mode that helps ease you to sleep.

Encourage creativity at every turn with this genius stick-on whiteboard wallpaper that can be easily applied and just as easily removed. Cut it to size using the helpful grid pattern on the back, peel off the adhesive, and stick it to a dry, smooth surface. The board comes in five sizes and each includes eight colorful dry-erase markers.

Once you install this LED backlight strip to your TV, you’ll literally see what you’ve been missing. The light helps to increase both contrast and color and may even reduce eye strain by creating more ambient light. Plug the light into your TV’s USB port, peel off the adhesive backing, firmly stick it onto the inner perimeter of the TV’s frame, and use the inline controls to adjust its brightness to your liking.

For less than $25 you can make a serious upgrade to your daily life with this clever light therapy lamp. It uses a full-spectrum and UV-free light to give your body the signals it needs to help you wake up and sleep well. It includes three brightness settings and comes in a portable form with an adjustable, convertible stand.

Nothing could be worse than pulling out flour to bake cookies and spotting the telltale signs of a meal moth infestation. Do yourself a favor and hang or set these ingenious pantry moth traps wherever you store dry goods to trap and prevent any moth infestations. The traps use pheromones to lure and glue them to the trap. They’ll last up to three months and are totally safe around kids or pets.

Give your dining table a refresh with these beautiful salt and pepper shakers that function as grinders and yet still cost less than $20. They’re made with sleek stainless steel, are easy to fill, and won’t clog even when dealing with the largest of peppercorns. Best of all: you can adjust the ceramic grinder to suit your preference for how coarse you’d like your salt or pepper.

To cultivate seriously sophisticated vibes, get this cocktail shaker set that comes with everything you need to create any craft drink. It’s made of stainless steel and includes a leak-proof shaker, jigger, strainer, mixing spoon, bottle opener, liquor pourers, and even recipe cocktail cards to get you started right away. Everything sits neatly in its designated place within a bamboo stand which will look great on any bar cart or countertop.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference, and this high-performance bread knife will give much satisfaction as it effortlessly slices through the thickest of loaves. It’s constructed of a German stainless steel blade that remains sharp despite heavy use and also features an ergonomic handle. An edge guard sheath and sharpener are included in this set.

Find kitchen tools quickly and easily with the use of these well-crafted adjustable drawer dividers made from bamboo. Because of their adjustable length, they will fit most drawers and can be placed horizontally or vertically depending on your preference. They feature a spring that’s built inside for a secure fit and have soft foam material on both ends to protect your drawer’s surface. Use them anywhere you see a drawer in need of help.

To give your living room (or any room) a bit of added visual interest, use these floating “U” shelves to store or display favorite items. They come in nine different finishes — from gray to espresso to rustic white — and can be easily mounted using the provided hardware. Use them in the kitchen to store ingredients, the bedroom to store books, or the living room for cherished decor. The possibilities are endless.

Make opening every cabinet a true dream come true with this lazy Susan that gives you two tiers of space for condiments, spices, or sauces. It’s made of brushed stainless steel that resists fingerprints and both tiers rotate 360 degrees so you can see everything you have on hand. The rim is conveniently raised, helping to keep all items securely in place.

There’s nothing worse than stepping on your rug only to take a Marx Brothers-style slip and end up on the floor. Position this non-slip rug pad underneath your rugs to keep them (and your feet) securely in place. It comes in three sizes and can be custom cut to fit your required dimensions. It’s made of an extra-thick and pillowy PVC foam that will protect your floors while reducing the wear and tear of your rug.

This minimalist paper towel holder might look a bit simple, but it will look clean and sleek on your countertop compared to some of the bulky options out there. The chrome finish keeps it classic enough to work in any kitchen, and it’s sturdy enough to stay perfectly in place on your counter.

Give fresh eggs a place to securely roost using these stackable egg trays. The BPA-free and shatter-proof plastic protect eggs in the fridge and the lids allow you to stack trays on top of one another for efficient and safe storage. A handle on one end allows you to quickly access the trays and cleaning them is as simple as giving them a rinse in warm soapy water.

Make parties or even just daily life that much more enjoyable with this glass drink dispenser in the classic shape of a mason jar. It comes with a built-in, dripless spigot for easy dispensing and includes a screw-top lid as well as a decorative metal stand. It holds up to one gallon whether your drink of choice is sun tea, lemonade, or rum punch.

Improve the state of your bathroom by banishing mildewy bath rugs and using this water-resistant bamboo bath mat instead. It’s made of organic bamboo and includes three protective coatings to prevent mold and mildew from taking hold. The slatted design allows for lots of airflow and nine non-slip gaskets on the bottom keep it safely and securely in place. As a bonus, instead of having to keep replacing disgusting old bath mats, this one will save you tons of money as it’ll last you years to come.

Form meets function with this utensil holder in a sleek olive wood design that allows you to easily access kitchen tools quickly. It comes fully assembled and is large enough to hold bigger utensils like spatulas, whisks, and ladles. It’s a perfect way to upgrade your kitchen look and functionality without having to spend a ton.

This genius kitchen faucet will make you feel like you’re living large due to its built-in pull-down sprayer and brushed nickel finish. Wash dishes, pots, and pans with ease by toggling between the spray or stream, and focus the water exactly where you need it by extending the pull-out hose to as far as 20 inches. The faucet’s high-arc design and elegant finish make sinks look pricier than the mere $33 you spent.

Keep your hands clean and save precious money on soap by using this touchless soap dispenser. It runs on four AA batteries (not included) and dispenses soap into your palm using an infrared sensor. It also cleverly allows you to set the volume of soap you want to be dispensed at a time, thus controlling the flow and saving you lots of money on soap supplies.

This multi-purpose toilet paper stand doesn’t just hold and dispense one roll. Its genius design adds serious versatility to your bathroom as you can store up to two additional rolls (mega rolls, at that) and includes a storage caddy at the top that holds your phone, wallet, tissues, or anything else you want handy. It’s constructed of metal and is in a bronze or chrome finish.

Changing out light fixtures can be an easy and affordable way to refresh your home’s style. These ceiling light mounts come in a pack of two and channel a farmhouse style mixed with industrial chic to add nice touches of visual interest. The cage design is constructed of metal in a black finish and works perfectly with vintage-style Edison bulbs. All it takes is a little drilling and an easy install to create a chic new room.

Bring a charming rustic feel to any room in your home using this self-adhesive wood wallpaper. The authentic-looking bleached wood texture calls to mind a coastal beach house aesthetic and it couldn’t be easier to install. Peel off the back protective film and paste it onto a variety of surfaces — from walls to furniture to kitchen counters. It comes in six pre-cut sizes but you can trim it to fit your specific dimensions.

If your cabinets are feeling a little tired, swap out existing hardware for these sleek matte black drawer handles for an instant kitchen refresh. They’re constructed of stainless steel for great durability and their ample size makes opening drawers a delight. The design is versatile enough to suit rustic decor as well as complement a more modern, minimalist look. If matte black is not your thing, you have the choice between two other finishes: satin nickel and brushed brass.

This innovative soap dish will change your handwashing game and cost you less than $10. It’s made of durable yet soft silicone for easy cleaning and, most importantly, rests at an angle so water can drain off to prevent the dreaded mushy soap scenario. It features several grooves for additional drainage and includes a non-slip bottom to keep it firmly on your countertop.

These ingeniously layered curtain panels give you the double benefit of a light-blocking curtain with the addition of a gauzy, sheer look. They come in a breezy white and feature a combination of sateen woven blackout material with a sheer panel sewn on top. You’ll achieve privacy while still enjoying the feel of an effortless, romantically sheer aesthetic in any room of your choice.

If you're inspired to create a playful, whimsical vibe at home, but want to skip any effortful maintenance, opt for this pampas grass bouquet that costs less than $25 and will last you years. It includes up to six different kinds of dried flowers and grasses including elfin grass, reed pampas, and natural pampas, all in a palette of natural whites and browns. They can easily be trimmed and arranged in many different combinations to fit your favorite vase.

Instead of heading to the hardware store to buy every painting tool piecemeal, go for this home painting kit that cost less than $20 and comes with everything you need. It includes a tray, an angel paint brush, a high-density foam brush, roller frames, and covers of different sizes. The quality 11-piece set boasts more than 8,000 reviews.

It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to make your bedroom the most relaxing place in the house. These popular bed sheets have a serious cult following with more than 177,000 reviews on Amazon and a high 4.6-star rating. The sheets are made of soft and breathable microfiber, come in sizes ranging from twin to split king, and are available in tons of gorgeous shades to fit any bedroom’s existing decor. Each set comes fully prepared for your bedroom upgrade by including two pillowcases, a fitted sheet, and a flat sheet.

This little aromatherapy diffuser fits in the palm of your hand yet can make a huge difference to your experience at home. It will infuse your environment with the soothing scents of relaxation using two different misting modes: a continuous mist that lasts up to 4 hours, or an intermittent mist that lasts up to 8 hours. It also provides the option of displaying a variety of mood lights that can be used in combination with the diffuser or on their own as a nightlight. This pick is another popular one with more than 106,000 reviews.

There’s nothing worse than taking a shower under a weak stream, but you can instantly improve your daily life in this critical way by installing a high-pressure showerhead that mimics refreshing rainfall. The silicone nozzles resist clogs and there’s even a built-in filter to remove impurities from hard water. The showerhead is compatible with most existing shower plumbing and you can easily and quickly install it with zero professional help required.

Starting the day right can make all the difference, and this mirrored alarm clock allows you to get going on the right foot. Its huge LED screen provides a clear read and you can adjust it to three brightness levels. On top of your usual alarm and snooze settings, it conveniently includes two USB charging ports. As a bonus, the mirror makes for a stylish decor choice, reflecting back your great bedroom style.

Go full adult by getting yourself this luxury towel set that will make your bathroom look oh-so put together. The set includes two matching bath towels, two hand towels, and four washcloths in a choice of 11 colors. The towels are made of plush and absorbent cotton and feature a pretty ribbed design along the hem.

Another way to take your bathroom to the next level is by adding this best-selling bidet attachment with more than 18,000 reviews. Reviewers raved about how simple it is to install and how it barely takes up any extra space, thanks to its slim profile. It features a chrome-plated control that allows you to adjust its water pressure and cleaning settings.

These stainless steel wall hooks offer the perfect solution to creating more storage space without having to drill holes in the wall. They come in a pack of four and rely on a heavy-duty adhesive that can support up to 10 pounds. They’re incredibly versatile and can be used on surfaces as diverse as wood, tile, plastic, stainless steel, or glass. Remove the backing and press the hook to the wall, leaving it to adhere for 24 hours before hanging your items.

If you’re seeking a way to add a fun decorative element to a room while upping the coziness factor, look no further than this faux sheepskin area rug. It comes in a plush texture made for encouraging lounging and is offered in five different sizes to suit your space. Choose from several pretty shades such as khaki (pictured above) or burgundy. You can even toss it in the washing machine on the delicate cycle to clean it in a pinch.

This electrical outlet cover may not seem like much, but it can make a huge difference in terms of hiding messy cords and making your home look that much more put together. It blends right in with the wall using the provided removable adhesive and it includes cord clips to further keep cables neatly contained. Each cover is designed with a three-outlet power strip. Your mounted TV has never looked sleeker.

Be the envy of the neighborhood when you apply these magnetic faux window panels to your garage door and instantly improve your home’s exterior. They come in a pack of 32, providing you with enough panels for a two-car garage, and you can mount them quickly and easily to any metal material. Fans are obsessed with how inexpensive this simple upgrade is and one wrote, “Can’t believe we waited 15 years to buy something like this for our garage doors.”

This article was originally published on June 19, 2022

Rachel Bar-Gadda