Sprucing up the house on a shoestring

I split up with my husband at the end of last year.  Since then money has been tight, and I’ve had to find ways of being frugal (or more frugal than previously).  I have to give more consideration to each purchase I make, and some previously frivolous purchases are now totally out of the question.

For my sanity, I’ve been keen to make changes to my living space since Ian moved out. I’ve wanted to make the house feel more orientated towards the kids, instead of how it previously was.  There were lots of photos on the wall of adults that the kids had never met, and lots of paraphernalia that wasn’t for them, dotted around the living room.  The living space was in need of a make-over.  However, home decor can be costly.

So I found some inexpensive (sometimes free!) ways of changing the environment without breaking the bank.  I threw out a lot of stuff, de-cluttered the shelves and re-arranged the furniture.  There are now more of the kids’ things on display, as well as the environment being more conducive to their play, as opposed to their things being out of the way.  As a result, the living area is a much nicer place to relax in, and infinitely easier to keep tidy.

One of the things that the kids love are photographs.  Except in this digital age, we rarely develop photos, because we can view them digitally on our devices.  When we were children, photos had to be developed to be viewed, and it wasn’t cheap to do so.  I think that there is something magical about developed photos that you can hold and touch, and it’s a shame that we don’t develop photos more often.

Photography is a hobby of mine, and I have hundreds of photos taken of the kids on my phone and camera.  The kids love to see themselves in the photos.  It sparks their fond memories and makes them smile.  But they’re inaccessible to the kids unless they’re looking at a dreaded screen.

So, to spruce up the living room further, I developed some recent photos of the boys and hit the charity shops for some frames.  I budgeted no more than £2 for each frame, although most were considerably less than that each.


The photo project will culminate on a newly-cleared wall in the living room, where they will all be hanged, in a random order, for us all to appreciate.  The kids helped select the photos, and it has been an inclusive project so far.  I need to acquire a few more frames, as there are more photos to hang.

I highly recommend you getting some of those photos you have lurking on your phones, developed and framed.  It doesn’t have to be an expensive activity, especially if you raid your local charity shops.  Photos make such a difference to your living space, especially if they document happy memories.

Boots self-service developing was ridiculously easy to use.