Winter Home Improvement Projects for People Who Aren't Martha Stewart

Spruce up your home this season

woman hanging frame

With the shorter and darker days, the winter season can cause all of us to feel cluttered in our cocoon indoors. This makes keeping your indoor sanctuary free and clear even more important! Shift the energy and feel of your home with these easy fixes. -- Editor's Note

This article provided to by the experts in all things parenting, and written by Samantha Rodman -- mother, clinical psychologist and writer.

Is your self-esteem in the toilet because you forgot to send your preschooler with three paper bags and an empty paper towel roll for an art project? Or because you set off the fire alarm while making bacon and traumatized your toddler, who now covers her ears when you approach the stove?

Never fear, here are some home improvement projects that even the most uninspired homemaker can complete, with time to spare to call for pizza delivery -- I mean, to make a four-course dinner.

Clean out the refrigerator. For real.

I know what you do when you clean the refrigerator. You just wipe down the shelves while they're still in the refrigerator. Well, let me tell you something mind-blowing that I found out when my second child was about 2, meaning that I had been unaware of it for about 32 years on Earth.

Wait for it ... these shelves CAN BE REMOVED.

I'm not joking. Then you can wash them and put them back and voila! Your husband will think he walked into the wrong house because of the insane sparkle emanating from your fridge.

Wash your curtains.

Who has the time to do this? Someone whose kid wiped her snot-covered hands on the curtains every day for a month until I saw the evidence and almost vomited. And let me tell you, I have admittedly only washed my curtains that one time, but it made a big difference. First of all, those suckers were white. Who knew? And second of all, everyone in the house stopped sneezing.

Hang pictures.

You know how you bought all those picture frames, about two a year for the past, oh, maybe decade, and then you never hung any of them?

Well, get out your hammer, which should be with your tools, and ... okay, borrow a hammer. And nails. Or picture hooks, if you have those really big frames designed to hold the 8×10 school pictures that you never buy because they cost as much as your wedding photographer.

And then hang all the frames in picturesque locations in your home. Oh, shoot, before you do this, you actually have to...

Print out pictures to put in the frames.

This should be easy. Wait, you didn't print pictures since, what, 2012? Well, you've only had two kids since then, so just as a loose guesstimate, we're talking about 60 hours of going through every picture on your cloud drive, some of which are of newborns, which will mess with your hormones and make you want another baby that you KNOW you don't really want. What, you don't want to do that? Then how about...

Frame some of the "artwork" that your children create for you.

Yes, get it back from your mom and out of your recycle bin. Because it beats printing the damn photos. And it's so cute. By which I mean, others will tell you that it's cute, but that horse your kid drew still looks like a flying squirrel.

Dust some stuff that you never dust.

Here are some things I never dust: surfaces in my home. Also: surfaces in other people's homes. For the purposes of this exercise, focus only on the former. And if you want to get fancy...

Use appropriate cleaners for different types of surfaces.

Remember that one time that you bought that granite cleaner? And then you bought that tile cleaner? And then you bought that wood cleaner? And then you just ended up Windexing everything for the past five years? Well, bring out those bottles and go to town. Then throw them all out because you're never going to use them again.


Just kidding. Does anyone still mop? Wet Swiffer and call it a day, you domestic goddess, you.

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