Free DIY

We are not rich.
We pay our bills and live a comfortable life, but by no means do we have a money tree growing in our backyard. So, when it comes to home improvements I have a very long list and a very limited budget. This means that although I have champagne tastes I am on a ginger ale budget.

For the past few months I have been annoyed by our yard. Neither Shawn nor I have a green thumb and we both detest yard work, so naturally our house looks like a rental since we do not care for it properly (or at least this is what I think in my mind). I have been pining over it and complaining about it and yet it still looks the way it looks. Monday I woke up and had had enough. ACTION, people. I need to be a person of action. So, with my zero budget I set out to do amazing things.

I first weeded all the landscaping. This was a chore in itself because we have had a lot of rain followed by a lot of sun and rain and sun and so on. Our beds were like a jungle. At one point I had to get our an axe because some of the weeds had taken roots and become tree-like. It was a horrible task, but when it was finished it was an 88% improvement.

The next day I began the task of cutting the shrubs and all of the trees back. I have not used an electric trimmer like ever, so it took a bit of time before I was comfortable that I was not going to cut off a finger or a leg. I am not kidding, within minutes I could see a huge difference in my front lawn. It was actually amazing.

I continues by raking out all of the beds and then re-weeding what I had missed the day before. I must have filled six yard waste bags (as a side note, we had yard waste bags in our garage dated 2005!).

I finished my project by repairing a broken spot on the deck, securing the lights in the ground, taking down the tiki torches that were connected to the deck(that I have hated for 3 years!) and painting the “Megan’s Tree” sign that was hidden in the landscape. Oh, and I cleaned out a storage container that sits on our deck and was filled with a bunch of crap.

Shawn also got in on the action by giving the yard a great mow, weed eating and edging, and removing the oil stain on our driveway.

And we spent zero money. Nothing. Nada. Zip. And my house looks 100% better. I am so proud of the way it looks. And I am proud of myself and Shawn for just doing it.

As a bonus, Shawn found a very cute bench on deep discount at our local hardware store. It is the perfect fit for our front porch…something we have been talking about since we move in. $35 for the win!

There are many other things that I want to do to upgrade our home in the next year. None of these will be free but they will all be DIY. Young House Love we are not…but we are going to push through and do it. When we bought this house we were newly married (like, a month in) and had so many hopes and dreams for this beautiful house that we could not believe was ours. We did not just buy our first home, but our forever home.

So here is a fun little list of things I would like to do over the course of the next year:
1. Re-paint the family room
2. Rip up the carpet in the family room and replace with Pergo flooring to match the 1st floor
3. Tile the kitchen (and possibly re-paint)
4. Tile three bathrooms with the same tile as the kitchen
5. Gut the master bathroom and start over (this will most likely not happen anytime soon)
6. Replace the furniture in the family room

I guess I will just have to check back and let you know what, if anything has been accomplished.
Wish me luck!

Here are a few pictures of our landscaping. It might not look like much, but it is a lot to me!

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