If you’re anything like me, you have a long list of home projects and vision board ideas that you just can’t seem to get done. Our dear friend procrastination (or, you know, good old anxiety) can make it all too easy to push these sorts of things aside for another day. But as we head into the colder months, holiday gatherings and cozy nights at home are right around the corner—which means it’s high time you and I both give our respective homes the pampering they deserve. To help transform your house or apartment ahead of the busy winter months, here are 20 of the best home projects and DIYs you can tackle in a single weekend.
1. Put up new curtains
Hanging curtains is one of those home projects that sounds like a huge headache, but it actually doesn’t take much time or effort to pull off. The key is to measure carefully so you purchase the right curtain size and hang them at the correct height. In general, your curtains should measure about two times wider than the window itself to ensure they’ll completely cover the window and hang nicely even when they’re closed. To determine the right curtain length, measure from the curtain rod (which should be about 4-6 inches above the window frame) to the floor. Curtains typically come in standard lengths (84 inches, 96 inches, or 108 inches), so purchase the length that is closest to your needs.
2. Paint a piece of furniture
Paint can work wonders, especially on wood furniture that’s got great bones but a dated finish. If you have an old or thrifted piece that could use a fresh look, start by giving it a light sanding to rough up the existing finish. Then add a coat of primer and let it dry before brushing on your paint color of choice. The actual painting won’t take very long, but since you’ll have to allow for drying time in between coats, you’ll likely need a full weekend for this project.
3. Install some new lighting
Installing new light fixtures would typically require hiring an electrician, but with plug-in options, you can easily add new lighting wherever you’d like. There are tons of different styles to choose from, including wall sconces and pendants that hang from the ceiling, and installing them is as simple as mounting the fixture on the wall and plugging it in. Bonus: This project is totally renter-friendly!
4. Hang a gallery wall
Sourcing the art for a gallery wall may take longer than a weekend, but once you’ve collected all the pieces, hanging them is easier than you’d think. To create your arrangement, lay out everything on the floor and rearrange the pieces until you’re satisfied with the layout. When you go to hang everything, start with the centermost piece in your arrangement and work outward from there. And don’t forget to use a level to make sure everything is straight!
5. Apply peel-and-stick wallpaper
Wallpaper has come a long way in the last several years, and it’s now easier than ever to add a pop of pattern or texture to your walls. Thanks to peel-and-stick options, you can easily install wallpaper in just an afternoon. But since you’ll need to patch any holes and make sure the wall is as smooth as possible before you get started, it’s best to save this home project for a weekend.
6. Replace your showerhead
If you’re sick of dealing with crappy water pressure (or just an ugly showerhead), you’ll be happy to know that replacing your showerhead is an easy project nearly anyone can do in just a few minutes. All you have to do is unscrew the old fixture and screw on the new one in its place. That’s it! If you’re dealing with hard water (which can wreak havoc on your skin and nails), consider opting for a filtered showerhead that can help purify your shower water.
7. Hang a new shelf
In need of more storage or display space? Hanging a shelf is an easy project that works in nearly any room. If the shelf and its contents will end up weighing more than a few pounds (which is highly likely), you’ll need to mount the shelf into a stud or use drywall anchors that are rated for the appropriate amount of weight. Always err on the side of caution—you don’t want that new shelf falling out of the wall!
8. Replace your cabinet hardware
If your kitchen is looking boring and dated, I’d be willing to bet your hardware is to blame. Old or unattractive pulls and knobs can make the whole space feel lackluster. Luckily, switching out the hardware is a simple, inexpensive home project you can easily get done in a day. Opt for a new shape or finish (brass is super popular right now, while matte black is great for a sleek, modern look) and simply screw them in. If you’re changing the style of hardware, you may need to create new screw holes, but a drill makes this super easy.
9. Revamp a table lamp
Great lighting can be difficult (and expensive) to find, but it’s surprisingly easy to customize any cheap or hand-me-down lamp with a new look. Update the base with a fresh coat of paint, or slap on some plaster to create a textured look. To revamp an old lampshade, decorate it with a painted pattern, cover it with new fabric, or add a decorative trim.
10. Paint your front door
A cool fall day is the perfect time to tackle a front-door painting project. You can either keep the door in place and carefully paint around the hinges, or take the door down and remove all the hardware before you begin. Then clean, sand, and prime the door to achieve a nice smooth finish before painting. Whether you go classic with a neutral or choose a fun accent color, make sure to use exterior paint so your new finish stands up to the elements.
11. Re-style a bookshelf
Styling bookshelves is an art in and of itself, but it’s actually pretty simple when you break it down. If your shelves are looking cluttered or haphazard, start by taking everything off the shelves. As you put things back, group items together that vary in height, size, and shape. You don’t want everything to look too matchy-matchy, so variety is key. A few of my favorite shelf-styling hacks? Stack books horizontally to add height, or lean art against the back wall and arrange smaller items in front to create different layers.
12. Roll out a new area rug
Out of all the decorative elements in a room, I would argue that area rugs have the most impact. Swapping out your rug is a bit more subtle than, say, investing in a brand-new sofa, but this change can still have a transformative effect on a room. Whether you go for a classic neutral or a bold, colorful pattern, the right rug can make the space. Because this swap typically entails moving around a bunch of furniture, home projects like this are best left for the weekend. While you’re moving stuff around, you might even want to try out a new furniture arrangement. A new perspective can work wonders, too.
13. Upgrade furniture with new hardware
If you’ve got an old piece of furniture lying around that doesn’t quite fit your aesthetic anymore, try switching up the hardware before you give up on the piece. The same way that changing out cabinetry hardware can instantly update your kitchen, swapping the pulls and knobs on furniture is simple but transformative.
14. Organize your drawers and cabinets
I’ll be frank: This is something I always dread doing and will put off for months. Then actually doing it only takes a couple of hours, and I roll my eyes at myself after I’m done.
For the kitchen, begin by sorting out your mail/junk drawer, and shred any papers, letters, and receipts you no longer need. Look through all other drawers to organize similar things like silverware, take-out menus, or stationery. For your bathroom or vanity, go through your makeup drawer and beauty cabinets to toss out anything old and expired, swatch your makeup to decide whether you want to keep something, and bring in some organizers to make everything nice and neat.
Some organizations to donate any unused beauty or hygiene products to:
15. Clean your makeup brushes
We all love to hate doing this, but now is the perfect time to give our makeup brushes a nice little beauty sesh of their own. Brushes can gather a ton of bacteria and residue over time, which can often cause our skin to do less-than-ideal things. So if you haven’t made it a habit to clean your brushes regularly, now’s the best time to start.
16. Deep-clean your bathroom and kitchen
You might give your countertops a quick wipe-down on the regular, but every once in a while, you should go in for a deeper clean. Get into all those spots you’ve been pretending are fine (but are really more like Ross Geller’s version of “fine”). Scrub down your shower, tub, bathroom and kitchen sinks, drains, toilets, cabinets, and kitchen appliances. Toss those bath and kitchen mats into the washer, get out the vacuum, and shine up those wood floors. Bonus: All this cleaning can easily double as a workout! You’ll end your cleaning ritual with a rush of endorphins and, ultimately, a satisfying sense of calm.
17. Clear your fridge and pantry of expired or stale foods
If your pantry and refrigerator are starting to look like they’re overflowing, it’s time for a clean-out. Dig through the stuff in the back and toss out any expired foods or opened items you know you won’t finish. If you have any unopened, unexpired, and non-perishable foods left that you can spare for those in need, don’t hesitate to find a local food bank or organization to donate to.
18. Start a windowsill herb garden
For those of you who love cooking at home, now is a great time to create your own herb garden! Many grocery stores and hardware stores sell herb seeds and small plants that can quickly blossom and thrive—you can also order these online. Start a collection of small pots on your windowsill so you can enjoy fresh herbs whenever you want.
19. Paint an accent wall
Got a wall in your home that could use a little livening up? Grab some paint and try out a fun new color as an accent wall. Going bold on a paint color can often feel intimidating, but worry not! It’s just paint and you can always go back over it with a different color.
20. Sort out your wardrobe
We Everygirls love our fashion. We’ve been known to add in some new seasonal trends to our usual capsule wardrobe—but with that comes the responsibility of having to declutter and reorganize our existing collection of items. Start by going through all of the things you own and sorting them into piles to keep, donate, or toss (for items that have been heavily worn out). Then, organize what’s left by color, function, season, or whatever works best for you. For donations, some amazing organizations we recommend are: