Makeovers That Don’t Cost The Earth

By Professional Organiser Alison Abernethy

Alison is a professional Organiser and aims to help create systems that allow people to live their lives without clutter and stress. She uses her skills as a fully qualified Life Coach to equip clients with the tools needed to implement the systems put in place. Below is her expert advice on the perfect makeover.

Need a Makeover?

Is your home looking tired? Are you feeling uninspired? The good news is you don’t need a total home renovation in order to change things up. So, before you rip out your kitchen or take to your bathroom tiles with a sledge hammer, consider some simple tricks that prove a makeover doesn’t have to cost the earth. There are plenty of easy and inexpensive things you can do to your home that will make it look bright and fresh again. And the good news is there are also plenty of budget ideas that are earth-friendly too.

Begin with the end in mind. For the dreamers and planners among us the first step is creating a mood board to inspire and guide the process. But the most important step is actually to draw up a budget. This provides a framework to convert your dreams into a reality without breaking the bank.

Gather images like above from Pinterest, your favourite magazines, or take pictures when you spot something you love.

Quick fixes for a makeover

Create a theme, you can do this by room or apply it to your entire home. An easy way to create interchangeable themes is by choosing an accent colour. Paint is possibly one of the most affordable, transformative tools but if you don’t feel like painting a whole room, pick one wall and give it a contrasting colour.

Creating a focal point in a room is key, you can do this with a single large print or by grouping different artworks together. Throw down a rug, it will create a new focal point for your room but make sure you tie it to the rest of the room by anchoring it with a coffee table or lounge so that it looks like it belongs in the room.

Freshen up your soft furnishings; new cushions colours can create a whole new look. Change your bed linen, consider having a seasonal colour theme in your bedroom. Go for warm and cosy in winter and cool and inviting colours in summer.

Use what you have

One of the best no-cost ways to redecorate is to repurpose what you already have. Move your furniture around and reevaluate how you use each piece. Maybe a piece that no longer works in your lounge room will suit another room in your home.

Use small accessories like candles, pictures frames, vases and ornaments to bring accent colour to your tables and shelves. Try clustering these items together Replace your photos or update your frames.

Go green in your makeover

Adding plants not only adds visual appeal and brings the outdoors in, they help clean your air particularly in the colder months when you are less likely to have open windows.

So, you’ve got all these great ideas, your Pinterest boards are full to the brim but is something holding you back?


The first step in any makeover is to declutter and organise your spaces. Allocate a block of time and stick to it without allowing yourself to become sidetracked. Set a timer if you need to and get started.

Start in the kitchen as this is usually the hub of the home and is often the place where every day clutter seems to creep in. Begin by cleaning the bench of the all the items that don’t belong there. Purge unwanted papers, return items to where they belong.

Once you’ve cleared your bench the next step is to organise your pantry. This could be session two depending on time available and your stamina.

There’s nothing more rewarding than throwing open your pantry doors and being able to see everything at a glance and knowing everything you see deserves its place. Throw away any out of date or stale food.  Next tackle your cupboards, you may discover hidden treasure or at the very least fill a box for charity and give yourself room to move.

Introduce your theme

And now it’s time to have some fun with your makeover. Choose your theme and add pops of colour and items of interest. Howard’s Storage World has lots of budget and earth friendly options to choose from.

Add a splash of colour with some new tea towels. Or choose a monochrome scheme for a more understated look.

Add a biodegradable dish cloth in funky prints. Constructed out of natural materials, you can wash these in the dishwasher or washing machine and when they’re worn out toss them in your compost. With 11 different designs there is one to suit your tastes and kitchen. I can’t go past the grey hens!

Pair your new dish cloth with a sleek brush from Full Circle. This stand-up brush comes with bamboo handle coated with natural oils and the brush head is made from biodegradable plant-based plastic. It will add a touch of colour and glamour to your sink. And to make it even more attractive you can purchase refill brush heads and keep using your original handle.

Garnish with your makeover with greenery

Now add some green to your window sill with this clever little herb planter. Soon you’ll be enjoying fresh herbs in your meals grown at home by you. No more half used plastic packets of sludgy greens in your fridge and less single use plastic coming into your home. Budget and plant friendly.

……And just like that your kitchen has become a welcoming haven again. Well organised and featuring a makeover that didn’t cost the earth, budget and planet approved.

Alison Abernethy

Professional Organiser located in Canberra

DECLUTR – systems to simplify your life

Whether working with clients in their homes or businesses, Alison aims to help create systems that allow people to live their lives without clutter and stress. She uses her skills as a fully qualified Life Coach to equip clients with the tools needed to implement the systems put in place.

Alison is a member of The IOPO International (Institute of Professional Organisers) ( In her spare time she is a keen gardener, photographer and aspiring minimalist.

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