13 Home Upgrades That Take 2 Hours or Less

closet organizer with neat piles of clothes
  • 1-2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-1,500

Sometimes the thought of a project is overwhelming enough to keep you from getting started at all. But there are many home upgrades that only take a few hours of time, with big financial and pleasure returns.

1. Install Closet Organizer

hands installing shelf in closet organizer

Closet organizers not only help you keep your clothes, shoes, belts, hats, and ties easily accessible, but they actually give you more room for your belongings too. Choose from a variety of designs and materials and dedicate a few hours to putting it in place. Pay attention to the types of hardware you will need based on the wall material in your closet.

2. Hang Curtains or Blinds

Changing your window coverings will provide an instant update to the look of the room. Plus, blackout curtains help with cooling costs while heavy curtains or roller blinds keep cold air from seeping in during winter months. You can make windows look larger by mounting curtain rods several inches above the window frame and allowing the curtains to hang well over the outer edges as well. Remember that window coverings are typically included in the sale of a house unless otherwise noted, in case you’re considering selling anytime soon.

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3. Change Light Fixture

Put a little light on the subject with this small time investment that offers illuminating results. Swap out an old, small, or ugly light fixture with a modern, larger, and more energy-efficient model. As always when working with electricity, make sure the power is cut off before disconnecting the old and reattaching the new.

In addition to providing a dynamically different appearance above the dining table or entryway, you can also easily change the look and function of outdoor lighting too. For example, pull the aged porch light in favor of a motion-sensor style. Even better, swap out the ever-on flood light on the back of the house with a motion-sensored camera model so you can view outdoor happenings and control the light using an App on your phone. This simple swap improves security while also lowering the electrical bill.

4. Install Smart Thermostat

smart thermostat control with digital numbers set to 72 degrees

One of the easiest ways to monitor your heating and cooling is to use a programmable thermostat. This allows you to keep the furnace from running during hours when the house is empty and to auto adjust a few degrees for nighttime. In addition, you can now upgrade your digital thermostat to a smart model you can control via phone App even when you’re not at home.

5. Swap out Shower Head

hand using hose and nozzle shower head

Your shower is likely somewhat of a sanctuary. Enjoy your experience with a rain shower head or one with a removable spray wand. The few hours it might take to make the switch will pay huge dividends during your morning lather. Upgrade to a smart showerhead or a water-savings model to take advantage of a lower utility bill.

6. Replace a Faucet

Along with the shower head, a new bathroom sink faucet is a welcome improvement, especially if your current one leaks or is simply dated. Similarly, upgrading the kitchen sink faucet will bring a smile along with an improved look, and added features like water savings, no-touch options, and removable spray wand for easy cleaning of pots, trays, and the sink itself.

7. Paint an Accent Wall

room with chairs, table, and bright blue accent wall with cork shape design

Two hours may not give you enough time to paint an entire room, but focus on one wall and you can wrap it up before the company arrives. Protect the surrounding area with plastic sheeting. Either tape off the ceiling and surrounding walls or use an angled brush or edging tool. Also use a primer if needed.

8. Add a Ceiling Fan

ceiling fan

A ceiling fan can make a space more comfortable by cooling the bedroom, living room, or even back porch. In the winter, setting your ceiling fan to reverse will also push warmer air from the ceiling into the room. If you replace an existing light fixture with a ceiling fan, you can use the existing wiring to get the job done without a lot of hassle.

9. Secure a Doorbell Camera

Security and smart technology are big in the home upgrade market and there are few easier options than a doorbell camera. Simply turn off the electricity, pull the old doorbell, and connect the new doorbell camera in its place. You can then see who’s at the door and talk to them using a phone App even when you’re not at home.

10. Replace a Mirror

mirror with flowers in bathroom

Contractor-grade bathroom mirrors leave much to reflect upon. Make an easy upgrade by buying a modern mirror or two to hang in its place. Alternately, frame in the existing mirror using wall trim. This is a quick way to upgrade the space and create the look you want.

11. Attach a Screen/Storm Door

Screen and storm doors add a layer of security to any home. They are easy to install alongside the front door as well as sliding glass doors. This upgrade allows you to keep the doors open without letting the pets and young children wander out of bounds.

12. Mount Shutters

side of shingled, white house with blue shutters on window and window box with flowers

Shutters and/or flower boxes give a nearly-instant boost to the curb appeal of your home. Plus, mounting them doesn’t require much time or any specialty tools.

13. Establish a Flower Bed

Another curb appeal power punch comes naturally, in the form of flowers. Place a raised bed against the house, build up a space beneath a tree, or add boxes to either side of the garage. Once in place, you can seasonally swap out annuals or plant bulbs that will continuously come up throughout the seasons.

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