Home: Zero Budget Project


We’ve been in our new place for just about 3 weeks now. Things are starting to come together, but this has been the hardest move and adjustment we’ve made thus far.

Sometimes I want to just cry over the amount of debris that has yet to find a home. On occasion, I have. Chris tells me it’s going to be alright, and I know it will. I just need to buck up and actually do something about it.

We’re working really hard on saving everything we possibly can for future projects and adventures, so getting our house to “home” status will have to be done by spending as little money as possible. I thought it would be fun to create some accountability (if I blog about it, I’ll do it), so for the next few months I will be working on an ongoing project here on the blog: The Zero Budget Project. I am going to go through each room of the house (ideally taking about a week for each space) to organize, decorate and finish details for as close to $0 as possible.

This week I’m starting with Penelope and Felix’s room. They’re in the basement with the larger rooms, big closets, but no closet systems. Penelope’s and Felix’s clothes are organized based on a clothes hanging bar, so we’ve been dealing with the above bedroom situation for nearly 3 weeks. It has been maddening at the very least.

Saturday, I took an existing bar in a closet where they won’t be used and installed a closet system there. The room is really coming along, hopefully it’ll be ready for a big reveal on Friday!


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    1. Hannah says:

      When I decided to reorganize and decorate my craft room about a year ago, my initial thought was to run to Target and pick up all kinds of bins and boxes and organizing essentials to make the job easier. Then I decided, just for fun, to put off buying new stuff for as long as I could and see how much I could get done with just the stuff we already had on hand around the house. As it turned out, much to my surprise, I was able to do pretty much all of it without buying anything new. I’m excited to see how your spaces transform!

    2. Anna @ IHOD says:

      I can relate to the $0 budget project. We are saving every dollar to actually buy a home next go round. Looking forward to seeing your progress. I know you will kick it out of the park since you are a thrifty genius:)
      Hope you get settled soon!

    3. Joy says:

      Love this new series idea! It is very timely inspiration for me as we’re buying and moving into a new house this month and money will be tight for sure. Thanks for being amazing as usual.

    4. Carla says:

      Ah, Melissa, I can so relate. That could be my OWN bedroom and my living room, too. Drives me nuts, and yep, I’m trying to do the zero budget – or as close to it as possible – rule. You are making great progress and inspire so many others, so pat yourself on the back, take a deep breath, and have Chris give you another hug.

      Those of us who are lucky enough to have found your blog (Love it!) are out here, learning and being inspired, and sometimes comforted by you, your words and your projects, so I hope that helps when it all feels overwhelming. :-)

    5. anna says:

      sounds awesome! excited to see what you come up with. I’m actually figuring out closet stuff at my house (and we’ve lived there for 7 years). Installing the organizing system tonight!

    6. Melissa says:

      @Hannah, It’s amazing how much stuff we collect and can repurpose, right? I’m thinking the same thing. What I can’t repurpose, I’ll buy new. It really helps save money.

    7. Heidi says:

      This is pretty much where we are with our recent move. Most of our things have a home but I can’t wait to dig in and FINALLY be able to put my own touch on the place. The only problem is, we’re kind of rebounding from the initial move/buying a house expense (although we should actually be spending less on housing from here on out).
      I am super excited to see what you come up with on a $0 budget!

    8. Melissa says:

      Thanks for the encouragement, and congratulations, Anna @ IHOD! Hope the house hunt goes well. Knowing you, it’s going to be a gorgeous house!

    9. Melissa says:

      Goodness, it’s so easy to just spend endless amounts of money on a home. I know the feeling, Heidi!

      And thanks so much, ladies for all of your sweet comments. It’s already making me feel much better about all that lies ahead.

    10. Emily says:

      Looks good so far! And that’s exactly my budget. :)

    11. marissa says:

      i am loving this new concept/series! can’t wait to see the progress. :)

    12. Miriam says:

      I seriously am out-of-control slow with this, and am inspired by your stick-to-it-tiveness. I think I just get overwhelmed and avoid it, and I can relate to the crying bouts!. Iour last place, we were in the limbo situation for SOOOO long–not knowing when or where we were moving, that I avoided doing a TON of needed furniture/decorating projects because what was the point?? So consequently, when we moved here I had about a kazillion things I needed to do to have a functional home. So my goal TODAY, TWO months+ post move!!!, I’m going to put SOMETHING up in our bedroom! Our kids room? No hope. I mean, my two year old son is sleeping on some floral sheets that I slept on in COLLEGE. Bedding is a hard one to repurpose, and so expensive to buy! So I’m just trying not to be bugged by the ugly mis-matched furniture (paint adds up sp fast!), ghetto bedding, etc.! Can’t wait to see this reveal, maybe I can steal some ideas!

    13. Hizzeather says:

      Very cool! Best of luck in your endeavors…I love cheap/free DIY upgrades!

      ps…did you realize your $0 Budget graphic title-thing has a j instead of a g?

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