Spring is coming, and many of us are ready for some changes around the house. Spring Cleaning, of course, but also new looks, and other ways to make our homes ready to welcome spring and summer. I am not doing much except for taking one weekend a month to do a "house show" cleanup. We are slobs, and as I cannot do a whole lot physically, I can't keep the house under even a semblance of control. When we were renting from friends of husband's, the house was still being shown. At least once a week we had to be ready to show the house on little notice. I have found that realtors here are LOUSY with time, and 24 hrs notice often meant 6 or less,most often around 2. We did get the house ready to show each time, so I KNOW that the kids can do it and so can husband and I. I am picking a weekend at random and the house WILL be ready as if we had to show it. Of course we don't, but it is a way to help the entire family get motivated,Know what I mean?? We are in an apartment and don't intend to paint. For those of you who DO intend to paint, how picky are you about the color? If you go to a paint store you do NOT have to pay the listed price. IF you are not terribly picky about the color, ask to look at the rejects. This is paint that a customer didn't like after it was mixed up. Manycans never left the store. They are usually in the back and the number of cans available varies. I haven't bought paint in a few years, but it was $4-$5 per gallon or $20 for a five gallon bucket. Prices may be a bit more, but they shouldn't be anywhere near the price of the normal paint.The buckets are generally some shade of white or taupe that a contractor or apartment manager didn't like. I have seen anywhere from under 1 to over 100 cans of paint in the storeroom. It can take some digging, but usually is worth it. All types of paint can be in the reject pile, anything from the cheapest flat latex to oil based outdoor paint to the more environmentally friendly paints to the ones with primer built in. I got much of mine from Sherwin Williams, but other companies had similar pricing. The locally owned paint store here was the only paint store that did not give a substantial discount. They offered1% off the rejects, and their reg pricing was way more than twice what every other place in town was charging. So you might or might not find it useful to stop at the locally owned stores. Home Depot had a special rack in the back of the store for these paints and were within a few dollars of Sherwin's price. The Habitat for Humanity ReStore often has paint, but here they were about the same price as the rejects at the stores, and there is no way to know how old the ReStore's paint it. For an easy fast textured look, consider wrapping some twine around the roller before you paint. It gives a nice look and is far faster than sponging. Another easy, fast techinique is to get a big roll of plastic wrap from Sam's and put long strips flat against the wet paint. Smush them a bit if you want, then take the plastic off and pitch it. A friend of mine cut a cheap shower curtain into 3 or 4 strips, put it up like the plastic wrap, smushed and wrinkled it, then carefully took it off. Then she put the curtain onto a wall painted another color and smushed it on. It gave a wonderful effect on both areas. The second wall had some of the paint on it and helped pull the paints together. I would suggest having someone help you or else making a rod pocket at the top and putting a broomstick handle or other stick through to help control the curtain. She used the broomstick handle and when she got the paint covered plastic on the wall she slid the handle out. The handle would have pulled the plastic down if she left it there. I wish I had photos of the finished walls, they looked way more awesome than the description indicates! What are you planning for house updates,if anything?