How to Make Your House Cozy and Warm Without Spending a Dime

The changing season brings a chill in the air, but don’t turn on the heat just yet if you can avoid it! Wondering how to make your house cozy and warm without turning the thermostat to 70?

There are several easy and frugal ways to do just that. This fall and winter especially, many of us will be spending even more time in our own houses. Making it as inviting as possible is so important so that we can work, play, and unwind in comfort.

This year is the perfect time to embrace the concept of hygge. Hygge is from the Danish culture, and it describes a mood of comfort and coziness. Any home can be turned into a hygge home with some simple tweaks and intentional changes.

Here are 10 frugal ways to make your home feel cozy, inviting, and comfortable in cooler weather:

cozy slippers

Slip-on a pair of slippers

Are you in the habit of wearing your shoes indoors?

Stop doing that!

Keep your floors dry and clean this winter by getting into the habit of removing your shoes as soon as you come in the door. Set a pair of super-soft, comfy slippers by the entryway.

Your feet stay warm, and your floors, rugs, and carpeting stay cleaner. The combination of no shoes and plush slippers will make you feel so much cozier in your home!

By taking off your outdoor footwear, you’ll instantly feel more relaxed.

Another tip is to keep a few spare pairs of slippers by the door for guests. We bought a few pairs of inexpensive slippers from Ikea just for this purpose. At just $2.99 a pair, it’s so worth it to help your guests feel comfortable and your floors stay clean and dry.

Pull out all the linens

Once it gets chilly, its time to pull out all of the blankets and throws you have!

Layer them up on sofas and chairs, hang them from a blanket ladder, and add extras to your bed.

We keep a basket with throw blankets next to the couch. This way everyone can grab their favorite one to use when watching tv or reading.

Soft, plush bedding and fuzzy, snuggly blankets aren’t the only linens to go overboard on in the fall and winter, either.

Use fabric to soften up other areas too, like tabletops. Place a tablecloth or runner on the dining table and add placemats. Hang cute kitchen towels from the oven or dishwasher door. Anywhere that you can add linens to soften and warm up a room, do it.

A frugal bonus to having blankets all around is that you can simply pull one over you instead of turning up the heat when you feel chilly.

Explore more creative ways to lower your heating bill

Stay on top of clutter

Make your house cozy and warm by cleaning up. Just a few minutes a day can keep your space organized.

Clutter can make any space feel chaotic. That’s definitely not the vibe you want when you’re trying to create a comfortable, cozy home.

Clear up clutter and make an effort to keep it under control. It’s so easy to let your house get cluttered in the fall and winter because you’re spending most of your time inside. However, clutter can stress you out and make you feel unsettled when all you want to do is relax and unwind.

It only takes a few minutes to pick things up, put them away, and toss stuff in the trash. Just a little effort will keep your home tidy, making it inviting.

Use the one bag trick by grabbing a small trash bag and going around the room collecting anything to toss like newspaper ads, junk mail, old receipts, packaging, etc. Just a few minutes can have any room looking tidier with minimal effort.

Check out these tips for decluttering any room!

Make time for your hobbies

A great way to feel more cozy and relaxed at home is by making time for your hobbies. Whether you love to knit, put together jigsaw puzzles, bake, or blog, dedicate time, and a space to enjoy those activities.

Don’t have an indoor hobby? Try something new! Take advantage of the time stuck at home this year to explore new interests:

  • Learn a new language
  • Relax with adult coloring books
  • Learn to write calligraphy
  • Paint with watercolors or oil-based paints
  • Write short stories
  • Do a cross-stitch or embroidery
  • Pick up an instrument like the harmonica or ukelele

Make your house cozy and warm with special areas for everyone

When it comes to the family room, most of us gravitate towards the same spot whenever we plop down to relax. I know I have my favorite end of the sofa, and my husband’s got his favorite comfy chair. Make each spot extra cozy and defined during the winter.

For example, you can add a bottle of hand lotion to the end table next to your spot, fill up a candy dish with your favorite sweets, and use a small basket to store your tablet or knitting supplies. Create these cozy spots for everyone in the family so that when they settle in to watch tv or read a book, they’ve got what they want and need to unwind for an hour or two.

Put on a stovetop simmer pot

An easy way to make your house cozy and warm is through scent. You can use candles, wax melts, and warmers, but for an extra special scent, try a homemade stovetop simmer. You can customize your simmer to suit your mood or simply use whatever you already have on hand in your pantry.

Grab a pot and fill it up about 3/4 with water. Then add the ingredients of your choosing. Here are some ingredients you can combine for a DIY stovetop simmer potpourri that’ll instantly make your home warm and cozy:

  • cinnamon sticks
  • nutmeg
  • clove
  • orange slices
  • rosemary
  • vanilla extract
  • almond extract
  • apple slices

Bring it all to a boil before turning the heat down low and letting it simmer without a lid. The aroma will help your home smell delicious and create a cozy atmosphere, perfect for those chilly days.

Check out 10 stovetop simmer recipes from Country Living

Swap out framed photos

I don’t know about you but I find it to be pretty challenging to take photos from my phone and actually print them out and put them into frames. That explains why I struggle to swap out photos and have been staring at some of the same ones on my gallery wall for years now.

However, switching up the photos you care enough about to frame is a great way to add a cozy, seasonal touch. Choose a few favorites from past fall and winter seasons and put them on display.

In the fall, frame up some shots of your best Halloween costumes. Take new family photos as the leaves are changing color. Once the holiday season is in full-swing, swap out the beach pics for Christmas card worthy snaps.

Displaying seasonal snapshots is a great way to switch up decor without having to spend any money. It takes minimal effort and can bring you instant happiness!

How to Make Your House Cozy and Warm with Lighting

Turn off overhead lighting

Before you think I’m crazy, no, I’m not suggesting that you sit in the dark! But I am suggesting that you embrace the habit of switching off overhead lights.

With daylight hours running much shorter during the winter, it’s tempting to turn on all of the lights at home to keep things bright. However, the bright overhead lights can keep you from fully unwinding, especially in the evenings.

Create a cozy ambiance in any room with soft, dim lighting. Turn off the overhead fixtures and instead use lamps. Lighting is an incredibly easy way to make any room feel more inviting and relaxing.

String up white lights

Another lighting trick that creates a cozier ambiance is by stringing up warm white lights. You can use them in the bedroom, living room, den, etc.

Instead of using overhead lighting or lamps, plug in the string lights for a relaxing vibe. They’re safer than candles and can give off the same warm glow.

Bring nature indoors

It may be cold outside, but bringing in touches of nature inside of the home helps cozy it up. Rustic decor and natural elements give off homey cabin vibes.

There are so many ways to incorporate nature into your fall and winter decor, from pinecones to greenery sprigs to pumpkins and gourds. Use them on tables, mantle displays, shelves, ad more.

Something as simple as a string of leaves along the mantle or a bowl of pinecones on a table can add a rustic appeal.

Figuring out how to make your house cozy and warm without buying anything new or turning up the thermostat doesn’t have to be hard. These creative yet practical ideas will have you feeling the hygge vibes at home this fall and winter.