Inside your ideal home

The credit crunch and falling house prices mean that not many people are able to move house right now, so instead of changing your location, you can change your house. If you make the most of your living space, you may not even recognise your home any more!

Top DIY searches:
  1. Home improvement
  2. Power tools
  3. Wood flooring
  4. Wallpaper
  5. Curtains
  6. Carpet
  7. DIY
  8. Paint colour chart
  9. Loft conversions
  10. Upholstering
A simple way to start some home improvement is to declutter your house. If you take a good look around and can see lots of junk that you never use, clothes you never wear and things you keep 'just in case' that are really not as useful as you'd thought, it's about time to get brutal and throw all that rubbish away! If it seems a monumental task, you can hire the services of a clutter consultant who will help to bring order to your chaos. You may also need to visit some recycling centres and think about waste management if you have a lot of stuff to get ride of. Or if you truly believe in 'waste not want not' you could make some cash from your clutter. Go to a car boot sale, sell your items through AOL Classifieds, list your items on eBay or another online auction site, or give it away by listing it on Freecycle.

Once you've dealt with your clutter, you may find that your house doesn't have the best storage solutions, which is why the clutter built up. If you have large items to store then you should search for storage companies that keep your belongings locked up safe until you need it. These can be especially useful if you decide to extend your house and need to keep furniture out of harm's way for a while. There are all sorts of useful home storage solutions available such as furniture with multi purposes, foldaway beds, stackable boxes and space-saving shelving.

So now your home has plenty of space - you can see the walls! But when was the last time your walls were decorated? Maybe it's time to tear down that flock pattern wallpaper and paint over the cracks. At the Ideal Home show you'll find lots of exhibitors such as B&Q and BBC Good Homes Magazine who can offer advice on how to redecorate without blowing your budget. There are also many retailers of carpets, painting and decorating equipment, tools and soft furnishings. Of course, you can also check out their websites for further information. Search for ideas about painting colour schemes and soft furnishings to match.

Finding the right kind of furniture to match your newly decorated room is important. You can find all sorts of ideas on the website for the Ideal Home Show about how to update your furniture. You don't necessarily have to buy new things, an alternative is to refurbish old items that have become worn. For example, a chair with tatty coverings could be upholstered in new bright fabric.

Consulting with an interior designer could inspire you to change your home around on a grander scale than just decorating. Building an extension could repurpose and maximise your available space. Adding a loft conversion or renovating your basement may also increase the value of your property. However, make sure you shop around and get lots of advice before embarking on this kind of project. Extensions can take a long time depending on the kind of work you want done.

After all your aesthetic home improvements have been made, you might want to think about how green your house is. Small changes such as using energy saving lightbulbs will help both your pocket and the environment. Companies like Whirlpool are starting to produce energy efficient white goods - washing machines and dishwashers. Why not search for more ways to make your home environmentally friendly?