Once you’ve lived in your home for a few years, it’s easy to become complacent. That initial thrill of leaving your mark on your new residence tends to fade over time, and life has a way of getting too busy to take on those large home remodeling projects or even small home renovation projects. But as warmer weather brings out home shoppers, it’s the perfect opportunity to assess how your home stacks up to the competition. Even if you are not planning on moving soon, making certain that your home doesn’t fall too far behind your neighbors’ protects your resale value and allows you to enjoy the benefits of updating now. Not ready for a full-scale remodeling project? You don’t have to be. Oftentimes, small renovations can make a huge difference. Here are a few of our favorites:

Before picture of a small kitchen renovation done by Charlotte renovation company

Before kitchen renovation

Update Your Closet. If your closets still have basic wire racks – or worse yet, a single rod – it’s past time to upgrade. Closets and storage space are vital to most buyers, and you can significantly upgrade the appearance and utility of yours with a small investment in a closet organizing system. Starting at less than $75 from a big box store or a few hundred dollars from a professional.

Build a Closet or Pantry. If it’s not just a matter of organizing, but of adding space, a qualified professional remodeler can oftentimes “find” space near the kitchen by tapping unused garage, utility or breakfast areas or near the owners’ suite by borrowing from adjacent rooms. Plan on about $2,000 depending on size and complexity.

Add a Drop Zone. Practicality is on every buyer’s most wanted list. If you have even a small open space by your garage or rear entrance, add a few built in cabinets (a few hundred dollars), locker-style hooks (a few dollars each), or a small side table with drawers to hold keys. Bonus – have your contractor add strategically placed outlets to charge electronics.

After picture of a small kitchen renovation done by Charlotte renovation company

After kitchen renovation

Clean up your act. Laundry rooms and appliances have come a long way in a short time. If yours is out of the way and out of date, consider adding a nicely updated space with a sink, cabinets for supplies, and durable solid surface counters for folding. Position is key – people don’t want to haul laundry across their homes. Place it close to the owner’s suite on the main floor or centrally located upstairs if all the bedrooms are on the upper level.

Be Welcoming. Replacing your entrance door immediately improves your home’s appearance. Add some updated lighting fixtures to make an even better impression. ($500 and up, depending on quality of door and fixtures.)

Open Up. Kitchens are one of the most vital parts of any home. If yours is not open to a dining or living area, it’s time to upgrade. If you have cabinets above an island – a trend from a few decades ago – take them down. That’s a relatively simple job of about $1,000 – which includes cabinet removal and refinishing the effected walls and ceilings. More extensive renovations, such as removing a wall and refinishing floors and walls to accommodate the change, are in the $5,000 range.

Lighten Up. Making your home bright and inviting improves both its appearance and your mood. Updating lighting fixtures to more aesthetically pleasing and/or energy efficient models will have a huge impact for a few hundred dollars.