If you're not ready for a full renovation overhaul, there are a few simple, but effective steps you can take to instantly update your living room. And none of them will result in high out-of-pocket expenses. Keep reading for living room home improvement tips that pack a lot of punch. "Stage" your space Real estate agents use a practice called "staging" to make an area seem updated and fresh. Rather than investing in expensive structural renovations or major overhauls, "staging" updates a space by focusing on the accessories - light switches, fixtures, pillows, furnace registries and outlet covers. Go for crown molding Crown molding is a very cost-effective way to instantly add some "wow" to your living room. For just a couple of dollars per foot, you can give your living room a crisp and clean finish that's fresh and contemporary. Get rid of clutter Getting rid of excess junk is one of the quickest ways to reclaim space and instantly improve it. Instead of tripping over the kids' toys and piles of movies, keep these items tucked away in storage or give them away to charity. A good rule is if you haven't used it in a year, it's time to give it away. Sneak square footage Create the illusion of extra space by pulling your furniture away from the walls. You'll give the room a more contemporary look and instantly make it feel larger and more open. New window treatments New window treatments are a fantastic way to update a space. Add punch with designer colors or modern touches. You can also create the illusion of height by installing your treatments higher up on your wall. Updated lighting New lighting instantly makes a room feel brighter, fresher and cleaner. By replacing that tired, old ceiling fan with updated, energy-efficient, sunken lighting - you'll create a space that's current and livable. Paint Paint is an easy and inexpensive way to make a big difference. With little effort and even littler impact on your wallet, a few coats of paint can take a tired living room from drab to fab. For a roomier feel, opt for lighter colors - they'll make the room feel larger. Throw down a rug If you can't afford new flooring, a hot new rug is a great way to update a space. For minimal cost, a rug can focus a space and bring a splash of color and warmth to a room.