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Small projects, big results

Small projects, big results
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Who has the energy for organising tasks that take hours? No one, not even if you suddenly have more time on your hands these days. Plus, when you feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the project, there’s a good chance you’ll keep putting it off. That’s why these 30 mini makeovers that take 30 minutes or less are such a good idea. Not only will you actually tackle them since they’re manageable, but you’ll also feel really proud of yourself when you see the instant results. So, what are you waiting for? Get ready, get set, and start that timer.

Entryway

Entryway
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Your home’s entryway is often a mess of mixed categories, accumulating everything from outerwear and shoes to keys and mail. Now, more than ever, it’s time to organise this disaster area – not just for your sanity but because it can also help keep germs at bay. First up: your shoes. You shouldn’t be wearing shoes in your house, since they can track in viruses, bacteria, and toxins. To decrease that temptation, have a spot for them right near the door. A sturdy three-tier shelf, will do the trick. Once that task is done, tidy the rest of the space by designating a spot for everything you store there. Use hooks for house keys, a basket for your wallet, and another organiser for incoming mail. Once you know where everything needs to go, it’s easy to keep the area clutter-free.

Find out how to organise entryways, mudrooms and hallways.

Coat closet

Coat closet
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Your coat closet is one of those places where you stash random things when you don’t want to deal with them. Take 30 minutes and deal with them now. A neatly arranged closet will allow you to see what you have so you can use what you own. As you clear everything out, group items into categories, like outerwear and seasonal. Then, make a pile of things to be given away. (Just be sure to check the pockets of jackets first.) For newly cleared shelves, add a set of organising boxes. Pro tip: ones with clear windows are best since they allow you to see what’s inside.

Everyday bag

Everyday bag
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Chances are, your everyday bag is getting a lot less use these days. Time to dump it and find any forgotten items! Next, toss all the rubbish, including wrappers and crumpled tissues, and sort through receipts, filing only what you need to keep and recycling the rest. But instead of simply tossing in the essentials, place them in a bag organiser with dedicated sections. This makes everything easily accessible, so you don’t have to dig around your bag for that one thing you can never seem to find. Plus, it makes swapping bags super easy – all you have to do is transfer the insert and you have everything you need!

Once your handbag is organised you won’t want to miss these fashion secrets personal stylists won’t tell you for free.

Living room

Living room
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It’s the space where people congregate the most, and now it’s probably being used for multiple purposes, like a home office or even a workout space. The key to keeping it uncluttered and functional? Stylish storage options – lots of them. You should have a basket for remote controls, a container for catalogues and magazines, and bins to hold materials for an ongoing craft project, work-related tasks, or an exercise routine. Nesting baskets are a particularly good idea because when they’re not in use, they take up very little room. Once everything has a place to go, cleaning up at the end of the day is easy.

Bookcase

Bookcase
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This one might be tough, but we know you can do it. Take stock of the titles you have sitting on the bookcase; there’s likely one or more that you can part with today. Keep an empty, reusable bag nearby to hold all the books you are willing to toss or pass on to someone else. Here are some questions to consider as you edit your collection: is it outdated, such as that travel guide from a few years ago? Or is the book easily available to you in another way, like a digital version? Letting go of even a few books means you’ll have space to add some baskets, which can add visual interest and hide unsightly items like video-game controllers and cords.

Find which books everyone should read before they die.

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Magazines and catalogues

Magazines and catalogues
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A small stack of magazines and catalogues can quickly turn into a towering pile. Pare down the collection in just a few minutes by going through them one at a time, resisting the urge to shuffle them into a bunch of smaller piles. Instead, toss what you don’t want into the recycling bin. A good rule of thumb is to store no more than six months’ worth of your favourite titles. Use sturdy magazine organisers to keep the magazines standing upright and clearly labelled for easy reference. To prevent future pileups, consider going digital. Not only will it help you organise your space – but it will also help you save time, since you can easily search for what you need with a few taps of your keyboard instead of rifling through stacks of paper.

Keepsakes

Keepsakes
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Spend some of your indoor time safeguarding special memories. Gather irreplaceable children’s artwork and other paper-based keepsakes – and keep the best and toss the rest. Try to remember that if you keep everything, then none of it will be special. Protect special pieces by digitising them, either with a scanner or by taking a photo (in good lighting) so that you can share it with friends or family.

Arts and crafts supplies

Arts and crafts supplies
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Whether you have kids at home or you’re just the crafty type, that stash of craft supplies can get messy. The first thing that should go? Anything that’s broken, dried up, or dried out. Next, make it easy to find what you’re looking for when you have a burst of creativity by putting your supplies in containers and labelling them; for bonus points, add a photo as well as a written label. If you have the room, opt for a rolling storage cart, which lets you bring your supplies wherever you work, eliminating the temptation to leave your supplies all over the table without cleaning them up.

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Stationery supplies

Stationery supplies
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There’s probably more than you realise stuffed in your desk drawers. Do a quick inventory so you know what you have; you’ll avoid wasting money repurchasing something you already own and adding unnecessarily to the pile. If you have an overabundance of greeting cards, group them together and match each to the correct blank envelope. And store the supplies you’ll use over the next year in containers with removable dividers (which make them customisable).

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Philippines lockdown update:
Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, we hope to have the April print issue available by the middle of July, and the May, June and July issues available by the end of July, but this is dependent on when local lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team