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Quick change: 7 small but mighty tasks to help you feel instantly more satisfied with your home

From streamlining the bedside table to tidying toiletries, these quick fixes will help tidy up your space.

IF YOU’RE USED to working away from your home all week, and barely seeing your house during busy weekends, recent virus-related circumstances could mean quite an adjustment.

Seeing your every day can reveal messy corners and cluttered drawers that you’ve been overlooking for a long time, and you might be feeling overwhelmed with how to tidy them so you can enjoy a more satisfying space. 

If that feeling rings a bell, these seven small tasks that you can tackle in a half hour are the best place to start. This isn’t the time to Marie Kondo your whole home from top to bottom in a day; instead, tackle bite-sized projects when you have thirty minutes. 

Below are seven small but mighty tasks to help you feel instantly more satisfied with your space…

1. Organise paperwork piles

In my house, piles of post, paperwork, kids’ art, and anything else that doesn’t have an immediate home gets stacked and left in corners for weeks, taking up valuable counter space and creating visual clutter. A half hour is exactly what you need to tackle a paperwork stack. Start by collecting all the piles of paperwork from around the house, and start sorting — a pile for recycling is key to the satisfaction factor here. File bank statements or formal letters in a designated folder, and keep a very small pile of papers you need to address immediately, like bills that are due soon or appointments that need to be changed. 

2. Streamline your bedside table

Your bedside table should achieve two goals. First, it should provide storage for items you want to have to hand without climbing out of bed, like books or hand lotion. Second, it should offer a sense of calm as you tuck yourself in. A cluttered bedside table is not the most peaceful view as you fall asleep, so take thirty minutes and remove any item you don’t use regularly before bed. If your bedside table has closed storage, put less beautiful items in there. On top, leave only a few bits, like a candle, a pretty jar of hand cream or face lotion, and a lamp. 

shutterstock_487581085 Shutterstock / Kostikova Natalia Shutterstock / Kostikova Natalia / Kostikova Natalia

3. Clean out the utensil drawer

It’s baffling how a drawer that’s supposed to be filled with clean utensils can get so mucky, and cleaning it out every few months is very satisfying. Take all of the utensils out and make sure each is, in fact, clean. A rogue crusty spoon the dishwasher didn’t clean can leave crumbs in the drawer. Then wipe down the inside of the drawer with warm water before placing everything back in. You should be able to wipe down a few drawers before the timer goes off.

4. Wipe down the inside of the fridge 

I’m always shocked when I’ve finished cleaning the fridge and it looks so bright inside. It’s a particularly satisfying appliance to clean, and takes far less time and elbow grease than the oven. Start by taking each item out and setting it on the counter. Wipe down any jars that are sticky or crusty, and make sure to check expiration dates before you set anything back in. Take the shelves and drawers out and rinse them in the sink with warm, soapy water. Dry them before sliding them back in; they won’t air dry well in the cold temperature, and you don’t want spots anymore than you want dirty drawers! 

5. Wash the windows

Washing the windows always sounds like an intimidating, time-consuming task. But when you actually grab up the spray and newspapers to get the job done, it doesn’t actually take very long — and it makes a shocking difference to the brightness of your home. Grab a stack of old newspapers, a sponge, and a spray bottle filled with a solution of half warm water and half white vinegar. Spray the windows and wipe with a sponge, getting any crusted on grime, then wipe with newspapers. Make sure you aren’t washing windows in bright sunshine, as the solution dries too quickly to get a streak-free shine.

shutterstock_1117707038 Shutterstock / New Africa Shutterstock / New Africa / New Africa

6. Straighten up a bookshelf

Bookshelves, like countertops, tend to collect items that don’t necessarily belong there. In thirty minutes, you can straighten a bookshelf and remove all that clutter, making it an enjoyable repository for your literary collection. Remove anything that doesn’t belong on the shelves, like rogue paperwork or candles or other decorative items and evaluate whether they should have a proper home there. If not, find them another home or get rid of them altogether. If so, spend your thirty minutes making sure they have space on the shelf. Straighten any books and put books with similar heights together. You can even mix in a few batches of horizontally stacked books to mix up the look.

7. Tidy your toiletries

Whether your morning routine takes five products or fifty, toiletries tend to get cluttered easily in the rush to get out the door. If you find yourself working from home currently, you could put that morning commute time to good use and tidy your makeup or toiletries drawer. Take everything out and give the drawer or container a thorough clean with soapy water. Dry it out, and begin replacing just items you use regularly. Make sure to check expiry dates as these are often overlooked with toiletries. 

More: Can’t get comfortable? 8 easy fixes that’ll upgrade your working-from-home space

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