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Furniture Hacks for Every Room in your Home

Furniture Hacks for Every Room in your Home

When I was growing up, my mother scoured secondhand stores for imperfect treasures that she could turn into unique pieces of furniture. To a stunning inlaid wood tabletop, she added wrought iron legs. She turned an antique display case into a coffee table for holding family photos. With a good eye for design and functionality, my mother created furniture you could not find in any store.

In today’s world, we call what my mother did furniture hacking: transforming existing furniture into customized and repurposed pieces. With furniture hacks you can exercise your creativity, get the exact piece of furniture you want, and save money. Let’s look at some great furniture hacks for your home.

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Murphy Bed Hack with Sliding Doors and Storage

Bedroom hack - Murphy bed with sliding doors

    A Murphy bed, or wall bed, is an ideal solution for a multi-purpose extra bedroom. When you have company you pull the bed down from its vertical storage position against the wall. The rest of the time the bed is hidden behind cabinet facades or sliding doors. Murphy beds can be expensive, however, especially if you want a custom fit with extra storage space. One clever furniture hacker, named newfangled (you can find him on Instructables) installed two wardrobes at either end of the wall and assembled the wall bed (from a kit) between the wardrobes. Sliding doors and lighting rounded out the project. Results: a custom bed, storage space, and lighting unit at half the cost of retail.

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    Dining Table Hack

    Dining Room Hack

      If you’ve ever looked at your dining room table and thought, “I am so tired of this table, but I can’t get replace it because it’s in perfectly good shape,” this hack is for you. One do-it-yourselfer, Gina, who runs the Acute Designs blog, turned a traditional looking table into a contemporary design in just a few steps. She removed the legs, trimmed the wood around the top, and replaced the wooden legs with metal hairpin legs. She then sanded and stained the tabletop. But beware: you will probably want to replace the chairs, because the old ones won’t go with your sleek “new” table.

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      Bathroom Sink Hack

      Bathroom sink hack

        You can create the bathroom you want with a bathroom sink hack just like Jenna from the Suburban Urbanist did. The first step is to find the sink and faucet you want. There are lots of great designs out there, so don’t settle for what you find in local stores if it’s not exactly what you want. The next step is to make a vanity to fit the sink and faucet. This project starts with an inexpensive accent table. A few coats of paint and polyurethane and well-placed holes turn the accent table into a vanity. Then follow the installation instructions that come with the sink, and you’re done.

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        Hack your Television

        Living Room Hack - Hack your Television

          Early television sets were more than screens; they were important pieces of furniture, the focal point of the living room. You can still find an occasional wooden television console in second-hand stores—or better yet discarded on the street. The television won’t do you much good, but that solid console—with its fine decorative touches—just screams for a hack. All you need to do is remove the television (with its huge tube), add a couple of vertical dividers or horizontal shelves, and give it a good paint job. Now you have a terrific hutch for your living room—unique, repurposed, and beautiful just like the one we saw on Home Hinges.

          Simple Hacks

          The good thing about hacking is you can adapt your project to the skills and time you have. There’s no right or wrong hack. And, as one hacker put it, “It makes the furniture originally yours!”

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          Last Updated on September 16, 2019

          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

          You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

          We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

          The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

          Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

          1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

          Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

          For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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          • (1) Research
          • (2) Deciding the topic
          • (3) Creating the outline
          • (4) Drafting the content
          • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
          • (6) Revision
          • (7) etc.

          Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

          2. Change Your Environment

          Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

          One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

          3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

          Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

          Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

          My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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          Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

          4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

          If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

          Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

          I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

          5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

          I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

          Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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          As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

          6. Get a Buddy

          Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

          I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

          7. Tell Others About Your Goals

          This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

          For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

          8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

          What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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          9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

          If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

          Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

          10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

          Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

          Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

          11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

          At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

          Reality check:

          I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

          More About Procrastination

          Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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