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5 Mini Weekend Projects to Make You Feel Like a Superhero

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What can you do with just five minutes? Actually, way more than you think! Introducing Food52 in 5: your cheat sheet for speedy, delicious recipes, fun mini projects, and more.


Quick poll: Have you even been gung-ho when you started a weekend project—maybe repainting a room, finally teaching yourself to make croissants from scratch, overhauling your closet—only to find yourself hours later, knee-deep in whatever mess you made, reconsidering the whole endeavor? I'd be lying if I said I've never been there.

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Sometimes a messy moment becomes part of the charm of whatever it is I'm making. (OK, maybe not the Ikea dresser I almost abandoned at the 11th hour, or that time I thought I'd re-dye my jeans with indigo in the bath tub...don't try it.) But more often, something I thought would be fun turns into just another chore to slog through, eating up my whole weekend.

Which is why I find mini projects so helpful for those times I want to feel uber productive, without falling into the black hole of a DIY or household reorg. They're finished well before "turn back!" can even cross my mind. Should you feel the same, I've got a game plan for a few five-minute weekend projects that can all be finished by Monday. Tackle a few, or maybe just one. Either way, you still can use the rest of your weekend to do…whatever you feel like! Because you'll definitely have the time.

1. DIY your own home scent.

This sounds complicated, but it’s actually super easy, and there are a few different ways to make it happen. You can concoct your own diffuser, room freshener, or spray with essential oils and a few regular household items. Or for some right-now aromatherapy, simmer a scent on the stovetop.

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2. Clean just one drawer.

It may not be the full-on kitchen deep clean of your dreams, but conquering one messy drawer is still an achievement. Take on a single drawer a day, and you'll never have to spend a whole morning sorting through wayward whisks and abandoned tape dispensers.

3. Sharpen all your chef's knives.

This is one instance where five minutes now really will save you time later—you'll be slicing through tomatoes and onions faster (and more safely) than you thought possible. If you're not totally sure how to do it, we've got a quick, handy guide (and a trick for anyone who doesn't have a sharpener at home already).

4. Make your own put-it-on-everything spice blend.

Mixing your own spices is an easy way to up your cooking game, and it takes almost no time. You can use these suggestions for blends to engineer, or just mix and match. You're the one eating the results, so you do you.

5. Make your dirtiest pan shiny and new.

We all have that one dish we thought was beyond saving (mine: a Pyrex baking dish with about 10 years of baked-on brown spots). But five solid minutes of elbow grease—plus some pantry products like baking soda, salt, citrus, or vinegar—will give it a new lease on life. Here's a guide for exactly what to use on different types of pans.

Tags: DIY Home, Home Hacks, Wellness