13 Small Projects That Will Make You Feel Accomplished

Real Simple readers share what the long-procrastinated tasks they checked off their to-do lists.

1

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“Estate planning. So important but so easy to procrastinate.” —Kristin Perez, Waltham, Massachusetts

2

“It had been almost 10 years since I had cleaned out my linen closet. I was amazed at the sheets I found that we no longer had beds to fit, including crib sheets and twin sheets adorned with princesses and dump trucks! With two kids in college who demand twin XL sheets in all cotton and two in high school who can't get enough of the jersey ones, I was bittersweetly reminded of how life has moved on, but I'm loving my clean closet nonetheless.” —Stephanie Beatty, Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin

3

“I finally went through all my jewelry. I sold the gold and silver that I wasn't wearing to a local jewelry store. I felt really good donating costume jewelry to a local beading group that refashions jewelry for disadvantaged teens who are going to prom.” —Sherry Hatcher, San Antonio



4

“I refinished the midcentury-modern dining table that had been sitting in our garage for the past three years. I'd bought it on Craigslist one day while pregnant, but I could never find the energy for such a project while I took care of four kids. I did the research on using Danish oil and took a huge leap of faith while I sanded and stripped it, and it turned out beautifully!” —Tatyana Martsenyuk, Meridian, Idaho

5

“Curating our bookshelf! We removed some books to make space for framed photos and display-worthy knickknacks.” —@SOCIALLYFOX

6

“Throwing away all those unmatched socks. I kept them around thinking I would someday match pairs and feel frugal and mindful. But they were clutter and a constant reminder of imperfectness. Releasing myself of those little frayed pieces of unmatched cloth made me smile.” —Jen Worth, Derwood, Maryland



7

“For my 90th birthday, I got my long-desired ankle tattoo of a beautiful butterfly on a lavender daisy. Yes, friends and family gasped. I love it!” —Joyce Blades, Baltimore

8

“I had several seams in my leather couch that needed to be repaired. I knew if I got upholstery needle and thread, I could fix it myself. It is a slow and tedious task, but I am almost finished with the repairs.” —Deidre Haage Black, Tucson, Arizona

9

“I finally invested my Roth IRA. For two years, I was putting money in but never told my financial adviser how to invest it, which meant it really wasn't earning any gains.” —Anna B., St. Louis



10

“Cleaning out my spice cabinet. Instead of two very cluttered shelves, I have one organized shelf. (No one needs three jars of ground mustard!)” —Mary Hanson Cullen, Medford, Wisconsin

11

“I learned to swim. I was raised in California and have always loved the ocean and being in the water. I certainly knew how to swim well enough to stay afloat, but not much more. When I grew older and moved to Maine, I was embarrassed about flailing around and how I looked in a bathing suit. But this winter, I signed up for adult swimming lessons. It hasn't taken long to learn some basic skills that make me feel much more at ease in the water and, surprisingly, also more comfortable with my body.” —Leslie Goode, Blue Hill, Maine

12

“Finding a doctor in my new hometown. I'd had the same doctors since childhood, but when I married, I moved hours away. I let my prescriptions expire and went way too long without checkups. I studied my insurance plan, learned about eligible providers, and called several offices before I found the best fit for me. I'm so proud of being proactive about my health!” —Amy Croslin Wright, Louisville, Kentucky



13

“Shredding junk mail that's piled up!” —Maura Fitzgerald, Brooklyn, New York