It’s easy to come up with excuses not to dive into home improvement projects: Not enough time to finish. It’s too expensive! But…I don’t even live here!

It’ll be tougher to talk yourself out of these ingenious DIY jobs, though. They’re cheap, easy, and should only take you 15 measly minutes.

1. Hide thermostats and alarms behind art

You may not get around to mounting a thermostat or alarm on your wall, but you can keep them from standing out like a single dude at a swinger’s party. Keep them disguised behind a piece of art or framed photo mounted to the wall on a set of hinges—that way they’re out of sight but still easily accessible. [See more]

2. Put fake drawers to use

There’s nothing more frustrating than those unusable fake drawers in your kitchen, strutting around, acting like the real thing. Put them to work by removing the handled facade and installing a paper towel dispenser inside the little cubby behind it. [See more]

3. Use contact paper to mock up walls of frames

You could munch up your walls with drill holes until you figure out the perfect arrangement of art and photo frames, or you could smarten up and use comparably-sized sheets of contact paper to mock it up ahead of time. Measure twice, drill once, people. [See more]

4. Hide your heinous wireless router

The wireless router may be a necessary evil in the modern age, but there’s no reason to let it ugly up your place with its ugly blinking lights and antenna. Instead, take the hardcover binding off of an old large book and use it disguise your router on a shelf. [See more]

5. Dedicate a drawer as a gadget-charging station

Choose a drawer with enough room to fit your laptop, phone, and tablet together—and will easily close with a cord coming out the back—then mount a surge protector to the back. Fish the surge protector’s cord out the back (adding an extension cord if necessary), plug it in, and you’ve just built yourself a cleverly concealed place to juice up all your sweet, sweet tech. [See more]

6. Quick and simple hanging light

Bring light to any dark corner in no time by mounting a $4 IKEA shelf bracket and stringing any old hanging bulb device. You would have to try very, very hard to screw this one up. [See more]

7. Protect your car door from your garage walls

For those of you with tiny garages and giant cars, slice a foam noodle in half and mount it to the wall so the next time you fling open the door you don’t end up with unsightly dents or scratches. [See more]

8. Create double hangers with can tabs

Whether you’re plagued by an outrageously small closet or have a crippling clothes addiction, save your aluminum can tabs to create double the storage capacity with two-tiered hangers. What other DIY projects are there that require you to drink beers? [See more]

9. Add order to your junk drawer

Everyone needs a drawer to hide all the crap that doesn’t belong anywhere else, but there’s no reason for it to look like a scissor and rubber band factory exploded. To make it easier to find everything in there hit up Home Depot to pick up a few 55-cent wooden lath strips. Cut them into different lengths to create a series of compartments, adhere using wood glue, and sort things out. [See more]

10. Put an end to slippery rugs

Do you eat it on the regular thanks to an unstable hallway rug? Keep it from so rudely slipping out underneath your feet by adding a few lines of acrylic caulking to the underside, which adds just the right amount of grip. [See more]

11. Stainless steel-ify your kitchen appliances

Did you know stainless steel contact paper exists? Well, it does, and it’s a great way to add some serious sophistication to your kitchen. Line the doors of your fridge, oven, and dishwasher to freshen up your space, and convince people you dropped a whole lot more on those appliances than you actually did. [See more]

12. Give your nest of cords a home

Rather than stuff a drawer full of miscellaneous cords like a bunch of pissed off snakes, arrange used toilet paper rolls inside a box and coil one neatly in each. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could even label the rolls so you don’t have to fish one out just to figure out which one powers your beloved MiniDisc player. [See more]

13. Scrub away wood scuffs with walnuts

Besides being ridiculously healthy for you, walnuts are also your secret weapon against scuffed wood. Simply rub the meat of the nut into the scratches and they’ll magically fade away. [See more]

14. Add fabric to boring rolling shades

Nothing ruins the illusion of a nice apartment like cheap, stark white, roll-up window shades. To remedy it without much trouble, pick up a swath of fabric that vibes with the room the shades are in, and hot glue it to the side that faces the interior. [See more]

15. String Christmas lights in your closet

You may have graduated from stringing Christmas lights as living room mood lighting the same day you graduated from college, but there’s no reason not to keep ’em around to light the inside of your closet. Turns out, it’s a lot easier to dress yourself when you can actually see your clothes. [See more]



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