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Six Storage Areas in Your HDB Flat You’re Probably Not Using

HDB flats are the cheap housing option in Singapore, but just because a space is a little cozy doesn’t mean you’re using the space as efficiently as you can. In fact, there’s a good chance there are still some spaces you’re missing out on.

Here are the five storage areas in your HDB flat that you’re probably not using enough:

The space above your bed

The space directly above your bed is the most under-utilized space in your entire home, and you want to make a shelf over your head for two reasons: (1) it can be a decorative space for paintings, houseplants, and decorative accessories; and (2) it can be a practical storage space (i.e. books, boxes for other stuff).

Overhead bed shelves can also work for your kids’ rooms, as long as they don’t fall over or bump their heads every time they try to reach for something.

The space under your bed

Under your bed is another useful storage area just waiting for you to use to its fullest advantage. Just because it’s dusty doesn’t mean you can’t use it for stowing stuff away – all you need is a vacuum cleaner and the right storage containers and you’re good to go!

Behind your door

The space behind your door has more utility than simply installing a coat rack. When you build a shelf in this area just the right way, you don’t need to worry about stuff getting knocked over every time it swings open.

Add a clothes rod to your floating shelves

Already have a floating shelf or two installed? Make them even more useful by bolting a clothes rod directly underneath that shelf for easy access for your clothes, including uniforms or your work attire.

Overhead space

Floating shelves and cabinets installed on the upper parts of your walls clear up much more space than a standard shelf. Instead of taking up floor space, they can be bolted to any height you want.

Unlike ordinary shelves and cabinets, floating shelves give you better options in customizing your storage space that emphasize on both aesthetics and functionality.

Consider a Self-Storage Company for Your Storage Needs

If you just don’t have enough space in your home, you have two options to manage your belongings: donate the things you don’t need, or call in the help of a self-storage company to provide a reliable storage option for your belongings.   

Self-storage comes in many different options depending on the space that you need. Some options offer the space of a walk-in closet or a child’s room, while others can be as big as a one-car garage or even a two-car garage.

Financial Resolutions You Should Consider Making Now

Fitness and finance are the top categories where we have the most room for improvement, and while engaging in fitness improvements can be a bit straightforward, figuring out how you can better manage your finances could come with certain complexities. The following are some of the financial resolutions that you can make so you could be financially fit in today.

Set Clear Financial Goals

One financial resolution you should do this year is to create a plan that’ll help in executing your financial goals. But for you to do so, your goals should first be clear and concise. Make sure that your financial goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (S.M.A.R.T). So instead of saying “I will pay my debt,” say “I will pay my debt of $20,000 this year by paying off $840 whenever I get my pay check.”

Increase Your Savings

Paying yourself first – meaning putting money to your savings prior to paying your bills – isn’t just a great financial resolution to practise, but can also help you achieve your financial goals. This will also serve as your cushion to take care of your everyday needs in case of a financial emergency. You can start doing it by saving at least 10 percent of your income every time you get paid.

Lessen Your Debt

Reducing your debt isn’t just a great New Year’s resolution, but also a great practise to do all year round. Lessening the amount of money that you owe to other people will assure that you can weather any storm. Because when you have fewer financial obligations, you are far more likely to handle any unexpected expenses.

Engage Into a Side-Hustle

Have you been putting off your passion projects for too long? If so, then let this be the year where you make your side-hustle a reality. Today’s technology has made starting a business convenient, so ensure that you create a plan that will help and allow your passion to fully bloom.

Broaden Your Investments

Investing your money to allow it to grow is another great financial strategy. But if your investment are not diversified, then you’re likely setting yourself up for a financial disaster. To ensure that you aren’t prone to losing your investments, review them with your financial adviser and branch it out as much as possible.

Setting financial resolutions is one way of ensuring that you’ll have a healthy financial life. So be sure to add these resolutions on your list to enjoy a new and more financially successful you.

Things to Do the Night Before Your Wedding

Perhaps the most stressful part of the wedding preparation is the night before the ceremony. Most people will advise the bride and groom to get a good night’s sleep for the long day ahead, while some prefer to spend it with family and friends to commemorate the last night of being single.

Here are some productive things you can do before the big day.

Make a list of things to do – Even if you think you have prepared enough for the ceremony, it won’t hurt to do a last-minute check of everything that needs to be done before tomorrow. You might want to sit down with your wedding organizer and your assistants. This will help you remember things you might have overlooked and the items that you have missed.

Last-minute check with the vendors – Make sure everything goes well tomorrow by checking for the scheduled payments with the vendors even if you have a wedding organizer. You should have a list of all related information about the vendors, such as names and phone numbers.

Check with your photographers – Do a last-minute check with your photographers and videographers to make sure everything is working. You should also check your own phone and cameras if you plan to take a few photos yourself.

Talk to family and friends – You can do a last-minute check with your entourage to see if there are any problems, or if you’re feeling nervous or stressed, talk to family and friends to ease your worries.

Beauty prep – This is the perfect time to get last-minute finishing touches such as a spa session, but you should book an appointment with the salon or spa weeks ahead. If you think you need a facial, it should be scheduled at least a week ahead of the wedding day, because you don’t want to have a breakout when you need to look your best.

Check your personal items – Double-check all your personal items before going to bed. Don’t leave anything that can get lost or misplaced, so make sure that all your items are organized and returned after use. You should also pack a separate kit in case of emergencies that contains extra hairpins and buttons, safety pins, hair products and makeup, extra underwear and shirts, tissues, and a small sewing kit. Then assign someone to carry your personal items, emergency kit, and cash during the wedding.

Rehearse your speech or vows – Make sure you practice your speech or vows before going to bed, so you will feel more confident tomorrow. You can ask someone to listen and give advice while you recite.

Get enough sleep and rest – As much as possible, all the necessary preparations should be carried out days ahead to avoid stress. Eat a healthy meal and drink lots of water, then get plenty of relaxation and sleep and avoid any activities that will ruin your mood by turning off your phone before going to bed.

Stylish Alternatives to Leather

Leather is not for everyone, not because some people don’t look stylish with it, but because processing of the raw materials from animal hide or skin contributes to animal cruelty and pollution. While not everyone will agree with such reasons, the chemicals involved in processing leather should not be set aside, that is why alternatives to leather have been promoted in recent years so people can have more choices without compromising style.

Here are some eco-friendly, cruelty-free materials to consider.

Cork. It is considered natural because of the sustainable cork oak forest industry that is tied up with preservation and the protection of endangered animals. What’s great about it, is that it’s waterproof and recyclable. Famous designer brands have been using this material, so it’s not like it’s cheap either.

Paper. Yes, some designers have been using paper to create bags, and are valued not just for their durability but also for their finish. If you’re not sure about the durability part, consider this: paper has been used in constructing buildings such as the Christchurch Cardboard Cathedral.

Waxed Cotton. Organic waxed cotton is used for a variety of clothing and bags, because they’re waterproof, washable, and pliable, unlike authentic leather.

Recycled Rubber. The texture of rubber, which mimics the look and feel of leather, makes it ideal for creating bags. The materials are taken from used rubber products, like tyres, a bonus that you will never get when purchasing authentic leather.

Tree Bark Leather. This is made from sustainable timber (which means the trees are grown again), that are prized for their natural grain, durability, flexibility, and eco-friendly processing. Not only is it used to create bags, but trousers and coats as well, because the material can be made as thin as leather.

Coolstone Leather. You’ll love the texture of this material made from slate stone, especially when it ages. The color and finish make it almost indistinguishable from authentic leather, but the texture feels like paper and stone.

Pinatex. As the name suggests, the materials come from pineapple bush, and look like authentic leather. It’s known for its durability and watertight properties, plus you’ll also be helping pineapple farmers indirectly when you purchase one.

MuSkin. This beautiful alternative to leather is made from mushrooms and are biodegradable. The only problem is that it must be waterproofed, but it’s also versatile so that you can change the shape and size of the material to create a design.

Faux Leather. This alternative to leather is commonly used in upholstery and is made either from polyurethane (PU) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PU is more flexible, softer, and has breathable qualities, while PVC is used for its moisture-resistant properties. Both are durable, low maintenance, and are cheaper than leather.

7 tips for a hyped adult sleepover

If you’re in your 20s or even just barely past it, those sleepovers might be well out of the picture. Those stuff are for teens and in-betweens right? You’re way past those awkward, pucker-faced nights and pajamas just don’t work for you anymore.

But sometimes the heart wants what it wants. That teen in you screams for another round of those nights when you spend with the platonic love of your friends. Because as you pass that line between adult and teen, platonic is as rare as your before 5am waking time.

So here are a few tips to make your adult sleepovers one of the best in your history of sleepovers:

1. Prepare DIY desserts
What better way to start your stay-in night with a good dessert? All the experimenting and shuffling in the kitchen for ingredients you hope you have will surely make you reminisce all those earlier days with your friends. Nothing like a task to keep you busy, and actually have a reward of sweet sugary goodness right after. You’ll need a good kitchen with the right equipment for the baking, as well as a good stock of ingredients and a whole lot of patience. Since recipes are readily available online, resources aren’t an issue. So start choosing between brownies, crepe or waffles and get your mini cooking show started.

2. Drink up
If you and your mates are of age then there’s no stopping you from enjoying a night in with just the right amount of booze. Take your pick and a quick trip to the store will give you a good night of booze, friends and stories.

3. Dance parties
Since you’ve already had a drink or two, you might want to turn up the volume and just lose yourself in a good song. You may want to choose the era and hype up those moves. Nothing like a good dance with your mates to shake off the week’s stress at work. If you have the facilities for this, the better. An xbox session with your friends could surely bring in a flood of nostalgia from when you just did this on the streets or in the hallways after school.

4. Mini spa session
There’s just something appealing with a little pampering time with your girls. Whether it’s a complex procedure like a footspa or just as simple as a moisturizing mask, you and your girls could surely use a little freshening up despite the late hour. Matching mani pedis could also do well for your incoming week.

5. Build a fort
Who says pillow and blanket forts should stay in our past? Our children might thank us for our skills in the near future. Keep the atmosphere cozy with a fort that’s sure to keep you warm throughout the night. If and when you actually decide to sleep.

6. Movies
This is a must in any sleepover. Keep those movies well-stacked and well-arranged because your friends might need a specific genre any night. Sleepovers are meant for binge watching, so make sure those tissues and snacks are well stocked too. From chic flicks to drama to action to horror, there’s nothing a relaxing night in front of a movie can’t fix.

7. Games
There’s something vulnerable as the night drones on, and what better way to catch up with all the goings-on with you and your friends’ lives than to play a game for it. Hang on, this is the part where it gets real. Your sleepover might just be the glue to keep you and your mates for another decade or so together.

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