2020 has been a year full of change. Some of us have embraced these changes and others have been dragged along kicking and screaming.
But in the face of a global pandemic, a choice has not been something that has been afforded to most of us. We have changed the way that we work, how we shop, how our children are educated, and how we socialize.
All of this change, with stay-at-home orders and self-quarantining becoming the new normal, can leave us all feeling a little boxed in. Regain some semblance of control in your life by tackling some of the big home projects that you have otherwise been avoiding.
Routine Maintenance Around-the-House
Perhaps the reason why you keep putting off routine maintenance tasks around the home is simply that learning how to do something new is overwhelming. However, with a steady stream of YouTube videos all the time you never wanted on your hands -- now is the time to seize the day!
Touch Up Paint
Take a good look around your walls, especially near doorways or furniture. Dents, dings, and scratches can be touched up without repainting the whole room. Touch-ups make a big difference in the interior finishes in your home.
1. Clean the surface. Over time dirt, debris, grease, and other substances collect on walls and can interfere with paint adhesion.
2. Repair surfaces. Fill dents and holes with spackling, scrape smooth, and let dry completely.
3. Prime and paint with the same color that was originally used. Whenever possible, keep paint from the original can for touch-ups.
Replace Old Light Bulbs and Dead Batteries
If you look around the house, you will probably find a small gathering of appliances that have been set aside or performing at reduced capacities due to needing new bulbs or batteries. Make a list of everything in your home and the type of batteries or bulbs that it takes and go to town.
- Remote controls
- Alarm Clocks or Wall Clocks
- Garage Door Controllers
- Keyboard and Computer Mouse
- Battery Back Ups
- Small Kitchen Appliances
- Ceiling Fans
- Vanity Lighting
- Recessed Lighting
- Outdoor Lighting
- Smoke Detectors
Take a screwdriver and go around tightening every screw that you find. Hinges on cabinet doors and light fixtures or ceiling fans. Look for wobbly legs on tables and other furniture, doors that do not close easily, and vent covers that make noises.
With all of the extra time that you are now spending at home -- you are likely to find that there is more to clean. Take advantage of the kids being home from school and divvy up the additional cleaning tasks as extra chores. Tie it in with a reward system and have the kids earn extra time on the computer on video games by tackling some deep cleaning tasks.
Clean the Curtains
Take the window treatments down and run them through the wash. Make sure to check the tags, but most cloth window treatments can be machine-washed on the gentle cycle. Dust or vacuum vertical blinds.
Moisturize Wood Cutting Boards
Any wood kitchen utensils like wooden spoons or cutting boards should be occasionally moisturized with a food-grade oil like mineral oil. Ideally, this should be done once per month.
Move the Big Stuff
Clean underneath large appliances like refrigerators and stoves. Get under the bed and the couch. Look for anything moveable that is not typically moved to clean in, under, or around.
Get Organized from Top to Bottom
Is there a better time to tackle a 30-day organizing challenge...we think not! Look at the extra time you have been given to spend at home as a blessing. You can finally dedicate the time to getting everything in your home organized with a 30-day organizing challenge.
Dedicate 30-60 minutes each day to one of the tasks on the 30-day home organization challenge and by the end of the month, you will have transformed your life. Of course, getting organized and staying organized are two different heads of the beast.
A 30-day challenge provides the framework to get the ball rolling, but ultimately it is up to you to change your habits and maintain organized living space.
Breathe Some New Life into Your Space
Although shopping is limited and even online retailers are scaling back and giving priority to essentials, there are still a few things that you can do to give your home a new look. Sometimes the same space with a new perspective or new focal point is all it takes to jazz things up and make them interesting again.
Rearrange the Furniture
Experiment by moving furniture pieces into different rooms. A low-boy dresser can double as a buffet in the dining room or a media console in the living room. Pull larger pieces of furniture like sofa’s off of the wall. Divide large rooms into two or more distinct spaces by grouping furniture together.
Create a DIY Wall Art Piece
If you have been looking for a pop of color to create a focal point in a room, try your hand at a DIY decor project.
Paint your Kitchen Cabinets
A fresh coat of white paint can liven up any space. If you are tired of staring at the same old oak cabinets, give them a new look in a weekend with a coat or two of paint. White is clean, timeless, and fits with nearly any decor style. But if white is not your thing, add a pop of color with an aqua blue or minty-green, or tone it down with a neutral cream.
Deal with your Photo Storage Situation
Let’s face it…everyone has a photo storage situation. It is the one thing that keeps growing as we continue to take new photos and capture new memories. But few of us actually have a real plan that we are really, truly happy with for keeping them organized.
Printed and Bound Photo Books
I have always sort of been in love with the idea of making an annual yearbook for my family. There are dozens of services that will take the photos off of your phone and print and bind them into a book, but somehow finding the time to pick the photos and add the captions is still an impossible task.
Make a Gallery Wall
Pick your favorites and have them printed on tiles to create a gallery wall. Let’s face it -- every picture you have ever taken is not going to make the final cut. But with a service like Mixtiles, you can have dozens of your favorites printed on self-adhesive tiles for a unique piece of wall art.
Set up Cloud Storage with Backup
If you have photos spread across multiple devices, set up a cloud storage account with automatic backup from all devices. Make it a habit to delete unnecessary photos right away to keep the sheer volume of photos more manageable.
If you have been staring at piles of paperwork or crowded, frumpy file drawers for too long it is time to tackle this beast. Embrace technology and use digital means to organize everything from important paperwork to family photos.
In addition to saving paper and physical space, digital files have the added bonus of being searchable. Instead of sifting through stacks of paper or drawers of files, any document can be retrieved in seconds as long as you use logical file names when setting up your systems.
Social and outdoor activities are limited because of Coronavirus, so this video is going to be your best friend. Enjoy watching!
Learn a New Skill
Extra time at home and access to YouTube or a service like Skillshare is all that you need to pick up a new skill during the quarantine. If there is something that you have always wanted to do, but lack the time to learn, now is the time.
Learn to Sew
Buy an inexpensive sewing machine and learn to use it. Make your throw pillows to dress up your space as an easy first project that you can nail with a little guidance and minimal experience.
If digital photography or graphic design is your thing, some photoshop skills can help you level up your game. Unfortunately, this program is intense to learn so it is easy to put it off. Make the best use of your time at home to pick up some new Photoshop skills.
Learn a Foreign Language
One thing that has been widely romanticized in our culture is foreign languages. If you have ever had an interest in picking up some conversational skills in another language your time at home can provide the perfect opportunity.
Take Up Video Gaming
In case you are not familiar, the video gaming world has evolved into fully-immersive simulated worlds. If social interaction is what you crave, there are dozens of online gaming experiences that can provide the opportunity to meet and engage with other players.
Staying home has been a welcomed change for some and more like house-arrest for others. While you might be accustomed to going out for entertainment and socialization, there are actually plenty of activities that can be done at home.
While few are as fun as going to a party, these are all meaningful activities that will improve your home and how you live.