As the spread of the coronavirus shuts down businesses across America, shopaholics everywhere may be starting to feel some withdrawal symptoms. There are about 200 outlet malls in the United States, but the vast majority of these stores have locked their doors for the foreseeable future. While stores remain open online, you won’t be able to get that satisfying feeling of finding the perfect item on the shelf and bringing it to your home, enriching your space and your life. And buying online means creating more work for deliverypeople, who are already trying to keep up with the increased volume of essential items that people are ordering from their homes. In short, if it’s not essential, you should probably hold off on buying it.
However, just because you can’t purchase new items it doesn’t mean that you can’t revamp your home and the spaces in it. There are plenty of projects you can do at home with items and tools you already have or that require just a couple of new materials. Let’s take a look at some of the best projects you can do at home to keep you busy during the COVID-19 quarantine while enriching the aesthetics of your home.
Rearrange some items in your home
There’s more than one way to revamp a space. While a homeowner may invest in multi room renovation during more normal times, that kind of project isn’t really a possibility right now. Luckily, you can make a room feel fresh and new just by putting in the time to make some changes.
One of the projects you can do at home to transform a space is trying a new furniture layout. Move your couch to a different wall or swap around some of the artwork on your walls. Changing up the layout of your living room or bedroom, even in small ways, can have a huge impact on how the room makes you feel. When you rearrange it in a way that you think looks good and brings you joy, you’ll feel that little spark of happiness whenever you’re in the room and appreciating the new layout. Even something as small as switching the lamps around in a room can provide the change that you’re craving.
If you’re satisfied with your furniture layout but are still looking for a way to breathe new life into a space, turn your attention to your bookshelves. Most people don’t change up the look or arrangement of their bookshelves all that often, but doing so can have a significant aesthetic impact. First, consider how you want to order the books. You can go the traditional route of doing it alphabetically by author or group them by genre. If your goal in rearranging your books is to make your bookshelf display more aesthetically appealing, try to focus on the colors. Look up bookshelf arrangement inspiration online to see creative ways of stacking and grouping your books that create visual interest whenever you look at your bookshelf. Think about other decorative pieces you could add to the bookshelf as well, such as plants, bookends, and little knick-knacks.
Tackle a few organization projects
Tidying up a space can have as much visual impact as rearranging the furniture in it. Taking the time to declutter can also have a positive effect on your mood, as the appearance of cluttered spaces causes stress, while order creates peace.
There’s no better time than now, when you’re stuck at home and looking for things to keep you occupied, to tackle the closets in your home. From the overstuffed closet in your bedroom to the nursery closet that’s been a bit neglected, these hidden spaces in your home hold some of the most important goods, yet rarely get the attention they deserve. Pick one closet to start with and begin by taking absolutely everything out of it. Once it’s empty, clean the interior with some wipes and a good vacuuming. Then, sort through the items. Use the Marie Kondo method by picking up each item one at a time and determining whether or not it brings you joy. Create a donation pile of the things you no longer need and thoughtfully put the items you’re keeping back into the closet. As you’re filling the closet up again, try to put the most-used items at the front so that you don’t have to go rifling through the closet every time you’re looking for those things.
Another of the useful organization projects you can do at home is labeling your supplies. Whether you have a craft corner in the kids’ playroom that is overflowing with unorganized bits and bobbles or your kitchen pantry is starting to look like a war zone, labels can go a long way in organizing the chaos. Sort out the items into storage bins according to whatever system makes the most sense for your family. If you have a label maker, pop out the labels you need for the bins. If you don’t have a label maker, write out the labels you need on regular paper and tape them to bins. If you have colored markers, this is a great opportunity to develop a color-coding system that takes your organization to the next level.
Give your walls some love
Your walls say a lot about your home, which means that making even the simplest updates can go a long way. The first way to tend to your walls is to take a look at your wall hangings. Over time, photos, artwork, and any other types of wall decorations become crooked. Walkthrough your home and straighten each item hanging on your wall to make everything appear a bit neater. Alternatively, you can rearrange your wall hangings much in the same way you rearranged your furniture. Takedown your photos and artwork to create a new gallery wall or swap items between rooms to freshen things up.
You can also show your walls some love by touching up the paint job. You probably have some paint tucked away in your home somewhere, you just have to make sure it will match your current walls. Even a simple can of white paint can be useful in touching up baseboards and doorways, which often become the dirtiest the fastest. If you’re renting your home, be sure to talk with your rental property manager before starting any painting projects you can do at home. More likely than not, they won’t get in the way of you voluntarily doing this type of maintenance work on your home and will give you the green light to make some touch-ups.
Clean up your outdoor areas
Whether you have a large yard or a modest outdoor balcony, sprucing up a space can have a major impact on how it looks and feels when you spend time there. While you may have been planning on investing in landscape design to get the aesthetics of your yard to where you want them to be, there are many smaller projects you can do at home that can achieve the goal of improving your outdoor areas.
The first of these outdoor projects you can do at home is cleaning up from the winter. Sweep the dirt and dust off of your patio, balcony, or other concrete surfaces to freshen it up from the harshness the last few months of winter may have bestowed on it. For larger yards, start your cleanup by getting rid of pinecones, leaves, and twigs that may have fallen during winter storms. Prune away the dead or dying branches from trees and bushes that you can safely reach. You can also spend time cleaning up around your perennial plants and shrubs and remove any damaged grass areas to prepare for spring seeding.
You can also use this time to prepare your planters for planting. This is also a good way to evaluate what you already have so that you don’t unnecessarily buy more items. Gather all of your empty planters and give them a little scrub. If you have paint lying around, you can touch them up with a fresh coat or paint them entirely new colors for a fresh look.
If you have outdoor furniture, now is the time to give that a good scrub as well. Dirt can accumulate on any type of outdoor furniture, even if it’s been in storage. Use a mix of warm water and a mild oil-based soap to wash off wood and wicker furniture. For other types of furniture, you can use a mixture of warm water and regular dishwashing liquid. Remember to wipe down your patio cushions or throw them in the washing machine and your outdoor space will look like new in no time.
Make the bathroom sparkle
Your home’s bathroom is meant to be a relaxing space where you make yourself feel your best to face your day. Even if your day no longer consists of going into the outside world, you still want your bathroom to be that serene oasis.
The first of the bathroom projects you can do at home that you’ll want to address is breathing new life into your bathroom design. Much like the work you did in the living room or bedroom to rearrange furniture and touch up paint, you’ll want to change up as much of the design as you can to make the space feel fresh. Since the bathroom tends to contain fixed items that you would need a local plumber to help you move and re-do water lines for, focus on the walls of the bathroom and the smaller items within it. Straighten up or swap out any wall hangings you have in the bathroom or use paint you have to touch up the walls. Dust off any small decorations you may have in your bathroom and consider how you may be able to switch them around with some of the other items in your home.
The medicine cabinet and bathroom drawers are other ideal spots for organizational projects you can do at home. Like you did with the closets in your home, empty out the drawers and cabinets in your bathroom. Toss out any expired products, broken items, and anything that never actually gets used. Wipe down the insides of the empty cabinets and drawers and then reorganize your remaining items inside them. If you have them, use small containers within your drawers to keep everything as tidy as possible.
While you’re in the bathroom, break out the cleaning supplies and make everything really shine in there. Features like the walls of a glass shower or large mirrors tend to accumulate smudges and can start to look dim over time. Scrub the tub, toilet, and sink well to make their surfaces shine. You’ll be surprised at the difference a bit of elbow grease in the bathroom can make.
Clean, clean, clean
While you have cleaning on your mind, turn your attention to the rest of your home. You’re probably already disinfecting high-touch surfaces regularly to keep dangerous germs at bay, but there are plenty of smaller cleaning projects you can do at home that all add up to make your home sparkle.
Start with the flooring in your home. Sweep any of the hard floorings in your home and then mope or wipe it down with the appropriate cleaning products. For carpeted areas and area rugs, break out the vacuum to suck up the dirt and debris. Then, apply some carpet cleaning products to help lift out dirt and dust that’s buried deep in the carpet fibers. You may not be able to get a professional cleaning service into your home at the moment, but using products on your own can do a great job of getting your carpets clean.
While you have the vacuum out, use the dust brush attachment to clean off the vents and baseboards in your home. These areas accumulate a lot of dust over time, especially when the heat is on high during the winter. Cleaning out the vents can also help reduce allergens in your home and boost the efficiency of your air conditioning or heating unit. You can also use a dry microfiber cloth to get rid of the dust, just avoid using water or other cleaning products as they can smear the dust instead.
As you’re sucking up the cobwebs and dust bunnies in all of the corners of your home, be sure to hit rooms that don’t get a lot of use as well as those that do. The guestroom might not see any occupants for some time, but spending some of your cleaning time in there will help your whole home feel cleaner. Cleaning these spare rooms now can also motivate you to actually utilize all of the space in your home. The popular rooms, like the living room and kitchen, are probably filled with your family as they also search for entertainment throughout the day. Clean up a spare room and turn it into your mobile office, complete with a fold-out desk and rolling chair. This probably won’t be where you work permanently, but having this secluded space can help you work at home until the coronavirus crisis is over.
There are a plethora of projects you can do at home while the COVID-19 crisis continues. Better yet, you can do all of these projects without spending a dime and they can still make it feel like you’ve improved your home with a new piece of furniture or wall hanging. Focus on these projects you can do at home for now and soon enough, you’ll be able to roam the aisles of your favorite stores once again.