We are living in interesting times. When I dreamt up this blog months ago, the term COVID-19 didn’t even exist and, quite honestly, a pandemic wasn’t anywhere near my radar.
How quickly things change. These days, it’s hard not to be consumed by this health crisis. And now that we’ve all been asked to stay put (for very good reason), home feels more important than ever.
If you’re getting a bit stir-crazy within your four walls and itching for a mini-project that can be done from home using what you have, here are five ideas to scratch the itch:
- Create something. Pull out the paints, pastels, modelling clay … whatever you (or your kids) have on hand. Resisting the urge to judge yourself, just create. Maybe you have an empty frame to fill with your very own watercolour. Maybe you you have an old plant pot or candle holder that could use some sprucing up. Maybe you don’t really have or want or need anything. Create anyway.
The dining room art above was the result of a rainy day, leftover craft paint and some empty frames. It didn’t take much to do, and at the end of an afternoon we had new original art, custom-matched to our room. The process was relaxing, and the outcome was tangible. Time well spent!
- Tackle your landscape. Unless you have COVID-19 symptoms or have recently traveled, getting outside for some fresh air is still an option (but keep an eye on your local health authority, as the rules are changing regularly). Whether you have a tiny balcony or a generous backyard, get outside and survey what you have, then decide what’s next for your outdoor space.
Depending on your plans and climate, there’s probably some degree of maintenance to be done (Raking? Finally putting seasonal decorations away?). Taking a bit of time to get ahead now, when your other options are limited, is a triple win: it will improve your view while you’re home, get you some fresh air, and free up precious hours to enjoy when patio season finally arrives!
You may even be able to get a jump start on some early seasonal or container planting, and I know of at least one local nursery that’s offering free delivery (and a free gift with delivery) at the moment. Pro tip: when ordering, sneak in some indoor flowers or a houseplant for you. You deserve it. 😉
- Streamline a space. I know — nothing about cleaning and organizing sounds like fun. So how about this: pick one area of your home that drives you nuts on a daily basis, put on your favourite music, set a timer, and focus just on that area. Whether it’s an overflowing pantry, stacks of mail to be filed, an upside down coat closet or a junk drawer that’s taken over, commit to making the space serve you better. The process might hurt, but the end result – clean, organized, and pretty, with a system that works for you — will pay dividends daily.
- Switch things up. If it’s starting to feel like the walls are closing in, try re-purposing what you already own. Lamps, area rugs, side tables, bookcases, art, mirrors and accessories are easy to swap between rooms and can result in a whole new look, without spending a dime. If you have sets of matching furniture in your bedroom or dining room, consider breaking them up or painting some pieces for a fresher, more contemporary look. Try not to think of any one piece as “belonging” in a particular room — there’s no rule that says your cocktail tables can’t become bedside tables, and vice versa, provided they’re an appropriate height.
It can be hard to envision things differently from how they’ve always been, so don’t be afraid to ask friends for their thoughts!
- Dream. The beauty of technology is that there’s a world of inspiration at your fingertips. Blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, Houzz, shelter magazines, home shows on TV … there are a million rabbit holes to fall down, but what a way to spend some time inside!
If you’re like us and have had to slow down your plans a bit, now is a great time to do some research. Pick a home project you’ve been dying to start, open a file, and begin collecting ideas. If you already know the end result you’re after, you could even spend some time researching local suppliers and trades who can help make it happen — and meet in person when the self-isolation is over.
And there you have it — five free (or nearly free) ways to freshen up your space while you’re self-isolating. Whatever you get up to, I hope you’re healthy, cozy and safe — and that your home is and continues to be your sanctuary during this trying time.
Let me know what you’re up to in the comments below!