It’s difficult to find positives in the current situation. You might be self-isolating alone, or with family, but the chances are you’re currently limited on how often you can go out and who, out of your friends and family you can see or spend time with. Although it could be that your home feels a little prison-like, it’s important to remember that at this time it’s your sanctuary and there’s nothing better than staying indoors and preventing the spread of further infection.
There might be days during these troubled times when getting out of bed, getting washed and dressed and sorting out the kids is about all that’s manageable. But, if you’ve woken up with a can-do attitude, then you might find you want to tackle some simple DIY or home improvement jobs around the house – either little aesthetic improvements, or quick fixes for things that have been bothering you for a long time, to general maintenance and upkeep (the sort of thing you tell yourself every year you’ll get round to, but somehow never do). Here, we’ve put together a list of some simple jobs or projects that you can do to refresh your home, so you won’t feel quite so trapped, and give yourself something productive to do. Remember, lockdown doesn’t have to mean meltdown.
1. Change your drawer handles
You can buy drawer handles easily and cheaply online and it’s the work of moment to give tired furniture a bit of a facelift. Mismatched ceramic ones give a quirky, individual look, or you could go for metal ones for a more traditional, classic look. You’ll even find great ones for the kids in fun shapes (trains, clouds, rainbows) – the list is endless. You can’t find a simpler way to perk up a room.
2. Tackle the garden
This might seem like a never-ending job, no matter what’s going on with the rest of the world. Online you can find some checklists that take you through the year, month by month, and will give you ideas about what maintenance work you can do to keep your garden in great condition all year round. Some other ideas for jobs you can tackle include:
– Painting. If there’s a part of your garden, a shed or a fence, that’s been in need of a little TLC for a while, now’s the time to tackle it. Get the paint out and freshen up your yard. Now schools are closing in many areas, this is also a job that’s easy enough for the kids to manage and, depending on their age, will keep them occupied and out of trouble for a good few hours. Just don’t leave little ones alone around paint!
– Increase practical comfort. Whether it’s building a bench, setting up an umbrella or an area for shade or rain protection, or looking into a Mosquito Authority, it’s worth getting those little jobs done that, every summer, you wish you’d got round to, but haven’t yet had the chance.
– Clear out the gutters. Not the most fun of jobs, but clearing out your gutters will protect your roof in the winter. If your gutter is full of leavers or moss and ends up overflowing, this excess of water can end up on your roof and freeze. Sometimes the weight causes structural problems or, similarly to the roads, the process of thawing and then refreezing damages the actual material of the roof itself.
– Feed the birds. You can easily make your own bird-balls with some seeds, some melted suet and some string. You and the kids can then tie these up in trees or bushes and keep an eye out all year round for feathered friends!
– Grow your own food. There are so many easy things to plant in the garden and, with a little inventiveness, you can make them even more fun. Try making upside down tomato planters so you can teach the whole family about the value of growing your own food and where it comes from.
3. Painted Tags
These are pretty little ornaments that only take an afternoon to make and you can send to loved ones in lieu of visits to show them you’re thinking of them. Find out how to make the salt dough painted tags and then share the recipe with your friends so your kids can exchange them through the post rather than texts while they can’t see each other for a few months.
4. Put up some shelves
Putting up shelving is one of those things that always seems to drop right to the very bottom of the to-do list and, when it finally happens, we can’t believe how much better everything looks and why it took so long in the first place. Now, with the wonder of the internet, you can buy shelves easily and economically through Amazon, so they can still be delivered for you to put up and immediately tidy and declutter. Why not try some floating shelves in the kids’ rooms for a bit of a different look?
5. Upcycle something
Even if you can’t get out to vintage and thrift stores right now, you probably have something around your home or in the garage that you’ve been meaning to replace for a while now. Well, instead of giving it away or throwing it out, maybe now is the time to upcycle instead of recycle. You’ll find plenty of online tutorials to help you fix damaged or broken parts and ideas to make even the most downtrodden items look fresh and exciting again, like this cabinet.
Being stuck at home isn’t the most fun, we can all agree that we’d prefer to be out and about as we wanted to be. But it is a good idea to try and make the best of every situation life throws at us – this was a curveball we weren’t expecting from 2020, but try and stay positive and turn it into an opportunity to learn some new skills and improve your home.
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