Self Isolating? Time for home improvement

As we all continue to practice social distancing and self-isolate in our homes it may be a golden opportunity to get those home improvement projects underway, or maybe even completed if you find yourself deemed a non-essential service and unable to leave home, you may potentially have another four to six weeks to get some home-related projects done.  

With no commuting, no opportunity to spend time over the water cooler at work moaning about the traffic or talking about  last night’s Netflix binge-watch (I need to talk to someone about Tiger King – I am still dumbfounded, am I right?!) , popping out for coffee or going out to grab lunch you probably have at least an extra hour or two gifted back to you in your working day.

You could spend this time surfing the net, watching more TV, sleeping or reading. All those things are fine. You could even choose to waste that time and, in the immortal words of John Lennon, “Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted”, but what if you are a do-er and you need a project?

First things first – let’s ensure everyone continues to get the day job done – the wheels of commerce need to keep spinning while we are all spinning our wheels at home!

However, once the day job is under control the place to start on home improvement is to make a list. Walk your home and do an audit and run through a checklist of things that you think you can reasonably and feasibly accomplish depending on your handy-person skill level. This will also now depend on what tools, paint, DIT related type kit you have in storage cupboards or your garage, because going out and buying supplies is now not an option.

Here is a list of simple jobs that will help transform your living space without much effort, that almost everyone can do:

  1. Touch up scuff marks on skirting boards and walls (with paint or maybe it’s simply a job for a magic eraser?)
  2. Replace cabinet handles in the kitchen or bathroom- do they need modernizing? Maybe they are all just a little loose and a quick whip around with a screwdriver does the trick and makes you feel that you’ve accomplished something on that “to do list”. Amazon and Etsy seem to still be shipping and mailing so perhaps you can order some cute new door pulls online?
  3. Scrub down the porch/patio and give those screens a good wash. It is amazing what a difference this can make to light in these spaces, not to mention a sense of well-being sitting in a cleanly washed porch or patio gives you.
  4. Change the shower curtain, or simply take it down and give it a good clean.
  5. Clean those windows (again, you might be amazed at the light difference).
  6. Paint window frames a contrasting color to add a design feature to a room, or maybe just give them a fresh coat of white paint, if you happen to have some tucked away from the last time you did any painting in your home. .
  7. Hang those pictures and art you’ve been meaning to get up.
  8. Get creative with your storage space- first empty it, sort out your stuff for trash/recycling/donating and then look at how you might use the space more effectively.

Some of us are handier than others so don’t go deciding to rewire your home if you aren’t a qualified electrician. This is never going to be a value add!

Make a list of jobs you can accomplish, keep it simple, keep it achievable and keep it economical. Nothing here needs to break the bank and most of these things are tasks that you can get your whole family involved in.

Which brings us to the WHY? Why should we do any of these things?

First and foremost, anyone who owns a home probably has a to do list that has been pending for some time, so now would be a great time to address that. You are captive in said home, and you are going to be more annoyed than ever looking at the things on that list! So let’s do something about that.

Additionally, in times of stress and disruption it can be excellent for your mental health to set yourself some physical projects. Not only do you feel a great sense of achievement when you have accomplished the task, but the physical activity (and you can burn a lot of calories painting a room, or re-organizing your storage!) is really good for you both physically and mentally.

And finally, when all of this is over and we return to whatever the new normal is, having your home spruced up is always a great investment. Making an investment in what is probably your biggest physical financial asset is always a good idea. 

GET BUSY! Be well. We’re in this together.

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