By Susan McCarthy
Everyday practice: Be kind to yourself and lower your expectations.
There have always been times when we get stuck in our homes for a day or a few. While emergencies can leave us on edge, staying busy can burn off some of our nervousness, particularly if we’re facing more than a day or two of being homebound.
Not to diminish the current health situation surrounding COVID-19, the Coronavirus, with the suggestions in this article; however, many local, state, and national precautions around the world mean that everything from special and sporting events to daily occurrences, such as school and shopping, are being canceled or severely limited and you're being told to stay home.
If you and those in your home are healthy while you're homebound stay busy with a variety of projects.
Deep Clean a Room (or a Few)
Deep cleaning goes beyond the dusting, wiping, and sweeping/vacuuming chores that you do on a regular basis. Include tasks like dusting walls, light fixtures, and baseboards; wash curtains or dust blinds; wash any bedding that fits in your washing machine; move furniture (or break out the broom or vacuum attachments) to sweep and vacuum spots that often get overlooked.
Don't forget to clean light switches and doorknobs.
Take down the knickknacks and give them a good dusting (old toothbrushes are great for this task). As you encounter different objects, consider if they still deserve a space in your home.
If regular trash pickup is disturbed, make certain that you label bags as either trash or donations. Pick a centralized location for these bags and boxes so they don’t get forgotten when you are able to move them out of your home..
Try on Everything in Your Closet
Looking at your clothing isn’t the same as seeing it on your body. Bag up anything with stains, holes, tears, faded fabric, as well as anything that doesn’t fit. Create different outfits and snap some pictures. Move these pictures to a folder on your phone (a task your smartphone may do automatically for you).
When you’re seeking inspiration, you’ll have variety of outfits to view.
If you have kids, you can do the same thing with their closets. Have kids guess how many things in their closet won’t fit and offer a variety of rewards based on how close they get (a 30-minute television show, a favorite game, a movie, an extra chapter of the book you’re reading to them).
Watch YouTube videos on how to fold clothes and improve your skills. Challenge older kids to learn Japanese tee shirt folding or time them in pairing a pile of socks.
Put on a fashion show with crazy themes for outfits like, worst thing to wear to school, vampire on a job interview, or dressing like a favorite celebrity or character from a movie or book.
Read Your Books
I know that before I can let go of books, I want to read (or at least skim) them. Use part of your day to read those books you kept hoping you’d find the time to get to. Can’t motivate yourself to read a title? That might be a good sign that you’ve moved past your interest in the genre or topic and you can donate those books without issue.
Break Out the Hobby Supplies
Take some time to organize and declutter your hobby supplies. If you haven’t engaged in the activity for a while, see if you want to work on a small project now. If not, it may be time to let go of the materials and supplies.
Watch DVDs and Listen to CDs
Play your CDs while cleaning, decluttering, or engaging in other activities. Use the length of the CD as an incentive to work through a task before the music ends.
Take breaks from the news by watching a DVD. As you go through your CDs and DVDs, consider if there are any you can donate.
Rediscover Your Games and Puzzles
Break out the games and puzzles that may have been gathering dust on the shelf and enjoy time with your family or housemates. This is also another way to determine if it’s time to pop these items in your donation box.
Sort through, or create, a memory keepsake box. (A project for everyone.) Or, finally tackle the pile of print photos (or disorganized digital pictures). Share stories about special items or pictures - otherwise, your treasure is someone else's junk.
Break out the soaps, lotions, and other beauty supplies for some pampering self-care. If you wear makeup, watch some YouTube videos to pick up new techniques. If you’re brave, let kids or your roommate style your hair or put on your makeup.
If you’ve wanted to try meditation or yoga, find an online video. Break out your journal (or a blank notebook) and explore some of your goals and dreams in the pages.
Treat a Pet
Curl up with a willing pet. Brush fluffy pets. Wash their dishes, placemats, and bedding; gather their toys and make sure each one’s in good condition.
Stay in touch with friends and family through social media, phone calls, texting, and email. Post pictures of some of your indoor activities and encourage others to copy your activities at their homes. Email this to a friend or share this article on social media. Watch videos or take an inexpensive online course and learn something new. Keep current with the news but don’t make that the sole focus of your days. Be safe. Be well.
Sign up for emails from A Less Cluttered Life and learn how simple, everyday practices can eliminate the scattered feeling of trying to do too much. Join the free program, A Year of Decluttering, and get access to the 7-day e-course, Distraction-free Decluttering.
The Organized Squirrel, Susan, shows you how acorns (small habits) can grow into oak trees (a better life).