In these uncertain times, we feel like there is so much in our lives that is beyond our control. We miss enjoying a meal at a restaurant, going to the movies, sporting events, and our kids’ soccer practices and recitals. A lot of things are out of our hands, and we could just choose to shrug our shoulders, or we can roll up our sleeves.
Our environment has a big part to play in our overall wellness. Because we’ve been looking at the same walls for several months now, it might be time for a change of scenery. You’d be amazed at how a little fresh paint or some organization can make you feel so much better. Here are ten upgrades for brightening up your living spaces for the remaining days of quarantine and the happier days to come.
Rearrange the Furniture in Your Living Room.
Call it feng shui, call it KonMari, call it mixing things up for the sake of mixing things up. After a spring and most of a summer spent in lockdown, let’s face it, we’re all ready for a new look. You’ve probably spent more time in your house over the last few months than you have in the last five years, so you know better than ever what works in your current layout and what doesn’t.
Has your living space become a workspace? Are you jockeying with your family for places to attend Zoom meetings? A little rearranging can go a long way to improving your living and working conditions and might reveal an eye-catching arrangement that you had never previously visualized. And it’s not all about working from home. Maybe go big and add a conversation piece like a new aquarium.
Give Your House a Thorough Deep-Cleaning
Sure, you have a checklist of your weekly cleaning chores, but when was the last time you gave your baseboards a solid scrubbing? Also, have you been vacuuming your air vents? Much about the Coronavirus is mysterious, particularly as to how long it remains viable inside and how it spreads via ventilation.
Cleanliness in itself is not a ticket to immunity, but a daily practice of diligence and cleaning can be an important part of your self-protection. Ventilation is a crucial piece of your personal protection plan. After you’ve cleaned your ventilation system, add an air vent filtration kit to your vents to block harmful particles. It’s affordable and can be cut to fit. And make sure your ducts are free of leaks. Healthy airflow has never been more important.
Organize Your Space
Clearing out closets is one of those tasks that can feel like a luxury, and there’s never been a better time than the present to tackle this Herculean chore. And while you’re at it, clean out your medicine cabinet. Toss your expired meds, razor blade heads, and empty dental floss dispensers.
Next, take on your junk drawers. Put every tool back where it was supposed to go, gather up the loose toothpicks, toss out two dozen packets of soy sauce and ketchup, and free your corkscrew of the cork that’s been there since your last anniversary. You’ll marvel at all the new space you have.
Everyone has their own idea about decorating, but consider a more minimalist look. Envision furniture that features clean lines and solid colors that draw the eye. Display only a handful of knick-knacks that tell a story and add detail. Or take some time for yourself to create your own art or colorful quilts. Trends may come and go, but less will always be more. Embrace your inner minimalist.
Freshen Up Your Kitchen
After six months of quarantine, we bet you’ll never take your kitchen for granted again. We are all optimistic that restaurants will be open again soon at full capacity and we will be able to sit together and enjoy our favorite dishes. In the meantime, make the most of your kitchen space. Consider a new design concept like a spare, rustic look.
If you need a new appliance, this is the best time to buy. You will not only be upgrading your kitchen, but you will be helping a local store stay in business during this time of economic pressure.
Paint It Bright
Take a look at your walls. Are there cracks or stains that could use painting over? If you have remaining paint in your garage or basement from the last painting, go ahead and patch where you have to. Make sure you watch a couple of tutorials because retouching is an art form. If you decide your walls need a full make-over, embrace the moment and choose bright hues, including bold yellows, rich oranges, and pale, vibrant reds.
Change Your Interior Lights
Replace any bulbs that are out. Choose high-efficiency, high-visibility LED bulbs. Install dimmer bulbs for all new fixtures to maximize interior brightness, and to show some kindness to the planet in the process.
Bright, bold interior lighting will be even more important if we’re asked to shelter in place through the winter.
Let in Some Light
Chances are, you haven’t cleaned your windows in a while, you’d be surprised how even an invisible layer of film can dim the incoming sunlight. To keep your windows sparkling, make sure your curtains are clean. Take them down, shake off the dust outside, and give them a once-over with a vacuum cleaner brush attachment. When you rehang them, make sure as much of the window is open to the light as possible.
Spruce up Your Yard
With the distractions of the pandemic, many homeowners let their yard work go. But now there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Wash down your yard furniture, rake away the winter’s dead leaves and debris, and create an inviting space for socially-distant, outdoor fun. Consider an outdoor billiard table for your patio or an outdoor fitness area that will really motivate you.
Upgrade Your Home Entertainment Center
One day, you’ll return to the cineplex. In the meantime, up your home entertainment game to enjoy those new releases on demand. Pop your own corn, choose your favorite beverage, and surf the binge-worthy favorites trending on Netflix. It’s a virtual community that we are all sharing.
Take on these tasks one weekend at a time. When you’re done, stand back and marvel at how much you made out of what was already there, along with just a few new, well-chosen additions and a couple of your own creations. And when we are free to entertain indoors again, your friends and family will love what you’ve accomplished.
Author Bio: Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and former HR professional. She enjoys writing about events, travel, decorating trends, and innovations for the home, but also covers developments in HR, business communication, recruiting, and CRM solutions.
Photo by Outsite Co on Unsplash
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