If you’re suddenly finding yourself home from work due to COVID-19, you’re not alone. About 22% of slip and fall accidents in the workplace keep workers at home for 31 days or longer. With the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, uninjured workers may be stuck at home for much longer than that. It might be time to take on a DIY home improvement project to help pass the days and improve your living space -- especially since you'll be spending so many more hours there each day.
Newly Found Home Improvement Interest
Within the first two weeks of COVID-19 quarantine, social media talk of home improvement projects doubled. Home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s have seen a surge in customer interest, too. Because these stores are considered essential businesses, consumers seem to be jumping on the opportunity to improve their homes in all kinds of creative ways. Here are just a few ideas you might want to consider.
Tackle Deep Cleaning
Perhaps the simplest way to give your home a makeover is to perform a deeper clean than you usually would. Since you have the time and the danger of COVID-19 germs lingers, why not give your home some cleaning TLC? To remove traces of the virus, the CDC recommends disinfecting dirtier areas with soap and water first. Then, sanitize surfaces with a cleaner approved by the EPA to kill the virus.
Make sure to wipe down regularly touched surfaces, such as:
- Door knobs
- Sink handles
Now is also a good time to replace air filters in your home. Making sure they’re HEPA filters will keep your air clear of allergens, too. Tackle other areas you don’t often think of -- like dryer ducts, washing machine tubs, and ceiling fan blades. Install weather stripping around doorways and windows and scrub down walls that have accumulated stains from kids. For a simple clean touch, wipe all glass surfaces to remove streaks.
Reorganize and Decluttter
Go a step beyond deep cleaning by reorganizing an area that you’ve been avoiding for far too long. Now, you have the time to declutter and reorganize spaces like closets, garages, pantries, and attics. Go through cupboards in the kitchen and bathroom or reassess your wardrobe to give yourself some breathing room. Your makeup collection is another often cluttered place, so take time to go through it and dispose of expired products.
Now may be a great time to sort through clothing, packing away winter stuff and pulling out spring and summer attire. Shoes often create clutter, so consider buying a shoe rack or hanging shoe holder to help condense them. Simply rearranging your spaces can make your home feel much more comfortable during quarantine.
Perform Easy Revamps
If you have an itch for new looks around the house, redecorating and replacing some basics will keep you busy while creating a fresh look. Even renters can refresh their homes -- after all, 27% of Americans were renters in 2016. Think about revamps you’ve been meaning to do forever but never quite accomplished, like:
- Replacing linens
- Trying a new shower curtain
- Installing simple shelves or racks for better organization
- Replacing kitchen appliances
- Upgrading curtain rods and decorative lamps
- Rearranging the furniture
Those who want to take on larger and craftier projects have endless opportunities. You might paint an accent wall or some cupboards in a fun color for a mood lift, for example. Chalk paint is a popular option for refinishing furniture because it doesn’t require sanding or stripping. Alternatively, create a chalkboard-painted wall to entertain your kids. With help from the nice weather, you might consider repainting a deck or fence.
Perhaps you’d like to redecorate your walls. You can create a gallery wall by arranging a collection of family photos or an art collection. For a unique look, create floating bookshelves by installing two simple shelf brackets a few inches apart and placing books on top. The books hide the brackets, creating a visual floating effect.
If you know how to use a needle and thread, consider adding accents to shower curtains and linens. Get creative and have fun.
Replacing simple kitchen and bathroom fixtures like showerheads and faucets can add a refreshing look with very little work. As a bonus, installing fixtures with low water flow can reduce water bills and waste. Simple replacements like these can also improve the value of your home.
You could also replace the hardware on drawers and cupboards, like nicer handles or creatively designed ones. All you need is a screwdriver. The same goes for light switch covers, which come in all colors and designs.
Improve Your Yard and Your Mind
With warming weather, another great place for some DIY improvements is your backyard. Create a new gravel pathway or lay stones in the ground for a patio area. Add chairs and a table to an otherwise empty space and you’ll instantly have a new hangout area.
Whether you have a green thumb or you’ve never touched a shovel, consider starting a garden while you have this time to spare. Creating a garden is easy, long-lasting, and offers multiple benefits for your emotional and mental health. Find a small area for a plot or stick to container gardening if you don’t have the yard space. Plant pretty flowers, herbs for food or medicine, or fruits and vegetables. Look online for tutorials and ideas.
Know Which Projects to Avoid
Once you get started, you might find yourself taking on more and more DIY home improvement projects. But not every idea is realistic. Avoid long-term projects in case of an interruption due to illness or an unexpected return to work. Projects that require lots of supplies might also be a hassle due to current delays in shipment or product shortages. For now, it’s best to keep projects simple, fun, and inexpensive.
Work With What You Have
It’s a great time to take on home improvement and you can make an older home feel new again with simple DIY projects. More than 90% of debris created by construction comes from demolition, but you don’t have to add to that waste by starting from scratch. Instead, take advantage of your time at home with fun projects and flashy touches. You may be surprised at how much home improvement you can do yourself to make your home feel brand new.
You might feel like you're confined to indoors, but that doesn't mean you have to be content with your home as it is. With these tips in mind, you can pass the time while you're staying at home and make your living space a lot more pleasant to be in.