Most of us are going to be spending a lot more time in our homes in the coming weeks, in order to stay safe as we flatten the curve. While we had already designated April as our “Work From Home” month long before these orders were in place, we asked our audience on IG what they wanted to see from us, now that working from home is the majority, rather than the minority. One of the most common requests was: “How do I not get sick of my home”? If you’re feeling claustrophobic or like you’re in a never-ending remake of “Groundhog Day,” you’re not alone. As homebodies who work from home full-time, we have some tricks up our sleeve. Here are some tips for keeping your sanity and still loving your home when this is all over.
It might seem silly, but the small things really add up when you spend all your time at home. Luckily, flowers are considered part of the “essential” groups of people still working, so you can still find flowers at grocery stores or your local flower shop. Pickings are a little slim at the moment, but trust me when I say this makes a huge difference. I keep flowers in every room of the house, and it’s a pick-me-up whenever I walk into that space. I highly recommend, if your allergies allow, a fragrant flower like stargazer lilies for that beautiful scent that floats through the room. Chamomile is also a natural happy pill. You can’t have a vase full of these bouncy, cheery flowers and not smile when you see them.
And declutter often. My husband said to me just the other day, “I don’t know how you can purge so often,” but the answer is simple. I do it on a rolling 90-day basis. If I haven’t used or worn something in three months and it’s not seasonal, I don’t likely need it. Decluttering and donating household items is an easy way to bring “freshness” into your space and peace of mind.
Restyle your shelves
Take everything off your shelves and countertops and give them a new home. Not only is this a fun weekend project, but it gives you the opportunity to mix things up without having to buy anything new. You don’t have to display all your belongings all the time. Rotate your collections and change up the look and vibe of your home.
Zone your space
A few years ago, The Wall Street Journal published a study that suggested we don’t actually need as much square footage as we think we do. I remember seeing this in the documentary, “Minimalism,” as well. They basically created a heat map that tracks where we spend our time in our homes, and a vast majority of it is underutilized. Now that we’re staying home by ourselves or with our family, you can reconfigure your space to make sense. Do you have nowhere to work because your living room was designed for having big movie nights with friends? Or maybe you had to have a dedicated dining room for Thanksgiving and family meals? Get creative with what you can use your space for. There are no rules. Who says a “dining room” can’t be a yoga room or a spare bedroom can’t be a conference room?
Keep it “ready”
If you’ve ever read It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys, which you should, you know that clutter causes stress. The concept is simple. Before you leave a space, take a few minutes to get it “back to ready.” Put pillows back, collect any belongings that don’t live there, etc. It should only take three or so minutes, at most. Save the big messes and clean up jobs (like the ones my 3-year-old tornado loves to make) for the end of the night.
If you’re going to be home for awhile, make it somewhere you want to be. Maybe you really love cooking and spending time in the kitchen? Invest in some beautiful cookware that will make you excited to whip up something tasty at the end of the workday. Or maybe you and your partner are binge-watching “Tiger King”? Get a quality soundbar or even a projector for outdoor movie nights. You know you’ll get use out of it, so you might as well invest in something that will make your home somewhere you want to be, even when you don’t necessarily have a choice.