Here you are practicing social distancing and quarantined at home. I’ve seen a Facebook post about having always wanted time to clean the house but now discovering that it’s not time that is needed. Oh, so true!
So, what should you be doing with this newfound time? Netflix, home school, read, meditate, spend quality family time together? Absolutely! I try to find silver linings in difficult times and all of the above are certainly great examples of that. It’s also an ideal time to rethink your priorities so that when life returns to “normal”, and it will, you know with certainty what you want to bring back into your life and what you didn’t need or miss.
Between newfound time on your hands plus spring cleaning season, perhaps you do want to do tackle some home organizing projects. Not sure where to begin? Here is a list of my top picks for these current times, along with some tips on how to see them through to completion:
- Spring and warmer weather are here so visit those closets! What winter clothes didn’t get worn? Assessing while it’s still fresh in your mind is ideal. If you need to switch out your summer and winter wardrobes, now is the time to do so. But don’t feel like you need to do it all at one time! Sure, you have all day, all night and all weekend to do it with no place to go. Go through shirts today and pants tomorrow. Shoes the day after and sweaters the next day. Lather, rinse and repeat with your childrens’ closets as well.
- Your pantry may be exploding. Between stocking up as many of us did and everyone going in and out of it throughout the day, give it an overhaul. One shelf or category at a time, make sure opened bags of food are sealed well. Check expiration dates. Ensure like items are housed near each other with typical categories being breakfast foods, pasta and rice, canned goods, sauces and condiments, snacks, baking, paper products. Gather unused bins from around the house to contain items and then label the bins/shelves to ensure everyone knows what category goes where.
- Spring also calls for outdoor sports and activities. So, hit the garage – open up the doors, pull the cars out (assuming you have cars parked in your garage), pull everything out and attack! Lay down blankets or garbage bags and create categories along the lines of sports, gardening, tools, car supplies, outdoor activities and the like. Purge sticky, yucky, rusty, unusable items. Assess the keepers, assign each category to a place in the garage and label away so everyone knows where everything lives.
4. Does your playroom look like Toys R Us blew up in there? Ok, no longer Toys R Us but Learning Express and Target’s toy department? You want nothing more than to keep the kids occupied while you do your work, but it’s stress in the making if the kids can’t find all the pieces or even their favorite toy. And uncovering lost or forgotten items in the process will be a hit, as they will feel like they just unwrapped birthday presents. Make piles of games and puzzles, learning toys, building toys, stuffed animals, dolls, trucks and other modes of transportation, animals, balls, craft supplies and small miscellaneous toys such as Rubik’s cubes, Slinkies, etc. Reclaim bins and assign categories to each. Consider whether all toys go together or if you want to make separate areas of the room for different ages, genders, etc. And of course don’t forget the labels; print clip art pictures for the little ones!
No matter which project you opt for, and perhaps it will be one not listed above, make it fun! Involve the entire family, turn on the music, make it a game, and have treats available when you are done. If you should choose that it’s best for you to tackle without little ones or spouses making it even harder, then be sure to give them a tour of the pantry/garage/play room when you are done. Lay down new ground rules for maintaining it moving forward.
Now one of the challenges we are facing is that many donation organizations are not accepting donations at this time. Call your favorite charity and see, as some may need more donations now than ever before. Other options would be to set aside a less traveled area of your home to keep them temporarily. Post items on Facebook or Next Door, which can be available for pick up from your front porch.
I would be a very rich woman if I got a quarter every time one of my clients said, “Why can’t I do this on my own?” or “Why do I need you next to me in order for this to get done?” Well, being stuck at home may very well not make this struggle disappear. But, chunk it down, make it fun, set a timer and only work on it for 15 minutes if you need to.
If all else fails, take a deep breath and know that I am available to assist virtually and this quarantine will end. And, when that day comes, I will be ready, willing and able to dash on over and make it happen with you.
Hang in there everyone! Try to make the best of this stressful situation and spend time in the areas that you always wanted more time for. Best wishes to you and your families and hoping you all stay healthy – both mentally and physically!