10 ways to improve your home in self-isolation

You’ve enjoyed the lie-ins, finished reading that novel and Zoomed with everyone you can think of… now what do you do? How about using the extra time to spruce up your pad?

Most of us have a list of jobs that need to be done around the house that never seem to get done. If you’re stuck at home there’s never been a better time to start ticking them off one by one. If you have kids at home you could get them involved as a practical homeschooling project or as a way of tearing them away from their screens.

Spring clean the place. In the busyness of life it’s easy to just surface clean our homes, but it can feel really good to get a spring clean going, especially at this time of year. Take one room or area at a time, and if possible take everything out so you can get to every nook and cranny. Then clean each item as you put it back in, leaving out anything you no longer need or use.

Have a good clear-out. Pay particular attention to areas where clutter has been locked away out of sight. Give your wardrobes, kitchen cupboards and garage/shed some attention. Perhaps you could donate unwanted items to people who really need them, or if you’re strapped for cash stick them on a sale/auction site. It’ll be easier to keep things clean and tidy in future if you get rid of anything you don’t need now.

Give it a fresh lick of paint. Decorating your home can really help to breathe new life into it. Perhaps you’ve had the same decor for many years, or the purpose of a room has changed (ie from nursery to study). Have some fun looking at colour swatches and work out what would best complement your furniture and furnishings. Or perhaps those need updating too…

Empty the laundry bin. Sometimes it feels as though the laundry bin is like a bottomless pit. The second you’ve washed that last sock someone goes and sticks another load in the basket. Now is the perfect time to get everything washed, dried, ironed (if necessary) and put away. Get the whole family involved so it doesn’t all rest on one person. You may as well get bedding, curtains, cushions, bathmats, picnic blankets and anything else that can go in the machine done and dusted while the momentum is there.

Do some DIY. Now’s the time to get that flat-pack furniture sorted, fix the bathtub or put those shelves up in that badly organised cupboard. This can be a great way to teach kids about reading instructions and working as a team as well as the practical details of using tools and adhering to health and safety rules.

Set up a decent work/study space. If you or your children are currently working from the kitchen table or living room floor, it’s probably time to think about a better system. If you have a room that isn’t used much, or even part of a room, set up a dedicated desk space that won’t have to be packed away every time you want to eat or play. Try to make it as comfortable and conducive to working/studying as possible so it doesn’t feel like a punishment whenever you’re using it. Stick up a few pictures or inspirational quotes to keep you going.

Pay attention to your outside space. If you have a garden, get the lawnmower out and pull up the weeds. Think about changing the layout, incorporating seating or adding more colour. If you don’t have a garden, why not add window boxes or hanging baskets to brighten up the doorway? Get the family outdoors to help you out and boost vitamin D levels. Give everything a good clean and tidy so your home is as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside.