BY Erin Davis – owner of Mosaik Design & Remodeling in Portland Oregon.
With social distancing orders in place across the country, many of us are hunkering down at home. The longer you spend at home, the more likely you’re starting to nitpick everything about your space. You know what will help? A home makeover project.
Below is a list of easy, but impactful home improvement projects that can alleviate cabin fever and increase enjoyment of your space.
Remember: Now is not the time to visit stores for non-essential items. It’s possible to enhance your home without buying anything new. In a pinch, placing an online order for pickup or delivery from a local business will help support the community and bring your project to life.
1. Conduct the Ultimate Spring Cleaning
Past spring cleaning efforts have been valiant—this year, take it to a new level.
Depending on how long it’s been since your last cleaning, this project may take some time. Thankfully, time is something we have a lot of right now! There are plenty of ways you can go about a deep cleaning and decluttering project.
Move top to bottom—start with your walls and windows and work your way down, before moving further into your home. Using an all purpose cleaner, wipe down your ceiling (if you can reach), crown molding, walls, cupboards, kitchen appliances and baseboards.
On the way down, give your windows a good cleaning (both inside and out), dusting blinds and shades, and washing anything that’s machine washable, like your curtains. And don’t forget about wiping down shelves and other built-ins.
Finally, take a vacuum to your vents and suck out any debris or dust that’s been gathering there. This is also a good time to change your HVAC filter, if you haven’t in a while.
2. Focus on One Room at a Time
Taking this project one room at a time provides mini goals to keep you motivated. In each room, conduct a thorough cleaning, decluttering, sorting, purging and organizing. Don’t forget about:
- Kitchen, office, bathroom drawers
- Under the bed
- Garage, attic, shed
Label and organize—look for better ways to store your belongings. Baskets, containers, new folding methods and labels will make it easier to keep track of things and keep your space looking clean for a long time.
Getting rid of things you no longer use is a great way to declutter and ensure your home is filled with things that bring you joy. Set items aside until you can take them to a donation center. When done right, cleaning and decluttering can make your space feel brand new. It’s worth the effort.
3. Create New Spaces (or Zones) in Your Home
Your day-to-day life has probably changed quite a bit recently. How can your home better fit this new way of life? Take stock of what supplies and unused pieces of furniture you have laying around the home. Consider how you can use these pieces to create new and useful spaces.
Depending on the space in your home and the items you have, your options are limitless. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Bar and beverage area
- Reading nook
- Desk or office space for working from home or for the kids to do homework
- Game area for storing puzzles, board games or crafts
- Space to store your workout supplies
4. Try a New Furniture Arrangement
When you’re getting bored of your space, rearranging furniture is one of the fastest and easiest ways to refresh your home! There are so many creative ways to optimize the furniture in your home. You’ll have to play around a bit to find out what sort of new arrangement works best in your space.
Here are a few additional rearrangement ideas to get you started and inspire your refresh:
- Move decorations and accent pieces to different parts of the home
- Organize your books by color or size
- Swap out throw pillows and blankets
- Switch up artwork
- Try using different pieces for different purposes—for example, maybe a side table becomes a plant or lamp stand
- If you have paint sitting around, paint a piece of furniture a new color
5. Try New Linens, Pillows, Blankets and Rugs
If you have additional linens saved for guests or different seasons, now is the time to bring them out and swap out your current arrangements. A new duvet cover, accent pillows or blankets in the bedroom and around the home can help your space feel new.
If you don’t have extra pieces laying around, try swapping these items from room to room.
Changing area rugs, in particular, can bring a whole new look to your home. You can also use this time to browse online and figure out what items you’d like to purchase from your home in the future.
6. Upgrade Your Yard
If you have a yard, deck or patio, now is a great time to make sure it’s a comfortable and functional space. There are so many simple things you can do to immediately improve this space and make it a place you enjoy spending time in:
- Scrub outdoor furniture, wipe down patio rugs, wash cushions and pillows
- Rake and sweep any leaves, dirt and other debris
- Remove moss
- Do some weeding and mow your lawn
- Hang outdoor lights
- Plant flowers
- Start a vegetable or herb garden
If you don’t have some of the items needed to improve your yard, chances are you can easily obtain these items from neighbors while maintaining a safe distance.
7. Conduct Minor Repairs
Examine your home and make a list of all the repairs that are needed. Even if you work consistently to maintain your space, chances are there are a few outstanding projects you haven’t had time to get around to.
This is a great time to tackle those minor projects—particularly the ones that you can do all on your own. Many homeowners have used this time to:
- Re-caulk tile
- Touch-up paint
- Replace lightbulbs
- Repair broken fences
- Fix squeaky doors
- Oil wood cutting boards and kitchen tools
- Tighten loose fixtures
8. Start Planning for the Future
If you’d like to make bigger upgrades to your home in the future, now is an excellent time to start planning! Maybe working with a home remodeler isn’t possible for you right now—you can still use this time to make progress on future plans:
- Make a list of what you’re dreaming about for your home
- Talk to your family about what changes and upgrades they dream about
- Create a Pinterest or Houzz account to save ideas
- Consider how much you’ll be able to budget for this project, when the time is right
- Research design-build companies and contact them to learn more about their services
You’re likely spending a lot more time than usual at your home, so you have an excellent pulse on what’s working and what needs improvement. Take advantage of this opportunity to dream big and think about what sort of changes will benefit you and your family most.