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While on lockdown: 10 simple home projects you can do

With Luzon on lockdown to help combat the spread of COVID-19, many of us may be adjusting to the sudden isolation, cabin fever, anxiety, and boredom about the pandemic.

Aside from keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe, staying home 24/7 is the perfect opportunity to improve your space or launch on a DIY project you’ve been putting off for years.

Here are some ideas to get you going. All this manual activity will help you momentarily forget your fears, plus you don’t need to go out to buy extra stuff to do these. 

1. Disinfect your home

Photo by Jeshoots on Unsplash
Photo by Jeshoots on Unsplash

This should be first on your to-do list to minimize contamination. Frequently touched surfaces should be disinfected first: door knobs, hand rails, remote controls, gadgets, kitchen counters, and tabletops.

Disinfect your shoes at the door. If your spray disinfectant is out of stock, mix four teaspoons of household bleach and one-quart water; pour into a large spray bottle. Pro-tip: Test first on a small spot as bleach may cause the color to run.

2. Set up your work from home spot properly

If you think that placing a laptop on your bed is your best work from home (WFH) setup, sorry but you are mistaken.

Aside from the temptation to take a nap and then one more, working from bed is not ergonomically sound. Your back would ache.

Place a study desk or a dining table in a well-lit, quiet part of your home to help you focus. Add an extension cord, use an ergonomic office chair (a comfy upright dining chair is also OK). And when doing conference video calls, make sure your background is clean and uncluttered. No sampayan, please! 

RELATED: How to work from home like a boss

3. De-clutter your closet


Sarah Brown on Unsplash
Sarah Brown on Unsplash

Even if we won’t be going out for a while, organize your wardrobe to maximize storage space. Purge all items you haven’t worn in a year and set these aside for a future garage sale. Consider donating them, too.

Put all your fancy and evening clothes plus travel outfits in a separate storage or in a box underneath your bed. Place all your pambahay at the front and center, with a few nice office shirts for that occasional Zoom conference call. 

4. Organize all your important documents

You have all the time now to locate and organize your VIPs (Very Important Papers). Compile and file your marriage and baptismal certificates, passports, lot titles, bonds, ITRs in labelled plastic folders.

Scan them and save digital copies to your hard drive. Show all your family members where these envelopes are, so that they could locate it and place it in your Go Bag in case of an emergency. 

5. Re-arrange your living room — or bedroom or any other room


Wes Hicks on Unsplash
Wes Hicks on Unsplash

Since no one could go out to shop for new furniture, stick with what you have and get a fresh new look by simply rearranging your pieces.

Consider placing your sofa and armchairs on the diagonal, bring a study nook closer to the window, or transfer a console table to the other side of the foyer. You’ll be surprised that your home will look brand new, or feel more spacious. 

6. Purge your kitchen cabinets

Take out all the items from your kitchen cabinets. Clean and disinfect the shelves, and store the items in different cabinets per category: small kitchen appliances altogether, canned and dry goods, cooking tools, and so on. Dispose any expired items.

Grocery runs are becoming exceedingly challenging, so place your older canned goods in the front, so you will reach for these first, and know when you’re running low.

7. Deep-clean your bathroom

This could be a tiring and potentially disgusting chore, but now is the time to tackle it. Clean wall and floor tiles with a tile or all-purpose cleaner, deep-clean the grout with bleach. Pour cleaning solution or bleach in the toilet bowl, let sit for an hour, scrub and flush. Give the shower curtain a spin in the washing machine, and throw away old toiletries. As a last touch, disinfect all surfaces on your way out.  

8. Make a gallery wall


Photo by Walljoyce McCown on Unsplash
Photo by Walljoyce McCown on Unsplash

Especially during these distressing times, why not tackle that empty wall and decorate it artwork and photos that make you smile? It’ll be a while before we could travel again, so frame your best travel photos to admire.

If you’re renting and are not allowed to nail anything on the walls, stick your posters or postcards onto the wall with leftover washi tape from your last bazaar run.

9. Level up: repair and refinish your furniture

If you’re not afraid of a bit of elbow grease, launching a furniture restoration project is perfect at this time. Refinish or repaint an old chair or table (just use leftover house paint or stain). This project could be as practical as replacing missing drawer pulls, oiling squeaky closet hinges, re-sanding, or polishing wood furniture. 

10. Create a meditative space

Everyone should take care of their mental health, especially when each news announcement is filled with gloom and doom. The extended isolation could also cause the blues to settle in. Set aside a quiet corner in your home for your meditative space; like a spot facing a window. Add a cozy chair, or even just a floor pillow to sit down on. Meditate, sip a comforting cup of tea, and be grateful that you are alive. — LA, GMA News