“I’m sooooo sick of every single thing in this %&*$# house.”
“I am doing the VERY SAME THING EVERY SINGLE DAY WITHOUT A CHANGE OF SCENERY!!”
Do these sentiments sound familiar? They are actual texts I have received from friends who are, like you and me, stuck in our homes for (what feels like) the rest of our lives. UGH!
Here are a few things you can do for very little money (most for $0) to change up your safer-at-home life.
But! Before I get into these fixes, where would you move to if you could move anywhere in the world to escape the madness?
I’m picking Zermatt, Switzerland all the way. We were there last August and I’ve never felt more organized and clean. I stole the hotel soap so I could smell organized vibes on my hands for as long as possible.
Free ideas to try
If you are going crazy and your mind gets in a negative spiral from the news; or thoughts of covid-19; or the idea of being home for the foreseeable future, here are some free and easy ways to switch things up.
These ideas may seem silly or like they won’t work. But HOW DO YOU KNOW? until you try them?
- Start wearing a new perfume. Olfactory senses are no joke. Find a perfume or body wash sample in some forgotten bathroom drawer you could try. If you hate it, throw it away! (This is an organizing blog, after all.) But if you like it even a little bit, use it. Use it all the time. Smell it. Get lost in the smell of it. This is your quarantine scent. You are exotic. You are different. You smell different. Hmmmm…. Interesting.
- Part or style your hair slightly differently. Instead of the ponytail, try an elastic headband. Keep it comfortable. I’m not advocating for a lot of time and effort. Just find something a little different. Don’t get mad when your partner doesn’t notice. This is about you taking initiative to make a subtle change in your stay-at-home life. You are killing it!
- Memorize a poem. This one helped me SO MUCH. Whenever I’d find myself in a negative thought spiral I would try to recite the poem in my head. My friend, Nancy, is a professor of literature. She recommended these poems to me: “Welcome Morning” by Anne Sexton; “Those winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden; “Some Days” by Billy Collins; and “Don’t talk to me about cruelty” by Lucille Clifton. I would add to this list, “Wish“ and “Listen” by Edwina Gateley. Sonnets by Shakespeare are another great option.
I printed out one poem at a time and taped it up in my bathroom so I’d stare at it a few times a day. Only work on 2 lines at a time.
- Take a vow of silence. Try this for an hour at a time. Your family will freak out. (I love that part!) Maybe you can do this for an entire day. Please tell me about that experience.
- Put your nic nacs in boxes. Take them ALL down. Put all the tchotchkes away and bring them back out (if you want to) in a few months. Family photos, kid artwork, bric-a-brac from your relatives and trips you’ve been on; all of it gets boxed up to give you less visual clutter to think about.
- Write or draw on your windows and/or mirrors. Use glass markers (cheap to get online) to write silly or inspirational things on your glass surfaces. These will work on many surfaces: on the hood above your stove, your fridge, on your glass shower doors, and even on your front door window panes. Write daily affirmations for yourself or your family “You are my favorite”, “I’m right where I’m meant to be”, “Think of 2 things I appreciate about my family”.
- Put your phone charger in another room. I’ve heard this advice so many times! But I never actually took it until this quarantine situation. I now plug my phone in a bathroom outlet. The last thing I think about before I close my eyes is NOT whether or not my kids will ever go back to real school.
- Change where you sleep. Switch sides with your partner or even your kid. Sleep with your head at the foot of your bed (This really works to help insomnia.) Or sleep on the couch for a while to appreciate your bed.
- Dress up. Maybe for Saturday night. Maybe for Sunday morning. The whole family (if they’ll do it).
- Call an old person who loves you. Your grandparents would love to hear from you IRL. Use your voice and call them.
- An information fast. Turn off the news or social media for 1-5 days. This one has also been very effective for me. You hear about it. You think about it. Well, now is the time to DO IT! Everything is horrible. Nothing is going to change that much in 5 days. Just take a break.
- Rearrange your furniture. This one feels the hardest to many people, but it will really shift your thinking when you are stuck at home. You can change bedrooms with another family member or just move the couch to a different wall. It may sound ridiculous, but it will really help you not feel as stuck in monotony.
Pick one or two of these ideas and try them this week. Don’t think you have to do them all, just take a little sample.
If you have any other free/cheap ideas to deal with staying inside your house for months on end, please tell us in the comments.
Thanks for reading and sharing with your friends (who are probably just as bored in their house as you are in yours!)