Published on March 26, 2020
What not to do while housebound. We may be tempted to do all the things when stuck in our homes, but NOT doing these five things could save your sanity and help you successfully weather an extended time at home.
As a hardcore homebody, I consider time at home a blessing. I look forward to having time to tweak my decor, fluff pillows, rearrange furniture, and tackle home improvement projects. However, I’ve discovered that sometimes the things I love to do when I’m home cause stress, anxiety, and a feeling of insecurity for my family. So I’ve learned what not to do while housebound, and I hope these tips help you as much as they’ve helped me.
My Aha Moment
When we received the news that we were to “shelter in place” due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I came so close to diving head first into what seemed like a minor project…changing up the art on my staircase gallery wall. However, something made me pause and ask whether or not this would serve my family well. Sure, it would satisfy my itch, but I needed to think about how it would affect my husband and daughters. Unfortunately, I knew the answer. It would distract me, make the house seem chaotic, and leave a big, blank wall over our family room sofa (basically where we’re all living right now), which would feel cold instead of cozy.
Once this realization hit me, I started thinking about all of the other things I needed to tell myself not to do right now in the midst of so much change. I know the things I need to do to help my family through this time of uncertainty, but I can easily get distracted by the things that I want to do. You too? If you’re like me and want to maintain peace, order, and security in your home, but find that you are easily distracted by those fun ideas and pending projects staring you in the face all day while in quarantine, then this list of What Not to Do While Housebound is for you (and me…it’s for us!).
What Not to Do While Housebound
Rearrange All the Furniture: Our families need familiarity and comfort during this uncertain time. While it’s tempting to play around with furniture, this can feel uncomfortable for everyone in our homes, including pets. You know the members of your family best, so if your family is indifferent or loves changing things up constantly, then go for it. By and large though, our loved ones need the comfort of familiarity right now, even if we’re going stir crazy wanting change. Consider restyling your dresser, or a side table instead. I shared our recent dresser restyle HERE.
Start New Projects That Can’t Be Finished: With all the time at home that has been thrust upon us, the call of the DIY project list is strong. But now we’re all home school teachers, full-time cooks, household managers, and board game overseers. We must filter each home project through the lens of reality (one of my biggest weaknesses) and decide if it can be done in a reasonable amount of time without causing distress. I currently have several larger projects going that I’m chipping away at little by little. But I’m careful not to make a big mess, let it consume a large chunk of my time each day, or allow it to cause any tension between me and Jeff. And yes, those are the standard markers for home projects around here…I’m working on it. Perhaps a doable DIY, like these floating shelves or making your own frame, will tide you over until you can get to the bigger projects after quarantine.
Throw the Baby Out With the Bath Water: The flip side of not starting projects we can’t finish while housebound is not throwing the figurative baby out with the Covid-19 bath water. We’re having to throw out work, school, the gym, and any kind of routine we once depended upon. But panic can set in when too much changes too fast, so even though life as we know it has been turned upside down, we need to keep some normal and familiar activities going. Keep your cleaning schedule, laundry day, family game night, and weekly meal plans. If you were planning to change up your pillow covers, stick with that…some new covers will lift your mood. If you were hoping to work on a house project, either involve the whole family or allow them a break from you and get your DIY on solo if that helps you feel something familiar…something pre-Covid. Whatever the case, the only thing we should be throwing out right now is the all-or-nothing mindset that plagues so many perfectionists. Hang on to the baby!
Stop Making Beds: Are you a daily bed maker? It’s an on-again-off-again relationship for me, but ever since January, I’ve been committed, and it has made such a difference. We are creatures of habit, and if making our beds is the last bastion of the habits we had (or just started) before this pandemic, let’s hang onto it. It would be so easy to justify unmade beds during this time, but even if you’re making the bed at 2:00 in the afternoon, it’s a familiar ritual and a way to keep your mind organized in the midst of chaos. It’s mundane, yes, but a made bed is so satisfying to crawl into at the end of all the days that are running together. It is comfort, plain and simple, so we shouldn’t stop doing it, especially now. I shared HERE how we recently added custom drapes to our master bedroom, and it elevated the space so much that I love making our bed every morning.
Get Discouraged With Our Homes: Okay, this one is hard. On the one hand, we are in a position to practice so much gratitude for the shelter our homes are providing all of us right now. On the other hand, all the flaws and unfinished projects in our homes are staring us in the face all day, every day. I love the idea that we “need to be thankful for what we have,” but honestly, a lot of times my heart and mind just aren’t there. So, I’ve come up with ways to physically help my heart and head get there. I clean, fluff, organize, and style any space that I want to change someday. The act of taking care of something you don’t really like somehow changes your attitude toward it. Again, if making changes to your home is reasonable and doable during this quarantine, then I say go for it. But for those who simply cannot focus on projects or afford to make changes right now, implementing a little more than just an attitude of gratitude will go a long way in helping us not get discouraged with our homes. I wrote a blog post called How to Love Your Home While Waiting to Renovate, and I think it’s appropriate for this strange situation we’re all in right now.
That’s my global pandemic advice for you…what not to do while housebound. And the only reason I’m an authority on this subject is because I have repeatedly done the things I just told you not to do. I’ve learned from my mistakes though, and have found surefire ways to combat my own impulsiveness and win the mental battle with my home. I certainly do not have it all together as far as what to do while we’re navigating this uncharted territory, but I sure as heck know what not to do in order to maintain peace in my home and keep my marriage in tact.
All joking aside, I hope you’re healthy, making the best of being quarantined, and enjoying all the blessings of home.