11 Household Projects You Can Get Done While Stuck at Home
If you’re stuck in house right now, wondering how you’re going to get through the next 30 days with your sanity intact, you’re not alone.
Millions of Americans – and billions around the world – are right here with you. Fortunately, nobody said you have to just sit there on the couch all day, watching the television 24/7 and worrying about things that are beyond your control.
You’ve got options – positive, productive, helpful options.
So whether you’re doing a little self-quarantine while things blow over or are bunkering down in your basement for a full-blown zombie apocalypse, here are 11 small household projects to keep you busy for the next few weeks.
1. Clean Out Your Closets
Your closets are one of the best places to start with your annual spring cleaning. And you don’t have to start with your walk-in master bedroom closet. Start small. Start with that little linen closet in the hallway. You know the one – the one so packed with extra sheets, pillows and blankets that the door is bulging out and threatening to pop the hinges right off the door jam.
Start with that one. Grab a big plastic bag and fill it with the items that you haven’t used in ages. You won’t even miss them.
Then move onto the next closet. Rinse and repeat.
2. Organize Your Home Office
If you thought it felt good to reorganize your closets and downsize your stash of unused blankets and clothes that haven’t fit since the Clinton administration – just wait and see how good it feels to organize your home office.
Start with your desk. You have stacks of old junk mail and piles of who knows what covering your entire desk, don’t you?
Take everything off the desk and put it on the floor.
Congrats! You’re only ten seconds in, and you already have a clean desk!
Now handle one pile of stuff at a time. Handle each piece of paper only one time. Put away every item you touch. Put it away where it belongs, scan it, file it, shred it or trash it. Don’t just start creating another pile.
Now move on to the next pile. Rinse and repeat.
3. Clean Out and Organize Your Garage or Storage Shed
Okay, now it’s time to bust out the big guns. If you have kids, this is what they’re for. This is why you kept feeding them and wiping their bums all these years – it’s payback time!
Of course, you’ll need to get in there with them and get your hands dirty too. That’s what good parents do – lead by example.
If you have a garage and a basement and an attic and a storage shed out back – don’t overwhelm yourself. Just tackle one at a time. If you only do the shed and garage this season, that’s fantastic. That’s a lot of work. You’ll get the others next season.
4. Spring Cleanup in Your Yard
With the arrival of warmer spring temperatures, you’ll want to get your yard in shape too so that you can enjoy some family time out there. In case you missed it, we detailed several areas you should focus on for a spring yard cleanup. Here are the highlights:
- Pick up dead leaves and branches
- Trim trees and shrubs
- Mow and edge lawn
- Spread grass fertilizer and pre-emergent
- Clean rain gutters
- Overseed lawn
- Plant new bulbs
- Clean patio
If you’re not the kind of person who likes to yard cleanup yourself, take a look at how much a landscaper costs for springtime yard cleanup.
5. Pressure Wash Driveways and Sidewalks
If you rented a pressure washer or hired a company to pressure wash your patio and walkways in the backyard – then you might as well do double-duty and tackle the driveway and front sidewalks as well.
If your driveway has some cracks or other damages, you might also want to get some estimates for repairing or repaving. Sure, this might not be the best time to take on this potentially expensive project. But on the bright side, contractors might be willing to shell out some sweet discounts in the coming weeks. It doesn’t hurt to ask for a free estimate and ask to be notified of future discounts.
6. Wash Windows Inside and Out
Washing your windows and screens really makes a big difference in your home’s appearance, both inside and out. If you haven’t tackled this job in years, you’ll be amazed at how much sunlight pours into your home.
If you use central air year-round, you might just leave the window screens off completely and store them away in your newly-cleaned garage for safekeeping.
7. Empty Refrigerator and Clean Thoroughly
Thoroughly cleaning your fridge and de-icing the freezer is a big job, but it’s worth the effort. You’ll probably end up tossing out a bunch of food that was pushed to the back and bottom areas where they were long-forgotten.
Just throw them out. You’ll get over it. And the cold air will actually circulate better to keep everything else fresher with those spoiled items removed.
8. Do Some Deep Cleaning and Sanitizing
If you’re one of the lucky households to get their hands on sanitizing wipes, disinfectant sprays and paper towels these days, count your blessings and put those cleaning supplies to good use.
Hit the kitchen and bathrooms first, since these high-traffic areas tend to collect germs quickly. Work from top to bottom and use every cleaner at your disposal – degreasers, disinfectants, tile cleaners and metal and wood polishers.
When cleaning the floors, be sure to pull out major appliances like the fridge and dishwasher and clean those hidden areas too.
You might also need to clean out or switch out filters for the washing machine, clothes dryer and HVAC system. Follow manufacturer’s recommendations and cleaning schedules.
9. Recycle, Donate or Sell Unused Items
With all this closet cleaning and garage organizing, you should have several boxes and bags designated for donation, recycle or selling at this point.
With social distancing best practices in mind, a garage sale or yard sale isn’t ideal. But you can certainly sell items one by one online. And you’ll likely get a much better price selling them this way too.
Whatever doesn’t sell goes to recycle or donation.
10. DIY Home Repairs and Upgrades
Now take a walk around the house, do a quick DIY exterior home inspection and jot down all the little things that need fixing – or just ask your spouse for that dreaded “Honey-Do” list. You’ve likely got enough small DIY home repair projects to keep you busy for a while.
Aw, cheer up, Buttercup! You knew that leaky shower head wasn’t going to fix itself! Today is the day.
11. Get Ready to BBQ
Doing “something fun” is one of the best household cures for boredom, and even most kids tend to agree that cooking and eating outdoors can be a lot of fun. Who says you have to wait for summer? Here are some quick steps to take to get your grill ready.
- Burn residue off grill
- Soak grates and flavorizer bars
- Vacuum firebox with wet/dry shop vac
- Scrub everything thoroughly
- Wash and wipe exterior
Whether you’re working remotely, social distancing or just staying home for the heck of it, there are plenty of small cleaning, maintenance and repair projects around the house that could use some attention. Even if you only get a few of these items checked off your list, it’ll feel pretty good.
So go round up the family and figure out a plan of attack. Then get everyone pitching in together to take care of these projects and take pride in your home.