Your need to quarantine might not be over just because you are vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should still isolate yourself after exposure to someone with COVID-19 if you develop symptoms. While breakthrough infections are rare, they do occur. However, if you got your “Fauci ouchie,” you might not feel all that sick. Here are nine productive things that you can do in quarantine to spruce up the old homestead and feel less like you’re stuck on the world’s most boring vacation.
Why not do a good deed with your extra time? Chances are, your closet is a treasure trove of items you kept in case you fit into them someday — like those awful skinny jeans that leave you feeling like a tick about to pop.
Improve your self-esteem and perform an act of kindness by sorting through that mess and donating what you no longer need. Organize everything into three piles: to keep, to donate or sell and to recycle or repurpose. Old T-shirts make delightful cleaning rags, and the environment will thank you for felling fewer trees for paper towels.
When Kiplinger asked homebuyers what made their wishlist, garage storage space ranked among them. Why not use this time to invest in and construct those shelves you always meant to build?
It doesn’t take much money or construction savvy to hang a piece of pegboard for organizing your garden tools. Locking cabinets or tall shelves above your garage door provide space for keeping antifreeze and other dangerous chemicals out of tiny hands.
When was the last time you gave your fridge a deep clean? Leaving it dirty fosters bacterial growth that can make your weekly produce go bad more quickly.
Save your strawberries by taking everything out of your fridge and wiping down the interior with a vinegar solution to kill germs without using sketchy chemicals near your food. Toss anything that seems questionable or lacks an expiration date. Defrost your freezer and update your labeling system on those goodies you prep each week.
Dirty grout can make your floor and kitchen and bathroom tiles look dingy. Why not whip out the old toothbrush and get to work with your extra time?
Here, too, you can DIY to save money and protect the planet. Some people swear by a vinegar and baking soda solution, while others prefer hydrogen peroxide.
You want to get the germs out of your home — especially if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. Use this time to get a breath of fresh air. As summer segues to fall, now is the time to throw open every window and run ceiling and attic fans to improve circulation.
Ensure you aren’t just blowing dust around your home when you do. Swap out your air filter and make a schedule so that you don’t forget future changes. Get out the stepladder and dust those ceiling fans before you set them on blast. If your climate demands it, switch them to their heat-saving winter settings while you’re up on the ladder.
With Old Man Winter on the way, you don’t want to bleed your heating bill out your windows and doors. Now is the time to check the weatherstripping around each entryway and replace that which has grown worn.
It’s also time to whip out the caulk gun. Ask your local hardware store representative which variety is best to use for your style of windows and general climate.
Flowers left to rot in otherwise barren soil paint a bleak picture for your home’s visitors. You can still use them as mulch — but rake them into the beds and tidy it up for next year’s planting.
Now’s also the time to inspect any trees and bushes on your property. You should trim hedges no higher than three feet to deter theft. Keep tree limbs 20 feet away from your home. You might need to hire a professional to handle large branches — but it’s better than having one come through your picture window during a storm.
Is your coffee table a mess of rings no polish will remove? Before you haul that valuable lumber away to the landfill, consider what a few hours and a fresh coat of finish could do.
You can pick up furniture paint relatively inexpensively, and the chalk variety is simple enough for novices to master. A coat of clear finish afterward will have your furniture looking like new for a fraction of what you’d pay for a new armoire.
Don’t wait until the next time you relocate to rediscover what lurks above and below. If your attic or basement is a treasure trove of mystery boxes, why not start going through that stuff now?
Why? Well, you could come up with extra holiday cash, for one. Maybe you never used that still-in-the-box breadmaker your aunt got you for Christmas, but it could delight a yard sale customer as a downright steal. Two, you might clear up space to build a home office retreat that lets you concentrate far more effectively than you can at your kitchen table.
You weren’t procrastinating on the chores above — you were simply waiting for the right time. Tackle these nine productive things in quarantine, and those two weeks of isolation will leave you feeling accomplished!