Monday, 30 March 2020

Home improvements to do while you're stuck indoors

Home renovation projects you can complete while self isolating or on lockdown during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. From upcycling to decluttering and spring cleaning, getting your garden ready for spring and using scrap wood to create kitchen shelves, there's lots you can be doing to occupy yourself and get your house looking great during this time.

This is a strange old time isn't it. Now I'm definitely a home bird, and love nothing more than spending a weekend cracking on with home projects, but the thought of being unable to leave the house for weeks feels really overwhelming doesn't it? However, there are so many positives to be had from this experience, and I'm trying my hardest to see them.

So here's some DIY and home improvement projects which you've probably been putting off for months, and can finally get on with during lockdown. Better yet, all use things you either already own, or can buy cheaply online - so no need to venture outside either.

Get your garden in shape - This is really the perfect time to start on an outdoor project. Weed your borders, clean up your patio, and mow the lawn. With nice weather round the corner, you'll want to get out in the fresh air as much as possible, so get that outdoor space looking beautiful, and somewhere you want to spend lots of space. How about planting some seeds in pots to create your own vegetable patch? It's a simple, budget way of growing your own food, and fun for the little ones too. We recently planted lettuce, carrots, peas and sweetcorn seeds for the first time, so fingers crossed they'll make an appearance soon. Now is also the time to plant potatoes, and April is the last chance to sow tomato seeds as they need a long growing period.

If you want to fill your garden with colour choose Poppies, Cosmos and Sweet Peas, which need to be seeded in March/April to flower this summer.

Home renovation projects you can complete while self isolating or on lockdown during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. From upcycling to decluttering and spring cleaning, getting your garden ready for spring and using scrap wood to create kitchen shelves, there's lots you can be doing to occupy yourself and get your house looking great during this time.

If you don't have a garden, how about potting up some tulip and daffodil bulbs in pots on your windowsill, or planting up a window box with herbs? All these things can be bought online, so you won't need to venture into public either. Make sure you choose somewhere that receives lots of light so your plants can flourish.

Home renovation projects you can complete while self isolating or on lockdown during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. From upcycling to decluttering and spring cleaning, getting your garden ready for spring and using scrap wood to create kitchen shelves, there's lots you can be doing to occupy yourself and get your house looking great during this time.

Paint the fence - My number one most dreaded chore all year, and the one that somehow comes round faster than all the others. This is the perfect time to do get this done though, you'll be able to admire your handiwork all Spring/Summer, and it'll get you out and into the fresh air too. I always think this is the first step in getting the garden sorted for the warmer months, its crazy how much difference a freshly painted fence can make to the overall look of your outdoor space. Can you tell I'm trying to talk myself into this one?!

Venturing inside, how about starting with touching up all the paint and woodwork around the house that might need doing. Get rid of those sticky fingerprints and scribbles, and freshen everything up in time for Spring. Plus the good thing about this is I'm sure you've got some leftover paint in the shed, so you can get cracking on this one straight away.

Deep clean everywhere - maybe this is the perfect opportunity to get your house Spring cleaned and ready for the rest of the year. I've recently put together a daily cleaning plan called '28-days to a Clean & Clutter-free Home', which splits all the tasks you need to get done into manageable twenty minute tasks. You can download your free copy here. This really is the time to get your spring cleaning done though, and keep germs at bay. Although if your house is anything like mine at the moment, then you'll already be picking up after your kids every half an hour...

Whilst you're there, try to sort through any drawers or cupboards you come across. A boring task, I know, but one that you'll thank yourself for doing. This was my big project last year - you can read my tips for decluttering and reorganising all your kitchen cupboards here - and has made a huge difference to the way I feel about my much-hated kitchen.

Home renovation projects you can complete while self isolating or on lockdown during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. From upcycling to decluttering and spring cleaning, getting your garden ready for spring and using scrap wood to create kitchen shelves, there's lots you can be doing to occupy yourself and get your house looking great during this time.

Perhaps a strange one, but how about sorting your photos out? If you're anything like me you'll have 12,000 photos saved on your camera roll, and you'd rather increase your iCloud storage every month than face sorting them out. Well this might be the best opportunity to go through and delete all those screenshots for recipes you're never going to make. While you're there, pick out some lovely recent snaps, print them out (or order from an online photo printing service), and get them framed up and create a gallery wall feature. You can find my gallery wall DIY tutorial here, complete with measurements - perfect for a filling a boring blank wall.

Upcycle a piece of furniture currently sitting in your shed, or one that you've fallen out of love with.  Usually I would recommend scouring the second-hand furniture shops, or eBay/Gumtree to find a bargain to take your paintbrush to. However, now we're in lockdown why not transform something you already own? Even melamine and lacquered MDF can get the upcycling treatment - I transformed by super ugly built in wardrobes a couple of years ago, and its still one of those DIYs I can't believe I didn't do sooner. You can find paint and brushes online - I used Zinsser 123 primer to cover everything, including the glass panels, and then finished off with a top coat of grey emulsion - there was no sanding needed at all! It took a weekend in total, but is so worth the effort if you're living with something a piece of furniture that you hate the look of.

Home renovation projects you can complete while self isolating or on lockdown during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. From upcycling to decluttering and spring cleaning, getting your garden ready for spring and using scrap wood to create kitchen shelves, there's lots you can be doing to occupy yourself and get your house looking great during this time.
Full step-by-step wardrobe makeover is here

Use wood off-cuts laying around in the shed to DIY your own kitchen shelves - I did this in both our kitchen and downstairs loo last year, and its a really easy, budget way of transforming a boring corner. I used scraps of pine, stained them with a oak stain and put up using metal brackets I found in IKEA. This is probably the simplest DIY I've done in our home, and a super cheap way of creating faux-scaffold board shelves, which can be expensive - and you'll need to visit a local timber yard for.

Home renovation projects you can complete while self isolating or on lockdown during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. From upcycling to decluttering and spring cleaning, getting your garden ready for spring and using scrap wood to create kitchen shelves, there's lots you can be doing to occupy yourself and get your house looking great during this time.

Clean out the cupboard under stairs - This might be the time to finally do that chore you've been putting off for years. Have a brutal de-clutter - anything you haven't used in years has to go. If you can clear out the whole cupboard, and find other places for the things you want to keep, then I'm sure you could use this space better? How about a boot room - storage for all those coats, bags and shoes currently cluttering up the hallway? Or perhaps a mini-play area/toy storage for the kids? Think outside the box (quite literally!)

Repurpose your junk - Once you've cleared out the cupboard under the stairs, I'm sure you'll be left with lots of 'junk' to deal with. How about repurposing it into something else more useful (or just pretty!) For example, I turned some leftover tile samples into a plant pot last year? Or what about using that ball of rope sitting in the shed to make a storage basket? You'll be surprised at how many different things you can make out of basic household items everyone has laying around.

Home renovation projects you can complete while self isolating or on lockdown during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. From upcycling to decluttering and spring cleaning, getting your garden ready for spring and using scrap wood to create kitchen shelves, there's lots you can be doing to occupy yourself and get your house looking great during this time.

Finally, what about trying your hand at a craft you've always wanted to have a go at? I always turn to crafting in times of anxiety or sadness (you can read all about how its helped me and my mental health here) How about trying out an activity you've never had the chance to before? For me, I'd love to have a go at needle felting - it just looks so relaxing! - so I'm on the lookout for a set online. I've got a number of simple crafting projects for beginners over here in my Mini-makes section - there's something for everyone!

Home renovation projects you can complete while self isolating or on lockdown during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. From upcycling to decluttering and spring cleaning, getting your garden ready for spring and using scrap wood to create kitchen shelves, there's lots you can be doing to occupy yourself and get your house looking great during this time.

Hope this has inspired you with some ideas on how to make the most of this strange, scary time. How are you planning on keeping yourself occupied during lockdown?

Thanks for reading,
Sam Xx
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