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How to improve your home surroundings while we’re on lockdown

Thanks to the Covid-19 outbreak, we’re all spending so much more time in our houses this spring.

Client meetings, trips out with the kids, dinner and drinks with friends – all these seemingly normal kinds of outings have been cancelled. Our worlds have narrowed, and rightly so in a bid to halt the spread of the virus that’s turned our lives upside down in the last few weeks.

You’re safest within your own four walls – but is your home an enjoyable place to be right now? If you’re keen to refresh and update your surroundings during the lockdown, here are 10 ways you can make your house, flat or bungalow a cleaner, more spacious and more inspiring place to live, during and after the peak of the pandemic.

1. De-clutter!

De-cluttering is more than simply freeing up some floor or table space; it’s an important way to practice self-care. Having a good old-fashioned sort out will give you something to focus on.

If your kitchen cupboards are a state, your spare bedroom has seen better days or you’ve got a problem with piled-up paperwork, use this time to straighten up all those parts of your home that need a little TLC. You’ll be surprised what you’ll find in amongst the chaos, and you’ll emerge from your de-cluttering project with a real and lasting sense of achievement, not least because you’ll be able to admire all your hard work every single day.

2. Experiment with your furniture setup

Sometimes, we get so used to the layout of a room that we struggle to see it any other way. Well, now’s the time to get creative with your floor space!

There’s no harm in moving larger furniture items like sofas, coffee tables and dining tables around to see if a new setup would improve the feel of your home. Think about how you use the space on a daily basis, and whether repositioning key pieces could improve the flow within each of your rooms. Do take care when lifting heavy objects, though.

3. Sort out your junk drawer

Everybody’s got one of these, and it’s normally practically overflowing with stuff we can never be bothered to organise! Get back on top of your junk drawer. Empty it, organise it; decide what you really need, and what you could do without. Who knows – you might find something you lost months ago!

4. Organise your wardrobe

This is often a huge undertaking, especially for women who love to shop! But cleaning out and organising your wardrobe is good for your soul.

Ditch the items that you haven’t worn for a year (or longer). Set back the pieces that could do with a little attention to bring them back to their best. And lastly, organise your ‘keep’ pile into sections so that you can easily find your favourite clothes and are inspired to try out new colour or style combinations.

5. Find a designated home working space

In the last few weeks, most of us have brought our work home in a bid to limit the amount of time we spend travelling or interacting with others. The great thing is, thanks to the internet, home working has never been easier – but what many people struggle with is separating their work life from their home life at what is already a chaotic time.

If you possibly can, set up a designated ‘work’ area that you can use as your temporary home office. Ideally, this space needs to be away from distractions like TVs, and away from surfaces that need to be cleared and reset regularly, like dining room tables. Make sure you have everything you need for a productive day close to hand so you don’t need to keep grabbing stuff from around your home, and keep your desk or workstation clean and tidy to keep you in a focused frame of mind.

6. Clean your windows

How often do we really clean our windows? Grime and dirt can quickly build up on frames and panes, so use your time in lockdown to give these essential parts of your home a thorough wipe down (and open them wide to let in all that wonderful fresh air!).

7. Get creative with your home design accessories

If you’re sick of seeing that old throw draped across your sofa, why not give it a new lease of life by moving it to your bedroom instead? Easily movable objects like cushions, blankets, lamps, indoor plants and ornaments can be replaced around your home to inject a pop of colour or a new sense of personality into any space. Something as simple as repositioning a painting on a wall or updating your framed photos can make all the difference to the feel of your room, too!

8. Revamp your bed linen

If you’ve been meaning to buy some new bedsheets for a while now, but you’re worried about splashing the cash on the non-essentials, you can always purchase a washing machine dye kit and update your bedroom’s colour scheme for a fraction of the price.

You can get great products from places like Amazon, and hand dyes are available too if you’d rather experiment manually (although this can be a pretty messy process!).

9. Tidy up the garden

When was the last time you de-weeded the patio, mowed the lawn, jet-washed your drive or turned over your bedding plant soil? It’s easy to overlook straightforward maintenance tasks like these when you’re rushing around trying to get other things done – but now you have some extra time on your hands, let’s get your outdoor space looking fabulous.

A little effort will go a long way, and who knows, maybe you’ll emerge from lockdown with a new-found passion for gardening!

10. Join and use Pinterest to collect new ideas

Pinterest is the ultimate social media platform for pure escapism! This image-driven site, which relies on photos and infographics uploaded by other users, is packed full of brilliant home improvement ideas for those of you who are looking for some design inspiration. Create your own home board and fill it full of the things you love, then set about using these ideas to transform your own surroundings.

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