As the number of people who must stay at home grows, so too does the need for suggestions of things to do when you are stuck at home. So, here is my list of house and home focused activities to keep you busy if you are self-isolating.
Everything’s Better With Music
A great way to make your self-isolation more up-beat, is with some beats. So why not begin by going through your music and creating some playlists for different activities and moods? Put together an uptempo list to get you moving and something a little slower for a background presence.
If you don’t have much of a music collection, or you don’t know where to start with a list, you can try a site like Playlists.net. Here you can find pre ordered playlists or use the playlist generator to build your own, without all of the work.
Or if you feel really lazy, type “Playlist” into YouTube and press play.
A Tall Tale
Or, if music doesn’t float your boat, how about an audio book? This list from Open Culture has 1,000 free audio books including:
- Every volume of The Wizard of Oz stories
- Classics by Jane Austin and Alexandre Dumas,
- Science fiction from Ray Bradbury and Issac Asimov
- Plus Neil Gaiman, Edgar Allen Poe, Zadie Smith, and many many more.
If non-fiction is more your thing they have plenty for you too. From Aristotle on Politics to Freud on dream interpretation. Ever meant to read Walden? Well now you can listen to it instead!
Like Peas In A Podcast
You may already have your favorite podcasts lined up to play. If not, or if you are new to podcasts Time magazine have an excellent list of The 50 Best Podcasts To Listen To Right Now. Their list not only gives you a rundown of the podcast and where to listen to it, but there is also an “Episode To Get Hooked On” to start you off.
Around The Home
We all have them. Those things around the home that need attending too but we never seem to get the time. Well, guess what? Now you have the time.
Catch Up On Those Repairs – Or At Least Plan Them
Take a walk around your home and jot down, room by room, all of the little repairs and touch-ups that need attending to.
Then make a list of the materials you’ll need and break your to-do list into “Now” and “Later” depending on whether or not you have the materials to do things now or later.
Tackle all of your “Now” jobs and lay yourself out a timetable for the other jobs. You can catch up on these when trips to the store to pick up non-essential items are appropriate.
Home Maintenance Tasks
Have you cleaned out the gutters lately? Checked the batteries in your smoke detectors? Vacuumed your refrigerator coils?
Now is the perfect time to go around your home and garden and make sure those regular maintenance tasks are all up to date.
Not the most exciting of tasks but if there is ever a moment in your life when you have the opportunity to clear out the junk drawer, ensure all of your tupperware boxes have matching lids, and finally replace all of the screwdriver bits and sockets in the correct spots in their trays, now is it.
I am not talking about pushing the vacuum round the center of the room here. No, I’m talking about taking on a room at a time, taking everything out, scrubbing from the ceiling down and then washing every item before you put it back.
Sounds drastic and a lot of time and trouble? Maybe but you’ll love it when you’ve finished.
Restyle A Room, Or Two, Or Three
You don’t need to go out and spend money to restyle a room. Instead take a walk around your home and think about how you could switch up the items.
Maybe that side table in your lounge could work in the bedroom? Perhaps you could swap the curtains or blinds into different rooms? Or maybe you could just rearrange the furniture to give a different look.
Of course, if we’re talking about getting things done, there are plenty of financial planning tasks you can take care of right now.
Plan To Save
You could spend some time thinking about buying your first home. You can work out how long it will take to save your deposit or how soon you could have a deposit if you put aside X amount a month.
Even if you are not saving for a home, you might have a trip you’d like to take, or maybe you’d like to go back to school? Whatever your plans, now’s an excellent time to work out your saving plan.
Review Your Budget
Whether you are planning to save or not, there’s never a bad time to take a look at your budget and see where you could make savings, or afford to loosen your belt a little.
Now is a great opportunity to sit down and review where you spend your money, when you spend your money, and what you spend your money on. Most of us have online banking that will allow us to see where our money went. So review the last few months, identify any unhealthy spending habit you may have, and make a plan to change them.
Shop Around For Better Deals
Having insurance companies, banks, lenders etc, online means it has never been easier to check-out the interest rates, terms, and coverages you are currently getting for your money and see if you can get a better deal elsewhere.
- Health, home, and vehicle insurance,
- Credit cards
To see if you can get more bang for your buck.
Do Your Taxes
I don’t need to explain this one.
Just throw on some music or a podcast and try to distract yourself from the pain.
In The Garden
If you have access to a garden which you do not share there is no reason why you cannot go outside. In fact, getting some fresh air, and if you’re lucky, some sunshine, can make the situation feel better in itself.
- Tidy Up For Spring – Clear up your borders, trim back dead branches, rake up the leaves.
- Plan A New Garden Layout – Perhaps you’ve wanted to change things up a little in your garden for a while. Why not take your enforced vacation and use it to take the plunge? You could have a:
- Vegetable Garden
- Wildlife garden or area
- Herb garden
- Wash Down: Your Garden Furniture, the gutters, window frames, in fact anything that needs a freshen up before the summer gets here.
Broaden Your Mind
The Open University has an extensive variety of completely free courses which range from the introductory level up to the advanced, Masters level.
You can explore courses covering:
- Science, Math, and Technology
- Money and Business
- Nature and Environment
- History and the Arts
- Education and Development
- Health, Sports, and Technology,
Learn A Language
Both of those sites are designed to be used by beginners, but if you want to improve your language skills, the Open University has free language courses ranging from introductory to advanced.
Take A Virtual Trip
We may not be able to leave our homes but that doesn’t mean we can’t visit some fabulous places.
How about some of the world’s greatest museums?
- The Louvre
- The Van Gogh Museum
- The J Paul Getty Museum
- The British Museum
- The Museu de Arte de São Paulo
- MOMA – The Museum of Modern Art
You could “visit” places around the country:
Or maybe explore some of the rest of the world?
- The Eiffel Tower, Paris
- The Great Wall Of China
- The Vatican, Rome
- Roman Colosseum, Italy
- The Ancient City of Petra
- The Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
- The Tulip Fields of Holland
Finally, if you just want some warm and fuzzy moments, how about one of these animal cams?
- San Diego Zoo
- Monterey Bay Aquarium – They also have a slew of excellent teacher resources at the bottom of the page to help answer all of those tricky questions from the kids.
- Zoo Atlanta Panda Cam
- Houston Zoo
- Georgia Aquarium
- Vancouver Aquarium Sea Otter Cam
There are many ways to keep busy if you are self isolating, or even in quarantine. You don’t have to leave your home for any of these activities and they can be shared with any member of the family who is well enough to join in.
So, get busy, declutter, organize, and rearrange your home. While you’re at it learn a language, listen to some classic books, or just crank up the volume on the music.
If all else fails, lay back on the sofa and explore the world via your screen. It’s hard to be stressed about anything when you are watching some sea otters play via webcam.
Stay home, stay busy, and most importantly stay safe.
About The Author
Geoff Southworth is the creator of RealEstateInfoGuide.com, the site that helps new homeowners, investors, and homeowners-to-be successfully navigate the complex world of property ownership. Geoff is a real estate investor of 8 years has had experience as a manager of a debt-free, private real estate equity fund, as well as a Registered Nurse in Emergency Trauma and Cardiac Cath Lab Care. As a result, he has developed a unique “people first, business second” approach to real estate.
This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.