Cooped up inside because of the coronavirus? In this unsettling time, doing your part to maintain social distance means you’ve been spending a lot of time indoors. And while movie marathons and board games can occupy part of your day, they might start to get old after a while. One can enjoy only so many games of Scrabble, right?
If you’re feeling a little stir-crazy (and other forms of entertainment just aren’t cutting it), try taking on a home project that’ll make you feel productive.
“In general, now is a great time to spring-clean, declutter, and organize—so try something simple,” says Julie Coraccio, an organizing professional and author of “Got Clutter? 365 Journal Prompts.”
In between school lessons and work-from-home office duty, consider ticking off a few of these easy-to-handle living room chores from the list below. You’ll gain a sense of accomplishment and emerge with a room that’s clean and organized. After all, a tidy home equals a tidy mind.
1. Hang (or rehang) a gallery wall
Redoing your wall design is a fast way to upgrade your living room’s look—and it costs just about nothing except your time and a few picture hooks and nails.
If you’ve always wanted to try a gallery wall, go for it! If you already have one, it might be time to change it up. Either way, lay your frames on the floor to plan the arrangement. If you already have a gallery, play with the order of the grouping or add new pictures, then rehang.
2. Upgrade your lighting
You’ll need good light since you’ll be inside for a while, so consider replacing old bulbs in your living room lamps with energy-efficient LED bulbs, suggests Ana Cummings of the eponymous design firm.
LED bulbs have a longer life and don’t heat up as much as incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, making them safer if accidentally touched.
And since you’re in the lamp department, take a hard look at the shades on each of your lights. If you have a similar size lamp in another room, swap the shades to give your living room a new look.
3. Wash living room curtains
Washing curtains is one of those household chores we’re supposed to do every six to eight months, but it can easily fall to the wayside. It’s kind of a hassle, right? But now that you have some extra time at home, take a couple of hours to clean any curtains that are washing machine-safe.
If your curtains aren’t supposed to touch water, take them off the rod, go outside, and give them a good shake to get the dust off.
4. Wipe down baseboards
Your baseboards, crown molding, railings, and other wall details often get overlooked during regular weekly cleaning sessions. Remedy this situation by dipping a sponge in a mild wood surface cleaner diluted in warm water and gently swabbing these surfaces to get rid of grime and dust.
Another quick and easy task? Sort through all your books, magazines, and CDs, and release what you no longer watch or want to read.
“Then take the time to organize your books in a way that makes sense to you, whether by genre or author, color, or another method,” says Coraccio.
6. Rearrange your furniture
You might be in need of a furniture refresh, but home quarantine—plus the fact that most home goods stores aren’t open right now—can make that difficult. So to give your room a new perspective, and not spend a ton of money, try rearranging the furniture.
Now is a good time, after all, to evaluate what is and isn’t working for you. You might consider removing a chair or two to open the room up, or moving the couch in front of the radiator—you won’t be needing heat again until later this fall. Switch out the rug in your living room with a lighter one that has been sitting in another room.
It takes just a few minutes with a Magic Eraser to remove those unsightly black scuff marks from living room walls.
“Or if you’re handy, repaint a wall,” suggests Cummings. “You’ll be looking at the same four walls for a long time, so make them as beautiful as possible.”