The coronavirus outbreak has forced millions of people worldwide to practice social distancing and hunker down at home. With no certain end date in sight, though, you may be looking around your humble abode wondering how on earth you will pass all the time.
If you’re craving a break from pandemic panic, check out this silver linings playbook of all the fun things you can do while holed up at home.
Think about it: How often do we pine to slow down our lives and spend more time puttering around the house? Now’s your chance. Embrace it!
Here are 20 fun things you can do at home that’ll make time fly.
1. Create your own pajama lounge
With all that’s going on, there may be times when you hanker for the comfort of your pajamas all day long. Luckily, pajama lounges—dedicated casual hangout spaces—are a real thing. Create your own in a low-traffic area with cozy accessories, as well as books and games. Here are more pajama lounge ideas to get you started.
2. Finally master folding a fitted sheet
Organizing your closets is the perfect at-home activity, and among the top mysteries for many people is how to fold a fitted sheet: How do you fold something with no corners? We promise your linen closet will never be the same after you follow these two-minute instructions on how to perfectly fold a fitted sheet.
3. Update your media center
Do you still have a massive collection of DVDs and CDs that make your media center look like an outdated mess? It’s time to box up that collection to donate (at a later time). Here’s more living room organization advice.
4. Throw a ‘Netflix party’
Miss going to movies with friends? Host a “Netflix party.” There’s a Chrome extension you can download that lets you watch Netflix with friends and chat on the side about that B-horror movie you’re watching together. Bonus: You can pause for snack and bathroom breaks.
5. Work out for free
Lest you become a couch potato, Planet Fitness is holding classes—or “work-ins”—for 20 minutes or less on Facebook, live daily at 7 p.m. EST. If you miss a class, no problem! You’ll be able to go back and replay at your leisure. Here are more home gym ideas.
6. Spend 15 minutes in your bathroom
Organizing, that is! Many of us are sharing bathrooms all day and night with a family member or three. Keep everyone’s sanity by clearing off the countertops, which makes them easier to sanitize. Here are more fast bathroom organization tips.
7. Grow some greenery
You can order seeds and starter planters online, such as the AeroGarden Black Harvest gourmet herb seed kit ($99, Amazon). Watching sprouts appear and grow will mark your days in a whole new way.
8. Tour a museum
Many museums may be closed, especially those in big cities, but some are offering free virtual tours. You can walk the Guggenheim’s spiral staircase in New York City via Google Street View, jet off to Paris to see the works of Monet and Cézanne at the Musée d’Orsay, or hit the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and many more. Not a bad way to broaden your mind from the comfort of your couch.
9. Conquer your junk drawer
We could all use some small victories right about now. These quick junk drawer organization ideas will turn the chaos of loose pens, batteries, and rubber bands into calming order.
10. Optimize your pantry
Now that you’re stocked up on staples, make sure to keep them organized. For starters, use an easy-to-reach basket to hold individually wrapped bags of snacks, so your kids won’t tear apart the pantry looking for them. Here’s more on how to organize a pantry that will inspire great meals.
11. Create a memory board
If you have an old crib or toddler bedspring gathering dust in your basement, you can transform it with just some paint. Once it’s dry, use clothespins to attach photos and memorabilia. Then check out other ways to upcycle nursery items.
12. Clean brushes and combs
Clean is in! So sprinkle a tablespoon of baking soda in a bowl of warm water, and soak your hairbrushes and combs. Rinse them and air dry. Here are more spring cleaning tips using supplies in the pantry.
13. Tame your sports equipment
To corral mitts, helmets, and balls of every size that may be in the way when they’re not in use, hang a mesh laundry bag on the back of a door, or use a hook on the wall of your garage. If that sounds satisfying, check out these other garage organization hacks.
14. Give your soil a snack
Now is a great time to enrich your garden soil as you prep your yard for spring by raking in some household items you may have on hand from eating in more. Coffee grounds will improve soil drainage, aeration, and water retention. Putting crumbled shells into planting holes helps prevent tomato blossom-end rot, and the shards repel garden pests.
15. Make a gilded honey bear vase
Are you squeezing honey out of a bottle in the shape of a cute honey bear? Turn it into an adorable vase with some spray paint. Or let your children finger paint clean honey bears as a fun project. Here are some other ways to reuse items in your home.
16. Give grout new life in minutes
You may be eyeing your bathroom tile, now that you are home more. Luckily, getting mildewed grout to look like new doesn’t require any special skills—just some elbow grease and equal parts vinegar, baking soda, and bleach. Here are other DIY bathroom projects.
17. Tame your cords
Many people are thankfully relying on technology to stay connected. Give your jumble of cords some love by untangling and labeling them. Start by unplugging everything from the power strip, and then wind your way back to the device. Once you find where each cord belongs, add an identifying label. Here’s more on how to organize cords.
18. Organize craft supplies with Mason jars
With millions of kids at home from school, art supplies like markers and crayons may have exploded all over living room floors. So corral small art gear into pretty Mason jars. (You can also run a few pasta jars through the dishwasher instead.) Check out more ways how to prevent kids toys from taking over your house.
19. Go through your kids’ artwork with them
You may finally have the time to go through your children’s artwork to find the pieces that you felt didn’t pass the fridge test and … yes, throw it away. If you’re on the fence, photograph or scan it to save it digitally indefinitely. Check out more ways to get your kids’ room under control.
20. Enjoy a virtual happy hour
Fight feelings of isolation by kicking back at a virtual happy hour or tea time with friends. All you need is the video conferencing app Zoom—or to set up a Google Hangout—and your drink of choice. Cheers!