Being stuck at home 24/7 is not everyone’s idea of pure bliss, but we’re all trying to make the most of it. Here are seven ways you could improve your home and start a mini-renovation while you’re in isolation. If you’re stuck at home with the kids, some of these could be fun ways to entertain them too.

1. Learn about renovating

Get on top of where to start with renovations by watching some of the greatest renovation shows out there. Here’re our top picks – a quick Google search will let you know which streaming service you can find them on:

  • Love it or List It
  • Fixer Upper
  • Curb Appeal
  • Flip or Flop
  • Tidying up with Marie Kondo

Or why not enroll in an online course? Three Birds Renovations has a free taster class ready for you to sample right now via The Reno School.

2. Get the paintbrush out

Giving your place a fresh lick of paint can really up your game, especially if you’ve ever thought about selling. Alternatively, it can give you a fresh space while you’re working from home.

Many paint companies have started to adapt to social distancing rules, offering drive-through paint collection zones or a mail-out option for samples if you haven’t got your heart set on a colour yet. Don’t forget, if you’re living indoors and not getting much outdoors time, the smell of paint can be hard to deal with. We suggest painting one room at a time using a low-VO paint, or you could simply google ‘Tricks to remove the smell of paint’ for lots of different ways to mask the smell.

3. Start the planning process

If you’ve thought about doing a big renovation but have put it off due to lack of time, now, while you’re spending lots of time at home, might be the perfect time to consider what changes you could make. Observe what spaces you’re using most, how the light works in each room, the things that bug you and the things you feel you couldn’t live without. Make a list and use this to help guide a draftsperson or architect to draw your plans.

It may still be possible to enlist a draftsperson or architect to come over and measure up; but if not, start your research now, ready for when the time hits. Sometimes you can send existing drafts/plans for someone to work off and get the ball rolling.

4. Marie Kondo your home

You’ve probably heard about the magic of reorganising your life the Marie Kondo way. But essentially the philosophy is to get rid of the things you don’t actually use or need. Start off in one room: pull everything out of your drawers, cupboards and closets, put them into a big pile and sort away.

There are tonnes of helpful organisation videos on YouTube that could help you get a head start on the best ways to reduce clutter and improve your living environment.

5. Build out your home office

Now that many of us are adapting to a life working from home, experts say this won’t be the end of If you or your partner have been working from home during this pandemic, chances are this could be more permanent. It’s important to treat it like it’s your own business: maintain the highest health and safety standards and make it personal.

You can still order items online, so have a look for an office chair with the right lumbar and back support or an adjustable working bench so you can stand and work to minimise sitting all day. Don’t forget to make it personal: add a plant, posters or positive quotes to motivate you.

6. Get outdoors

Often the outside of our homes are the areas we pay the least attention to when we’re busy. Trimming those hedges, removing the weeds and finally planting that herb garden are things we often don’t get around to doing.

Take this opportunity now to spend some time outside (don’t forget to slip, slop, slap) and tidy up the garden. Now is a better time than ever to grow some herbs or start a veggie garden; you can order kits online or click and collect. If you’re in an apartment it might be time to consider a smaller herb garden or indoor plants to bring the outdoors in.

7. Upcycle your furniture

This can be a project to get the kids involved if you’re struggling to find things for them to do. Often, painting timber furniture in a new colour can bring an old item back to life. If you have old terracotta pots, you could get the kids to repaint them and then use the pots to teach them about planting herbs or flowers.

If you have an old chair, TV cabinet, coffee table or shelf; think about some ways you could revive it. There are loads of ideas on Pinterest and YouTube; simply research ‘upcycled furniture’ for some inspiration.