Whether you’re on week one, two or three of the COVID-19 shelter-in-place campaign, known as the “Stay Home. Stay Safe. Save Lives.” executive order from Governor Whitmer, one thing’s probably for sure: you’re beginning to look for new and/or exciting things to do that take place in and around your home. In other words, if you’re already bored, restless, tired or impatient, here’s a little good news: There’s more to staying in than wasting time with a Netflix binge (maybe you’ve finished Tiger King and yes, it’s really as crazy as they say) or a mindless TV marathon.
Spring is just around the corner. Are you ready for it? The following list is designed to get your mind off the pandemic a bit, get you off the couch and get your home (and some of the things in and around it) ready for spring. Sit back and take notes or take heed and get started on a few of these activities—and remember to stay home, stay safe, but stay active.
- Detail your car.
Washing…waxing…’tis the season to give your car a like-new shine. Whether it’s just a quick rinse to get all the winter salt off your undercarriage or a whole wash and wax (don’t forget the spot free rinse), your car can shine just like the spring sun! Washing your car in the driveway is a safe way to get outside in the sun to get a little vitamin D too.
- Clean and organize the garage.
Got a garage? Is it messy, unorganized or tight for space? Well, rain or shine, a good tidying of your garage will go a long way. It could also take a long time, but the good news is, you’ve got more of that—so get to organizing and see how calming it can be. In fact, a cleaner, more organized space can have paramount effects on your well-being. And don’t limit things to the garage; once you’re finished you can get started on the basement if you’re feeling ambitious.
- Fix the wobbly table or stand.
Odds are, there’s a shaky surface in your place that’s been bugging you for weeks, if not months or years. “I’ll fix it later,” is something you may tell yourself every time you encounter it. Well, there’s no time like the present. Try shimming that uneven leg and make that surface sturdy—it only takes a minute!
- Rake the lawn.
Getting outside during a shelter-in-place order may seem difficult. While you want to go to public parks and beaches to get outdoors, it’s not your safest bet. But the great outdoors is literally on the other side of your front door, and your yard might just do the trick. While you’re out there, now’s a great time to rake last year’s leaves and get your yard ready for mowing, because that task is just around the corner.
- Clean out the gutters.
Got gutters? If you own a home, you likely do. And, like many of us, you probably haven’t cleaned them out in a while. If you have, kudos. If not, put this chore on your to-do list for the next sunny day, and go to town on those gutters. Clean gutters help protect your place from water damage. They also promote proper water runoff and they’ll get you outside and active. Just be sure to be careful on the ladder!
- Declutter the “junk drawer.”
Scissors, receipts, old mail, shirt buttons, broken phone chargers, expired coupons—what do you keep in your junk drawer? Chances are, whatever is in there, it’s been there for a while. And, it’s likely that items continue to pile up. It might even be to a point where opening and closing the drawer freely has become a challenge. Welp, take a minute this week to declutter and deep clean it. Find out what’s a keeper and what’s a toss.
- Clean out the fridge.
Old leftovers, expired dressings and other less-than-desirable remnants might be hiding in your refrigerator. If so, that’s okay—fridge items can pile up in a hurry. But, with more time to stay in this month, you can take your time turning a dirty fridge into a spotless wonder, where all useful groceries can gather neatly. Think of it as social distancing for your fresh produce, yogurt, meat and other foods.
- Start a compost heap.
Speaking of produce. What are you currently doing with your compostable refuse? If “putting it in my compost pile” isn’t your answer, now’s a time to reconsider. Composting brings many benefits to the environment and your yard (or garden). It strengthens your soil and reduces waste to the landfill—talk about a win-win! It’s also pretty easy to do, but it can take a little planning. Good thing there’s time for that.
- Get the grill ready for summer.
Hot dog! This one is exciting for several reasons. First, the grill season is the unofficial start to summer. That’s exciting. Also, the grill is among the greatest of places to cook delicious food. That’s also exciting. So, here’s the question: When was the last time you cleaned or serviced yours? As you know, anything from dirt and grime to rust to rodents could be living in your grill right now, depending on how you’ve stored it for the winter. Go check it out and see how you can get it ready for action.
- Fix… something.
This one is a bit of a freestyle. It’s based on the needs of your own home or apartment. Got a leaky faucet? Irked by that squeaky hinge on the fence gate? Have a loose doorknob somewhere in the house? No matter what needs fixing, now you’ve got time to finally fix it. If it helps, make a list of all the little things you’d like to do, then check each off your list as you go. It’s not This Old House, but it’s a great start.
While some of these items may not apply to you, we expect there’s enough here to keep you a little busier than before. And hopefully our list has sparked some ideas of your own. No matter what you do, the important thing is that you’re keeping yourself and others a little bit healthier right now. No matter what your to-do list looks like, remember to stay inside as often as possible and stay at least six feet from others while you’re out. The CDC recently updated recommendations to include the use of cloth face masks while in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Learn more about face coverings from the CDC.