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7 Small DIY Home Projects You Can Tackle in Quarantine

1. Rearrange

A new layout in a busy room can change the demeanor of an entire dwelling. Start small with new spots for chairs and couches or re-imagine entire kitchens and living rooms. Sometimes, something as subtle as a new space for glassware or a new drawer for utensils will bring unexpected satisfaction. You’re at home more than ever now, so you’re likely growing aware of any acute problem areas where a fresh layout would be welcome.

2. Devices

There’s digital clutter that can be tidied up as well. Now’s the time to update apps on your smart TV and clean out unneeded contacts, photos, and videos on your phone. Your computer is almost certainly carrying some extra pounds. Delete old and unneeded emails and trash the programs and apps you never use. Conversely, backup what’s most important, like photos, videos, text documents, and graphic design projects. You may end up with a better-running device when you’re done. If nothing else, you’ll gain a little more mental clarity if e-junk weighs you down.

3. Cleaning

There are a handful of household nooks and crannies that tend to get overlooked when it comes to routine cleaning. Wipe down blinds and windows to allow more light in during these longer, warmer days of spring. Clean light fixtures as well, which tend to collect a lot of dust. Throw on the rubber gloves and treat appliances like fridges and ovens to a deep clean. If it’s time to season a skillet, do it. And because it’s a pandemic, sterilize anything and everything that gets a lot of hand contact. Think doorknobs, cabinet handles, remote controls, light switches, keys, and your electronic devices.

4. Maintenance

Now’s a fine time to make sure everything you already have is in good working order. Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide sensors. If you have wood furnishings, it might be time for a stain. If you have sensitive flooring, it might be time for new furniture pads. Rotate your mattress to balance out wear. You can sharpen blades, take some WD-40 to squeaky hinges, patch holes in walls, swap out your filters, or adjust your water pressure.

5. Painting

Touch-up painting is an easy way to freshen walls, floorboards, picture frames, window sills, and more. Even if there are no noticeable dings, certain areas can always use a fresh coat now and again — kitchen walls that may see a lot of splatters, areas that get a lot of sunlight, etc. You can use smaller brushes or even a Q-Tip for the smallest spots, like chips in wood or nail holes. If you stretch out the little paint jobs over the course of several days, preserve brushes by simply wrapping them (an old bread bag does the job) in between uses or wash them out in the utility sink if you are switching colors.

6. Clean Your Closet

It’s decidedly less sexy, but you should probably clean out your closet. It’s what you would normally do every spring, right? Well, bring back some of that monotonous normalcy by sifting through your wares, reorganizing what you want to keep and donating the rest. Structure things so your warmer weather getup is more accessible now that the seasons have changed. For nicer garments that you never wear but don’t want to donate, consider selling them online (maybe you could use a little extra cash right now).

7. Build Something

Really, you should. It’s satisfying. There are a lot of useful things you can craft with just the bits and ends lying around your house (in other words, you don’t need to visit your hardware store, which is probably closed anyway). A birdhouse is easy and can be put together in well under an hour, but they’re fun to trick out through added rooms or custom paint jobs. Other relatively simple things to build include spice racks, wine bottle holders, mailboxes (make sure they adhere to federal standards), firewood compartments, picture frames, planters, and raised garden beds.

Stretch out the process, if you have the time, by going into kid-mode and draw up some blueprints beforehand of whatever it is you’re making. It’s a fun way to visualize things and envision little accents or improvements.

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