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28 Things to Do at Home When You Are in Lockdown

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I am just one of many people who needs to find things to do to keep occupied until this virus passes and thought I would share my ideas.

Study of a virus - as we know, coronavirus (covid-19) is spreading rapidly

Study of a virus - as we know, coronavirus (covid-19) is spreading rapidly

Coronavirus is here

The coronavirus identified as Covid-19 is here and many countries are asking people to self-isolate, or actually requiring people to stay in their own homes under an effective lockdown. With this in mind I thought I would share my ideas about what to do if you are stuck at home and want to try and keep busy.

Many people may be able to work from home but there will be quite a number for whom this is not possible so I thought it would be a good idea to come up with a list of jobs that (I for one) could do when stuck in the house for a week or two, or possibly even longer as it looks like may be the case.

Of course some of these may be easier to do if you don't also have kids in the house because as parents I'm sure we can all agree that it is pretty hard to get anything much done when they are around!

So here is my list of things (in no particular order) that I will be attempting in the time that I am stuff in the house:

1. Spring Clean the House

This is quite a general one and some of the things below may be included in this but I'm sure anyone that doesn't actually have a cleaner has plenty of parts of the house that may need a deep clean every now and again.

2. Clear Out Clothes

What about making this a time to go through all of your clothes and sorting out the ones you no longer wear to give to charity. obviously you might just have to bag them up for now and take them to the charity shop later but this is definitely the opportunity to do this.

If you have physical photos, now is the time to sort them out.

If you have physical photos, now is the time to sort them out.

3. Sort Out Photos

So for me this is going to encompass both digital and printed photos. I have a whole stack of printed photos in the loft that need scanning and sorting. In addition to that I have (by the sounds of things a reasonably modest) 1000 pictures on my phone that need sorting plus thousands more on my computer. A lot can be deleted and the rest need to be organised into dates/places and some renamed so that I can find them easily if I need to.

If you have some really good photos then you may want to sort out the ones that could be good for uploading to a image library that could possibly earn you some money.

4. Write Your Life Story

I'm not talking book length here, although if you fancy doing that, go for it! But I have always thought that it might be nice to write a summary of my life before my son came along for him to read when he gets older. It's also historically interesting when reading back later as things have changed so much in the last few decades.

If you are of the older generation then you no doubt have a lot of interesting experiences to write down for your children and grandchildren.

5. Do Some YouTube Keep Fit Videos

It's obviously quite important to keep doing some exercise if you are able to. You may well be able to go for walks (if that is not prohibited and there are quiet areas around you) but if not, and if you are feeling well enough then there are an almost infinite number of exercise videos online either via your smart TV or any other device.

Even if you do something gentle like yoga (and there are yoga videos for all abilities) then that will help keep your muscles supple if you can't do any more vigorous exercise.

Joe Wicks is doing a PE class every morning at 9am UK time on YouTube - it is aimed at kids but believe me it is also great for adults (and hard work!). It does start the day off well I would have to say.

If you are like me then you will have a stack of paperwork that needs sorting.

If you are like me then you will have a stack of paperwork that needs sorting.

6. File Paperwork

I don't think that it is just me that has a stack of papers waiting to be put away in whatever filing system you may have devised. You could also take this opportunity to destroy any old paperwork that you no longer need, or perhaps reorganize your complete filing system if you feel so inclined!

7. Clear Out Your Loft/Attic

If your loft is anything like mine then there is stuff up there that needs sorting out! I have been quite ruthless in the last few years but there is still a way to go and it is definitely one of those jobs that people put off (or just never do).

8. Decorate

This may be a harder one to do if you don't already have all the equipment, paint etc but there are plenty of places that you can order from for home delivery. A bit of a home spruce up can also lift the spirits.

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9. Do All the Small DIY Jobs

You quite possibly have a list of jobs that you have been meaning to do for a while - well now is the time!

If you are of my generation then you will have some old LPs to listen to.

If you are of my generation then you will have some old LPs to listen to.

10. Listen to Old Records

Have you got your old records out and a record player to play them on? Then this is the time to go through and have a good old nostalgic listen to them all again (and maybe get rid of any you don't think you really are bothered about keeping).

This could also be the time to burn them to your PC if you have not already done so.

11. Binge Watch Box Sets

Well this is probably one of the most obvious ones and doesn't really achieve that much but obviously everyone needs down time and if you are not feeling great then this might be top of your list!

12. Clean the Fridge!

Although this does generally get a good clean at regular intervals in our house, it might be a good time to do a full clean and disinfect on all the shelves and sides etc.

13. Read Books

If you are a keen reader then you will probably already have a bookshelf of books that need reading again. Otherwise you may just want to download some more to your eReader or else you can obviously order some online if you don't have access to the library.

14. Start a YouTube Channel

If you have a skill in anything, whether that be in arts & crafts, computers, home maintenance or whatever, now is a really good time to get some videos recorded showing others how to do things that they may want to try.

If you can teach any skill at all then set up a channel and put some videos up. it may be a while before you are able to actually earn any income from it, but it is worth starting off now you have some time on your hands and this is one thing that doesn't involve going anywhere else.

Maybe you can crochet squares for a blanket together with some other people in your neighborhood.

Maybe you can crochet squares for a blanket together with some other people in your neighborhood.

15. Learn to Knit or Crochet

This may or may not be up your street, but learning a new skill is a great way to use your time. If you are starting from scratch and don't have wool and hook/needles at home then you can get some kits online which include everything you need.

If you can already do these things then order yourself some wool and patterns and get busy!

16. Clear Out Cupboards

Whether this be the kitchen cupboards, which can always do with a clear out to find those things you had forgotten you owned, or the cupboard under the stairs when everything gets thrown in and forgotten about, this is the time to sort them out!

17. Do an Online Course

There are free courses you can do online. e.g from FutureLearn, or if you want to go a step further then you could look into the Open University for longer term courses.

18. Learn a New Language

Although this may not be the time to travel to other countries, there is no reason why you can't use this time to start learning that language that you have been thinking about for the last few years. Again there are online courses or you can learn via apps or an audible course.

Board games are a great way to keep occupied if you are not alone in the house.

Board games are a great way to keep occupied if you are not alone in the house.

19. Play Board Games

If there are a bunch of you who are isolated together then one great way of keeping occupied for a few hours is to get out those board games. Even if you don't have any at home (which I'm guessing most people have in a cupboard somewhere) then you can make up your own games like Ludo, snakes and ladders etc buy using card, coins as counters etc. You could even organise your own tournament among yourselves.

Scrabble Junior is one that I will be playing with my son to keep it a little bit educational!

20. Clean and Paint Skirting Boards

This is a job that I have to admit I have put off for a while. There are some skirting boards that definitely need a coat of paint in our house so this might well be quite high up on my list.

21. Mastic the Bath

Another job that I try and do at least once a year which now needs doing. It does take a bit more time to get all of the old mastic off and reseal it, but it's worth doing.

22. Oil the Kitchen Worktops

I think this is more of a UK thing, but if you have wooden worktops in your kitchen then no doubt you know the need to keep them oiled so that they not only still look good but also work well to repel stains and water. I tend to use a good quality anti-bacterial worktop oil and try and do this around 4 times a year if possible.

23 Sort Out Stuff to Give to Charity

This could be the kids toys or just things that you don't use any more - now is the time to get rid of them!

24. Bake!

Not only is this a fun thing to do, you also get to eat the results so it is a win-win. If you are in the UK, you could watch old episodes of The Great British Bake Off (channel 4 has the last 3 series available on catch up) and act like you are taking part in the episode and make what the contestants are making. Maybe even a contest between the family to see who makes the best!

25. Gardening

For those people who are lucky enough to have a garden, this is a good time to get outside not only to get some fresh air but also to start on those gardening jobs that now need doing after the winter.

There is always plenty of weeding to do in my garden anyway, plus trimming the edges and doing any pruning that is needed.

As long as you stay 2m away from any other neighbors who might also be out gardening then that keeps you within the self-isolation regulations.

Also if you can get hold of the materials, you can do some of the repair jobs that might need doing like garden fences etc.

If you don't have a garden you could grow some seeds to pot up later.

If you don't have a garden you could grow some seeds to pot up later.

26. Grow Vegetables

This is a good time to start sowing some vegetable seeds - some might need to start off inside and some can be sown straight outside.

Some of the things that I have found easiest to grow in the last 5 years or so, are;

  • tomatoes - start these off in pots inside from seed and then plant out in grow bags when the frosts are over.
  • courgettes - ditto, start them inside, then plant out in the garden in beds. A couple of plants should give you a good supply over the summer and they don't need a lot of looking after.
  • peas - grow straight outside - they just need something tall to climb up - I tied some string to an overhanging tree branch and they grew up that.
  • carrots - straight outside and just keep them watered and thin out if there are too many together.
  • potatoes - order seed potatoes online and grow either in the ground or in potato bags

27. Tidy Up Your C.V./Resume

If you are going to be looking for a new job at any time in the near future, this would be a great time to have a look at your c.v. and get it ready for sending out to new employers.

You could also get friends or family to take a look at it, particularly if they are in the business of recruiting people in their own work.

28. Get Trained Up in a New Skill

Maybe you are looking for a career change, whether that be forced or voluntarily, then this is the ideal time to get trained up in something new. It may be some kind of computer skill that you can do online or else something that you can find videos for online, or you may want to take a qualification that will help you progress in your career.

I'm sure there are plenty of other jobs that you might also have on your list, but this is just what I have come up with that needs doing. Let's hope that we don't all have to self-isolate and quarantine ourselves for too long, if at all, but if we do then let's make best use of the time.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Marian L


Marian L (author) from UK on March 21, 2020:

I hope so - and an amazing looking garden at the rate things are going!

Liz Westwood from UK on March 20, 2020:

At the end of all this you are going to have an amazingly clean, tidy and well maintained house. I ticked a lot of these as being on my wish list.

Marian L (author) from UK on March 19, 2020:

Thank you Ashley, I'm sure there are many more things we can do to just try and make the most of the time at home. Stay safe x

Ashley Redmond from Wilmington, NC on March 18, 2020:

Good ideas!

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