How to Tackle Home Improvements While Practicing Social Distancing

For the home improvement aficionados among us, we’ve been presented with quite the conundrum: We’re stuck at home, and some of us even have extra time. Yet we’re also stuck at home, which means no window-shopping trips to the home improvement store.

Never fear — the Nevada Housing Division is here! And we have plenty of ideas for how you can use this time to spruce up your home without going within 6 feet of other humans.

Get organized. You know how you’re going to get organized when you have time? It might be  time. Pick a cabinet or a drawer to get started, then figure out what you need, what you don’t and what goes somewhere else. Then move on to the next one, until you’re ready to tackle the garage. Keeping up a slow and steady pace could mean your entire house being organized by the time this lockdown ends. One challenge is that most charities are not accepting donations right now, and garage sales are currently on the bad idea list. So you’ll have to find a place to store all the usable items you don’t want to keep.

Use what you have. Once you get all your things organized, you may discover you already have the supplies you need for that next home improvement project. How many of you bought too much wood or too many seeds last year? (*Raised hand emoji goes here.*)

Reno homeowner Vaungaylyn Zarcone shares, “I tend to buy more than I need when I'm doing projects and forget to return them, so what can I do with those items? I'm challenging myself to use up the supplies and extras we have in stock.”

Take care of your pipes. We need to take good care of our pipes in the best of situations, but that becomes super critical when everyone is at home 24/7. We’ve already been warned not to put wipes and other TP substitutes down the toilet, but there are plenty of other things you can be doing to keep your pipes in tip-top shape. Read our blog for more ideas.

Let the sunshine in. Did you know you can use water and vinegar to clean windows and mirrors? Seems like as good a time as any to get rid of the dog slobber on the slider.

Do the touch-up. You know that left-over paint you have stored in your garage? Now would be a good time to go around the house and address the scuffs and scrapes that occur from normal family living.   

Set up a real workspace. If you’ve been sent home to work, sitting at the dining room table or on the couch with a laptop is going to get old after a while — if not for the other people you live with, then for your back. Since we don’t know how long this is going to last, it’s probably a good time to find a corner in your house where you can set up a designated workspace. This will also help with productivity.

“We have been busy — repainted our guest room downstairs and moved our teen in there for her birthday,” Nevada homeowner Heather Atherton shares. “Then we shifted our office to her old room and put the guest room in the old office. Lots of work we’d never have gotten done in just 10 days during a normal time.”

Get your hands dirty. Let’s face it. A lot of the yardwork waiting for us does not involve any additional tools or supplies. Get out there and rake up those leaves and then put them in your garden or composter. Dig up your garden area and get it ready for planting. Hose off the patio, fix up that sagging fence. And get after those weeds before they take over your yard!

Related: Come Home To Happy. How Curb Appeal Can Improve Your Mood (And Add Value)

Start planting. Not being able to hit the big chain stores does not mean the end of spring planting. There are a number of ways to go about this, but we’ll need to get a little creative —see our note about seeds above. You can also talk to your friends and neighbors about getting cuttings from their yard for yours (delivered in a safely socially distant way, that is), then you can do the same. After all, we’re all in this together.  

Repot your plants. If you have extra pots sitting around, this could be a great time to give your indoor plants a little more breathing room.

Related: Helping the Environment While Helping Your Wallet

Get your finances in order. While not technically a home improvement project, things like understanding your credit score, dropping your Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), reviewing your homeowners insurance and establishing a budget will help you save money for “real” home improvement projects, or even buying a home if you’re currently renting. And financial forecasting could make a lot of sense right now when everything feels all topsy-turvy. In fact, you may want to consider making several budgets — a good, better and best option, taking into consideration some employment upheaval if you’re concerned about a potential layoff or salary adjustment.

Yes, this is a lot. And we certainly don’t expect you to do all of it, but now you have lots of ideas for turning your home into your sanctuary. Since we all have to #StayHomeForNevada, we might as well take the opportunity to make it the best home possible.

And if all this has made you want to buy a house, let’s talk about how Home Is Possible can help you do that once things get right-side up again.

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