By Joseph Wong
Many Malaysians have suddenly found themselves stuck at home until March 31 as a measure to curb the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak. The non-essential workforce now has to work from home. And homemakers have to deal with the bulk of the family members staying together under the one roof.
Whatever your situation, the government’s stance on the restricted movement order means that you are suddenly spending a lot more time at home. Here are some things you can do during this extended period at home.
Declutter your home
This is a grand opportunity to give your home that much needed clean and take stock of your possessions. This is also an excellent chance to declutter your home.
Most older homes would be cluttered with many items that are old or disused. Go through these possessions and decide which ones can be sold or given away. You will be surprised how much more space you have after decluttering.
While you are decluttering, clean your home as well. If you are not sure what items to use to clean your home, check out this StarProperty article using soda as acleaning agent at https://www.starproperty.my/news/116022/house-cleaning-hacks-with-baking-soda-part-1.>
Do the areas that you seldom clean, like wiping down all the furniture, including the crooks and crannies usually left undone. It is best to use an anti-bacterial product since this cleaning is also to better fool-proof your home against Covid-19.
Depending on the size of your home, this should take less than a day if family members lend a hand. There is no better time than a period where you and your family are at home together to spend some good quality time together, and one way to do clean the home together.
After all, when was the last time you did a deep cleaning for your home?
Shift your furniture
Take this opportunity to shift your furniture around. A change in the layout will give your home a fresh new look. Moreover, you can clean those hard-to-get-to-places dues to the furniture being in the way. Clean the corners that don’t get cleaned.
There is no better time to do this than right now. Washing the curtains and the cushion covers will not only freshen up your home but will kill the grime and germs that have accumulated on the fabrics.
Changing the cushion covers will also give the home a welcomed change, and if the fabrics are bright and cheerful, it will also uplift the mood of family members at home.
Tend to your stove
This is a great time to get more used to preparing your own food from scratch rather than relying on delivery or takeout. Moreover, this skill could save you a lot of money, or if you discover a hidden talent for cooking or baking, it could be turned into a business.
Check out cooking shows on the tube or online. Many quick meals are easy to prepare and delicious to eat. It also gives you a chance to stocktake your larder.
Cook and freeze
One useful trick to save time and money is to cook in larger quantities and freezing the extra portions to be eaten another day. Of course, you will need to have several smaller containers to store them in, and that’s where the decluttering comes in handy. If you are anything like this writer, you will have several takeaway containers that have been cleaned to be reused rather than thrown out.
You will be surprised how much time is saved from reheating food rather than cooking from scratch. Want some mushroom soup, beef stew or pizza? Take it out of the freezer and heat it up. There is literally no limit to what you can freeze. The only limit is the size of your freezer.
Dedicated working area
Since you have to work from home right now, designate an area in your home that you can work in. This is also to create a mindset that this is the “office” for the next two weeks.
Psychologists attest that this mindset helps. Depending on the person, it is usually best to find a quiet spot, especially when family members are around. This could be the bedroom dresser where family members are restricted so you will not be distracted. Once you have this work area, you should be able to perform your tasks better.
While people have been told to avoid gyms, the good news is that you can do exercises almost anywhere. Many workouts can be done within a fixed amount of time. It can be as quick as a 10-minute work out to an hour or more. It depends on your fitness level.
Knowing this, all you need is to commit a small space in your home for this. If you have a set of dumbbells at home, you will be surprised how they can be used to build your muscles. Many quick exercises can be viewed online. Choose the one that suits you and commit to doing them every day. Remember this is also to improve your health, so don’t overdo it.
Don’t let time drag
It might be frustrating to just be at home all the time until March 31, but if you do some of the things on this list, you will find time passing by faster. And the bonus is, a change at home is almost as good as a holiday.