April 09, 2020 | Geoff Geddes
DIY home projects for self-isolation and social distancingIf your go-to excuse for postponing all the do-it-yourself projects you've been meaning to tackle is "I'm never home," you might be changing your tune these days. Have some extra time on your hands and feel like putting it to good use? Then some minor renovating, rearranging or reorganizing could be just the ticket.
"The easiest tasks involve basic organizing like clearing cupboards, cleaning out closets and putting that winter gear away to make room for spring," said Jennifer Flores, the creator of Rambling Renovators, one of Canada's most popular DIY blogs.
"Then you can move on to your to-do list items, which could include hanging art and photos, painting doors, freshening up trim, or moving furniture around in a room or between rooms. All of those things that you said you would get to if you only had time – now's the time to do them."
If you're ready for something more advanced, consider trying new activities, such as painting picture frames or outdoor planters in fun colors, or sanding down furniture and giving it a new finish.
"Right now, a lot of creative people are offering free and inspirational online content, giving daily tutorials on a range of subjects that you can apply at home." - Jennifer Flores, Rambling Renovators
You could also explore some "new old" hobbies, such as calligraphy, sewing, knitting or creating your own artwork.
"Right now, a lot of creative people are offering free and inspirational online content, giving daily tutorials on a range of subjects that you can apply at home," said Flores.
On Instagram, #oneroomchallenge is slated to start in May. This biannual challenge features 20 designers, including Flores, and about 300 guest participants who are tasked with completing a room makeover in six weeks. The idea is to motivate viewers to create rooms they love, while the online community encourages them at each step.
Then there is the #stayhomeanddiy hashtag, where a group of Canadian bloggers tackle a different DIY project every week, each time using a different medium.
"Last week, the focus was on foraging outside and using branches and twigs, while this week it's all about paint," said Flores. "It offers people at home a chance to be creative and craft a space that makes them feel safe, comforted and hopeful."
If you'd rather start small and stay small, that's an option as well.
"Just splash a little colour on a wall somewhere," said Trevor, an employee at the Marlborough Home Depot in Calgary. "For under $100, you can update a lamp or fixture with something that really pulls your decorating theme together."
If you have time, Trevor recommends adding some closet shelving or sorting through the garage and installing heavy-duty metal shelving that will let you load up almost anything.
Both projects can be done for around $150 and provide that uncluttered feeling that helps to reduce stress levels – because if there was ever a time for stress relief, it's now.
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