LOCK­DOWN

12 tips to help you struc­ture your day and cre­ate a small sense of con­trol

Pretoria News - - LIFESTYLE - NICOLE ANZIA

NOW that the coro­n­avirus has sent work­ers and stu­dents home, closed busi­nesses and can­celled events, it’s go­ing to be im­por­tant to cre­ate new rou­tines and find mean­ing­ful ways to spend our long days at home.

The fol­low­ing or­gan­is­ing tasks are sim­ple and will help you struc­ture your day and cre­ate a small sense of con­trol.

Or­der pic­ture frames and al­bums

Do you have a stack of pho­tos you have been mean­ing to put in frames or photo al­bums? If so, take a few min­utes on­line to find op­tions that will work for you, and place the or­der. De­pend­ing on how long so­cial dis­tanc­ing lasts, you may even have time to put those pho­tos into the frames and al­bums.

Send notes

Write those thank-you cards that you have had on your to-do list for the past few months. If you don’t have any thank-you notes to send, just send a few writ­ten notes or cards to friends. It will make you feel good to keep up some con­nec­tion off­line, and the re­cip­i­ent will be thrilled to open some real mail.

Or­gan­ise and min­imise your in­box

Spend 15 min­utes delet­ing and fil­ing emails. You’ll be amazed at how much you can lighten your in­box in a small amount of time. For bonus points, do this ev­ery day for a full week.

Wash and store out-of-sea­son items

Wash win­ter coats, hats and gloves that are laun­der­able. Set aside for do­na­tion those items that your fam­ily mem­bers have out­grown, and prop­erly store the rest.

Meal plan­ning

The up­side to not send­ing kids to school and not go­ing into an of­fice is that you don’t have to pack lunches. On the other hand, with ev­ery­one at home, you will have to make three meals a day.

Spend 20 min­utes one day a week think­ing through lunches and din­ners. This will make meal­times feel less stress­ful and rushed, and you can make sure you have ev­ery­thing you need in ad­vance. With stores hav­ing un­even in­ven­tory, en­sur­ing you can pre­pare what you want is im­por­tant.

Wash back­packs and re­us­able bags

When is the last time you washed your kids’ back­packs and any of the re­us­able tote bags you bring to the gro­cery store or on er­rands? For most peo­ple, the an­swer is never, but now you have time to get them cleaned up and germ-free. Will this change your life? No. But it will feel good for both you and your kids to start fresh when nor­mal life re­sumes.

Clean your car

If you have a car, this is the per­fect time to clean it. This ac­tiv­ity has the ex­tra bonus of get­ting you out­side for a por­tion of your day. Start by tak­ing ev­ery­thing out, and then wipe down the sur­faces and vac­uum the floors and seats. Fin­ish by clean­ing the win­dows in­side and out. This is some­thing kids can help with.

Deep-clean your kitchen cabinets

This is an ac­tiv­ity that you don’t have to do all at once, but it will keep you busy for 30 min­utes each day for a cou­ple of days. Take things out of your draw­ers and cabinets and wipe down the in­sides. Put items that you no longer want or use in a bag for do­na­tion, and toss ex­pired food. Put things back neatly.

Wipe down both the in­side and out­side of your cab­i­net doors and all of the pulls, too.

Move fur­ni­ture in one room and clean

Get some help from other fam­ily mem­bers to move your fam­ily room or liv­ing room fur­ni­ture and clean un­der­neath. While you’re at it, take the cush­ions off the couch and chairs and vac­uum them, too.

Re­fresh your book­cases

Take all the books and items off one book­shelf in the house. Put books that you no longer want in a bag to do­nate, wipe down the shelves and put ev­ery­thing back in a new con­fig­u­ra­tion.

Write down goals for the rest of 2020

Some of us made a list of goals at the be­gin­ning of the year, but if you didn’t, now is a good time to make one. It will help you vi­su­alise life af­ter the coro­n­avirus and help you pri­ori­tise in the com­ing months.

If you al­ready have a list, take a look and re­vise as nec­es­sary. If you’re mak­ing a new list, be sure to in­clude larger home projects you would like to com­plete, ideas for things you want to do with your kids and pro­fes­sional goals.

Stream­line your bill-pay­ing

If you’re still a hold­out to on­line bill-pay­ing, this is the per­fect time to get set up. If you’re just get­ting started, en­ter­ing the in­for­ma­tion for all of your pay­ees does take a while, but you don’t have to do it all at once, and the time you spend now will save you count­less hours later.

If you al­ready have on­line bill­pay, take a look at your re­cip­i­ents to make sure they’re cur­rent, and add any new ven­dors. Al­ter­na­tively, call the com­pa­nies you pay each month and set up au­to­matic bill-pay through them.

Many of us have wished for more time at home to get things done, and, well, now we have it. Us­ing this op­por­tu­nity to do some clean­ing and or­ga­niz­ing will not only make you feel more in con­trol and save you time later, but it will also give you a sense of re­newal and ac­com­plish­ment. |

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RE­FRESH your book­cases. |

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