You don’t have to spend money to brighten your home and feel productive during isolation. Springtime means it’s time to welcome the new season and give your home some love, right? Clear it out, open those windows, get some fresh air circulating – do some deep cleaning.

Right now, during the corona virus fears and isolation, keeping those traditions alive are more important than ever. The experts are telling us to keep as close to our usual routines as possible. So, why not dive into our routine spring cleaning? Since thousands of us are stuck at home, we can distract ourselves and brighten up the place to keep our spirits lifted at the same time. Here are 5 projects to brighten your home during isolation.

1. Brighten your home with some new lights

Maybe you have a lightbulb that burned out late in the winter and you just haven’t gotten around to replacing it. Maybe you didn’t have the time to go out for a new bulb – now’s your chance. Order a bulb online and have it delivered to reduce your need to go out and replace it yourself. Try a different kind – switch from a yellow bulb to something whiter. The room will really brighten up. It may even look a little larger.

This may also be your opportunity to try out that new lamp you haven’t put up yet – or if you don’t need any new lighting, tie back your curtains to let in the natural light. Open the blinds. Open the windows to let in that fresh air. It’s a wonder what fresh air and some light can do for your mental health.

2. Rearrange your furniture

You don’t have to spend any money doing this and it can be a great workout. Move the couch around in the living room. Switch the armchair around with the coffee table. See which positions offer you the most room and play around with the space you have. Nothing is set in stone – if you’re worried about not liking the new arrangement, make sure you take a picture of how you had the room prior to moving everything around.

If you’re in love with how your furniture is situated, look at your photos on the walls or other decor. Could they use some straightening? Dusting? Rearranging?

3. Brighten the home and find a new favorite fragrance

Staying in the same space can feel dull – especially when you get used to the scent. It can feel stagnant and old. But after switching up the scent in my bedroom, things felt newer, fresher. Whether you use plugins, sprays, diffusers, or candles, take the time to see what other fragrances you have lying around. Maybe you’re still using that winter scent – switch it out for something more summery.

If you’d prefer something more natural, open the windows and get a fan going to usher in the smell of early spring. If it’s particularly chilly, try finding some flowers you can pick and add them to your home. Nothing brightens the kitchen table like a vase of freshly-picked flowers.

4. Clean up

It sounds so simple, but it actually works. Whether there are dirty dishes in the sink, the dishwasher is cleaned but needs to be unloaded, “the chair” in you room is packed with folded laundry to be put away, the closet is overflowing, the table is cluttered with mail and other random documents – you get the picture. This is one of the important tips in 100 Tips For Growing up. You’re home now and are running out of excuses to tackle that cleaning chore. Just dive in and don’t think about it. Play some music or your favorite podcast and get it done. Clutter can lead to anxiety. Well, so can procrastination. It’s amazing how much better you’ll feel once you have that open space – and how much brighter your home can be without the clutter!

Now, the problem is to keep it clean.

5. Plant something

Not everyone has a place to do some gardening outside and not everyone has seeds lying around. But you can send away for a packet of your favorite flowers and herbs to plant in your house. Determine what’s safe for your home – is this plant pet-friendly? How much sun does it require versus how much sun do you get indoors and how often? Based on that information and requirements, buy a packet of seeds and get planting! It not only brightens up the home once everything has sprouted, but depending on your choice, you can freshen up the scent inside as well.


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Samantha Curreli
Samantha Curreli is a staff writer at Reach Out Recovery. Sam is also a graduate of Arcadia University's MFA in Creative Writing Program and a freelance journalist for New Jersey music magazine, The Aquarian Weekly. She has had multiple pieces of fiction published in literary magazines and short story anthologies.

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