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Post-Covid Home Hacks

Way of Living – Home

June 15, 2021

Margarita Picone, a Client Experience and Hospitality Executive, joined us for a Way of Living conversation about confidently reclaiming our homes as we navigate how we use our space and time post-COVID. We all reemerge from COVID with this special opportunity to start over the design of our homes, as they can truly reflect and shape what brings us a sense of happiness. She shared accessible tips for efficient decluttering, redesigning to transform, and how to make loved ones feel comfortable in our homes.

Shedding the COVID 15

We all panickedly started hoarding items to make it through COVID with sanity intact. Here’s how to determine what you can get rid of to make your home feel lighter. (You won’t miss any of it.)

First, ask yourself: how many hand sanitizers, masks, board games, etc. do I REALLY need? Make an honest assessment and donate what you can. Get rid of the rest. 

If decluttering feels overwhelming, start with your closets. Having an organized home starts with an organized closet. For clothing, only keep what fits, and rotate in seasonal items. 

For items throughout your house, discard anything that you don’t use regularly. Keep frequently used items in accessible, high-traffic areas.

For heirlooms with sentimental value – those need to be organized, too. Digitizing your photos frees up a tremendous amount of space and also keeps those memories safe. Box your antiques. (You can put them in your newly-organized closet if you like.)

Most importantly, only surround yourself with things that make you happy.

Resources for Decluttering

  1. Food Bank Donations – foodbanknyc.org/donate-food/
  2. Free Clean-Out Service – theredup.com/cleanout
  3. PPE Donations – donatePPE.org

Restoring Your Home

You can regain and reclaim what your home once was, and perhaps, even make it better.

First, reconsider how you want to spend your time. We now have the opportunity to be outside, with loved ones and friends and engaging in activities that make us happy. We no longer need to have all of our hobbies and entertainment in our personal spaces, so only keep items that absolutely must be in your home and donate or discard the rest.

For example, if you started an herb garden in your home, take your new gardening equipment and skills outdoors and breathe in the glorious fresh air. This hobby no longer needs to be confined to your home. If you now have a billion board games because you wanted to keep your child entertained, keep the ones that have been played recently and donate the rest.

A physical purging of unnecessary items, which no longer align with your passions and habits, can be quite cathartic. It’s a kind of clean up for your home, body, and mind.

Next, redefine spaces. It’s important to have an intention and set a purpose for each space. By setting physical boundaries, mental boundaries will follow regarding the separation of work and play. 

Are you still working from home? Now’s the time to find a great spot for a proper work desk and set up your permanent home office. Did you buy weights, a stationary bike, and/or workout bands? Great! Set up a space entirely dedicated to storing your new equipment and working out comfortably. Take up an instrument? That’s fantastic. Find a space exclusively for practicing.

Then, make small changes. Small changes have the ability to transform a space.

For example, adding accents throughout your homes can make a substantial difference, adding a sense of warmth, vibrancy, or inspiration. You can find a lamp cord covering that matches the color of your wall. A small collection of flowers in your closet can elevate the space and make you smile. Margarita has her favorite antique chandelier in her closet.

Also, do not underestimate repurposing or rearranging. Simply moving an old lamp to a new space can redefine a room. Small changes have an enormous impact.

Embrace big changes, too. Paint and wallpaper can positively transform a room, and while it may seem like a commitment, these alterations don’t need to be permanent. You can always paint over your walls, and removable wallpaper is a fantastic option if you want to experiment with something fancier or more zen. 

Consider whether or not you want to make these changes on your own or hire a professional. Sometimes, hiring a pro can remove pressure when undertaking a hefty home task.

Finally, let your happiness guide you. Think about your favorite hotels or restaurants, and ask yourself what makes it feel special. Is it the scent? The sheets? Recreate that sense of luxury, decadence, or chicness in your own home. You don’t need to spend a lot – H&M has wonderful offers that can remake a room. 

Resources for Restoring

  1. Removable Wallpaper – nymag.com/strategist/article/best-removable-wallpaper.html
  2. House Services – thumbtack.com
  3. Lighting Upgrades – colorcord.com
  4. Framing Service – framebridge.com
  5. Color Consultancy – farrow-ball.com/en-us/colour-consultancy

Inviting People Back Into Your Home

We’ve all missed seeing our loved ones. There is no need to stress about the state of your home when inviting guests. Ultimately, people just want to reconnect with you, but below are a few simple tips so you confidently invite guests into your home again.

Before your guests arrive, set expectations. Let them know if they’ll need to wear a mask in your building, if you will be spending time indoors, or if any other guests were invited. Everyone has different comfort levels, so it’s important to share information so your guests are not surprised nor tense.

Try to help guests keep conversation light and positive. These are divisive times; try to facilitate more connections rather than divisions.

Even if you love to cook, there are evenings when takeout is the perfect choice. You can take the time to elevate it – for example, pair pizza with fancy champagne! Can’t go wrong with either, and together, they’re even better. 

Also, details are a way of showing love. Use your linen napkins. Use those lovely towels. Rather than receiving one, give your guests a thank you card. Find small ways to show how much you’ve missed them.

Most importantly, take the time to be present with them. We’ve had a trying year – being with loved ones is what matters.

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