2020 has been a doozy – that’s something we can all agree on. As the year draws to a close, holidays will look vastly different as we all wear masks, social distance, and attempt to get through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic safely.
Still, that doesn’t mean the holidays have to be lackluster. Today on the blog, we’re sharing five do-it-yourself projects that will help you prepare for safe festivities. From cooking at home to wrapping gifts in quarantine, here are our top five recommendations.
1. Create Your Own Holiday Scents
Smell is the strongest of all our human senses. If there’s one thing that can bring back memories of holidays past and family traditions, it’s a special scent.
Instead of braving the outside world to find holiday candles, or ordering them online, consider making your own scents. Thrillist has an excellent guide for making your own calming scented candles at home. Channel the smells of baking with grandma years ago into a candle, or create the scent of a Colorado forest to use even when you can’t visit.
It’s estimated that a whopping 75 percent of all emotions generated daily are due to smell. Holidays are a little bittersweet in 2020, but by hand-crafting scents at home, you can boost feelings of joy, nostalgia, and comfort in your house.
After all, everyone could use a bit of help feeling happier this year.
2. Purge the Cluttered Areas
We’ve been stuck indoors a lot this year, and for many of us, that means our homes have become… a mess. This clutter can easily distract us from the simple joys of the holidays.
Before you break out even more seasonal decorations, take a couple of hours to make your house a clean slate for holiday cheer and don’t forget the outdoors especially if you have enclosed patio. Unpack those closets. Get rid of that trash. Organize the desk that has quickly become your hobby station, workplace, and makeshift class station all at once.
Studies have repeatedly shown that decluttering can lower your stress levels and promote feelings of peace for example, log of woods look unpleasant when scattered while rick of wood looks more comforting to our eyes. If you feel the weight of the world is hanging on your shoulders, start moving forward by clearing space in the house before you bring out the Christmas tree, Hanukkah decor, or New Year’s Eve confetti.
3. Channel a “Hygge” Environment
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve likely heard about the Danish concept of “hygge” in all of your lifestyle and home decor magazines. The word is used to describe the practice of creating a cozy, content, simple atmosphere – both in your life and in your home.
As Louisa Thomsen Brits said in The Book of Hygge,
“Hygge is about having less, enjoying more; the pleasure of simply being. It is generous and celebratory, a way to remember the importance of the simple act of living itself.”
You’ll be spending a lot of time in your house this year – so why not make it as charming and cozy as possible? The holidays might not be as social or “big” as they have been in years past, but their simplicity can be something special.
Before the winter doldrums hit, be sure to inspect your heating system – this is crucial to the coziness of your home.
Now, you may be thinking that issues with an HVAC setup are hardly DIY material. Truth be told, there are plenty of things you can do on your own. Check out a furnace guide for some tips to make your home more efficient at maintaining heat – as well as some direction for upgrades.
Remember: hygge is not about going all out to perfect your house. It’s about using your own home to maximize comfort and happiness through special touches. Now, more than ever, this is a DIY practice we can all benefit from.
4. Make Your Own Gift Wrapping Station
Do you usually have your gifts wrapped in the store? Well, this year, that might not be possible. It’s time to prepare to wrap all of your online orders once they arrive – in your own home.
Set up a designated corner of your home for the project. This prevents wrapping paper, tape, and glitter from becoming scattered throughout the house. Then, DIY a little supply stand full of double-sided tape, scissors, gift tags, bows, and more. Be sure to place a wastebasket nearby so that you can toss scraps away immediately.
5. Prepare the Kitchen
Up to 61 percent of restaurants that closed during the pandemic won’t reopen. That’s thousands of eateries and fine dining locations that won’t host your next holiday dinner. Cooking at home will likely be the way to go – and the safest choice.
Lots of cooking calls for a clean, ready-to-go kitchen. Prepare for weeks of baking and serving by:
- Checking the oven temperature for accuracy.
- Sharpening knives and other utensils.
- Cleaning out coffee makers and Keurigs.
- Wiping down and clearing out the refrigerator/freezer.
- Sanitizing the microwave.
Making meals at home can be a blast, especially during the holidays. You just need to spend a little time (and elbow grease) getting your food prep area up to snuff.
As sad as we are that holidays are, well, different this year, there are still plenty of things we can do to make them special at home. Crafting particular scents and comforting environments is a great way to celebrate safely without reaching for external help.
Even if you’re not a big DIY-er, these five projects are easy to accomplish. Stop binging that second season of your new Netflix show and get ready for the next holiday. Your whole family – and your mental health – will thank you for it later.