In 2020, Americans weathered huge changes to their lives in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the biggest changes pertained to home life. Professionals from a number of industries suddenly had to shift to working from home, while students had to adjust to an online school setting. On top of that, friends and family members postponed seeing each other face-to-face and connected via video call instead of at the park, at a restaurant, or at the mall.
From a place of respite, the American home also transformed into a school, daycare center, workplace, home theater, and dining area all in one. That’s probably what happened to your own home, given that mobility was so limited during the months before the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. You’ve likely accumulated a lot of COVID-19 clutter, like food containers, medical supplies, and tech gadgets that you needed to adjust to the “new normal.” You may have also rearranged your home spaces to be more conducive to work, study, or safely distanced socializing opportunities.
But what should you do now that it’s a little safer to go outside, and now that you can slowly transition back into normal life? Where should you start if you want to clean up your home and return everything to its proper order? To ease you back into a safe, relaxed, and fulfilling home life post-pandemic, here are some quick tips for reorganizing your home.
Take a Good Look at What Your Home Space Has Become
The first thing you should do is step back and take a good look at the current situation in your home. Over the last few months, you may not have noticed how messy or out of order certain spaces are. Before you get to the “dirty work” of cleaning and sorting out items in these spaces, do a mental audit of what’s in them. Then, envision what you’d like for the spaces to look like once your post-pandemic reorganization is done.
Designate a Space for Your COVID Essentials
At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, you probably stocked up on essentials like fabric masks, surgical masks, and hand sanitizer. Though there may be occasions that you’ll still need to use these, it won’t hurt to reorganize excess stocks and put them away for safekeeping. Keep a small supply of masks and hand sanitizer readily available in one part of your home, and put the rest in storage. If it will still be on display, for example on your kitchen counter or on your patio, now may also be a good time to remind your kids and other household members of the dangers of drinking rubbing alcohol. Ensure that all supplies that you leave out are used properly and in a safe manner.
Determine Which Post-Pandemic Routines to Keep and Change
Though you can afford to dispense with some routines that you kept up during the pandemic, like getting food and groceries delivered to you, it may be better for you to keep others. What’s important is that you sort the habits that ultimately kept your home neater and more organized, versus the habits that added to the clutter. For example, you may want to cut down on the number of food deliveries you receive, but continue to order medicine and other medical supplies for delivery online. Keep the routines that are convenient and orderly while ditching others that may no longer be as necessary.
Rearrange Your Rooms for Post-COVID Activity
If you’ve gotten the go signal to report to work onsite, or if your children are transitioning back into face-to-face schooling, you may be able to clear out the room that was being used as a study or home office. Start by asking the room’s most frequent occupants about what you can clean out, versus what you should leave there. After a round or two of decluttering, you may be able to use the room for other purposes again, such as a guest room for visiting family members.
Clean and Air Out Your Home
Lastly, it would be good to schedule a general deep clean of your home so that you can be rid of dust, pollen, or mold that may have gone untreated during quarantine. There are some tasks that you can do yourself, like scrubbing your walls and vacuuming your floors. But some tasks, like removing or remediating mold, you should leave to a professional contractor. Now that you are closer to achieving herd immunity in your area, you can feel a little more at ease about having these services done in your home. It will then become cleaner, more organized, and easier to breathe in.
Though your current home situation can finally look different from how it was last year, remember to take it slow when you embark on your post-pandemic spring cleaning. After all, there’s no deadline to reorganizing your home and making it a neater, cleaner, and more restful space. Be thoughtful about what you want your home to look like, and the kinds of experiences you want both your household members and guests to have. Focus on creating a home life that fosters a safe and comfortable environment for you and your family.