I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m wandering aimlessly through a fog some days. There’s volleying between too many news updates and the worry that I’ll miss the latest news, along with the restlessness that accompanies fear and uncertainty.

I’m staying home trying to flatten the curve with social distancing for the foreseeable future, so I need to add structure to my days, stat. How often have we all longed for free time to get caught up on “all the things…?”

Before I go any further, let me take a moment to thank, with all my heart, the first responders, the health care providers, teachers, grocery store employees, mail carriers, and all the people who are out there doing what needs doing while the rest of us hunker down. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for all of you. On a personal note, as much as I miss not visiting my mom daily, I am so appreciative of the care she is receiving in the dementia wing at Elderwood Skilled Nursing in Williamsville.

Many of us are experiencing forced time off in an effort to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our fellow community residents safe and healthy. How do we make the best of a very bad situation?

As an organizer, there are projects I see in many households (as well as some in our own house!) that could be tackled, providing focus and a sense of accomplishment. Here are a few ideas:

  • Laundry – what a great time to get caught up! That means wash it, dry it, fold it, AND put it away. Maybe you’re only two or three loads behind, so it’s no biggie diggie. But if you’ve got piles upon piles, set a goal of two or three loads a day, seeing each load through to completion.
  • Socks – I can’t tell you how many clients have baskets full of mismatched socks. How about a friendly family game of “Pairs,” offering a prize to the member who matches up the most socks?
  • Junk Drawers – Use my mantra of, “A place for everything, and everything in its place…” and turn those junk drawers into organized go-to homes for office supplies, batteries, tools, pet supplies, gift wrap, etc.
  • Closets, Cupboard and Drawers – extend your organizing beyond junk drawers and tackle the bathroom drawers, linen closets, dressers, clothes closets, etc.
  • Decluttering – pick a category, any category, and decide if you’ve got just enough, or perhaps too much. Candles, coffee mugs, tablecloths… the list is endless.
  • Cleaning – There are lots of ideas in this category, but a few that I’ve put on my list to accomplish during my at-home time are:
    • Windows – wash windows and sills to clear away winter grime and let in even more sunshine.
    • Spring Cleaning – wipe down baseboards and walls, clear clutter, and vacuum the furniture; we’ll focus on our family room first, but what a great time to “git’er done.”
  • Photos – Whether it’s downloading them from your phone to your online albums, or getting them printed and put into actual photo albums, this is a great project to tackle with this forced found time.
  • Files/Paperwork – File stuff, clean out files. Shred stuff. I know, I know, but if not now, when?

Instead of mindlessly watching TV, get productive while watching! Check out some of my ideas in this “Couch Potato Productivity” post.

Then of course there’s the all important “self care” category that many of us often say we’re too busy to tend to. Here are some ideas I plan to incorporate into my daily routine:

  • Mindfulness – From my thoughts (keeping them positive) to what I put in my mouth (no more eating outta the bag!) to taking deep cleansing breaths regularly.
  • Reading – no, not on facebook. I will read pages in a real book for pleasure every day.
  • Walks – one or two walks outside a day. Fresh air and exercise, a win-win walk, if you will. Of course, ANY exercise is good. Move, people!
  • Phone a Friend – not text, not facebook message, but call and talk to people I care about.
  • Gardening/Lawn work – For me, gardening has always been a great stress reliever. It’s early, but there are a number of little projects I could tackle to get a jump on garden cleanup. We went out the other day and picked up all the wind-deposited winter trash in the four corners of the yard and between the houses. Hubby raked the front lawn. It felt good to be out there.
  • Hobbies – Got one? Do it. Got none? Learn something new to keep your brain from atrophying.

Make lists. Set goals. Here’s a link to my recent, Procrastination Diet” post with a good list-making idea. I’ve updated mine and hope to tackle many of them during this period of social distancing.

How about you? How are you doing? What’s helping? Share your sanity-saving tips with us. We’re all in this together.

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