home organizing, Uncategorized

Are We There Yet? Four Practices to Help You Survive Quarantine

What day is it? With everyone home every day, it’s easy to forget what day it is, and it’s easy to let our work slide because we can always do it tomorrow. My own schedule has been a little up in the air and as the beautiful weather comes, so goes my attention span. What can we do to maintain focus and to make these unusual days count? Here are four ways to make your quarantine time work for you and your family.

Create a New Room
The sun came out this week and it feels like summer is finally creeping in. I spent a day this week cleaning up our patio in preparation for the new season. I scrubbed the mildew off the deck, cleaned the furniture and emptied the old soil out of the flower pots. I unearthed the sun umbrella from the shed and polished up the grill.

It’s almost like we added a new room to our home! The four of us have been a little bit on top of each other here in the house, so it was wonderful to carve out a little extra space. This is where we’ll eat our dinners on warm summer nights, but now I also have a spot to land when the rest of the house feels like chaos.

Progress over perfection. This will be our landing spot all summer long. I’m going to make it as comfortable and functional as possible.

Clean and Organize
Gretchen Rubin says “inner order creates outer calm.” I so agree! You might be working all day, you might be wrangling/teaching/feeding kids all day, so I’m giving you a lot of grace. But, if your home has some order, you’ll feel much better. Start by making your bed every morning and try to get the dishes done at the end of every evening. This way you’re starting your day with a clean kitchen and ending your day with a made bed. Glorious! Another way I’ve been creating a little more order is by instituting a 10-minute scramble about 3 times a week at our house. That means that while a 10-minute timer is running, everybody scours the house for their own stuff to put away. Once their stuff is out of the main living areas of the house, they need to find another chore to keep them busy until the timer goes off. It might be vacuuming the hallway, shining up the stainless in the kitchen, fluffing up the pillows in the living room or cleaning the glass slider. When we all work together, we can make the house shine in no time. The outer order really does bring me peace.

Quarantine Rules to Live By
I’ve been wondering how to thrive as opposed to just survive these weeks. I’m personally trying not to complain, setting goals and creating bright spots for myself and my family. Despite this, we’ve been a little aimless, and, inspired by a couple podcasters I listen to, I created a small list for each of us to accomplish each day. They are:
• Something for your mind – study, reading, working, writing, etc.
• Something for your body-get outside, play, walk, bike, exercise, garden, etc.
• Something for your family-do a favor for someone with no expectation of recognition.
• Something for your home-do a small chore without being asked.
These have only been put into practice for a few days, but I feel like they’ve but a really nice framework around our daily life and it gives us something to talk about around the dinner table. Would your four rules be different? Leave a comment and let me know!

Connect With Your Friends and Family
The one thing that will help you thrive in the midst of quarantine is to stay in touch with the ones you love. Social distancing does not make this easy and you do have to be both willing and able to put yourself out there. Call your best friend to just check in. Do a Zoom call with all of your siblings. My daughter this week met her friend in a parking lot and they talked for a while from 8 feet apart. I learned how to use the Marco Polo app and sent “polos” to all my friends this week. In January I started a Mastermind group with a couple professional gals in the community and it has been great to have this kind of encouragement during this slowdown for work. Additionally, on Easter, we delivered care packages and cinnamon rolls to four friends, using our best social distancing practices. We never got within six feet of anyone, but we did shout encouragement, waved, shared stories and gave our best well wishes. How we would love to give hugs and hang out for hours, but this time of quarantine will not soon be forgotten and will make our friendships and family relationships that much stronger.

Have You Found The Northwest Home Coach YouTube Channel?

It’s a work in progress, and we’ll be adding content every week, but you will find the most elusive of all home organizing tasks: How to Fold a Fitted Sheet. Take a look at the video and then subscribe to the channel. Here’s a link to the channel for Northwest Home Coach.

There are other ways you can connect with Northwest Home Coach as well. Check out Instagram or sign up for a once-weekly newsletter! Just send a message to northwesthomecoach@gmail.com and I’ll add you to this week’s newsletter list.