home improvement

5 Simple Home Fixes You Can Accomplish While Sheltering-in-Place

By Tanya Svoboda
April 2020

The line, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” may have gotten Dorothy back to Kansas. But with the onset of COVID-19, it feels more like there’s no other place than home these days. Multiple cities and states across the country have already issued “shelter-in-place” orders and other cities are urging residents to follow the national guidelines for social distancing. On March 30, President Trump extended social distancing guidelines through the end of April.

This unique moment in history has forced many of us to slow down and stay put. Putting your energy towards working through some small home improvement projects can make your time at home feel more productive. Here are five simple fixes that you can accomplish that don’t require you to make non-essential trips to the hardware store.

1. Paint It

We all have that dark corner in our basement, attic or crawl space where we store the remnants of past home projects. If you’re lucky, you’ll find leftover interior paint in the mix. Why not use it to freshen up the walls you’re stuck within? Consumer Reports tests showed that when properly sealed latex paint can last up to ten years. Touching up scuffs in high traffic areas like hallways, mudrooms and kid’s bedrooms, is a great way to refresh a space that feels dingy.

2. Organize It

The coronavirus has given new meaning to the concept of spring cleaning. While you may not be able to get your hands on any disinfecting wipes, you can organize various spaces within your home.

Perhaps your stockpile of canned food and dried goods has revealed a weak spot in your kitchen’s organization? A well-organized pantry is something you can enjoy every day. If you’re worried about finding attractive and functional containers during a shelter in place order, you’ll be relieved to know that HGTV says containers and shelf liners are only a small part of the bigger organizational picture. Get your system in place now and worry about swapping out your mismatched containers when non-essential businesses are open again.

3. Fix It

You may have always imagined that working from home would be a dream come true, but squeaky hinges and unfinished tasks around the house can become big distractors. Dedicating 10 -15 minutes of your day to a DIY project will offer up a welcome break from work and may help you to feel more refreshed and focused when you sit back down at your desk.

Consider tasks like replacing burnt out light bulbs, patching small holes (if you have the supplies on hand), tightening up wobbly chair legs or greasing up a noise door hinge. Tresido Homes suggests trying your hand at sticky windows, broken drawer handles and stuck dresser drawers as well.

4. Update It

Family and personal photos are a great way to add character to your home. So many of us buy frames, print pictures, hang them up and then never change them. If you’re missing your extended family because of shelter in place orders, why not dust off the old family albums (or your phone) and make some old photos new again by swapping them into the frames around your house. Use your home printer to add new photos to your collection that  you currently have stored on your phone.

5. Refresh It

Maybe you love your home, your furniture and it’s finishes – but you’re sick of spending more hours than ever before in your same old living room. Consider rearranging what you already have. Furl’s article What to Think About When Rearranging Your Living Room says, “Rearranging layouts is a great, cost affordable way to freshen up a house. No torn down walls, no paint, and no huge bills required.” Think about what is and isn’t working in the space and then check out one of House Beautiful’s 6 of the Best Home and Interior Design Tools, Apps and Software and you’ll be on your way to a fresh living space in no time.

If you’re fortunate enough to own a home you love during this unprecedented time of social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, why not take this opportunity to complete some quick home fixes that will help you to remember there’s no place like home.


Visit our COVID-19 Page for the latest news and information from Home Ownership Matters on COVID-19 and its impact on homeowners, housing and communities across the country.

Guidelines and protocol surrounding COVID-19 are changing quickly. For the most up-to-date information we recommend visiting the CDCWHO, and your local health department websites.


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