With so many Americans spending so much time at home, homeowners are learning that their spaces aren’t exactly optimized for daily life in the COVID era.
Here are some effective solutions to help you make your home fit your changing needs as we move into the future.
Optimize Your Home’s Floor Plan to Suit Your Lifestyle
Is your home serving your needs?
It’s critical to have designated areas for work and play so we can maintain some balance balance. We need spaces that function for work during office hours and areas to relax after hours.
Finding Home Offices
For the millions of office workers who are working from home through the pandemic, having a designated home office is suddenly more than just a luxury, it’s a necessity – particularly if your job requires lots of phone calls and virtual meetings. Spare bedrooms can easily be converted into home offices with just a desk and chair, but you could also convert a section of your garage, basement, formal dining room, enclosed patio, or shed into an office space. Some homeowners are even converting closet spaces into little offices!
Finding Space for the Kids
There may also be kids to consider. Maybe they just need an extra place to play, in which case any of the areas mentioned as possible home office spaces could work, or maybe they need space for school work and virtual learning. As most parents of school-aged children have noticed, even if your kids are attending classes in-person today, that could change if positive cases show up at the school. Be ready for remote learning by finding a space for the kids to attend their virtual classes. A nook or corner of their bedroom could be ideal for older kids who can navigate online systems themselves, and younger kids can utilize a central space like the breakfast bar or dining room table if parents will need to be more hands on as their students are logging on and off their various virtual classes.
Finding Space to Unwind
What about spaces for relaxing? Having an outdoor area is an exceptionally effective solution for optimizing your home in the COVID era. Some days, you just need to (safely!) interact with another human face-to-face, and a comfortable outdoor area with a deck or comfortable patio furniture will allow you to do that.
Optimized Layouts in New Homes
If you’re considering a move to a home that better fits your new lifestyle, pay attention to open floor plans vs. closed floor plans. Open floor plans allow for everyone to be in the same space, even when doing their own activities like cooking, completing homework, or playing games. Closed floor plans are more conducive to households where each member prefers their own private space or where a bit more privacy may be needed for work or schooling.
Optimize Your Home Through Cleaning and Organizing
A dusty, dirty house isn’t necessarily great for our mental well-being, but when we’re spending more time in the home, keeping everything clean may be harder than ever! Equally important, essential workers will likely want to have a clean house to come home to after a long day. Finding a home cleaning routine that works for you, enlisting family members to help make it happen, and taking the time to tidy up at the end of each day will keep things from getting too overwhelming.
A big part of maintaining a clean home also comes down to organization! As mentioned, organizing your spaces into designated work areas and play areas helps you to create healthy boundaries for your work/life balance. When you can’t find designated areas within your floor plan, you may be able to rearrange your furniture to create divided spaces. You can also pay extra attention to storage solutions to help optimize your space. When you can hide away any clutter in neat compartments, you’ll feel a lot less claustrophobic at home.
9 Simple Cleaning and Organization Hacks
Here are a few quick cleaning and organization hacks:
- Binge watch a few episodes of the Netflix series Get Organized with The Home Edit for inspiration.
- Set a goal to declutter one room at a time and donate or sell items that you haven’t used in the past 1-3 years. You won’t miss those items (we promise)!
- Add a fresh coat of paint to give a room an updated feel.
- Get the floors or carpets professionally cleaned to make the home smell and look clean instantly!
- Add these clear storage containers to your Amazon cart so you can see what items you have in-stock (like a retail store).
- Use Command Hooks to neatly hang handbags, jewelry, and scarves on the insides of closet doors.
- Get a few decorative baskets you can quickly throw clutter in before your Zoom calls.
- Hang a bulletin board above the kids’ desks to help keep them organized. Add a calendar so they can write down their assignment due dates.
- Keep the end goal in mind. Home organization can feel like a daunting task, but the reward of a faster morning routine and a refreshed space will pay off!
With these simple hacks, you’ll feel more organized in no time!
Use Décor to Optimize Your Home
Let’s be honest; spending so much time at home has most of us feeling a little down. We’ve had to cancel vacations, birthday parties, family gatherings, and even simple things like drinks with friends. Occupying the same old space with the same old décor day after day, month after month, certainly isn’t giving anyone the little mood boost we need.
Before you run out and purchase a new furniture set, start small by refreshing the following accent items:
- Throw pillows
- Wall art
- Add a few houseplants to bring the fresh outdoor feeling indoors
This will keep things simple, budget-friendly, and ultimately, breathe new life into your space.
How to Prioritize Your Wish List When Optimizing Your Home
Unless you know exactly what you need to make your home work for you (like a designated home office), it makes sense to start with the small, inexpensive solutions to see if they can make your home feel like a better fit. If cleaning and new decor elements don’t work, try getting a new piece of furniture to better suit your space. If that doesn’t work, consider reconfiguring your floor plan to better meet your needs.
Here’s a sample wish list:
- A home office for each adult
- A clean, organized area in front of each computer for Zoom calls
- Nooks in each kid’s room for a desk
- An outdoor dining area on the patio
- An unfinished basement as a DIY project
- New paint in the living room to freshen things up
You might even find that your current home just isn’t going to work with your new lifestyle. Over 15.9 million people moved between February 2020 and July 2020 despite, or perhaps because of, the pandemic.
If your current home no longer meets your needs, contact us to see how much of a home loan you qualify for and get answers to all your mortgage questions. Give us a call or start your application today at ovmfinancial.com/QuickStart.