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The five best ways to improve your home during lockdown

If you are spending much more time at home recently, you have probably noticed areas of your property that could do with a quick spruce up. When life was 'normal', we often overlooked these areas as we were far too busy in our daily routines to pay any attention. However, since lockdown, we have discovered how effective a lick of paint and a de-clutter can be. See below for our five top tips for improving your home - and keeping your sanity - during lockdown:

Rethink your space
Lockdown is frustrating for those itching to use the time to renovate their home but unable to get to a DIY store. All hope is not lost, however. A huge difference can be made simply by rearranging the current furniture you have in your home. It is important to take into consideration your daily routine when reorganising - for example, if you are working from home, try to declutter your workspace and remove any distractions from your desk (yes, this includes your phone!). Perhaps you could reorganise the furniture in your living room just for a change in scenery - scenery that you are now spending almost all day in!

If you can, the purchase of new furniture can certainly spruce up your home. We recommend changing small things - a shelf here and a new lamp there. It can all make a difference. It is important to not go overboard though, as I'm sure your neighbours will not be impressed with the Ikea truck pulling up outside every day for the foreseeable - or the Ikea truck driver for that matter!

Roll up your sleeves
While it may be difficult to get working professionals around to your home in the current circumstances, even the most novice householder can make improvements. While it is unlikely that you might have endless pots of paint to hand to give the whole place a makeover, even if you have some left over from previous renovations it can be transformative to touch up walls, skirting boards and doors that might be scuffed or worn - never underestimate the difference that a small amount of leftover gloss can make to skirting boards and window sills!

Try gardening
Now is the time of the year to get outside in your garden and enjoy what green space is available to you - and some pesky virus is not going to stop you! It is easy to be daunted by the idea of garden maintenance, but even something as simple as weeding and cutting of grass can both make a huge difference to the look of your garden and help you relieve any stress you may have.

Have a clear out
In normal times, decluttering is an eminently postponable task. Now, though, we have more time to tackle those unwanted possessions. We suggest a step-by-step approach to tackling this to avoid severe boredom. We're not saying that it is going to be the time of your life, but it should at least make the task more bearable!

Break it down into projects that you can accomplish in, say, 15 to 20 minutes. One pile of papers on the floor, one stack of books on a bedside table, one kitchen cabinet, etc. The usual recipients of our unwanted goods - charity shops, recycling centres, etc are closed. What you can do is bag up anything you no longer want or need, label it carefully, and store it out of the way until lockdown lifts.

Washing windows
You would be surprised how much of a difference washing your windows can make, especially if it hasn't been done for a while and let's face it - it hasn't! This is another one of those jobs that we would ordinarily 'do later' and then make every conscious effort to avoid doing at all costs. We hear that one part washing-up liquid to six parts water, and a quick polish afterwards, is the best way.

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