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While travel is great, sometimes you just need to recharge from a busy work schedule, or tons of chores and obligations, by unwinding at home. For some, staying in is just what the doctor ordered to recharge the batteries and get you ready to head back to work, errands, and all of the usual tasks that come with day-to-day life.

So while you’re staying at home, what can you do? While you might revel at the thought of sleeping in until noon every day, parking your butt on the couch in front of the TV, and doing, well, nothing, chances are you’ll want to make better use of your time. Plus, doing nothing will probably get pretty boring after a day or two.

With that said, here are some great ideas for things you can do while being at home.

Learn a new skill

You’re never too old and it’s never too late to learn a new skill. Maybe you want to experiment with cooking or baking. I have always, for example, wanted to attempt to make French macarons and souffle but have never had the time. Maybe you want to try a dish that you’ve always wanted to cook but never got around to.

Or maybe the new skill you want to learn is knitting, sewing, crocheting, or some other form of art or craft, like pottery, scrapbooking, or T-shirt designing.

You can make blankets, scarves, or fun family shirts, sew all of those ripped clothes and stuffed animals that have been needing some TLC, and start up a craft project that might bud into a new hobby.

If you prefer building things instead, you might want to head to the garage to follow a guidebook or video and learn how to make a birdhouse, a treehouse for the kids, a planter, a vegetable garden, or something else cool and involving woodworking. Maybe you want to look into setting up your own garden and learning how to do that, including planting fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Another useful skill to have is knowing a second (or third) language, which you can accomplish using language and educational software. Sit down, pop on a pair of headphones, set up the program, then follow along, doing an hour or so every day so you can learn Spanish, French, and whatever other language you desire.

The possibilities are endless. Just think of that thing you’ve always wanted to learn to do but never got around to doing, and do it.

Renovating your home

There’s always a room of the home you want to renovate in some way but never have the time. Use your time at home to blast some great music, put on comfortable clothes, and get working on those renovations you keep putting on the back burner.

Maybe it’s re-doing your powder room or finishing the basement. Maybe it’s re-painting your child’s bedroom, putting up new wallpaper in a room to give it some extra flare, adding a new backsplash in the kitchen, or putting down new tiles. Whatever it is, this is
the perfect time to get a small renovation done, or at least get it started.

Get some exercise

Set up a home gym in the basement or garage or grab an exercise bike or some other piece of workout equipment so you can take a little bit of time every day to work out and get some exercise. Your might only be home for a few weeks but you can use the time to start a habit of working out that you will hopefully continue once it’s time to head back to work.

Consider cardio machines that will help you get some cardio while you multitask, watching TV or listening to music, or if you’re more into exercising like yoga and pilates, get an exercise mat and DVD or app to follow to get your workout in each day.

Reorganizing and purging

Being at home is the perfect time to reorganize and redecorate. This includes emptying drawers and throwing out junk you don’t need to keep any more, organizing cupboards, drawers, and closets (binge watch Marie Kondo on Netflix first for some great ideas and inspiration!) and doing a major clean-out.

Look at purging, too. Bag up items that you can get rid of, like clothes, furniture, toys, and more. Some you might be able to sell online or in local buy and sell shops. Some would be great to donate to places like shelters. This will not only help reduce clutter in your home, but it will make you feel good, too.

Once you have purged, consider reorganizing rooms. Maybe get new closet organizers, upgrade furniture, or simply move things around to provide a fresh, new look. You might find that you can move furniture to make a space feel more open, or to leave room for adding something cool like a side table or decorative piece of art.

Set up a backyard oasis

Whether it’s summer, winter, spring, or fall, there’s never a bad time to get a backyard oasis ready. As any Canadian knows, barbecue season is any season, snow or shine.

Use your time at home to set up a backyard oasis that you can enjoy with the family, during large gatherings of friends and family, or even on your own. This might include setting up some outdoor speakers, including rock speakers that you can hide among the bushes to provide discreet surround sound.

Look at some new patio furniture, including sectionals, chairs, and umbrellas. Or look at adding things to your existing set to spruce things up for a new season, like funky throw pillows, an outdoor rug, handy side tables, and more.

You might also want to look at adding things like a patio heater for enjoying outdoor nights when it’s chilly, or a fire table or fire pit so you can pretend you’re camping when you’re still in the comfort of your own home.

Don’t forget to get a fancy new barbecue; or if you already have one, consider a smoker. My husband has been wanting one of these for ages, as they provide a great place for you to smoke ribs, chicken, and other dishes, slow cooking them for hours and hours to perfection.

Set up a smart home

If you have been thinking about setting up a smart home but haven’t had the time to dedicate to researching the right products and understanding how to get it all working together, this is the perfect time.

You might already have a smart speaker at home or know which one you want to get. Then you can work from there. Some of the best ways to get started with a smart home include smart lighting, security cameras, and speakers. But you might also want to look into more fun options like smart kitchen appliances (not only big but also small, like coffee makers), doorbells, garage door openers, thermostats – the sky’s the limit!

Once you grab all of the gadgets you want and that will work with the smart speaker and smart voice platform you choose, like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit, get started with setting things up one by one. Swap out boring light bulbs with new smart ones, connect your coffeemaker and fan to a smart plug, add speakers in every room of the home, install the security camera on your porch, and more.

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In most cases, set-up will be super easy through an app. Once everything is set up, you can start organizing scenes, music playlists, and more. For example, set a Scene called Good Morning that turns on the lights, queues up a favourite music playlist, brews a cup of coffee, and turns the TV on to the local news channel. For a Bedtime scene, have the lights turn off (except bathroom, which just dims), the security camera turn on, thermostat drop a few degrees, and door locks. You can have tons of fun playing around with settings, scenes, and adding new devices to your smart home once you get the hang of it.

Bottom Line

Taking some time at home can be great for relaxing, but the time can also be used to get lots of things done, whether they are things on a to-do list or stuff that has been sitting dormant on your bucket list.

Learn a new skill, renovate the home, upgrade your devices, clean out junk and make room for lots of fun once life returns to normal.

Check out lots more great products to help you make the most of your time at home at Best Buy Online