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Worthwhile Ways to Use Your Time at Home

March 24, 2020

Hello, and welcome to Dressed for My Day. As we all continue to live a little differently than before, I’m also departing slightly from my normal content. Instead of helping you to get dressed for your day today, I’m offering ways to use your time productively while you’re at home. These ideas come from some of my own activities and goals, but also from readers and social media followers.

Worthwhile Ways to Use Your Time at Home

While some people may actually be reporting to work at grocery stores, hospitals and other “necessary businesses” even more than normal, many of us are hunkering down at home to prevent spread of this virus. And even if you, like me, have work to do from home, you may find you still have additional “time to kill” because you’re not commuting, gathering with friends, showing up for your regularly scheduled activities or shopping in stores.

First, no pressure…

I actually think it’s wise to give ourselves a little grace during this abnormal season and give in to the urge to nap, visit on the phone or just watch some mindless television. It’s absolutely okay to chill a little. So please don’t think I’m encouraging us to fill every spare moment with meaningful, stimulating or productive activities. Instead, let’s go gentle on ourselves and take time to process the stress and uncertainty in the ways that best serve us.

But if you do want to stay on track somewhat and use some of your newfound time at home in a more meaningful way, I’ve got a dozen ideas for ways to use your time at home. Some of these suggestions are productive, while others are simply meant to help us cope. Let me know if any of these spark something inside of you.

Let’s get started! And these are in no particular order.

#1 – Change out your winter clothes for spring clothes.

Okay, maybe everyone else has already done this and I’m just behind. But today I’m finally switching out my wardrobe. And, hey don’t just swap out clothes. Weed out as you go.

You might want to check out this post from last year, 10 Things to Take Out of Your Closet. In fact, even if you have already switched out your winter duds for your spring clothes, you may discover that you need to take a few more things outta there!

10 Things to Take Out of Your Closet so you can Build a Wardrobe that Works for You
Check out this post.

#2 – Start your spring cleaning.

This is a great time for going deep with the cleaning. Besides your normal cleaning schedule, consider:

  • washing the windows
  • cleaning the window treatments
  • scrubbing baseboards
  • moving the furniture to clean the floors thoroughly
  • vacuuming under furniture cushions
  • cleaning ceiling fans
  • disinfecting trash cans and waste baskets
  • flipping and rotating your mattress
  • showering down any wicker baskets gathering dust
  • vacuuming lamp shades
  • cleaning out the fridge
  • cleaning out the dryer vent & washing the washing machine

Do you recommend other thorough cleaning activities at this time of year?

#3 – Organize an area of your home.

I don’t suggest setting unrealistic goals when it comes to organizing. Instead, make a list of areas that need to be organized and rank them in order of importance. Intermingle the big projects with smaller, more doable ones so that you can get a little traction and feel good about your accomplishments.

My goal is to organize our basement, which is laden with unpacked boxes from our recent (8 months ago!!!) move.

Okay, enough work already! Let’s move on to activities that are little more fun and stimulating.

#4 – Cook some new recipes.

Start by watching the movie Julie & Julia, in which a New York City blogger (Amy Adams) sets out to cook her way through a Julia Childs (Meryl Streep) cookbook in 365 days. Then find a cookbook by a cook or chef you enjoy and set out to conquer your own challenge at your own pace. I recommend one of Ree Drummond’s cookbooks, Amy Hannon’s Love, Welcome, Serve or The Ultimate Instant Pot Cooking for Two.

I’ve got more cookbook choices in the shopping widget below. These are affiliate links so if you purchase anything while shopping through them, I potentially earn a commission, but at no cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting my small business.

#5 – Take a class on Skill Share.

Skill Share is an online learning community offering thousands of courses for creative and curious people. You’ll find classes on topics such as photography, illustration, creative writing, visual journaling, interior design, languages, music, cooking and more. If you have an interest for which you’ve been wanting a little more training or know-how, you’ll probably find an experienced crafts person or tech geek or cook teaching it.

Learn on Skillshare

And right now you can get two free months of premium Skill Share membership, which gives you access to tens of thousands of classes, access to teachers and offline watching. But even if you just want to try the free Basic Plan, you can watch full courses on many topics of interest. I’m taking a class on beginning a YouTube channel. Yay! It’s coming!!!

#6 – Plant a garden.

Whether you plant a full fledged vegetable garden, a bed of flowers or a container garden of herbs, tomatoes and peppers, it a great time to put some seeds in the dirt. And I understand most home and garden stores, as well as Walmart and Target, are open right now. But you could begin planning your garden here at the Home Depot garden center.

Plant a Garden

#7 – Work out at home.

I definitely recommend getting out for long walks, hikes and/or bike rides during this trying time. But if you’re used to exercising at a gym or with a class and instructor, you may be craving a good workout about now. I love working out with the FASTer Way to Fat Loss app each day. They provide live guided weight training and cardio workouts every day and then add them to their library full of workouts, including barre, yoga, kick boxing and fitness band workouts.

FASTer Way to Fat Loss
Learn more about FASTer Way to Fat Loss. (This is an affiliate link.)

FASTer Way to Fat Loss is a nutrition based weight management and fitness program that I’ve been a part of for two years now. I lost 20 pounds during the first three of those months, and managed to keep most of it off over the last two years. (I’m knocking off a few pounds gained over the winter right now!) The program utilizes intermittent fasting, balanced nutrition, carb balancing, weight training, limited cardio workouts and rest to help you turn your body into a fat-burning machine. And it really does work!

Right now, when so many people are looking for guided workout options outside of a gym setting, FWTFL is offering new members $50 off the registration price for the 6-week program with code STAYWELL. If you have questions about the program, just let me know.

Of course, you can find other workouts online. But you may need the equipment to do them. I’ve got a shopping widget full of the items I use in my daily home workouts.

#8 – Join an online Bible study.

Missing the camaraderie and accountability of a Bible study group. Maybe your group has continued meeting through Zoom or other conference call app. That’s great! But if you weren’t already in a class or yours has disbanded, consider enrolling in an online group.

Bible study

I’ve taken online Bible studies with Proverbs 31 Ministries before, and I truly enjoyed it. You can “fellowship” with other participants, watch the videos for free and get some accountability. You could also check out LifeWay’s online Bible studies for women.

While we’re on the topic, if I were to offer an online Bible study of one of the studies I authored, would you be interested in enrolling? Let me know in the comments. I wouldn’t start it until this summer probably. But I’m just curious if any of you gals would like to do that.

#9 – Read a happy book.

My daughter is in the other room watching The Hunger Games as I write this post. Hmm. I don’t think I want to watch something like that at a time like this. Hahaha! Well, to each her own. But I’d rather pull a happy book off the shelf right now. For instance, Fannie Flagg novels like The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion make me laugh out loud. I’ve got some light reading suggestions for you in the shopping widget below.

#10 – Give yourself a manicure.

It doesn’t look like most of us will be getting professional mani pedis anytime soon. So I suggest you check out this old post for my tips for a home manicure. I love, love, love my OPI Infinite Shine manicure set. I’ve got all the things you’ll need in the shopping widget below.

#11 – Calm your mind.

While I’m all for being productive, we may need a few diversions that are simply meant to calm our minds. My daughter likes to color with colored pencils in her adult coloring book. I sometimes like to knit. Maybe you prefer to draw or paint or crochet or work with clay.

I also recommend one of two apps for meditation, bedtime stories and gentle background sounds that can calm your mind. I like to use Abide, a Christian meditation app, but I’ve also enjoyed Calm in the past.

#12 – Play a game.

You may be limited by the number of folks in your household, but this is a great time to gather around a table for a board game. I’m suggesting the ones our family loves in the shopping widget below. But you could also find card games for two to play with a single deck of cards.

Or if you’re alone or can’t interest anyone in your household in playing along, check out some of the game apps available for your phone that allow you to play with friends all over the world. You could play a virtual game of Scrabble, Mario Kart Tour or Carcassonne (my favorite!).

Bonus – Simply tackle that thing on the back burner.

We all have a few things we’ve been putting on the back burner, don’t we? This is a great time to finally tackle that project, whether it’s hard labor or all fun. If it’s no fun, set a timer and do a little each day. But if it’s something that really interests you, but you just haven’t found the time to go for it, now’s the time. Maybe you’d like to start a blog, create a photo album or other print project with Shutterfly, organize your family photos, paint a room of your house or sell some items on Ebay. Now is the time!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. And maybe you got at least one idea for some worthwhile ways to spend your time at home during this awkward season. Let me know what you’re doing. I’d love to hear from you today.

By the way, tomorrow I’ll be sharing some comfy pjs for lounging at home! Hahaha!

Blessed for My Day

About now it’s starting to feel like this season of social distancing may never end. The newness is wearing off and the monotony and inconvenience is rubbing us raw. But let’s not forget that this too shall pass. Let’s put our hope, not in the future we long for, but in the God who holds both today and tomorrow. If we fill our time praising Him and looking to Him with expectation, He will lift our spirits and restore our hope.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God. ~ Psalm 42:11

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xoxo, Kay
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42 thoughts on “Worthwhile Ways to Use Your Time at Home

  1. Great suggestions Kay!!!! I am still working at my full time job outside the home in NC….Thank you Lord!!! We all are washing our hands obsessively, wiping things down and staying in our own space. If I were home, I would definitely not be bored. I have house cleaning, cleaning out closets, re-organizing, etc. I would definitely like to squeeze in reading. I do my Proverbs 31 Ministries First 5 Bible study online and try to get on my treadmill before heading out at 7:30 am so I would like to take more time doing these too. As always, thank you for your time and preparation on your blog. Stay Healthy and Safe. ~Lisa~

    1. Yes, Lisa. You are blessed indeed. Stay safe out there! But it’s so good to have work at a time like this. Thanks so much for sharing. Have a great day!

  2. Great ideas Kay! My husband recently bought us a huge raised garden. I had a huge flower bed and garden when we lived in Iowa. We moved to a larger city in SD five years ago and have a very small yard. I’ve really missed gardening and I’m so excited to grow vegetables again! Of course, we are still dealing with cold temps and snow here in SD but a girl can dream! In the mean time I just downloaded “The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion. I can use a good laugh about now!

    1. Hahaha! It’s been a while since I’ve read that book, but I know it was fun…and very historically interesting too. I may read it again. She’s finally coming out with a new book in June, too. Enjoy!

  3. Great post Kay! Many of these I’ve already done or are on my list but there are some I wasn’t aware of. I would be interested in an online Bible Study with one of your studies. I have several daily devotionals I read each morning but would like to add something more in depth. Thanks!

  4. Hi Kay! I just love your daily blog! Thank you for taking time to share and encourage us!! I’m doing your Bible Study “Satisfied at Last” and God is sure speaking to me in a big way! This morning I just finished the last day of week 2. Wow…..that was a hard one!! Thank you for sharing your personal story! I sure could relate with many of the same issues! God has also brought me out many slippery slopes and today I give him Glory and victory! May God Bless you for all you do to point women to Him!!!

    1. Hi Gail. Thanks so much for letting me know. I’m glad you are enjoying the study. That one does have some tough assignments. I’m so glad you are enjoying the blog, too. Have a great day!

  5. Kay – thanks to you I am a new fan of Jan Karon! I just finished At home in Mitford, and you were right — very peaceful, feel good book, and as an added bonus it is religious and connected to my faith. I have already started book #2. Thank you for all your posts about WFH. I typically WFH one day a week and now we are all home every day for the foreseeable future. Your tips have been very, very, helpful. Stay healthy Kay!

    1. Oh I am so glad…about the book and the wfh tips. One of my biggest goals here is to provide my readers with quality, beneficial content. I realize that on any given day posts are going to resonate with some more than others, but I hope there is enough variety to meet at least some needs in each reader’s life.

      How wonderful to be at the beginning of that Jan Karon series! You have many more wonderful books ahead of you. Enjoy!

  6. Great post and so many good ideas to help us stay busy at home but focused and moving forward! I am finding several home projects to work in, closet clean outs, sewing, crocheting, a little TV watching! Daily bible study too! I am really enjoying The First 5 app! My husband is working from home now and that is an adjustment!! I like to play music and sing during the day, but with him home working that is not really feasible inside the house right now!! Trying to get out each day for some exercise and my music!!! Blessings to you as we all try to do our part to halt the spread of the virus!

    1. Hi Danelle. I totally get what you mean by having your husband home. Hahaha! Maybe some earbuds??? You’ll figure it out…about the time he heads back to work.

  7. Hi Kay, Great ideas. Here I am still working fulltime but doing it at home. I would definitely join an online Bible study that you were leading! Stay safe! Becky

  8. Thanks for your posts! They always brighten my day and these days need brightening! But the sun finally came out here in Texas so I’m thankful beyond measure! I’d love to be included in an on line Bible study as well. And I have a “craft” room upstairs that has needed attention for quite some time…so maybe this time at home will motivate me to get up there and get busy. Thanks for the suggestions and ideas today.

  9. Love the list! It’s amazing what a feeling of accomplishment will do to raise one’s spirits. One item to add to the list has been to write letters. Friends living in my previous space — the ones who I normally text — are getting a newsy note. Even my 94 year old mom, who lives in town, has gotten a letter a week. For her, I’m using up the bits and pieces of old stationery and just talking about what we did/are doing during the week. She is loving the surprise of something in her mail box. The hubs and I also cleaned out the cars – inside and out. Tackling the little things, and a few big things, nudge us back into the feeling that things will be okay! Have a good one!

  10. I would love for you to do a Bible study with us!! Great ideas in this post. While I changed out my clothes a week or so ago, I tried on every piece of my warm weather clothes. If I did not love it, into the donate pile it went. It really felt so good doing that! And now I know that every item hanging in my closet fits and I love it, AND I have open space in my closet, even with some cooler weather items in it. I enjoy reading books from Guideposts. The one chore I need to do is wipe down the siding and the furniture on our screened in back porch. That’s not something that I enjoy, but once it’s done, I’m so glad that I did it. Oh, I tried to access the video from your church on Sunday, but the video would not play ☹️. Great BFMD! Enjoy your day, the best you can.

    1. That is wonderful, Ginger. I’m about to knock out tomorrow’s post and then I’m changing out my wardrobe. I’m not looking forward to the work of it, but I’m definitely looking forward to the results!

  11. Good morning Kay. Thank you for all the great tips. I have completed some spring cleaning tasks already, but still have more to go. I would like to suggest another book series that I enjoy: the “Miss Julia” series. The first book is “Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind”. I like to read the books in order, but it is not necessary. The books written by Ann B. Ross make me laugh out loud! Thanks for all your efforts in sharing ideas for us to do and thoughts to ponder during this surreal time. Praying you and your family stay healthy and safe!

    1. Ahh yes! I was wracking my brain trying to remember light books but suddenly couldn’t remember. That’s a great series. Thanks so much for sharing. Take care!

  12. Another fabulous post, Kay! Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions. I love that your daughter is there with you for now and know you are enjoying that precious time with her. I would definitely love to do an online bible study with you ????❤️

  13. It’s like you were looking in my window when you made that cleaning list. I have 5 ceiling fans that make me feel guilty everytime I look up. : )
    I love to read and thank God that Amazon lets us have books for our kindles for free. I’m interested in a bible study. I’m reading the bible through in chronological order this year. Now that’s interesting.
    We just got an insta pot for Billy who is taking up cooking because he’s bored since the places he plays music are all shut down. Heaven help me! My poor stomach. He just discovered spices!

  14. Great post, Kay! I would love to add one more consideration for all the grandparents out there. We are reserving an hour and a half a day to FaceTime with our five-year-old granddaughter who is home from kindergarten for the foreseeable future. This gives some predictable structure to her day as well as giving her mom and dad a well needed break as they try to maintain their challenging full-time jobs from home as well as balance the needs of an 18 month old! We read to her, she reads to us so she has the practice, and we usually have a little bit of writing involved as well, based on assignments that are being sent by her teacher. We also almost always find a time each evening to interact with the toddler or both of them together. This time has become a gift with purpose for my husband and I, including working together on planning for those sessions. ❤️

  15. I would be interested in a Bible study. Thanks for the suggestions. I appreciate the fact that your blog speaks to my heart and head as well as fashion.

  16. I so wish I had time to do anything besides work. Switching to teaching on-line is so much work. I did take off to walk with my husband and the dogs. That has been my only break all day today. It has been like this for almost 2 weeks. And it will be through the end of the semester. Ugh! Love reading your posts to take time away from the news and thinking about what we are all going through.

  17. great list some of things are on my to do list. another great app for games is game pigeon i believe its only for iphone. it has alot of different games like darts, basketball, golf, battle ship , uno to name a few. it’s something we can do with my parents or sometimes my daughter i just play. something I would add is to try not to fall into the social media trap. I have wasted alot of time with social media.