Creating a Harmonious home during Lockdown
As we start the second week of being in a nationwide lockdown here in New Zealand, it might start feeling like we’ve got a long way to go of being stuck at home! We are all in different situations, but being at home for such extended periods of time means we need to think about how we can create a home that works well for all who live there.
Here our team have come up with some tips on things you can do to make your home flow and work for you. If you have other ideas, feel free to share them in the comments!
1. A ‘retreat’ space for everyone.
With everyone at home 24/7 for most of us, it is vitally important we each feel we have a space we can retreat to. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a big space, but somewhere where the rest of the family knows to leave you alone for a bit to have some space to yourself. It could naturally be each person’s bedroom, but if you don’t have that arrangement, a reading chair in a corner could work, or a bench somewhere outside. For children, especially of different ages, they would likely appreciate space to create their own things where their ‘siblings’ won’t interfere or destroy it. So you could have a table or corner of a room where each child can have their own ‘stuff’. Another idea is to set up some tents in your yard for them!
2. Set up a schedule
Most of us live and work by a schedule each day with defined breaks and activities. Having something similar at home will help to break up the day and create a flow that works for everyone. For example, having a break time for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea at a set time each day, along with a time for doing chores (divide these up as appropriate!), family walks, relaxing time, screen time etc.
3. Organise a set of activities for children
Especially helpful with children is to have a container or shelf of activities organised that can help inspire them when they get bored. These can be board games, arts and crafts, puzzles, books, etc. Direct them to this shelf when they come complaining "I'm bored!".
4. Have a family project
This could be a great time to find a project to do together. With shops not open it would need to be something you already have on hand of course, but what about setting up a mini golf course together, or a petanque spot, lawn bowls, etc. For older children, get out some Nerf guns and create a battlefield using boxes, furniture, or anything you like! Setting up a veggie garden is an obvious one, you can use clippings and left overs from bought vegetables in a lot of cases (Checkout https://simplebites.net/how-to-regrow-vegetable-scraps/). Or if you have some wood scraps and such lying around, why not make a huge marble run/car ramp together? Think of something fun and out of the box, it doesn’t have to be a useful long term feature.
This could be a great time to go through all your family stuff and figure out what you don’t need. Give each family member a box and ask them to fill it with stuff they no longer need. Or go through room by room (you can do one a week or such!).
6. Change up meal times
While the weather is still nice enough, why not have picnics in your backyard for some meals? Do home made burgers or pizzas and get the children to help out with dinner, suitable even for little ones who can help cut or create! If you have older children, maybe have a My Kitchen Rules competition to change up who makes the meals in a fun way! Can be teams with mum or dad if needed.
7. A great home office
If you are working from home an obvious one is to have a home office space that is welcoming. Make this space your own to help motivate you, whether you bring a stereo in to ‘zone in’ to music if that is your thing, or art/plants/ornaments that cheer the space up. If you will be sitting most of the day remember to take plenty of breaks to stretch your legs and, if you can, a standing desk is great.
8. Self Serve Snacks
If your children often come to you complaining they are hungry, what about having the lower shelf on the fridge door (or in the pantry) dedicated to containers of food you are happy for them to snack on. Buy plenty of fruit and vegetables and have them cut in easy to eat slices for easy eating throughout the day and store them within reach. Nuts (for older children) and crackers are also great! Then you can give your children free range to go get something from those containers when they feel like snacking. This can also help us adults to stop the urge to indulge too much on yummy things in the pantry!
This idea came from 'The Eager Teacher', photo from her blog, see some more of her great ideas here: http://www.theeagerteacher.com/
Hope you have found at least some of these ideas helpful!