Question:   Now that I spend so much more time at home how can I make my home a nicer place to be?

Many people are taking on home improvement projects while at home and, in some ways, this is the perfect time. We are staying home more to be safe and reduce our risk of contracting COVID-19. While at home why not take on a new project to keep busy and make our home more pleasing. There are many little things you can do to make a big difference in how you feel while at home.

When thinking about ways to make your home nicer start by looking at it from a safety perspective. This is a good time to consider removing clutter, adding lighting to dark hallways and reducing your risk of falling at home.

Once you have made any safety changes, think about what would brighten your home and make it feel warmer and calmer. Do you have piles of papers that need to be filed? Do you have areas of clutter that cause you stress? Focus on the areas that you find most displeasing to look at it. Start with one spot at a time so you do not get overwhelmed. Organizing your space can often help your mind feel clearer. Research shows that when our space is disorganized it can lead to physical and mental health issues. It can feel exhausting just living in a cluttered and messy space.

After organizing you may want to brighten spots in your home with plants. Indoor plants not only freshen the air, they have been shown to improve mood and boost your spirits. It can be cathartic to care for something else and provides you with something productive to do. If you are new to caring for plants, consider a nice succulent or something easy to care for. Ask at your local garden store for suggestions. Know where you want to put the plants so you can ask for a plant that fits that amount of sunlight and space. You may find a few plants make a big difference in the feel of your home.

Consider practicality also when assessing your home. You are spending more time there so think about how to make it more convenient for you. Are your most used items out and easily accessible?  You may consider rearranging things to make them more convenient for everyday use.

When taking on new projects do not feel you have to make big changes right away. There may be pressure to accomplish tasks while staying at home right now. Do not let outside pressures effect you. Everyone is processing and handling the pandemic in different ways. Some feel motivated to use this time productively while others may need to rest more and allow themselves to process and move slowly. Listen to your body and take your time if needed. Perhaps purchasing a pretty new throw pillow or photo for the wall is enough to make you feel that you are improving your space.

Take action to make your home nicer. What that action looks like is different for everyone. The key is that you are making positive changes to your environment at a time when we all need a little brightening of our day.

Martha Shapiro can reached at Senior Concerns at 805-497-0189 or by email at


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