Yes, a list of fun things to do at home is specifically relevant right now because we are in the midst of a Global Pandemic – A Global Pandemic for freaks sake! Words I never thought I would be writing or saying.
But truth be told, I am a homebody and introvert which means I would cherish doing anything on this list at any time. Home is where my heart is for sure, and doing fun things at home seems like a no-brainer to me. Most times, when I’m not being forced to be stuck inside like these days – there is no place I would rather be.
You can have tons of fun at home, with or without spending money to do so. But, one person’s definition of fun is different from another’s, so that’s why I’m picking a little something for everyone.
Whether you are a crafter or a dancer or a shopper, or all of those – check out this list of nifty suggestions when you can’t think of anything to do and are – dare I say it – BORED AT HOME.
I’ve never understood how people could say they are bored at home, because there isn’t a corner of my house I could look at and not find something to do there, even if that just means cleaning it.
So let’s start there:
Clean Your House
While this might not be everyone’s version of “fun”, there is almost no better feeling than knowing your house is spic and span – and with pandemic germs running amuck, a little excessive cleaning might be good for improving your indoor home sanitization as well as your peace of mind. It also gives you some added health benefits as they say the exercise we get from cleaning can be very beneficial.
There is something about doing short bursts of different movements (which you get from cleaning) that can rival the exercise benefits from a gym visit – read this article from WebMD to learn more about that and ways to clean that can up your calorie-burn game.
For some Extra-Circular Cleaning Ideas, try one or more of these:
Deep-Clean Your Carpets
If you have a steam cleaner, now is a great time to break that bad-boy out and do a deep clean of your carpets. You might be amazed at how much dirt actually comes up off of what you probably thought was a clean carpet. Dirt clings and hides in the fibers on your carpet so it’s great to do this at least once a year, or more often if you have pets or kids who play on floors.
If you don’t have one, you can rent these at different locations, such as your local supermarket and hardware stores like Lowes. While the cost of rental is around $30, the liquids and pre-treater will add up to roughly $80 or so to rent a machine like a RugDoctor. With that in mind, you might consider just purchasing a steam cleaner, as 3-4 uses will make this cost-effective.
If you don’t have one but want to make an investment in a steam cleaner, you can usually find a great one to buy for around $200 dollars.
Wash Your Windows – Exterior and Interior
If you have tall windows and you’ve never washed them, they are probably well overdue. But how, you say? Well, to get these tall windows clean you will probably need some special accessories, like a telescoping pole like this one on Amazon.
To get windows clean, you really only need hot water (mixed with a little dish soap or vinegar) and a squeegee – but I also highly recommend using a no-streak window cleaner like these Windex exterior cleaner pads. Ever since I have tried these I have never used anything else on the exterior because you can sloppily smear them around and the window is magically spotless after. I usually use a mop and bucket and do a first pass on the window with water and vinegar, just to get the dirt off – then I do the second pass with the Windex pads to clean the water spots and keep the window crystal clear.
Clean Your Pillows
Bed Pillows trap a lot of dirt and oils from your hair and face while you sleep. They actually store a lot more germs and bacteria than most people probably realize. It’s good to clean these once a year or more. Follow the washing instructions on your pillow to wash these. Usually pillows can be washed in the washing machine by placing no more than 2 pillows into your washing machine and setting it to the shortest cycle with a no-spin setting. When putting them in the dryer, use 2 tennis balls to fluff the pillows up again.
Couch Pillows are a bit harder to wash, I don’t put these in the machine because mine are already almost ripping apart. What I do-do (doodoo haha) is, smack the ever-living heck out of them against the brick exterior of my house. It’s therapeutic and puffs a good deal of the dust out. If you live somewhere warm, you can leave your pillows outdoors for a few hours to get some fresh UV light cleaning as well as some fresh-air cleaning.
Clean Your Walls
Walls take up a majority of the surface area in our homes, but rarely get thoroughly cleaned. Every now and again take a large sponge and wash your walls. Be careful not to disturb or chip the paint while you’re doing this, best bet is using a soft sponge with no abrasive scrubbers on it and a gentle cleaning fluid – dish or hand soap mixed with a bucket of hot water will work here to remove grease and fingermarks. If you have some bad marks on your walls, invest a tiny amount for a Magic Eraser and watch these marks literally erase right off.
Scrub Doors, Handles, and Cabinets
It’s pretty obvious that we touch these items in our homes more than any other places, but at least in my home, I don’t always clean these areas since they don’t necessarily “look” dirty. With hand-washing being one of the top high-priority things we should be doing more of these days, it goes without saying that we should also be scrubbing the things we touch most frequently, including door or other handles. Use a bit of bleach on handles that won’t be adversely affected by it – or Clorox Wipes if you have them.
For cabinets, you can clean the handles with soap and water, and the cabinets themselves will benefit by using a cabinet cleaner such as Orange Oil or Wax-n-Feed. If you can’t tell, I am a huge fan of all of the Howard’s wood products.
Wax and Hide Scratches in Wood
I had so much scratched wood in my home that I never wanted to tackle this one – but as my article attests to, it’s actually not hard or time-consuming to repair! It’s actually super easy as long as you have the right tools. If you’ve been putting this off for a while, your extra time at home might be the perfect opportunity to give your home wood some love. Find out how to remedy your scratched wood by heading over to read or watch the video in the post below:
De-Funkify the Smells
Now is a great time to evaluate if your house has any funky smells, and if so – take some action to fix them. Usually, bad smells are associated with a lack of cleanliness, where spills and bacteria have had a chance to take over. Check around your home to see if you have areas that need a little extra attention. In particular, you might need to scrub some areas in the bathroom you have been avoiding, or climb under your sink areas and make sure there’s no mold or trash that needs to be cleaned with a little bleach and water.
Yearly you should change out furnace filters. Depending on your dust levels, you might want to get an air purifier, and for concentrated smell areas use these little charcoal bags for small areas like closets. If you are worried about having a smelly home, read this more in-depth post:
Clean Out the Fridge
Not sure if any of you are like me, but I have a tendency to go WAY beyond the expiration dates when it comes to a lot of my condiments. I have a theory that if it has vinegar in it, it lasts forever. That may or may not have any validity, who knows. A sniff test will usually tell me if I need to toss something or not.
Usually once a year to make room for Thanksgiving meals, we do a thorough cleaning of our fridge, including taking out ALL the contents, and washing the shelves with a light bleach/water mixture. It is strangely therapeutic and will make you happy to see your food resting on clean shelves. If you need step-by-step instructions for a deep-clean of your fridge, here is a good video that walks you through the process:
Organize Your Closet
The KonMarie method of organization was all the rage a few years back, but I never got into that craze and I don’t actually even know what it is exactly. I do like to have a well-organized closet though. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t worn something in over 3 years, throw it out (chances are you won’t ever wear it). Now might be the right time to go through and evaluate what you still wear and what you don’t – and take that excess stuff to the Goodwill. Here is a good article outlining the steps to clean and organize your closet.
Try New Recipes
Whether you are brand new to cooking or have done it for years, try making something you’ve never made before with your extra time at home. Maybe experiment making bread or pastries? There are so many great recipes on the internet that you should be able to find just about anything. If you need some ideas for recipe blogs, check out some of these:
- Damn Delicious – Amazing recipes that inspire people to make stuff from scratch at home.
- Serious Eats – This is less bloggy and more professionally tested recipes – but they have tons of great recipes that are proven winners.
- Cookie & Kate – Kate is the blog-owner and Cookie is her dog – she posts vegetarian recipes that taste delicious!!
- The Girl Who Ate Everything – Run by a girl who is thin as a rail, she cooks and eats the most incredible food – and I have NO IDEA how she doesn’t weigh 300 pounds.
- Rabbit & Wolves – Even though I’m not a vegan, I have made some of these recipes and they are mind-blowingly good.
Here are some things you can try for new adventures in your kitchen:
Make Fresh Pasta
We bought a pasta attachment for our Kitchen-Aid so we can do fresh ravioli and fettuccini – it is AMAZING. You can try this recipe from Gimme Some Oven (another great cooking blog) for an easy to follow and successful beginner pasta recipe.
When you learn how many vegetables and fruits you’re supposed to have on a daily basis I know that I fall miserably short. I am lucky if I get one fruit or vegetable in per day. So, juicing, is a good way to supplement some of those nutrients although there is some debate on the health impact of juices because there is a lot of sugar in it as well. If you are up for juicing and have a juicer or a blender or a nutri-bullet or some way of creating juice, check out these 8 easy recipes for beginner juicers.
Learn How to Can
This is something you usually do when you have garden harvests in September and want to preserve your items for winter or other months further out in the year. However, you can also use canning to make fun items like Jellies, Salsas, and Sauces. It’s a lot easier than most people think to can your own items and pretty much just is the cost of mason jars or replacement lids. Watch this quick video to see just how easy it is to can:
Make Homemade Extracts
We made these for Christmas presents last year, and it is actually so easy to do. All you really need is a container, cheap vodka and the item you want to create an extract from. You can use fresh mint for mint extract, vanilla beans for vanilla extract, or lemon peels for lemon extract. If you don’t want to use vodka you can also use food-grade glycerin instead. Here is a video of a cute lady talking about how to make the best extract. She leaves hers for 18 months which I didn’t have the patience for, I used mine after about 6 weeks.
Get Healthier – Exercising and Other Activities
Anything Besides Sitting
Exercising always sounds awful to me. When I see people all gung-ho about getting to the gym or doing some hard-ass, over an hour long workout, I want to punch them. However, you can get your exercise in many different ways – and it doesn’t always mean just doing some boring, excruciating routine. Exercise can also come in the form of cleaning the house or doing outside activities like gardening.
There are creative ways to get exercise and every little bit helps. The following are some ways to get your heart pumping:
Stand At Home While You Work
Sitting all day (and sometimes all night too) is really bad for your body. Humans are animals, and animals require movement. The very act of standing can be helpful to your body and studies like this one have proven that this is beneficial to improving productivity and blood circulation. But, you probably want the ability to both sit and stand, as just standing can be equally bad for your body. Think about investing in a conversion tool for your home office that allows you to go from sitting to standing, like this tabletop desk converter.
Squat or Sit on the Floor
Just the act of sitting on the floor rather than a chair or couch can be beneficial. Sitting on the floor requires some degree of flexibility, balance, and uses muscles to get you up from your sitting position. Read about the benefits in this article from Healthline.
You might also consider squatting every now and again instead of sitting. If you read this article, they talk about the benefits of doing this vs. sitting and how regular sitting has become the new smoking because it is that dangerous.
Life is short, so dance, dammit! You are at home, you don’t have anywhere else to be, so no excuses – watch some youtube or tiktok videos that inspire you to dance and learn some of those new, wacky moves. Just be careful please. 🙂 You don’t want to end up on the tiktok dance fails videos.
Workout While Watching TV
If you’re gonna be binge-watching Seasons 1 & 2 of the Mandalorian (and I highly recommend you DO), why not make the most of that time by getting your workouts in at the same time? If you develop a watching-TV routine, it becomes second nature to be active while entertained, so you can feel less guilty about being a vegetable. Here are some techniques to try while getting in that marathon of shows you’ve been wanting to see.
Walk the Dog
I feel like this one is so obvious it is silly to mention, but it’s still worth saying. Weather permitting, if you can do this daily, it’s a great way to get in exercise and fresh air. We look forward to taking walks whenever we can fit one in during the day, and our doggie certainly loves them too. If you need a change of scenery, try taking a new route or go the reverse direction of your usual walks to change things up a bit.
Find your Zen by getting in harmony with your body through Yoga. My former Yoga teacher used to say it was “Yin and Yawn” – you basically have to hold positions and learn to have patience with your stretch so that you can become limber, flexible, and strong. It’s a great way to relieve some stress and relax in these uncertain times. Here is a class on YouTube you can join for 30 days of Yoga:
Get Paid To Do Things
Make Money at Home
There are a lot of different things you can do online that will earn you a few extra dollars. Anything from taking surveys, to doing some online website reviews, to actually making products. If you have the extra time and are at home anyway, why not?
Here are some ideas for making some extra stay-at-home cash:
Get paid for your opinion. There are numerous sites where you can sign up and get either cash or gift cards to provide feedback on different things (your favorite out of a list of items, feedback on a video, etc.) Do a little research and sign up to start earning instant points/money. Some popular favorites are TellWut, LifePoints, and PaidViewpoint.
Another site that will pay you (and pay you well) for your opinions and feedback is Respondent – but the caveat there is that you basically have to apply for each project/survey and will only be selected if you closely match what they are looking for in a participant. Respondent also has in-person focus groups so it is not 100% remote-work, but I am guessing a lot of it is right now due to COVID.
If you are particularly gifted in the grammar department, you can apply to be a proofreader and make money with your skills. Usually, to qualify for being a proofreader, you will be required to pass a quick proof-reading test online. If you pass this test, you will be contacted by the website to inform you that you are eligible to proofread. I submitted a sample test on ProofReadingServices.com and on that site they require that you pass their test with 95% or higher accuracy in order to qualify as a proofreader. PolishedPaper is another ProofReading site for people who have strong ProofReading skills.
Sites like Lionbridge commission out a variety of online work including ProofReading, but also include jobs like search engine evaluations where interested candidates can apply to do things like perform search queries and report the results of the queries. ProofReading jobs on Lionbridge will require a skills test.
Appen is another site like Lionbridge, where you can find various project work online and start making cash almost instantly. The projects offered can vary from surveys to search engine and social media evaluations – you do have to pass a test that assures you understand the material you are working with. Submit your information including your resume to Appen, and they will contact you with a list of relevant projects that may interest you.
Sites like UserTesting will pay you to do different tests and provide feedback on different websites. I’ve used them to evaluate new web pages or to get initial user feedback on Website prototypes. Each test will pay at least $10.00, some more. Userlytics is another site like this that will pay for your time (anywhere between $5-$90) while you go through and test a website or app.
App/Game/Website Bug Finding
If you’re good at finding glitches in games, applications, and websites, you can get paid up to $50 per bug found, on sites like test.io.
Sell Your Wares
If you have digital or physical products that you create, Etsy is a great way to enter the online Marketplace for a low cost of investment. Each listing on Etsy costs .30 cents to add and they take roughly 8% commission of the sale with their cut and the payment processing fees. You also need to account for shipping the item to the customer, but this is discounted using Etsy’s shipping process.
Repairs and Upgrades
If you’re like us, we have numerous things on our back-burner to do around the house as far as repairs or upgrades. This time at home has allowed us to pay some attention to our home and do some things we’ve been wanting to do for a while.
If you don’t already have your own backlog, here are some ideas:
Create a Home Office Sanctuary
Since you are now sequestered to your home office for many hours in the week, why not make it into a sanctuary. When COVID forced us into quarantining at home, we set up a “battle station” in our home office and beefed up our monitors. We also added a fountain to give the room some ambience. It is now a fully functional office that we enjoy working in.
Work on your ManCave or WomanCave
I’m not sure WomanCave is a thing – but I know I personally love having a room for myself – in my case it’s a craft room. My hubby on the other hand, does have ManCave on his wishlist. We haven’t started on it yet because we have too many other things to do first, but this will happen one day.
Winterize your Home
It’s never too late or early to take some small measures to improve your draft conditions. You might be shocked at how little you need to spend to reduce heating bills dramatically – and often these changes will also help keep the home cooler in the summer months as well. A few small changes that have helped us lower our bills by 20% or so were these:
- Blown-in Attic Insulation – check your insulation level and if you have less than what is recommended for your home this can make a significant difference in your monthly bills.
- Draft areas around windows – if you have broken windows or bad seals, buy a kit to tape the window breaks and add seals to your windows. You can go further here by using silicone caulking that is removable but will work to prevent drafts until you replace your windows.
- Draft areas around doors – You can get by on fixing these by merely using a cloth draft stopper, but if you want to go full-tilt-boogie, you can buy and install a draft sweep for the door.
- Outlet insulators – Outlets can be a weak spot for allowing cold air into your rooms – prevent this by installing these inexpensive insulation pads.
- A/C Unit Cover – Protect your A/C Unit from snow or ice and extend the life of your unit with a cover like this that insulates and still allows air flow so there isn’t any condensation.
Start a Garden
Growing your own food is immensely satisfying, and a much less risky option these days given the amount of chemicals and pesticides most farms use if they are not organic. If you are in the winter months of a cold location right now like I am here in Colorado, you will want to start your seedlings inside. I use a small, inexpensive greenhouse like the one below to start my seeds, making sure they have adequate sunlight.
Channel Your Inner Child
There’s no reason art class and finger-painting should be reserved for grade school. If you’ve never had the time before to try a new art-form, now is your opportunity. Pick a hobby that doesn’t require a huge investment to try-out and take the plunge. There are so many options here that I am going to have to limit my selection here to just some of my top picks.
A small collection of recommended crafts that are perfect for beginners:
Here is a tutorial on how to make glass magnets yourself. These are so easy to create and make great gifts for anyone!
Learn how to create fancy script fonts that can be used on posters around your house, signs, or cards. The investment is minimal but the rewards can be lasting, as you will be able to put these skills to use anytime you are having a party that requires signs, or if you want to use fancy writing to address a card. I have a post about how to start this hobby if you want to learn more:
You can learn how to do just about any hobby by watching a free YouTube video on it – jewelry is certainly no exception. Any tutorials from wire-wrapping to Indian Bead Bracelets can be found by doing a quick search online. I even have one on this site for beaded bracelets like those yoga bracelets that have been really trendy recently:
You can start doing watercolor crafts for a minimal investment – even something like this starter kit from Amazon which has paper, brushes, and colors. It requires watercolor paints, a few good starter brushes, and some watercolor paper. From there you can watch some YouTube videos to get started. My personal favorites are Emma Lefebvre and Jenna Rainey. Click the link below to start with Jenna’s free watercolor classes on YouTube:
Painting furniture is fun, rewarding, and practical. You can turn any old, dull, uninteresting piece into something colorful that you love in just a few short hours. I myself am a huge fan of chalk painting after taking a class on it and realizing how easy it is. If you want to learn more about how to chalk paint, check out this article:
Make a Birdbath
Why not get ready for Spring/Summer by building a bath for our sweet feathered friends? Here is a compilation of some of the best looking and easiest to assemble DIY birdbaths you can make yourself:
If you do own a sewing machine but are new to sewing, you can try my mask sewing tutorial for an easy beginner project.
If you don’t own a machine and aren’t sure you want to own one, you can use a needle and thread and do hand sewing if you have the patience for this and just want to try it out. Try making something like a sachet so that it’s small enough for you to finish with a hand stitch. This tutorial will teach you how to hand-stitch sew properly.
You can also watch any YouTube tutorial on “No-Sew” clothing or home accessories like pillows and curtains, and use their techniques to create beautiful decorations, all without a sewing machine or sewing machine skills!
There are tons of ideas for how to embellish or alter existing garments by hand, without needing to sew – for example, you can fray the bottoms of your jeans with just a pair of scissors and some time (tutorial here). Check out this YouTube for creating a really cute skirt without needing to sew:
I’m not gonna lie, I love me some Tik-Tok, and watching Beave the Beaver drag his toys around the house is just about the best thing out there. But if you can break away from that addiction for a bit, there are other ways to indulge in fun activities equally as mind-simulating.
Whatever your preference, there is nothing better at making the time pass than playing one of your favorite games. If you have a family you can make it a family game night and pull out one of those board games you keep stuffed in a closet, or better yet, just play charades – coming up with different things that your family has to guess.
Read a Book
Curl up on your sofa with your Kindle or an actual paper book and get lost in whatever stories you love the most. If you need ideas for some inspirational non-fiction, here is a list of my recommended reading favorites.
Whether you want to learn how to speak another language, or learn how to code, there are classes online for just about any hobby or skill you can think of. Some of my favorite online education sites are listed here.
Learn an Instrument
One of the cool side effects of people being stuck at home is that more people are learning skills they have never known they were good at – like playing an instrument they didn’t have time to pick up previously. If you’ve always wanted to learn the flute, now’s the time! Start with an inexpensive beginner’s instrument and watch some videos to start to ramp up.
Do a Puzzle
Oh my goodness, we have this puzzle from Marvel that has 3000 pieces, and we literally had to insert all the leaves of our dining room table in order to get the pieces even turned over! We love to do puzzles, but if you’re new to it, you may want to start with one with a few less pieces. This one is a challenge to put together, and uses a ton of space.
How often can you say, “I have too much time to spend on myself,”? Probably never. Well, now you’ve got a little more time at home, and hopefully a little more time to do some things JUST FOR YOU. It may feel weird if you’re not used to it, but you absolutely deserve to treat yourself special. Here are some great ways to spoil yourself at home:
Take a Bath
Break out the nice scented candles you have been saving for that rainy day, pop a little champagne, put on some soothing music, and run the hot water with some bubble bath (a splash of liquid soap and an egg white will do if you don’t have bubble bath). Pour a little oil into your bath for super soft skin, and while you’re at it, apply a face mask and hair mask if you have them. This is your time, imagine you are at a high-end spa getting the royal treatment.
Do Your Nails
Take the time to really learn the proper way to do your nails, and then give yourself a home-manicure. These little things really do make a huge difference in how you feel when you are deprived of being able to get out. Manicures might seem like a small luxury, but if you’ve done a good job and like the colors, every time you look at your hands you will get some joy out of it. To me, that’s huge! This is a link to a fabulous place to get Nail Dips – if you don’t know how to do a dip read the tutorial on the site.
Okay, so now you should have tons of ideas for things you can do – so get crackin’ on that new hobby or activity that’s gonna change your life for the better!! You might discover hidden talents that you never knew you had in you.