Tips to Create a Functional Space for Your Stay-At-Home Needs
What day is it? Where is my laptop? Where can I find a quiet place? Should we have dinner on the couch…again? Didn’t we have a dining room table? These are some of the common daily questions due to the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. The days blend together and our constant family togetherness has completely transformed our needs at home. We are now all working, schooling, playing and eating at home…24/7.
Perhaps, your work has now swallowed up the dining room table? Or, your kids are taking online classes on their bedroom floor? Is the only quiet place you can find to conduct a Zoom conference call in the bathroom? Yikes! It’s time to take control!
Our lifestyle change was abrupt, and with more companies potentially moving to a more permanent work from home policy, we should think about how to configure our space to better serve our new lifestyles.
Here are some simple steps to help transform your home space into a comfortable and functional place suited to your new stay-at-home needs:
- Set Goals: Sit down with each family member to determine what their stay-at-home needs are. What type of spaces will support their daily goals?
- Make a Plan: Based on the daily goals of each family member, determine what room or space fits with their goals and desires. You can either restructure a portion of a room, or you can actually swap rooms!
For instance, does your child need better study habits? Have them swap rooms with a sibling for a new fresh space with a new desk to inspire focus. Also, take a look at shared spaces. Is the living room unused for most of the day? Change a portion of it into an office or workout space. Make a detailed plan of how and when you’ll use each room.
Arrange the new layout to actually function for your new goals and inspire work, study and workout habits!
- Measure: Save yourself major headaches by using a measuring tape. Make sure all the furniture will actually fit in the new layout. You can make drawings of each room to scale and use scale cut-outs of each piece of furniture – aka paper dolls. Move your new design layout around with your fingertips a few times before you actually do the heavy lifting.
- Design: Here comes the fun part! Each person gets to design their new space. The designs can be full room swaps, or just moving specific furniture pieces from one room to another. Or, perhaps, it’s as simple as adding functional accessories. The “game show” challenge is to design the space with the furniture and accessories that you already own. Maybe Jack’s desk is really the right size for Bella’s homeschooling now? She can make it her own by sanding it down and painting it her favorite color. Has mom’s work taken over the dining room table? Place trays on the table for mom to keep her work stuff in, that way she can easily remove it at the end of the day. Wala! There’s actually a clear table when it’s time for dinner.
- Swap, Move & Clean: Okay, brace yourself for a little bit of chaos, but it will be so much better on the other side of the transformation. Move everything out of the chosen room. Clean each room (a new opportunity to ensure your home is disinfected and virus free).
- Decorate & Move In: Once clean, it’s time to add all of the chosen design elements, decorate and rearrange the furniture. From the full room swaps to adding functional accessories and furniture to portions of rooms, don’t forget to hang wall art. Handle every detail down to hanging the new occupant’s name on the door. You’ll all fall in love with your home all over again. That night, your child gets to sleep in their new room that they helped design! Or, you get to read a book in your new, QUIET, office. Each new space is now clean, organized and it’s new design will inspire you during this unique time!
The bonus of your transformed & stay-at-home functional home is a bit of peace of mind in this challenging time. If your space functions as you need it, you will feel more organized and in control. And, you’ll get to go somewhere new without leaving your home!