At the beginning of what would become this pandemic, we were all in some pretty blissful denial about the permanency with which we’d be stuck at home. Schools, offices and other businesses closed, but only for a couple of weeks at a time. Worst-case scenario, we thought, the kids would be home for the rest of the school year, things would calm down and maybe we’d have to worry about a resurgence of the virus in the fall.
The realization happened slowly—and is maybe still happening as school districts grapple with how (or whether) to open their doors in the coming weeks. The virus wasn’t going to fizzle out in the summer. Getting the numbers low in your area wouldn’t mean they’d stay low in your area. Being indoors around other people gradually went from feeling kind of risky to downright dangerous.
And all the while, you bounced around your house or apartment, relentlessly living, working and parenting in a space in which you never imagined you’d spend so much time. The open concept that was great for entertaining is now a concentration nightmare, and the guest bedroom has a layer of dust an inch thick. Most of us have had to do something to our homes to make them more livable and workable. That’s the topic being discussed in this post, from user “Toddles” on Ask MetaFilter:
I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that we (where I live) are in the SIP [shelter in place] for the long haul. I’ve already gone through the cleaning out the house phase, and made massive traction gifting many items to neighbors. I’m now moving onto the “reconfiguring the house” phase where I’m starting to move around furniture and reconfigure the rooms for a future where we will be living most of our lives at home. For example, our living room is no longer a living room, it is an indoor play gym with a play structure and other amenities.
I’ve worked from home for years, so I am lucky to have a dedicated home office in a spare upstairs bedroom. My husband, on the other hand, had never worked from home until this year and we’ve struggled to find a good working space for him. We can’t share the office because I need a quiet space to write all day and he’s on the phone constantly. He tried setting up a card table to work at on our enclosed sunporch, but the neighborhood noise and the unregulated temperature drove him back to the kitchen table within a couple of weeks.
What we have done, though, is made our backyard a more usable space. It’s fairly small and not a space we’ve used all that much as our son has gotten older—that is, until we needed to get out of the house and couldn’t go anywhere else. So we bought a couple of new patio chairs, we strung up some lights around the fence and he made it his mission to get our grass looking better than it has in years. Now we’re out there, with beverages in hand, at least a couple of times a week.
As many more months of this likely stretch out in front of us, I’m curious what others have done to make your homes more livable and workable right now. Have you rearranged furniture? Purchased small desks so your kids have a place to do their virtual classwork? Turned a guest bedroom into an in-home gym?
Tell us: How have you rearranged furniture or reconfigured your home to get through this pandemic?