9 Easy Ways to Make the Same House Feel Different During Lockdown

Sick of staring at the same four walls – and family members! – day after day after day? We feel ya! Many Aussies have been in lockdown for well over 200 days now, and well, it’s difficult to say the least.

While we are praying there is an end in sight, we’ve also got nine easy ways to help change the vibe of your space on weekends and school holidays when you’ve all been cooped up together too long.

lockdown craziness
Source: Bigstock

1. Become an armchair traveller

You might not be able to fly, but you can still explore other cultures. Research another country’s customs and see if you and your children can put any into practice at home.

Prepare unfamiliar foods. Read books set in exotic locations. Watch films that take you to faraway lands. Try new genres of music or listen to songs in a foreign language.

2. Go camping

If you have a backyard, pitch a tent. Don’t have a tent? Roll out some sleeping bags indoors. Don’t have sleeping bags? Just move some mattresses and bedding to the living room and spend a night or two sleeping there instead.

More like this: Fort building 101 

Make damper and eat marshmallows. Look at the sky and stargaze. Tell ghost stories with torches after dark.

kids playing in a fort
Image: Bigstock

3. Experiment with meals

The time has come to gamble on that unusual item in the pantry. If you’re not a confident cook or your kids are fussy, aim lower: go vegetarian or raw for the day, or theme meals around colour or the alphabet eg. foods that are green, things that begin with A…

Upside-Down Day is a fun variation: serve dinner for breakfast, and breakfast for dinner. Try chopsticks if you typically use forks, or plan an entire menu around finger foods.

4. Dine somewhere different

Have a separate dining room you never use? Try it. Avoid eating outside unless the weather’s perfect? Grab the mosquito repellent or umbrella and pack a movable feast for your back deck or front steps.

If you never let your kids eat in the living room, plate up something simple and serve them on the sofa, or spread a blanket on the floor and have a picnic.

Another lockdown option? Swap places.  Play Mad Hatter and move everybody one seat over.

5. Hostess with the mostess 

Get kids to pretend they’re running an Airbnb and help them set up their room to accommodate a sibling as their ‘guest’, complete with fresh linens on the bed, a welcome card, and a thoughtful treat on the nightstand.

6. Rearrange the furniture

Tired of the scenery? Change it up! Turn the kitchen table 180 degrees. Move a desk to the opposite side of the room. Re-orient a bed towards a window instead of the door.

Bunk kids in together and turn the newly emptied room into play space, or vice versa. Not only will this make your floorplan feel different, you might even discover a fresh layout that better suits your needs.


7. Let kids be the parents

Have one day where the children make all the decisions. This means they choose what’s for lunch, which games the family plays together, and what time everybody goes to bed.

The trade-off is that they have do whatever chores the parents normally do themselves. This simple exercise might even help kids appreciate how much faster housework adds up when everybody’s home 24/7!

8. Switch off (for the entire day) 

Level up Earth Hour. See how you and your family fare without power (the fridge and freezer are exempt). Stay away from the microwave, and don’t even think about turning on that television.

This is a great way to show kids how people managed in ’the olden days’, while helping everybody adjust to life at a slower pace.

There’s also something magical about eating dinner by candlelight.

9. Use the good stuff

Since you’re skimping on frills everywhere else, you might as well indulge where you can. Bake and decorate a cake. Set the table with fancy dishes and glassware.

Burn essential oils or some vanilla on the stove-top. Run bubble baths. Open the miniature soaps in their pretty, patterned packages.

Use whatever you have to make your home—and the people in it—feel special.

What to read next

What we especially love about these ideas is that none of them require a trip to Bunnings or DIY skills – perfect for renters or those who prefer NOT to spend their weekend’s painting.

But, if you do love a good DIY challenge, check out some of our most popular DIY posts:

About the author:  Nicole Melanson is a writer, poet, and mother of five sons. Connect with her at / / @wordmothers.

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