7 Gratifying Things to Do at Home That Don't Cost a Dime

It's understandable why some people are going stir crazy at home, but in my case, I finally have time and energy to do all the things I put off in the past as a result of not being home enough. During quarantine, it's easy to get sucked into unfulfilling distractions like scrolling through social media, making TikToks and splurging on cute lounge wear. However, this time should be about finding joy and gratitude in simple things because that's precisely what we're all missing in our lives right now — we can't plan or celebrate or enjoy life exactly the way we used to, but the good news is we will again soon and we'll appreciate it that much more. In the meantime, I think we should make the most of our time at home and focus on achieving little wins for ourselves. Here are a few ideas for things to do at home that are not only free, but will make you feel pretty good, too.

1. Reorganize
This is an ongoing project for me because I feel like organizing is truly never done. However, I finally dove in to some areas of my place that needed a refresh like my closet and bathroom cabinets. In the hustle of normal life and daily routines, stuff accumulates and gets stored in nonsensical, unattractive ways. Quarantine is a great time to literally dig into the problem areas of your home and make some order out of the messes you've gradually created. You don't need to invest in fancy organizing systems or color-coded bins either; get creative and re-purpose things you already have around the house like Amazon boxes and empty (clean) food containers.

home organization

2. Try a Little DIY
I'm sure you have some DIYs or crafty projects lying around the house that you've been meaning to try, but there was always some new Netflix show to binge first. I, for one, have been making jewelry (one of my favorite hobbies/pastimes!) and next up, plan to do a paint-by-number canvas my mom gave me several Christmases ago (sorry, Mom!). Even if you're not into crafting, you can try a simple yet super satisfying DIY like this one from my friend Stephanie Pernas and update an old t-shirt or sweatshirt with a quick snip!

crop sweater DIY

3. Listen to a Podcast
Podcasts are basically the modern, on-demand version of talk radio and with a huge podcast universe to explore, it's the perfect time to tune in. Do a quick podcast search based on your interests and then listen for free whenever you want. A couple of my favorites are Suze Orman's Women and Money podcast and Second Life.

listen to podcast

4. Brush Up on Your Skills
It's hard to imagine that people learned how to do hair and makeup before YouTube, so we're #blessed to live in a time when all this expertise is literally just a click away. One of my favorite quarantine activities is watching hair and makeup tutorials because this is a great opportunity to observe the pros and brush up on my skills. If you want to learn how to correctly apply bronzer or do a fishtail braid, seize the moment and prepare to be your best, beautiful self when we all emerge from quarantine.

makeup tutorial

5. Make a Vision Board
This is something I've had on my to-do list for a while and now I finally have the time and motivation to do it. I love the intention and purpose behind a vision board — organizing your goals and dreams in a way that helps you visualize them happening in your life. Planning a vision board and sitting down to put it together forces you to take stock of your life and what's important to you, which is part of the effect this quarantine experience is having on all of us. Here's a quick vision board tutorial to get you started. You can cut pictures and words out of magazines or print stuff off the internet, whatever works for you. Just make sure your vision board reflects the things you love and want for your life. Then make sure to display it somewhere that you can look at it every day.

vision board

6. Start a Gratitude Journal
This one is pretty straightforward and extremely effective. If you do nothing else on this list, do this one thing — each day, write down (or at least think about) a few things you're grateful for. It doesn't matter if it's a small thing like what you had for breakfast or a big thing like your health, job, family, etc. The point is to take a moment to appreciate what you have and how it makes you feel. This is a long-term practice you can start now that will have an increasingly positive effect on your mood and outlook over time.

gratitude journal

7. Look at Photo Albums
Remember those?! Chances are you have some (and so do your parents), so take a stroll down memory lane and flip through old photos that remind you of happier, carefree times. You might even find a few gems you want to frame or share in your next Zoom happy hour.

photo album

How are you spending time at home and what are some of the things you've enjoyed doing most? Stay safe!


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