I was too hopeful to believe the Old Farmer’s Almanac three months ago which predicted a terrible winter forecast, but it’s safe to say now, it’s going to be a long, bitterly cold season – one where I refuse to go outside except for the mandatory work obligations. If you are already getting bored of Social Media and Netflix like me, consider these ideas to get your body and mind active despite being inside. Thankfully nearly everything in the world is now deliverable!
10 Ideas to do In Your Home When It’s Bleak Outside
1. Organize those things you’ve been putting off and feel so accomplished.
Consider things like…
- Photos: Whether they are tucked away in a box or all over the place on your desktop, it might be a great time to get those sorted, scanned, labeled, shared, printed, or scrapbooked. Tips for Organizing Your Photos
- Closets / Fridge: Choose one small section of your home to work at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Tips for Organizing your Home
- Recipes: Old or new, get those scraps of paper organized to free your mind and kitchen and speed up the process when finding your favorites. My highly recommended recipe app is OrganizEat. The app auto saves to their server, so you’ll never worry about losing your grandma’s secret sauce. It lets you take pictures of printed recipes or online versions, lets you type in recipes or speak to text to be efficient, and the most helpful feature – the screen stays lit while using the app. No more flour-covered fingers touching the phone while cooking.
- Computer Files and make a promise to keep it organized! This may be a huge endeavor for some, but it's so worth it. Tips for Organizing Your Computer
- Receipts Prepare for tax season early to prevent April stress and make your accountant very happy! Tips for Organizing Your Receipts
2. Expand your kitchen skills.
Not only does it save your wallet compared to ordering in but aromas from cooking enhance a cozy atmosphere.
If you’re an avid baker try a new genre or a twist on the traditional. Try this amazing Rosemary Garlic Bread. The roasted garlic gives a wonderful flavor without overpowering the bread.
If you are new to cooking, try a foolproof staple. I recommend my new soup go-to this season which is full of flavor, yet simple enough to make any night. Before serving this Black Bean Butternut Soup with chips, I add a scoop of goat cheese, cilantro and squeeze of lime.
Want to impress some guests? Get fancy with this French Apple Custard Pie.
3. Get Crafty and lost in Pinterest or try these ideas below.
Soy candle making is super easy and helps you retain those already used jars around the house. Even if you don’t have empty containers, Candle Science supplies and explains everything. The scents Grapefruit & Mangosteen and Apple Harvest are sure to get compliments.
Origami with magazine paper or use those adult coloring pages to make some unique designs. Try these origami instructions.
4. Treat Yourself to a Homemade Spa beyond just the hot bath.
Check out these Taste of Home recipes or read these sassy ladies’ recipes to indulge yourself. Pro tip - If you are planning to put oatmeal in your bath, grind it up before it goes into the bath and down the drain.
5. Learn a New Fitness Strategy exercise/yoga/dance routine.
6. Teach Your Pet a New Trick.
7. Make memories with family and friends through video.
- Make some funny home videos and maybe you'll win some money –YES that show is still on ! Not sure where to start? Try these tips.
- Create a montage of family members giving advice to a child for their 18th birthday like a time capsule.
- Confident in your skills? Make a tutorial to help someone else.
- See more kid friendly ideas.
8. Plan for the year ahead.
Thinking ahead to warmer months will hopefully make the cold ones go by quickly.
- Vacation. This website creates a free, fully customized, day-by-day itinerary. And here's tips to get you started.
- Budgeting. Planning your budget is not a punishment. Use the app Every Dollar to make this easy. Here are some great tips for handling your money this year.
- Family/Friend Gatherings. If you plan early, you can claim those coveted weekends before anyone else. Make get-togethers stress free.
- Summer Gardening. Start some seedlings in your home and get a jump start on spring planting or just plan out what you’d like and where for this year. See these tips on preparing.
- Meal Planning is always one of those things that sounds like a great idea to me, but I never sit down to actually do it. So let’s do it! 10 Tips for Better Weekly Meal Planning
- Find your new home in the Chicago area. This year could be the perfect time for you to consider a move. Check out the value of your home or view homes for sale right now.
9. Take Time to Improve Yourself
- Adult Learning. Take an online class or tutorial. Here’s some tips for getting the most out of e-learning.
- Self-help Free Podcasts. Think deeply and be in the moment with these options.
- Reach out to others and get some human interaction. Call someone who makes you smile or write a meaningful hand-written letter.
- Sign up for that online dating website. You don’t have to tell anyone!
10. De-clutter your home and make Spring cleaning that much easier.
- Test your business skills and pick up some extra cash. List your stuff on craigslist/Facebook/Swap, etc. For Tips.
- Donate your needless items. (Schedule a free pick-up with Salvation Army)
- Recycle old papers magazines, newspapers, and junk mail.
Lastly, if you must get out of your home, but don’t know what else to do, check out these 13 Best Indoor Activities in Chicago.