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FYI

Organizing Tips for Staying Home When You Live Alone

Happy woman dancing in well-lit kitchen
Written by Lily Rogers

Living alone is full of enviable perks, but it takes on new challenges during sheltering-in-place. You've always enjoyed having free rein of the place—watching, cooking, and listening to whatever you want, whenever you want—but now is the perfect time to take single living up a notch. With a few tweaks and some extra attention, it's easy to enhance your solo space and lean into what makes being a free agent so good.

While spending so much time at home, take the opportunity to make it your dream space. A few simple home organization changes can refresh the mood and vibes in your house—as well as offer creative ways to pass the time. Staying safe means staying home right now, so make sure your home is looking out for No. 1—you.

Optimize your comfort zones

TV watching (golf game) in living room with feet on table
Via Blackregis/Shutterstock

If you're like us, you spend the majority of home time in your bedroom. That's why this space deserves all the attention you can devote to it. To start, invest in a good bed—it's worth it! Also, you can fill your bed with pillows if that's how you roll, but it's best for your sleep and your neck if there's just one (a good one) under your head at night.

Work on a lighting plan—if you love to sleep in total darkness, order blackout curtains. If you're light-sensitive, use lamps that diffuse light and create a warm glow. If natural light boosts your mood, buy muslin curtains that let light in while offering privacy. 

Invest in a good set of fluffy towels and make bath or shower time as good as a trip to the spa with aroma therapy and bath bombs. Wrap yourself in a comfy robe for maximum self-care. 

Did you know there's an optimal distance from which to view TV? A good general rule is 1.5 to 2.5 times the diagonal screen measurement, with about a 30-degree viewing angle. With these measurements in mind, now's the time to rearrange your living room.

Make room for your hobbies

Woman hand crafting book at a table with stationery.
Via CRAFT 24/Shutterstock

An advantage of more time at home is more time for indoor hobbies. When you live alone, you can keep art projects out, learn to cook properly, refurbish furniture, or undertake any number of other projects without encroaching on another person's space. You should try to stay as organized as possible for your own sanity, however. It's important to have spaces for things, including yourself!

Simple home organization tips to make space for your hobbies:
  • Designate a work zone, even if it's a corner of your room. If cooking is your passion, make sure your kitchen counters are clear from clutter to give you enough space to experiment. Portable racks, wall shelves, and drawer organizers keep things shipshape.
  • If your hobby involves a desk and chair, make sure the chair is comfortable yet supportive and the desk is large enough to suit your craft.
  • Set yourself up with adequate light. Poor lighting can negatively affect final outcomes and causes headaches, too. Plus, good lighting is a real mood elevator.
  • Find the right storage containers and shelves to stay organized. Have different sized containers on hand, including ones with dividers, and make sure everything you need is easy to find and access.

Make décor all about you!

Green living room interior with blue sofa, armchair, wooden cabinet and plants
Via Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Paint an accent wall a crazy color or learn to paint an interior mural of your favorite things—statement pieces are great ways to make a home uniquely yours. From textiles to patterns, anything goes, as long as it makes you feel good. If you're a renter, look into temporary wallpaper in a pattern that speaks to you. Just make sure your house reflects your personality in some way—whether it's through big design moments, smaller details, or both.

Turn your interests into art and display the things you love. Travel, film, food, friends, literature, TV, comic books—whatever you're into, put it on display in some way. From framed posters to artfully displayed figures, design with what you like and keep pre-quarantine memories close!

Keep the purpose of each room in mind

Interior of the kitchen in Scandinavian style with white furniture and a dining table
Via mama_mia/Shutterstock

Make room for meals at the kitchen table with inviting place settings. Though it's tempting to eat every meal on the couch, it's a good change of pace to use a kitchen or dining room table for its intended purpose. Mimic your favorite restaurant's aesthetic and treat it like a meal out, or make it a formal affair once a week.

If you're working from home, designate an office, and keep work away from your bedroom or cozy zones. If you live in a studio, separate your desk from your living areas with portable room dividers, curtains, or other simple barriers. Pick a fun printed fabric and give your coworkers an interesting focal point during zoom meetings.

Keep to a morning routine. You might be staying home, but preparing for the day with a regular grooming schedule helps add structure. Optimize your bathroom space and treat yourself to fresh flowers and nice-smelling toiletries for extra incentive to spend time getting ready. Thoughtful details in different areas of the house help make staying in a treat.

Create a music center

Record player and plant on wooden table in grey apartment interior with lamp and vinyl
Via Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Whether you go old-school with a turntable and records or invest in a good Bluetooth speaker, set up a space where you can turn on some good music and have a dance party. One of the best things about living alone is cranking up the music and singing along however loud you like.

If you play an instrument, make it part of your décor with a wall mount or music shelf. When your instrument is in eyesight, it's easier to be inspired to pick it up and play. And, if you don't play, now's the perfect time to learn!

Stay tidy and organized

Simple painting on white wall in living room with decorations on a shelf and plants on the floor
Via Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Some people thrive in chaos, but staying at home every day is way more relaxing in a serene setting. No piles of dishes or laundry, dust-bunny-free floors, and neatly arranged surfaces go a long way to make a space inviting.

It's easier than you think to stay tidy when there is a proper place for all your things. Catch-all trays keep things like phones, keys, wallets, and sunglasses from getting lost in random spots. Mail and file sorters are incredibly useful for organizing bills and documents, and drawer dividers keep things neat.

Kick clutter out of your relaxing spaces but keep enough items in play that offer personality and function. A few throw blankets add coziness to your bed or couch, books on your nightstand or a wine rack on a shelf keep relaxation activities top of mind, and hobby items like cameras or paint brushes in a decorative jar look great on display shelves.

If you're feeling cluttered, clear room by putting some things in storage. Our contactless storage options keep you safe while clearing your space. Find the right storage size that works for you with our size guide.

Spending so much time inside isn't always easy, and living alone can be extra challenging right now. It may be hard to find motivation, but playing with home organizing that mixes things up and supports your daily needs can help. Staying home feels so much better when you love your living space.

Header image via Aila Images/Shutterstock

About the author

Lily Rogers

Lily is a writer, editor, and content strategist. Her curiosity spans genre, from travel to pop culture to food, and she writes about all that and more. She's also a social introvert, literature nerd, and (slight) hoarder. When not in pursuit of her next adventure, she's most likely at home with her wife and two cats.

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