At first, being forced to stay home can feel like a welcomed sentence. After all, binging the hottest Netflix titles in your pyjamas all day isn’t exactly a hardship. But after a while, even that can become tedious as you start looking for other ways to pass the time. Here are a few things that you can do to kill a few hours and feel like you’ve done something productive today.
1. Deep-clean your makeup brushes
Your makeup brush gathers all sorts of interesting things in its bristles over time. Dead skin cells, oils, dirt, and even the occasional dust mite likely call your powder brush home. That’s why it is so important to give your brushes a deep cleansing at least once a month. Cristina Monaco, the Certified Physician Assistant at New York’s Schweiger Dermatology Group recommends using Dawn dishwashing soap, adding, “it literally removes everything and anything!” An added bonus? Sparkling clean bristles will help you prevent pimples and rashes. Just remember, never dry your brushes by standing them upright. This will compromise the glue that holds the bristles in place. Instead, let them dry flat or hang them upside down.
2. Repair your hair
This is the perfect time to give your hair some extra loving and nurture your follicles to their best health ever. And you can even use the ingredients you have in your pantry. Olive oil, for instance, contains ingredients that create a protective coating around your hair, fending off damage from free-radicals, making your hair shinier and stronger. Once a week, add 1 to 2 tablespoons to damp hair, comb through, and leave on for 30 minutes.
Another great hair restorative contains a half a cup of mayonnaise, 1 egg, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, blended together. This mixture contains elements that discourage hair loss, remove product buildup, and deeply condition. Simply add to slightly damp hair and keep on for 20 to 30 minutes.
When life returns to normal, you will emerge from your cocoon with the most glorious locks you’ve ever donned.
3. De-pill your sweaters
Are some of your favorite sweaters developing pills—those pesky little balls that cling to your garments, making them appear “well-worn” and hideous? According to Martha Stewart, there is a remedy for that. Using a small pair of scissors or a razor blade, you can remove each ball, one at a time. Just use caution as you do not want to cut the fabric too close to the surface. She does warn, however, not to attempt this while wearing the garment.
If you don’t have the patience for that, you can purchase a de-fuzzer off Amazon, which removes pills in seconds!
4. Add sparkle to your hair tools
Does your hairbrush closely resemble a furry rodent? It may be time to clean it up and remove that excess hair. Simple take the pointy end of a comb, a closed pair of scissors, or a metal skewer and pull upwards until the matted hairs have been freed. Next, fill the sink with warm water and shampoo. Using an old toothbrush, scrub between the bristles. Let your brush dry and it should sparkle like new.
Now, remove the dust from the back of your hairdryer vent. Remove the filter and, using a toothpick or a pair of tweezers, carefully remove dust and hair. Rinse it with hot water and let air dry.
Don’t forget to rub your curling iron and flattening iron with a damp cloth or rubbing alcohol to remove baked on product. And, voila, your hair-grooming tools are as good as new.
5. Give your hair extensions some love
Taking good care of your hair extensions can dramatically increase their lifespan, saving you money. Clip-in hair extensions should be washed after every 30 wears, using a sulphate-free cleansing product. Be sure to thoroughly dry them out before brushing them as brushing wet strands can cause damage.
And, be sure to store your extensions properly. Some people store them in a shoe box or hat box. Another option is to try a hair extension carrier, which enables you to store and transport them safely.
6. Rotate your mattress
Do you have a “you-shaped” dip in your mattress? If you fail to rotate your mattress from time-to-time, it will wear unevenly, making your night’s sleep less comfortable than it should be. While different mattress manufacturers differ on their recommendations—ranging from every 3 to 12 months—this is the perfect chance to follow your mattress’s guidelines.
Begin by prepping your space. Remove bedding, move your nightstands, and decide in advance if you are going to go clockwise or counter-clockwise. And take this opportunity to vaccum beneath the bed. (Nothing beats killing two birds with one stone!)
7. De-grime your water bottles
If it’s been a while since you’ve given your reusable water bottle a thorough scrubbing, now is the perfect time. An easy way to sterilize it is to fill it to the halfway mark with equal parts white vinegar and water. Give it a few vigorous shakes and let it soak overnight. Rinse well with warm water and presto! You’ve got a radiant beverage receptacle.
Does your water bottle have stubborn stains? Try water with a teaspoon of baking soda. Not only is it great at devouring unwanted odors, it is also a mild abrasive, which leaves your bottle squeaky clean and smelling great.
8. Take inventory of your medicine cabinet
Is your medicine cabinet filled with old prescriptions, expired ointments, and vitamins that are older than the President? It’s time to, finally, tackle the beast and take control of it.
Begin by checking the dates on every single product. If you come across expired medications or ones that you no longer use, put them in a bag to bring to your pharmacy for disposal when social distancing measures are over. If you keep your medications in multiple places, it is wise to consolidate them. And never flush old medications down the toilet or throw them out in the trash. Your pharmasist will ensure that they are disposed of safely.
9. Master the Art of Braiding
If you’ve always wanted to become an expert at braiding, but have never had the time, here is your chance. A great way to start is with a simple French braid—a look that goes with everything from sporty to formal attire. This French braid tutorial is super easy and will have you mastering this new skill in no time.
And, you can add length and/or fullness to your locks with a set of hair extensions, making your French braid even thicker and longer instantly.
10. Examine your cosmetics
Cosmetics weren’t made to last forever. Yes, that luxurious Dior eye shadow has a limited lifespan, no matter how much you love it. And, you may not have noticed, but many of your cosmetics have their lifespans stamped right on their packaging.
Look for a little icon that looks like a container of cream with the lid open. Look closer and you will notice that it says something like “6 months” on the picture of the container. That is how long that product is good for once it is opened. Typically, mascara has a short life span of roughly 6 months, lip products last about a year, and foundation and blush can last up to 24 months—but this can vary by individual brand. This is where the symbol comes in handy.
If it’s been around too long, it’s time to chuck it out. No matter how painful.
12. Tackle the spice drawer
The fresher the spice, the more flavorful and aromatic it will be. There is, after all, no point to cooking with spices that taste like…well…nothing. If your basil has been around long enough to remember when Pluto was a planet, it definitely needs to be replaced.
11. Thin out your undergarments
Is your sock drawer bursting at the seams? If you are holding on to bras with broken underwires and underwear with overstretched elastic, it is time to shed some undergarments. If it doesn’t fit, is uncomfortable, or if you’d be embarrassed to be taken to the hospital in it, it’s time to throw it out. Once you’ve edited your socks, bras, and panties, it is time to put them back in a neat and organized manner. Inexpensive or home-made drawer dividers may prove helpful with keeping you on track. And, remember, when folding your bras, put one cup into the other. This will prevent them from becoming misshapen.
McCormick says the lifespan of whole spices like caraway seeds and peppercorns is 3 to 4 years, ground spices such as cumin or paprika can last 2 to 4 years, while leafy whole herbs such as basil and oregano have a life of 1 to 3 years. If they’ve exceeded this, it’s time to chuck them out.
Now is also the perfect time to fill up your spice bottles and get rid of some of those pesky bags. A funnel comes in hand for this. And, remember, before refilling washed spice bottles, ensure that they are thoroughly dried.
Hopefully, this to-do list will help you fill a few hours of your day and make you feel like you’ve actually accomplished something. And, you never know. It may be just the beginning of a total spring overhaul. Stay home, stay safe, and stay busy.
Written by: Kimberley Laws