Feeling that itch to spring clean your home, and maybe your entire life? Many of us are spending a lot more time at home than we normally would during this pandemic. Today we’re talking about ways we can organize and improve your life from top to bottom in 2021.
Whether you’re bored or just motivated to get stuff done, this is a list of 100 productive things to do at home that will help you improve your life in ways big and small.
We’re covering everything from home projects, polishing up your finances and career, setting goals, sprucing up your beauty routine, improving your physical health, upgrading your mindset, and more!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Using them gives me a small commission at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.
Productive Things to do at Home
Improve Your Home
Clean out your closets.
Pull everything out of your closet and dressers, place it on your bed. Sort your clothes into three piles, keep, maybe/try on, and donate/sell.
Keep the clothes you wear often and like. Put anything you aren’t sure about into a pile to be tried on. Immediately put donation clothes in a bag or box and get them out of the way. Try on the maybe clothes, keep what feels good and get rid of the rest. Put all donate bags by your front door to be taken to a donation center asap. Put anything you want to sell in a box and designate a time to take photos and list the items online, or pick a date for a yard sale.
Make over your bedroom
Your bedroom should be a haven. Someplace where you feel peaceful and happy. Get rid of the clutter, clean off your dressers and nightstand, dust the bookshelves. If your closet is visible make it look organized. Have matching bedding. Add some real or faux plants. Put away the laundry that’s been sitting in the hamper for a week. Dust the baseboards.
Clean out your wallet and/or purse.
Throw away an old receipts and trash. Put away any random things you find in there. Wipe down the inside and outside.
Clean out your fridge and pantry.
Take everything out of the fridge and pantry. Wipe down the shelves and drawers. Check expiration dates and throw out anything that’s gone bad. Donate any non-perishable items you know you won’t use and make a note to stock up on anything you’re low on. Organize as you put things away. Consider some new pantry organization.
Declutter your kitchen gadgets and tools.
Go through all your kitchen gadgets and utensils. Do you use everything at least a few times a year? Do you need seven spatulas? Donate what you don’t use or need.
Declutter or upgrade old furniture.
Get rid of old furniture that is too bulky, not your style, or broken. You could also upgrade old furniture with paint and add some pretty drawer pulls, you’ll find lots of ideas on Youtube and Pinterest.
Rearrange your furniture
Rearranging your space can bring new energy, and you might just find that your space looks more open and spacious with the right layout.
Paint a room
Painting is a relatively cheap and easy way to give a room a makeover. I can’t tell you how many family ‘painting parties’ I’ve forced into, but the end result was always worth it. Pro tips: listening to good music really helps the time pass!
DIY some home decor
Make your own version of something that might otherwise be too expensive or hard to find. Or support a small business and buy something unique on Etsy.
Clean out your garage, basement, or attic.
Maybe you can’t do it all in a day but commit a few hours each weekend to taking a chunk of stuff out of that space and donating, selling, or organizing it.
Put your items on Offer Up, you can have local people pick up your items and make a few bucks.
You’ll be thankful later if you move, and your kids will be thankful when they have to clean out your house someday.
Repair broken things around the house.
Look around and see what needs to be fixed. Look up tutorials on how to fix things if you want to try it yourself, or call an expert when needed. Taking care of things now can prevent bigger disasters later.
Clean your windows and get nice curtains.
Clean your windows and get some nice curtains. Growing up I guess curtains weren’t a priority because we had mismatched sheets or blankets on the windows that didn’t have blinds. One of the first things I bought when I got a job was plain white curtains. They weren’t anything special but they were an improvement over the faded Little Mermaid blanket I had hanging up.
If you have close neighbors that you don’t want looking in get a privacy window film. I recently got this one and it creates a rainbow on my walls in the morning and evening when the sun hits it and it was pretty easy to apply.
Make first aid and disaster kits.
Plant a garden
Do some research to see what’s seasonal and appropriate for your climate. Start with 1 plant and see how it goes. Succulents are pretty easy for beginners.
Refresh your outdoor space.
Give your backyard, patio, balcony, or even just your windowsill a makeover. Sweep away the dirt. Pull the weeds. Buy or grow plants. Paint your flower pots. Get a comfy outdoor hanging chair and pillows. Lay out a cute outdoor rug. Make it someplace you love to be.
Improve Your Health
Try a new recipe every week or two.
Look up some recipes and put the ingredients on your grocery list. Make an event of preparing the meal. Set the table nicely, turn off the tv and put on some music. Light a candle. Savor every bite of your food.
Exercise at home
A productive thing to do at home is workout. Get some home workout gear and set up a workout space. If you don’t have much room get a cute basket or cube storage. There are thousands of free workout videos on Youtube, you can find any type of home workout you could dream of. The best form of cardio in my opinion is jump roping, it burns tons of calories.
Start a daily yoga practice.
I do a short 5 minute yoga practice every night before and it’s been so beneficial. My body used to feel very tight in the mornings and now I don’t get the stiffness I used to have in my neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Take daily walks
Walking is just about the simplest kind of exercise you can do but still so beneficial for your body and mind. Make a great playlist. Get a walking buddy (animal or human!). Buy some cute shoes just for walking. Put an alarm on your phone. Make it a daily habit.
Replace a unhealthy meal or snack with a healthy alternative.
At this point there is probably a healthier alternative for almost any food you can think of. Try a few new healthier options, you might find something you like even more. I haven’t tried them yet but I’ve read really good things about Thrive Market, which is a health food delivery company with ethical sourcing, eco friendly packaging, and zero-waste warehouses.
Improve Your Mindset
Read some personal development books.
A good personal development book can truly change your life. I’ve read a fair amount of them and when you find a good one you gain such valuable information and wisdom. I’ve shared 10 Books that Have Changed My Life here on my blog and I highly recommend you read one.
Boost your self-esteem.
Working on your self-esteem is one of the most productive things you can do. You’re self-esteem determines how you show up in the world. It can have a big impact on your motivation and the things you strive to accomplish in your life. I’ve written about 15 Ways to Improve Your Self Esteem and there is a free worksheet to help you out.
I’m sure everyone knows what meditation is by now, and it’s not for everyone but if you haven’t tried it yet I recommend you give it a go. Meditation helps to calm your mind and your nervous system.
I love meditation because it has given me an better awareness of my thoughts, and if you’ve read my posts about limiting beliefs you’ll know that your thoughts become your beliefs which then dictate your actions for good or bad.
Start a journal
Journaling is a little bit like meditation. If helps you become aware of your thoughts. You can look at things from a different perspective. You can organize your thoughts and just get them out of your head. You can ask yourself thoughtful questions and get in touch with your intuition. If you need some ideas of what you journal about try 55 Journal Questions for Self Discovery.
Identify some limiting beliefs and change them.
As I stated above, your limiting beliefs dictate your actions and what you can accomplish in life. If you believe you can you probably will. If you belief you can’t then you won’t even try. Sit and think about some of your core beliefs about yourself. Do you believe you’re capable of achieving anything you can dream of? Do you belief you’re worthy of love? Do you believe you deserve all the things you want from live? If the answer was no you have some inner work to do.
Learning to change your limiting beliefs can be difficult, this free worksheet can help get you started.
Write a ‘best self’ vision statement
Who is the best version of yourself? Where do they live, what do they do, how do they feel? Write that vision down as if it’s already real, and then reverse engineer what you had to do and belief to become that person. What you can do to make that reality happen for you? What small steps can you take today, this week, and this month?
Watch TED Talk videos
There are so many TED talks that will teach you something about yourself or the world. Most are under 15 minutes so you can watch one a few days a week and learn something awesome that you wouldn’t have learned anywhere else.
Listen to an inspirational podcast.
Personal development podcasts are a great way to improve your mindset while you’re doing other productive things at home like laundry, washing the dishes, mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, etc. I enjoy the following podcast but there are so many more to choose from.
- Kalyn’s Coffee Talk
- Unleash Your Inner Creative
- Rise Higher Podcast
- Better Off with Jill Schlesinger
Practice daily gratitude.
We’re always wanting more, but if you don’t know how to appreciate what you have now you probably won’t appreciate what you have in the future. Gratitude is essential to your happiness, and if you believe in the Law of Attraction then you’ll know that feeling grateful for what you have now will attract more good things into your life.
Create an Affirmations Jar
Print or write down Positive Affirmations and put them in a jar. Pull out one everyday and put it somewhere you will see it throughout the day.
Improve Your Finances
Identify wasted money
Look at your credit card and bank statements and look for any waste. It could be unused gym memberships, streaming memberships, clothes you buy and don’t wear, gadget you only use once, knickknacks that just create clutter, buying takeout that you could make at home, etc.
Open a High Yield Savings Account
If you have a savings account you may as well earn money on it. Interest rates fluctuate but online banks generally give you better interest rates because they don’t have the same overhead costs that physical banks do. I use Ally and love them
Set up Auto Payments
If you aren’t already, set up auto payments so you don’t miss bills and waste money paying late fees.
Set up a retirement account.
The sooner you open a retirement account the better. I opened by Roth IRA online through Vanguard, it was quick and easy. I only wish I’d done it when I was 18.
Invest with Acorns
In addition to my retirement account, I like having a casual way to invest and grow my money. I’ve used Acorns for years and made a 46% return on my money so far just buy investing $5 a week.
Create a budget
Having a budget is one of the most important parts of improving your finances. Look at how much you make monthly, how much your essentials are (rent, utilities, food, loans, etc) and with what’s left decide what you will save and what will be your fun spending.
Sell your stuff
Have a garage sale or list your unwanted items on a local Facebook group or selling app to make some extra money. Save if for something special like a new sofa or a vacation.
Improve Your Career
Write down your professional goals.
Write down any professional goals you may have, whether its finding a better job, moving into a higher position at your current job, or starting your own business. Then start to create a strategy to make it happen.
Create a master resume
List all of your skills and job experience in one document so you can copy and paste relevant information into a resume and cover letter when you apply somewhere. This will save you so much stress when you’re job hunting.
Create an Elevator Pitch
If you have 60 seconds to pitch yourself or your product to someone what will you say? Write it down and practice delivering it until you feel confident delivering the speech from memory.
Brush up on rusty skills
If there are any skills that could be a benefit to your current or future job and you haven’t used it in a while take some time to brush up on it. Find a Youtube video or other online class if needed.
Learn a new skill.
If there is a skill that could take your career to the next level then start learning it. Some companies will pay for you to take a class if it means you’ll bring more value to them.
Write ‘thank you’ emails.
Tell your clients, boss, or potential bosses thank you for the opportunity to work with them. It shows that you take pride in your job and have a good work ethic.
Practice your communication skills.
Good communication skills are essential to most jobs. Practice giving presentations, sales pitches, interviews, requests for a raise, or whatever is essential to your job or the job you want.
Start a Blog
Blogging can be a great side job and eventually, with time and consistency, become a career. Learn 10 Steps to Start a Blog here.
Start a Podcast
If you have something interesting to talk about that you think other people would be interested make a podcast! I’ve heard Anchor is a good tool for uploading podcasts to itunes, Spotify, etc.
Write a book
If you love writing then write a book. Share the brilliant stories in your head with the world.
Organize your workspace.
Work can be a drag sometimes but making your desk visually appealing can make working at home just a little more productive because you actually enjoy being in the space.
Learn to code.
Coding can give you a lucrative career in web design, programming, computer science, and data science. Try codecademy.
Improve Your Community
Volunteer at a food drive.
Right now during the Covid pandemic there are a lot of people who’ve lost their livelihoods and now rely on food drives. Find a local organization and see if they need volunteers.
Vote in all your local and federal elections. Voting is one of the ways you hold politicians accountable and make change. Check to make sure you’re registered in your state or country.
Since it’s an election year, volunteer at you local polling place.
Support your mail carriers
Mail carriers really keep the country running. They not only deliver the fun packages we all love to receive, but they also deliver medications to people who can’t go to the pharmacy, paychecks, bills that need to be received on time so they can be paid on time, holiday cards, etc. Right now their jobs are being made so much harder, here are some ways you can help:
- Buy stamps, yup that money helps keep them going.
- Contact your congressional representative, let them know they need to support the USPS if they don’t already.
- If you vote by mail do so early so they are not overwhelmed with millions of ballots in the last few days.
- Tell your local mail carrier that you support and appreciate them.
Ask your friends if they need anything
Check in with your friends to see if they need any help or support. Maybe they need a ride or a meal or a ear to listen.
Ask you local teachers if they need any supplies
Teachers often have to pay for supplies out of their own pockets, and they are most definitely not paid enough to do that easily. See if your local schools need any supplies and give what you can.
Find small businesses to support
Look for small businesses in your community to buy from. Yes big stores like Walmart are more convenient but small businesses employ 47.5% of the United State’s workforce.
Donate to a woman’s shelter
Woman’s shelters will be happy to take unused toiletries, clothing, job interview outfits, etc.
Volunteer at a homeless shelter.
Read at least 1 news story a day.
Being informed is the most important part of being part of your community. Try to read at least one news story every day. PBS News, BBC, and WAPO are good sources.
Improve Your Habits & Goals
Create a 1, 5, and 10 year plan.
A good plan is one of the most productive things you can do. What’s the vision you have for your life? What are the big picture things you want to accomplish? Don’t let them just be dreams, create a plan to make it happen. The achievement of big goals is the accumulation of hundreds of small steps that you take one day at a time.
This big goal planner is a great tool to help you layout all the steps for your long term goals.
You don’t have to have every stepped mapped out to make a start, you just take the first step. Separate your goals into 1, 5, and 10 year plans. Create a loose outline and then start to fill in the details as you go.
Set monthly goals.
Your monthly goals should be stepping stones for your bigger goals and they need the same daily action strategy. Check out my post on How to Set Intentional Monthly Goals to read more and get a workbook to help you plan and reach those goals.
Asses your routines & habits
Are your daily routines serving your goals? Can you develop a new home routine that is more productive? Daily small steps are what gets you to your dreams, asses your routines and habits and identify where you could improve. Can you get up 30 minutes earlier, or watch 30 minutes less of tv and use that time for something more productive?
Make a vision board.
This is kind of like a visual representation of the best self vision statement we talked about under ‘Improve Your Mindset’. You can make it on Pinterest or print and cut out photos to make a collage. Look at it when you need a reminder of what you’re working towards.
Improve Your Digital Life
Clean your computer desktop & update your screen saver to something inspiring
Clear out your email inbox.
Create folders to organize emails you need to keep. Unsubscribe from any newsletters you don’t read or ones that tempt you to shop when you shouldn’t.
Delete any photos that are blurry and or duplicates. Backup the ones you love onto a cloud service or external hard drive.
Uninstall unused programs & apps
Remove any programs or apps you haven’t used in months. You can always reinstall them if you need to later, for now free up that space.
Organize your files
Dust off your keyboard and sanitize your phone
Back up your files
Unfollow social media accounts that make you feel bad or stress you out.
Update your passwords
It’s a good idea to change your passwords every once in a while, make sure any accounts that have your credit card information saved has a complex password to protect it.
Improve Your Beauty Routine
Declutter and organize your beauty products.
Put all your beauty items in one spot and go through each item. Check expiration dates and throw out anything that smells off. I love these $1 organizers from Target for my nail polish and skincare. If you have a small collection this 3 drawer organizer is pretty and this small marble tray is great for holding your daily items.
Clean your make up brushes and sponges, this is the best cleaner.
Wear SPF everyday
I can’t emphasis the benefits of wearing SPF daily enough. And even if you are a black woman you still need to block harmful UV rays that cause cancer. I love the Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF40, it’s a gel spf that blends in and doesn’t leave a white cast. My oily skin doesn’t have any issues with it.
Make your own bathbombs
Bathbombs can be pretty expensive, so learn to make your own. Search Youtube for tutorials.
Have a spa day or night
Self care is always a productive thing to do at home. Light some candles, turn on some music, put on a hair and face mask, and take a long bath or shower. Put on body oil or moisturizer afterwards. Do your nails. Talk your partner into giving you a massage.
Define your style by colors
A great way to define your style is to pick a color palette that you always stick to. Now if you enjoy wearing all the colors in the rainbow this may not be for you and that’s perfectly OK! But, if you want to make shopping a little easier, having a color palette you stick to is a great idea.
It has really helped me only buy makeup and clothing that I really love because it’s all in my favorite colors that make me happy to wear. I have a spring-summer palette that consists of lilac, mauve, light grey, and aqua blue, and a fall-winter palette that is basically the same but with darker plums and blues added in.
Improve Your Overall Life
Learn a new language
There are a few free language apps but I’ve used and like Duolingo.
Clean your car inside and out.
Vacuum, dust off the dashboard, fill up the tires, throw away any trash, wash the outside, and schedule an oil change or any maintenance if needed.
Make a Life Binder
A Life Binder is a way to store all your important documents in one place. Put your car, house, medical, and financial documents in one spot for easy access for yourself or someone else in case of an emergency. If you can get a fireproof safe to keep it secure.
Put an emergency contact on your phone and write it in your wallet.
Find eco friend versions of products you already use.
Plan your DREAM vacation
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be? What would you do? Do some research and make a plan. You don’t have to book anything today but get an idea of the cost and start saving.
Learn something on Youtube
You can learn just about anything on Youtube. Yesterday I looked up how to get candle wax out of their jars so I could recycle them.
Paint or color
You might not think art is a productive thing to do at home, but coloring isn’t just for kids. Coloring has been proven to help adults release stress and it helps you exercise your creative muscles. Try a paint by numbers kit or get an adult coloring book (this one made me laugh).
Get an online library card
See if you county has an online library, they’ll let you check out kindle books for free just like your in person library.
Make a new playlist
I don’t know about you but I love setting a mood with music. I have one for summer, fall, yoga, working, and so many more. A gloomy day with a candle and my fall playlist is perfect.
Spend time outside
Have a picnic, read a book, listen to a podcast, garden, play with your kids, play in the water, just get some sunshine and fresh air.
Create a photo album.
Use a free program like Canva to make a photo album that you can share with your loved ones. They have photo book templates that you can drop your photos into and fully customize before getting it printed.
Take a break
Sometimes it’s important to stop being productive and just relax. Recharge your batteries and come back to your to do list later feeling refreshed with new energy and new ideas.
I hope you’ve gotten some good ideas for productive things to do at home. It can feel overwhelming in the moment, but when your organized your life it feels so good and is totally worth the time and energy.
Love and light,