Just a few ideas we in the Schaffel household thought of…
Not fun, but necessary things to do:
- Clean everything, especially things you don’t usually think of. Clean your oven, the inside of your refrigerator, the tops of your fan blades, around light bulbs, your screened devices. Scrub your bathtub. Clean behind things. Get under the couches and chairs. Vacuum everything.
- Remove the hoard by going through everything you have. If you haven’t used it in a year, consider selling it on eBay (it’s easier to do than you might think), donating it to Goodwill once it reopens, or disposing of it. Do this for clothes, toys, trinkets, etc. Yes, everything you have.
- Go through your old documents and shred what isn’t needed (tax documents more than five years old, etc.) If you don’t have a shredder, call the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or get one on Amazon.
- Contact a financial adviser and get a financial plan in place. I used to be one, and they are more critical today than in recent years. They can ensure that your entire financial picture, everything from your daily budget to your retirement plan, is in line with your goals. There are lots of companies out there offering services. I recommend using a referral from a friend who is happy with the service they have received for an introduction to one.
- Draft a last will and testament, living will, power of attorney, and medical power of attorney. These are critical documents every adult should have, regardless of the assets you have (or don’t think you have). You can do this for a small fee via LegalZoom. At some point, you’ll need to get these signed by witnesses and/or notarized, but you can do that at a later date.
Do something you might not have thought of:
- Read a book you never thought you would read. If you haven’t read Dracula, I highly recommend it!
- Learn a language using Duolingo, Babbel, or some other web-based, free program.
- Check out a few TED talks.
- Learn how to play an instrument. For example, buy a guitar on Amazon, get it sent to your home, then use YouTube to learn how to do it).
- Learn about car maintenance, also via YouTube, and the things you could probably easily do to maintain your car and save money.
- Plan for small home improvement projects, like installing a backsplash in your kitchen, and use the blog I wrote and the YouTube videos embedded in it.
- Build your family tree using Ancestry.com or another genealogy website.
- Write a book. I did it…mine is called Get After It: Seven Inspirational Stories to Find Your Inner Strength When It Matters Most. My grandfather has written two books. You can self-publish it via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, an indie publisher like BookBaby, or try for a big publishing house.
Super fun things to do:
- Build a fort.
- Build a makeshift mini-golf course.
- Play a board game.
- Build a puzzle.
- Play Dungeons and Dragons via Skype/Facetime/Zoom/any other video chat program.
- Play poker with your friends using a mobile app.
- Take online fitness courses (especially yoga classes from Yoga Heights). Many are livestreamed on YouTube or their own sites. Just ensure you pay what you can or donate to support the teachers.
- Video chat with every member of your family.
- Watch a documentary, science-based film, or other educational program on Netflix, Hulu, Roku, Amazon Prime, etc.
- Cook something you’ve never made before.
- Make homemade pizza (including making your own dough.
- Make homemade sushi (yes, you can do this, just ensure you get good fish).
Other random things:
- Use Shutterfly to print new pictures of your family.
- Start writing a journal, either hand-written or electronically on a tablet or a computer.
- Start a blog, which you can do for free at Blogspot, or any number of other platforms.
If you have other ideas I should add, please comment below and consider sharing this post. Let’s all keep each other sane…and maybe have some fun while this whole crap situation runs its course.