Creating a Better Home for the Family in the New Normal

By Catsup and Mustard
newly wed couple at home

The pandemic caused all of us to stay in our homes for the better part of a year. Our homes which were previously primarily for rest and relaxation were transformed into pseudo-offices and classrooms. Turning a space into something it wasn’t necessarily built for caused can result in messy and unorganized spaces. This may have been something we just needed to deal with during the height of the pandemic, but as the new normal slowly settles in, that’s no longer the case.

A clean and functional environment can do wonders for our overall productivity. Working from home has posed some unique challenges, along with increased child care needs as schools work out their health and safety protocols. It’s easy to let the days go by without addressing some critical aspects of our lives at home, but this can lead to us eventually feeling burnt out.

Mixing up spaces meant for rest and those meant for productivity can lead to blurred lines between the two. We can develop a harder time actually being able to relax when we’re in a space that we associate with work and deadlines during the day. The same can also be said for learning spaces. The pandemic has significantly affected younger children, as socialization and the physical school experience carry significant weight in their development.

Taking steps to ensure a smoother home life while we continue to adapt to the new normal will help keep us happier and healthier overall.

Designated spaces

Separating spaces for work and play can help keep you from mixing up the two during the time spent at home. While businesses start to open back up again, remote working setups continue to be a trend in most industries that can accommodate it. Even those requiring onsite employees have adopted hybrid models that only require physical meetings for strategic or problem-solving-related concerns.

Not all of us have the luxury of our own home offices, but even just setting up a specific workstation at home outside of your bedroom can help separate the spaces. A desk in the corner of your living room or in other accessible areas will be more beneficial to you than having it in the room when you’re supposed to sleep.

Clean environments 

Clean and organized environments have been proven to improve performance and productivity. Especially when working at home, where you’re usually forced to juggle more than just your job during working hours, things can get chaotic quickly. Cleaning up at the end of the day keeps things from piling up on top of each other and seeming insurmountable.

Organization when it comes to work-related gadgets and paperwork is also essential to keep things from getting misplaced or damaged. In households that also cater to our furry friends, it’s important to ensure they’re trained and to clean up after them if they’re kept indoors. There are even businesses that offer to board and train your dog, so they come home as well-behaved members of the family.

Establish routines 

Routines are especially important for bigger families in one household. Catering your days to accommodate each other’s individual needs throughout the day is bound to get complicated. Children in different grades can have different break schedules, and parents can have various shifts when working from home. Establishing a shared calendar or schedule for everybody’s daily activities can help keep the household manageable.

Mealtimes are also another critical factor to consider for younger children. Preparing meals ahead of time and having the kids be able to just grab them from the kitchen can help keep you from being interrupted during office hours.

Make sure to rest

It’s easy to forget to rest when you think you are spending so much time at home. Taking the time to spend time together playing or bonding as a family can help make these difficult times a happier experience for all those involved. Many parents have been thankful for these times because they could establish deeper connections with their children as they were forced to interact with each other more.

Spend the weekend watching a movie, playing a game, making art, or even just sharing meaningful conversations. Even as the world was brought to a standstill, don’t let your growth as a family be disrupted. Take advantage of the unique times and find ways to fill the days with happy memories at home.

Though the pandemic has brought some devastating challenges along with it, there have also been some unique opportunities for improving our lives at home. The habits we develop during these times can significantly help us move forward as employees, students, and families.

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