The SA government’s decision to lockdown, despite its economic woes, places value on human life above all else, and provides opportunities to look at the state of your home, and reassess your values.
The residential housing market has been strained for some time now … the lockdown exacerbates this. It’s obvious that house sales during the forthcoming three weeks will trickle to nothing. Few people will be prepared to buy a home online, no matter how close they have come to considering a purchase in preceding weeks.
Wealth is going to diminish, jobs will be lost and incomes will be threatened, and in fact, not all shocks can be anticipated. The coronavirus is shutting down the world and any stimulus or aid packages are not going to favour the selling or buying of residential homes.
Even after the three weeks are past, and assuming there is a good percentage containment of the spread of the virus, the housing market will not suddenly recover. One of the priorities for most will be to determine how to balance incomes, how to settle any debt incurred, and how to move forward. People are going to be forever changed, and values will be reassessed.
Our values will change
If we learn one thing from the government’s decision to lockdown, it’s that human life is more valuable than that of material things. 21 days gives us time to reflect and this will present opportunities and challenges. We will discover new tolerance levels, and hopefully become closer to those we are separated from, or to those with whom we share confined spaces.
This also provides us with time to reflect on our homes. No matter what the short- medium- or long-term impacts, there is always a need for home maintenance, and no matter too what the market is doing, there will always be people who need to sell their homes. While you may not be able to shop for paint, and other such repair or home enhancing materials, there should at least be time to really examine those area’s much overlooked, or to make lists and decide on priorities for home improvements.
Affordable, or no-cost repairs, can be a starting point:
- Mowing lawns
- Trimming trees and weeding beds
- Patch up leaking hoses
- Check with neighbours if you can swop plants from each another’s gardens
- Wash your washing machine, and remove lint from dryers
- Run a dishwasher on a cycle with no contents
- Get stuck into the fridge; throw out old and never-used jars of condiments
- Clear out drains and gutters of debris
- Deep cleanse nooks and crannies oft overlooked by mere daily housekeeping
- ‘Spring’ clean one or two rooms a week
- Clear the clutter in garages and outbuildings
- Reverse ceiling fan rotation – counter wise in summer, clockwise in winter, and clean the blades
- Clean out exhaust fans and stove extractors
- Check roof tiles for movement and/or broken tiles
- Seek out ant/termite/spider nests for potential extermination
- If you have paint, touch up any scuff marks
- Examine taps and cisterns for leaks – including those outdoors
- Check locks and seals
- Door handles, light and wall switches may require good cleaning
- Inspect drive- and walkways for cracks
- Deep clean the braai
- If you have unused Tupperware, use it to decant food stuff from packaging, and check all grocery cupboards for expired products that should be thrown out
- Clean out dog kennels and wash bedding
- Brush dogs, give them a bath
- Air out your linen cupboard and cut down old towels for home cleaning rags
- Ready your wardrobe for winter, and consider bagging unused items for donation to the poor
- Check alarm systems and monitors
- Oil squeaky doors and hinges
- Check screws on all appliances and fixtures to ensure they are tight.
- Clean light fittings and shades
And when the house is clean, or as maintained as you can manage, consider:
- Photo albums – use your phone to take photos of photos for storage on digital systems
- Cooking lessons – teach partner’s and children how to cook favourite meals and treats
- Learn something online – Udemy offers many free courses, and a google search of freebies provides an array of other such free opportunities to learn something new
- Board games and puzzles – dust off the cobwebs and spend family time rediscovering Monopoly, 30 seconds, a puzzle, card games
- Music – create playlists
- Artwork – create art from odds and sods lying around the house
- Exercise – spend an hour a day outdoors, playing footie for example, or other similar ballgames.
We should all learn something from, and during the lockdown. We will cope, and we will discover our strengths and possibly our weaknesses will be revealed. It is important to create good memories during this time, and in the same way we remember events that changed the course of history, so too will these 21 days be firmly cemented. It is up to us to do the best we can with them, to dig deep, practice tolerance, understanding and compassion, and be united. For this too will pass.