Stay-cation Ideas Part I

     One of my favorite topics to think about is the whole concept of a stay-cation.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love a good vacation—a trip, camping or staying in a hotel, mountains or beach, taking it easy and seeing the sights, but I don’t think about that nearly as much as I think about stay-cations.  What would I do if I had a week off at home?  A week off to do whatever I needed or wanted to do?  This may not sound that exciting if you are a stay-at-home mom or if you work from home, so just image the part about having a week and the house to yourself and no responsibilities.  What would you do? 

     My list of top options changes with the season and what I have going on in my life.  I’ll share some of my top choices with you and then some suggestions for what to do if you can’t manage a stay-cation right now. 

  1.  Organize.  Organizing could include a variety of tasks:   going through closets, clothes, books, the kitchen, the whole house and purge and get rid of things.  Sometimes when I get to feeling overwhelmed with clutter and stuff during my regular cleaning routine, I start to fantasize about doing a full-scale organizing stint.  Then, when I think it through, and am really honest with myself, I can face the fact that a week at home would not be long enough to pull this goal off.  To be realistic, dealing with a closet or two, or a challenging room, and donating a few boxes, would probably give me the same lift as going through the whole house, and it’s much more attainable.  After all, you don’t really want to return from your stay-cation exhausted. 

No time for a Stay-Cation, but want the benefits?  Try tackling one room.  Set aside a couple of hours in your messiest closet.  Have boxes ready for things you’ll donate and go!  You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in a finite period of time when you have it set aside—whether it is in an evening or a Saturday morning. 

2. Decorate.  I know it is only a week, but if you had a plan in place that could be enough time to redo one room, or put new curtains/window treatments up around the house.  Even doing something simple such as making a list of ten small changes you want to make around the house and doing those can have an amazing effect on how the house looks and how I feel about it.  One year, I did the “ten things” exercise.  I don’t remember everything I did, but the items were things like:  1) getting picture frames and putting newer pictures out around the house 2) Covering an old table with a quilt and some baskets to fill in a “gap” in our living room décor 3) Purchasing a new pillar candle for the guest bathroom 4) Getting rid of several boxes of clutter/books 5) hanging a decorative clock=small changes can have a big pay-off.

No time for a Stay-Cation, but want the benefits?  Take fifteen or twenty minutes and stroll around your house with a notebook and a pen.  Jot down changes you would like to make in each room.  You might end up with quite a list, but most likely several of the ideas will be small and doable—similar to my “ten things” exercise.  Maybe adding a stainless steel trash can with a lid for the kitchen is on your list.  Maye you want to line your kitchen drawers with some pretty contact paper.  Perhaps, you want to use the throw in the guestroom in the living room for a while.  There are all kinds of small ways to freshen your décor.  Make the list, pick the ones you will focus on and put your plan in motion.

3. Deep Clean.  Similarly, if your fantasy runs more along the lines of deep-cleaning your house, again, I think it’s a great idea to pick two or three tasks to focus on and even considering hiring some help.  For example:  maybe you want to wipe down your kitchen cabinets and baseboards and hire someone to shampoo the carpet.  Maybe you want to plant some flowers in your flower beds, but hire someone to haul off the limbs in the backyard.  There are so many possibilities.  Plus, if you choose one or two things, you will still have time during your staycation to do something fun, too. 

No time for stay-cation, but want the benefits:  Set aside a Saturday for one of your projects.  Hire one out.  Don’t want to give up a Saturday?  Plan one work evening after work to tackle a project—enlist help from family or friends and order pizza for dinner.  This is doable, and the novelty actually can make it fun!

What do you do on a stay-cation?  Maybe you explore the sights in your own hometown or spend time with family and friends.  I would love to hear about it.  Please share your ideas in the comments.  Part II of my Stay-cation ideas will be published next week. 

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