Quarantine has shut us into our homes whether we like it or not. Some of us, no doubt, are feeling claustrophobic, out of control, and slowly going crazy. I have a lot of advice to give on how to make rooms more enjoyable for you! Grab a cup of tea and biscuit; it’s quite long! If you don’t want to read the main bit, the list is right at the bottom 🙂
I have always really enjoyed making rooms homely, and its always been something I’ve been quite good at, but now, I am finding it more important than ever.
I had to leave university with a couple of days notice. As I looked around my room, I had to think really hard about what was truly important to me. For me and my friends, it truly felt like a ‘the house is burning, you have to take what is dear to you’ scenario.
I had one big suitcase, a duffle bag (kindly leant to me by my friend so that I could take home my Mum’s memory box), and a rucksack. I packed a few comfy clothes, mostly gym gear because thats what I live in, and I packed a lot of things to make my room at my Uncle’s homely:
- My sun catcher which I made with Mum
- My rug (it was small and easy to transport)
- My favourite bedding
- My childhood stuffed dinosaur, and a whale toy my friend bought for me
- My photos of myself, Mum and Katie
- My Shakespeare anthology which my Mum bought for me for my 18th and has her handwriting in
- My memory box of Mum
- My salt lamp (it’s very calming)
- Some of my crystals
This list may seem incredibly unnecessary, and if you gave me this list previously, I may have agreed with you. But, the most important thing for my mental health is to have a very zen, cosy environment. I had no idea when I was going to be able to get the rest of my clothes and belongings, so the thought of being without my memory box, photographs or items that make my room mine, for an unknown amount of time, I knew was going to put a strain my mental health.
Needless to say, my luggage was extremely, back-breakingly heavy.
One stupid thing I did bring to my Uncle’s house, but surprisingly has given the most amount of joy, was my plants. I have always enjoyed caring for plants, and at university, I had 5 little potted plants. When we were packing up, I gave one each to my best friends because 1) I couldn’t take them all, but 2) I also knew it would bring them joy.
For myself, I brought home the remaining 3. I packed them up in a lunchbox, and put the terrarium in my rucksack. Somehow, they all survived the journey.
They have been an unexpected joy; I brought them because I could not bear the thought of them dying in my room, but I think I love them even more now.
When I got to my Uncle’s, I settled myself in. I moved the furniture around, I moved different items in and out of the room. I did the same for Katie’s room, so that she would have a nice area to begin with.
The walls of my room are two shades of blue, with pictures of happier times, cards I have recieved and fairy lights all over the walls. My bed has my favourite bed spread on it, with a blanket I had been storing at my Uncle’s house. I moved a cube book case to the end of my bed, which I put my jewellery box, memory box and crystals on it. My rug was sprawled beside my bed, and I had a little shoe rack for the two shoes I had been able to bring down.
This was my quarantine safety room. Thats how I see it; I see it as a refuge. Perhaps this is because I ‘escaped’ my halls there, where everyone was anxious, being picked up by parents left right and centre. I think I think of it as that, because I am safe there. It has been disinfected and is regularly cleaned, but overall it is a very cosy and relaxing space for me to belong in.
This room was made up of all of the stuff I could bring down from university in my luggage on the coach. It was a nerve-wracking, hand-sanitiser-filled, scarf-across-mouth, experience.
But, it was worth it.
During the week I was at Peter’s, my halls announced that we had to clear our rooms by the 14th of April in order to get our rent back. (I mean, do they not realise there is a mass pandemic that means we can’t travel?! *eyeroll*)
So, regardless, it was only a week before I could get the rest of my stuff. I was very thankful. Now my room has more fairy lights (Yay), more photos, a clothes rail, my fluffy blanket, and all my books- thank goodness for that!
I would like to share some pointers as to how you can make your quarantine safety room a little bit more cosy. A zen place where when you shut the door, it is completely for you.
- Fairy lights! As you can tell by now, I am a huge fan. I have one long set that I have put around the top of my room. They have a remote control with them which I have stuck to the bottom of my shelf, and have lots of calming, relaxing settings on there. I usually have them on when I feel stressed, afraid or need to feel a bit more peaceful. I ordered mine off of amazon. These are obviously not listed as an essential item, so shipping should be around 3 weeks, but in a weird way, its something to look forward to during this time. I think these will be especially good if you have younger children. There are 2 in a pack, they take 3 double A batteries, and the remote control comes with a battery that lasted me 3 months. Also; dig around in your Christmas decorations! We all use them for Christmas trees.
- Plants! I have bought all my plants from Lidl. If you happen to be going to Lidl (naturally dont put yourself in danger just to get plants) or any other supermarket, have a look at some plants. I understand that shopping for food and essential items is very stressful and absolutely should be priority, however. At the minute Lidl has a lot of cheap food and more products than other shops in my experience, like Tesco, or Sainsbury’s (I’m sure everyone knows this though, sorry!). You may also be able to buy small plants online, but I am not sure about this! While plants are absolutely not a priority, for me I have really enjoyed spending £3-£7 on little plants to focus on and look after. It’s the simple things!
- Suncatchers! Suncatchers are easy to make, all you need is the glass ball itself (this is a multipack which Mum bought when we made ours. We also added little beads onto the string), and fishing string. This would be a wonderful craft to do with children, or yourself to pass the time, or anyone at all really! It is simple; feed the string through the suncatcher so that it sits on a loop, tie a tight knot on the top of the ball, and add on some beads. The effect is wonderful; rainbows all day if you put them all around the house! I love this because it makes my room a relaxing space during the day, and the fairylights make it a relaxing space during the night. Alternatively to making suncatchers, you can buy them for a pretty cheap price. Again, the delivery restrictions are a bit difficult, but worth the wait in my opinion! And, you know you will have a lovely craft/day planned for later on in quarantine when you may be running out of ideas!
I also have a salt lamp in my room which I bought from amazon. These are a lot more pricier than these other options, and we have the same delivery issues, however I love them and it is a big reason as to why my room is so calming for me.
Another tip to avoid the long delivery periods, is to buy items from other online businesses than amazon. If you buy online from small businesses you’re also supporting them, when as we know, they are struggling at this time.
My final tips would be to move furniture around, declutter, cut down on clothes, and try to give yourself as much space as possible!
Take care, and stay safe.