What to do while staying home this summer

Affordable things on what to do while staying home this summer. Easy home renos, inspiring new hobbies, gorgeous trails to visit, and so much more! Visit this post for a complete list of ideas and full tutorials of projects to inspire! #summer #staycation

Ideas on what to do while staying home this summer

Can we talk about the white elephant in the room?

I don’t know about you, but I have been doing a lot of endless scrolling and news watching to keep up with the latest on the latest happenings. And I admit, I allowed it to kinda take over for a spell.

I’ve tried everything under the sun to feel creative… post more… make more… do more… but the never ending bad news hooked me in.

Until I finally unhooked myself.

It’s understandable that what we digest will ultimately lead to our actions. I honestly was in shock and didn’t know what to do so I kept scrolling and scrolling, thinking I was becoming even more well informed.

But that’s not what happened. I became that entranced person looking for even more articles… and getting little else done. And feeling pretty darn low.

But no more! I finally put the endless scrolling down, and am coming up for air again!

Hawaiian directional sign - is travel in the works for you this year or will you staycation at home?

I think part of my personal downwards spiral was actually grieving what could have been.

Travel had been loosely planned… but now that’s off the map… for now anyway. Staying home this summer was not exactly part of my original picture. In fact, I haven’t done this in a number of years, always running off to Hawaii instead.

But there was actually a sense of relief that came when our Canadian border urged us back home and to stay put. A decision was made, which helped me navigate the next right thing to do.

Indecision is the worst, isn’t it?!

I most recently did take a train trip to Vancouver for an appointment I waited nearly 2 years for, which I’d still like to share with you, even though non essential travel is not currently recommended. But better travel days are ahead… and I’d love to show you a little more of my area!

While today is a different world at the moment, we also know this won’t go on forever, right?! Let’s just remember, this is indeed temporary.

My current focus

So for the short term, this is what I’m trying to focus on:

  • stay updated (but not obsessed)
  • self isolate so this thing has a chance of working
  • help others
  • find creative ways to support small business
  • find aspiring things to do with your life while at home right now

Since staying home is such a big mandate at the moment, and a big change for many, I think it’s fair to say, focusing on affordable things to do staying home this summer is going to become a thing.

And since cheap (or free!) DIY home things IS my thing, I thought I’d create a post that could hopefully guide you in a good direction on what to do while staying home this summer.

So if you’re kinda spinning your wheels at the moment trying to regain an even footing, know, I get it and I’m right there with you!

But it’s my hope that this post will trigger a good direction for you to head in…

This post contains a few affiliate links if applicable.

What to do while staying home this summer




Cleaning and organizing is a wonderful project to take on over summer if you're staying home! Learn more affordable staycation ideas in this post!

Clean and organize

I know. Cleaning does not sound fun! But I honestly think it’s the very best place to start.

There are SO many benefits to deep cleaning and purging. Releasing your stuff frees up wide open spaces you didn’t have before, giving you even more options than you had!

Plus… it’s free!

I’m personally following along the Marie Kondo method. It offered me structure where I had none before, and seems to work better than me flying by the seat of my pants.

Wanna get into cleaning? Here’s the order of things…

The official Marie Kondo order of cleaning:





  • Skin care products
  • Makeup
  • Accessories
  • Valuables 
  • Electrical equipment, small appliances, cameras, etc.
  • Household equipment
  • Household supplies
  • Kitchen goods
  • Other 
  • Sentimental things – do this last!

Since I now have a few weeks under my belt with this method, if you need some added encouragement, I suggest you start at the beginning of this cleaning series. I share what I clean, then a video so you really feel like a part of it.

One of the best things about staying home this summer will be that it’ll be easier to gut and purge our garages… I personally cannot WAIT!

Catch up with the 2020 Cleaning Series HERE

I also highly recommend the book to help you along. It explains the categories and why which is invaluable.

The life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo (aff link)

Plan some yard enhancements


Every spring is when I do my little dream yard walk. And it’s already that time of year!

Since the yard is messy,  the first thing I like to do is tidy things up so I can actually see what I’m working with.

Then next, is recutting the flowerbed edges. All you need is a half moon edger to get this look!

From there, it’s all systems go!

Here’s how I like to dream up new yard projects:

  • Create a dream Pinterest board filled with garden inspiration.
  • Recut some new flowerbeds, or remove ones that no longer function.
  • Infuse the flowerbeds with garden art. It really helps fill empty spaces up and offers instant height and interest!

Why I removed flowerbeds from my own yard

How to edge your flowerbeds like a pro

Build a reclaimed wood garden fence

Visit many other garden projects HERE

Visit nearby trails such as the Vedder River Rotary Trail for a wonderful staycation getaway! And other nearby BC Canada sights to see!

Rediscover nature

Whenever I’m overthinking something, getting outdoors is my #1 escape. It’s not only free, it’s beautiful! And it’s a little like meditating. If you focus on the sights and sounds of nature, it’s like a mini vacation.

The key though will be finding quiet spots or go during off-hours with what we’re trying to do.

While staying home this summer wasn’t part of my original plans, these little nature runs do feel like mini vacations that I know will SAVE me!

  • Look up some new trails in your area, and try them out.
  • Consider getting a bike if you don’t yet have one. It’s a different experience vs. walking!
  • Take your camera to capture beautiful nature shots. It helps boost creativity.
  • Try hiking but do team up with someone.
  • Visit a nearby waterfront / river / lake. Bring a book / chair / coffee and just chill.

Here’s some hot spots I visit:

Othello Trails in Hope, BC

Flood Falls in Hope, BC

Where I bike ride – Vedder River Rotary Trail, Chilliwack, BC

Harrison Hot Springs, BC

Cultus Lake, BC

Bike ride down Kettle Valley Railway Trail at Othello Tunnels! A wonderful staycation activity in British Columbia, Canada.

Try a new hobby or skill


When I do the same ‘ol all the live long day, I tend to loose enthusiasm. I know I thrive best when I try something new… even if I’m not good at it at first! I mean, who is?

Is there a hobby you’ve always wanted to try? Painting, pottery, to knit, photography, pottery, etc.

How about learning a new skill? Computer-related, how to build, etc.

Here’s how I go about deciding on a new hobby or skill to dig into:

  • Do a brain dump… grab a notebook and list all the things you’d love to do, even if you don’t know how. Dream big!
  • Circle the ones you don’t know how to do. Bingo!
  • Look online on Youtube or social media for some free classes. for beginner classes in something 
  • Join a paid course online that promises exceptional guidance if you really want to get serious.

How to shop for the right bike for you

My first pottery class

What camera gear I use and love

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about stenciling

Visit Funky Junk’s Old Sign Stencils HERE

Learn how to stencil these charming garden planters from Ikea crates! A wonderful staycation summer project.

Start a new project

Starting a new project is one of my fav ways to get moving in a positive direction… especially with a new season approaching!

Deciding is the kicker…

Here’s how I pick a new project:

  • start by cleaning and purging a given area
  • figure out what’s missing
  • create a project to fill the need
  • infuse seasonal touches into your freshened up space

How to make garden-inspired crates

Upcycled furniture ideas

Fun and easy quirky shelving ideas

How to stencil

Visit Funky Junk’s Old Sign Stencils HERE

Visit ALL my up-cycled and stenciled projects HERE

Learn how to create gorgeous farmhouse molding using simple stock lumber and no miter cuts needed! An easy home renovation idea.

Consider minor home improvements

My home needs LOTS of minor improvements.  Always. Repainting, tiling, finishing rooms I haven’t started, finishing molding, changing out more window screens, etc. The list is very long. 

But the good news is, minor home improvements are generally easy to do on your own, are somewhat cost-effective and don’t take that long. So why not put a few on your list and start?

I plan to really hone in on this area over summer!

Here’s a great idea for deciding what to work on:

  • Grab a clipboard and paper, and create a page for every room in your home.
  • On each page, list WANTS on one side, and NEEDS on the other.
  • Be sure to scan every single square inch of every room.
  • Pick one… and get to it!

Create easy farmhouse molding with simple stock lumber

Plank over a popcorn ceiling

Replace window screens yourself

Add cheap screen doors to french door openings

Must-have DIY tools to start with

Why I ADORE my miter saw!

Take this salvaged farmhouse bathroom tour! Includes planked popcorn ceilings, board and batten wall, vintage farmhouse window molding, and many repurposed ideas!

Plan a more major home improvement

Boy oh boy, if money wasn’t an object, I’d sure do a LOT to my place right now. I have yet to work on the outside of my home and I’d love to start.

But I also realize, right now, it pays to be careful, and whatever I choose, I know I’ll need to do most of the work myself. Wish me luck…

I have done plenty of full room makeovers over time, and I can safely say, they have really made a massive difference in my home, value and aesthetic-wise. 

Here’s a few steps I take when I get ready to start a larger project:

  • Decide on a feature or room you wish to renovate.
  • Start a new Pinterest board / search ideas / save them to either a public or secret pin board.
  • Jot down your measurements / make a supply list / go shopping / begin!
  • Hire out the things you can’t do yourself.

Visit my kitchen makeover series HERE

Visit my salvaged farmhouse bathroom makeover HERE

How to know how much to spend on renovations


Well friends, you and I are in this new phase of life together. So know, I get it. And I have your back. Moving forward, I hope to come up with some inspiring posts and projects that will encourage you in all the right ways.

We just need to find the new normal. And the best way to achieve that is to just get up and start something.

By the way, by you visiting this blog, shopping through any affiliate links, or making a purchase through my online stencil store or local retailers, you are indeed helping support me. Thank-you from the bottom of my heart!

Is there anything in particular that would be helpful to see done? Anything you wish to learn?

Regardless, I’ll be working on my home while I stay home this summer, and guarantee, I will be sharing what I do along the way!


So tell me… how are you doing with all this stuff? Truly?

And what plans do you think you’ll be making moving forward?

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Categories: Junk Drawer

16 thoughts on “What to do while staying home this summer

  1. Thank you Donna, I needed that. Like you I’ve been caught up in the endless scrolling also. I think it’s the unknown, what can we expect in the coming days, how bad is it really, what will my normal be down the road, etc.

    I have a massive collection of fabric so sew clothes, curtains, etc so I’m going to tackle that. Paint projects, old photos to organize, walls to paint, yard to clean and plant, grandkids to help with, creative meals to plan, Income tax to complete, etc. Nows the time to catch up. It will take some time to get used to being home all the time, but I’m sure we will all adjust. I feel I’m doing my part in flattening the curve by isolating and it’s not so bad, I really do enjoy my own company! I’m pulling out my bike too.

    • Ok Sandy, we need to commit to only scrolling for 30 min a day. DEAL?! haha I think I need to turn off my phone! It just drains you.

      I love how you’re sinking into your new norm with fun projects ahead. YES to that!

      I think I’m going to start cleaning again. I need a brainless activity that will get me hooked again.

      Wishing you well over the days to come, and finding empty trails you can enjoy!

  2. Good goin Donna. Yep just a bump in the road, a parenthesis in life, just take a deep breath and take the time to be still and think. Great ideas. As for me here in Arizona we do not have any cases in our county but we are encouraged to stay home as much as possible and do the clean stuff. Even so, I am at risk because of my age (70) and a lung condition that is under control and very recent surgery…BUT I have a project that has been on hold because of recent surgery and now I can tackle it. My Dad is a WWII vet (95 and still works on private aviation 4 days a week) and recently at the end of last year went back Europe to see where he landed at Utah beach and the Battle of the Bulge. I collected all the video during that time and all the pictures I could print. NOW to be creative and make a memory album for him on the two life changing events. I hope to give this to him later this year and fly back to Alabama.

    • I love your plans Melissa! Long overdue projects are the perfect way to use this time!

      I’m glad you don’t have much going on in your area… let’s hope it stays that way!

  3. Great post. I’ve been trying to get into projects too given this imposed isolation, but find it hard to get motivated. I know that once I begin I’ll be fine, its just getting that inspiration to start with! LOL

    • Thank-you! And I agree, it is SO hard to get away from evolving news updates.

      I think I’m going to stop everything and start cleaning again today. That ought to trigger something! I find brainless efforts work best to get going. LOL

  4. oh donna, thank you. reading your post has helped me to calm down. i’ve been feeling full of dread and needed a good dose of common sense to snap me out of it. like you, i had travel plans. planned to go to my beloved kauai and now have to cancel. sigh. but as you mentioned, this is temporary. plan to limit my TV news viewing. will carry on and make the most of this “staycation”. thank you again.

  5. Hi Donna,

    Thank you for your post. Several counties in the Bay Area of California are on shelter in place. We are one. Many people have reached out to shop for us since were are in the targeted group. Grocery stores are opening early for the people over 65 before they open to the others. Very nice they are thinking of us. We have cancelled our trips too. I have sewing I can do, cleaning and I am making paper flowers at the moment for a valance. A fun project!

  6. The virus just hit our shores 10 days ago and everyone is going crazy and I too found myself endlessly scrolling through articles. Such a waste of time and mind space. It might sound strange but I think the virus isn’t all bad. It’s been a good wake up call about how we treat nature and all her creatures and that she has the power to bite back hard. Hopefully, people will take the time to just be, instead of rushing around madly and focus on what’s really important. Stay safe Donna and enjoy your projects. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  7. Oh Boy..you are correct about the scrolling. I have stopped watching TV and trying to go about my day. Things I have going is re-organizing my office/craft room. My husband got some new shelves, re-worked others and I know have more of what I use and want to use in reach. Lots of sorting going on and purging. Selling some things and ditching others. So while doing that, the spring cleaning has begun and that room will be cleaner.
    Tax papers ready to complete.. cleaned out household files. Lots of birthday cards to make for the family. I want to re-do some garden beds but will need
    some help from outside garden to dig up the old. Making a call this week to get a quote. Closets to purge again..never ending. More piles being created for Goodwill. More time to spend on some art playing also.
    We can all do this and get through it.
    Stay home, stay in tune, stay safe, enjoy family and in home more. Balance.

  8. Hi, Donna. I have not bought into this whole coronavirus ordeal and have not watched TV or read much online about it. I do think, however, that this “rest” time is just what we all have needed all over the world. Too much “busyness” and racing here and there and never taking time to relax and really breathe. I think it will help slow people down and spend time with their families, especially kids who hardly ever see their parents. Thanks for sharing the ideas. I have TONS of fabric to work on and have actually cleaned out my kitchen cabinets, put some stuff in a box to go to charity, thrown some stuff, reworked my pantry and am starting on organizing my second bedroom. I am scrolling through your ideas to glean some new projects. Thanks, again.

    • Hi Cate! Thank-you for your support in visiting the blog! And I agree, there’s so much good to being at home if we could only forego the worry at the moment. Not much we can do about it anyway other than doing our part. I like your nesting projects! That’s time put to excellent use!

      I feel staying vigilant and updated is just enough. It’s my hope we all take it seriously. But no more obsessing about it for me!

  9. I had torn myself away from tv bc it’s all getting overwhelming. Our local stores are out of everything. They’ve had cancelled truck shipments; they’ve been out of toilet paper for weeks. There’s no meat. My husband managed to get his hands on one remaining pork loin yday. There’s no pasta, eggs, bread, or cereals. So I finally said enough and we went outside and walked the dog. Next thing I know, there is a story on tv people asked me about where one of my daughter’s teachers was dx’d with Corona. They will not give the name but if my daughter was in contact with them, she can still develop symptoms for several more days.
    I can’t wait until all this sickness passes and my 11 yr old daughter and I can ride our bikes again. Can’t get here soon enough!
    Stay well everyone. God bless.

  10. I feel so blessed to be healthy. To have healthy family and friends. To feel safe. To have a warm home. So much to do in our hood!! Thanks for all the inspiration!! I see camping in the back yard with our grandkids in our future!!

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