After three months of living under quarantine, many of us have learned to cope with the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. From limiting one’s activities in the home to practicing proper safety measures when running errands, we’ve slowly transitioned into the ‘new normal’ to help flatten the curve of the virus.

Perhaps one of the biggest adjustments is the need to stay indoors – especially if one is used to always being on the go. While staying at home is a treat we look forward to after a grueling work week, it can be disorienting to see the four walls of your space 24/7. In the 100 or so days we’ve spent indoors, how many times have you reorganized the kitchen or your bedroom? It’s no longer surprising to take on a few home improvement projects to pass the time. However, with companies opting for work-from-home setups and schools encouraging remote learning, it’s high time that we consider revamping the home to make sure it also adapts to changing demands.

“It seems like we’ll be in this situation for a while so our spaces need to adapt, may it be for work, homeschooling, or whatnots. A cleared space can be anything you want it to be and you’ll be amazed how a more organized home can make you feel better and improve your day-to-day life. Since we still have to stay home, it’s best to make sure it’s a place you want to stay in,” says interior designer Vera Villarosa-Orila.

Make your home brighter and more functional with these expert tips:

 1. Declutter and schedule a general cleaning.

There’s nothing like a clean slate to inspire you to brighten up the home. If you’re working from home, it’s extra crucial to have a clutter-free space so you can focus and get things done easily. You can declutter per area or based on your free time. Throw away items you no longer use like old receipts, plastic containers, and trinkets that are gathering dust inside cabinets. See if there are things you can donate or give to friends.

2. Move things around and consider having a new layout for your space.

If you’re working from home and don’t have a proper working area, chances are, you need to carve out a formal workspace in your living room or bedroom. “You’ll be surprised at how a change in furniture layout can do for your space,” explains Vera “You can clear an area or a corner to accommodate new storage, your work nook, or a study area, if you have kids. A meter, or more, of free space can accommodate a desk and a chair,” she furthers.

Rearranging your furniture is a no-cost method of giving your home a new look. Consider the essentials you have in your living room and edit what you own to create a functional corner. See if you can take out a few items or how you can move it to another room. That should make space for a new set-up.

3. Decorate with plants.

Adding plants to your space is another budget-friendly way to liven it up. Now more than ever, a touch of green is a welcomed addition in the home to freshen up an empty corner. It also adds a serene vibe to the space. There are easy-to-care-for indoor plants ideal for a house or a condo unit: Monstera deliciosa, Devil’s ivy, and Peace lily, just to name a few. Repot them into pretty plant pots that complement the overall look of your home.

4. Give your soft furnishings a good wash.

According to Vera, washing pillow covers, curtains, and area rugs thoroughly is another easy way of brightening up the home. Aside from adding a welcoming vibe, regularly replacing and washing these essentials also assures that these items are clean and germ-free.

5. Prioritize storage.

Whether you’re working from home, setting up a study area, or both – storage is of utmost importance. Knowing where to keep everything prevents clutter from taking over your space, resulting in a home that’s conducive to working and studying. Aside from maximizing shelves and cabinets at home, you can also look into getting affordable bins or catchalls where you can keep knickknacks and items you use on a daily basis.

6. Make sure you’re comfortable.

Do you have a proper chair for working? Do your kids have a table for studying? These are just some of the things you need to consider. Before checking items you can buy online, see if there are existing pieces of furniture at home that you can use or repurpose through DIY.

7. Create your own personal breakroom.

This doesn’t have to be an actual room – but a corner or an area where you can relax, take a break, or meditate after a long day. It can be an empty corner at home where you can set up a mat or a huge floor pillow so you can enjoy snacks and destress. On days when you feel like sweating the stress away, this corner can also double as an exercise area.

Giving the home a new look doesn’t have to be expensive! You don’t even have to spend a single peso to achieve a makeover. Decluttering, working with what you have, and maximizing empty spaces can do wonders. A little imagination, resourcefulness, and putting your needs first can help you achieve a brighter home where you can relax, work, and deal with these trying times.

Cielo Anne Calzado

The author is a writer, editor, and content creator. When she’s not busy writing, she hoards books and reads until the wee hours of the morning. She also loves spending time with her dog, Chewbacca, and listening to K-Pop tunes. Follow her on Instagram: @cielly_belly or check out her random musings at