Maxing Out Your Home

After 9 months in lockdown and the prospect of a few months more (including a long winter for some of us) it is more important than ever to maximize your home environment for the happiness and health of you and your family. 

This means creating spaces for hobbies, fitness and relaxation. Check out my ideas for how to maximize your space and time at home below.

1. Home Gym – working out is a great way to spend any extra time you may have – it relieves stress and keeps you healthy. Unfortunately it is more difficult than ever to go to the gym or a class. Fear not – your home certainly has space for workouts. Consider using a spare room, garage, basement or your outdoor space. You can transform nearly any space in your home to an awesome gym with some basic equipment and imagination! Consider adding some of the following equipment: 

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Cardio: a simple treadmill, Elliptical, Rowing Machineor even Stationary bike (skip the expensive peloton) can provide hours of exercise. 

Bands: if space is an issue consider purchasing versatile Exercise Bands – one set will allow you to get in a variety of great workouts! Check out this Set for Set Blog  for some inspiration. 

Bench and Squat Rack: if you have the space and miss the gym a full heavy Bench and Squat Rack.

Kettlebells and Dumbbellswill provide you with a full workout with minimal equipment. Check out Anyman Fitness for help getting started.

2. Spending so much time at home really impacts your social life – dinners out, bars, concerts, movies and other entertainment have been reduced if not eliminated. Modifying your home to allow you to unwind from work and socialize without leaving the house can be a great way to keep the fun in your life. There are many ways to do ranging from inexpensive ways to enhance your drinking or entertainment experience to building a whole new space for unwinding such as a basement bar or entertainment room. 

Upgrading your entertainment can be as simple as a new massive flat screen or adding a killer or Sound bar for theater like audio

If you miss going out for drinks consider upgrading your drinking experience – a Home draft system will have you drinking nice cold beer at home. Another great option is a Mixology Class from a local bartender – try making your own version of a cocktail.

The full restaurant experience is difficult to replicate but some great options to bring joy back to dining include making a big deal out of takeout – support local, trying iconic foods from a service like Goldbelly (I am a sucker for the pizzas and barbecue) and taking a virtual cooking class from a local or celebrity chef using sites like Master Class

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Finally, consider turning some under utilized space into a game room, home bar or wine tasting room! The possibilities are endless. 

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3. In these turbulent times we could all benefit from more relaxation. There are a number of ways to introduce more space to relax at home including:

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Create a yoga or meditation space – it doesn’t take much room or Yoga equipment to carve out space to find your center.

Build or buy a sauna – these are surprisingly affordable and don’t need to take up much space. There are indoor and outdoor options. Saunas are a great way to unwind after a long day or a hard workout 

Upgrade your bathroom to be more spa like – this can be expensive if you don’t have DIY skills but some options are affordable such as New rain shower headIf you want to splash out add a jacuzzi tub, steam shower and more! 

4. Home Office: now that work from home will seemingly be a fact of life, at least part of the time for many workers you should consider upgrading your workspace. I had resisted spending any money (or space) on my work area. However, now that I have a dedicated, quiet and comfortable space I feel more productive while working and more relaxed while taking time off. Carve out some space – ideally with a door and add some basics to make yourself more sane and productive. Consider the following:

Chair: an old kitchen chair won’t cut it – spend money on a nice ergonomic chair

Desk: whether you want a standing desk or a traditional desk go ahead and get one. Your back will thank you.

Supplies: don’t skimp on supplies you used in an office – I love a desk calendar, whiteboard and post it’s! 

Headphones: If noise is an issue or you spend a lot of time on conference calls don’t cheap out on nice headphones.

Zoom Supplies: in the new Zoom world consider putting your best face forward with a ring light.  Also, add a bookshelf for a professional background. 

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5. Get Creative: use your extra space to relax through creative activities such as arts, crafts, brewing or really anything. It doesn’t take much to create a space to get into a creative flow. A dedicated space for your hobby will get you much needed time away from family and work. 

6. Other hobbies – brewing, wine making, distilling – use a garage