Community Events

#StayHome: How to Create Functional Spaces in Your Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak

 

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), many of us are spending a lot more time at home. We’re all being called upon to avoid public spaces and practice social distancing to help slow the spread of this infectious disease. While it can be understandably challenging, there are ways you can modify your home and your lifestyle to make the best of this difficult situation.

 

Here are a few tips for creating comfortable and functional spaces within your home for work, school, and fitness. We also share some of our favorite ways to stay connected as a community, because we’re all in this together … and no one should face these trying times alone.

 

 

Begin with the Basics

 

A basic home emergency preparedness kit is a great addition to any home, even under normal circumstances. It should include items like water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, first aid kit, and other essentials you would need should you temporarily lose access to food, water, or electricity.

 

Fortunately, authorities don’t anticipate any serious interruptions to utilities or the food supply during this outbreak. However, it may be a good time to start gathering your emergency basics in a designated location, so you’ll be prepared now-—and in the future—should your family ever need them.

 

Working From Home

 

Many employees are being asked to work remotely. If you’re transitioning to a home office for the first time, it’s important to create a designated space for work … so it doesn’t creep into your home life, and vice versa. If you live in a small condominium or apartment, this may feel impossible. But try to find a quiet corner where you can set up a desk and comfortable chair. The simple act of separating your home and work spaces can help you focus during work hours and “turn off” at the end of the day.

 

Of course, if you have children who are home with you all day (given many schools and daycares are now closed), separating your home and work life will be more difficult. Unless you have a partner who can serve as the primary caregiver, you will need to help manage the needs of your children while juggling work and virtual meetings.

 

If both parents are working from home, try alternating shifts, so you each have a designated time to work and to parent. If that’s not an option, experts recommend creating a schedule for your children, so they know when you’re available to play, and when you need to work.1 A red stop sign on the door can help remind them when you shouldn’t be disturbed. And for young children, blocking off a specific time each day for them to nap or have independent screen time can give you a window to schedule conference calls or work uninterrupted.

 

 

Homeschooling Your Children

 

Many parents with school-aged children will be taking on a new challenge: homeschooling. Similar to a home office, designating a space for learning activities can help your child transition between play and school. If you’re working from home, the homeschooling area would ideally be located near your workspace, so you can offer assistance and answer questions, as needed.

 

If possible, dedicate a desk or table where your child’s work can be spread out—and left out when they break for meals and snacks. Position supplies and materials nearby so they are independently accessible, and place a trash can and recycling bin within reach for easy cleanup. A washable, plastic tablecloth can help transition an academic space into an arts and crafts area.

 

 If the weather is nice, try studying outside! A porch swing is a perfect spot for reading, and gardening in the backyard is a great addition to any science curriculum.

 

In addition to creating an academic learning environment, find age-appropriate opportunities for your children to help with household chores and meal preparation. Homeschooling advocates emphasize the importance of developing life skills alongside academic ones.2 And with more meals and activities taking place at home, there will be ample opportunity for every family member to pitch in and help.

 

 

Staying Fit

 

With gyms closed and team sports canceled, it can be tempting to sit on the sofa and binge Netflix. However, maintaining the physical health and mental wellness of you and your family is crucial right now. Implementing a regular exercise routine at home can help with both.

 

We live in a community where you can safely exercise outdoors while maintaining the recommended distance between you and other residents, try to get out as much as possible. If the weather is nice, go for family walks, jogs, or bike rides.

 

Can’t get outside? Fortunately, you don’t need a home gym or fancy exercise equipment to stay fit. Look for a suitable space in your home, garage, or basement where you can comfortably move—you’ll probably need at least a 6’ x 6’ area for each person. Many cardio and strength training exercises require little (or no) equipment, including jumping jacks, lunges, and pushups.

 

And if you prefer a guided workout, search for free exercise videos on YouTube—there are even options specifically geared towards kids—or try one of the many fitness apps available.

 

 

Socializing From a Distance

 

Even though we’re all being called upon to practice “social distancing” right now, there are still ways to stay safely connected to our communities and our extended families. Picking up the phone is a great place to start. Make an effort to reach out to neighbors and loved ones who live alone and may be feeling particularly isolated right now.

 

And while parties and playdates may be prohibited, modern technology offers countless ways to organize networked gatherings with family and friends. Try using group video conferencing tools like Google Hangouts and Zoom to facilitate a virtual happy hour or book club. Host a Netflix Party to watch (and chat about) movies with friends. Or plan a virtual game night and challenge your pals to a round of Psych or Yahtzee.

 

There are safe ways to connect offline, too. Rediscover the lost art of letter writing. Drop off groceries on an elderly neighbor’s porch. Or organize a neighborhood “chalk walk,” where children use sidewalk chalk to decorate their driveways and then head out for a stroll to view their friends’ artwork.

 

Of course, there’s one group of people who you can still socialize with freely—those who reside in your home. Family dinners are back, siblings are reconnecting, and many of us have been given the gift of time, with commutes, activities, and obligations eliminated. In fact, some families are finding that this crisis has brought them closer than ever.

 

 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

 

Even with all of the tools and technology available to keep us connected, many of us are still feeling stressed, scared, and isolated. However, you can rest assured that you are not alone. We’re not only here to help you buy and sell real estate. We want to be a resource to our clients and community through good times and bad. If you and your family are in need of assistance, please reach out and let us know how we can help. (978)664-3700

 

 

 

Sources:

  1. CNBC -
    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/16/how-to-work-from-home-with-your-kids-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.html
  2. TheHomeSchoolMom.com -
    https://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/benefits-of-homeschooling-2/

North Reading Community Spotlight: PARK AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT

We at Farrelly Realty Group like to say, Real Estate is local and we are as local as the come!  We understand that our clients are not just buying a house but searching for a home within a community they feel they can belong.  We are connected to the communities we serve and want our clients to feel satisfied with their home AND happy in their new community. We will be bringing a new series to you each month called our "Community Spotlight".   The series will highlight different aspects of the community in order to bring you that "hometown" feel right through the your device. So sit back, relax and learn more about the  North Reading and the Park and Recreation Department and all it brings to the residents of North Reading!

 

North Reading Community Spotlight Series- THE HORSESHOE GRILLE

We at Farrelly Realty Group like to say, Real Estate is local and we are as local as the come!   We understand that our clients are not just buying a house but searching for a home within a community they feel they can belong.   We are connected to the communities we serve and want our clients to feel satisfied with their home AND happy in their new community.  We will be bringing a new series to you each month called our  "Community Spotlight".   The series will highlight different aspects of the community in order to bring you that "hometown" feel right through the your device. So sit back, relax and learn more about North Reading and the Horseshoe Grille.  The Horseshoe is one of North Reading's establishments where locals go to enjoy food, drink and entertainment.   We hope to see you around town soon!

 

Making A Difference In This Season of Giving

With the holidays now in full swing, you may be evaluating or re-revaluating how much to give to charitable causes and where to donate.  These are highly personal decisions and are many times influenced by our financial circumstances, life experiences or personal connections to particular causes.   

Do you donate your TIME, MONEY or BOTH?

Keep in mind that any donation be it time or money is a good thing and will give you a great feeling inside because you are performing a good deed.   When you are donating though you want to make sure that your hard earned money and valuable time are going to make a difference.  Evaluating charities can be a daunting task because there is so much information to peruse.  Charity Navigator is a well known organization, which provides descriptions for many different charities and grants result based ratings to each one.  Volunteer Match is another great online tool to navigate you to the volunteer opportunities that are available in your local area. 

Tis the season for giving so here are some ideas that you can commit to this year:

  • Volunteer for a service organization
  • Adopt a family to give gifts and food
  • Help a neighbor decorate their Christmas tree
  • Volunteer to help at a community holiday dinner
  • Donate items to a food pantry
  • Donate blood or plasma
  • Give a friend a hug
  • Visit the elderly
  • Pay for the coffee of the person behind you in the drive-through

OR JOIN US AT FARRELLY REALTY GROUP FOR OUR ANNUAL WRAPPING PARTY!!!!

Giving is always near and dear to our hearts here at Farrelly Realty Group but it is especially important at this time of year.  Our special charity event is to help the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families provide gifts to families in need to have Merry Christmas! Please consider signing up for item or picking a child to shop for at http://bit.ly/2018WrappingPartySignUp , and then join us on Sunday December 16 for a festive wrapping party to help bring the holiday spirit to life.  If you can't stay for the party, you can feel free to dropped the wrapped, tagged gifts off that day, or reach out to Geri Farrelly at geri@farrellyrealty.com to arrange another time to drop them off.

Event Details-

Date: 12/16/2018 (Sun.)

Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm EST

Location: Kitty's Restaurant (back room) 123 Main Street, North Reading