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Things to do at home during social distancing / quarantine that don’t involve other people or buying stuff


Hey everyone!

like many other people I currently spend almost all of my time at home to socially distance myself. Since I am single and living alone I have naturally looked for fun ideas to occupy myself at home that don’t end up with me sitting in front of the computer all the time, but if I read the usual “101 fun things to do at home” lists on the internet I have found that the majority of things listed there either are actually chores in disguise (no, dusting all the surfaces in my home is not a “fun” way to occupy myself), require one or more other people (which is not a good idea right now for obvious reasons), a lot of time/skill/preparation going outside or… buying stuff:

– try cooking/baking recipe X (would need to buy ingredients)

– try a new craft/hobby/renovation (would need to buy materials)

– try gardening (would need to buy or get soil, seeds….)

– have a self-care day with a relaxing bath (would need to buy bath salts (or ingredients to make them)…and own a bathtub in the first place)

Do you know what I mean?

So I thought it might be a great idea to collect some ideas here that don’t involve buying stuff to even start (or assume that people have -let’s say- *unlikely* things or opportunities at home (e.g. the “Go spray paint all of the old but beautiful flower pots you have conveniently lying around with this super fancy looking golden spray paint” kind of ideas).

Here are some of the things I have enjoyed so far:

– rewatch/listen/read a film/show/audiobook/book that is connected to a beloved childhood/youth/other memory for you, if you have access to it (I am re-reading the Harry Potter series right now)

– teach your pet a trick (my cat is (slowly) learning to fetch things)

– find some free exercise/meditation/yoga videos on the internet and try to follow the moves (I am trying yoga lately)

– Play dress up. No, seriously. I had an absolute blast digging outfits I rarely wear out of my closet (costumes, the bridesmaid dress I wore for my cousins wedding, the fancy dress you only wear once a year for special occasions…) and then go all in with hair, accessories, etc. You can declutter your closet a bit at the same time, but you don’t have to.


Any more ideas?


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  1. I started burning all of the candles I never wanted to light as they were too special, drinking any fancy wine or champagne, ‘pamper nights’ (again, using things I was saving for some kind of special occasion), crazy makeup looks, YouTube hair tutorials, spring cleaning, writing letters to friends & journaling.

    Stay safe 🧡

  2. I doubt any of this will help, but you never know.
    I am working still, so don’t have the spare time, but I have always put aside stuff I would love to do. So I would have loads of things to do.

    Sort my fit on my bicycle better.
    Go through and sort my stamps.
    Organise my digital photos and a decent back up system.
    Improve my guitar playing.
    Cook loads of stuff to freeze.
    I have a soldering iron and some scrap boards. I would love to practice my soldering and learn electronics, so would watch a load of stuff to improve my knowledge on that.
    I enjoy reading Dickens, but need to be awake to do that.
    I want to take my sofa apart and resize it.
    I have some old jeans that I have kept for material and would like to make a shopping bag out of them.
    I would love to sort the carb on the motorbike.
    I want to play with some Linux operating systems.
    I would sow some seeds that need a bit more tlc than I have the time for this year.
    I would like to swap my MTB tyres for tubeless.
    I have some scrap wood that i would love to play with and make into something nice.
    I would like to make some ornaments from unusual things.
    These are just the things that pop to mind.
    If I get stuck, I can generally think of something.
    Got a camera? Try and capture a photo of a bee in flight.
    Pop some honey down and watch the ants.
    Take pictures of the garden every day. It is changing daily. Make a time lapse of it.
    Play with drawing stuff see how you get on.
    There is always something interesting to learn online.
    Can you juggle? We are trying to juggle between two of us currently. It is a giggle.
    Flower pressing?
    Rummage through the undergrowth in the garden and find some insects. Look them up and find out about them.

    Just a few thoughts I could go on and on (as you can probably tell 🙂 )……

  3. It’s a good time to learn a new language. Plenty of free resources online. You can label everything in the house so your not spending all the time looking at a screen.

  4. I”m using this time to catch up on reading and focus on promoting my Etsy store more (I have enough shipping materials and beading supplies to make new jewelry).

    I took out 3 books out of the library before they closed. I have several from my town’s Little Free Library that I haven’t read yet that will be next on my list.

  5. Try that new video game or get back to the old favorite! Return to that time where you played Sims for 5 hours in one go. Stardew valley, minecraft, skyrim and assassins creed are my favorite time sinks. It is nice to have a goal and complete it, even a virtual one.

  6. If you like to cook, there is a youtuber who does hard times recipes that are made with bare essential ingredients. She does a bit of history, makes the thing, and tries it.

    If you like to bake, consider catching your own wild yeast and starting a sourdough starter. (Just flour and water folks)

    If you are crafty, consider making an art project using junk mail. I like cutting mine into triangle shapes and then gluing them to a sheet of paper to make mosaic type pictures or cards (start now for christmas I suppose.)

    If you like make up, try your hand at some special effects make up using what you have on hand. (I can use basic glue and water color paint to create some truly gross stuff. Its rather fun.)

    If you want to pamper, look up homemade recipes that do use things you already have. Some historical beauty regimens were simple. Sliced fruit or that tea that smells great but didnt taste amazing can be a nice addition to a soak. Oatmeal and olive oil or egg whites can be a face mask. Get weird.

    Take up stargazing or birdwatching.

    Or you could spend time learning about all sorts of things… dinos, bees, plants, bread, history, art.

  7. Some of these were already mentioned but I like having a little glass of wine most nights, a hot bath, baking/bread making, hair styles, beauty treatments made out of edible things, letter writing, journaling, practicing calligraphy and different fonts, watching nature out the window, going through old photos, making calls to people I haven’t seen in a long time, exercise/yoga, self massage, dancing, tailoring clothes or making new things out of old things, simple crafts, drawing, giving TLC to house plants and pets, making lists, goal setting, making future plans for things I would enjoy like travel, dinner parties, deep clean one dirty thing really thoroughly so that it gives you immense enjoyment like the stove exhaust fan, under a sink, or tile grout.

  8. – Write! Start (finish?) that novel or join us at r/writingprompts for short stories and poems

    – sew from old clothes/sheets. (I’m making hankies right now!) You will need to order some (very inexpensive) supplies if you have never even attempted it- packet of sewing needles and spool of thread

  9. I love the idea of re-reading the Harry Potter series. I might have to do that too!

    Some other ideas are video playlists on youtube that increase flexibility over the course of a few weeks. It would be satisfying to see visual results doing those. I’m trying to learn some basics of American Sign Language through free online resources (highly recommend Lifeprint if you want to give it a try) which is really challenging and fun.

  10. Reading the books from the dusty shelf. Sounds obvious/uncreative, but I just started to read several books I never really felt like reading, and some are actually golden. And if they suck don’t bother finishing them. Put them in a box you can donate once the quarantine is over.
    Everybody has these books. I often want to get a new one and think to myself “no! I have at least 20 unread books to go through”. Now is a great time for them! Just a few pages, and if it bores the hell out of you, pass it on.
    It has been an amazing feeling this month, just burning through those books, that I believed to stay there untouched for eternity.

  11. I live with a partner now but lived alone for years. Here are a few things I might do on my own that I wouldn’t do now:

    Try out different furniture arrangements
    Listen to bad music and sing/dance alone
    Weird beauty treatments
    Google ex boyfriends lol

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