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“I Need a Better Backyard”… and other things I learned during Quarantine

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly been an eye-opening experience. Last spring, we were all thrust into a world of panic and isolation, and we had to make adjustments to our daily lives. I’ve learned a lot of lessons these past 9 months. While some were difficult to absorb, others have surprisingly changed how I manage my home for the better! Here are the lessons I learned during the quarantine.

A Better Shopping Strategy

I like to consider myself great at planning, but when it comes to grocery shopping, I fall short. I keep lists on random sticky notes, scraps of paper, and our kitchen chalkboard. I’ve tried using list apps on my phone, but I’ve just never been disciplined enough to be successful with those. In fact, I often find myself “running out for a few things”, and completely forgetting my lists altogether!

better-backyard-katnissThe pandemic has forced me to reevaluate how I do my grocery shopping. Suddenly, each trip out to a store became a stealth mission. Long gone were the days when I could swing through a local store in my travels, casually strolling the aisles in search of things I may (or may not) need. Plus, I didn’t want to bring my kids with me if I don’t have to because they are little germ magnets.

Like many others, I dove headfirst into a grocery delivery service. I filled my online shopping cart in a panic, seemingly preparing for an underground bunker situation. I proudly thought to myself, “I got this!” as I clicked the checkout button. Then… reality hit me hard when the calendar of available delivery dates popped up… 2 WEEKS for the earliest delivery! Ugh!

I begrudgingly snatched up a time and waited in earnest for my groceries. However, when the day finally arrived, nearly 2/3 of the items were sold out, and half of what I did get was substitutions that my kids wouldn’t eat. I ended up running out to a grocery store later that day to pick up the items I needed. What a waste of time and money!

I realized this haphazard process was not going to work long-term and I needed a better plan. I created an inventory of everything my family uses in my house. Then, I plugged everything into a spreadsheet and added checkboxes. I printed it out and attached it to a clipboard, which I hung inside my pantry. No more messy lists on random scraps of paper! Now, everything is in one place. When I place an online order, I consult my checklist. If I need to run out to a grocery store, I have my list ready to go.

I Need a Better Backyard!

Schools are closed and the kids are stuck at home all day with me. I can handle the online schooling part, but I learned quickly that kids need an outlet for their energy throughout the day. I have a nice-sized backyard, so I sent them out whenever they had a break in the day, thinking that problem was solved.

When my kids were much smaller, we spent a lot of time in our backyard playing together. But, these last few years, with afterschool activities and summer camp programs, we really haven’t used the space as often as we once did. Since I’ve been working from home during the pandemic, I have been taking coffee breaks outside to get some sunshine when the kids are playing.

Quarantine gave me the chance to really look around and assess my property, and I was not liking what I was seeing… Yikes! Broken branches all over the yard made me realize the play area wasn’t as safe as I thought it was. I called Giroud Tree and Lawn to clean dangerous deadwood out of a tree, and that’s given me much more peace of mind!

Since I was spending all my time at home, the kids and I got into the habit of enjoying time outside after dinner. Unfortunately, we were being eaten alive by mosquitoes! I decided it was just unbearable, so I signed us up for Giroud’s Mosquito and Tick Control Program. Now I could relax and unwind and the kids could play without getting attacked by biting bugs.

One other item on my backyard to-do list is to tackle my terrible lawn. Before the pandemic, I wasn’t concerned about the look of my lawn. However, there are patches of mud where grass doesn’t grow, and every time it rains my kids track that mud into my house. I plan to have the entire property evaluated by a Giroud Lawn Care Expert, and I’m looking forward to growing thick, healthy grass that my kids can run barefoot through… without making a mess!

beach chair memeTime to Relax is Important

No one loves the beach more than me! I always look forward to my annual week-long family vacation down the shore, but this year I decided against it. In fact, I didn’t take a vacation at all, which was a big mistake! By the time October rolled around, I was crawling out of my skin in need of a break from reality.

This year, we’ll take lots of day trips to the beach. I’m asking friends and family for their recommendations for local small and quieter beaches. I’m thrilled to learn there are so many not too far from us in New Jersey!

I am also planning ahead for a staycation, just in case the pandemic is still a concern. I’m cleaning up the whole yard to create an oasis the kids and I can enjoy together. Since I won’t be spending money on that big beach vacation, I plan to invest in my home and yard! I might have the deck refinished, plant a new tree, and hang a hammock for lazy days in the summer sun.

Need ideas for your yard? Check out 5 Ways to Boost Your Mood in Your Own Backyard!

If you want to invest in your property this year, give Giroud a call at 215-682-7704 for a FREE Evaluation, or request an appointment online here. Your Giroud Arborist and Lawn Care Expert will evaluate your entire property and help you develop a plan tailored for you and your family’s needs! With the long winter ahead of us, it’s fun to have something to look forward to, especially in these difficult times. Treat yourself!

Author: Jeanne Hafner

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