Before and after picture of Matt's shaved head/beard.

Organizing life, while trapped at home during COVID-19

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about “Getting things done while working from home using Microsoft To Do.” Ultimately, I am working from home, primarily because I am trapped here due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I fall into the category of high-risk for severe illness from the COVID-19 disease.

Being trapped at home is difficult. However, I’ve tried to treat it as positive as humanly possible. I now save 10 hours a week by eliminating my commute to the office after all! My mind quickly went all sorts of crazy directions by being stuck at home. Heck, after just three weeks, I shaved my head and beard!

One of my biggest challenges I’ve always had is staying organized at home; I was rarely here to keep up with the house, so who cared, as long as it wasn’t a mess, right? I started my organization by digitizing my to-do list using Microsoft To do. I reduced my distractions that were keeping me from doing my job. I still had cleaning up to accomplish, and only so much, I wanted to throw away. Plus, I needed to keep myself focused and out of the ‘slump’ of no social activities.

To keep my mind occupied, I knew I enjoyed gardening. I identified some significant landscape work and raised garden beds as my first project at the house. The landscape turned into a few weeks worth of work outside of my day job and keeping up with the house. However, I am thrilled with the results!

I did some brainstorming of projects I knew I could do around the house to keep my mind occupied. The most obvious thing to me were the blinds that were cracking and breaking throughout my home. I figured I could make some low-cost home improvement by replacing the blinds throughout the home! Well, that was a quick one week project, and it was complete, so I had to figure out the next improvement I could do.

I knew I enjoyed gardening, and I’ve enjoyed it on a small scale for the last two years. I identified some significant landscape work and raised garden beds as my first large project at the house. The landscape turned into a few weeks worth of work outside of my day job and keeping up with the house. However, I am thrilled with the results!

Completed raised garden beds with river rock landscape work
Raised garden beds and additional river rock
Matt at MDA Telethon with a Fox 59 Newscaster
2003 MDA Telethon

My next project was going to be my most dreaded – the significant undertaking of organizing my office. After all, I’m an IT guy. I keep a ridiculous amount of spare cables, computers, monitors, and stuff I’ll most likely never need, but you never know I might! I ended up buying storage racks and storage containers on Amazon and spending a few evenings just sorting boxes of cable and PC parts. I now have a big container for e-recycling. I need to drop off, and I even found flopping disks that contained pictures from as far back as 2003! You can see from the image on the left I didn’t want to be in that picture.

I still have more organizing I want to do around the house, and heck even in my office; however, I’ve finally started moving onto ‘pet’ projects. I am focusing on writing more blog posts, but not technical ones. I’ve been creating a lot of training videos for work, and I am interested in creating some for my blog. I am just trying to figure out what I want to focus on in the videos. After all, I have made some significant investments in my home studio! I also scraped an LCD out of an old laptop and purchased the correct controller board for it. I’m going to mount to the hutch of my desk and connect a Raspberry Pi to try my hand at little projects!

Matt's messy office with his home studio equipment setup
My home office/half-assed home recording studio

Now for the most recent development. I’m getting a husky puppy! Yes! It has been over a year since my last dog passed away, and I am finally to the point where I want another dog. Training a husky puppy is going to be a significant undertaking. Still, I am excited, and I’ve spent the last week or so studying dog training!

Even though I am pretty stir crazy not getting to host parties at my house, go out with friends for a good beer, or play Lacrosse. I am keeping myself occupied, and my mind busy to avoid going crazy. So, you have read what I’ve been up to; how did/are you keeping yourself busy?

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4 thoughts on “Organizing life, while trapped at home during COVID-19”

  1. Elizabeth Clark

    Matt, I see strength of character in so many ways in this article by what you have accomplished! It takes true commitment to continue on and keep focused on positive activities! I am impressed but also touched that you have dealt with this pandemic in such a creative way! We should all learn from your example to persevere!!

  2. Wowsers! We can’t wait for everyone to be back in the office. Congrats on all the projects you are accomplishing.

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