It used to be a list that was never-ending and few of us ever thought we would have the time to whittle it down to a manageable size.
However, that plan has changed.
The COVID-19 pandemic means millions of Canadians have either found themselves with their work hours drastically reduced or without work at all. They have also been forced to stay home, with all sorts of amenities closed — gyms, restaurant dining rooms, provincial and national parks, movie theatres and other entertainment.
So aside from binging on television shows or movies, stalking friends and family on social media, sleeping in daily, taking a walk or that once-a-week trip to a store, what else is there?
Well, that question is being answered in homes, yards and garages across the country as the lockdown is moving toward a third month.
Yes, that household ‘do to’ list is slowly — or quickly depending on how bored people are or what money they are willing to spend — getting accomplished item by item.
It probably began by tackling the smallest and easiest first. That’s usually the quick fixes such as replacing light bulbs, changing the furnace filter, tightening up some loose fittings on those taps and hanging that picture that’s been waiting to go up for the last two years.
If played right, that should have taken up the first couple of weeks of isolation.
That’s followed up by stage two, where people take on the tasks that involve somewhat more effort.
On the plumbing side that includes any minor fixes such as unclogging some drains and making sure that sump pump is working properly. For those that are electrically inclined, that means wiring that plug which hasn’t worked since you moved in and replacing the entire fixture in that bedroom that’s only used for company.
Other work on that list is re-gluing those rubber tread covers that have been waiting in storage for several years, putting a few nails in those pieces of flooring that have worked loose and making the long-awaited repairs to those drawers and cabinets in the kitchen that were deemed too time consuming to bother with.
Again, if one spaces things out between the few shows that you still watch, the odd movie and some extra long naps, all of those jobs might be stretched out for at least a month.
Then there are those that have the ability to escape to the garage and get into the wood working that’s been staring back at you to finish, perform those maintenance jobs on the vehicle that will ultimately save some money and take on those major repairs to the furniture or other items that you’ve been saying you were going to get to in hopes someone would forget so you could buy a new replacement.
And we can’t forget that big job that comes with spring — yard maintenance. Whether it’s getting the lawn ready, weeding and prepping the garden or flower beds, cleaning the house exterior or making some repairs, remember to obey the physical distancing with people not living in your home.
However, do enjoy and be grateful to be able to get all of this stuff done and for spending some quality time with family and being able to virtually socialize with friends.
Because some day soon, this is all going to change and everyone will be back to the daily grind of work, being too busy running around to connect with family or friends and walking by that light that’s been burnt out for six months and wondering when you’ll be able to get to the store to eventually replace it — when you have the time.
But that is…just an observation.
Jordie Dwyer is an Alberta-based journalist.