A drive around Abilene’s neighborhoods makes clear that not all the effects of the recent pandemic are negative. Abilene yards and homes are becoming more beautiful.
With some businesses closed, many working from home, and schools and activities on hiatus, many people in Abilene, as well as the rest of the nation, are finding themselves at home more and with additional free time. This has led to a burst in home improvement and yard projects.
D’lynn Lane, a regulatory compliance officer, wife and mother of two boys took the plunge into horticulture and general organization.
“I thought I would have to wait until my kids were older before I would have time and energy to learn how to garden,” she said. “With the extra time, I have decided to plant my first flower and shrub bed. We are also cleaning up areas that get overlooked: garage, back room and closets. With any luck, we can come out of this with a clear to-do list and a fresh start.”
This new vigor for completed projects around the house has another added bonus of being apparently therapeutic for many people. Lane described it as “mentally satisfying” to check things off a list.
“But to have things get done that literally add value to your home is doubly rewarding,” she said.
Shelly Brooks, a local real estate expert, said her additional time at home has been wonderful for accomplishing home-related tasks. “I am capitalizing on this stay-at-home time to tackle things that have always been on ‘the list,’” she said. “I have cleaned out the garage, organized files and gone through kids’ clothing. I’ve also taken advantage of the nice weather and gotten to work on outside projects, like cleaning the flowerbeds and weeding. Even tackled some build projects and furniture refinish projects that I have been wanting to do.” What are most people focusing on in their quests to beautify their homes and yards? Outdoor growth and indoor upgrades have been a popular choice.
“Probably, right now, about one-third of our business is in gardening. Next, would be appliances,” said J.B. McLane, a plumbing sales specialist at Lowe’s Home Improvement store. “Everyone has had plenty of time to think of what to do with the government [stimulus] checks, so many are getting new stoves, fridges and dishwashers. In my area [plumbing], it seems that many people are taking out tubs and installing showers. Especially older couples who are afraid of falling.”
GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR PROJECTS
An entire overhaul of your yard can be intimidating, but adding color through potted plants can be an easy upgrade. Several summer-hardy potted plants are available and can be purchased online. Another inexpensive purchase that makes a big difference visually is new mulch for existing flower beds. Mulch helps plants absorb moisture and can instantly update the look of your landscaping.
PAINT A ROOM A NEW COLOR
Some people prefer light col- ors to make a space feel more open, while others light dark- er colors that make a statement. You can pick up a sample from home improvement stores and paint a 12-inch by 12-inch square on a wall. After a few days, you may decide it’s the perfect color, and it won’t set you back much to repaint a room.
It might be as simple as mov- ing your couch against a different wall or hanging up that picture frame that has been propped against the window for ages. You don’t have to spend money to change the look and (importantly) the feel of your home.