If you live with roommates or with family, being home alone may be a chance that doesn’t come often. You get to do things that you normally wouldn’t do, or simply relax and enjoy some peaceful moments of solitude.
Or, perhaps you’re home alone in this season of quarantine as a result of the coronavirus pandemic—in which case, you’ll need more than a few hours worth of ideas to keep you busy.
Being home alone when you choose it might be a treat, but being home alone when you can’t go out is a whole different story!
What to Do When You’re Home Alone
In any case, here is a mix of some fun and productive things you can do to make the most of the time when you’re home alone.
Being home alone is a big chance to have some fun—on your terms!
1. Watch that movie you’ve always wanted to see.
If you have always deferred to your roommates’ choice of movies, now is your big chance! With everyone out of the way, what movies do you want to watch, without anyone complaining about your choices?
2. Binge-watch a TV or Netflix series
If one movie is not enough, use the time to binge-watch a full series!
Do you love to dance but are a little shy? This is your chance to really dance like nobody’s watching, so crank up some dance tunes and bust a move!
Or, if you love the idea of dancing but don’t have much confidence in your moves, why not use this time to watch dance lesson videos and finally learn to salsa!
4. Sing your heart out.
Unless you have a concert singer’s voice, most likely your parents or roommates shush you when you start singing. Which was probably why you only sang in the shower. Now that you’re all by yourself, it’s the perfect time to enjoy your own private concert.
You might even practice all those high notes that you know you always miss right in the living room, without worrying about offending anyone’s ears (except maybe your dog).
5. Window-shop online.
Bored and looking for some retail therapy? You can window-shop online, too! Just make sure you have the self-discipline not to click “Check Out” at the end!
6. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in awhile.
You know those friends you always promise yourself you’ll check in on, but then work or life happens and a few weeks of not hearing from each other turns into months or more?
Now is the perfect time to pick up the phone and call them, or better yet, schedule a virtual happy hour!
7. Play with your dog or cat.
If you have a pet, being alone means you can wrestle with your pet all over the living room floor. Use the time to bond with your furry friend.
8. Order pizza or enjoy a great tub of ice cream all to yourself.
When was the last time you were able to enjoy a slow, relaxed meal that you didn’t have to prepare, or get a whole tub of ice cream all to yourself?
Now’s your chance to binge on your favorite food—of course, don’t do this too often or you might pack on more than a few pounds!
Learn Something New
Do you have a skill you want to get better at, but people tease you about? Now that you’re home alone, you can actually try those out with no fear of anyone poking fun at your efforts.
9. Make a YouTube video.
Do you want to post videos on YouTube, but feel self-conscious when other people are in the house? Now’s your chance!
Get out your phone camera, experiment with different lighting, and play with different tones of voice. No one’s watching, so you can give your all and see what works best.
10. Read, read, read!
If you’re already a reader, chances are, this is already on the top of your to-do list. Curl up on the sofa with a nice cup of coffee or tea and a pile of your favorite books, and you’re good to go.
If you’re not a reader, maybe this is a time for you to try it out. Get recommendations from your reader friends, check out our list of the best books of 2019, or start by downloading the Kindle app on your phone.
You might start with short stories or children’s classics that will not intimidate you but will prove to be an entertaining read.
11. Listen to audiobooks or podcasts.
If you really can’t get yourself to read, consider listening to an audiobook. You can choose a nonfiction audiobook for self-improvement, or consider listening to a fiction audiobook.
Alternatively, search for podcasts by speakers you admire, or choose story podcasts and get lost in a gripping true crime or sci-fi story.
Podcasts are also a great way to learn from experts in different fields, such as business and leadership, among others.
12. Take an online course.
Having extra time on your hands means you can choose to improve yourself and expand your skillset through online courses.
Maybe you want to learn to cook, or study a new language. Or, you might choose to work on some career skills.
Here are some of our favorite online courses:
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- The Best Paid Online Writing Courses for Creative Writers, Fiction, and Nonfiction
- The Best Self-Publishing Courses: Top 6 Online Programs for Do-It-Yourself Authors
13. Learn an art or handicraft skill through YouTube.
If you’ve always wanted to learn to paint or sketch but never had time to, now is your chance! Do a quick YouTube search, sit down with your supplies, and learn watercolor, calligraphy, oil painting, or any other art or handicraft.
And then, the next time you’re home alone, continue practicing. (Then again, you don’t really have to wait for that next time—get out your brushes and just keep practicing whenever you have a free afternoon!)
14. Plan or start a new business.
Who knows, this extra time may be just the push you need to plant the seeds for a future business! Brainstorm business ideas, or research them on the Internet.
Learn the basics of the business you may want to set up by searching the internet for blogs and online courses.
Channel your inner artist by using this time (and your imagination) to create something wonderful!
15. Crochet or knit.
If you already crochet or knit, extra time spent all by yourself at home is a good time to create some more. Maybe you started on a project and didn’t get the chance to pick up on it, or maybe you want to start a new project. The Internet is full of resources for patterns and YouTube videos for learning new patterns.
16. Learn macrame.
Macrame is a fun handicraft to learn, and all you need is rope or any kind of cord. You can start with making small items like keychains or bracelets, which makes it an easy skill to learn and get results in a relatively short time.
Do you love to bake? You have the entire kitchen now, so bake all the pies you want and give some away to friends.
Or, do you want to learn to bake, but people always tease you about your burnt cookies? This is the perfect time to practice with some YouTube videos or cookbooks. Just make sure you don’t accidentally burn the house down!
18. Draw or paint.
Let your artistic side reign supreme during your time alone: get out those sketch pads, paintbrushes, and paint, and paint your heart out. Choose between just expressing yourself and learning from experts through following painting tutorials on the Internet.
19. Write a story.
Have you ever written a story before? Whether or not you have, the time you have all by yourself at home is a great way to sit at your desk and let your imagination take you places. Is there a character you’ve always wished you could be, or an event you’ve always wanted to process? Try writing them in a story!
20. Plan a travel itinerary
Whether you have actual plans (and a budget) to travel soon doesn’t matter: just take out your atlas and start planning your dream vacation. Research and note down the places you want to see. Who knows, someday you may be able to go back and use this itinerary!
21. Learn whittling or woodcarving.
Making something with your hands is always fulfilling. Grab some woodcarving tools and try your hand at this challenging handicraft.
22. Sew a quilt.
Quilt-making may have gone out of style with our grandparents’ generation, but it’s always fun to revive old traditions. Besides, if you start this as a hobby, you’ll always have someplace for your old t-shirts and jeans to go.
23. Learn to sew a dress.
While we’re on the subject of sewing, learning to sew your own clothes will also go a long way: not only will it occupy your time, it will save you big bucks!
24. Make your own soap.
Soap-making is a productive hobby, and you end up with a stash of heavenly-smelling pretty soap to give away as gifts. Research ahead so you can have your supplies on hand on your first day home alone.
25. Make your own yogurt.
Do you know you can make your own yogurt, even without a yogurt-maker? All you need is some starter–which can be plan yogurt–milk, and a metal container to keep in a warm area.
26. Make your own cheese!
While you’re at it, why not go all the way down “Little House on the Prairie,” and try your hand at making homemade cheese? After your day home alone, you will have your own stash of cottage cheese.
27. Make homemade pasta.
Nothing tastes as good as homemade pasta! Try making some on your own, although it definitely helps to have a pasta maker so you can roll your dough out nicely.
With everyone out of the way, you can take care of your house in a way you probably can’t do on normal days.
28. Clean your room.
Now not everyone may consider this fun, but clearing out clutter from your room will go a long way in improving your mood.
To make it a more productive time for you, prepare a “To Donate” pile where you can toss all the things you don’t need and send them to someone who does.
29. Give your room a makeover.
If you have more than one day all by yourself, take it a step higher and give your room a makeover! With everyone away, you can easily pull all the stuff out of your room into the hall, and even give your walls a fresh coat of paint.
Did you always want a mural on one side of your bedroom? Do you want to rearrange the furniture to make it more comfy and spacious?
You can experiment with different arrangements now! All you need is some extra energy, so make yourself a cup of coffee before you take the plunge.
30. Repaint a room or paint a mural.
What makes a room look fresh and new? New paint! Brainstorm design ideas or check out ideas on Pinterest. You may want to paint a whole wall over, or paint a mural on one of your walls.
31. Change the color scheme of your living room.
An easy way to change the color scheme of a living room is changing the colors of all the cushions and other textile in the room. Consider changing the draperies, cushion covers, and rug, if possible.
32. Decorate your home with flowers.
Freshly cut flowers can breathe life into pretty much any space. Go out and snip off some blossoms, and stick them in pretty vases all over the place.
The added touch of beauty (and their sweet fragrance) will definitely relax you and add a lovely touch to your home.
33. Upcycle old clothes or furniture.
While you’re cleaning up your room, this may be a good time to think about upcycling (reusing or repurposing) old clothes or old furniture.
Do a quick search on YouTube or Pinterest to find great ideas for new uses for some of your old stuff.
34. Meal prep.
Whether you’re a mom home alone or a single person, batch cooking will give you frozen meals you can easily take out any other time throughout the week.
Search Pinterest or Instagram for some batch meal recipes and meal prep inspiration.
35. Set up or redecorate your home office.
If you work from home and currently don’t have a home office space, it’s time to look around and see what you can do. Is there a nook you can convert into your workspace?
Setting up a home office is crucial for maximum comfort and productivity, and now that you have some extra time, invest it in a space where you spend lots of time.
36. Organize your files.
If you’re like most people, your smartphone and laptop may be running out of space. Take some time to clear out unnecessary files and organize your folders. This will optimize your gadgets for daily use.
Practice Self Care
Self care is something that we might easily overlook when we’re constantly on-the-go, but now that you’re home alone, make sure you include it in your to-do list and try these self care ideas.
Maybe you’ve always said you will start exercising, but can never seem to find the time. Well, no more excuses!
Now that you have time all to yourself, hop on your treadmill, pull out some dumbbells, or just get on the floor and do some push-ups!
If you’re looking for a more engaging and fun workout, tune in to some Zumba videos or other online fitness classes.
The key is for you to start on an exercise routine, and now that you’ve started to sweat it out, remember to keep doing it regularly.
38. Take a nice, long bubble bath.
With everybody out, you can stay as long as you want in the tub! Start some relaxing music, light up some soothing candles, and throw in your favorite scented bubble bath soap or bath bomb.
This is also a perfect time and place to practice meditation or do some deep breathing exercises to calm your mind.
Putting your thoughts down on paper is a great way to process muddled emotions. In busy times, we may not have the time to sort out the things we feel about everything that’s happened.
Now that you have some extra time on your hands, take time out to write in a journal to record your thoughts, memories, or to practice gratitude.
Studies show that writing by hand is more beneficial than typing on a computer, so if you’ve never had a handwritten journal before, consider getting a quality notebook for your time home alone.
40. Plant a garden
Studies show that spending time out in nature does wonders for our physical and mental health.
If you don’t have a garden, consider starting one, whether in a backyard or in pots and containers on your window or balcony.
A good way to start is by planting herbs, which you can easily use for pasta recipes and many other dishes. If you have a yard, consider planting flowers and vegetables; veggies are great to eat, while flowers add beauty and life to any home.
Things to Do When You’re Home Alone
Hopefully this list has helped you find both fun and productive things to add to your to-do list when you’re home alone.
Make the most of this time by learning a new skill, taking some time for yourself, or calling up an old friend!
What’s your favorite way to pass the time at home? Share your ideas in the comments below!