I can barely believe I’m asking this because my interest in cooking/cleaning/sewing–things I think of as household tasks–is minimal. And yet….

During the past year as we have been constrained and limited to, mostly, spending time in our home, we’ve become very focused on the small stuff that make our world run and look better. I’ve found myself seriously shopping for the best shower curtain rather than just grabbing the plain white one on the shelf at Target. I’ve never given this much thought to the balance between comfort and aesthetics for our sheets. It’s a little alarming. That said, our domestic lives are better. I love my microfiber sheets and I’ve never enjoyed preparing dinner more.

As the year yawned on, I began improving all sorts of tiny things I’d never cared much about. I researched and found more ecologically friendly poop bags. My chicken has never been more tender and I’ve learned to make decent tasting cocktails.

Occasionally, this year has inspired me to–incoming cliche!–think outside the box.

We moved, last summer, from our house to a much smaller condo on a high floor. This meant walking Sophie now required getting on the elevator and leaving the building which is much more work than just letting her out in our previous home which had an electric fence. Sophie, like me, is getting on in years and sometimes she’s not up for a stroll. I bought a length of year round sod and my husband built a shallow platform for it. Now, several times a day when Sophie’s aging bladder wants a break, we let her out on our patio and she uses her “tiny yard.” It’s a win for all of us.

I suspect masks will be around in some form or another for a while but we’re moving a place where one doesn’t need to wear them all the time. So, I made mask chains–I’m a beader–and they’ve been a game changer. They’re easy to make and, whoa, do they make taking your mask off and on again and again so much easier.

How about you? What household hacks have you discovered?