Tips to make the most of more time at home this fall

(BPT) – Between social distancing, quarantine, remote working and distance learning, it’s likely you’re at home more than you’ve ever been before. Add to this the change of seasons and dropping temperatures for the remainder of 2020 in most places across the country, and most families will be spending more and more time together at home.

While spending time at home has some benefits, it also can cause some level of stress and chaos. To help you simplify your life and maximize the time you’re spending at home with loved ones, consider these easy ideas:

Use signs to communicate when you’re busy

No one wants their talkative teen busting into the ‘office’ while in the middle of a work meeting. Likewise, when a student is studying hard, they want space from siblings and parents so they can focus. Adopt a simple system to communicate such as a sign that you can change from green, yellow and red. You can even have a family crafting session to make your signs. When green is on the door, it means you can come in freely. If yellow is up, you need to knock first. If red is up, it means you’re busy and do not want to be interrupted unless it’s an emergency.

Stock up on supplies and groceries while saving trips to the store

Whether you need school supplies, everyday essentials, new clothes or decorations for upcoming holidays, save trips to the store by exploring home delivery options. For example, for only $12.99 per month or $119 per year, Amazon Prime members enjoy fast, free delivery on millions of Prime-eligible items with no minimum purchase, offering them the convenience of getting everything they need delivered right to their door. Prime members in more than 2,000 cities and towns also enjoy free, two-hour delivery on more than 170,000 products including groceries and more from Whole Foods Market and Amazon Fresh.

Plan new recipes to keep meals and snacks interesting

While the occasional delivery from a favorite restaurant is a treat, staying home typically means cooking more meals, which is often healthier and saves money, plus it’s a great opportunity to try new foods. One idea to switch up your meal plans is to have everyone select a recipe they’d like to try and select a day of the week to try them, such as every Friday. Another option is to order traditional food and snacks from different countries to discover the flavors of the world and learn about other cultures.

Enjoy entertainment and at-home movie nights

With everyone under the same roof, this time presents a great opportunity to bond with loved ones. Whether with roommates, friends or family, plan nights in, and get ready for fun. Board games and puzzles are seeing a resurgence as fun ways to pass the time together at home. Movie nights or watching TV series is always a great option, whether it’s a new release or a timeless classic. You could even plan a themed night and play different music and match it to fun appetizers and drinks. Remember, if you’re a Prime member, it’s easy to entertain everyone with Prime’s entertainment benefits such as award-winning movies and TV episodes with Prime Video, ad-free listening of 2 million songs plus thousands of stations and playlists with Amazon Music, access to more than 1,000 books and magazines with Prime Reading, and free in-game content and games with Prime Gaming.

Celebrate the big and little things together

Celebrating together is part of the human experience. Just because traditional celebrations can’t happen, that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Think creatively about special events such as birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Even favorites such as game-day gatherings can be fun with a few twists such as virtual viewings with friends and home tailgating treats that include tasty snacks, appetizers and meals delivered to your house. Keep in mind, it’s not just the big things that should be celebrated. To lift spirits during these times, it’s important to recognize the little things as well, for example, your child getting a great test score might deserve a cake and movie night party.