BHG editor Dora Papas on her COVID-19 house rules

Home truths and cleaning hacks with Dora

WATCH: BHG Editor Dora Papas has a great DIY scent project to keep your mind creative during home-isolation.

Dora Papas is not one the sit around twiddling her green thumbs. Here, the BHG editor reveals how she’s dealing with home isolation and her five new COVID-19 house rules…  

1. Cleaning: Suds up!

“I’m handwashing frequently, including before and after touching surfaces or preparing food. I’m yet to find any hand sanitiser, even though I ask each and every time I go to the supermarket or chemist.

I did manage to find Confidence Antibacterial Wipes on one trip, but they are alcohol-free, so I figure I may just need to soak the wipes in alcohol myself. I’m getting desperate!

My usual brand disinfectants are sold out, but I stumbled across McLintocks Vanilla Fresh Fridge & Kitchen wipe. It’s an anti-bacterial, all-purpose cleaner that is food safe, kills 99.9% of germs and is said to sanitise and protect. My fridge and kitchen haven’t sparkled this much for ages! I’m going to keep my eye out for it every time I shop now.”

2. Healthy relationships: Hitting the right nerves

“My kids don’t live at home now, so getting on top of one another’s nerves is not an issue for me. To stay connected, we’re speaking on the phone daily to make sure we are all okay. The kids come over every now and again to check on me, but we practise social distancing – no kisses, no hugs – just elbow taps!”

3. Creative spaces: Decorating or home office configuring?

“I wish I could say decorating! At the moment I’m busy getting ‘my home office’ organised and efficient. Right now, I’m buying and hooking up a printer, a myriad of cables and USB hubs, so I can connect every conceivable device and hard drive to my computer.”

mid century desk
If you are setting up a home office, remember to add greenery.

4. Eat, shop, cook! The kitchen game-plan

“I’m not online shopping yet. After that initial rush on the supermarkets, things have settled down a bit and in most instances I can get what I need. If not all at once, at least over a few days.

I was never one for freezing meats or meals, but I’ve succumbed to the idea. I just need to remember to take it out of the freezer, the day before I need it! I’ll get there…

Working from home has been great as I find myself cooking more rather than eating take-away. I tend to make generous portions, which I can stretch out over a couple of days or freeze.

It’s a toss up what I’m going to be making next. I’m keen on the Mozzarella stuffed meatballs in Tomato sauce and Fast Ed’s Lamb racks – both are in the May issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

TIP: See here for hundreds of delicious recipes…

BHG May issue cover
For fabulous recipes and home-based activities to cheer up isolation, get the May issue of Better Homes and Gardens now.

5. Working from home: Productive tips

“Discipline is really important if you’re working from home. You have to treat going to your home office (even if it’s the dining table) as if you were going to work. Be there on time, try not to get distracted, stop for lunch, take in some fresh air, and remember it’s okay to clock off. Personally I have to remember not to sit at the computer all day – I’m still working on that.

In terms of staying healthy physically and mentally, I’ve promised myself I will set up the walking machine, and I’m looking forward to face chats via video calls with all my relatives. We are scattered all over the world – Europe, England, the US, Australia.”

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