11 Things Coronavirus Has Made People Change About Their Home Lives
Cleaning more, spending less. Cooking more, shopping less. Homes.com compiled data showing how people’s home-bound norms have changed during this bizarre time. Have you made any of these changes?
On the home front
It’s safe to say that most of us are spending a whole lot more time than usual—and, probably, more time than we would like—inside our homes. Yes, we’d been living in our homes before, but this necessary but lengthy stay-at-home order has made many of us all a little more intimately acquainted with them. So Homes.com decided to investigate the various adjustments people have made to their basic home lives during this time. They surveyed 1,000 people throughout the United Statest and found out what people were buying more of, doing less of, and more.
Stocking up on non-perishable foods
If you’ve been inside a grocery store since stay-at-home orders became the norm, you’ve probably noticed that some items have been slim pickings. Grocery stores have even been limiting the amount of some products, like dry pasta, that a single customer can buy at a time. People are stocking up on things that will last longer, whether out of foresight to try to limit grocery store outings, panic-buying, or a mix of both. “The most popular answers for how people have adjusted their kitchens involve stocking up on foods that can last for long periods of time,” the Homes.com survey results said. If you’re continuing to go out to grocery shop, here’s how to stay safe and avoid germs. Plus, here are some handy replacements for common pantry staples that might be sold out.
For better or worse, a whole lot more people have become home chefs while stuck at home. With dining out pretty much a non-entity, people have had to cook for themselves more than ever before. “Over a third of respondents said they are now cooking more than they have in years,” the survey results said. If you’re one of those people, check out these super-simple recipes that don’t require a trip to the store.
Buying more cleaning products
In another unsurprising development, the survey respondents told Homes.com what we already know: People all over the country can’t get their hands on cleaning products fast enough. In the closest to unanimous response in the entire survey, a full 80 percent of those surveyed claimed to have “stocked up on various items, including toilet paper and cleaning supplies.” And as we all know right now, that’s easier said than done! Here’s where you can find things like that—things that seem to be sold out everywhere.
Deep cleaning the bathroom
This widespread virus has made people go into overdrive on cleaning and disinfecting. Nearly 34 percent of survey respondents have decided that safe is better than sorry when it comes to keeping their homes clean, saying that they’ve “deep cleaned and sanitized” their entire bathrooms. Nearly 25 percent even said that they’re cleaning the lavatory as frequently as every day or every other day. And, in case you’re wondering, this is the real difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.
Washing towels more often
Those thorough bathroom cleanings aren’t limited to surfaces, according to the survey; nearly 30 percent of respondents said that they’re washing their towels more frequently than they used to. In case you’re wondering, here’s how often you probably should be washing your bath towels.
The Homes.com survey results round-up listed, “I bought a bidet!” as one of the “most random” answers they heard, but if you’ve been paying attention to the news, you know that bidets are having a moment—and it’s far more than a single survey respondent. Bidet sales have increased as much as tenfold, according to the New York Post, as people who are strapped for toilet paper have tried them out as another option. In fact, one of our writers tried one—and is never going back to toilet paper.
Though the bathroom might seem like the most obvious place for it, the deep cleaning has extended to bedrooms as people are “sanitizing” their bedding. Nearly 38 percent of those surveyed said that they’ve given all of their bedclothes a deep clean while under quarantine, Homes.com‘s report said.
Changing up workspaces
Another notable way people’s home lives are changing is, of course, that people have had to recreate “offices” and “classrooms” within the walls of their homes. According to the survey report, 45 percent of people have had to turn some spots in their homes, such as “their living room or dining areas,” into a workspace. One “random-answer” awardee even said that their home office was in their camper in their driveway! And more than 20 percent were actually already somewhat equipped for this situation, saying that they’d had a designated home office space already. Here’s our guide to what you need to be successful working from home.
Spending more time with pets…
Pets old and new are providing a major comfort during this time. Spending time with pets was the most popular answer to the survey’s question about the best way to cope with the upended reality of COVID-19. Nearly a third of respondents named time with Fido or Fluffy as their preferred way of dealing with the current circumstances. And some changes go beyond just spending more time with pets; social isolation has made some people take the leap and get, or foster, a furry friend. For instance, one of our contributors says that fostering a dog during quarantine is the best decision she ever made.
…and on screens
For survey respondents, consuming funny content online was “a close second” for the favorite coping mechanism, coming in just behind pet lovers’ at less than 33 percent. And while many appreciated the way online videos could take the edge off—and more than half of respondents lauded the way technology allows them to get in touch with loved ones—tech has been a blessing and a curse. Just shy of a third of survey respondents said that spending too much time glued to screens was their “greatest challenge” during this time. (Although, if that’s your greatest challenge right now, definitely count your blessings!)
Of course, this pandemic has had a devastating economic effect, and many people who have lost their jobs are really struggling financially. Here’s how you can get money quickly to family or friends who are out of work. But other people are noticing that their spending has gone drastically down, and they’re actually saving quite a bit of dough. Thirty-nine percent of the survey respondents asked what they thought the “best” part of the quarantine was, said that it was “saving money on eating out and entertainment.” As much as we obviously miss those things, we can appreciate how much money we’re saving without them. Here are some more little silver linings that will help you feel better about the quarantine.