A kitchen in a modern farmhouse.
Coronavirus, Home Improvement

How Have You Changed Your Living Space During the Coronavirus Crisis?

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many Americans to adjust almost every facet of their daily lives to stay safe and “flatten the curve,” but how has it changed the home itself? To find out, Homes.com surveyed 1,000 people across the country to see how the pandemic has affected their living spaces.

For most of the country, life at home looks different than a month ago. The coronavirus pandemic has forced many Americans to adjust almost every facet of their daily lives to stay safe and “flatten the curve,” but how has it changed the home itself? To find out, Homes.com surveyed 1,000 people across the country to see how the pandemic has affected their living spaces.

No Surprise Kitchens Have Seen LOTS of Changes

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most popular answers for how people have adjusted their kitchens involve stocking up on foods that can last for long periods of time. Over a third of respondents said they are now cooking more than they have in years, while less than 9% — the majority of them millennials — are taking the opportunity to schedule virtual dinners and happy hours with friends or family. 

Most random answer: “I stocked up on ammo.” Preparing for a zombie apocalypse perhaps?

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse.

Bathrooms Are No Longer Germ-Infested Spaces

It seems that the pandemic has inspired a greater emphasis on preparedness and cleanliness in the bathroom. Over 80% of those surveyed indicated that in the wake of the pandemic, they’ve stocked up on various items, including toilet paper and cleaning supplies. Almost 34% have put those supplies to good use, saying they’ve deep cleaned and sanitized everything in their bathrooms. Just under 30% say they’re washing towels more often, while almost a quarter say they’re now cleaning their bathroom everyday or every other day. 

Most random answer: “I bought a bidet!”

Like Living with Your Parents, Bedrooms are Getting Clean Again

Just like their bathroom counterparts, bedrooms across the country are getting the deep-clean treatment. Almost 38% of respondents said they’ve sanitized all of their bedding, and for good reason — just under 28% said they’ve been sleeping much more since social-distancing guidelines were put in place. Generation Zers, those aged 18 to 24, were the largest age cohort to place snacks conveniently around their bedrooms, over eight points higher than the next closest age group, older millennials aged 35 to 44. 

Most random answer: “Oh God, I do think there is a mouse somewhere in all this mess.” Eek!

Where is Your New “Office?”

When asked where their new “office” is located, almost 45% of respondents indicated they’ve set up shop in various locations throughout their home, including their living room or dining areas. Over 20% said they already have a dedicated home office, but we were surprised to see that over a quarter or respondents are still working in their normal office buildings. Just remember to ask yourself, what would Dwight Schrute do? Practice safe social distancing of course!

Most random answer: “In my camper in my driveway at home.”

The “Must-Have” To Help Cope…

It’s not easy staying separated from loved ones, but according to almost a third of our respondents, spending time with a pet is a perfect way to cope with social isolation. If that’s not an option, humorous online content came in a close second, and for good reason. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter reduces stress, can improve immunity, and can relax muscles in the body. 

Most random answer: “Nothing, I’ve been training for this my whole life.”

cat at home in bed

Screens are Both a Blessing and a Curse

Not surprisingly over half of respondents said that not being able to see their loved ones has been the hardest part of social distancing. Interestingly, however, it seems that during a time when screens have largely become windows to our world, they’ve also become a double-edged sword — almost a third of respondents said their greatest challenge was spending too much time in front of screens. If this is how you feel, check out our list of social distance activities that includes plenty of off-screen suggestions!

Most random answer: “No problems, I was a Marine!”

Some Wallets are Staying a Bit Fatter 

Speaking of double-edged swords, when asked about the best part of staying at home, the most popular answer, at 39%, was saving money on eating out and entertainment. As many people are losing income during the pandemic, saving money is of the utmost importance. However, keeping the local economy strong will help lessen the financial impacts of the pandemic on a broader scale. We encourage all who can to continue supporting local and keep communities thriving!

Most random answer: “Going to the bathroom when I want.”

If you haven’t adjusted your living spaces, why not?

Thankfully, not everyone has had to adjust their homes during the pandemic. Over 55% of those who said they didn’t adjust their home said it was because their home was already how they needed it. Just over 39% indicated they’re facing time or stress challenges preventing them from making adjustments, while 14% said they don’t feel like it would be helpful.

Most random answer: “My desk chair is uncomfortable.” OR “Because I’m not stuck at home. I need a haircut and can’t get a haircut. Otherwise, my life is the same.” 


What Home Projects Were you Planning that the Pandemic is Now Preventing You From Tackling?

Spring is often regarded as the best time to tackle home projects and deep cleaning. When we asked what projects people are now having to put on hold, the most popular answer was buying new furniture, followed by repainting walls. If this sounds like you, consider looking at online retailers like Wayfair, who can ship furniture pieces to your door, helping you maintain your social distancing. 

Young woman sanding an unpainted clad wall during DIY home improvements in a view past her husband in the foreground

What Other General Adjustments Have You Made? 

If the pandemic has changed anything, it’s how we’re cleaning commonplace items. When asked about other adjustments made during the pandemic, almost 32% said they’re now sanitizing all mail and groceries, the greatest number of those falling in the Baby Boomer cohort. Over a quarter of respondents said they’ve finally cleaned out items in their home to donate, but if that’s your plan as well, keep in mind many donation centers may be closed. 

Have you had to make any home adjustments during the pandemic? Let us know in the comments below! In the meantime, check out our COVID-19 resources page that covers everything from market insights to social distance-friendly home activities so you and your family can stay happy, healthy and informed. Stay safe!

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Audrey is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at Homes.com, with a master's degree in strategic communication. Wife to aerospace engineer Ryan and fur-mom to rescue pup Lucy, she's the self-declared World's Greatest Pizza Lover who lives for chocolate and a sunshine-filled day at the beach.

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