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11 Things COVID-19 Has Made People Change About Their Home Lives

To learn the various adjustments people have made to their basic home lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, the experts at, a Virginia-based real estate company, surveyed 1,000 people throughout the United States. Here's what people are doing more—and less—of!

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Food Driveideabug/Getty Images

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 survey results said.

If you’re continuing to go out to grocery shop, here’s how to stay safe and avoid germs.

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Mature Mother teaching her teenage Son how to bakeHinterhaus Productions/Getty Images

Cooking more

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!

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High Angle View Of Person Using Disinfectant To Clean Table At HomePattanaphong Khuankaew / EyeEm/Getty Images

Buying more cleaning products

In another unsurprising development, the survey respondents told what we already know: People all over the United States can’t get their hands on cleaning products fast enough. In the closest to unanimous response in the entire survey, a full 80 per cent of those surveyed claimed to have “stocked up on various items, including toilet paper and cleaning supplies.”

Consider purchasing these pantry essentials with the longest shelf life.

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Person cleaning bathImage Source/Getty Images

Deep cleaning the bathroom

This widespread virus has made people go into overdrive on cleaning and disinfecting. Nearly 34 per cent 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 per cent even said that they’re cleaning the lavatory as frequently as every day or every other day.

These are the things you should be cleaning every day from now on.

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Man in kitchenantonio arcos aka fotonstudio photography/Getty Images

Washing towels more often

Those thorough bathroom cleanings aren’t limited to surfaces, according to the survey; nearly 30 per cent 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 should be washing your bath towels.

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BidetSinisa Kukic/Getty Images

Buying bidets

The 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.

Beware of these toilet paper alternatives that will clog your toilets.

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Black woman making bedJGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Sanitizing bedding

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 per cent of those surveyed said that they’ve given all of their bedclothes a deep clean while under quarantine, Homes.coms report said.

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Work at home concept still life image.twomeows/Getty Images

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 per cent 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 per cent were actually already somewhat equipped for this situation, saying that they’d had a designated home office space already.

Find out what you need to be successful working from home.

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Cat on a bed and feet of a personLinda Raymond/Getty Images

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.

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Mixed race family with digital devicesfiladendron/Getty Images

…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 per cent. 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!)

Here are the best feel-good movies on Netflix Canada!

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Canadian bank notesPhoto: Spiroview Inc/Shutterstock

Saving money

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating economic effect, and many people who have lost their jobs are really struggling financially. But other people are noticing that their spending has gone drastically down, and they’re actually saving quite a bit of dough. Thirty-nine per cent 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.

Next, find out how to support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest