Pandemic turned Americans into hoarders: 2 in 3 ‘desperate’ for places to store all the junk they bought

NEW YORK — The past year has apparently turned many Americans into hoarders. New research finds two in three people are desperate to find places in their homes to fit everything they’ve purchased during the pandemic.

A survey of 2,000 Americans reveals many have spent more money than usual on items such as kitchen and cooking utensils (30%), home décor (30%), and personal care products (27%) over the last year. Some respondents say random items like exercise equipment, extra boxes, and even bird feeders are taking up all the space in their homes.

Sixty-three percent have so much junk in their homes they have a difficult time finding where to store it. That’s why 73 percent feel they’d be more at ease if all their stuff had its own place.

Cleaning and reorganization is on the rise

home reorganizingMore than a third had no interest in home organization before the pandemic began, but now, 63 percent of respondents say they want to be tidier and are planning to keep with the trend going post-pandemic.

Commissioned by mDesign and conducted by OnePoll, the study finds 74 percent of Americans describe home reorganization as extremely satisfying. Another 63 percent call it a huge de-stressor for them. Over seven in 10 Americans have reorganized or renovated two or more rooms in their home during the pandemic. Nearly half the poll (49%) add they’ve taken on more home projects within the past three months.

These “do it yourself” adventures aren’t all fun and game though. DIY-ers and organizers note the most difficult parts of their projects include figuring out where to start (44%), finding the time (41%), and finding affordable ways to get it all done (41%). Regardless of the hard work, nine in 10 recent renovators say their latest projects improved how their homes felt to them. More than a quarter (29%) report being satisfied with how their home projects turned out.

“As people continue to purchase new items for their home, whether it be for entertaining, building a home office, stocking the pantry or enhancing a playroom, it’s important to maximize the function of the room,” says Kris Arabia, SVP Chief Merchant at mDesign, in a statement. “By utilizing a variety of storage solutions to make the most of your space, like wall-mounted baskets or lidded bins to stack vertically, you can make sure everything has a place.”

Time to clean up the kitchen chaos

home reorganizingSeven in 10 respondents believe being at home more this year has been the biggest motivator for them to improve the function and aesthetic of their personal spaces. Thirty-seven percent feel their homes are now more like a sanctuary or nest than just a house. Nearly half (47%) add they had to repurpose rooms for other uses during the pandemic.

Two in five (43%) feel so good about their home office redecorating efforts, they swear it feels more professional and put together than their actual office at work. Likewise, 34 percent feel the same about their at-home learning area feeling more like a classroom than their child’s actual school.

According to respondents, the most commonly reorganized rooms this past year are the bedroom (33%), living room (27%), bathroom (27%), and kitchen (25%). This coincides with rooms people think are in the most desperate need of reorganization, a list which includes the kitchen (27%), bathroom (26%), living room (22%), and bedroom (20%).

“Since we’re spending so much time at home, it’s important to not only improve how it functions, but also how it looks,” adds Arabia. “We recommend clear, acrylic storage or wire baskets for the pantry. These allow you to easily see the contents, plus they’re versatile enough to use in any room of the house.”

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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