With most people in lockdown or still spending the majority of their hours at home amid social distancing, suddenly home projects lingering on the back burner have come roaring to life. In a period that has been sharply defined by product shortages, time at home has never been so abundant, as many adults were furloughed and are still out of work.
Parents found themselves with more bandwidth on evenings and weekends than they were used to having — with soccer practice, theater tryouts, music lessons, playdates and more all tabled for the time being.
Millennials without kids, whose leisure time used to orbit around socializing with friends and time in the office, reached for projects to take on after binging the latest Netflix. Across the consumer spectrum, the stay-home economy has created a surge in home improvement mania.
Like diving into their own home design show, everyone wants to spruce up, reorganize or reconfigure their living spaces. We at Influence Central recently surveyed 630 consumers on our Influence Central Consumer Insights Panel and uncovered a plethora of home improvement projects in the making.
Of those surveyed, 61 percent said they have undertaken a DIY project currently. The No. 1 reason: to escape boredom. The second most-offered-up reason: They already planned to take on a project and now have time to make it a priority.
All this free time on their hands allows consumers to start looking around at those fix-it-up projects like cabinet doors that need to be tightened or porch screens that need repair, while others decide to reorganize the entire pantry or change up the look of the couch with new throw pillows.
Others dive into gardening, landscaping and outdoor projects, with vegetable and herb gardens abounding and fences getting a fresh coat of paint.
Still others feel motivated to take on home renovation after seeing supplies available at a discount. If a power drill is on sale, these consumers become more likely to purchase products for projects that go hand in hand with it — perhaps to install new shelves, mount a flat screen television or create mudroom seating and storage.
And for parents, projects with kids, from treehouse building to garden planting, flowerpot creating or stringing up twinkling bulbs over decks, offer shared outdoor fun.
Whether through the inspiration of a favorite home improvement TV show, influencer content, YouTube how-to video or Marie Kondo, American adults have a newfound passion for all things home, musing, “Does my living space spark joy?”
The most popular projects consumers are tackling right now involve reorganizing (53 percent). Here’s how the priorities are stacking up:
- Closet: Organizing closets and drawers (61 percent)
- Pantry: Stocking and organizing pantries (57 percent)
- Garden and deck: Working on a garden and serene outdoor space (43 percent)
- Home office: Creating or reworking a home office space (26 percent)
- Exercise space: Setting up a dedicated space for exercising (22 percent)
Consumers also look to go beyond that basic reorganization and take on more robust DIY workloads. Among the more ambitious, they have dived into making minor home repairs (48 percent), painting rooms (40 percent) and redecorating with soft home goods such as new pillows, linens and curtains (30 percent).
Whether it’s to repair the kitchen table that is lopsided or the leg of a chair that seems to always be on the precipice of giving out, people are more willing to spend time to solve these issues right now. Sprucing up living spaces feels both productive and engaging, filling the time void while lending a comforting sense of order during an era of anxious uncertainty.
When it comes to instilling confidence in undertaking a DIY home project, consumers find word of mouth recommendations most persuasive (48 percent). Influencer recommendations on Instagram and influencer how-to videos rank second (45 percent). Lending a sense of can-do confidence, consumers have tuned into social media Influencers who offer either inspiration or step-by-step instructional videos. This influencer content makes it easy for aspiring DIY-ers to set off on their home improvement to-do lists.
This surge in fixing things up at home has caused sales to climb at brick-and-mortar retailers such as Lowe’s and Home Depot, as well as online at Amazon and eBay. Brands have a unique opportunity to market to these DIY-ers with an array of relevant products accompanied by inspiring online project ideas and step-by-step instructions.