Surviving the New Normal at Home

Surviving the New Normal at Home

Home is being redefined in 2020. Who would have imagined that home would become where just about everything is, subbing for the office, classroom, gym, restaurant, vacation destination and countless other places that, sadly, we may never view quite the same way again.

There is no sugarcoating the fact that many are enduring unbearable personal loss and financial hardship during the pandemic. If you have the good fortune to be healthy and still have a steady income, now is a time to consider donating to one or more of the deserving charities working overtime to fill unprecedented need. Before donating, you may want to research the organization’s worthiness on Charity Navigator, a nonprofit that evaluates charities. 

Those who do have the means are investing in their home life right now. Housing sales are booming—up a record 24.7% in July despite an otherwise troubled economy, according to the National Association of Realtors. Spending more time at home is prompting many people to look for larger places in which to work remotely. Other market factors, such as a shortage of available housing and low interest rates, are helping to fuel the boom.

Those of us staying put are looking for creative ways to make our existing homes work better for us. By using our imaginations, we’re transforming overlooked nooks and corners into home offices. We have created more private areas, decorated the walls behind us for Zoom meetings and carved out learning spaces for school-aged children. Some are rethinking the open-concept floor plan that has become so popular in recent decades. More walls are sounding attractive!

Spending more time at home and buying larger homes has given many the impetus to invest in new furniture. According to retail statistics, online furniture sales have shot up more than 300% since the pandemic started. Among the top sellers are traditional sofas and sectionals. Comfort is in! 

If you are in the market for new upholstered furniture, be sure the foam inside is CertiPUR-US® certified to be made without chemicals of concern. With increased time at home, indoor air quality should be a priority. Certified foams are made without ozone depleters; PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (“Tris”) flame retardants; mercury, lead and other heavy metals; and formaldehyde. Furthermore, certified foams are low in VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions for indoor air quality (less than 0.5 parts per million); and made without phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Companies that offer furniture (and mattresses) containing certified foam are listed here.

For the time-being, when it comes to home life, making a nest of it is a good way to make the best of it!

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