These 10 Pandemic Trends Completely Defined 2020

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Oof, this year has been a doozy. Time has seemingly moved fast (it's October?!) and slow (like, seriously, there were maybe five months in April alone). The pandemic caused us all to re-evaluate our lives at home, and we made changes accordingly. Here's an overview of all the lifestyle trends we went through. Hopefully, by the time you finish reading, it'll already be 2021.

Trend #1: Pandemic Pantries

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Stage one of the pandemic was absolutely focused on pantry. Specifically, the stocking of it. Once we had our cabinets and freezers filled to the limits, our readers wanted to know how to keep their stores of dry and frozen goods in order.

Trend #2: DIY Sanitizing Methods

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Okay, so it's actually hard to remember what came first — the pantries or the sanitizer. Either way, we have a vague memory (it's all a blur, really) of March being the Great American Hand and Surface Sanitizer Shortage. With shelves wiped clean, we taught you how to make your own hand sanitizer at home. We also posted these DIY antibacterial cleaning tutorials.

Trend #3: The Baking Bonanza

In my opinion, the homemade bread bonanza that swept the country is just further proof that we are indeed living in a simulation and we all got an iOS baking update. This eventually led to home cooks upgrading their kitchens with new baking tools: think Dutch ovens, pastry scrapers, and bread baskets.

Trend #4: Bidets for Days

With the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020 came a renewed interest in bidets. Tushy, a new bidet start-up, was sold out for months. Our writer, Anna Gragert, can tell you why.

Trend #5: Organization and DIY Frenzy!

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Staring in March and April, we realized being at home all the time meant confronting the messes you chose to ignore for months or even years: the vomit of utensils in a kitchen drawer, the sad hall closet, your scary laundry room. So you all set to making home a place that's actually clean and lovely by organizing all those nooks and even transforming/re-doing spaces.

Trend #6: Puzzle Time!

Puzzles, paint by numbers ... anything entertaining to pass the time at home. Wine not really optional.

Trend #7: The Home Gym

With gyms becoming one of the most "yeah, no" places of the pandemic, we began bringing fitness equipment into our homes, with stationary bikes going on backorder and a rush of people trying out the cool/futuristic "The Mirror." With many gyms still closed, this trend continues to go strong. We even predict this particular piece of exercise equipment will be a hot-hot-hot holiday gift.

Trend #8: Hands-Free Tools

By June, a number of companies began coming up with accessories meant to further distance yourself from germs. First came the Peel, then there was the slightly more aesthetically pleasing Craighill no-touch tool, followed by these shopping cart handles.

Trend #9: Perfecting the Home Office

As it became clearer and clearer that "WFH" would be the unforeseeable norm, we became uber-focused on creating the perfect home office — whether it be a spot in your bedroom or a corner of your small space. Of course, following in the traditions of sold-out hand sanitizer and toilet paper, came the rush on desks and desk chairs. And our readers couldn't get enough of other work-from-home accessories and hacks to make the workday more enjoyable.

Trend #9: Camp Corona

In August, as people went stir-crazy without legit summer vacations, our camping content went nuts. People were eager to know everything about an outdoor vacay — from the basics on choosing a tent to fancy camping gear to no-cook recipes.

Trend #9: Pretty in Picnic

Around the same time as the camping craze hit, so too did our desire to picnic with retailers like Urban Outfitters and H&M being totally on top of catering to those whims.

Trend #10: Not-So-Secret Gardening

Image Credit: Stephen Paul for Hunker

After the sourdough, the banana bread, the organizing, and the puzzles, there was only one activity left unconquered: the garden. People flocked to The Home Depot to begin growing victory-like gardens or to simply get tools to tame their yards.


Leonora Epstein is Hunker's Senior Director of Content. She has previously served as Executive Editor at HelloGiggles and as BuzzFeed's Deputy Editorial Director. She is the co-author of "X vs. Y: A Culture War, a Love Story" (Abrams, 2014). Feel free to reach out at leonora@hunker.com.

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