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How We’re Spending Time in Quarantine: Instruction Downloads Provide Insight into Life Under Lockdown

COVID-19 lockdown infographic & analysis: Insight from BILT interactive instructions indicates we are busy with home DIY assembly & installation projects.

family jumping on trampoline during covid lockdown

Whether we order online, load a flat-packed box onto warehouse cart, or brave a trip to the hardware store, one thing is clear:  in March, we are busier than ever with at-home DIY assembly & installation projects.  An analysis of millions of BILT® interactive instructions sessions indicates downloads per SKU are up 40% compared to last March, and one category is showing a 100x increase.

We’re tackling home repairs — and possibly causing problems
As we spend more time at home, we’re noticing what needs to be done around the house.  Leaky faucets and creaky ceiling fans we never noticed before are now driving us crazy.  We’re dividing and conquering our honey-do lists; instruction downloads for indoor home improvement products like light fixtures, ceiling fans, door hardware, and plumbing products are up 27% per SKU from 2019.

Security: With more packages arriving on our doorstep and some primal urge to protect our hoarded TP, we’re hunkering down and stepping up home security.  Instruction downloads per SKU of residential home security products such as cameras, lighting, and door hardware (smart locks & deadbolts) are up 12% from last year.

Plumbing: More people home all day sharing the facilities means more indoor plumbing problems.  Assembly, installation, and repair instruction downloads per SKU for faucets, toilets, bidets, and sinks jumped 382% this year. 

We’re getting organized
The quarantine interrupted spring break travel plans and coincided with the ancient tradition of spring cleaning.  With indications the Coronavirus lives for hours (or days!) on surfaces, we’re getting serious about home sanitizing and organizing.  Plus, we need somewhere to store all that extra toilet paper we’re hoarding.  Instruction downloads of home storage products like bathroom cabinets, storage racks, garage shelves, and sheds are up 50% per SKU from last year.

Infographic of BILT downloads per SKU for various aggregated categories

We’re serious about homeschooling & working from home
As governments extend shelter-in place orders, we’re setting space at home to work and study for the long-haul.  Assembly instruction downloads in the home office category (including office chairs, desks, filing cabinets, bookshelves, and large ergonomic accessories increased more than 25x per SKU since last year.

We’re getting ready to grill
When we just can’t bear the same four walls, we’re escaping to the great outdoors—our balconies and patios.  With better weather in the forecast, we’re spending time in the backyard like we haven’t done in years.  We’re looking forward to summer barbecues and neighborhood socials.  Instruction downloads per SKU for patio, lawn and garden products (including outdoor furniture, grills, fire pits, pergolas, arbors, garden structures, and lawn care products) are up 20%.

We’re putting our money in outdoor toys
With gyms closed and athletic events canceled, we’re making our own fun, whether it’s shooting free throws or swinging on the monkey bars.  Instruction downloads per SKU for recreational products, such as toys, games, outdoor play structures, and sports equipment (boating, biking, and motorsports products & accessories) is up a whopping 91%.

Bicycles: Although cycling events and races are canceled, biking is seeing a resurgence in popularity.  With extra time and neighborhood streets virtually abandoned, it might be the perfect time to take off the training wheels.  Families are tuning up bikes in hopes of rides in the warmer weather.  Instruction downloads per SKU for bicycles and cycling products & accessories are up 82% from last year.

We’re binge-watching
Working from home has taught us we can’t work all our waking hours.  We’re breaking up school and office assignments with Netflix & Amazon Originals and connecting with friends and loved ones on widescreen Zoom parties.  Downloads of assembly & installation instructions for television accessories (like tv stands & mounts), are up more than 100x over last year’s numbers.

We’re waiting for the gym to re-open
Despite anecdotal evidence of people on social media setting-up home gyms, our data shows instruction downloads of large indoor fitness products remain steady:  just a 1% increase over 2019—the least change in any category.

*Insights are taken from a global analysis of millions of BILT sessions and represents new downloads per SKU aggregated across several categories, March 2019 v March 2020.

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