SINGAPORE – Have you found yourself tripping over your belongings more and more as lockdowns come and go? Have you had to add practically an entire office into your already limited living space? If your answer is yes, then you are not alone.
According to a recent poll by StorHub Self Storage, over 65 per cent of Singaporeans aged 36 to 60 years old find a lack of space at home more restrictive now than prior to the pandemic, thus impacting their state of mind.
While these results might seem obvious, an interesting result of the poll also found that people younger than 35 years old actually said they had enough space at home. Perhaps because they own less stuff, don’t have kids, and are actually still living with their parents?
“The younger generation tends to be digital natives,” explains Luigi La Tona, CEO (Singapore) of StorHub Self Storage. “Their lifestyles depend more on technology, which does not require as much space. We believe this contributes to the generational difference in mindsets.”
“Interestingly, we found that more than 65 per cent of younger Singaporeans (18-35 years old) spent more than five hours per day on digital activities - any activity that required the use of a digital device such as smartphones, mobile devices or personal computers. In line with these observations, we found that 61 per cent of younger Singaporeans selected "digital activities" as a top activity for which they needed space at home. In comparison, only 27 per cent of older Singaporeans felt the same.”
Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that lockdowns have had a major impact on how we live in our homes and how we work there too.
“We recommend that Singaporeans can alleviate the perception of restrictive space at home by recalling the three Ds - decluttering, donating and disposing. By sticking to the three D's, Singaporeans can maximise the amount of space they have at home,” says Mr La Tona.
“As people increasingly work from home, they find themselves living and working in a limited space. As physical space becomes scarce, people can adjust to the new situation by creating clear and mandated areas for the personal, creative and functional aspects of their lives,” he explains.
According to Mr La Tona, there are three categories of space that people now need in their homes - somewhere to work, somewhere to be creative, and somewhere for the rest of daily life like eating and sleeping.
“The key to successfully repurposing a small home to accommodate these new demands is to allocate space for each of these categories so that the needs of each member of the household are respected,” says Mr La Tona.
“It is essential to look at all the items that are taking up space in the home and evaluate them to identify which ones are critical for immediate use and which ones can be stored in an alternative space outside of the home. This process will help make room for the various new purposes of the home and reduce the stress that comes from misplaced items.”
The trend for minimalism in home interior design in Singapore had also seen people concerned with decluttering even before the arrival of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“As the pandemic continues to constrain our lives, multigenerational families understandably struggle to come to a compromise about the allocation of space at home. We recommend that they work together to evaluate items and determine which ones are critical for immediate use or have irreplaceable sentimental value,” suggests Mr La Tona.
“For sentimental items that are not needed for immediate use, it may be appropriate to find another space outside of the home for them. By doing so, households can make full use of their living and storage space.”
There have been several reports about people looking to renovate homes post-pandemic to create more useful space and add items that might once have been considered luxuries but now are deemed necessary. While this might not be an option for everyone, there are other ways to think about improving your living areas.
“With homes decreasing in size, our ability to curate spaces to meet our needs is becoming limited,” notes Mr La Tona.
“When families reorganise their homes, the objective is to create clear mandated spaces for the personal, creative and functional aspects of their lives. As a result, they actually reclaim space to live less stressful, clutter-free lives.
“The generated space helps to deliver the benefits of a truly serene home, as well as making room for new activities that spark creativity and increase family bonding.”
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