What are you Googling in 2020?
Bob Vila looked at the top home-related searches on Google this year to find those that either trended up or spiked at some point in 2020. As the following collection suggests, we may have been stuck at home, but we haven’t been idle. Instead, we’ve been learning how to garden, figuring out better ways to clean the house, and taking on some long-delayed home improvements. So, if you’ve been hunkered down at home this year pondering changes to your living situation, you’re in good company.
How to build a deck?
With so many Americans spending time at home and in their backyards this year, homeowners looked for ways to improve their outdoor space, prompting many curious DIYers to take to Google to find out “how to build a deck.” According to HomeAdvisor, building a deck in 2020 costs between $4,151 and $11,187, on average. While you can certainly save money if you do it yourself, you will probably save time hiring a pro.
Related: So, You Want to… Build a Floating Deck
How to buy a house?
“Should I buy or should I rent?” was a big question for Americans in 2020. Despite the pandemic, a Zillow report notes the new home market remained very strong this year. “Year-to-date, new home sales are up 16.8 percent from the same nine-month period in 2019,” the report says, thanks to a favorable mortgage interest rate, a desire for brand-new homes, and a long-standing shortage of existing homes available for sale.
Related: Solved! How Long It Takes to Buy a House, Start to Finish
Where to buy toilet paper?
When supply-chain disruptions and pandemic buying emptied store shelves across the country, Americans wanted to know where they could find toilet paper. Many grocery stores and even big-box retailers, including Walmart, restricted the number of packages of toilet paper and other high-demand items shoppers could purchase at a time, forcing some to look online to restock their homes.
Related: The Best Toilet Paper to Stock in the Bathroom
How to grow garlic?
As a result of the pandemic, more people were cooking at home, and this apparently inspired many curious cooks to search for garlic growing tips. Garlic, which is a member of the allium family, is an easy-to-grow vegetable, according to Burpee. Garlic can be planted in both fall and spring, and should be grown in an area of your garden that hasn’t recently been used for garlic or other plants from the onion family.
How to make money from home?
The pandemic threw millions of Americans out of work. With all those people looking for ways to make some money while stuck inside, “How to make money from home” became a popular search on Google in 2020. Fortunately, there are a number of at-home moneymaking opportunities for those with the right skills, according to Forbes. Popular options include working as a tutor, using your knowledge of a subject to teach an online course, and creating how-to videos.
How to repot a plant?
If you took up indoor gardening during 2020, you’re not alone: “How to repot a plant” was a trending search on Google this year. Not only was there a run on things like toilet paper, disinfecting wipes, and flour, but on houseplants as well. Brett Guthrie, chief operating officer at Bell Nursery, an East Coast grower, told The Washington Post that the company saw a spike in sales of houseplants during the pandemic.
Related: Solved! When—and How—to Repot a Plant
How to get rid of gnats?
Gnats go hand in hand with houseplants, so it’s not surprising that there were a lot of us struggling with those pesky little bugs this year. If you’re finding gnats in your home, you have a few options, including a homemade remedy that uses a mix of apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, and dish soap. To get rid of gnats around your plumbing fixtures, try pouring diluted bleach down your sink or tub drain.
How to calculate square feet?
Many of us took time during the pandemic to tackle a few home improvements, and we turned to Google to help us figure out square footage for those projects. It’s not difficult: Just multiply the length of a room (in feet) by the width (in feet). This will give you the area, expressed in square feet.
How to soundproof a room?
With adults and children crammed together in the house working and attending school, “How to soundproof a room” was a big topic for homeowners. While you can’t completely get rid of sound, you can mitigate it with a few soundproofing solutions. Quick ideas include sealing gaps under doors, rearranging furniture in a room, and hanging sound-dampening curtains.
Related: 10 Tips for Soundproofing Your Home Office
How to store onions?
As more Americans cooked at home, food-related questions like “How to store onions” started to trend. To store onions, keep them in a dark, cool space, such as a garage, cellar, or shed. If properly stored, they can stay good for several months.
Related: 20 Things Never to Put in the Fridge
How much does it cost to build a house?
Those thinking of building a new home in 2020 took to Google to look up just how much it might cost them. On average, it will cost you between $164,591 and $482,529 to build a new house, according to HomeAdvisor. That price breaks down to $100 to $200 per square foot for a 2,800-square-foot home, although you’ll pay more for custom and luxury homes. Expect to pay about 40 percent of that cost for labor alone.
How to use Zoom?
If you had never heard of Zoom before the pandemic, you’re apparently in good company, because a whole lot of us were googling “How to use Zoom.” For those still unfamiliar with this blessing and bane of the modern work world, Zoom is a web-based video-conferencing tool that allows people to stay connected with friends, coworkers, and clients, and that has made it possible for many Americans to work from home during the pandemic.
How to grow potatoes?
Gardeners with a penchant for potatoes must have figured that the pandemic downtime offered a great opportunity for growing their own spuds at home. It turns out that potatoes are a very adaptable crop, even if soil conditions aren’t perfect. As well, there are many varieties to choose from, including fingerlings, blues, russets, and Yukon golds.
Where to buy Lysol spray?
As you would expect, sales of Lysol and other disinfectants skyrocketed during the pandemic, causing many stores to struggle to keep these products on shelves. Concerned consumers took to Google to search on “Where to buy Lysol spray.” In fact, Lysol manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser reports that sales in the first quarter of 2020 were up 50 percent from the previous year.
Related: The Best Disinfectant Sprays, Cleaners, and Wipes for the Whole Home
How to paint kitchen cabinets?
Many of us used our at-home time to undertake some DIY improvement projects, including painting kitchen cabinets. This simple update can transform the look of your kitchen, and it’s a cost-friendly option for those trying to make improvements on a budget. Keep in mind, however, that not all cabinet surfaces are appropriate for painting. Avoid painting open-grained woods, cracked or warped laminate, or surfaces covered with peeling lead-based paint.
Related: Solved! The Best Paint for Kitchen Cabinets
How much house can I afford?
“How much house can I afford?” trended on Google search as many weighed the pros and cons of buying during the pandemic. To determine how much house you can afford, lenders may use what is referred to as the 28/36 rule. “This rule says that your mortgage payment (which includes property taxes and homeowners insurance) should be no more than 28 percent of your pre-tax income, and your total debt (including your mortgage and other debts such as car or student loan payments) should be no more than 36 percent of your pre-tax income,” according to Zillow.
Where to stream?
No one should be shocked that as entertainment options dwindled and Americans were forced to spend more time at home, they also spent more time sitting in front of the television, searching on “Where to stream.” The major streaming services, including Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Apple TV, and YouTube TV, saw increases in 2020. In fact, more than 25 percent of consumers added at least one streaming service during the pandemic, according to TV Technology.
How to clean a washing machine?
The year 2020 gave homeowners time to take care of maintenance they may have long put off—for instance, cleaning the washing machine. Because your washing machine is constantly using detergent and water, having to clean it may seem counterintuitive, but over time soap residue, chemicals, and minerals can build up. Keeping your washing machine clean will not only help neutralize odors, but it will also help maximize efficiency.
Related: The Best Washing Machine Cleaners for Your Laundry Room
What is Instacart?
With so many people trying to stay close to home to cut down their risk of coronavirus infection, grocery delivery apps like Instacart and Shipt saw big increases in the number of people using their services in 2020. These services allow customers to order groceries from participating retailers and have the shopping done by a professional shopper. Items are then delivered on the same day or picked up by the customer.
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!