Our consumption patterns, habits and values are influenced to a large extent by the environment in which we grew up and they also affect the way we develop as people. It is a topic that has interested scientists for years, and it interests us at Elfa too. What role does the era in which we grew up play in our consumption habits? And what significance does this have for the storage in our home?
According to generational research, our values are shaped between the ages of 16 and 24. It is during those years that our consumption habits and our priorities in life are largely entrenched. Today’s generations are commonly divided up into: Generation Z (age 16-25), Millennials (age 26-41), Generation X (age 42-57) and Boomers (age 58-76). According to generation researcher, consumption expert and Elfa Insight member Anders Parment, there are distinct differences between these generations.
There are also differences in how the generations regard their future consumption. Many Gen Zers are hesitant to buy new things if storage space is limited at home. However, very few Boomers think that way. This could be for a variety of reasons. Of course it may be to do with the size of the home and the possibility of smart and flexible storage options. It might also be that their consumption habits have been influenced from an early age by the period and environment in which they grew up.
Christine Dalman, storage expert and Elfa Insight member, offers a few simple tips on what you can think about when it comes to consumption and storage at home. These are based on four scenarios.
1. If your home is small and you need to maximise existing areas with smarter and more flexible solutions, you can use the door, for example, for storage with hooks and baskets for small items.
2. If your home has more space with more storage options, it might be smart to invest in flexible shelving with boxes and containers of different sizes – making it easier for recycling or hobby-related activities in your home.
3. Anyone with lots of gadgets in boxes or scattered around the home should sort through and get rid of what is not needed and then get the remaining items organised with storage solutions, such as a decorative customised wall where favourite items are hung up with a spotlight on them.
4. If you prefer to rent things, you also need to create space so that you can easily put them somewhere, whether they are clothes or hobby items. There may be unused spaces, like under the stairs or high shelves that could be put to smarter use?
Elfa Insights is Elfa’s think tank where we investigate trends, needs and challenges related to storage. We do so by conducting consumer surveys and collecting views and insights from leading experts in the fields of architecture, sustainability, fashion, interior design and future predictions. This gives us the opportunity to delve deep into our favourite subject, storage, and inspire others to bring order, structure and harmony to their home and thus create space for important everyday things.
Generational researcher, author and social commentator. Works as a teacher and researcher at Stockholm Business School on issues relating to the future and how new generations are shaping it. As well as writing books (he will shortly be publishing one about Generation Z), Anders is a speaker and works with organisations to help them better understand the future.
Architect and interior architect at White Arkitekter. Works on everything from major public projects and process management to small detailed interior solutions and design concepts. Chair of the panel of judges for the “Golden Chair” award presented by the Swedish Architects organisation for the best interior architecture in Sweden.
Expert on the future, entrepreneur and strategic advisor. Founder of the AI platform IAMAI that matches management consultants with assignments and gives access to “Streaming Knowledge”. Author of the study “4 Scenarios for a Future Life”.
Elfa’s Senior PR Specialist and Storage Expert for the past 30 years.
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