It’s no secret that the pandemic has changed the way we live at home. But according to EHarmony’s 2021 Happiness Index Study, baby boomers, when compared to Gen Z and millennials, have very different opinions about how to use their space—right down to how much space they even need. Here are three ways in which the generations differ, and the wisdom you can glean from older people’s perspectives. 

A Desire for More Space

Among Gen Z and millennials, nearly half (45 percent) said they wanted more space at home, while only 28 percent of baby boomers said they weren’t content with the amount of room they have. Maybe it’s because the older generation knows that it’s not about how much square footage you have—but how you use it. For example, this Los Angeles one-bedroom transforms into a two-bedroom thanks to a sleek Murphy bed. And in this 450-square-foot Brooklyn studio apartment, a couple carved out areas for work, play, and sleep.

Seeking a Personal Sanctuary

Thirty-eight percent of Gen Z and millennials said they wished they had a space just for themselves, while only 19 percent of boomers said they needed a room of their own. That could be because they’ve learned how to share their space with a family over the years. (Plus many tend to be empty nesters anyway.) Even in a small home, room dividers can give each dweller a personal nook.

Wanted: An Outdoor Area

A third of younger people said they craved an outdoor space for fresh air and sunshine. On the other hand, only 19 percent of boomers said they wanted the same. We’re guessing they probably know how much of a hassle caring for an entire yard can be—and the benefits of a bunch of indoor houseplants. Namely purifying the air and helping you sleep.

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