Okay, you’ve decided to downsize. Now what? Now the fun begins! Once you’ve found your new home, you can begin making plans for your cozy new retreat. You’ll want to make sure your new space reflects who you are, of course, but you’ll also want to take steps to ensure that you’ll be able to live as comfortably and safely as possible in your new home.
So, while you pack up and plan your decor, keep the following considerations in mind.
A smaller, single-story place is the perfect foundation for a home that supports full mobility for seniors, but don’t neglect the details while you’re planning. If there’s too much furniture for the space, it may be difficult to maneuver freely from one area to another. Likewise, area rugs can be beautiful but may create a hazard for trips and falls. Eliminate as many uneven surfaces and crowded areas as possible for ease of movement.
Furniture selection will be crucial in your new home. You may want to swap some large or infrequently used pieces for new (or new to you) multifunctional items that will make your day-to-day activities a breeze. When contemplating a piece of furniture, ask yourself if it will cause any undue strain, especially if you have limited mobility or flexibility. Is it too tall or short? Is it stable? Does it feature any accessibility tools or technologies that can be helpful for older adults? If you want or need to rearrange it, will weight or size be an issue? With strategic selections, you can reduce the amount of furniture you have and gain a bump in safety and functionality.
One of the easiest changes you can make when downsizing is to reevaluate your bedding. Is your bed covered with pillows you don’t need? Is your bedding particularly heavy? Are your sheets slippery? Save yourself time and energy by eliminating any unnecessary or unwieldy elements in favor of a light and clean aesthetic that’s easy to maintain. Plus, the fewer decorative pillows you have, the less chance they will be forever falling on the floor and creating a tripping hazard.
Make sure your lighting choices will result in a well-lit space. Quite apart from causing unnecessary eye strain, a dim or shadowy space can create fall hazards or cause you to bump into objects, especially as you’re adjusting to the layout of your new home.
Moving is always a bit of an adjustment, but this change is also an opportunity to hit “reset” on your surroundings. Take your time to curate your new space to your needs and surround yourself with items that make you happy, and you’ll be well on your way to a new home that supports your health as well as your lifestyle.
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