As we age, our needs change. We may no longer need as much space, and we may not have the energy, financial means or help to maintain the lawn and winter maintenance. While downsizing to a smaller home may be something worth thinking about – especially now that you’re still able to adjust to a new home – there is a lot more to consider than the physical size of your home.
One of the most used rooms in the home, it may become one of the most challenging. Consider downsizing the amount of kitchen gadgets, serving dishes, glasses, and cutlery you store in the kitchen. Pick your favourite items and donate the rest – either to your kids’ growing families or to a local thrift store. If reaching the higher cupboards is becoming difficult, consider emptying them out completely, as reaching items stored there can become even more hazardous as the years pass.
Examine your daily bathroom use: Do you have to hang on to walls, counters, or sinks to safely get around? Is it difficult to get in and out of the shower, and can you foresee comfortably using it 10 or even 20 years from now? If you’re at all concerned with your bathroom’s accessibility – now or in the future – take a look at some of the many great and innovative options available in the market today. You may even quality for a government grant to assist with the costs (through CMHC: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation). It’s important to think ahead, plan carefully and design now that you are able to, rather than when your health requires your bathroom to be modified.
While basements were originally designed and built as storage and utility rooms, now they house our most special mementos and seasonal items. If this sounds like you, pick a box or bin once per week, and go through it: Discard what you no longer use, hand down special items to your children, and donate the rest. Remember that as you age, chances are that it will become more challenging (and heavier!) to sort these items out. Nobody needs that much ‘stuff’ anyway! •
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