Here is a guest article from Harry at Newcaregiver. http://newcaregiver.org
Retired? It’s Time to Start Thinking About Your Home
Once you’re retired and spending more time at home, it’s easy for things to start piling up. Before you know it, your clutter has become a hazard — right around the same time that your mobility is getting worse. This is, of course, a less-than-ideal situation — not to mention, potentially dangerous — as you start to confront physiological and maybe even mental changes in old age.
Instead of letting your home become a burden in your senior years, take action now to make your house a safe, comfortable, and clutter-free place to live. These three home organization and renovation tips from Babyboomers Attic will help retirees address fall hazards, mobility challenges, and everyday convenience as they grow older.
Start by Hiring the Right Pros
Overhauling a home isn’t a project for the faint of heart. While it’s possible to do it yourself if you have lots of time on your hands, most seniors would rather spend their retirement enjoying themselves, not sifting through clutter.
Hiring the right professionals makes the process faster and easier for retirees. These are some of the pros you’ll want to help with your home:
- A document-scanning service. Sorting through old documents is one of the most tedious parts of home organization. If you have cabinets full of important papers, pay for a document-scanning service to scan, organize, and shred paperwork rather than doing it yourself.
- A junk hauler. Are you scratching your head wondering how you’ll get old furniture and appliances to the dump? Junk hauling services are an affordable way to make unwanted items disappear and free up space in your home.
- A professional organizer. Finding the best organization solutions for your home calls for a fresh perspective. Once you’ve gotten rid of the non-essentials, hire an organizing service to create order and livability with what’s left.
- A home remodeling contractor. The work isn’t over when your house is cleaned out. A trustworthy home remodeling contractor will help you complete renovations that turn your home into an age-friendly place to live.
- An expert real estate professional. If selling your home in favor of a smaller, more manageable one — or a move to a long-term care facility — is in the cards for you, make sure to work with an experienced realtor. A pro will be well-versed in the best ways to sell your home, as well as the latest home trends and other market updates, so you can be sure to get the best possible ROI for your property. This, in turn, takes you a step closer to being able to maintain the lifestyle you’ve had in mind for yourself in retirement.
Take Decluttering Step by Step
Decluttering has a lot of benefits. It makes your house cleaner, more spacious, and fall-proof for your senior years. It also frees up mental space when you’re no longer worrying about everything you need to tidy.
Decluttering is also overwhelming. When you’re staring down a house full of stuff, it’s hard to know where to start. Instead of tackling tasks at random, work either room by room or project by project. For example, you can declutter the entire kitchen before moving onto the living room or tackle all the books before addressing the linens. This breaks your decluttering project down into manageable chunks so you can take it one step at a time.
And your decluttering efforts don’t end there. Instead of just stashing away boxes of unwanted stuff in some forgotten closet, make an effort to really get them out of the house. In this case, out of sight should not be out of mind. Consider holding a yard sale or selling items in good, functional condition online. Better yet, donate them where possible. For everything else, throw them out.
Make Your Home an Ideal Place to Live
It’s not just closets and bookshelves that need to be decluttered. Many normal household features can be hazardous as you grow older. Area rugs, loose cords, and low furniture all pose trip-and-fall hazards for older adults, so include these in your decluttering to-do list.
Once you’ve dealt with the little things, it’s time to turn your attention to the major hazards at home. Whether your house has precarious steps leading to the front door or a shower that’s tough to enter and exit, it’s important to address home safety concerns before developing mobility problems. By making your home a safer place to live now, you can prevent injuries that threaten your independence in retirement.
Common remodeling projects for seniors aging in place include:
- Adding an entrance ramp.
- Installing grab bars and railings.
- Replacing tubs with roll-in showers.
- Widening doorways.
- Updating faucets, handles, and doorknobs with arthritis-friendly designs.
- Adding roll-out and pull-down organizers to cabinets.
More than just remodeling for necessity, you should also look into improvements to your home that can enhance your quality of life overall. A smarter home, for instance, can help you live with more ease, convenience, and safety, so look into installing smart devices that keep you social, informed, and entertained, as well as your home secure. Similarly, for improvements of the more fundamental and sustainable sort, set up your very own garden space. Not only will it provide you with opportunities to get outside and get moving, but you can have access to fresh, chemical-free food when you plant your own vegetables.
Growing older changes the way you live at home, but that doesn’t need to be a bad thing. By taking steps now to prepare for your senior years, you can create an age-friendly home that’s just as livable and beautiful as ever, or even move to one that’s more appropriate to your needs when the time comes. When you’re ready to start your home overhaul, make sure to reach out to the professionals who can help you get the job done right. Let Babyboomers Attic show you the way — visit the blog often for more senior-friendly tips, insights, and resources that can help you live your best life in retirement.
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