The one size fits all assumption that you should downsize as you grow older may not necessarily work with your lifestyle. Adult children may need to move back in to pay off debt, an aging parent may come to live or you may need a space for home healthcare provider, especially if you plan to “age in place”. While many do choose to downsize, another sensible approach is to rightsize your existing home.
Rightsizing is the idea of making better use of your home’s spaces to better fit your changing needs and lifestyle. Here are four rightsize steps that can help you make the right decision.
Analyze your space. The first step in identifying rightsize solutions is to assess your home and identify your priorities. Ask yourself such questions as these:
• Are you using all of the rooms in your house? Or do you use some rooms just on special occasions or for storage only?
• Do you use any rooms just as a walk-through to other parts of the house?
• Do routine activities seem inconvenient in your home’s current layout?
• How often do you have overnight guests?
Think about what your needs are and not what the room was designated as when you moved in. If you seldom use a formal living, consider turning it into a home office, an exercise room or even a meditation space.
Explore options. Research ways to rightsize your home so that it works better for you. Check out design magazines, other homes or design website to spark ideas. That stagnant formal dining room can become the craft room you’ve always dreamed of or an artist’s studio.
Consider future uses. After retirement, is your family depending on you to babysit grandchildren? If so, consider turning that unused dining room a child’s playroom. Think about accommodations for a future live in nurse or even a roommate for companionship and sharing expenses. Consider creating a private sitting area and bath for a non family member that may be living with you down the road.
A functional design. Your home’s rightsize solutions should ultimately accommodate it’s occupants needs. You may need to move into a smaller, one level home if mobility is an issue. However a smaller house may not suit your lifestyle if you anticipate extended family or care providers living with you. A rightsized home is about the quality, not the quantity, of space to meet everyone’s needs.
Mr. H says: Aging is mostly the failure to repair-Enjoy!