For many retirees, the golden years are a time of freedom from the structured life they’ve led for decades. They are no longer tied down to a career and are free to pursue activities they love. It often includes transitioning from a large family home to a smaller house built for two. Sometimes that post-retirement home is located in a new city. Whether you move across town or the country, Smart Strategies for Successful Living suggests several steps that you can take to make your new house feel like home.
(1) Unpack Those Boxes
Make it a priority to unpack all your boxes and put all the contents away in the designated areas. Start with the main bedroom and bath first, then tackle the kitchen. Seeing your familiar belongings in the new space makes it feel more like home.
(2) Change the Locks and Codes
Unless you are moving to a brand-new home, it is best to hire a locksmith to rekey or even replace exterior door locks. Reprogram the codes on the garage door openers as well.
(3) Modify Your Home for Safety
A recent survey by the American Association of Retired People reveals that 77% of adults over 50 want to age in place in their homes instead of moving to assisted living. Here are some safety modifications to consider:
- Replace round door knobs with lever handles on all the doors
- Install LED lights in all lighting fixtures
- Add a heat lamp to the main bath
- Upgrade all faucets to touchless or lever handles
- Add grab bars in the bathroom near the toilet and in the shower/bathtub
- Have a security system installed with internal and external cameras
Outfitting your place with a smart home technology device allows you to set lights to turn on when you walk in a room or by your voice command. It can be programmed to give you medication and appointment reminders and call for help if needed. Link your security system to your smart home device to enable you to lock doors and arm your system with a voice command.
When it comes to the security of your home, it’s also a good idea to think long term by investing in a home warranty. There are a lot of options out there so to keep from becoming overwhelmed, make sure you focus on home warranty reviews to narrow down your choices.
(4) Hire an Interior Designer
Hiring a design professional opens you up to all the possibilities of your new home. Their design experts can tell you how to make the most of each space and if your ideas are doable, and they know how to infuse your personality into the home’s decor so you feel like you’ve lived there for years.
(5) Create a Backyard Oasis
Turn your backyard into your peaceful retreat by investing in a set of comfortable chairs, a table and a couple of ottomans. If you love to cook, consider adding an outdoor kitchen. A soothing fountain makes your backyard space a relaxing oasis, or if space permits, add a hot tub! If stargazing or hosting kid parties with s’mores are on your to-do list, add a gas fireplace for added warmth. Make gardening more accessible by installing raised beds and planting native flowers and vegetables.
(6) Commit to a Tidy Home
Once you have your new home set up, commit to keeping it maintained, decluttered, clean and organized. Not only does that assist in preventing accidental falls, but it also reduces stress in the home and creates a positive living environment.
Retirement is all about the freedom to relax and enjoy your golden years. Following these tips helps you turn your new house into a cozy home.
Written by: Annabelle Harris
Annabelle Harris is the creator of Elders.Center. Her goal is to help soon-to-be-seniors and already-seniors move gracefully into their golden years with less fear and more confidence.