By Megan Giles, Retirement Transition Consultant
As Darryl Kerrigan says in The Castle “it’s not a house, it’s a home” and if you’re nearing retirement it’s likely that you’ll be spending more time at home when work no longer consumes the majority of your waking hours. So what are you doing to make your home retirement-ready – a place where you truly enjoy spending time?
Good utilisation of space can make a huge difference and below are four tips to help ensure that your home reflects your retirement lifestyle.
1. Re-purpose rooms
How are you planning to spend your time in retirement? Perhaps you want to write a book, do more sewing, or research your family tree. Do you have the right space to pursue this in? If the kids have now left home and you are an empty-nester, consider whether one of those bedrooms might be converted into a writing nook or sewing room. Sure it the news may not be well received initially when the kids find out that their room will no longer be their room (I’ve been there!) but how often do they actually come home and stay overnight? I suspect that room lays empty far more often than it is occupied…
Decluttering is a fabulously cathartic activity. It’s amazing how free the mind can feel when the physical environment is also free of clutter. Do you have ‘that drawer’ in the kitchen? You know, the one that is full of bits and bobs that just don’t have a home anywhere else. And what about the space room or under the house - how long have you been meaning to clear those areas out?
Why not do it now? Not only will it create a greater sense of space but it might reduce your cleaning efforts and make it easier to move around and find things!
If you’re worried about throwing out memories, why not ask your family to come around and help so that you can laugh and reminisce before you discard items, or take a photo so that you still have a tangible memory. Consider what can be donated so that others can create memories with your pre-loved possessions also.
3. Create easy access for the things you use the most
Have a look at your cupboards and drawers and consider how they are organised. Do you struggle to grab those gardening utensils from the top shelf or rummage around in the back of cupboards to reach the salad bowl? Is it difficult to reach everyday items? Recognising that you will become somewhat less agile as you age, bring the things that you use frequently to the front or down low so that you don’t have to strain to access them. Your body will thank you for it and it will make day-to-day tasks just that little bit easier.
4. Create a space to entertain
One of the items on your ‘to do in retirement’ list may be to catch up with friends more often, but the other thing playing on your mind is the expense of eating and drinking out too frequently. Why not update a space at home for entertaining, be it a BBQ area, a courtyard for morning coffees, or a lounge area for drinks? Such efforts don’t require an architect or extensive renovations, but rather the re-purposing of a space which encourages conversation, laughter and ensures that guests feel at ease. Simple, inexpensive things can make a huge difference such as new cushions, a lick of paint, a tidy up of the garden, or the re-positioning of furniture.
My call to action to you – what is one update you can make to your home now so that it is retirement ready?
I wish you the very best on your journey,
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like to read Checklist for planning your social life in retirement and. Investing in yourself in retirement – you are your own number one asset .
In planning for a holiday we always think “we need to go there” and “we should see that” but when Day One of our holiday arrives, we draw a blank…What were all of those things we were going to enjoy? In the busyness of life they’ve slipped our mind.
Don’t let this happen to your retirement. Download the My Retirement Planner and start capturing those ideas and inspiration so that you’re ready to step into retirement with gusto!