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Embrace change by making the most of your downsized move

Posted: March 20, 2018

You can still have a great outdoor space on a smaller home, writes columnist Sherry Hayes

by Sherry Hayes Stoney Creek New

Even if you’re downsizing to a smaller home, you can still have a great backyard space, with less property to maintain. – Courtesy Sherry Hayes

As the spring season arrives, we may be considering a residential move. Lifestyles often change, as does our needs.

The old saying, Home is where your heart is, or lives, as it were, is as true today as it was a century ago. Whether choosing a house, townhome, highrise apartment or condo, most of us know in our hearts when the time has come to downsize.

Social science places everyone into specific age groups. Living accommodations generally vary based on those brackets. However, as we traverse through the decades, our wants and needs take on an entirely new focus. Many of us begin to rethink the home front with emphasis on size, features and maintenance.

 There are two groups that often ponder the idea of scaling back residential size. Particularly, those persons born before 1965, fondly called the “Boomers” and those born prior to 1945, warmly referred to as the “Silent” or “Mature” generation.

There are a variety of options for both Boomer and Mature generations. Adult communities offer small bungalows or townhomes with ground maintenance services to free homeowners from chores while still providing outdoor living with patios or decks and tiny gardens. Conversely, condos generally include a balcony that can be made cosy with a variety of flower and herb containers.

Once the decision is made to downsize, reality will set in. With less square footage comes smaller furnishings, cupboards, closet space and more. Be prepared for months of sorting and purging like never before. While downsizing often creates a simple, low maintenance lifestyle, the road travelled getting there can be daunting.

Keep in mind that drastic downsizing could reduce living areas as much as 50 per cent and extensively limit storage space. Meticulously plan out your cupboards, pantries, drawers and shelves to maximize every square inch.

The best part of a downsize move is the lifestyle transition that includes ridding oneself of the maintenance that a large, detached house requires. When possible, choose a development that includes plenty of amenities, such as a community swimming pool, gym, games and social room. Well maintained, park-like grounds add to the pleasure of the new home’s surroundings.

Consider a complete change of decor style. A fresh colour palette for the indoors will provide an exciting new environment. If your past taste leaned toward traditional, consider modern or contemporary. When financially downsizing, invest a portion of the newly acquired funds into a renovation. Putting your stamp on a new home should make the transition easier and appealing.

Always take a few sentimental items that can be incorporated into the new setting. Whether a special piece of art, memento from past travels or a favourite perennial from the garden — these items will bring comfort after the move and hold fond memories from your previous lifestyle. Speaking from recent and personal experience, while a downsize move is likely to become a significant change, it will surely lead to a pleasant and simplified life.

 Sherry Hayes is a part-time writer, a multiple award-winning landscape designer and owner of Landscaping With Style, a design firm now in Stoney Creek. For more information on landscape design planning or container plantings for your home, townhome or balcony, see landscapingwithstyle.on.ca or call 905-574-7606.
Courtesy of Sherry Hayes